Andrea Azzola

Technology, Personal Development and Financial Independence

A few handy Pomodoro Timer Apps for Mac and Windows

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It is same to assume, that if you landed on this page, you already know about the Pomodo Technique:

  1. Work 25 minutes on a well defined activity, no distraction allowed
  2. Rest 5 minutes, or 15 minutes after 4 pomos
  3. Start over

Let's make just a short recap of the key benefits:

  1. Work with time
    The approach leads to regulatework pace, in fact people tend to consider just the deadlines
  2. Eliminate burnout 
    It gives a defined time to refocus, without a proper technique is an easy apect to be aware of
  3. Manage distraction
    Everything not directly involved in the activity, should be left out or moved in other pomos
  4. Create a better work-life balance
    When the line between work and spare time it's more clear, it's easier to switch
     

So, here is the list of my favourite apps—in order of preference—for applying the technique on a Desktop environment:

Pomodairo

Pomodoro Client

Collapsed view

Link: https://code.google.com/p/pomodairo/
License: Free
Platforms: Windows, Mac (Adobe AIR)

With its big timer and plain design it's my application of choice in a Windows environment. The main windows is collapsible so it is possible to embed it where it is visible but out of the mouse pointer way. I don't like the mandatory need of managing a list of activities in it, because I already have a few of those, but it's a minor issue, I just use a fake one.

Focus Booster

Focus Booster screenshot

Collapsed view
Focus Booster collapsed screenshot

Link: http://www.focusboosterapp.com/
License: Free
Platforms: Windows, Mac (Adobe AIR)

I use it mainly on my Mac environment. It's like a huge progress bar meant to represent the pomodoro time, like Pomodairo it turns to yellow or red as the end of the interval approaches. I like it beacause it's more adherent to the nature of a physical pomodoro timer. It requires manual update, ant the collapsed version, which I find most appealing, sometimes is too small to be noticed. Other fun aspect, because of its non-windows-style aspect I get a lot of questions about it, so at the end it can cause some distraction.

Tomighty

On Windows and Linux:
Tomighty screenshot

On Mac OS
Tomighty for Mac screenshot

Link: http://www.tomighty.org/
License: Free, Open source
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

This timer is a no brainer, it integrates with the system taskbars which is nice. 

Tomato.ist

Link: http://tomatoi.st/
License: Free
Platforms: Browser based

This is a browser based app. I like the idea of not needing an app to manage such a simple task, plus most of browser today allow pinning of pages. But you can miss notification which is pretty much the point of having a timer. At the end it's up to you and your way of interacting with web pages or desktop interfaces.