The Pomodoro Technique continues to gain popularity in the workplace. This simple method is well known for helping busy teams and professionals break through distractions and stay focused on the task at hand.
But what is the Pomodoro Technique, and how does it improve productivity? Francisco Cirillo invented the technique, which got its name from the tomato kitchen timer he used to track his time. (Side note: Pomodoro means tomato in Italian.)
The technique consists of breaking work periods into 25-minute intervals, followed by a five-minute break. Once four work periods, or Pomodoros, have passed, you take a longer 15- to 20-minute break.
Frequent breaks help keep your mind focused and fresh. They boost productivity and help you get through projects quicker by forcing you to stick to the timer. Breaking a task into a few Pomodoros can keep you from burning out or getting frustrated. Timing your projects also helps keep you accountable and reduces the time you spend procrastinating.
Here are 15 of the best Pomodoro apps available to help you track your time and improve your productivity:
- focus booster
- Focus Keeper
- Focus To-Do
- Marinara Timer
- Be Focused
- Pomodoro Tracker
- Clockwork Tomato
- Bear Focus Timer
Bear Focus Timer
The simple and lightweight Pomodoro timer offered through focus booster automatically records each session. The dashboard lets you review reports, track your work, and visualize how you’re spending your time. The app features a Pomodoro timer, a mini timer, customizable session lengths, report exports, and manual time entry.
The company began in 2010, and the app was designed shortly after to help keep employees on track. Today the company focuses on their productivity app, which offers a free starter plan with access to 20 Pomodoro sessions per month. Premium plans start at just $2.99 per month. Each plan includes a free 30-day trial of their top plan.
Tomatoes is a web-based Pomodoro timer. The timer is basic and doesn’t include many customizable features. But it’s a unique app because it turns productivity into a competition by tracking the number of Pomodoros per logged user and posting current leaderboards. This is a great option for those motivated by competition. Tomatoes is free to use and doesn’t include any premium options.
The PomoDoneApp is a simple tool that integrates with other task management services like Trello, Evernote, Asana, and Todoist. You can use it on desktop or mobile. The PomoDone icon lets you start, stop, and pause tasks right from your toolbar. You also have access to reporting with a premium plan.
The free Starter plan lets you manage five projects at a time with two integrations from a limited list. Premium time tracking plans start at just $2.29 per month. Each paid plan comes with a one-week free trial.
Focus Keeper is a time tracking tool that features an intuitive interface, productivity charts, and an adjustable timer that you can set with your fingers just like a real egg-timer. Sessions, goals, sounds, and colors are all customizable within the app. The productivity tool is available on mobile and iPad.
The app is free to use and offers premium in-app purchases. You must install the app in order to use the free version.
Focus To-Do offers convenient features and can be used on mobile, tablet, or desktop for both Windows and Mac. Aside from a timer, the app includes reports, synchronized data between multiple devices, and the ability to set due dates or reminders. You can split projects into subtasks, set frequent tasks on repeat, and add notes.
You can use the app on any device; it’s free to download.
Marinara Timer is a web-based Pomodoro timer. You can select from three options: a traditional Pomodoro, a custom timer, and a kitchen timer. The timer is simple to use but doesn’t include any advanced features like reports or integrations with other tools.
The app is free and doesn’t require a download before use. For those who need a timer and nothing more, this is a good option.
Pomello is the Pomodoro app designed to integrate with Trello. It uses Trello’s project management tool to organize tasks. Pomello turns Trello cards into Pomodoro tasks in a distraction-free design.
This productivity app has a Basic plan that’s free for use on Mac, Windows, and Linux. There’s a single Premium plan option that costs just $2 per month.
Toggl is a time management app that isn’t specifically designed for the Pomodoro technique, though it can be used for it. Toggl offers helpful features for time tracking like one-click timers, tracking reminders, 100+ app integrations, manual entry, project dashboard, reporting, and the ability to assign billable rates to tasks. It can be used and synced across any device.
Toggl is free to use for basic features. Premium plans begin at $9 per month and include more advanced reporting and time tracking features.
The Be Focused app has several customization options to help keep you productive. Key features include task management, the ability to set break and work session durations, goal tracking, pie chart reporting, and 3D touch. You can set an optional ticking sound if it helps you stay on track.
Be Focused is a free app with basic features. The premium version is Be Focused Pro. The paid app starts at $4.99 and has more robust features like CSV file exports and the ability to sync with Apple Watch.
The Pomodoro Tracker lets you use their timer on their website without installing the app. You can use it on your phone or desktop. The app allows you to customize your settings to change session lengths, notification settings, and integrate with other apps.
Pomodoro Tracker has a free version and a paid premium version available through the Mac App Store. The premium app starts at just $2.99 per month.
Clockwork Tomato on Google Play is a timer, clock, and activity log in one app. You can customize timers, sounds, colors, style, and behavior with more than 50 options.
The basic app is free to use. An in-app expansion pack starts at $2.49 per item. The premium options include task lists that are editable from any text editor through Dropbox, detailed activity logs with enhanced recaps, and the ability to switch between up to five profiles.
Forest is a unique productivity app that helps users stay focused and support a cause at the same time. The app is designed to prevent you from using your phone while you should be working. Trees grow in the app while the timer runs. Each tree represents your focused time, and you can earn credits to have up to five real trees planted around the world.
Forest has a one-time purchase cost of $1.99 through iOS. It can be used across all Apple devices. It’s free to use through Google Play, but you need the pro version to use across all Android devices.
The Tide app combines productivity with relaxation. It pairs a Pomodoro timer with natural sound to keep you focused. It also helps you track your sleep and relax through meditation.
Tide is free to use on iPhone, iPad, Android, and Chrome. In-app purchases start at just $0.99.
Bear Focus Timer is a fun app that combines the Pomodoro Technique with white noise for improved concentration. The app features a cartoon bear with a clean, minimalist timer. The Bear Focus app is a good choice for those who want a simple Pomodoro timer without added reports or functions.
The app is available through Google Play for a one-time price of $1.49. The one-time purchase cost through Apple is $1.99.
Pomotodo is a time management app made for creatives. It’s available through iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and Chrome. Pomotodo helps you manage your workflow with features that include a to-do list, timesheet reports, and work stats.
Pomotodo has a free plan that allows you to access its basic features. You have to sign up to use the timer. Pomotodo Pro includes advanced features like goal setting, notes, duration customization, additional sound options, and a weekly productivity report. The premium plan starts at $3.90 per month.
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As you can see, there are plenty of options to help you be more productive. Try some of the apps mentioned above and see what works best for you.