Ever caught yourself overwhelmed by work and trying to take a break for 10 minutes-or-so that ends in 2 hours of descending into the abyss of memes, cat videos and nearly absurd listicles of 10 moderately interesting things?
All the while experiencing terrible guilt and anxiety, you conclude that work is simply killing you, and you get back to another two hours of paperwork that turn out not as productive, but draining enough to leave you begging for another 10 minutes of rest, that ends in… oh, you know the story.
Poor work management is what undermines productivity, and, if you feel like you struggle to concentrate on stretched amounts of time, it’s likely you’ll benefit from the Pomodoro technique, which, in a nutshell, divides your workflow into chunks of 25 minutes of uninterrupted work and 5 minutes of rest.
When you want to get things done with Pomodoro, try PomoDone. PomoDone is the Pomodoro time tracking app that probably ranks number one across many listicles. Time tracking on this app is very easy, plus it really encourages you to take five, nudging you to enjoy your break. But the main reason why it is so favored by everyone is its plurality of integrations.
If you manage your to-do list yourself, you can integrate it with all the major task management apps like Todoist, Wunderist, Evernote, and then directly import your tasks on PomoDone. If you’re working in a company that makes use of a project management service, like Asana, Basecamp, Trello or any other, PomoDone is super useful to provide an overview of the time spent by each team member.
PomoDone is loved by: professionals; leaders or members of a team
Supported by: Web/Mac/Windows/Linux/iOS/Android
Pricing: FREE (premium monthly plans from $2.29 – $4.01)
Right now, as this article is being written, the time on the Focus Booster is counting 15 minutes and 40 seconds to the next break that will be signaled by a bell. The interface is simple and user-friendly, both for web and app versions, so with Focus Booster it’s pretty easy to start using the Pomodoro technique now.
What’s awesome is that upon registration you can watch their super helpful tutorials that explain how you can benefit from the technique and the timer. Probably the best feature of it is adding tags and client labels. If you’re a freelancer or an employee working on client-related tasks, you can even add your pricing rate, which makes your invoicing at the end of a month or project way easier.
You can also add manual entries to the work you haven’t tracked. After a good while of time tracking with or without Pomodoro technique, the stats are grouped into beautiful charts.
Focus Booster is loved by: data nerds; freelancers or employees who do hour-rate work for their clients.
Supported by: Web/Mac/Windows/iOS/Android
Pricing: FREE (premium monthly plans from $2.99 – $4.99)
Another twist on the same subject is brought by Pomodairo, an Adobe Air app, which provides the full experience of working with the Pomodoro technique. Pomodairo can serve as a simple Pomodoro timer, but it also helps you sort your tasks the most productive way.
Not only it tracks your tasks and how much time you spend on them, but it also tracks your interruptions, and your productive (but unplanned) work. If you’re interrupted, hit the interruption button, after which you will have to reset the timer for another 25 minutes to work on the task at hand.
Pomodairo is cross-platform and can be synchronized between your computers – it works wherever Adobe Air does. The best feature about it is that it also keeps a searchable log of your work and statistics, allowing you to analyse your work patterns and use of time.
Pomodairo is loved by: professionals working with Adobe, and those who are frequently interrupted.
Supported by: Mac/Windows/Linux
If you’re craving for a super simple way of tracking time the Pomodoro way, or you just want to test out if the method suits your style of work, then go for Tomato Timer.
Coming only in the form of a browser app, it’s as simple as it gets – you can start, stop and reset the online timer, and you can tweak the settings to alter the lengths of each time period. It works on all major browser platforms, mobile versions included, but Chrome users have the added benefit of desktop notifications and an alarm.
Unlike Pomodairo, the app does not account for your task list or log, so if you want to keep a task list or a log of your work, you will have to use a separate app. However, it’s sufficient enough if you have only a few tasks on your plate, prefer to do your to-do list by hand, or just simply want to try this technique conceptually.
Tomato Timer is loved by: those who are new to Pomodoro technique.
Supported by: Web
Another super easy free Pomodoro tracking app is Pomodoro Tracker. The interface is fairly similar to Tomato Timer, but the app is more superior in terms of functionality.
Pomodoro Tracker allows you to create an account, write a to-do list, categorize the tasks you’re tracking (work/personal), set a daily goal, and even compete with other productive people around the world, if you wish. This month, the record to this day is 226 hours that measures in 333 Pomodoro intervals. Can you beat the record?
Pomodoro Tracker is loved by: beginners or advanced users of Pomodoro technique, who seek simplicity.
Supported by: Web
Back to more complex all-inclusive free time tracking apps, Focus To-Do is a free Pomodoro timer and a to-do list organizer all in one! It syncs over all your devices, making it easy to manage your to-do the Pomodoro way from anywhere, even from your smartwatch!
Create projects to categorize your sessions and set task priorities to organize which task you should execute first. Even though it offers you quite a lot even for the free plan, it’s a super easy-to-use task management app. This free Pomodoro time tracking app also comes with a trend chart of all your completed to-dos, so that you can look into your statistics on the time spent for each project.
