Deferral is an ugly beast. At first, it seems so innocent to review Reddit or Twitter for five minutes. Right after that, you can start working. The next thing you know is 1
o'clock in the morning and the paper is due in seven hours. Before you start another YouTube video, you do not have to be like Spongebob. You can be like me and take control of your productivity with the right app.
"But I do not want to work," they say. "I want to do something that is fun ." Listen, I promise that these memes will be there when you come back. They always are. Instead, I'll talk about five free apps I've tried for over five days to get you working and keep you focused. As? With the Pomodoro technique.
Set a timer for 25 minutes. Do nothing than to work all the time. Do not check Facebook, do not answer this WhatsApp message. Work . "We already noticed that I have a focus problem, why would that help?" Because when this timer expires, you have a full five-minute break to do whatever you want .
Not sounding as good as five minutes, such as the hours of reckless abandonment Typically, you take a break of five minutes after you've inserted the next 25 minutes. So on and on, until you have finished four "pomodoros" (the Italian word for "tomatoes", as in a tomato clock). Take some time after the fourth break instead of taking a five-minute break. You can choose – 15 minutes, 25 minutes … just do not make it too long.
The idea is to always take a break and look forward to staying at work. Twenty-five minutes does not sound so bad when you know that you do not feel guilty at the end of Instagram time, especially as you approach the end of a fourth Pomodoro.
In this article, I tested five free Pomodoro apps for five days, with each app having one day of my time. I'll say that some of these apps can be fully understood in five minutes, while others may take five days to really see the whole picture. Nevertheless, I like to share my findings with you and encourage you to spend some time testing the apps that appeal to you the most.
Day 1: Forest (Android)
The first app I tried was Forest for Android. Forest is also available for iOS before astute Forest fans kick off in the comments. However, unlike Android, you have to pay for Forest on your iPhone, which is a shame. I'd like to cover both versions of the app in this article, but it's not uncommon for free Android apps to offer paid counterparts in the iOS App Store.
But I digress. Forest on Android was truly a unique way to start my Pomodoro journey. That's how it works. For every pomodoro I "plant" a tree. I started with a little tree and slowly watched as it grew during my 25-minute session. Fun, right? Here's the thing – if I left the app before the Pomodoro was over, the sapling would die . Poof, no extra lives, gone. I would have to live on my hands with the blood (juice?) And shame another Pomodoro session.
Cheating on a Pomodoro does not have to be so dark. While my sapling always died when I left the app, Forest gave me the opportunity to donate a set amount each time a session was interrupted. Not only would this money encourage me to stay with my work (is this Twitter check really worth $ 5?), But it's about planting real trees where they're most needed.
So if nothing else, I might feel a bit better about cheating on my pomodoros. Full disclosure, I did not trust myself to let the app out of muscle memory all the time, so I have not tied any real money to it. Fake tree murder was more than enough motivation to keep me going.
Every time I finished a Pomodoro, I not only planted a tree, I also earned coins. These coins can be used to buy different things inside and outside the app. For example, I could use coins to buy new trees to plant them for the forest, since you only start with a base tree from which to pick. However, I could also choose to spend coins on planting trees in the real world, so I do not think that the only way to gain influence is to fail my Pomodoro and pay out of pocket.
The strength of the forest lies in its design and mission. It's fun to keep Forest active next to your workspace and see the cute animations as your tree grows. It helps counteract the temptation of switching to another app, and I ended up seeing a visible advantage. It was great to work on a quick article as my tree grew, and my break became calmer because I knew I was bringing life to this digital world.
Where the forest is not the strongest is a more complicated use. I have several types of projects that I work on all day long. Some have irregular time estimates, such as researching and writing articles. Others are easier. E-mail, data entry and similar tasks are divided into 30-minute intervals, so I always know how much time I spend on each task.
For the latter, Forest was a breeze. Every Pomodoro does almost my 30-minute task, and when it's done, there's a new tree! But for my more unpredictable tasks, Forest basically forced me to go elsewhere to keep track of what I was working on. I had to use a notes app to indicate how long this article took. This is all the more true if I was someone who wanted to track how many Pomodoros needed a task.
When all is said and done, Forest really makes fun and effective way to keep on-tasking. I could imagine using the app after the review, especially as one day was not enough to unlock more trees or donate my coins for planting real ones. Nevertheless, I have bred 12 trees in the course of my day!
