Forest App First Impressions - Will it Solve Procrastination?
I am someone who likes to be productive. Oftentimes, I don't feel like doing my work, so I lay in bed watching YouTube videos. This makes the problem worse, as I bottle up my stresses. There are a lot of ways I have combatted this dilemma: I created a YouTube playlist of motivational videos and thought about what will happen if I complete my work versus if I don't. These are good tactics, but no method works all of the time.
Less than an hour ago, I didn't feel like writing an EarthPlex post. As much as I love creating posts about the environment, sometimes I just don't feel like it. I stumbled upon an app called Forest in the Google Play Store, and they plant virtual trees in a virtual forest on your phone when you work. I've heard about the app before, so I decided to give it a whirl.
When the app finished installing, I opened it up and fiddled around with it to get to know how it works. The interface is easy to use and the app is straightforward. Forest allowed me to choose between various options for what I wanted to do, and how long I wanted to spend doing it. For example, the default option is studying for twenty-five minutes; I changed it to work for thirty minutes. I chose from a selection of digital trees that I could "plant" and began my work session.
When I began my session, I was led to a screen with a timer and a cartoon tree beginning to sprout (which grew as I worked). Time to work. I couldn't decide what I wanted to post about, and then I realized that I was using an app that planted virtual trees, a perfect post.
There were some apps on my phone that I needed to use as I was working, so I left the Forest app to use them. When I returned to the Forest app, however, it thought that I was distracted. While that is a bit annoying, how is the app going to tell the difference between editing a picture for a post's thumbnail against scrolling through Instagram? My photos and social media apps can both be used to distract me, but I can use them for productive purposes as well. Fortunately, Forest allowed me to turn off my phone's screen while working.
I must note that Forest tries to push users to pay for their premium version with additional features. I am using the free version, as I installed the app within the last hour. It seems that one of the features for premium members includes planting real trees. That is something that I could explore in the future.
When I completed thirty minutes of work, Forest notified me, and now I have planted the first tree in my virtual forest! Even though I haven't had the app for very long, I can see myself using it in the future. When I learn more about the app, I can post a full review, so look out for that by following EarthPlex's (FREE) mailing list.