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Cover image for I have a productivity magic wand, its name is Forest.

I have a productivity magic wand, its name is Forest.

osuka42 profile image Oscar Mendoza ・3 min read

Researches show that we are really productive around 3 hours per 8 hour-day work. That might be incredibly shocking but this app made me realize that is indeed true; I had finally a tool that basically tracks my productivity time for me, and the results were like a bucket of ice. Whenever I felt that I did work a lot, Forest showed me that I had just 2 or 3 focused times.
Now I try to accomplish my set goal of at least 4 hours of focus time.

Forest set timer

Forest is [not] another tool to set a timeout of 10 to 120 minutes. You will earn a virtual tree if you complete the session without exiting the app, and it will die if you fail the session. Then you can see all your forest with all the trees you have earned, and display by day, week, month or year!

What's the magic about that?

Probably is to get the most of our anxiety, nobody wants to stop one session and see the tree die. It will be dead in your forest.

See how many minutes are you really productive per day.
And if you set a daily goal, you are going to get all the juice of Forest.

But I can facebook and reddit on laptop! What's the point?

Yes, you can; it's a matter of personal honor in my opinion. With friends we have defined some in-house rules, so we are measured with the same metrics.

  • When we are in a session, we really commit to it; we don't make any other activity besides our main focus.
  • On interruptions longer than 1 minute, we stop the timer. Yes! Even if Amazon just delivers your new books :)
  • Focus time is considered only when we really need to be concentrated like coding, 3D modeling or reading. It does not apply for sports, cleaning, watching videos. Of course, that are our rules, you can use whatever fits best for you!

Pomodoro technique 🍅

Probably you are familiar with the pomodoro technique where you commit to work sessions of 25 uninterrupted minutes and rest 5 minutes each session.

I started using Forest with along with this technique, and I recommend it using it as a starting point. Now I can commit to sessions of 45 minutes easily.

Keep your forest; track your progress

My performance so far today
Your forest is a graphical indicator of your performance. Also, there are sections in the app where you can display your forest at different time intervals.

You can see your friends forests, and show off yours!

One of the coolest features is that you can spend 2,500 in-game currency to plan a real tree!

Plant real tree

Overall major key features

  • Track your productivity focus time, it can be coding time or read sessions.
  • Social gamification makes it funnier, you can feel the race with your friends to be a bit more productive. With one friend we even bet nano to achieve a certain amount of focus time per day!
  • Contribute by planting a real tree. Having been there, but will be my first purchase once I earn enough coins 🌲

It costs just 2 dollars, and it worths every single penny.

And if you do, add me as a friend! osuka42@gmail.com, I appear as my artistic id Romualdo.

If you already use this app, share what has worked for you.

Disclaimer, I don't work for this guys, nor I'm associated with them. I'm just sharing an amazing tool that it's been working for me.

🍻

Discussion

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foodogsquared profile image
Gabriel Arazas

Neat to see an advertisement a review on this one. I've started to use it last month and so far, it is working. It is quite rewarding, especially if I see my forest is starting to grow. 🙂

Usually, I use it with an ambient noise generator like A Soft Murmur or just ambient music, overall (I know the app does have a built-in one but it's not enough for me).

Also, just sent you a friend request.

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p1x3l0v4 profile image
Anna Karpińska

I used Forest in February 2018 but dropped because there was no synchronization between my phone and browser and the experience felt incomplete. I also don't have any group of users that I could add as friends to make the challenge more fun and comparable. Although I noticed that there is a Chrome extension now that can filter websites. I would gladly add other coders / designers to my friends list. Please let me know. I'm adding two more noise generators that are helpfull:
coffitivity.com
noisli.com

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osuka42 profile image
Oscar Mendoza Author

Yeah! You can sync your chrome extension account with your app account. In my opinion, the extension feels incomplete, but it does the work. It also blocks a list of domains defined by user.

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ash1eyish profile image
Ashley Maria

If I recall correctly, that's only if you pay.

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Alan Ng

Bought it last week and been using it during work and my own personal project work. I was more astonished by the amount of times I've picked up my phone to be greeted by the Forest timer.

Definitely helps to curb those random times I want to pick up my phone just to go on Reddit, Facebook, etc.

Sent a friend request as well!

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allanjeremy profile image
Allan N Jeremy

Sweet!

For desktop, a non-gamified option is rescue time for keeping track of your productivity

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sergiomata

I'll give it a try, thanks ;)

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Kevin Ndung'u

I also use the app and it's just a very cool way to be productive when you need to do some deep work.Also added you on the app

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Michiel Hendriks

I wish using my phone the primary reason for disrupted productivity.

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osuka42 profile image
Oscar Mendoza Author

Is not only about not using the phone, it is about doing a small commitment with small reward.

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Ben Halpern

Neat, just downloaded.