What apps have you used to stay focused?

Adraina Agyei
24 replies
When I was writing my thesis, I needed all the tools to keep me focused. As a competitive soul, I used the Forest app to stay away from distractions. I used this app with friends to compare (read: compete with) our results


Aleksi Halsas
SelfControl is a great app. Really recommend it if you dont have any or have only minimal selfcontrol. Atleast works great for me.
Aino Valtonen
I have also used Forest! Phone apps are one of my biggest distractions while studying, so blocking them with Forest is sometimes a saving grace. I really like the nature sounds that you can play in the background while you focus. And it makes me feel so accomplished when I see all trees that I have "grown" while working :D It's also nice that you can use different color tags to follow how much you have studied or worked.
I use my own app (thesidekick.app) to stay focused. I use it to block distracting websites (sorry Netflix and Twitter) and time block pomodoro sessions. Forgive me for the shameless plug, but it's actually true haha 😂.
Arttu Haho
I just switch on "do not disturb" mode on my phone and use a pen and notebook to write down my goals :) Start every day with a 5-minute planning session (things I want to accomplish today) and end with a 5-minute reflection session.
Ng Fang Kiang
Microsoft To-do to keep things organized and simple. I used to use Forest App that you mentioned. But it didn't work for me because I need to use "YouTube, Google, etc" sometimes. It's a bit inconvenient to whitelist sometime. I ended up using Pomodoro Technique App.
Valtteri Ylimäki
For me, the things distracting my focus time can be both internal and external: Internal: things popping out of nowhere into my mind. To avoid thinking about these, I use todo-lists. I'm currently using the Things 3 -app for my iPhone and Mac. When something comes to mind, I'll immediately add it to Things and it doesn't distract me anymore. External: notifications of unnecessary apps. For these issues, I started to use iPhone's Focus Mode recently. When I'm at work, I have work mode on - all the private life apps such as Whatsapp and Instagram are hidden from the home screen, I don't get notifications from those and even the news notifications are set to be more work-related. And when I come home, my phone automatically hides Slack, mail, calendar etc. and brings back my personal apps :) So, my short answer would be "Things 3 and iPhone Focus Mode".
Alex Hughes
Things (by culturedcode) does the trick for me. Specifically, the "Today" view when it comes to what I need to focus on and when.
Anu Varila
In fact, I just shut down all other apps except the one I have to do things with at the moment :D
Laura Partanen
@adraina_a @anu_varila I actually do this same thing when I have to focus on one thing only :D
Srishty Chaudhary
Hey! That's really nice. I would like to know about this app and was it effective? I am having hard time focusing on my work.
Adraina Agyei
@srishty_chaudhary Forest app is a focus timer for productivity. When you set yourself a timer using the app to stay focused, once you have reached your goal, the app rewards you. The more timers you set your self the more trees you plant in your garden.
Cathy Patalas
Forest is a winner for me, it's so simple and very affordable and does something good for the planet as it also plants trees around the world depending on how much you use it for
Sini Katariina
My "app" is a tomato-timer, 25 min timer to focus on one task, then 5 minutes break. But usually I get on flow mode within that 25 min so I do not keep the break :D With school work, I use Microsoft's to-do list or just paper and pencil. I also have separate phones for work and personal life, which I recommend for everyone. During the working day, I rarely use my own phone or try to keep it quiet if there is no need to take care of something personal. Sometimes I use it if I take a break.
Brittany Joiner {Britt the Builder}
Havent found any specific apps that help. Some days are better than others, and I try to just go with it when I can (when I'm in deep focus try not to break it, and when I can't turn it on, then I just go with it and try to not to stress about it). One thing that I do think works is having a specific to do list of things you'd like to accomplish and be realistic - only have a couple things, not 20. If you have a lot of things, it's easy to bounce around and think you're making progress, but if you just have a couple, you'll be inclined to keep sticking with those three things because otherwise you don't get to check anything off.
Venla Kärkimaa
I use Focus plant at the moment. It has different focus timer options and cute graphics :3 I love their pomodoro-timer!
Marcella Harris
I also enjoy using Forest!!