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Question

I'm looking for computer-based The Pomodoro Technique timers with rational that provide cross-platform compatibility. It should not be restricted to a single Windows edition. Currently, I'm using Focus Booster because of its simplicity, but I don't like how it requires Adobe AIR.

Google repeats the same timers over and over again often with a lack of features or experience, and I would like to see more specific options. So, which computer-based Pomodoro timers exist and what are their features?


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Due to the large number of answers, I am adding an answer index here. This list is in chronological order. If you answer this question, please add your entry into this list at the bottom. Also, make sure that your suggestion hasn't already been added.

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1  
Did you use Focus Booster or just liked the software layout? Adobe AIR isn't something you have to learn to use so it shouldn't be complicated. –  Renan Jul 27 '11 at 13:17
3  
I've edited to make the question generic to any computer-based timer so that we don't have multiple questions: one for windows, one for OS X, one for iOS, one for Linux, etc. Better to have folks recommend timers they like and then indicate OS compatibility as the answers will become more of a resource for someone interested in finding a timer, with the most comprehensive and canonical survey of timing programs hopefully earning the most votes in time. This is also why I removed the recommendation for one timer per answer. Poll type questions are now discouraged in favor of complete answers. –  Adam Wuerl Aug 4 '11 at 21:17
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@Adam Wuerl "edited to make the question generic". Sometimes having separate questions for each OS is beneficial. Consider this: if you were looking for a timer for OS X, would you really want to wade through a dozen answers for Windows software just to find one relevant answer for Mac? . Is it common practice to completely rewrite a person's post? This rewrite completely changes the original intent and removes any humor which had made reading it more enjoyable. If anything, I was hoping a moderator would turn this into a community wiki, but I didn't want to bother you by flagging it so. –  Dubs Aug 8 '11 at 15:20

45 Answers 45

I use Tomighty, because:

If you need just a timer without any fireworks (task lists and other distractions), go for Tomighty.

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+1 for not running on Adobe AIR –  Dubs Aug 3 '11 at 16:35
2  
+1 for not adobe –  adolf garlic Aug 24 '11 at 7:26
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ach it says "could not find the main class. program will exit" on winXP :( –  adolf garlic Aug 24 '11 at 8:04
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Requires Java runtime –  JP Hellemons Jul 11 '12 at 10:47

I use Pomodorium - because it's a pomodoro timer with an RPG-like game, and you get 'golds' for poms.

Pomodorium is an Adobe AIR application and requires Adobe Air to run. It runs OK on computers with 1 G RAM or more.

I like this timer, because it has a game inside and for every completed pomodoros you:

  • get 'gold' and there is game character - you buy him/her armors/weapons for this gold.
  • There is a map you can travel through and fight monsters.

char

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4  
Sounded intriguing until I saw that it, too, ran on Adobe AIR. –  Dubs Aug 3 '11 at 16:31
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+1 for more details and a screenshot, looks like a fun game. :) –  Tom Wijsman Aug 8 '11 at 15:59
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Adobe. Why are they still in business?! –  adolf garlic Aug 24 '11 at 7:26
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+1 It is a brilliant idea to build a RPG game around pomodoro technique. –  Skarab Jan 22 '12 at 11:17
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@JanDoggen the gaming is heavily dependent on gold. You get 20-25 gold per pomodoro and the cheapest items are 50-100. You get injured most times you fight and need to pay 50 for a healing potion and once you kill all the monsters in a castle you need to pay a substantial amount for travel to another castle. So you end up playing for a couple of minutes every fourth pomodoro maybe. If you get into the game it's quite motivating. –  jim Nov 14 at 5:42

Pomodairo

A very user-friendly application designed for Pomodoro users.

enter image description here

Technical Features:

  • Freeware
  • AIR application
  • enter image description here Mini version.

  • Statistics (beta)

Pomodoro Features

  • Always on top [on/off]
  • Ticking sounds [on/off]
  • Task list.
  • Intervals. Once the timer reaches zero it starts counting the break time.
  • Estimated Pomodoros. It will be displayed right next to how many pomodoros were used and it's limited to 7 according to Franceso Cirillo's instructions.
  • Interruptions. Click the button and describe the interruption.
  • Used Pomodoros. Counts how many times the timer finished for each task.
  • Unplanned Activities. It creates another task in your list. It can be described and estimated later.

Drawbacks

No support for archiving or timetables. It's recommended to use another software to organize older tasks such as OneNote.

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3  
I've had bad luck with AIR apps using up too much memory, but maybe Pomodairo runs more efficiently than Focus Booster. I'll give it a try! Thanks! –  Dubs Aug 1 '11 at 13:38
3  
It looks good, but I personally try to avoid AIR.. too slow, to much RAM used; –  alexanderb Aug 2 '11 at 8:06

If you are a real hacker you can have one on the command line:

#!/usr/bin/env ruby
STDOUT.sync = true
seconds = ARGV[0].to_i * 60
seconds.times do
    print "."
    sleep 1
end
system "tput bel"
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I use pomodoro.app for OS X (note: the website is broken, but you can get the source from GitHub if you are comfortable building it yourself). I like its clean interface and Growl integration.

