Do you have trouble staying focused on a task because of your… “SQUIRREL!” …phone and all of its time-sucking apps?  Do you or your child have a diagnosed attention disorder and have trouble focusing due to the ever-present smartphone?

If either of these scenarios is familiar, then the Forest: Stay Focused, Be Present app just might be a solution.

How does it work?

Whenever you want to focus on your work, open the app, set the time, and click the button to plant your tree.  If you leave the app before a predetermined amount of time, your tree will wither and die.  If you are successful and stay out off any other apps on your phone, your tree will flourish.  The more focused you are, the more trees you can grow, and eventually, you can grow a lush forest.

Platforms and Cost?

  • Android-Free with ads, $1.99 to purchase
  • iOS-$1.99, also works with the Apple Watch
  • Windows-$.99
  • Chrome and Firefox Extensions-work more as companion programs with the paid version of the phone apps.

Features

  • Ability to create an account to sync across devices and save your forest to the cloud
  • Whitelist certain apps such as texting, phone calls, Drive, etc. so you can use them without killing your trees
  • Blacklist apps such as Facebook, Snapchat, etc.
  • Share your forest and compete with your friends
  • Earn points by staying focused to acquire new tree types and other rewards
  • Tag each focus session as “work”, “social”, “rest”, “school”, etc. to see your progress later
  • Check out your forest progress-weekly, monthly and yearly
  • Plant REAL trees in Africa by staying focused

My thoughts

The Forest app has been around for awhile, but it continues to be improved and work well.  In my opinion, it can be a great tool to curb the urge to look at your phone and stay focused and could be motivating when competing against friends and that competitive sibling to see who is the champion “Focuser”!

About Author

Jeannie Krull is the Program Director for ND Assistive (formerly IPAT). She is an ASHA certified speech/language pathologist and a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional, who has worked with people with disabilities of all ages since 1991.