The Pomodoro technique is usually good for getting most people to be productive, but at the heart of it, a Pomodoro is really a timer that’s running out on you and while it’s boosting your productivity, it is still just a timer. If the Pomodoro technique is one that works exceptionally well for you, then you might want to stop using an ordinary Pomodoro app and try one that helps you work better. Tomatoes is a Mac app worth $4.99 in the Mac App Store that allows you to add tasks, associate ‘Pomodoro units’ with each task and quantify how long you need to get a task done. Tasks and time units are recorded and archived accordingly. Tomatoes lets you add tasks and focus the time you’re spending on a single task at a time. A timer in the Menu Bar shows time left till the current time unit expires.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Pomodoro technique; it is a method used to make the hours more productive. Time is divided into small intervals of 25 minutes each, and after each interval expires, you are allowed to take a break. Tomatoes works on this same principle but gives you the flexibility to change the duration of the time interval.
If you don’t want to work with the default time setting, visit Tomatoes’s preferences first and in the General tab, change the time. Make sure Use Pomodoro Technique Language is unchecked. Enable sound alerts from the Sound tab.
Return to the app’s main interface and click the plus sign at the top right to add a new activity. Enter a name for the activity and choose the number of intervals it will take to complete this task. If you entered a custom time, you will have to enter the Expected Units required to complete the task. If you went with Pomodoro’s native 25 minute interval, you will be asked to enter the number of Expected Pomodoros required to complete the task.
To start working on a particular task, right click it and select Set Timer on Current Activity. When you start the timer by sliding the On/Off switch at the top, the ‘units’ of this task will be counted. In the event that you have to pause work on the task to do something else, click the little dropdown menu just below the timers and select one of the two reasons, Internal Interruption or External Interruption, for pausing the task.
Tasks can be archived, marked as complete, edited and deleted, and removed from the activity timer from a task’s right-click context menu. $4.99 might seem a bit costly but if a Pomodoro is what it takes to make you productive, Tomatoes is well worth it.