5 Apps To Keep You Focused, Build New Habits, And Get Your Life Together

Some of us are new to working from home or having school online, and also new to the surprising number of distractions around us. These easy-to-use apps can bust distractions and build you up with better habits.
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Some days, focusing on one task until it's complete can be difficult. Other times it's especially challenging to get off of Instagram and actually start working in the first place. Some of us are new to having to set our own schedule and hold ourselves accountable for where we spend our time. The internet, no matter where your office is, can keep you distracted for hours. Modern problems require modern solutions... aka there's an app for that! 

Here are 5 apps that are perfect for keeping you focused, tracking to-do lists, and building up better habits:

1. Forest 

Do you wish there was a magic button you could press that would make you start working for a set amount of time? That’s basically what Forest can be for you. You set a timer to plant a virtual tree. Your tree grows while you do your task at hand, and you can even set your phone to not let you leave the app, or only go on approved apps… or else your tree will die! This is perfect if your phone is one of your major distractions.

Image Source: Forest

You can also see your trees turn into a forest the more you use it over time. You can work towards the goal of earning coins to buy different species of trees, real and fictional. Imagine building a virtual forest of Weeping Willows, Candy Trees, or trees with treehouses grown right from the virtual seed.   

2. Habitica

Habitica is sort of like playing D&D or a role-playing videogame, but the game goals are your real-life goals. You set different lists and give yourself points for completing tasks. As you play you can unlock different accessories or animal sidekicks. 

Image Source: Habitica

This app is great because you can customize the types of goals you want to set and keep them all going simultaneously. You can keep track of things you want to do daily, once-and-it’s-done goals, or general habits you want to develop. 

Tip: if you add things to your daily list like “brushing teeth” or “washing face,” you’ll get extra points, and a reason to open the app each day to see the goals you’re setting. And who doesn’t like more incentives from tapping a button, and checking things off a list?

3. Focus Keeper

This app is great if you want to use the Pomodoro Technique (25 minutes of focusing with a five-minute break, then a longer 25-minute break after four rounds,) but don't want to have to keep track of which round you're on by yourself. The app (for iOS or Android) seamlessly switches from work timer to break timer for you. You can also track the number of sessions you've done over time, and adjust the set amount of time you want to focus. 

Image Source: Focus Keeper

There's not much else to be said about this app, but that might be the exact feature you want. Download it. Hit the play button. See that the timer started. Get to work. Sometimes that's all you want and need.   

4. Engross

The Engross app is great for to-do list makers. It’s easy to create and customize your list. You can adjust your due dates, or add sub-tasks to complete. You can also connect events with your phone's calendar. 

There's also focus sessions you can set through a stopwatch or a countdown timer. You can pause your session, but it won't let you use Wi-Fi, or other distracting apps, depending on your settings. 

Image Source: Engross

One unique thing about his app is a button saying  "hit me when you are distracted." It may sound silly, but acknowledging you're distracted by giving your phone a little tap may really help bring back your focus.         

5. Way of Life

This is a habit tracking app that's all about showing you your progress over time. Pick some goals like exercising, drinking a set amount of water, cleaning, writing in a journal, etc., then watch how well you've done over the course of a week or month. 

Image Source: Way of Life

You can also add notes to remind yourself of insights as to what made reaching a goal easier or more difficult that day. Your notes can be anything, actually. If you want to add an inspirational quote, or a simple "Look what I did!" you can.

The app also lets you set reminders, and even lets you track your trends for as long as two years!  

Smartphones have become increasingly necessary for our everyday work, and nearly every other aspect of our lives. If your phone is always on hand, you might as well use a few apps for good, and counterbalance some of the many distractions it holds.

Some of these apps work great together, while some might have a few redundant functions. In any case, each app is free, so you can download and try each one until you find what works for you. Then you can change your life for the better… one day, one habit, one focus session at a time.

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Kaydee is a writer who is always looking for her next favorite show. She also loves journaling, graphic novels, and late night comedy.

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