Whether it’s a sneaky look at your phone under the desk or a blatant disregard for your work, we’ve all been guilty of checking our smartphones when we should be working. How can Forest even begin to stop this? By gamifying it of course!
While there’s a sea of productivity timer apps available such as Pomo Done App and Marinara Timer, which we’ve discussed here Team Organic Tries: Pomodoro Technique, Forest keeps you away from your phone completely, and punishes you if you don’t.
Social media is a big part of our lives now whether we like it or not, so being tempted to check our notifications during the working day is not surprising. And before you know it, half an hour has passed and you still haven’t done that really important work related task!
What Forest intends to do, is give you a reason not to check your phone. If having a job to do wasn’t reason enough (let’s be honest, some days it just isn’t) then maybe growing a digital tree will do it.
Grow Your Own
The idea of Forest is a simple one. You set a timer from a couple of minutes or up to an hour and click go. On your screen is a mere seedling, the longer you leave your phone alone the more the seedling grows into a tree, simple. Be warned though, if you keep checking your phone then your shrubbery will wilt and die! The app does try to help by giving you plenty of warnings via push notifications and on screen notices.
Does Growing a Tree Really Incentivise You?
Once you engage the app, it is surprisingly easy to get into the spirit of it. The strongly worded push notifications do help, but having the goal of growing your own tree, for me was enough to leave my phone along for that little bit longer so I was rewarded with a lovely looking adult tree.
Build a Forest
You’ve grown your first tree! Congratulations, you’re on your way to being a more productive employee. But why stop there? Keep using the app and you’ll grow more trees, add them to your Forest and understand the app’s name.
There are many other features such as using the in-app currency (earned by growing more trees) to buy new plants and trees, ambient background noises to listen to while working and of course an achievement system.
What wasn’t so clear however is the way in which this is benefitting actual trees. In the press pack on the website and within the menus there is mention of how many tress Forest users had actually planted in real life. No matter where I searched, I was unable to find more information on what this actually meant. However, putting this to one side, the app is perfect for the gamification fan who is on their phone a little too much. I know I am and in fact, Forest helped me write this article!
Do you use Forest? Let us know in the comments whether it kept you away from your phone or if you just have a few dead trees on your hands…