Noisli: A Simple, Effective Productivity Hack

Preparing a good speech or presentation takes time and focus, both of which are often in short supply these days. In this post, I’d like to offer you a suggestion that might help you with the latter.

For the past year or two, I have used the website Noisli to help me concentrate when working on speeches or presentations or this blog. In fact, I am using it right now as I write this post.

The site is simple and easy to figure out. Currently, you have a selection of 16 different sounds. In the image, you can see the first four: rain; thunder; wind; and forest sounds. Among the other sounds are a flowing river, waves on the shore, a passing train, a crackling fire and a coffee shop.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 11.10.02

You can let Noisli choose a combination for you by selecting the Random, Productivity or Relax buttons. Or, you can create your own combination. Simple click on the icon of the sounds you want and then adjust the volume. In the image, I have selected rain and thunder, with thunder being louder. If you don’t like a sound, just click the icon again to turn it off.

My favourite combination is rain, thunder and the coffee shop. There is something about that mix that really helps me focus. I don’t see the time pass and I get a lot accomplished. Play around and see what works for you.

Noisli has received very good press including from Fast Company, Lifehacker and CNET. It is also available as an app.

I have written at length about the power and importance of good preparation for a speech or presentation. In order to prepare well, you need to be able to focus. If you sometimes find that a challenge, Noisli might just be a solution.


About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
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15 Responses to Noisli: A Simple, Effective Productivity Hack

  1. How interesting. Good to know, thank you.

  2. Anderson L Jonas says:

    Dear John,
    I like the idea of some “noise/music” while I work. I have been using but, I like your new find very much. Sometimes, I just go with a rousing symphony. I feel I am working in the Hall of the Mountain King.
    Best to all,

    • John Zimmer says:

      Thanks for sharing the site, Andy. I like singing bowl. Very meditative. The good things with these sites is that there are so many combinations that people can find what works for them.

  3. Paul Naveau says:

    Great suggestion John, thanks! Tried it right away 🙂

  4. John Klukulele says:

    Great tip, John. I’ve put some relaxing jazz music in the background and am roaring to work. Thx

    • John Zimmer says:

      Thanks for the comment, John. Jazz is a great idea if you can keep yourself from getting caught up in it. I love jazz, but not for working. My youngest daughter, however, is with you 100%.

  5. Uta B. says:

    The second great suggestion to get/stay focused within 15 hours. Blessed 🙂 Thank you!

  6. Philip Selby says:


    Thanks for Noisli – it’s great! It’s not yet led me to a great speech, but here’s hoping!


  7. Wow! Thanks for that, John. I feel how useful this is only after hearing it (you would not say “listen”, would you?) for a few minutes.

    • John Zimmer says:

      Glad you like it, Roswitha. You are right. You start by listening to the sounds when you pick them but then as you focus, they fade and you just hear them now and then.

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