Welcome to another episode from Productivity Matter, with me Julian, your host.
It's been a while since I reviewed an app, so on this episode, I’m going to take a look at something that's bound to increase your productivity.
Have you heard of a Pomodoro? No? OK, well don't move and I'll explain.
The Pomodoro technique is a popular way to keep you productive by forcing you to take breaks.
It's not unheard of that, sometimes, the most productive thing you can do is to stop working, take a break and then get back to it.
That's what the Pomodoro technique is: Work for 25 minutes, then take a 5 minute break. Rinse, repeat.
I've used the pomodoro technique for a number of years. It's a great way to time-box an activity. I've used it to spend time sitting with developers and testers. Set the timer for 25 minutes and talk. If, after that time, the problem still isn't resolved, then either re-schedule for another time, or if agreed by everyone, reset the timer and go again.
So, what is PomoDone?
This is an app that helps you to manage your tasks, by building in breaks.
I was approached directly by the developers, who suggested I might like to look at them; and who am I to deny?
There are two major benefits:
The ability to sync the tasks with dozens of to-do list apps (I use Todoist), project managing apps and any kind of tool that allows you to create lists. If you don't use any, you may simple add tasks directly into the app
It's a cross-platform app - available on Mac, iOS, Windows, Android and Linux as well as the web. So, wherever you are, or whatever you use, the PomoDoneApp can be used.
When you launch the app, and after you've created your account, you can then link to any of the apps that offer integration.
There are a whole host of apps that will integrated including; trello, asana, todoist, wunderlist, evernote, basecamp, jira, but there are many more.
Of course, you don't need to do this, and just use the app as a stand-alone to do list.
It's worth noting that there is also a direct integration with Zapier, so you can automate tasks too.
This is a quote from their website
"PomoDone is the easiest way to track your workflow using a Pomodoro technique, on top of your current task management service"
In fact, they don't suggest replacing your current service, which is good, because I have no intention of giving up ToDoIst.
What PomoDone does is to focus your attention when doing tasks, to make sure you don't spend too much time.
How Does It Work?
So - how does it work?
Once you've connected PomoDone to your task manager; (which you don't have to do, as you can have tasks directly in their app), then it's time to run the timer.
When you launch the app, find the task you're about to do and select it.
This will display a timer. The default, that I have is 15 minutes, but you can set up to 3 timers and choose which one you want. The default selection is 25mins, 15mins and 5 minutes.
The task name is displayed above the timer.
At the bottom of the screen is the time and a coffee cup symbol. This allows you to set an automatic break after a pre-determined time.
So, for example, you have a task set for 25 minutes, you may want to set 5 minute break half way - this will be taken into account in the overall task time and will count you down.
All you do is click the 'Play' icon and away you go.
The timer will start counting back to zero.
Of course, you can pause or stop the timer. Pausing the times seems to defeat the object, but of course, if you finish the task inside the time, then click the stop icon to stop the clock. When you do this, you have the option to either run the timer again, or mark it as done.
On the web version you can get a report of all your tasks and the total time taken. There are a number of pre-set date ranges that you can see, and also export to a CSV so you can read in spreadsheet form.
If necessary, you can also add tasks manually - maybe where you forgot to run the timer, or you completed a task outside of PomoDone, but you can still record the time spent.
In fact, the app is very customisable (timers, sounds, shortcuts, etc.) and can fit to nearly any use-case.
It keeps track of all your working time and breaks (which you can add notes to), so you may review them later and check out how you may improve on using your time.
With regards to cost, there are 3 tiers of service.
A free Starter plan is available that includes: 2 integrations to choose from a limited list*; 5 projects in total; 1 month log access; default tags only.Limited list = of available integrations: Trello, Wunderlist, Todoist, Evernote, Google Calendar, Microsoft To-Do, Toodledo
The Lite plan is £21 per year and offers 3 integrations, support for subtasks, weekly and monthly mailing reports and 6 months log access.
If you opt for the Ultimate plan (the one that they, unsurprisingly state is their most popular) this will cost you £38 per year. For this, you get unlimited log access, unlimited integrations as well as subtask support and the weekly and monthly mailing reports.
Rather uniquely, they do offer packages of 5 licences, which effectively gives you 5 of the Ultimate plans, which saves £10 per year... a strange discount.
Podcast of the Week
This time it's the 10ish Podcast.
Their bio state that it's a comedy podcast covering Top 10 Lists. Plus fun facts, inappropriate banter and hot dogs!
I discovered this recently and love the banter and interaction between the two hosts, Nick & Brandon. It's a little inane at times, but it's a charming listen and quite interesting too.
Recent top 10 lists include:
Most Common Nouns
Most Googled People
Most Common City Names
One of the duo has the list, the other has to guess what's on it... makes for some hilarity and, to be honest, I've binge-listened to a few of these!
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