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      Focusmate review and other virtual coworking alternatives

      Forget coffee-fueled late nights or endless to-do lists; the real secret to productivity might just be your choice of coworking space—even if it's virtual.

      With virtual coworking becoming the norm for huge swathes of the population, I’ve decided to review Focusmate alongside some of the internet's most popular virtual coworking platforms to compare and contrast their unique features.

      So, keep reading to find the virtual coworking space of your dreams as we review Focusmate, and Focusmate alternatives – Caveday, Flow Club, and FLOWN.

      Try a virtual coworking session

      FLOWN offers virtual coworking sessions designed to free you from distraction and take the willpower out of productivity.

      Try a session for FREE today.

      Get a 30-day trial, no credit card details required, with unlimited virtual coworking sessions, and see how much you can tick off your to-do list!

      How does Focusmate work?

      Focusmate offers a unique coworking experience by pairing users with accountability partners, or ‘focus buddies’. It’s like having a gym buddy, but for work.

      You simply book a session and specify what you want to focus on during that time. The platform then pairs you with a partner who is also looking to focus during the same time slot, and you both share your intentions for the session.

      What are the benefits of Focusmate?

      I will say the 1-1 element is a bit intense, and can make the initial moments of the session feel a little awkward. But once you get going, the implied sense of accountability from working alongside your focus buddy really helps you stay focused on your work.

      However, the biggest challenge is that without the backup of working alongside a large group the ever-present risk of a no-show can easily disrupt your workday and scupper attempts to get into flow.

      How long is a Focusmate session?

      You can book sessions of 25, 50, or 75 minutes by either joining a slot that’s been set up by another user or creating a slot of your own.

      What is a Focusbuddy?

      A focusbuddy is your partner during a Focusmate session. They're your peer in productivity, present to help keep both of you on task. Each time you join a session you’ll buddy up with another user the platform has paired you with.

      If you get especially comfortable with a particular user, you can favorite them to arrange to buddy up more often.

      Does Focusmate cost money?

      One of the standout features of Focusmate, is the cost: although there isn't the assortment of sessions and resources that you get with some Focusmate alternatives, access is free for up to three sessions per week, and you don't need to provide any credit card information to sign up.

      If you need more sessions, you can upgrade to Focusmate Plus for unlimited sessions.

      Focusmate pricing: How much is Focusmate a month?

      You can get unlimited access to Focusmate at a cost of $6.99 a month (billed yearly) or $9.99 a month (billed monthly).

      How easy is it to use Focusmate?

      A notable plus when reviewing Focusmate is how pleasingly simple and straightforward the platform is to use. While the initial calendar view can feel a bit overwhelming, it isn't too difficult to navigate and find what you're looking for.

      I could also:

      • Browse and join sessions that had been scheduled by others

      • Schedule a new session and wait for a partner to sign up for it as well

      • Toggle the dashboard to see my upcoming and past sessions.

      On the whole, the interface is designed to get users quickly into sessions with minimal hassle.

      Is there a community around Focusmate?

      While Focusmate doesn't offer a robust community element in the way that some Focusmate alternatives do, it does allow you to build specific relationships with other users over time. As you work with the same people repeatedly, you can favorite them, create locked-in sessions with your favorites and develop a long-time working rapport with these individuals.

      Is Focusmate safe?

      The question of whether Focusmate is safe is common within Focusmate reddit threads. With many assuming working 1-1 alongside a stranger may carry more risk of an unsavory experience compared to the group sessions offered by some Focusmate alternatives.

      However, with stringent privacy policies and community guidelines, Focusmate does aim to prioritize user safety. Plus a simple tap on the ☆ of a focus buddy’s profile means you can easily curate a list of trustworthy users you’ve enjoyed focusing alongside.

      But if you feel more comfortable in a group setting then a Focusmate alternative might be better for you.

      Can Focusmate help me with personal development?

      Beyond its blog, Focusmate doesn't appear to provide personal development resources, so it’s best for those who are looking for a no-frills virtual coworking platform to stay focused and accountable, and nothing else.


      How does Caveday work?

      A popular Focusmate alternative, Caveday offers facilitator-run deep work sessions, referred to as being inside the cave, as well as a host of member events and personal development courses.

      Caveday sessions last between one and three hours and are led by a facilitator over Zoom who guides you through one to three-hour-long sprints of deep work. One aspect that really stood out to me was the physical artifacts and rituals provided to enhance the experience.

      The inside/outside the cave coin is a tangible reminder of the transition into deep work mode, while the signal-blocking phone case is a practical tool to minimize distractions. I also appreciated the physical ritual of rubbing hands together and clapping before entering the cave and starting my session - it helped me mentally prepare and get into the zone. These small touches added a lot to the overall atmosphere of the platform and helped me find my flow.

