Appy Friday: Insight Timer

It’s been awhile since my last Appy Friday review, but it is not out of lack of trying new apps. Trust me, I’m embarrassed by the number of apps downloaded and ultimately deleted. Like so many people, I’m looking for that “big red bow” of meditation apps that solves ALL barriers that keep people from sustaining a practice. But I’ve learned that because creating a practice is so unique and personal, it’s unfair to seek for that perfection. Alas, the myth of of the big red bow is one that I know simply doesn’t exist (but that’s another topic for another musing:-)

Well good news, I still stand by my previous Appy Friday recommendations and am thrilled to be writing today about Insight Timer.

I surprised myself that I haven’t written about Insight Timer sooner. The truth is, I’ve been using this app since 2012. It’s such a part of my meditation routine I don’t even think of it as an app. It wasn’t until a couple months ago when the people at Insight Timer reached out to me sharing their new publisher platform that I started to dig a little deeper. While I’m a bit embarrassed, I don’t think I had updated the app since 2012 so I didn’t even realize they had guided meditations. When I explored, I was like a kid in a candy store. Some of my favorite meditation teachers were featured along with some of my colleagues. And all for free! I was sold. So let’s get to into the pros, cons, and why I give this my official Appy Friday Soul Sparks approval!

Pros:

1. Timer Feature: I always recommend that people use a different sounding timer than their alarm when they meditate, especially if they are a morning meditator. And Insight Timer has the mecca of different sounding bells. You can choose 1, 2 or 3 bells with various delays and interval bells if that’s something you prefer. I’ve had some clients that get nervous about halfway through their meditation to make sure the timer is working, so they like an interval bell so they know they are halfway through. You can also set a single bell 5 minutes before your time is complete and 3 bells for the closing of the meditation. It’s just like being in a meditation class!

2. Guided Meditations: As I mentioned, there is a vast selection of guided meditations. You can sort by newest, highest rated, most played and various durations. It’s a great way to explore different styles, teachers, and techniques.

3. Track Your Progress: I get a little geeky when it comes to being able to track things, and this has a variety of metrics where you can see your meditation stats including milestones achieved, detailed charts, hours with the timer, hours of guided meditation, total hours, days with at least one session, and total number of sessions. It’s a nice way to see that regardless of how often you meditate, it still matters and to see the proof.

Cons
1. Check the Profile Settings: This isn’t so much a con as it is a heads up. There are some great community features and opportunities to engage with others. I’m a big believer in the collective power of meditation, so after each meditation a screen pops up that shows who’ve you’ve meditated with. It’s pretty powerful and adds a true sense of community. Having said that, if you aren’t prepared for it, it can feel a little intrusive. I’ve recently started receiving messages from people that pop up after the meditations (i.e.: Anna from Austin – thanks for meditating with me). It’s an option after the meditation and you can adjust your settings. So just be aware that it defaults to the collective and showing you all the people you’ve meditated with after.

2. Browse: There isn’t a lot of prompting when it comes to the browse feature. So unless you know what you are looking for, you can feel a little lost. Some recommended topics include: breath, body, loving kindness, stress, anxiety, pain, etc. Or you can even search by teachers (including me:-)!

So there you have it. I officially give Insight Timer my official Soul Sparks seal of approval and excited to partner with them on adding more meditations and even exploring the groups feature. Stay tuned!

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