Staying on task seems is a real challenge for our screen-bound generation. The Be Focused lets you get things done by breaking up individual tasks among discrete intervals, separated by short breaks. It’s a surprisingly effective way to retain motivation and focus. Create tasks, configure breaks and track your progress throughout the day, week or custom period. Use either your iPhone, iPad or Mac – your devices always stay in sync.
- Start, pause, or skip intervals
- Auto-start the next timer (option)
- Customize the timer settings to maximize productivity:
• Work interval duration
• Short break duration
• Long break duration
• Number of intervals between long breaks
• Target number of intervals per day
- Manage your tasks
- Specify different timer settings for different tasks
- Add notes, tags and due dates to tasks
- Use filters by tags and due dates to keep focussed on the most important tasks
- Estimate the number of intervals required to complete a task and track the estimation error
- View and manage completed intervals
- Export data to a CSV file
- Customize reports for fast and easy goal tracking
- Ability to paste a task list from other apps
- Global hotkeys to start or stop the timer from any app
- Optional chronometer ticking sound
- Customizable frequency of the chronometer sound
- Wide range of alarm sounds
- Ability to adjust alarm and chronometer volumes
- Launch at startup (option)
- Integration with Focus Matrix to manage tasks using Eisenhower's urgent/important principle*
- Syncs between iPad, iPhone and Mac**
- Also available for iPhone and iPad
* Integration with Focus Matrix requires the Pro version of Focus Matrix, sold separately.
** Sync with iOS devices requires Be Focused Pro for iOS, sold separately.
• Ability to specify different timer settings for different tasks
• Task details panel where you can:
- Add notes to a task
- Assign a due date
- Specify activity type (you can configure a set of activity types to specify different timer settings for different tasks)
- Add or remove tags
- Estimate a number of intervals required to complete a task (then you can evaluate the estimation error for completed tasks in reports)
- View and manage completed intervals
• Improved reports, so now you can:
- Switch report units between Intervals and Hours
- Configure reports using tags
- Evaluate the estimation error for completed tasks
- Auto save report settings between application sessions
• Filters by tags and due dates to keep focussed on the most important tasks
• Shortcuts for various operations (see them in tooltips)
• Improved integration with Focus Matrix
• Multiple bug fixes and improvements
Please update both macOS and iOS versions. If you use Focus Matrix, please update it as well.
Ratings and ReviewsSee All
Recommend Integrating with the Focus Matrix
I use this with Focus Matrix, a companion app that organizes you to-do list into one of four cateogories: important and urgent, important and not urgent, not important and urgent, and not important and not urgent.
As a grad student responsible for more work than could possibly be asked of a human, some of which is busy-work and some of which actually forwards one's progress toward exiting the program, it is helpful to organize one's workflow this way. Also, as a grad student you have very unstructured time. It's important to dedicate time to sitting down and working without distractions as there is rarely anyone looking over your shoulder or any work card to punch in or out of. You just have to sit down and do things, and what you work on is your choice. It really helps to have the focus matrix there to help you remember which tasks are worth spending your time on, and which ones are worth letting go. The Be Focused app helps you actually sit down and get the work done because you know that if you sit down and catch flow, you can off-load the responsibility of deciding when or not to futz around on facebook onto the Be Focused app.
There are lots of apps that try to of these kind of things, but Be Focused Focus Matrix seems to be the most efficient and well-put-together execution IMO.
Nice App with One Wish
I like the way this app works (Mac OS), and how it tucks away neatly while you're working. It's easy to set up and easy to use. I do wish I could edit intervals on the fly, though. I'm a busy mom with several types of work on my plate every day. Sometimes I'm setting out to work on something (writing specifically) based on the amount of time I have available, rather than an ideal schedule of X intervals of X minutes each. I have an ideal schedule set up in the app - e.g., 8 intervals of 20 minutes each - but more than half the time that's not how my day looks. If I sit down with 18 minutes to work, or 35, I can't edit the interval for a one-time session without going into settings and modifying the entire schedule, which I then have to change again next time. It would be nice to have a default schedule in settings, but be able to modify the length of the current interval on the fly. Also, if I work for 18 out of 20 minutes and have to stop, it won't record that interval correctly. The only options are to let it run to 20 or "skip" entirely, so I can't get an accurate accounting of my time later. (I sometimes track my words written per hour in a spreadsheet, so the little differences matter there.)
Overall, great product, but for my needs I'd love some adjustments!
Keeps me going
Bought Pro during a sale after used basic for years. Worth the price for keeping myself synced across phone and work/home computers.
I habituate quickly to the reminder notifications, so the most useful notification setting combo for me is 1) the persistent banner notification that doesn’t disappear from my desktop plus 2) having to manually restart the timer for each next interval. I adjusted the total intervals to a goal I’m likely to achieve even with a few interruptions and made realistic break intervals. Eventually I have learned to check for the timer countdown consistently throughout the day and I’m happy to get the note that I’ve achieved my target more often.
Seriously, it’s so much easier to stay on task when you can look and see you have a break coming in a few minutes! I also have to make myself take the breaks to get up and move around, which seems odd but - again - trains my body to be truly ON when it’s time and completely relax when it’s break time.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.