Forrest app is one of the most popular focus apps out there, but is it the right fit for your needs?

Developed in 2016, the forest app encourages users to manage their time better and improve their work focus by staying off their phones using their version of the Pomodoro method.

The nuanced structure of the app coupled with its tree-focused design serves as a pleasant platform for users to stay focused.

While being a great app to help increase focus and concentration, it has its pros and cons.This is why we’ve developed’s focus mode, to serve as an alternative for users looking to combine focusing tactics with other productivity features consolidated on one app.

Not sure which one is better for your needs?

Let’s delve deeper into how the forest focus app compares to’s focus mode.

What does the Forest App do?

In order to combat our phone addiction and inability to manage time due to day-to-day distractions, the forest app rewards users for staying on task and off their phones.

When users begin a work session, they will be presented with a newborn tree.

The fate of the tree is determined by the users’ commitment to staying focused, making the proverbial prize of a fully grown tree a reward for users.

Those who surrender to the distraction of their phone will not be rewarded by a grown tree, but will receive a dead digital tree.

To help users stay more productive, Forest leverages on the power of gamification.

Users will feel an inherent sense of guilt killing a tree and an intrinsic sense of pride growing a full grown tree.

After several sessions of successful uninterrupted focus time, users’ grown trees will turn into a forest of wins.

Forest App alternative

The same tactic and visual experience also exists in’s ‘Focus Mode’.

“Focus mode” is’s dedicated feature to help users to concentrate on a specific task and eliminate distractions.

While on Forest you have to start adding the tasks you want to focus on, with’s pre-existing task management platform, users are able to prioritize what they want to get done from their existing list.

Both ‘Focus Mode’ and the Forest app work so well because of the sense of satisfaction a forest of trees produces for its users.

The visual  progression of the tree gradually activates our brain’s reward system to generate dopamine.

The reward system is a mechanism in our brain designed to motivate us to behave in ways and engage in activities that help us survive.

Essentially, the reward system encourages us to follow feel-good impulses via prizes in order to help us live our most healthy and fulfilling lives.

The brain’s reward system is activated when a reward is presented.

Dopamine receptors are “turned on” when they see the reward and produce those feel good chemicals.

Both’s and The Forest app’ structure essentially encourages users to be present in their life through a reward-system that capitalizes on the brain’s natural response to accolades.

How Does the Forest App Work?

The Forest app, as well as’s Focus mode are variations of the popular productivity method; pomodoro method.

The method, developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980’s suggests that working in short intervals can increase focus and enhance productivity.

In its classic form, the Pomodoro technique breaks down a set time period in 25 minute intervals that one can allocate to particular tasks.

While the Pomodoro technique is based on strictly a timer, both and Forest app utilizes a more gamified version of the method with their tree animation.

Pomodoro method in the Focus mode

Forest users are first prompted to select their desired tree species and time frame of which they want to remain productive.

From that point on, a timer begins and a multitude of inspirational productivity quotes appear above the tree.

If the user were to leave the app, the tree would wither and die motivating them to stay focused.

Once the timer runs out, a fully grown tree gets added to each user’s own personal forest and they gain a credit that eventually can be applied toward building physical trees out in the world. focus mode focus mode focus mode employs the same gamified adaptation of the Pomodoro method, but built into your pre-existing task list.

When opening focus-mode, a user is first presented with a default 25 minute focus time frame that they can adjust at their discretion.

As soon as they start focus mode, a tree will start growing.

Like in the Forest app, a fully grown tree marks the successful completion of a task. focus mode also has the option to play white noise during a user’s focus time in order to cancel out any surrounding noise.

Pricing: (or: Can I Get Forest App For Free?)

The Forest app can be purchased on iOS devices for $1.99, and offers several in-app purchases that help you receive more coins per virtual tree planted including $0.99 for a bottle of Sunshine Elixir, or $1.99 for a box of Sunshine Elixir.

Although $1.99 may not seem like a lot, you may find yourself spending tens of dollars to enhance the basic features of the app to fit your needs.

Additionally, if you are interested in purchasing the app on more than one device, you may want to consider the cost of rebuying the app on multiple devices.

Can I get the forest app for free?

‘Focus Mode’ on, is part of its premium package ($2.99 monthly on the annual plan) and comes along with a robust set of productivity features to help you organize your life including moment alerts, advanced recurrent reminders, color tags, progress sharing, and integration with Zapier.

While Forest app is a great one-off solution, helps you achieve focus not only on your task, but on your general productivity and organizing your life.

The Forest App is available for download on Android and iOS (including iPhone and iPad) devices, and as chrome extension however must be redownloaded on every new desired device with synced data from your account. focus mode is a part of the premium Platform. While premium subscription users can access the software on almost every device, focus mode is only available on Android and iOS devices (iPhone and iPad).

How to use Focus mode on (Step by step)

Focus mode is one of the most beloved premium feature.

Using Focused mode, you’ll be able to better concentrate on the task at hand and reduce distractions.

Using Focus Mode is super easy.

Go to any task on your task list, tap it – and then tap on the “focus mode” button at the bottom left of your screen.

Once you tap it, you’ll see an image of a tree and a time scale to choose the length of the interval you want to stay focused through.

You can either adjust the interval length or click on “start focus” – and watch your tree as it starts growing (or better yet, start doing the task you need to do!)

Finished? Click on “I’m done.”

Got distracted, or something came up? Click on “Give Up” to quit the session.

To enhance your concentration, Focus mode also has an option to add white noise to your session. Tap on the earphones logo at the top.

You can also follow these screens for a more visual explanation:

How to use focus mode

Should you use Forest App or’s Focus Mode?

focus mode vs forest app