19 apps to boost concentration

Being able to work online has its benefits, such as having the flexibility to work nontraditional hours with clients from countries around the world, but it’s also easy to get distracted. Fortunately, there are several tools available to help improve concentration and productivity.

9 Free Pomodoro Timers

The Pomodoro Technique is a productivity methodology that helps you to stay focused on a task by breaking up your day into 25-minute work stints followed by five-minute breaks. Here are a selection of free apps that can be used to time your pomodoros:

Using the Pomodoro Technique? Time Yourself With Tomatoi.st

If you’re using the Pomodoro Technique (a method that uses a timer to help improve concentration and focus that Meryl wrote about recently) you might like to check out Tomatoi.st, a simple but nicely designed web app that can time your pomodoros and your breaks. Just hit the relevant button to start a pomodoro, a short break or a long break, and the counter will let you know how long you have to go. When the time is up, a “ding” sound is played to let you know it’s time to finish.

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Tomatoi.st is a free service. No login or account is required, but when you first visit the site, you are assigned a unique URL so that you can leave your timer and come back to it later. You can also rename this URL to something a bit more memorable, like “http://tomatoi.st/simon.”

While using a real kitchen timer is probably more fun (especially one of the tomato-shaped ones that are pictured on the cover of the Pomodoro Technique book), not everyone happens to have one lying around — Tomatoi.st is a good online alternative.

Are you using the Pomodoro Technique?

(via @briansuda)