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.
- Manage your tasks
- Track your progress throughout the day, week or custom period
- Fast and easy goal tracking
- Customize to maximize productivity:
• Work interval duration
• Short break duration
• Long break duration
• Number of intervals between long breaks
• Target number of intervals per day
- Ability to start, pause, or skip work interval
- Auto-start the next timer (option)
- Ability to edit the number of intervals
- Ability to view the amount of skipped intervals
- Pie Chart reports for better estimation how much time was spent on a certain task
- Export to a CSV file
- Ability to paste a task list from other applications
- Global hotkeys
- Optional ticking sound
- Ability to change the frequency of the Chronometer sound
- Wide range of alarm sounds
- Ability to adjust the volume of the Chronometer sound
- Ability to adjust the volume of notifications
- Launch at startup option
- Syncs between iPad, iPhone and Mac*
- Also available for iPhone and iPad
* Sync with iOS devices requires Be Focused Pro for iOS, sold separately.
Minor fixes and improvements
Ratings and Reviews
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.
Decent but lacks a few niceties on the desktop.
I use Be Focused Pro daily, both on my iPhone and Mac. I find the Mac version more convenient, since most of my work is at the computer, but I'm glad for the phone version syncing with it when I'm on the run or planning. As a timer with reporting, Be Focused is great. Type in what you're working on, press the "Play" icon to start, and get to it. It even has modest time-tracking capabilities, a report of intervals worked and CSV export if you want to geek out your analysis.
It's one of this well-scoped apps that doesn't try to do too much and would suffer bloat if it added every user suggestion. Nevertheless, I find myself wishing for a few tweaks to make it more useful in my workflow.
1. Better keyboard control in the ToDo view. ToDo view offers a great place to sketch out a day. It would be nicer if I could collect ideas quickly from the keyboard without having to bother my mouse. A shortcut key to add a new task would be enough. Being able to arrow up and down between tasks and, perhaps, Enter to edit, Shift-Enter to start working, would be bonus. Ability to cut and past, even more so.
2. A persistent dialog (similar to Focus List). Be Focused Pro tucks away nicely in the menu bar--sometimes a little too nicely. There are times I want to look at a list of tasks while I'm in another app, but Be Focused Pro hides itself any time you click out of its dialog box.
I've suggested these features to their support.
I purchased both the iOS and Mac separately given that the pro promises a sync in all devices. Now that I have them in Apple Watch, iPhone and Mac, I expect them to sync so that I can be reminded of my break or when to resume my work on either or all devices. In practice, this doesn't work smoothly. If I start the timer on Mac, it doesn't sync to my watch or iPhone until I individually open the app and let them sync; rendering the pro version almost useless. The sync is also not always smooth (watch to phone, phone to mac); there are some lags and delay (it seems it goes to their cloud instead of trying to leverage Bluetooth or device to device connections). The pro is not worth buying --the developers need to learn from Hours on how to make the sync smoother. In addition, the break timer on iOS doesn't bark when the time is off; making my breaks longer than 5 minutes or sometimes I forgot to get back to work altogether. Other than that, the app is pretty easy to use and visually appealing in all devices.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.