Forest is an ingenious app for your phone and web browsers designed specifically to help you stay present.
As someone who works from home, I know that the struggle between being productive and being distracted on your phone/by the internet in general is real. Sometimes I’ll even catch myself reaching for the little distraction device or typing something into my search bar without noticing what I’m doing. It’s not until I get to my third social media platform that I even realize what happened. Being someone who makes their living thanks to the existence of the internet, you’re definitely not going to catch me trying to tell you not to spend your time here. However, that doesn’t mean that should be when you’re trying to get things done or spending time with the people who are important to you. That’s why I love this app so much. Everything about it is super simple and relaxing, and it’s totally effective.
Here’s how it works: you start by picking out a (digital) plant that you would like to add to your forest as well as the amount of time you would like to keep yourself from ‘wandering off’. The plant you’ve chosen grows during the time that you’ve allotted until the alarm is up or you visit a site on your blacklist. After that it gets added to your forest. In the event that you weren’t able to make it the plant still gets added, only it’s dead. So, yeah. Bummer. The goal is obviously to create a tranquil (ideally, live) forest to be proud of, all while training yourself to stay focused on the task at hand.
Now, one might think that’s all you really need in an app like this, but Forest has another big perk that’s definitely worth mentioning. As you train yourself to stay more focused, you earn coins for each successful plant you grow. Those coins can be used to unlock new species for your forest, OR to grow an actual tree in real life. That’s right. Thanks to their partnership with tree-planting organizations, you can spend your virtual coins on actual trees. To date, the app and its users are responsible for planting over 100,000!
Forest is available for iOS, Android, Chrome, and Firefox. You can check out their site here.