Tools We Love: Forest App

Distraction is something we all struggle against, but one sneaky culprit could be right there in your pocket. Your cell phone makes it easier than ever to stay connected to, well, everything. But that connection is a double-edged sword.

Just because we can answer that email right away, that doesn’t mean that we should… Especially if you’re never focusing on one task long enough to achieve that all-important flow state.

One way to avoid distraction is to focus fully on the task in front of you, but that’s not always easy. The Forest app can help you (or, ahem, force you) to put down your phone by turning focus into a game instead of a challenge.

4 Reasons We Love It

A Tree Farm in Your Phone

It’s a simple concept: by not using your phone for a set amount of time (you choose), you can earn points and grow trees in your own virtual forest. The longer you set the timer, the more points you earn. For those of us who are addicted to our screens but love the little thrill of winning a game, it’s an elegant solution. We were surprised at how satisfying it was to see our little forest “grow” as the day progressed and amazed at the amount of heads-down work we accomplished.


Staying Present: There’s an App for That

We all know that we should stop checking our phones every 5 seconds, but sometimes, it’s hard to unplug from such a regular habit. Of course, there are other ways to stay tuned into the present moment, and we’ve probably tried them all. You can put your phone on silent and set it facedown on the table, but even so, the temptation can still be too great to resist. Forest makes this a little easier by turning focus into a game – one that you can actually win.


A New Start Every Day

Hey, nobody’s perfect. Sometimes, even with the allure of a shiny, new, virtual tree, we’ll find that we simply have to check our email or log into Facebook. That’s okay! Instead of reminding you of your shortcomings and making you feel overwhelmed, Forest gives you a clean slate every day. How’s that for living in the moment?


Our Favorite Feature

While we use Forest App to add some extra focus to our workdays, we’ve found that it’s also incredibly useful for social outings. We’ve all been at dinners or lunches where a friend cannot stop checking their phone. As annoying as that can be, who doesn’t partially understand the temptation? For those of us who have that bad habit, Forest App is just as useful when your workday wraps up.

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