How often do you look at your phone when you’re working and pressed for time? I know that when I need to get something done urgently, just about everything around me becomes infinitely more interesting than it would be if I had a lot of to kill and one very distracting thing is my phone. Where I can go a whole day without checking Facebook, I will check it a dozen times when I’m working and that’s how I procrastinate. Focus Lock is an Android app that locks these distracting apps behind a password. They are something like a cross between a pomodoro app and a vault. You can lock away apps for as long as you want and when the time expires, you can take a short break (you set the time for the break as well) and use the locked apps during that interval.
By default, apps are locked for 25 minutes but you can customize the lock period. The break period is set to 5 minutes by default but you can increase or decrease it if you like. When you first launch the app, it is going to ask for a password. The default password is 0000 and you can change it later. Once you’re in, you will see three tabs; Locked, Installed, Favorite.
The Locked tab will be empty as long as you do not select an app to lock. The Favorite tab will populate over time as the app learns which apps you access the most. It is helpful in determining where you might be wasting more time. The Installed tab lists all apps installed on your phone and this is where you will head to in order to select apps to lock. Just tap the little lock button next to an app to blacklist it.
As you select the apps, they will start showing up in the Locked tab. Next, change your password and set how long the apps should be locked, and how long your break should last. Tap the little alarm clock and on the next screen, enter time in hours and minutes for the lockdown and break periods. This is also where you will change your password by tapping ‘Change Password’.
Each time you try and access a locked app, Focus Lock will open instead and ask you to wait for the break. When the lock down period is over, the app will send you a notification for each app that you locked alerting you that the app has now been unlocked.
Tap the notification and you can permanently unlock the app, alternatively, go to the ‘Locked’ tab in Focus Lock and tap the lock button to permanently unlock it. When an app locks again, you get another notification.
There’s two great things about this app; one is the clean interface which is easy to use, and two, there are no ads. If you think you won’t be able to control your own impulse, you can have someone else set the password for you and keep you on track.