Pulse vs Clockwise:
What’s The Best Tool for More Focus Time?

Trying to decide whether to use Pulse vs. Clockwise? Check this handy comparison guide we put together for the top two tools to drive more focus.

As the workplace shifts from the physical to the digital office, determining when teammates are in focus is no longer possible.  We can no longer see if a teammate has their headphones on or that they’re deep in thought. And as we are working remotely, our Slack notifications have become a non-stop barrage causing pain-staking interruptions and affecting our flow time.  Studies have shown that minimizing distractions is key to productivity and that often, the best work you can do comes from a state of deep focus.

That’s where apps that aid in finding focus time come in. These tools use smart technology to eliminate distractions and allow you to reach a state of deep focus more easily. Here, we compare two of the leading focus assisting apps for Slack, Pulse vs Clockwise, to see how they help workers be more productive.

How Does Clockwise Work?

Clockwise operates as a kind of calendar assistant. It scans your calendar to find blocks of free time then assigns those blocks to focused work depending on the rules you have set up. It can scan the calendars of multiple team members and determine the best times for meetings and collaborative work and the best times for more focused work, not unlike what Google Calendar does today.

The idea behind Clockwise is to find open blocks of time to fill with focused work and organize meetings more efficiently to create those blocks. Therefore, it works best for people whose work allows for large blocks of time to be created – which is often not the case for managers and team leaders.


How Does Pulse Work?

Pulse is more than a calendar assistant. Pulse’s smart technology uses your calendar, work hours, and preferences to determine the ideal status to display to your teammates at any given moment for collaboration or when you need quiet focus time to do your tasks. Then, it changes your status accordingly. Like Clockwise, you can also create blocks of focus time in your calendar, which Pulse will handle accordingly.

Pulse works by letting your team know when you’re in focus in real-time. So instead of simply scanning your calendar, it will display when you are in deep work, much like how our brains work, and change your status to reflect that fact. 

Have a meeting gone longer than you thought it would? Deep in focus? Don’t worry; Pulse will automatically update your status so that your team knows about it. Pulse will silence your notifications automatically so that you don’t have to tear yourself away from the flow state where important work gets done.

Perhaps best of all, Pulse is optimized for Slack and integrates seamlessly with the apps you’re already using, meaning you can get started into deep focus right away.

Description: Pulse integrates seamlessly with Slack to update your status in real-time.


Pulse Vs. Clockwise: Feature Face-Off

Pulse Features

• Calendar syncing. Pulse integrates with your Google calendar or Outlook Calendar. It uses this information to update your Slack status with messages and emojis that inform your teammates about your availability. You can create blocks for focus time, and Pulse will display accordingly into your Slack. 

• Smart activity detection. If your meeting runs long, you don’t need to manually change your status to let teammates know; Pulse will do that for you. Likewise, if you’re doing focused work, Pulse can even silence your notifications so you can have flow time.

• Slack integration. Pulse integrates seamlessly with Slack and changes your status automatically to let your team know when you are in focus. You can also personalize your status with custom messages. It’s no wonder Pulse was a winner of Slack’s 2022 Slackathon!

• Enhance collaboration. Pulse integrates easily with other apps, allowing you to work on specific projects with your team. The list of integrations is always growing and includes popular apps like Asana, GitLab, Figma, Miro, and more.


Clockwise Features

• Schedule optimization. Clockwise scans your schedule to coordinate meetings with the team, optimizing your schedule for maximum efficiency.

• Focus time. Clockwise can find and will assign large blocks of time in your calendar that can be used for focused work, effectively scheduling your flow state.

• Team features. Clockwise will keep you updated on your team’s calendar availability and forecast the bandwidth they have to work on new and existing projects. This makes it easier to ensure your team is working close to capacity.

• Calendar assistance. The app can scan your calendar and your team to find conflicting meetings and automatically reschedule them.

• Integration features. Clockwise also integrates with several leading productivity apps, including Slack and Asana.

Description: Clockwise monitors your team’s calendars to find time for focused work.

Pulse Vs Clockwise: Real-World Usage

Both Pulse and Clockwise have impressive features that can make your time more productive and help you achieve more focus time.  

Pulse’s automatic focus detection is the first tool that automatically predicts when you’re focusing and automatically updates your status.  The way our minds enter deep focus work is not something that can be planned for in hour time blocks. Focused work comes in waves throughout the day.

Independently, studies show it can take as much as 23 minutes to regain focus after an interruption, so a single message or call can easily set you back for the rest of the day. Pulse ensures that everyone knows when you should not be interrupted.

Best of all, Pulse does this and more automatically. That way, whether you’re holding a meeting or heads-down, Pulse will act as a virtual assistant, gatekeeping your time and ensuring you’re not distracted when you don’t want to be.

Clockwise is more suited to pre-scheduling the time to focus. Although you can do this in Pulse, unlike Pulse, it does not automatically detect when you are focused. Instead, it blocks off time on your calendar and then updates your status accordingly. 

However, if you are a user that has a lot of meetings, Clockwise will struggle to find large blocks of free time to condense into focus time. Unlike Pulse, Clockwise cannot detect focus in real-time based on your work. Therefore, when it comes to Pulse vs Clockwise, Pulse can meet the needs of both individual contributors and busy professionals with heavy meeting schedules.

Description: Pulse automatically updates status on Slack.


Pulse Vs Clockwise: Which Is Cheaper?

If your decision on Pulse vs Clockwise comes down to price, there’s a simple answer. Pulse offers three pricing tiers depending on the size of your business. If you have 50 users or less in your Slack workspace, you’ll pay three dollars per user per month. This includes an onboarding session for your team with Pulse. 

For businesses with more than 50 users, Pulse has tiered pricing depending on the number of users along with advanced enterprise features.

But if you’re a small business, Pulse also offers a free tier. If you have five or fewer users in your Slack workspace, you can use Pulse’s amazing Focus Detection, Meeting Detection, and App Collaboration features for free.

Clockwise also offers a free tier for smaller users. Instead of being based on the number of users, it is based on up to 75 Schedule Assists per week per workspace. So the busier your schedule, the quicker you’ll run out of free assists. Plus, the Schedule Assists are all you get on the free tier. If you want access to Clockwise’s other features, you’ll need to spend more. 

The Pro tier costs $6.75 per user per month, making it twice as expensive as Pulse. For that, you get unlimited Schedule Assists plus advanced calendar controls. But if you want to make the most of Clockwise’s features or have a team of more than 50 people, you’ll need to upgrade to a Business Plan. This plan offers personalized onboarding and training and custom contracts and invoicing, but it will cost you an eye-watering $11.50 per user per month.


Pulse vs Clockwise: The Bottom Line

Choosing which assistant will provide you the most focus time will depend on the size of your business, the nature of your work, and lots of other factors. However, when it comes to Pulse vs Clockwise, it should be fairly easy to determine which suits you better. Clockwise works well for scheduling large blocks of focus time for people whose schedule consists of only a few meetings per day. Still, it doesn’t compare to Pulse’s ability to do that and automatically update your status to focus in Slack when it senses you are in deep work.

Surprisingly, Pulse is also significantly cheaper than Clockwise, given its smart features. You can even try it for free for a few team members to decide if it will work for you. For that reason, along with its far more advanced features, Pulse proves to be a more useful productivity app for focus time for the vast majority of users.