Lately, I've been experimenting with the Pomodoro Technique for time management. The basic idea is that you work in focused 25-minute bursts, with short breaks between bursts. You are supposed to use a kitchen timer to avoid getting distracted by looking at the clock.
Of course, as a computer guy I'd like my timer to be on my computer. I looked around for a Mac application that would provide an unobtrusive 25-minute countdown timer, but I didn't find any that I liked. So I decided to write my own.
Menubar Countdown is the result of that effort. It displays a countdown timer on the right side of the menu bar. It has menu items that allow you the user to start, stop, or resume the timer.
There are three options for what you want to happen when the timer reaches 00:00:00:
- Play the system alert sound (which I never notice).
- Display an alert window (which is effective, but you may not like the abrupt interruption).
- Speak. This is my favorite option. You can specify what you want the application to say.
It's free software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
Source code is included. Other neophyte Cocoa programmers might find it useful as an example of using such classes as NSStatusBar, NSStatusItem and NSUserDefaultsController, or for measuring absolute time in a Mac application.
You can download the application from my snazzy new corporate web site: Menubar Countdown product page.