      If a specific session isn’t running, you can try out a solo-cave deep work session, but it wasn’t as effective as a live deep work session with others.

      How much is Caveday?

      In terms of cost, Caveday is toward the steeper end of the market at $39 per month, with discounted rates of $35 per month when paid quarterly or $30 per month when paid annually.

      There’s also a basic membership option of $9.99 per month, but you only get access to four monthly sessions and the unfacilitated 24/7 Focus Lounge.

      There is a free 14-day trial available, but I had to input credit or debit card details to try it. This added a bit of an extra stress of whether I’ll remember to cancel the trial if I don’t go forward with Caveday, and was not a barrier I encountered on the other platforms.

      Although I liked the platform, I found the sessions and resources available with FLOWN to be as good or better, yet for less than half the price.

      Is there a community around Caveday?

      The community aspect of Caveday is great, with cavers able to engage with a Slack-like forum to introduce themselves to each other.

      Regular challenges like the Cave Squad Accountability Challenge provide financial rewards or punishments for not completing goals, which made me think Cavers are pretty work-hard play-hard people.

      I also liked the look of some half-hour facilitated cave-dweller meet-ups: just long enough to get to know your virtual co-workers without getting Zoom social fatigue.

      Caveday’s community is built around group sessions and frequent workshops, creating a strong sense of collective ambition.

      Can Caveday help me with personal development?

      In terms of personal development, there were some great planning templates, included within the membership, for weekly, monthly, and yearly use, as well as specific caves allotted to filling them out.

      Monthly deep dive podcasts with experts in their field and on-demand content in planning, focus, inspiration, and onboarding are also available.

      Caveday also offers extra courses for an additional cost. For example, their 7 core skills of knowledge work for an additional $300 for members ($450 for non-members), but it seemed like a lot of money to pay for a course in addition to the already hefty membership fee.

      Overall I found Caveday created a real sense of “now is the time to get work done” through monotasking inside the cave and deliberate planning, as well as learning more about productivity through academic learning. But perhaps isn't the best value or most comprehensive platform available.

      Caveday versus Focusmate

      While both platforms offer accountability, Caveday's structured environment contrasts with Focusmate’s more flexible 1-on-1 sessions.

      With Caveday you get the added polish of engaging member content, facilitated sessions, events, and merchandise. If you’re after a robust virtual coworking environment, with intriguing ways to gamify your productivity, you’ll find a solution that suits you in Caveday, albeit at a considerably steeper cost.

      Focusmate on the other hand offers a cheaper and more streamlined tool for your focus, best suited to those after an easy-to-use platform without the bells and whistles.

      However, if you’re looking for the robust virtual coworking environment of Caveday but at a price point a little closer to Focusmate, FLOWN may be your best bet.


      In many ways, FLOWN offers the best of Caveday and Focusmate in a single, well-designed platform.

      I’ll admit I’ve used FLOWN for a long time, so maybe I’m a tiny bit biased. But I can’t understate the boost in productivity their mischievous yet scientific approach to deep work has on me.

      The flow experience has changed my entire relationship with work and chronic procrastination, utilizing in-house coaches to facilitate virtual coworking sessions (called Flocks) optimized for maximum focus.

      Alongside these professionally facilitated sessions, FLOWN also offers the ability to set up 1-1 focus sessions with friends, colleagues or strangers, making it a handy Focusmate alternative.

      How does FLOWN work?

      FLOWN takes a holistic approach, incorporating elements of neuroscience to create deep work sessions that enhance cognitive performance.

      The FLOWN platform is incredibly easy to use and merge with your current WFH set-up. Their personalized calendar exists within the platform and integrates with your own iCal or Google calendar. I could set it up so recurring sessions appeared in advance on my calendar, making it easy to log into a Monday morning Take-Off or Wednesday afternoon Deep Dive session.

      FLOWN offers a range of facilitated sessions. My personal favorite is the Deep Dive format, two facilitated 50-minute deep work sessions with intention setting at the beginning, a recharge break, and contemplative reflection at the end.

      As a freelance writer, I have a lot of deep work to do, and deep dives help me structure my day, and understand how much time I’m putting into a piece of work.

      If you can't make a specific Deep Dive start time, the join anytime Drop-In sessions where you can write your intentions in the chat and cheer on your fellow Flockers creates a calming, library-like environment that you can access 24/7.

      How much does FLOWN cost?

      In terms of cost, FLOWN comes in on average at $25 a month billed monthly, or $20 a month if you pay for it annually, or even cheaper if you go for the lifetime option.

      Additionally, FLOWN offers a 30-day free trial without requiring you to enter your credit card details – something I appreciate as a person who always forgets to cancel free trials. Fridays are also always free to use FLOWN’s deep work sessions, referred to as Flocks, so even after your trial you’ll always be able to jump on a Friday Flock for free!

      Unlike other Focusmate alternatives, FLOWN offers various plans but with the added benefit of tailored workshops and content.

