I can’t name a single person in my social circle who doesn’t yearn to be more productive during their working day. One of the reigning kings of the productivity world is a little thing called the Pomodoro Technique. A look around the Mac App store shows tons of Pomodoro-themed timer apps. However, most of these are pay-to-play, which is why I picked the free app Pomodoro to check out. Pomodoro is sold by Jiri Tichy, and was just released this month.
What is it and what does it do
Pomodoro offers a timer that can help you to track your working hours, as well as note when you are due for a break. You can watch the timer tick down, and also set custom announcements for a computerized voice to read when the timer runs down. The timers can be customized to any combination of minutes and seconds.
- Set timers for breaks or sustained periods of work
- Ability to set custom voice announcements for when a timer period ends
- Very small footprint on your desktop
- Simple to set up and use
- Some users will hate that you can’t set up pomodoro session times that are over 59:59.
- No ability to set up more than one custom time period at one time
- Doesn’t track how many pomodoros/breaks you take during a work day
To better understand what this Pomodoro app is all about, here’s a bit of backstory about the Pomodoro Technique. Created in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique is one of the more popular time management techniques around. The basic idea is that you break down your working day into short increments of active working time (25 minutes), and take 5-minute breaks between each 25-minute block.
Each 25-minute work period is called a “pomodoro”, a term that comes from the fact that Francesco Cirillo used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato as his personal timer. You’re supposed to work for four “pomodoros” at a stretch (not forgetting to take your periodic 5-minute breaks!), and then take a long 20 minute break. This method of work keeps you energized and focused.
This method of work also requires a timer to work best, which is where the Pomodoro timer app comes in. I love how customizable this app is (though I wish there was a way to set up a single timer that would ding for four pomodoro’s worth of work and break periods.) I also wish that there was a way to track how many work periods you had completed over the course of the day, to better gauge your productivity.
Conclusion and download link
If you’re looking for a free way to try and boost productivity, try the Pomodoro technique and this related Pomodoro app. It might not be right for your personal work style…but then again, it may be just the thing you’re looking for.
Version reviewed: 1.0
Requires: OS X 10.6.6 or later, 64-bit processor
Download size: 1.6 MB