50before50: #20 learn to meditate – evaluating options (day 3)

The second last of the apps under consideration is insight timer. I’ve absolutely no idea where this came from or how I heard about it!

This one is completely free, has over 6,000(!) meditations and is the most social of all the apps. It’s also probably the least attractive of the apps – no cute animations, no roaring fire.

You open the app and you see stats on how many people have meditated today and how many are currently meditating.

Scroll down a bit and you can actually see who is meditating. Creepy?

You have to click around a bit to actually find the meditations (click on the headphones icon). You’re then confronted with an enormous choice – you can view by practice, by teacher, by duration, by All The Things – you could absolutely lose hours here.

After a good deal of dithering, I picked Rise and Shine with Andy Hobson.

The interface for the actual meditation is fairly simple:

After you’re done, you can see who meditated along with you:

And who was nearby <shudder>.

And of course, the ubiquitous stats:

What I liked: Everything is free – there’s no paid tier.
+ InsightAndy is almost as good as HeadspaceAndy – big emphasis on almost.
+ Meditation itself wasn’t too bad

What I didn’t like: Sounds ridiculous – but there is too much choice (way too much choice)! It could easily take 30 minutes to settle on something which is not what I am looking for first thing in the morning.
+ The app is not really intuitive to navigate – so you do spend a lot of time clicking things to find what they do.
+ Way, way too social for me.

Things for next time: If I was to use this again, I would ensure I’d already selected what meditation I was going to do. I don’t need the stress of almost unlimited choice first thing in the morning!

Cost: Free free free

Rating: App 2/5 | Meditation 3/5

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