Day 2: Focus To-Do (iOS & Android)
Let's just say it now – Focus To-Do is the powerhouse of the Pomodoro apps. This is mainly because it is not a Pomodoro-exclusive app. Instead, Focus To-Do is a comprehensive task manager with folders, due dates, reminders, data charts, and reports. If complicated apps are not your thing, you might want to stay away from them.
Remember my only concern with Forest that I was unable to track different tasks in the app? Focus To-Do is a completely different situation. The app gave me all the tools I needed to pursue my various tasks. I could create different folders for as many work categories as needed. E-mail, article slots, articles to do, data entry, these are all categories that I could work with. In each one I could add my tasks to work on. For example, under a folder like "Doing Things", I could drop all my tasks like all five of my pages 101 articles.
It does not stop here. When creating a task, I could choose the number of pomodoros I thought necessary, but did not have to. Instead, Focus To-Do simply records how many Pomodoros are required for this task and does not compare it to an estimate.
Each task allowed me to assign a due date, set a priority level, add alerts and reminders, and set subtasks to keep a close eye on a complicated project. It's an incredibly powerful system that has a lot of potential if you work that way and organize it the best way. I did not expect such an overwhelming number of features that I had to deal with things over time. However, if I spend more time making my working life in Focus To-Do real, that would be even more helpful than before.
I only had one day with Focus To-Do, but even that day it was important to keep track of my work an explosion. It was easy to see which projects required some engagement (my articles), and for which projects only short, fixed time blocks (email, data entry). And when it was time to sit down and work, the Pomodoro function worked exactly as you would expect.
The Focus To-Do pomodoro timer has an appealing design. It contains tiny seeds that surround the timer and correspond to every minute of my pomodoro. Since my Pomodoro was 25 minutes, I had 25 seeds. Every minute, the seeds filled until the entire circle was closed. Then the timer went off. Speaking of that, I had the opportunity to choose from 10 timer sounds. I could set a different sound to distinguish both modes when my Pomodoro timer has expired and when my pause timer has expired. Of course I had the ability to adjust how long each Pomodoro session would take, how long my short break would take, how long my long break would take and how many Pomodoros I would need for my long break. I have 5 different Pomodoro apps in Tried out 5 days – here's what has helped me to do the most. ” width=”532″ height=”532″ style=”max-width:532px;height:auto;”/>
With all these tools, I've done my best to bring this Task Manager to my day adapt. I entered my Pages 101 tasks and an article I prepared for an upcoming iOS 13 release. I also made entries for the assigned email and data entry time. I then worked through my pomodoros for these tasks, just like in other timer apps. But this time, when I finished an article, I could tick it off. I tell you, there is no greater satisfaction than to delete something from your to-do list.
The same goes for my 30-minute tasks, but not as obvious as for my articles. Do not get me wrong – it was a great feeling to do my "email" task, but Forest made it easy to get the job done quickly. I really liked Focus To-Do when organizing my articles.
If it matters, Focus To-Do is a great app. While there is a paid version, you will find it difficult to pay for it unless you want to support an excellent development team. No, the free version of Focus To-Do for iOS and Android gives you more than enough tools to organize your day.
I know that this app is not for everyone – some people just need a simple timer app with fun effort to make them smile and stay focused. Focus To-Do will not be this app. But I really like the integration of Task Manager. My many tasks that I work on all day long benefit from clear, organized lists that all contain individual Pomodoro rules and tracking information. I can imagine using this tool as a daily tool (just do not tell the others).
Day 3: Focus Keeper (iOS)
Day 3 made me think of something simpler: Focus Keeper on iOS A simple pomodoro timer with a fun advantage: its design uses iOS 7 in every way.
Seriously. While the last six generations of iOS all may be identical to Apple's original skew of skew morphism, look at pictures and videos of the original. It is different. In many ways, everything is in the lines. In iOS 7, much of the user interface was designed for thin lines. With Focus Keeper this relapse makes things interesting.
After the first draft, Focus Keeper seems to be your default timer setup. 25 minutes Pomodoros, five-minute breaks, 25-minute breaks. But there is a little more, which makes it special. Focus Keeper comes with two ticking sounds that I've clearly assigned to my Pomodoro session, my short break, and my long break.
At first, I thought I hated the ticking sound because I thought it was more distracting than anything else. But it actually worked for me. The ticking brought me into a groove and was in a sense almost hypnotic. I was entangled in my workflow and before I knew it, the timer went off. Ready to take five? The ticking was easy to mute if I did not want to run it, but I really liked .
