In this article talking about the benefits of using the Forest app, I summarise the benefits I’ve experienced with using the app over the span of the past 1-2 years.
So what are the benefits of using the Forest app? The main benefit to using the Forest app is that it makes being productive fun and rewarding for you in the short term even for a project that takes a long time to complete.
More than that, there are 11 specific benefits that I experienced when using the Forest app.
#1: I Can Focus With Friends On The Forest App
Activating the plant together mode on the Forest app means we can enjoy focus sessions together with our friends whether we’re away or together with them.
Take my example – I love spending time with my girlfriend but I find it hard to focus together with her.
For that matter, I cannot be focused together with anyone else in 1 location. For me to focus, I have to be alone.
So for me – 1 of the benefit of using the Forest application lies in how I can be apart from my girlfriend and be able to focus together.
No longer do I have to choose between cultivating important relationships in my life or focused time on important goals.
Now, I can cultivate important relationships and spend focused time on important goals.
Sometimes I wish it were possible for more interaction with my girlfriend as we plant a tree together, but then, having no interaction also helps with keeping focus.
Besides, if I really wanted to interact with her, I could just turn off “Deep focus” and chat with her on WhatsApp or something. So, there’s mostly just benefits here than any negative issues I can think of.
#2: I Do Good For The Environment Via Forest App
Another great thing about the Forest app for me is that I can plant a real tree for 2,500 Forest coins earned in-game.
Although I’m limited to plant up to 5 real trees, the ability to plant these trees makes me feel like I’m contributing positively to the environment.
To enable the planting of real trees, the Forest app partners with Trees for the Future.
When I was first introduced to this concept in the app, I thought that Trees for the Future simply planted trees to offset deforestation that continues to happen all around the world.
I soon found out that the impact extended beyond making a positive impact on the environment.
Trees for the Future couples planting real trees with farming.
The real trees planted are strategically placed to bring food security and income to people who are in less fortunate countries.
In the 2020 Impact Report by Trees for the Future, I saw that more than 8 million trees have been planted in Tanzania – pretty impressive.
I also found that they provide their financial statements for public viewing.
Knowing that Trees for the Future is trustworthy and that it is engaging in work that has such a positive impact around the world makes me feel good about using the Forest app.
It makes me feel good knowing that I am creating a better version of myself by using the app and also doing my part to reduce the impact of climate change.
#3: I Have Productive Fun On The Forest App
I think back to the times in school when my teacher asks me and my friends to spend our time during the holidays well by reading etc.
I might have tried a few times to do some productive stuff during the holidays. Unfortunately, those activities mostly felt like a drag to me.
Like oil and water, these experiences taught me from a young age that being productive and having fun doesn’t mix. The Forest app made me reevaluate this conclusion.
I found 3 main ways that the Forest app made productivity fun.
Firstly, for every session that I complete/fail to complete, there is a definite reward (Forest coins)/penalty (Tree withering in your forest) that I know I will receive.
The reward/penalty gives me an incentive to follow through on every session that I begin.
Secondly, the Forest coins that are earned can be used to purchase new interesting trees in the shop.
The last I checked, there were 53 different types of trees that I can purchase using Forest coins.
This is not including exclusive trees that I can get when I refer my friends/participate in events.
These trees that I purchase/earn allows me to go back to beautify and organise my virtual forest in a way that is personal.
Lastly, there are challenges that I can clear that can give me extra Forest coins.
These challenges give me something additional to look forward to and is particularly incentivising for me at the start when I first started using the app.
#4: I’m Focused With My Phone With The Forest App
I’m not saying that the app is not a miracle solution. But rather, what I’m saying is that the app will be a useful focus boost for most people.
For example, it used to be that I’m constantly browsing social media even when it’s time to sleep. With the Forest app, I’m now better able to focus on things (for example, going to bed) that I want to do.
Turning on the deep focus mode on the app helps me to focus on tasks that do not require the phone.
Even in tasks where I need to use my phone and need to turn off deep focus mode, the timer alone serves as a useful reminder of what I want to spend time on.
