Phone Blocking apps: Android- Productivity series, part 2.

When you have stuff to do, it’s so easy to spend hours on your phone and feel frustrated at the end of the day because you should have been more productive. You might have something like Cold Turkey on your laptop, but instead of watching netflix on there, you just download the app onto your phone, or scroll through social media instead… The following apps are great tools to help mitigate this, and some even claim to help you be more attentive with your relationships too!

Who might this blog post be useful for?: Anyone that spends too much time on their phone.

What study skills challenges can this app help you overcome?: Poor concentration, procrastination, high distractibility.

What is the tool or study skills strategy?: Phone blocking apps to prevent you using apps you should not be using (for example while you are meant to be studying).

Cold Turkey for Android

Also available for PC and MacOS.

I have written a short introduction to Cold Turkey and a tutorial on how to use Cold Turkey for Desktop which you can find on this blog through the hyperlinks or by using the search function.

Features: Blocks you from using your phone for a set period of time up to an hour.

This app is a great new development from Cold Turkey which acts as a blanket ban on your phone. When you try and exit out of it, you can return to your homescreen but you can’t open any apps as your screen just reverts to the Cold Turkey block timer. If you swipe down to view your notifcations you can press on them, but again, the screen just reverts back to the block timer so really your phone is rendered pretty much useless. There is a safety reset (for emergency calls for example) by taking out your battery and reinserting it, although this is a bit of a faff especially if you have a case on your phone (which is the point!). Here’s how the app looks when you’re implementing a block…

screen shot of the cold turkey app. Text reads 'block everything for 15 min' followed by 'go cold turkey'. screen shot of the cold turkey app. text reads 'last chance! are you sure you want to block everything on this device for 1 minute(s)?'

The fact that you can’t unblock certain apps or add a block list is a shortcoming in my opinion, as sometimes I use Cold Turkey to set periods in which I can work from home- in these times I would like to be able to use Gmail, Spotify etc. but it’s a great start and has a very simple, easy to use interface, fairly similar to the desktop version. Here’s how the app looks when you’re blocked, and when you complete your block…

screen shot of the cold turkey countdown 00:20 seconds remaining screen shot of the cold turkey app. Text reads 'nicely done! Your block is over and your device is unlocked. Check out for more features on your PC!''

Another nice app for Android that allows you to select specific apps to block, and offers time schedules is Block Apps – More Productivity, however for the free version there are ads and block limits- for example you can only block 3 apps per block period. You can update to premium for £1.49.

Thanks for reading,