Explore the Features
From "how-to" to "can-do": Learn every Focusmate feature in this handy guide
Anything you can do on Focusmate, you can learn about on this page. Read through the features one-by-one, or use the links below to jump around!
Explore the Features - Contents
- Sign up / Register a new account
- Sign in to an existing account
- Modify your profile and settings
- Schedule a new session
- Add your sessions to your calendar
- Message your partner
- Reply to a message
- Cancel a session
- Setting up your camera and microphone
- Starting a session / opening the video session
- Turning your video off
- Muting your microphone
- Communicating with your partner during a session
- Communicating via chat
- Declaring the tasks you’ll work on during a session
- Reporting tardiness and misconduct
- Feedback and requests
- Facebook group
Sign up / Register a new account
When registering, you’re required to acknowledge the Terms and Conditions and confirm that you are 17 years or older.
Some websites bury these and don’t require you to check a box. We are different: Focusmate is exceptionally human and community-oriented, and we want to ensure the best possible experience for you.
You can sign up using your Facebook or Google account, or create a login with your email and a password of your choosing.
Please create a unique and hard to guess password to ensure your security across the web.
Sign in to an existing account
Once you’ve created an account, use the same method you registered with to sign in to your account.
If you used Google or Facebook, simply click on the corresponding button.
If you used your email address, enter your email and password and then click Sign In.
Unless you log out of your account, you will remain signed in and won’t have to login each time you visit your account.
Modify your profile and settings
We’re a young company, so your profile and settings page is very simple!
Access your profile and settings from the menu in the top-right corner of your dashboard:
Your profile consists of just a few elements:
(1) Your profile picture, which we download your profile photo from Facebook or Google.
If you signed up with email, you will have a generic image.
(2) Your first and last name, which we use internally to communicate with you.
(3) Your Display Name, which is the handle that will be visible to other users.
The only setting is your timezone.
Start by selecting your region and then choose from a list of relevant timezones.
In the future, you’ll be able to:
- Change your profile picture
- Add your phone number to get reminders and send messages to your partners
- Add your own personal flair for other users to see, like sharing why you joined Focusmate, or showing what music you’re listening to to help you stay productive
Want more profile and settings features? Email us!
Schedule a new session
The most important thing you can do on Focusmate is schedule a session.
Scheduling a session == guaranteeing your productivity!
Schedule a session any time you want to be productive.
Click on a time once to select it:
Click again to confirm your request.
If a partner is available at that time, you will be matched instantly.
If not, we’ll find one for you and send you a notification, which usually takes a couple of hours.
We recommend booking your sessions a day in advance wherever possible, to maximize your chances of getting a partner.
Add your sessions to your calendar
Once you’ve booked a session, you’ll want to remember to show up!
That’s why we make it easy to add your Focusmate sessions to your personal or business calendar, including Google Calendar, Outlook, Outlook Online and Apple Calendar.
There are two ways to add a session to your calendar:
1) Click the calendar icon on the appointment card.
Then select the calendar of your choosing.
2) Open the confirmation email sent to you after scheduling a session.
Click the link that corresponds to your calendar.
Message your partner
Before a session begins, you may want to contact your partner, e.g. if you are running a few minutes behind and want to be courteous.
We currently have a rudimentary messaging system in place. In order to use it, you’ll first need to add your session to your calendar.
Inside of your calendar appointment, you’ll find a messaging link. Click that link in order to open the messaging interface.
Your email address will remain private.
Reply to a message
In order to reply to a message, use the “reply link” contained below the body of your partner’s message.
Note: If you reply directly to the email it will not reach your partner.
Cancel a session
To cancel an unmatched session, click once on the “X” on the appointment card.
To cancel a matched session, click twice: once to initiate the cancellation, and again to confirm it.
We require this two-click process because canceling a session affects your partner as well (we’ll send them a notification).
We want to make sure you don’t cancel your sessions by accident.
Setting up your camera and microphone
To use Focusmate properly, you will need to:
(1) Use Chrome, Firefox or Safari as your browser.
Video and audio capabilities are not yet available in Internet Explorer browsers.
(2) Enable video and audio capabilities
Starting a session / opening the video session
To initiate a session, click the “camera” icon on your appointment card.
Please note that Focusmate uses a free 3rd party video service called Appear.in.
Focusmate is not affiliated with Appear.in.
When you click on the camera icon to start your session, you will be redirected to the Appear.in website, where your video session will begin.
If you wish to change your camera or microphone, you may need to alter the settings in your Appear.in video session and in your browser settings.
Alter the settings in your video session:
Turning your video off
If you need to turn off video temporarily, you can do so.
However: we ask that, during “normal” session interactions you leave your video on for the entire session. This simulates your actual presence and is more effective for enhancing productivity.
To temporarily turn off your video:
Muting your microphone
You may wish to mute your own microphone during a session, in order to create some privacy.
Additionally, if you are working in a noisy environment, have a loud keyboard, or need to watch a video on your computer, please mute yourself so that your partner is not affected.
Communicating with your partner during a session
Once your microphone is set up, you’ll be able to talk to your partner like any VOIP video chat.
Simply speak into your microphone and your partner will hear you.
If your partner is not able to hear you, check your microphone settings.
As an alternative, you can use the chat interface to communicate with your partner.
Communicating via chat
Our 3rd party video service Appear.in is equipped with a chat interface.
To open/expand the chat feature, click on the chat icon in the lower-right hand corner of the video interface.
Declaring the tasks you’ll work on during a session
A critical component of the Focusmate experience is setting intentions. This is done by declaring specific tasks you aim to complete.
We suggest that you declare these intentions one by one, as you are about to begin working on them.
At the outset of each session, you will begin by sharing your first intended task.
Please write this task in the chat interface after you share it with your partner.
Once you complete a task, declare your next task, using the chat interface.
Reporting tardiness and misconduct
You can and should report any kind of misconduct, including tardiness, no-shows and other misconduct, such as prospecting or flirting.
It is critical to report misconduct as this helps us maintain the community standards and maintain a productive and safe environment.
We are currently using a reporting system that is rudimentary but effective.
In order to use it, you will first need to add the session to your calendar. Inside the calendar appointment you will find a reporting link.
Click on that link and you will open the reporting interface, where you can enter the details of the situation.
For additional support, you can email us.
Feedback and requests
Do you have feedback? Do you want to request a new feature?
Please send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!