#5: The Forest App Makes Motivation Personal
I love how the app allows for customisation in the right places, such as, to set up custom phrases and buy/plant trees that you love. These customisations make motivation a more personal experience for me.
For the setting up of custom phrases in app, I chose one of Marcus Aurelius’s quote:
You must build up your life action by action, and be content if each one achieves its goal as far as possible – and no one can keep you from this (…) there will be some external obstacles (…) gladly accept the obstacle for what it is and shift your attention to what is given, and another action will immediately take its place, one that better fits the life you are building.Marcus Aurelius
This has meant that I can view my favourite motivation quotes during a session.
While I’ve only put in 1 custom quote, you can set up many quotes. I’ve tested this up to 10 quotes and there seems to be no limit to this.
Some of the trees I’ve bought/earned through a special event include Bear’s paw, Four-Leaf Clover, Cat-tail Willow, Bamboo, Wisteria, Coconut Tree, Twilight Guardian and Star Coral.
Some of the trees I buy hold a special meaning to me when I plant them and holds a special meaning for the activity that I’m engaging in
For example, the bamboo tree takes 5 years for the tree to break ground. Planting this tree in-app serves as a visual reminder to me that what I’m doing will bear fruit eventually if I keep putting in the effort.
I plant Coconut Trees for rest sessions that I engage in because the tree brings to mind a restful vacation on a beach resort.
#6: Forest App Allows Me To Learn From History
John Maxwell says that evaluated experience is the best teacher and I agree.
But before I can evaluate my experience, I first need to have an accurate account of my experience.
An accurate account of my experience is what the Forest app offers.
From the virtual trees that I’ve planted, with the proper set up of tags in the app, I’ve found that the Forest app is able to give me a good visualisation of my “focus history”.
Although my use of the app is not totally accurate, the statistics that are reported to me gives me a good idea of my priorities over time and to adjust them when needed.
#7: Forest App Makes Progress On My Goals Easier
For many of the things that I work on, I do not see an immediate reward from the efforts that I put in.
Through rewarding me with Forest coins after each successful session and penalising me after each unsuccessful session, the app incentives me to complete every session that I begin.
It is not always perfect as there are times when I just let the timer run without putting in the actions needed. But still, it does increase the probability of making progress on my goals since the timer itself keeps me aware of what I should be working on now.
#8: Forest App Helps Me Focus With Ambient Sounds
I like how the Forest app has ambient sounds that I can turn on to help me focus.
The Forest Rain ambient sound becomes available to you the moment you download the app. The remaining ambient sounds are available to purchase with Forest coins at 500 coins each.
Ambient sounds that are available to be purchased include Cafe in Paris, Rain and thunder, Times Square, Night forest and Sandy Beach.
#9: I Can Be Productive On The Move With Forest
With the stopwatch feature on the Forest app, I can track my productivity on a busy day even when I only have small pockets of time or am unable to estimate how much time I have to work on something.
I tried tracking my time while I was working on something on the public transport and that turned out pretty well. It is a pity that I have to spend at least 10 minutes on the stopwatch or my tree will die though.
#10: I Can Learn From Every Forest App Session
The Forest app allows me to record short notes directly within the app during and after a session is completed.
This complements the Forest app feature where you are able to view your history of tree planting on the app.
I appreciate this feature because I am less likely to miss out on jotting down insights that can improve future attempts at being able to focus on the task on hand.
#11: I Can Tailor Every Session In The Forest App
When working on any project, there are some times when using my phone will be a distraction and there are other times when I have to use my phone to get the project done.
Thankfully, there is the Deep Focus mode that lets me determine whether or not leaving the Forest app will cause my tree to wither. I can toggle this setting on/off before I begin each session on the Forest app.
This way, I can use the Forest app to keep me accountable whether or not I need to use my phone on a project.
This feature, coupled with the customisable quotes, trees and tags allows me to tailor every session that I begin in the Forest app according to my needs.
So, those were the 11 benefits that I’ve experienced after using the Forest app for some time.
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