Tuesday, April 7, 2020

#AtoZChallenge - Forest

Here at OA, we're talking about writing motivation for our A-to-Z Challenge: what motivates us, how to get motivated, and - according to me, at least - what apps are useful to keep motivated!

Today I'm talking about Forest. Forest is a fun little app you can find in the Google Play store, the Apple App store, and as an extension for Chrome. It's free, although it also contains some paid content.

How it works

Forest blacklists sites that you might use to procrastinate and motivates you to stay on-task by growing a tree! You can set how long you want the app to run, from as little as 10 minutes to as much as 2 hours, and if you navigate to an app or website you blacklisted during that time, your tree dies. You get a few seconds to navigate away from the blacklisted site, so there's a bit of wiggle room if you forget that you put IMDB on there. The blacklist automatically contains some common procrastination sites at initial install (like Facebook and Twitter) and is also open to customization, as is the whitelist.

The longer you set the tree to grow, the more coins you earn, which you can use to unlock new varieties of trees like ginkgo and palm trees, along with some seasonal items like scarecrows and flowers. Plus, every tree you successfully grow appears in a little forest plot that you can visit! Forest also has a short quiz you can take to customize your use of the app, but all it really did for me was "unlock" a new type of tree and told me that I work best in a study group in a college library.


  • Free
  • Easy to use
  • Can be used on a computer as well as on a smartphone
  • Timer doubles as a way to commit to a length of time to write
  • Have to pay to synchronize the forest across devices
  • Relies on the user to adjust the blacklist
  • Error time is very short

Final thoughts

Overall, Forest is easy to use and a very cute app in general. As long as you can actually commit to putting websites or apps onto the blacklist, Forest will probably work well to keep you on-track while you're writing. Don't let your tree die!

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  1. It sounds like a cute app, but I think it would drive me bananas - I would probably keep killing my trees by mistake 😂. I use an app called Focus To-Do - it divides my time in segments and then gives me little breaks, so I limit my procrastination time to the breaks (or at least I try 😂).
    Tasha 💖
    Virginia's Parlour - The Manor (Adult concepts - nothing explicit in posts)
    Tasha's Thinkings - Vampire Drabbles

  2. I use Simple Blocker to remind me that I'm not going to Facebook or Google news, right now. But, this sounds more fun!


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