As a project manager, if you are lacking behind deadlines, you should give the Pomodoro technique a shot. We are going to talk about the Pomodoro technique and see what the best Pomodoro Apps are this year.
It is an age old adage; a sort of a “home brewed” formula to get things done effectively. Speaking of which, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that the founder of Pomodoro technique, Francesco Cirillo was an effective time manager.
Pomodoro Technique 101 – An Introduction
At work, when things have to be done on time; submissions get rejected and there is always an impeding chance of a last-minute meetings. Workers are instructed to redo everything – and that sets the entire project to square one. To avoid this confusion, time management is of crucial importance.
This technique has a work vs. rewards model based around a 25 minute timer. You need to set a couple of achievable tasks ahead of you; plan and execute for at least 25 minutes and then take a short break of no more than 5–6 minutes.
Scientists believe that people, who adopt the Pomodoro technique model, have an uncanny resilience to brainstorm new ideas during their break period. When your brain involved in a task for half an hour, and you take a break, your body is somehow mentally intertwined with the project at hand.
In your spare time, you might as well come up with a few workaround solutions to help overcome hurdles related to the task. That’s what Pomodoro technique is all about: i.e. to dedicate a time slot to work, which is then followed up by a break period.
There is more…
The interesting thing about Pomodoro technique is that it received an overwhelming positive response from ‘Doers’ all over the world. Project managers introduced the Pomodoro technique model at their work place to enhance productivity.
Likewise, subordinates also don’t feel all “chained” up because they have the liberty to walk around, or sink back in their chair during short break intervals. Since 1980s, Pomodoro followed a variety of different hierarchical trends. It was transformed into different variations to suit either personal or work lives of professionals.
Each break interval is called a Pomodoro, whereas the word itself means ‘Tomato’. Francesco was probably facing challenges in the kitchen. He literally created a tomato shaped object with an embedded 25 minute timer to get started. The Italian author was in need of a better solution to reorganize his daily rituals.
Advantages of Adopting the Pomodoro Technique
At its core, the idea of keeping detailed task planning and follow-up is a challenge itself. To simplify this problem, developers from all over the world have created task management software. Some of them are available online through a SaaS model, while others are showcased as 3rd party installers.
Pomodoro Technique further enhances the doable side of things by setting up a workflow process that does not hinder the progress. Since we are all humans, we have always been in need of a ‘catch and release’ sort of system. You want to work, but you don’t know how to handle all that because of so many distractions going on around you.
One minute we are working on certain tasks and then something comes up on Facebook – there it all goes away. In this context, developers have released quite remarkable Pomodoro Technique timer apps, and dedicated Pomodoro timers to help deliver clutter free work output.
The 6 Best Pomodoro Apps and Timers in 2019
All of the appended apps instill the same idea; i.e. to increase productivity while keeping the time factor in perspective. The timer in these application may instill urgency, but it does so in a very subtle manner. You will be your own boss, and especially at the inclination of a break coming up after 25 minutes or so, getting things done should be like a breeze.
nTask was primarily developed as a project management software. Based on its cloud-based support and lots of powerful features, getting things done in the typical Pomodoro technique fashion are a no biggie.
Since it is a complete overhaul of a typical project management suite that relies only on the to-do list aspect, there are bundle of features in there.
In summary, you can literally monitor your time spent on each task, and that of your team members as well.
Adopting the Pomodoro Technique with nTask
nTask leverages time management by coupling it with a built-in time tracking tool. You can monitor the time spent on each task and for each member of the team on any project board. This feature results in monitoring and managing time in a better way; i.e. to scale down everything to at least 25 minutes of doable tasks, and then allow a few minutes off for a breather.
This technique illicits the feeling that project managers don’t have endless time – nor an endless day to get things done. You will know that you and your team have 25 minutes to make as much progress and then fall back to a short break. This means that there is a bit of urgency factor involved in doing things.
On a side note, we are working on releasing the nTask 2.0 (Beta). It will be made available soon. With the new Beta release, we are introducing an automated web timer to allow you to keep track of actual time spent on work and breaks effortlessly.