Whether I was writing an article, catching up on smartphone messages, or shooting an email, the ticking kept me focused. Again, I have missed any specific tracking features. I had to think about how effective Focus To-Do's complex task system was in keeping my workload visible and organized. Nevertheless, I was overwhelmed by the performance of a simple tick-tock.
The rest of the app's display was easy to use. The huge timer above made it easy for me to track my progress, while the traditional timer below turned in real time. It was a cool effect, as if I had a physical timer in my workspace. As with a real timer, you can change the time at any time by swiping left or right with the time wheel. I could also tap the pause button to quickly pause when needed.
Below I could see all my Pomodoro progress. "Round" would show how many Pomodoros I finished of four, while "Goal" showed how many Pomodoros I completed from 12. That was helpful when I completed more than four Pomodoros, as "Round" reset all four Pomodoros. I had the opportunity to reset the "Round" tracker or both the "Round" and the "Goal" tracker at any time if I wanted a fresh start. The counter helped me to motivate me, as I could see my Pomodoro developing as the day progressed.
If you've chosen Focus Keeper and are looking for more features, you'll have to pay. Premium Focus Keeper users have access to custom Pomodoro sessions, color and theme options, data reporting for more than three days, and other ticks and alarms. However, these features are not required to benefit from Focus Keeper. It's a great Pomodoro app that does not try to set new standards. The unique user interface combined with effective ticking made working on Day 3 a pleasure.
Day 4: Pomodoro Timer Lite (Android)
Day 4 started with an app that is not the most beautiful on this list. In fact, the design is a bit dated. Nevertheless, I liked the main attraction of Pomodoro Timer Lite: to put my current task in the foreground.
Do not get me wrong, we do not talk about Focus To-Do. Not nearly. Instead of offering detailed task tracking, Pomodoro Timer Lite selects a digital sticky note in the center of the display. I typed in my current task or focus point, and Pomodoro Timer Lite reminded me continuously and passively of what I should work on.
I admit that sticky note solution was welcome on the fourth day of using Pomodoro apps, but I still missed the complicated system Focus To-Do was already offered on the second day. On the other hand, it was nice to see that one of the simple timer apps implemented a system that could focus on a specific task.
Not only could I post a task on the Pomodoro Timer Lite sticky note, but also my follow Pomodoros over check marks that would appear at the bottom of the note. After four, the tick disappears and is not as complicated as Focus Keeper's "Goal" counter. They would also disappear if I changed my job, but the app remembers how many Pomodoros I've completed. That way, I've always been on the right path for my long break, no matter how many tasks I've changed.
That was a big advantage when working between projects. It would have been too much to use three Pomodoro sessions for a pages article and then restart the entire counter when working on the next article. No, Pomodoro Timer Lite reminded me well to take this long break, even though I have just begun work on the next project.
It's also a great system for my different tasks. I did not need to see any checkmarks in my brief email and data entry sessions. I preferred to use the timer to complete it in one session and then re-check the prizes for the projects that would actually cover multiple Pomodoro sessions. That was helpful.
Also included? A moving timer wheel, and wait for it to tick. I was excited. Two ticking sounds to choose from (I prefer "Ticking 1" for your information) helped me get started, just like Focus Keeper. It was even better to keep the overview of the task over the note, if not a bit simple. I could look at the timer not only to check my Pomodoro progress, but also to see exactly what to focus on. Did I change tasks without thinking of writing down the new one? A quick press of the note changed that.
This app was definitely Android Focus Keeper. The mobile timer, which tick marks you are in, are fun-to-do functions that enhance your workspace without distracting you. Although Pomodoro Timer Lite does not allow you to keep an eye on the Pomodoro for the entire day, I preferred to have the front and middle of the sticky notes if I had to choose between the two options. Just recognizing the task ahead – whether it's an article or an email – kept me on track and organized me.
Day 5: Donut Dog (iOS)
Donut Dog is possibly the most bizarre app in this regard list, the perfect way to end my Pomodoro week. Donut Dog is not a traditional pomodoro timer and works with a system of donuts. "Great system," you say. "But what does that really mean?"
Since the timer would run, I would do donuts. These donuts added XP to my XP meter, which allowed me to improve the level while continuing to work. As far as I could tell, the levels were basically a boastful point when connected to other friends in the app (Pro version only), ideal for finding out who has the highest level.
What's more relevant to the single-pomodoro tracker are the gems and coins I earned when I won XP. These could be used to buy new donut recipes (who does not want a healthy donut variety?) As well as new donut machines to accelerate the donut production. All of these donuts I made could either stand on a shelf, a trophy for my productivity, or in return for coins and EP, fed to "Focus," Doggie Dog Doggie.
