Persistence Apps

How this resource helps:

Lists several apps that can help students increase their persistence and avoid the temptation to procrastinate.

Some of our mentors and mentees have shared their favorite persistence apps. The list below is not exhaustive, but it’s a great starting point!

Forest (iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox)

  • Disincentivize yourself from using your phone by “planting a tree” for a set amount of time when you want to focus. The tree will grow while you work. If you look at your phone, the tree will die.
  • Multiple focus modes including, Pomodoro timer, stopwatch mode, and collaborative mode (study with friends from anywhere).
  • The app will display messages that remind you not to look at your phone when you are trying to focus.
  • Tag your focus time blocks with specific activities so you can see graphs of how long you worked and what you were doing.
  • Set timers to take a break from focusing.
  • $1.99 one time purchase.

StayFocusd (Chrome extension)

  • Restrict the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites
  • Block or allow entire sites or specific pages
  • Once you’ve used up your “focus time,” blocked sites will be inaccessible for the rest of the day.

Persistence – Goal Tracker (iOS)

  • Set smart reminders to help you set and keep goals and track your habits.
  • Group your goals into categories.
  • Keep journal progress notes and edit or change progress entries.
  • View, share, and export graphs and statistical analysis of your progress data.

SelfControl (Mac)

  • Blacklist distracting sites one-by-one, or in bulk with the “import” feature.
  • Set a timer to prevent yourself from accessing distracting sites.
  • Once timer is set, you will be locked out even if you restart the computer or delete the app.
  • Make sure you have downloaded or unblocked all information you need to complete your assignment before setting the timer!

Do you have a favorite persistence app that isn’t listed here? Send us an email at so we can add it to the list!

Last updated: December 2021