Sometimes the simplest techniques are the most effective. If you want to lose weight, exercise. If you want to ace tomorrow’s test, study. And if you want to get to Carnegie Hall, practice, practice, practice.
The same is true of time management. Heavy procrastinators looking to bump their efficiency rating have turned to the Pomodoro Technique as a savior. The concept is simple: Break your workday into manageable chunks that help you accomplish tasks without burning out or getting overwhelmed.
The aptly named Pomodoro Time (Mac App Store link) takes that proven method and digitizes it for your Mac. It’s far from the first app to do so (and it certainly won’t be the last), but its simple, elegant execution might actually help you stick with it.
Pomodoro Time doesn’t overload its task window with too many options or animations, choosing instead to build its interface around a single timer. The app lives in your menu bar, and expanding it feels a lot like its companion iOS app, with the same minimal controls and soft aesthetic. It’s a logical place for a time management app, but Pomodoro Time’s icon is so cute and clever I was kind of bummed there isn’t a place for it in the Dock.
Setting up a new task is quick and easy, and starting (or skipping) work and break intervals—-which are set to the traditional 25 minutes by default but adjustable to as little as five minutes and as long as an hour—-is equally intuitive. A record of completed tasks and pomodoros are recorded in a neat graph, but I would have liked a way to manually add sessions I had done outside the app, as well as few different notification sound options beyond the ringing alarm bell.
There are two versions of Pomodoro Time, a basic free one and a $5 pro version that lets you set unlimited tasks and cloud syncing. Since there’s no in-app upgrade, you’ll need to delete the free one if you decide to upgrade, which seemed unnecessarily clunky.
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Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.