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set a time limitKeeping productive and on track with yourself is important. Today, there’s no longer a need for physical alarm clocks or sticky notes. If that’s your thing, keep it up! However, the wonderful powers of the Internet make staying on track effortless. All you need to do is find the right application or web service and you’re set.

One thing I like to do is set time limits and other assorted timers for myself throughout the day. It shouldn’t take me more than an hour to do this or that, and if it does then I know I’m slacking off. That added bit of pressure creates a sense of urgency and importance when it comes to completing a task.

Today, I’ve got two awesome applications for you – one a Windows application and another a web application – that will assist in doing just that.


SnapTimer is one of the many applications on our Best Portable Apps page. I love SnapTimer because it’s lightweight, simple, and very straightforward with its features.

set a time limit

SnapTimer serves a single purpose, and that’s not to say that it’s limited or some sort of primitive and shallow software either. It’s a simple countdown timer with all of the features and cleanliness to get the job done. Simply enter a time limit, in minutes (does not support seconds), and click the play button. You can optionally click the interface to start the timer. You can click again to pause it.


set a time limit on computer

Under the Edit menu, you’re able to save your timer and edit some of the program’s options. Let’s look into those.

set a time limit on computer

I’ve really got a thing for apps that dock to the Windows system tray. I hate having a cluttered taskbar. SnapTimer can do this.

As you can see in the screenshot, there are a handful of other very basic functionalities that you can enable or disable also.

set a time limit on computer

SnapTimer supports alarms also, and I love the way that it handles them. You’re able to configure a display message, tray tooltip, sound file, or run an application after a time limit.


E.ggTimer is already extremely popular and has been featured in the MakeUseOf Directory, but it’s really necessary to include a web application in a post like this. As of right now, I only run Windows but I think it’s really important to involve the Mac and Linux crowd in the mix.

set a time limit on computer

Like SnapTimer, E.ggTimer is incredibly simple but just as effective. Navigate to the website, enter a time limit (supports hours, minutes, seconds) and launch that timer. You’ll then be taken to a page that displays nothing more than the countdown timer. At the top and bottom of the page, there is a progress bar that allows you to visualize what percentage of time you’ve got left. Very minimal and straightforward.

set a time limit for websites

Another little perk of E.ggTimer is being able to set a time limit by the URL. Typing in a value like “5 hours” or “40 seconds” will automatically start up your timer.

set a time limit

At the end of your timer, you’ll hear two beeps and you’ll receive a popup telling you that the time has expired.

Which of these two do you prefer? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. Emmanuel Olalere
    August 25, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Visiting eggtimer now, thanks!

  2. Heru Saputra
    August 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I think SnapTimer is better because its very simple

  3. Silviu Despa
    August 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I've tried both programs and I have to say that Timer is my favorite mostly because of the UI.

    • Craig Snyder
      September 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      It's a very clean and simple web application, top of the class for its kind.