Forest App’s New Stopwatch Feature – All You’d Want To Know

In this article, I will explore the stopwatch feature of the Forest app in its entirety after using it for the past few months.

Allowing you to count up your focused time, the Forest app’s stopwatch feature introduced in Feb 2021 gives people the flexibility to start being productive when it is uncertain how long a task will take or how long one has to complete a task.

As we move along, I will share with you exactly how the stopwatch feature works and what benefits it has brought me.

More About The Stopwatch Feature In Forest

When I first got the Forest app, they only had the countdown timer mode. This meant that I had to preset the period of time that I wanted to remain focused (Minimum of 10 minutes, maximum of 180 minutes). The countdown timer will then countdown from the time that I have preset (ie. From 10 minutes to 9 minutes (…)).

Now with the recently introduced stopwatch mode, I can start the timer and it will count up instead (ie. From 0 min 0 sec to 1 min 0 sec (…)).

Using the stopwatch feature so far, I’ve found it be be useful for me in 2 scenarios:

  1. When I’m at work and working on a project where I’m unsure how much time is needed.
  2. When I’m commuting on public transport and I’m unsure how much time exactly I have to work on a project.

In other words, I’ve found the stopwatch feature to be helpful when I’m faced with uncertainty on the size of my task or uncertainty on the amount of time I have to focus on any 1 task.

Getting To Stopwatch Mode On The Forest App

But before going into more, let’s first talk about the basics – how to activate the stopwatch mode on Forest?

Screenshot of homepage of Forest app
Homepage of Forest app
Screenshot of Mode selector in Forest app
Mode selector in Forest app
  1. From the homepage of the Forest app, tap on the icon where it shows the hourglass and flame.
  2. Toggle between timer and stopwatch mode by tapping on the hourglass/stopwatch icon.

How The Stopwatch Feature Penalises Users

The Forest app penalises users by withering the trees that you planted.

These withered trees will then cost you 60 Forest coins to remove from your virtual Forest should you want to remove them.

I’ve found 3 scenarios of how the Forest app will penalise you in stopwatch mode.

Scenario 1: In the stopwatch mode, once I tapped on “Plant”, I will only have 10 seconds of grace period to cancel the planting. Beyond the 10 seconds, I will be met with a penalty that comprises of withered trees.

Scenario 2: Past the initial 10 seconds of the grace period, I will have to plant the tree for at least 10 minutes before tapping on “Give up”.

If I’ve planted the tree for less than 10 minutes, I will similarly be slapped with a penalty that comprises of withered trees.

Scenario 3: If the deep focus mode is on, exiting the Forest app any time when the tree is being planted will result in withered trees.

How The Stopwatch Feature Rewards Users

Based on my usage so far, the amount of coins that the Forest app rewards me for every session is similar to the amount that is awarded in the countdown timer mode.

This means that 10 minutes of focused time on the Forest app will mean a reward of 3 Forest coins on both stopwatch and countdown mode.

While that may be the case, I realised that there is some level of free play that the stopwatch mode allows. For example, in cases where I planted a tree for 12 minutes or for 22 minutes?

For that, I tested how much Forest Coins will clocking 12 minutes on the stopwatch mode bring and found that it brought me 3 coins.

I also tested how much Forest Coins will clocking 14 minutes on the stopwatch mode bring and found that it also brought me 3 coins.

With the above test, I think it’s save to say that Forest will always round down the number of coins you will get.

I’ve summarised my findings in the table below for how much Forest coins you can get based on how much focused time you’ve clocked in:

Number of minutesCoins you getCoins per minute
10 – 1430.3
15 – 1940.267
20 – 2450.25
25 -2990.36
30 – 34100.33
35 – 39110.314
40 – 44120.3
45 – 49130.28
50 – 54140.28
55 – 59150.27
60 – 64210.35
65 – 69220.338
70 – 74230.328
75 – 79240.32
80 – 84250.3125
85 – 89260.305
90 – 94320.356
95 – 99330.347
100 – 104340.34
105 – 109350.327
110 – 114360.327
115 – 119370.321
120 – 124430.358
125 – 129440.352
130 – 134450.346
135 – 139460.34
140 – 144470.335
145 – 149480.331
150 – 154540.36
155 – 159550.354
160 – 164560.35
165 – 169570.345
170 – 174580.341
175 – 179590.337
Summary of how much coins you can expect to get as you clock time in the stopwatch mode

Cool Tips For The Stopwatch Mode On Forest App

As I’ve gotten used to the stopwatch mode on the Forest app, I’ve found 2 great but simple tips that you can use to make the stopwatch mode more enjoyable to use.

Tip 1: Pair your trees and tags

Implementing this tip will help you to save time by saving your favourite planting settings under “My Favourites”. Here’s how I do it:

Homepage of Forest app
Planting settings in Forest app
  1. From the homepage of your Forest app, tap on the tags portion. From the screenshot, this is where the word “Reading” is.
  2. From planting settings, select the tree that you want to plant, pair it with a tag and tap on the heart-shaped icon at the bottom left of the screen.
  3. This planting setting will be saved under “my favourite” from now.

Tip 2: Write notes during a session

Implementing this tip will help you to reflect on your experiences of working on any kind of project.

Screenshot of planting a tree in Forest
  1. Tap on the tags portion of your screen. From the screenshot, this is where the word “Writing” is.
  2. Write what you need to and tap on “Save”.

Cons Of The Stopwatch Mode

While I’ve found the stopwatch mode on Forest to be largely beneficial for me, I’ve also found a few minor issues while using it.

For one, I’ve found that I often forget to stop planting a tree once I start planting in the stopwatch mode.

Although this means that I get to run the timer all the way and get the maximum reward, this makes time tracking on the Forest app inaccurate and can mislead me when I’m evaluating my focus history.

I’ve also found it frustrating that the stopwatch mode cannot track small amounts of time (ie. 2 minutes, 5 minutes).

This can be frustrating when you want to be exacting in tracking how much time you’ve actually spent on a project. But I understand the developer’s decision in this as the app has a reward system in place. Allowing us to earn rewards with too small amounts of time can easily screw up the reward system.

For more on the Forest app, you may want to check out:

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