The biggest enemy to our productivity is our silly mind. It loves to wander around and sniff out the instant gratifications from its surroundings. If we could calm our minds to focus on only one thing at a time, our lives would shape out to be much better in every field. That is why I bring you the forest app review. This app has helped thousands of people focus on the day’s crucial tasks and avoid procrastination
What is Forest?
Forest is a self-improvement app that is built to monitor and limit your screen time. It is like a “digital babysitter” that will make you productive with its unique features. The main goal of this app is to make you focus on a single task and refrain you from using the device.
I have been using the forest app for the last two years, giving results exponentially. If you are a serial procrastinator (like me), this app is definitely for you
How does the Forest app work?
The forest app has a relatively simple interface. But its gamification has really made its features effective.
Here is how to use it (basic):
- You set up a timer for 25 minutes (can set up to two hours)
- Start the session
- Your focus time is measured with resemblance to a tree. If you can focus without touching your phone (until your set time), your seedling will grow into a complete tree.
- But if you fail the session and leave the app, it will notify you. In case you do not re-enter the app fast, your tree will wither.
- You can plant this tree in a virtual forest. Each successful focus session also awards you some leaf coins that you can spend on unlocking many things.
Now the mechanism is pretty simple. But it forces you to stay focused and limit screentime, as nobody wants to lose points or have a withered tree in their forest.
Why does Forest work?
The simple question is, I can do this with regular timers, too; why do I need to have an app for this. What I shared was the basics of the forest app. But there is so much more to it. Here are the features that make the forest app so effective.
Having your own forest
I am pretty sure you have played many video games in your life. There are so many games that don’t have an ending, but you play because they improve your stats. You can compare Forest to such a game.
When you look at your forest(a virtual one), you develop a desire to build on this forest. And the only way to do that is to focus. You also want to unlock more beautiful trees in your forest, which requires coins. How do you think you earn coins? Again the answer is by doing more focus sessions.
The forest app comes up with beautiful rainforest sound loops. These create an ambient environment for studying/working or simply being productive. If you are a person who loves to work/study while listening to music, this is an excellent feature for you.
As you earn more coins, you will unlock more versatile music-like sounds from a Paris Cafe
: I hope you have heard about the Pomodoro Technique ( If not- check this out). The Pomodoro technique has proven to be effective for most people. It has offered to be more productive and get things done.
The forest app complements the Pomodoro Technique in the most attractive way. If you are a student who has been using the Pomodoro technique, this app will provide you with perfect study sessions.
Studying/ Working with friends
: As I mentioned earlier, the forest app’s versatile features has made it so popular and productive. One of the best features you find is studying or working with your friends together.
You can create a study room/group with your friends to have a productive session together, even if you are at your own house. In this kind of session, if any group members leave, the plant withers, and no one gets the points.
For every habit to develop, you need a progress tracker. A progress tracker helps you to monitor yourself and the effort you are putting into your job.
The forest app has a great progress tracker that will record every minute you have put on in the past day, week, or year. This is going to help you to keep the enthusiasm. You can also identify in which days you have been slacking off and find out reasons. Knowing how many hours you are spending on work/ studies is a great way to evaluate your effort. It is way better than mere assumptions of being productive.
: This is probably one of the less talked about features of the app. But in this forest app review, we are not going to miss any grains. Before starting every session, you can assign what type of task you are doing. In the free version, you only get these options:
However, in the pro version, you can put on your own tags. This is so much help because you can track your total focus time and the time spent on each tag (studying, working, or entertainment).
Along with these fantastic mentioned features, some extra features are the icing on the cake.
Some inspiring phrases appear during ongoing focus sessions, giving you a nudge to get back to work.
Here are some :
- Don’t look at me
- Stop phubbing
- Get back to work
- Stay focused
- Hang in there
- Put down your phone
- You can do it
In the pro version of the app, you can edit these phrases according to your wish. These will help you to add motivating quotes that keep you productive.
Free version vs. Pro Version | Forest App Review
Although the app’s free version does quite a good job if you want the complete experience, the pro version is a game-changer.
Here are the things that you can get only on the pro version:
- Add your own category
- Block ads
- Detailed Statistics
- Sync across all devices
- Compete with friends
- Unlock more achievements
- Newer species of trees & plants
- Plant a real tree
- For Android: Free But Pro version is 1.99$
- For IOS: There is no free version; the price is 1.99$
Also available as a free chrome extension.
Is the pricing worth it? If you are a student and are facing difficulty in getting things done, then hell yes!. It has helped thousands of people worldwide, and most students are using this to track their study habits.
The Ugly sides of Forest:
Like every other app, there are definitely some downsides to this app too. Here are some that you would need to consider.
- The virtual leaf coins are really less of a reward unless you are paying for in-app extra.
- The app sometimes glitches to send notifications. It forgets to notify you even when you are done.
- The app does not appear on the phone’s lock screen when running.
- Cheating your way is not that difficult. But, if you are serious about it, you won’t do it (I hope).
- I wish it had more free features.
- You could find it intrusive because it asks for permission to see your notifications, contacts, and contents of messages received for deep focus mode.
Comparison with other focus apps:
Forest takes the gamification and visuals to another level. The level of rewards is also unlimited in Forest. Many of these apps are simple timers, and some are just website/apps blockers. Forest does an excellent job in integrating both these with a lot more.
Planting real trees:
This feature is probably the best thing about the app. The forest app lets you plant real trees. Forest plants real trees for every 2500 virtual leaf coins. Although earning 2500 virtual coins can take quite a long time, I appreciate the initiative.
The forest team partners with a real tree-planting organization, ” Trees for the Future,” for planting real trees. At present, they have planted about 1,125,418 actual trees. It is incredible how you can contribute to this only by “not looking at your phone.”
The forest app is fantastic for every student who falls back to the vicious cycle of procrastination. It can actually help you to focus and get into the flow state more often. Its simplicity and aesthetics make it unparallel to other apps.
Having said that, they should really expand their free version. It should also add newer trees and sounds to it more often.
If you are a student and wondering if this app is worth it or not, then the answer is “YES.”