Nov 03, 2021
Note: This post was last edited on May 19, 2022.
Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by Focusmate, all of these thoughts are my own.
Focusmate is a web app that allows you to book co-working calls to combat procrastination and distractions.
I started using Focusmate in August 2021. It has been 3 months, and I've had 162 sessions as of now.
As all my sessions were about 50-minutes, that means I've spent a little over 5 days consecutively on Focusmate. This is pretty tame, I've seen people with 2500+ sessions, and, assuming they were all 50-minutes sessions, that is over 2 months of consecutive Focusmates.
I believe most of these were with PhD. students and working professionals, but I've had some really interesting people matched with me: an A.I. safety YouTuber who was on Computerphile, a movie director and even a former mathematician turned traveller.
Here are some of the things that I like and dislike about Focusmate.
When the person doesn't join: When a person is 2 minutes late, the app asks you if you want to request a partner change. If you do change your partner, you more often than not get a person who is new to Focusmate.
Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing, but the problem is that they often don't know how the app works, leading you to cancel the session and book another slot.
No DM's: There is a way to message your Focusmate partner before and after the session, but it's via email and looks very old-school (the app itself allows you to chat during the session).
While it may have some issues with it, DM's would be a great way to communicate with your partner before and after a session.
No way to friend: Having a way to send friend requests and booking Focusmate sessions with them would be better than relying on the person sharing their invite link on their profile and bookmarking it.
There are many more problems with this than the DM feature (new members may not find people to book sessions with, privacy, etc.) so I don't think this will actually get added.
Adding these features would definitely make the app more community-based in my opinion.
I think the app is incredible and has definitely improved my productivity, maybe not their claim of 200-300%, but definitely a noticeable improvement.