What is it with time? Do a search on the Mac App Store for timer and you’ll get a huge list of timer apps (almost 90). First on the list, with the most positive review ratings, is Caffeine which isn’t really a timer at all. Many of the timers are free. Many cost between 99-cents and $3.99. Few cost far more than that.
What Do You Want A Timer To Do?
Timers time. Timers should alert you when time is up. Timers may also launch specific functions at a set time or after a set amount of time. One of my favorite timers is Take Five. It pauses music and auto resumes music after a period of time (five minutes?).
Minutes is good, too. Sprinkle your Mac’s screen with simple timers that count down to a specific time or number of minutes, each color coded. I have trouble remembering what the colors mean.
Pomodoro is good, too, and should win an award for best icon. Set a timer length, add actions to each task, check status in the Menubar. StopWatch Plus isn’t what you think it is. It’s a timer and timesheet for employees. The even more expensive JobTimer tracks time you spend on a project.
TimePlus has 10 different timers and clocks, including a stopwatch. Each is attached to an alarm. Each has multiple themes, full screen mode, and are reminiscent of a Star Trek TNG console.
Time Out gives you a break after so many minutes. Your Mac’s screen is locked out until the break time is over. I’d like to see it with a Mac’s kernel panic warning and a countdown to restart. That would give you a break at work.
The most useful in my collection is probably Timer Utility.
It’s an alarm, a countdown timer, a stopwatch, and each function can have a corresponding action. An 8:30 AM alarm can play a sound, flash the screen, launch an app, display or speak a message. This one gets my nod because it’s a simple two-step operation. Set the alarm, then set the action.
The sheer number of Mac timer apps tells me that we pay more attention to time than ever. Time isn’t a commodity. It’s more of a precious metal with a limited supply. Manage time properly, and it works for you. Manage it improperly, and it works against you.