Manage Your Time Better, With A Tomato


Finding the willpower and motivation to get on with the task in hand when you're at your computer, rather than getting distracted by Youtube cats and online games, can be difficult.  There are many techniques that claim to help you stay focused and organized, such as the well-known GTD (Get Things Done) methodology.  However, it can be complicated to learn, and you risk spending as much time managing your progress as actually completing the job you're supposed to be doing.

Another respected concept is known as the Pomodoro Technique, which got its name because of the tomato-shaped clockwork kitchen timer that its inventor first used.  The technique itself is incredibly simple.  Set a timer for 25 minutes, during which you work on the task you need to concetrate on.  When the time's up, put away your work immediately and take a break for 5 minutes or so.  Then, start the process again. 

If you want to try it and you don't have a clockwork tomato to hand, the web is full of downloadable and online pomodoro timers.  Trouble is, most of them are too intrusive to be useful, or require add-on technologies such as Adobe Air or Java.  So I spent some time recently, just for you, looking for a good one with which to get started.

The result is the Pomodoro Taskbar program, which runs under all recent versions of Windows.  It's free, clear of malware according to VirusTotal, and less than 1 MB to download.  It's portable too, so there's no installation routine required.

Run it, change the settings if you like, and the icon (a tomato and a regularly-updated count of the time remaining) appears in your taskbar.  Start work, and carry on until the timer pops up to say that it's finished.  Or move your mouse to the taskbar at any time to see how long is left.  It's simple, and it works.

To download a copy, go to:




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Flagged as untrustworthy by Symantec, and I noticed on the related Google forum people have noted that Norton also flags it bad

Here, Symantec says it's safe. Laughable. In fact there is only one false positive which is a typical generic detection from an obscure vendor. MC - Site Manager.

I recently started using (thanks to your recommendation KanbanFlow, which has pomodoro timer embedded.
I believe that it's more useful, because you also have other task info at hand and "the goal in sight".

i work with "Tomighty" and i think it is one of the best in this field.

PS: very good tip and article

Thanks for the tip!
I remember I've used it in the past and totally forgot about it. Just what I needed

Tomighty needs Java, which I try to avoid if there are alternatives that don't.

Your link starts the download directly. I'd rather it just take me to the website and I choose to download or not.
However, very nice, very simple timer. Thanks.

We have now changed the published link to the project homepage. The download link is located at the top right on this page. MC - Site Manager.

I would rather Slice it and put it between two slices of White bread with Duke's Mayo to use as putty in the sammy.