Teams will be able to set the timer to help develop a Pomodoro technique format for that very purpose.
nTask introduces additional perks, such as:
- Gantt Charts for easy project management
- Ability to add and edit comments under project boards
- Integration with Microsoft and Google Calendar (Coming Soon)
- Built-in automated web timer to keep track of work time and break time (Coming Soon)
- Advanced time tracking features
- Meeting management through chat sessions, conferencing and much more
The PomoDone App is designed around the “Get it done and have fun mantra” through a flawless integration of the age-old Pomodoro technique.
If you are looking for an application that sets asides all the clutter and just get to a minimalistic UI with a timer, look no further. This application will help you increase workflow, work output and goal completion rate in a jiffy.
As a first time user, you don’t have to stick with 25 minute work routine in PomoDone App. You can shorten the interval as per your liking.
Develop a work routine on the basis of a time scale, and create achievable objectives list in this application. The next thing you know, you will be smokin’ aces like a boss.
The two best features about PomoDone App are:
- Integration with Trello, Evernote, Google Calendar, Basecamp, Asana and Todoist
- Supports iOS, Windows, Android and Live Online Platforms
- Progress bars for different tasks
- Subtask level support for each project
- Keyboard shortcuts for starting, pausing or resuming the Pomodoro technique
- Multiple drag and drop features
What else could you ask for? Perhaps an intelligent solution to monitor work hours that skip past the deadlines? To do that, PomoDone Application has a save data log against each work session. If you are getting lazy, or late, the log maintains the extra amount of time you take to complete your work.
3. Focus Booster
Although project managers can encourage the use of Focus Booster as a handy Pomodoro technique app, the program is meant for freelancers actually. If you happen to deal with multiple clients smeared with time issues, go for Focus Booster.
This free Pomodoro app is more than just a timer application. You can also create invoices, manage multiple project timelines, see your actual work output through graphs and vice versa. The “focus” part comes as a collection of visual cue features in this application.
You can set the length of your “focus”, which is in fact a fancy name for the Pomodoro, in addition to break session duration. The timer runs automatically; once the timer expires, it buzzes to alert the user.
Focus Booster is integrated with Android and iOS platform. All your work data can be exported to web mobile, and desktop folders.
- Pro Plan enables user to use Focus Booster as a Pomodoro app, or a mere time tracker.
- Set individual time oriented goals for each of your clients.
- Work logs are maintained in separate reports.
- Setup different timesheets to manage your work.
- Reports dashboard allows simple ways to issue and monitor invoices.
4. Focus Keeper
Next up on the list of Pomodoro timer apps, we have Focus Keeper. It is one of the best Pomodoro apps that come with a native Pomodoro timer. The reason we have highlighted Focus Keeper in this post is that you don’t have to install, or manage your projects in the app’s environment. Focus Keeper doesn’t work that way.
What happens on the contrary, is that you can use this Pomodoro tool without having the need for creating an account. There is only a timer based around some innovative gamification.
You can simply “keep” your “focus” by just setting up a timer for 25 minutes and get to work immediately at your own pace. Once the objective is complete, Focus Keeper dings to alert the user for a small break. All of this happens through in-browser support.
By the way, the default time duration and custom timer themes can be selected for as long as you are using the paid version of Focus Keeper. However, we found that the free version had more than enough perks to help us kick start our daily rituals.
Once you have hooped through different milestones, Focus Keeper will show a “Charts” tab at the bottom of your screen. These charts maintain a visual indicator of all the work you have been doing, average number of actual work hours, and overall time that was wasted.
- Minimalist intuitive interface
- Manage all your “focus” groups through goals, color tabs and sounds
- Productivity tracking with the help of pull-up cards
- Timer adjustment in rotatable format, just like a real life Pomodoro timer
- Multiple focus sessions in one go
5. Pomodoro Tracker
Pomodoro Tracker is another convenient solution for those on the lookout for the best Pomodoro apps. We’d stress upon the “convenience” because you can use the application without ever having to install it in the first place.
