Of tomatoes and time management

Looking for an incredibly simple, but surprisingly effective, way to improve your focus and productivity? The Pomodoro Technique is an easy to learn time-boxing method that can help you stay focused and manage stress.

The Pomodoro Technique was developed in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo. “Pomodoro” means “tomato” in Italian and comes from the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo originally used for the method. How it works is that you set a timer for twenty-five minutes and get to work. When the timer runs out, you take a five minute break. That’s one cycle. After four cycles, you take a longer thirty minute break. Then rinse and repeat until your task is done.

It’s a simple, straightforward method of time management, so the best Pomodoro app should be simple and straightforward as well. Be Focused Pro is exactly that. It’s available for MacOS as well as iOS.

The Mac version is a menu bar app, so you can see it running at top of your screen at anytime while your working on other programs. If you open it up, it shows your current task, the timer, and how many cycles of that task you’ve completed.

You can mark tasks as complete, and Be Focused Pro will keep a record of them. There are some basic visualization features as well, that can be handy and fun if you want to track how effective Pomodoro is for you over time. The app doesn’t get bogged down with extra features, but still adds enough to justify using it over the classic kitchen timer.

The app is available for free with adds, or you can pay for the Pro version. It’s $4.99 on MacOS and $1.99 on iOS. The main draw of using Pro is that if you purchase it on both operating systems, it will sync up between your computer and phone.

At the end of the day, all you really need to use the Pomodoro Technique is a timer and a little bit of determination. Do you really need a dedicated app? Perhaps not. But if you’re committed to Pomodoro, Be Focused Pro definitely adds enough functionality and features to justify its existence and small cost.

Be Focused Pro is available on the App Store.

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