Screen timer for Pomodoro Technique®

Personally, I prefer an analog kitchen timer for Pomodoro Technique® (created by Francesco Cirillo). As I wrote in my book Pomodoro Technique Illustrated it will support an established pattern of gestures and reflexes.

However, since both individuals and the environments we work in differ, there are also screen timers. Many are targeted for Mac OS X, such as Renzo Borgatti’s Pomodori and Guillaume Cerquant’s TimeBoxed. Viktor Nordling’s Pomodairo on the other hand, is developed in Flex in order to reach both Linux, Windows, and OS X with Adobe’s desktop application runtime AIR. In addition to these three there are many other screen timers.

Below is a wish list for a screen timer. Some of these features are already available in Renzo’s, Guillaume’s, and Viktor’s timers.

  • Countdown instead of counting up time
  • Default 25 minutes, but configurable length
  • Title of each Pomodoro is saved in a file for statistical analysis
  • Configurable ring signal and volume, or alternatively, the clock goes on top of the screen when the time runs out
  • Title of the interruption is saved in a file for statistical analysis
  • Activity Inventory where new titles can be added both during and after a Pomodoro
  • Void Pomodori without saving to a file
  • Automatic counting up of time during the break – without timebox or ringing
  • P2P communication between team members’ screen timers:
    • See the title of your friends present Pomodoro
    • Delayed messaging to friend – appears in the recipient’s timer when it rings

If you have a developed a screen timer, please tell us about it in the Pomodoro Technique google group or in a comment to this blog post.

Pomodoro Timer

Pomodoro Timer

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28 Responses to “Screen timer for Pomodoro Technique®”


  1. 1 toni 2009-05-29 at 09.57

    Another one: http://pomodoro.ugolandini.com/index.html !

    I’m playing a lot with flex in these days, perhaps I’ll find some time to follow your specifications…

  2. 2 Viktor Nordling 2009-06-1 at 20.35

    Hi, an update about the Pomodairo application.

    First of all, to be fair I did not write the application by myself. Fredrik Johansson was the initiative taker and has done most of the work.

    Second, we have done a few updates, one is the “Automatic counting up of time during the break – without timebox or ringing”.

    Third, since it is an open source project, we would love to get help from other Pomodoro fans out there. Just download the source and start fiddling around! There is a free trial of the Flex Builder here: http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/entitlement/index.cfm?e=flexbuilder3

    Thanks!

  3. 3 Constantine 2009-08-6 at 08.02

    Hi Staffan! Great blog, nice pictures! :)

    I have some thoughts concerning Team Pomodoro…

    1. P2P is usually hard to implement, especially in a distributed network (conceder international teams). So, it seems easier to employ a client-server approach (normally, Pomodoro is used in IT companies with well-established infrastructure, including dedicated servers). Anyway, if implemented in CGI, like PHP for example, it can be hosted on any free hosting, eliminating even this limitation. It can be either a traditional Web application, or just a web service doing REST – depends on a client you want to use.

    2. Pomodoro Title could be a member’s secret. At least, it should be configurable. Otherwise there’s a chance of improper Technique usage because of people not wanting to announce what they are really doing at the moment.

  4. 4 Staffan Nöteberg 2009-08-11 at 07.50

    Thanks, Constantine! I see your points and I think I agree on both.

  5. 5 David 2009-08-22 at 05.49

    Hi, I am using Minuteur which works great with the pomodoro technique: http://www.phg-home.com/index_mac.html

  6. 6 Antonio Fischetti 2009-09-28 at 13.11

    I use mine, it’s for Windows, it has also a To-do editable sheet.

    Current version is 1.1. In the next version also Statistics will be available.
    You can download it for free at

    http://xoring.altervista.org

    Bye.

  7. 7 Antonio Fischetti 2009-10-15 at 13.27

    Hi all,
    just a quick update: the web site where you can download PomoTime is
    http://www.xoring.com.

    Thanx.

  8. 8 Kimball Fink-Jensen 2009-10-18 at 07.06

    Focus Booster, also on the Adobe AIR platform, seems to work very well as a simple on-screen timer, keeping count of the number of sessions, with a small stay-on-top window (if that is what you want), ticking sounds and ring at the end. You can customise the Pomodoro length and the break length. I found it on http://www.download.com

  9. 9 Wolfgang Ponikwar 2009-10-23 at 07.43

    Hi all,

    I just stumbled across the Pomodoro technique yesterday, so I am quite fresh here. With regard to the ideal timer requirements and the P2P scenario: there is an execellent P2P library (open source, Java) named JGroups (http://ww.jgroups.org). I have applied this library to several commercial and non-commercial projects with very good results.
    I must admit, I don’t feel like starting a new development all by myself (working alone on something isn’t too much fun), but if anyone is interested in participating, we could get a Java cross-plattform timer up in very little time.
    Any volunteers?

  10. 10 Staffan Nöteberg 2010-01-19 at 08.49

    Two Pomodoro timers that show why KISS is king:

    1) TJ Holowaychuk created a Ruby based CLI timer with a rich interface:
    http://github.com/visionmedia/pomo#readme

    2) Johan Franzén created a DOS based snippet:
    http://todaysfinding.blogspot.com/2010/01/simple-pomodoro-timer.html

  11. 12 Etienne Segonzac 2010-05-6 at 22.43

    Hello everyone,

    I’ve recently published a pomodoro-based productivity app for the iPhone.
    And I would love to discuss the pros & cons of the angle I took with other pomodoro users.