If you go to the official Pomodoro Tracker website, they have a sleek 25-minute time, with a small “Play/ Start” button besides it. For anyone who doesn’t have a smartphone at office, he or she can start the timer at the application’s official website and resume work on the get go. It couldn’t get any simpler than that.
Alternatively, Pomodoro Tracker is available a smartphone application for iOS users. Android users will have to make do with an alternative. Anyhow, you can basically, do stuff through this app like a hardcore Pomodoro technique fan.
Set tasks, customize timers and work your way through different realistic objectives without having to worry about any distractions. The “ticking” clock instills a sense of urgency; the closer it gets to the deadline, you will develop a habit of getting things done.
- Sign up for a free or paid account through the official Pomodoro Tracker app.
- Ability to start and manage tasks through a simple browser screen.
- Get rid of real life anxiety by enhancing focus through this Pomodoro app.
- Maintain and keep a constant workflow.
- Strengthen your consistency against different tasks of varying nature.
Just like nTask Project Manager, Toggl is another convenient web-based solution. It works on the same formula as that of a typical Pomodoro timer app – but with a wider scope. Toggl was designed to cater to the needs of freelancers, business consultant, project managers and every other professional.
The company did so with the help of a native Pomodoro technique timer, and many other reporting features. Since we mentioned earlier that Toggl is a web-based solution like nTask for Pomodoro aficionados, you can directly log on to the official app. If it is your first time over there, you will be greeted with a simple timer and minimal UI.
The left pane is for selecting different options ranging from Dashboard, Pomodoro Timer, clients and saved thoughts for later execution. In addition, Toggl is available to be installed on iOS and Android devices as an offline solution with 24 hour synchronization with all your cloud data.
- Manage time through ‘single click’ Pomodoro time tracking feature
- Time tracking reports available in the form of pie charts, Gantt charts and bar charts
- Constant data backup through cloud servers
- Toggl does not have any sign up and/or account termination fee
- Integration with Basecamp, FreshBooks and other 3rd party apps
How to Adopt the Pomodoro Technique?
As a professional, you will eventually realize that you have been following the Pomodoro technique formula throughout the majority of your work life. We set up tasks, a lot timers and try to complete them in an orderly fashion. Isn’t this something that the Pomodoro technique has been all about?
The best thing about any Pomodoro timer app is that it inflicts the aforementioned realization factor through a proper design. It is not too late to reorganize your professional rituals with the help of a handy application or a software tool for that matter.
This technique is all about sticking to a format. To better zone in one project at hand, the internet community is lined up with tons of Pomodoro technique apps that are worth trying. We have a list of highly recommended applications for this very purpose. Take your pick and try it; if you don’t like the result, you can switch over to a better alternative until you are comfortable with the routine.
Pomodoro Technique for First-Timers
If you are adopting the Pomodoro Technique for the first time ever, the routine might not gel with your current workflow. After some time, you will notice a kick in the productivity scale. Eventually, these benefits change as the need for following this technique is thoroughly dependent on the person and the nature of project management.
Main benefits of Pomodoro Technique are, but not limited to:
- You will have the ability to stay fresh and focused through longer intervals of the day.
- Enhanced time management skills.
- Improved work quality.
- Your speed of doing things will increase exponentially.
- Longer attention spans.
- Minimum exhaustion due to regular break intervals.
Initially, working in small increments will feel unnatural. You will probably not be able to complete your objective within the first 25 minutes. Gradually, as time passes by, the routine will come as natural and you will end up liking it more.
If you are already using Pomodoro app, share your thoughts through the comments section below. Alternatively, you can also send us an email.
Some Other Useful Reads on the nTask Blog
- Getting Things Done (GTD) Method and 14 Best GTD Apps & Tools
- Top 19 Time Tracking Software to Improve Team Productivity
- 27 Best Task Management Software for Startups in 2019
- 36 Best Free Productivity Apps of 2019
- 30 Best To-do List Apps of 2019 for Personal Task Management
- 22 Best Free Project Management Tools for Agile Teams in 2019
- Managing Virtual Teams: Challenges, Tips & Virtual Team Management Tools