Every month, Perdeby tests and reviews an app that we think makes life easier. This month, we tried out productivity app Forest: Stay Focused.
Forest: Stay Focused is an app that keeps you productive by making you plant virtual trees. This app is amust have for many students who are unable to resist checking their cell phones when they should be studying for tests and exams. It works by making you plant a tree for the amount of time that you need to stay focused and off your phone. While planting the tree (or shrub), you are not allowed to exit from the app to use any part of your phone unless you kill the poor plant, having a sad and lonely leafless stump that can be a sore sight in your forest.
This app is very easy to use, with the main screen coming up after a five screen tutorial that will not waste your time. This screen shows a small shrub with daisies, a ten minutes sign and plant button after it tells you to “Start planting today!”
Around the shrub is a ring that acts as a timer when the pointer circle is moved around it clockwise, increasing the time below and changing from a shrub to a tree at the twenty five minute mark and changing to different trees as you move further clockwise, increasing your time.
When you have reached your desired planting time (ranging from ten minutes to two hours) you start by pressing the plant button. After pressing the plant button, you only have ten seconds to cancel without killing your shoot and after that, any move you make to stop planting kills the tree.
You don’t have to be an environmentalist to enjoy using the app while messages such as “Keep up the good work” motivate you as you watch your tree grow. You can make notes on the app and listen to music while you patiently wait and when the wait is over you get coins as a reward for your productivity.
You can take a break between planting, create tags for the bush/tree you have just planted and share your progress to social media.
A definite strong point the app has is that you can see your forest in all its glory, with an accompanying graph giving the amount that you have overall stayed focused for during the week. However, it only shows the forest you have planted on that day at once, meaning you can’t see your entire forest over the course of the week at once.
The downsides to this free application are that the initial species of plants are very limited and boring, however, the more gold coins you earn from planting a new forest, the more species you can buy. You also cannot sync across devices or save your profile and accompanying forest unless you are a paid member.
It is available as both a chrome extension for Windows and on major app stores to keep you focused across devices, and if you think the features it unlocks are worth paying for, then that will set you back R12,31 – R25,99 per item.
Image: Forest: Stay Focused app