How many ways can we get things done better, faster, easier by using a Mac? The answers will vary among Mac users, but there’s certainly no shortage of methods and tools to do the job of managing our jobs.
For method users, there’s David Allen’s Getting Things Done— the GTD method with specific time set aside to focus on certain jobs. Similarly, there’s the famous Pomodoro Technique which uses a simple timer for tasks and breaks; again, with focus to accomplish tasks and projects.
The key to both is as it always is when trying to get things done in a busy and hectic lifestyle. Discipline.
Here are two Mac apps which help you get more done by using a similar method.
Focus — This app is a pomodoro timer which adheres to the basics of the technique. You get 25 minutes to work on projects or tasks, followed by a five minute brea before the next 25-minute session begins.
After every four sessions the break time increases to 20 minutes. The timer displays on the Mac’s screen and counts down the time remaining. It also lists the next task in the sidebar. The focus sessions can be adjusted in time, and when a task is complete, simply click the white circle.
What I like about Focus is that there’s also an iPhone version (iPhone goes with me far more places than my Mac).
Pomodoro Timer — Unabashedly simple is this simple timer for the Mac which also uses the pomodoro technique. Setup a tasks, set the timer, work on the task, then take a short break. Every four work sessions you can take a longer break.
Pomodoro Timer lets you set up a target number of pomodoros per day, choose a different alarm sound, customize the time length for each pomodoro (including the breaks).
Notifications work when the time has ended but you can restart any pomodoro with a click (not all tasks can be broken down into 23-minute segments).
And, Pomodoro Timer has a matching iPhone version, too. Both cost less than Focus, but have slightly different feature sets. As you would expect, the secret to getting more done isn’t the app, but the discipline to use the app.