I recently saw a recommendation for an app called Forest. It’s a little ironic I saw the post as I was scrolling through Facebook, because the app’s purpose is to help keep you off your phone when you’re trying to be productive.
Their message really resonated with me: Put down your phone and focus on what’s more important in your life. As a working mom of two small children, this message is constantly in the back of my mind. Am I present enough for myself and my family? Am I utilizing my time in the best way possible? It’s easy to pull your phone out and start scrolling when you have a free moment, or see a notification flash on your screen and let it interrupt your productivity.
The irony is not lost on me that I need an app to tell me I’m on my phone too much, but I see it as a way to provide insight into how often I actually look at my phone over the course of a day without even realizing it.
It’s super simple – whenever you want to focus or stay off your phone you set the amount of time and click to plant a tree. The tree will start growing in the time you’ve designated, but if you pick up your phone and leave the app, your tree dies. The goal is to grow a whole forest of trees – each representing the time you’ve dedicated elsewhere.
To further incentivize you to use the app, Forest has partnered with an organization called Trees for the Future. When Forest users earn credits by not using their cell phones, they can use those credits to plant real trees around the world. Over 341,000 trees have been planted so far!
It’s available for both Apple and Android devices. Check it out and get planting!