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Seeking a Mac timer/reminder app to help complete tasks in small time bursts

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  • Seeking a Mac timer/reminder app to help complete tasks in small time bursts

    I have trouble focusing and getting the most out of a day. What has worked best for me in the past was to write out a detailed plan of the tasks I wanted to accomplish in, for instance, a four hour span, and then follow that plan to the dot. However, I don't have a timer (for my Mac) to help remind me when these times are up.

    Basically, I need an alarm to go off at specific times.
    For example:
    • 9am-920: check and reply to emails (alarm goes off at 9:20... move on to next task)
    • 920-940: design layout for brochure (alarm goes off at 9:40... move on to next task)
    • 940-950: create list of to-do items to finish brochure and add as new GTD project (alarm goes off at 9:50... move on to next task)
    • 950-10: work on first draft of marketing plan for acb company(alarm goes off at 10... move on to next task)
    • 10-1010: break (alarm goes off at 10:10... break over, move on to next task)
    • 1010-1030: etc etc (alarm goes off at 10:30... move on to next task)

    I know this is perhaps a bit too structured and controlling for the general GTD philosophy, but I lack discipline and need to seriously set out detailed instructions for what/how/when I must do things.

    Any suggestions for a timer/reminder would be awesome!
    Last edited by PeterR; 09-30-2010, 07:24 AM. Reason: edit text for spelling

  • #2
    A few options...

    Apimac Timer will let you set up multiple alarms and it has both a stopwatch feature and a countdown timer. It's free, so that's a bonus: (handy for you pomodoro enthusiasts on the mac too)

    If you're an iPhone user, you can set your clock alarms with custom messages for that list.

    Or you can use iCal to create those items and set various alarms/notices/sounds.


    • #3
      Thanks. I actually started using the pomodoro timer itself and it's working our great.


      • #4
        Update to the Pomodoro technique

        After a couple months or so of following the Pomodoro technique in conjunction with GTD, I have bitter-sweet testimony. Basically, although I am able to do a lot with the Pomodoro, I often finish tasks in less than 25 minutes... sometimes in 15 minutes. The Pomodoro technique suggests that you use the remaining time to review what you've done and make sure it's all well. But when the task is simple and obvious and needs no review, what then? Sit around for 10 minutes?

        So my dilemma is that I don't like to waste this time... anyone else experiencing this?

        I did come across an alternative strategy that basically follows the same technique but with different time sets...the guy calls it the "procrastination hack":

        Anyone try this?
        Last edited by PeterR; 11-26-2010, 12:03 PM. Reason: spelling/grammar