Appearance in menu bar

Pomodoro menu

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I use http://tomatoi.st/. It's a web site and is dead simple. You can run the timer, register breaks, and it makes a ding at the end. ;-) It also records your previous runs, so you can get a history.

It doesn't do any task tracking, but you asked for a timer.

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I use Pomodroido on my phone for whenever I am doing the technique.

Advantages:

  • Use on the phone makes it platform-independent.
  • Timer is separate from whatever you're doing and cannot get in the way.
  • Keeps track of how many you have done today or this week.
  • Very simple start / stop interface.
  • Wakes screen up when timer is complete.
  • Can leave a note on screen to remind you.
  • Adjustable work time, rest time, long rest time, and how many pomos between long rests.

The pro version also has Tasker integration, so I can turn off all of the phone-based distractions when I'm working on a pomo as well.

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The timer I use on Windows is Pomodoro Timer at http://sourceforge.net/projects/pomodorotimer/. It requires .NET 2.0, which is available on most recent versions of Windows.

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Image

There is Pizza Timer on Windows.

Have you ever put a frozen Pizza into the oven, and then left for the TV or computer. 20 minutes later, you are totally caught by the movie, a video game, or by some interesting website. You forget about your dish just for a minute too long, and what's left is a dark brown piece of waste.

This small tool is very easy to use, and can be configued for any countdown time. It is completely free to download and use.

Image

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PomodoroApp is a solution integrated GTD, you can plan your daily work and track with Pomodoro Technique. It has a free plan and premium plan.

enter image description here

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2  
Working on Windows and Mac I've found this app to be my favourite. It is a native app (no air), follows many of the key pomodoro rules and has some good features. I like how it minimises to floating timer and can steal focus when time is up. The free version has kept me going so far, if I stick with it i'll upgrade out of support for the project rather than need of the premium feature. –  firefusion Dec 24 '12 at 14:37

I have been using KanBanFlow - I like that it's a web app - nothing to install and runs anywhere; it also has a nice, clean list manager UI. The Pomodoro timer is simple, but works fine.

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http://www.pomodorohelper.com has a real simple sign up, runs in a plain (I think!) browser and also keeps track of the projects/todos. I used it t'other day, it's simple and it works on any machine I might be sat at without needing an install.

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I've tried a few, and Instant Boss is the one that best suits my likes. Trivial to set up, and it can be sent to the background only to come up once a Pomodoro period has ended. This means you don't have to look at the countdown at all times, which personally drives me insane.

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I've been using Flowkeeper for the past few months although I'm not sure if it beats all of the other pomodoro timers mentioned here but I like how boring its configuration is so that I could only use it as a tool and nothing else. I also like how its tray icon changes into a pie-looking thingy which lets me gauge how much time I've got left to work on that task. I've got screenshots but I'm a new user so here are some links instead:

Edit: I lost the screenshots so I'm now removing the link. Sorry.

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I use pymodoro, a simple Python script that integrates into Xmobar and Dzen2 showing within them a (textual) progress bar and the remaining time of a pomodoro. Some features:

  • system-integrated notifications,
  • audible ticking,
  • custom duration times,
  • multiple pomodoros,
  • several customisations for aspect of the bar (lenght, and mark characters used) and sounds.
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2  
Welcome to Productivity.SE. One-liners aren't really helpful in our format. If you think something is worth using, please write about it, don't just paste links at people. The idea here is to provide answers, not just the same list a search engine would provide. In your specific case, I don't have any idea what your script will do thus I don't know what benefits installing Python and this script will give me... –  Tom Wijsman Aug 8 '11 at 16:04

I use Tomatoes, it's a dead simple web-based pomodoro timer and time tracker.

It helps me stay focused and it has also rankings to challenge my friends. The project is free software and you can fork the code at http://github.com/potomak/tomatoes.

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I use Xnote Stopwatch, which is a very versatile stopwatch/timer that happens to also include a countdown timer. The app provides a single timer only, and can be configured to flash, play a sound or perform a user-specified action when the timer reaches its end.

The app has no ability to automatically finish one interval and start another of different length, so use for a "true" pomodoro technique would require multiple instances of the app. However, I use it productively to "firewall my attention" with only one timer.

Hotkey support allows for keyboard control over timer start, stop and reset events. The application has a free and a paid version, and the timer is available in both, with no functional differences between the versions.

Follow-up note: This application does not require the use of Adobe AIR, which was a plus for me. :)

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I use PomodoroScreenlet on Ubuntu.

It is a found in the third party section of: Screenlets.

I like it because it can be transparent... and it sits on top of everything on the screen. I used to find the bell a little loud sometimes but I found the file it pointed to (bell sound) and edited it.