      Is there a community around FLOWN?

      The community element is impressive, with fellow virtual coworkers you steadily begin to recognize that creates a warm, neighborly, and supportive atmosphere across the platform.

      I love how badges let you know how many Flocks someone has done and whether they’re a newbie or an oldtimer, and the facilitated online community group allows you to further connect with members and coaches outside of sessions.

      I also love the seasonal challenges and reminders to take part in activities like live breathwork sessions, online yoga, creativity sessions, or planning your big dreams together.

      Alongside all this, you can also join or create your own member-led sessions, themed around a topic of your choosing – everything from online reading groups, to decluttering sessions, writers’ hours, and wellness sessions.

      The FLOWN community is deeply integrated, with regular events and an emphasis on lifelong learning.

      Can FLOWN help me with personal development?

      Yes, FLOWN provides resources that extend beyond work, including mindfulness practices and creativity exercises.

      I found personal development to be a focus at FLOWN. There are a lot of supplementary activities like live breathwork sessions, meditation, journaling, yoga, and specialist workshops. On-demand content is also available, allowing for further learning on topics like procrastination, ADHD, and deep work.

      Along with all this, members gain access to an assortment of downloadable productivity planners, tools, resources, and how-to videos. Each is full of useful tips and insights to help you level up your work, progress toward weekly, monthly, or yearly aims, and achieve your goals.

      1-to-1 productivity coaching is also available to help you build toward special projects, develop new habits, or manage any barriers that may be holding you back in your work. FLOWN also offers expertly led accountability groups where you can work toward specific goals alongside others in a similar boat e.g. groups for writers, academics, entrepreneurs etc.

      On the whole, FLOWN is a pretty darn impressive platform.


      Flow Club’s member-led virtual co-working sessions mean every flow feels different, and the onboarding to get there was easy to use and helped me understand the platform quickly.

      How does Flow Club work?

      Flow Club hosts moderated work sessions that focus on achieving a state of "flow," using music and timing to encourage immersion in tasks.

      The flow club sessions are uniquely designed by the hosts and vary in length from 30 to 190 minutes, with a clear description of how they intend to run the session below. The hosts are other members, and the style of the flow varies depending on who you work with. Some clubs are chat-only, where you can share your intentions in the chat rather than having to speak out loud on the video.

      Although the variety is nice, not being able to access a consistent and expertly facilitated session like you can with other Focumate alternatives was a drawback. It made me feel like this was more of a streaming platform than a purpose-built tool and community for modern workers.

      I found the website slightly confusing to navigate at times, and it was difficult to find my way back to the onboarding checklist. Additionally, there was no way to automate booking multiple sessions in advance, which I found inconvenient. If you follow a specific host, you can book their sessions regularly, but, disappointingly, planning out a schedule for yourself simply wasn't an option.

      How much does Flow Club cost?

      The cost of the platform is a bit expensive compared to other flow sites, but there is a 7-day free trial, and you can choose a plan that is either a monthly cost of $40, or $33.33 per month when billed annually.

      Is there a community around Flow Club?

      The community element provided by Flow Club is its best quality, and I appreciated the detailed descriptions of the hosts. The platform fosters a sense of accountability, and I can imagine regularly joining a specific club and getting to know my group could help me tackle a particular project.

      Can Flow Club help with personal development?

      In terms of personal development, the blog on the platform has some interesting pieces and specific guidance for how you could use Flow Club. For example, there is a morning routine club, and if you are in-house, you can set up Flow Club for your company using their Slack integration to suggest co-working clubs with your team. But the resources simply weren't as comprehensive and deep as those offered by other Focusmate alternatives. Overall, I found Flow Club to be a good tool for productivity, building my focus bubble, and getting things done!

      Are there any virtual coworking spaces free of charge?

      FLOWN: Flown offers a 30-day free trial period for their virtual coworking platform, which includes daily group co-working sessions, virtual workshops, and access to a community of remote workers. As well as the trial, FLOWN is open to anyone on a Friday, so you can access Flocks for free forever.

      Focusmate allows you to take part in three one-to-one focus sessions per week for as long as you like, but you’ll have to pay to use it more regularly. Caveday also offers a month free trial period, although users are required to input their credit or debit card details to try it. Flow Club offers a 7-day free trial period for their virtual coworking platform, which you can take part in without having to enter your credit card details.

      Whilst I enjoyed Caveday’s separation of being inside and outside the cave, and liked the idea of connecting with the same group over time with Flow Club or building 1-to-1 relationships with Focusmate, the community aspect of FLOWN is so supportive and welcoming I can’t help coming back again and again.

      FLOWN Flocks are effective for keeping me focused, and I love the overall ethos of balancing work, mindfulness and wonderment to keep me in a consistently productive state of mind.

      Try FLOWN for free today

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