Focus To-Do is loved by: those who need an advanced project management and time tracking app based on Pomodoro technique.
Supported by: Mac/Windows/iOS/Android
Pricing: FREE (premium plan $2.99/3 months)
If you thought time tracking and ticking off boxes in your to-do list isn’t fun, you’re wrong. Although there are some of us who get their daily thrills crossing off major and minor tasks (it does release a load of dopamine in our brain, in fact), there are some creative ways to make this process a bit more interesting.
Forest is a free time tracking app that features a twist on productivity – gamification. The concept is simple – it makes you plant a tree each time you want to focus on something. The tree will grow while you pay attention to it (read: the thing you have to do), and, once you leave the app, signaling a distraction, the tree will die.
Every day you can keep building your forest, with every single tree representing your time focused on a task or a project. Plus, a share of the virtual coins spent in the app is donated to their partner to order planting real trees on the Earth.
It’s a beautiful concept with practical application – the focus timer can be adjusted to Pomodoro technique, and detailed statistics give you an overview of your focus distribution according to a tag.
Forest is loved by: students and beginners, who need visual representation of their achievements.
Supported by: Web/iOS/Android
Pricing: FREE (additional in-app purchases)
For aesthetes that seek to improve their focus and mental wellbeing, this free Pomodoro time tracker app – Tide – will be a perfect fit. Those who are easily distracted by noise will also benefit greatly from Tide’s calming sound effects.
The app combines Pomodoro timer with white noise of natural sounds that will help you enter that flow state effortlessly. Plus, if you’re looking for an efficient way to declutter your mind on your break, try meditating with Tide.
The natural sounds will lull you into a meditative state (or a nap, if you’re a freelancer, you lucky bastard) and gently wake you up to help you continue being your most productive self. The app even cheers you up with daily inspiring quotes, and the selection of natural backgrounds is quite charming as well.
Tide is loved by: those who are seeking to improve productivity and mindfulness.
Supported by: Web/iOS/Android
Now if something is a trend, you bet, it’s going to be on YouTube. If you just want to try out Pomodoro, a super budget-friendly option is going on YouTube and putting this simple timer in the background while you work. There are also music compilations of 25-30 minutes for you to keep the Pomodoro-suggested flow state while listening to relaxing beats or classical music.
A good tip is to add several of your favorite 25-minute mixtapes to your personal playlist, and rock on. The downside, however, to trying Pomodoro on YouTube is that it’s a dangerous zone that may even undermine your productivity, as the suggested videos may tempt you into procrastination.
The good side to it is that YouTube is accessible from everywhere, so you can even open the video from your smart TV, if you wish, plus you don’t have to download anything. If you’re looking for a company, you can let this YouTuber inspire you, as she studies for her finals while using the Pomodoro technique with or without background music for a total of 2 hours.
YouTube playlists are loved by: those who want to try out the Pomodoro technique.
Supported by: any devices that can open YouTube
If you feel that music aids your productivity, it’s likely that you’ve already discovered Spotify, and perhaps you even have your favorite work playlist that helps you smash through your to-do list in a better mood. But what if you combined your daily habit of listening to Spotify with the principles of the Pomodoro technique to gain the most out of your day?
Depending on your taste, there are hundreds of ready-made playlists built on 25-minute intervals of instrumental music and dope beats of approximately 5 minutes to celebrate your break, like this or this . The fun part is that if you’re a melomaniac and a playlist freak, you can simply create your own personalized productivity playlist, now that you know how the Pomodoro technique works.
Spotify playlists are loved by: music lovers who want to hack their productivity with their favorite jams.
Supported by: Web/Windows/Mac/Linux/iOS/Android
Pricing: FREE (premium from $9.99)
You thought we would go without mentioning our own software?! Sorry (not sorry), but in all seriousness, this is something we are super excited about so it can’t be left unsaid – Luxafor offers Pomodoro time tracking feature in the software!
Luxafor surely integrates with PomoDone, but you’re going to benefit from it the most if you’re a premium plan user of PomoDone app. However, the ingenious Pomodoro time tracking feature in Luxafor is completely free for use!
If you don’t know it already, most Luxafor products, like Luxafor Flag, feature bright LED indicators that help you eliminate distractions and improve your focus in your workplace. Besides showing whether you’re available or not, the Pomodoro feature allows you to set your best office buddy to work as a coach for your Pomodoro technique!
Set up the time intervals for your focused work and break intervals, customize which pattern you’d like to show the start and end of Pomodoros, and you’ll be reminded when you need to take five, so that you feel well-rested and focused throughout the whole day!
We hope this article was useful and that you’ll try applying Pomodoro technique to your work. Who knows, maybe it’s the missing piece you always needed to make your office day more productive! Remember – success is not a big step in the future, success is a small step taken right now.
If you’d like to read more on how to improve productivity, take a look at this article on top 45 best productivity apps of 2020!
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