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Old-good Windows Vista/7 gadgets:one, two (almost the same, but with 'off' button), three.

enter image description here

Features:

  • Start Button
  • Short Break - 5 minutes
  • Long Break - 15 minutes
  • Off Button
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If you are a proud Emacs user, then you can try small standalone lisp packages - tomatinho.el, pomodoro.el by Dave Kerschner, or pomodoro.el by Ivan Kanis (the first two available on MELPA package repository). Other option is to integrate pomodoro technique with org-mode, read more on Tracking Pomodoros In Emacs With Org-Mode and Pomodoro et org-mode (in French).

Note: Emacs is a text editor with great extensibility and lots of features. Mastering Emacs can arguably increase your productivity manyfold. Org-mode is a personal information manager (PIM) and planner with a gentle learning curve.

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I would like to share another Pomodoro app for iPhone (Disclaimer: I'm one of the developers). It's just 1.99 and we think we've put out the best UI out there! You can get it at https://bitly.com/1ePOUHH

enter image description here

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I use Strict Workflow from the Chrome Web Store, which has the advantage of being a toolbar item (does not require a browser tab), a website blocklist to prevent facebooking, and the ability to change the 25/5 cadence . I use 40 work/10 break which is better for programming.

The HTML pomodoros include Pomodoro Daisuki, Tomatoi.st Pomodoro or E.gg.Timer.com and the Flash-based like Focus Booster Pomodoro. I didn't like Pomodoro Screenlet -- very limited functionality. I couldn't get pomodoro-indicator to work in Ubuntu 11.10, nor the Tomighty Java app. On iPhone I use PomodoroLE, and on Android I use Pomodroido.

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I'm happy with http://e.ggtimer.com/pomodoro. Browser based, runs on any platform. This URL counts down 25 minutes and sounds a beep. Then counts down 5 minutes and sounds a beep. Refresh the page to start over. Simple, classic, unobtrusive, and without a lot of widgets and choices to distract me.

The e.ggtimer.com site has a lot of other timer options available by setting different URL parameters. See their home page for details.

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I combined AutoFocus with a Pomodoro timer. Runs on Windows. Very basic. http://www.domussoft.com/AutoFocus/

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From all the Android apps I've tried, I'd suggest Clockwork Tomato. It it's essentially a timer (offers a ton of settings, though) has a beautiful UI, you can also use the widget it offers for quicker launch, and can display history for all completed pomodoros, in columns for days, aligned by hour. It also has these two great options:

  • to "include unfinished pomodoros" in the log (eg. if you start a pomodoro and press skip/stop before 25min - but at least at 60% of it's duration) it will be proportionally be added to the log of finished pomodoros).
  • Also it has the "auto-continue" option: when a timer ends, to automatically start the following timer.

Then, it's also Pomodoro.txt It offers a to-do list which you can order and filter by priority. Then you can start a task with the option for pomodoro length of 10,25 or 45 min It also history of completed pomodoros and can sync via Dropbox in order to backup the to-do list.

Last, there is "TimeWise: A Pomodoro Timer" (google it - I can't post a third link in the same post, yet) it also offers a to-do list, where you can assign pomodoro to each, and also can display history of completed pomodoros. I hope that in the next update it will improve, because it still has some issues.

And, for windows, it's XorTime (google it). It offers a paper-like interface with a to-do list, an unplanned list, and an activity inventory -all exactly as Pomodoro Technique instructs- you can assign pomodoro to each, also can dsplay history of completed pomodoros, and can display statistics for all completed/bad pomodoros and interruptions.

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For Windows:

MaToMaTo

It is build in WPF, so .NET 3.5 is required.

No configuration is available, but it does the trick.

Screenshot:

MaToMaTo screenshot

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Minuteur (for Mac) is excellent for Pomodoro, having all of the qualities Francisco Cirillo recommends. http://www.phg-home.com/index_mac.html

It makes a good ticking sound, and it puts a visual/spatial indicator of time remaining in the menu bar.

Furthremore, it is easy to create a preset for 25 minutes and one for 5 minutes. (Or if you prefer to "physically" set it yourself, you can "physically" drag the timer to the setting you want.

..And, makes a good solid ring.

I have been using it for this, for several years.

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Hi I'm not sure if this is of interest to you, but I'm currently working on a Pomodoro online timer, check it out at http://www.pomodorotimeronline.net/ I'm currently thinking of new features to put into it, so any suggestions would be welcome.

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Yet another answer -

YAPA - Yet Another Pomodoro Application

Its minimalistic app written in WPF with source code available in GitHub. So you can can customize it if you like.

Some features as described by the author-

  • Configurable periods
  • Sound control
  • Pomodoro™ counter :)
  • Shows period progress on taskbar
  • Control app using taskbar jumplist
  • Select opacity for timer
  • Select light or dark theme for timer
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