It's a decent concept, as it's the only app on this list that really tries to gamble work. While one day of use was not enough to see the many features, I could understand what Donut Dog is trying to do here. "But Jake," you ask yourself. "What about Pomodoro ?" After all, these are Pomodoro apps, not just productivity hacks. What Can Donut Dog Offer Pomodoro Subscribers?
That's the truth – Donut Dog is not specifically concerned with the Pomodoro technique. Before you write home about the scandal of anything, I promise you will be able to use it as a Pomodoro timer while using the above advantages.
The standard timer of Donut Dog is an endless counter. Not good for the Pomodoro technique. Instead, I went to the Challenges page of Donut Dog. Challenges offered the opportunity to make additional coins, gems and donut recipes. The challenges were more relevant to us and were divided into specific time intervals. Fill in the time interval and get the price. All I needed to do to use Donut Dog as my Pomodoro app was to pick the 25-minute challenge.
From here I could use the Pomodoro technique just like in previous apps. I uploaded my Pages job and watched out of the corner of my eye as my writing produced digital donuts. The only disadvantage? Once the challenge was completed, the timer would continue. Donut Dog would ping me when the challenge was over so I would not be in the dark, but I had to have everything under control to keep my pomodoros up to date. Luckily, it was easy to end the session and take my break there.
Unfortunately, there is no pause timer. That could be a dealbreaker. I admit it was a bit frustrating to set a separate timer, but the aesthetics of Donut Dog kept me going.
Donut Dog also had a simple system to determine which task you are working on. When I finished a session I had the opportunity to add a label to this session: "work", "study", "social" and "sport". It was not a perfect system, but at least it was something. Although I was able to view and edit a recording of my last sessions with the app, they were deleted after only one week. It was a shame to find this out, as my progress did not feel like recording
Although I love the overall design, I'm not sure if Donut Dog is the most effective app for the Pomodoro method other apps were missing important features – a pause timer, a more detailed way to keep track of my tasks, and to be honest, I do not think digital donuts were as effective a goal for me as the trees. Maybe it was the fault I was afraid of killing an innocent plant, but I found that Forest made me more inclined to stick to my writing, my e-mail, and my data input than Donut Dog.
I do not want to dissuade others from donut dog however. It's a truly unique, creative approach to productivity tracking that could make all gaming fans fall in love. For my Pomodoro you need, however? I think I have to stick to something else. What do I do with these 30 donuts that I made?
Final Considerations for Pomodoro and Its Apps
After spending a full week on Pomodoro apps, I can see why the technique works. Promised downtime and relatively short work sessions are good reasons to stay on track. 25 minutes does not sound like a lot of time, but 25 minutes of pure productivity spread over a working day are a recipe for success.
Where I found the biggest challenge was keeping up with the timer itself. I'm sure it would not be a problem with the exercise, but for someone unaccustomed to managing a productivity system all day, I'd work on an article if it hits me – I got it Pause von 30 nie genommen Vor ein paar Minuten. Apps wie Donut Dog haben dieses Problem nur noch verstärkt.
Aber das ist das Problem mit Pomodoro oder jedem anderen System, das Sie ausprobieren – es ist nicht alles oder nichts. Sie haben nicht die 25 Minuten religiös zu befolgen, fünf Minuten vom Plan von neun auf fünf. Es geht darum, was für Sie funktioniert. So lange Sie produktiv bleiben, wen interessiert es, ob Sie am Ende über ein oder zwei Pomodoro hinaus arbeiten?
Für mich war Focus To-Do am effektivsten. Es ist nur in einer ganz anderen Klasse als die anderen Apps. Wenn Sie nach einem einfachen Pomodoro-Timer suchen, brauchen Sie Focus To-Do nicht. Aber ich mag die umfangreichen Funktionen der App sehr und fand das Organisationspotential sehr hilfreich, um zu wissen, was meine täglichen Aufgaben waren.
Letztendlich hilft Ihnen jede dieser Apps dabei, Ihre Produktivitätsziele zu erreichen Pomodoro ist einzigartig. Focus To-Do ist ein Pro-Task-Manager, während Donut Dog eine doofe, lustige Erinnerung ist, um wieder an die Arbeit zu gehen. Es geht wirklich darum, was zu Ihrer Arbeit passt. Ich möchte Sie dazu ermutigen, alle Apps selbst auszuprobieren und festzustellen, ob Sie sich weiter konzentrieren können als andere.