MASTER YOUR MAC

Get Started With Focus Filters

Set some boundaries with this powerful macOS feature.

Whether you’re working, playing, or spending time with family, macOS Ventura’s Focus filters make it easy to establish boundaries: Apps can customize what you see—and what you get notified about—based on the Focus you’ve enabled.

Here’s how to use this powerful feature; then read on for some great apps that can take advantage of it.

Create a Focus

macOS includes several Focus modes, including Do Not Disturb and Gaming, but you can create as many as you like: Go to Apple Menu > System Settings > Focus, then click Add Focus. Chose one of the suggestions, or click Custom to create your own; for example, create a Weekend Focus you can use to hide work emails and calendars on weekends.

When creating a custom Focus, you can choose the name, color, and icon.

In the settings screen for the Focus, customize which notifications—from which people and which apps—are allowed when the Focus is active. You can also configure the Focus to automatically turn on during particular times, at designated locations, or when using a specific app. (You can manually enable or disable any Focus using Ventura’s Control Center.)

Pro tip: On the main Focus settings screen, enable “Share across devices” and your Focus status will sync across your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

Create a filter

To control how apps behave when a particular Focus is active, open that Focus’ settings screen and click Add Filter, then click the app you want to customize; for example, click Calendar to pick the calendars you want to see during this Focus. Repeat the process for each app you want to customize.

A filter for the Calendar app lets you choose which calendars are visible when the Focus is enabled.

Other built-in apps that support Focus filters include Mail (to show only chosen email accounts and their mailboxes), Safari (to show particular Tab Groups), and Messages (to filter messages using the Allowed People list).

Check out these standout third-party apps that support Focus filters:

Agenda

This note-taking app lets you associate notes with calendar events, designate notes as in progress (“On the Agenda”), and assign notes to categories, giving you a slew of ways to organize and find important info. You can choose which categories are shown in each Focus.

    Agenda - Notes meets Calendar

    Organize your days

    VIEW

Fantastical

One of our favorite features of this calendar app is sets, which let you group related calendars and quickly switch among those groups. With Focus filters, you can perform this switching automatically—for example, to show only your personal and family events during weekends.

    Fantastical - Calendar

    Reminders & Todo List

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Drafts

This writing and notes app lets you create workspaces to group documents by project or topic. Use Focus filters to choose which workspaces appear in the app—along with which visual theme to apply and which automation actions are available for use—based on your Focus.

    Drafts

    Where text starts

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Cardhop

The contact-management app Cardhop lets you group people into lists to quickly view, say, only contacts working on a particular project. Focus filters can automatically show and hide lists whenever you enable a Focus.

    Cardhop - Contacts

    The contacts app you'll love

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