Rating: 4/5

The Good

  • The app does what it is intended for; it helps users fight against phone addiction especially while they are trying to focus on something.
  • The app gives users abilities to plant virtual trees as well as trees in real life, which is a great cause.
  • You can join your friends in study rooms to keep each other accountable in attaining focus goals.
  • The UI of the app is very clean and simple.
  • There is a wide variety of virtual trees that a user can plant (you need to unlock them) as well as a continuous cycle of new trees being added to the app.
  • The statistics of focus time throughout a week is fast and beautiful, as are the visuals of how many trees users have planted in the day, week, month, and year.

The Bad

  • The trees themselves are not customizable.
  • Gamification aspect is weak due to the lack of engagement possible with virtual trees, so the app potentially becomes less and less effective as time goes on.
  • $1.99 may be a barrier to some users.

The Bottomline

Forest is an awesome app if you have a problem with using your phone too often while trying to focus. It is a better option that Flora in my opinion if you have the extra 2 bucks lying around, however I still feel like there is a lack of long-term engagement possible with the concept of planting trees in return for focusing for a given amount of time. For this reason, alternative apps have been created and are being created in order to make focusing less dreadful. I would recommend checking out Focusbyte where the gamified nature of the app makes focusing a lot more enjoyable and almost addicting long term.

Background

Forest is another pomodoro focus timer that launched in 2014 in order to help people overcome their concentration deficiencies. The app was revolutionary and now there are hundreds of pomodoro focus timers that aim at making focusing easier and more enjoyable. There have been many updates during its life time and the app is still getting regular updates and add-ons for user pleasure. If you have $2 lying around and have a serious focusing problem, I highly highly highly recommend this app or another of its kind (see what is the best for you!).

People love seeing how well they do on things and this is true even in keeping focus. In Forest, you are able to see how much you have focused in the year, month, week, and day which comes with both a graph as well as a beautiful graphic aid on how many tress you have planted.

Forest also partners with Trees for the Future, a tree-planting organization that does agricultural revitalization work, for the ability for users to plant real trees in the world for 2500 in game coins, which can be earned by focusing more. This not only is good for the Earth, but it is also a good motivation for certain users in order to focus more and try to plant as many trees in the world as possible.

Bottom: This feature lets you plant trees with friends to keep each other accountable and not kill you trees by failing to abstain from using your phones.

Beyond real trees, you are able to also purchase virtual trees and sound tracks using these in game coins to plant virtual trees in return for your focused time. If you really want to, you could also pay more to get special gems in order to buy limited edition trees!

Final Verdict

Forest is truly a revolutionary app. From it came so many other apps of its kind which aim to free society from the shackles of our addictive phones. Not only do our phones keep us from getting important things done, but they are also bad for our mental health in a lot of cases. Apps like Forest allow us to refocus our lives and practice healthy habits in order to focus for longer periods of time and get the important things in our lives done on time. However, Forest is a paid app which may be a barrier for many. It also does not gamify the concept of focusing and not using your phone well enough in my opinion, and because of this users may fail to use it in the long term. Because of this lack of gamification as well as the price point, I give it a 4/5 however, like I have mentioned already, Forest is a revolutionary app that people who are interested in focusing should check out. Once one of a kind, now there are many apps out there which aim at making the act of focusing even easier and even more engaging. Try out different pomodoro focus timer apps and see which fits your needs the best!