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Best Practices
Best Practices

How to Set Up Opal

February 16, 2022
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Team Opal
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The Basics

These are the first steps to take after discovering Opal!

1. Install the Opal app on your iPhone

Opal is available to download on the App Store. Once it’s installed, you’ll be asked to answer a few questions intended to personalize the experience, start a free trial, and install our secure VPN.

❓ Why pay for Opal?

🛠 Why does Opal need a VPN?

2. Set your Schedule

Set daily work hours, sleep and routines, and choose which apps and websites you want to automatically block, so you don’t have to remember. You can also use the quick-start timer to start focusing instantly.

📅 What is Schedule?

💡 What is Timer?

3. Enjoy!

Opal will automatically follow your schedule, blocking the apps and websites you indicated. You will also get timely reminders when you’re distracted, but remember, you can always take breaks and reconnect to certain apps for a short amount of time. If you’re interested in seeing your screen time stats, look at the profile tab on the app.

⏸ What are Breaks?

🔌 How does Opal work?

Going Further

4. Automate Shortcuts

You can set up shortcut automations that will make it impossible to bypass the timer while Opal is actively blocking apps and websites. When you try to open a blocked app, you will be automatically redirected to the Opal app. This setup needs to be done for each app (e.g. Instagram).

🥽 How do I install shortcut automations?

5. Install Chrome Extension

Don’t you wish Opal could also work on your computer? You’re in luck! When you install Opal’s free Chrome extension, your browser will sync with the schedules you set in the app and begin blocking relevant apps and websites.

🖥 How do I install Opal on my computer?

6. Choose your protection level

When you set a schedule or start a timer, you will be able to choose your protection level:

  • Normal: You can take breaks and reconnect to apps.
  • Deep Focus: You can’t cancel or bypass the timer. We recommend using Deep Focus when you really need to stay focused!
  • Pomodoro (only for timer): You can work and automatically take breaks following the Pomodoro technique.

We recommend using Deep Focus when you really need to stay focused!

⏱ What is Protection?

⏸ What are Breaks?

Become a Pro

7. Set up App Groups

Create a pre-set list of apps that Opal will block during a session or schedule (e.g. “Work Time Apps”).

📲 How do I use App Groups?

8. Set up an iOS Widget

Use Opal directly from your home screen! Select the + button on your iPhone home screen to add an Opal widget.

🔔 Does Opal have an iOS Widget?

9. Take Intentional Breaks

When you take a break, entering why you want to use your phone will help with reducing mindless scrolling.

⏸ What are Breaks?

11. Choose your Gem name

In your app’s profile settings, you can choose your Gem name to let others know who you are.

12. Customize your app icon

Choose your favorite Opal gem as an app icon.

🧪 Can I customize my Opal app icon?

13. Deep-dive into your Screen time stats

Head to your profile to explore your screen time stats, like your Focus Score, and note your progress.

14. Submit requests

We’re making Opal better together. Have feedback or requests for Opal? Submit them on

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