Struggling to manage your time? The Pomodoro Technique is a simple timer-based productivity tool, and we’ve rounded up the best apps to help you use it.
The Pomodoro Technique was conceived in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo. It’s a simple idea but one that’s highly effective for many. All you do is budget your time into short increments of 25 minutes each before taking a break for 5 minutes. Once you’ve completed four Pomodoros (so, 100 minutes of work and 15 minutes of break time), you take a 15-20 minute break before starting over.
It takes a couple of days to gel with most people, but you’ll soon find that it’s a great way of breaking up your busy work day into manageable chunks with reasonable breaks. The following apps will help make the method a reliable habit.
And before we get into details, want to know why it’s called Pomodoro? It’s named after the Italian word for tomato because Cirillo used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato—just like the one seen above—as his personal timer while ironing out the time management technique. So, now, you know!
Here’s the best Pomodoro timer apps and websites out there.
Best Web-Based Solution: Marinara Timer (Free)
Marinara Timer is a free web-based solution for breaking up your day via the Pomodoro method. The site offers three different types of productivity timer—traditional Pomodoro, a custom timer with plenty of options for different periods, and a kitchen timer (whereby you set a time and forget about it). The Pomodoro timer keeps things straightforward. Work through the 25-minute cycle before taking a 5-minute break.
It’s the kind of thing you can keep running in the background while you work with an audio alert giving you a heads up on when to stop. Scroll down the site, and Marinara Timer keeps track of how many Pomodoros you’ve completed and when you started and stopped them too. It’s a handy little tool.
We have Marinara Timer at the top of our list because it’s a perfect way to try the Pomodoro technique out without fussing with downloading an app or purchasing anything.
Best Smartphone App: Focus Booster (Free-$2.99 per month)
If a smartphone-based solution seems like a smart idea to you, then you can’t go wrong with Focus Booster. Available for both iOS and Android, the app offers a simple Pomodoro based timer with customizable options. You can tweak things like how long each session is as well as how long the breaks are in between, although obviously, it’s wise to keep close to the original concept.