    Basically the app evolve around a goal that you setup everyday : the number of pomodoros you wan’t to achieve. And then the application track your progress through the day.

    This way I can keep my tasks in omnifocus. I Mainly take advantage of the rhythm of the pomodoros + the motivation of visualizing my progress.

    I would love to hear your thoughts.

    You can check it out on http://goingpeak.com

    Cheers

  12. 13 iwebdevelop 2010-05-17 at 04.34

    As part of my senior capstone in college, our team decided to attempt to automate all the materials and methods used in the Pomodoro Technique™ as open-source software developed with Java, SQLite, XML, and HTML. We completed a beta version with only a few issues, but its worth a look at http://code.google.com/p/mypomodoro/ . This is open source so if any one can help make this a more useful tool, please do so.

  13. 14 Productivity Scientific GTD Timer 2010-07-25 at 09.12

    Hello everyone,

    GTD Timer 2010 has Pomodoro Technique support from now.

    GTD Timer is a simple but highly customizable and powerful software timer for Windows.

    Pomodoro support is implemented via built-in presets. Nice ticking sound is present.

    Please take a look at our site to find out more: http://gtd-timer.com. Or direct link to Pomodoro support description: http://gtd-timer.com/moreinfo-pomodoro-support.html

  14. 15 Célio 2010-10-2 at 05.30

    Hello guys, take a look at Tomighty, a desktop timer for Pomodoro Technique users:

    http://code.google.com/p/tomighty/

    Cheers!

  15. 16 ccidral 2010-10-22 at 03.35

    I just released version 0.4 of Tomighty. Check out the new features:

    http://code.google.com/p/tomighty/

    If you are using Tomighty, don’t forget to subscribe to the discussion group:

    http://groups.google.com/group/tomighty

    Cheers!

  16. 17 Brian Snipes 2010-11-22 at 16.47

    Thanks Antonio! I really like your app.

  17. 18 Vik 2010-11-23 at 08.22

    For Windows & Linux, I’ve outlined all the prominent apps here. Have a look.
    http://www.techgarten.com/pc/increase-productivity-pomodoro-time-tracking-ubuntuwindows/

  18. 19 Constantine Kulak 2011-01-16 at 16.02

    Hello Staffan,

    meet Flowkeeper – yet another free desktop software timer for Pomodoro Technique. It meets almost all of your requirements, except for teamwork support and activity inventory. Both of these features are planned for the next release, so please stay tuned to http://flowkeeper.org :)

  19. 20 mAt 2011-02-7 at 09.19

    Mitico Antonio! La tua App è strepitosa!

    mAt

  20. 21 Antonio Fischetti 2011-02-11 at 23.15

    Thank you guys,
    a new free version (v1.7.3) of PomoTime was just released at
    http://www.xoring.com.

    It tracks
    – completed tasks
    – abandoned pomos
    – external interruptions
    – internal interruptions.

    It allows
    – task estimation
    – break-time management, longer break-times every 4 completed pomos
    – customizable options for alarm sound and timer ticking

    The timer is displayed in a separate small and trasparent window, so you can minimize the main PomoTime window while focusing on your active task.

    A separate page for the Inventory-List allows you to collect tasks.

    A Stats page on a month scale displays your overall performance.

    It supports Chinese, Japanese, and many other characters.

    You can select the skinnable surface of the main wiAndow.

    A free download is available at the official site: http://www.xoring.com.
    Your feedback is welcome!

    Cheers.

  21. 22 Maya Mendoza 2011-05-7 at 09.41

    Hi I recently discovered the Pomodoro Technique via Ryan Deiss. I have been experimenting with a variety of desktop timers and kitchen timers and I have found that desktop timers, where I minimise the screen are perfect. I find the presence of an analogue time rather distracting (reminds me of when I’m cooking.

    Personally I like http://www.focusboosterapp.com/ as I can get the benefit of a timer on any of my PC’s and Laptops (we have several machines at home and tend to hot desk) without downloading an application.

  22. 23 Martin Svenson 2011-08-1 at 13.51

    Pomodairo uses Adobe AIR which unfortunately no longer supports desktop Linux…

  23. 24 Viktor 2011-08-12 at 13.11

    http://www.pomodorium.com/ is better because it has game :)

  24. 25 PragTob 2012-01-19 at 14.05

    Hey everyone,
    I looked at the available pomdoro timers and found none to be satisfying for Linux (Adobe AIR no longer supported under Linux) – I want an yctivity backlog and everything. If I get the time to work on it I’ll roll my own in a small shoes app (which will be cross platform once we fix things up over at shoes).

    I hope that I can keep my promise, I’ll come back if I have something working =)

    Cheers,
    Tobi

  25. 26 Constantine 2012-01-20 at 12.34

    Flowkeeper works under Linux.

  26. 27 PragTob 2012-01-27 at 11.05

    Thanks for the comment, but it seems to be missing a big “backlog” or I’m unable to find it – it just has my todo tasks for today and I’d rather take them from the backlog and put them today.

    Let’s see when I get to it =)

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