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Confused by time zones? You’re not alone, if family from out East calling me at 6 AM is any indication. I shouldn’t joke too much: I’ve made similar mistakes.

It’s easy to do, because time zones are abstract, which is why tools that help you visualize them are so helpful – they make things more concrete. Today on Cool Websites and Apps, we’re going to look at tools that will help make time zones easier for you by helping you picture them.

We’ve shown you tools for visualizing time zones 10 Ways to Visualize Time Zones Around the World & Be on Time 10 Ways to Visualize Time Zones Around the World & Be on Time Read More in the past, of course, but the five tools below give you more options. Whether you need to coordinate group meetings 10+ Great Online Tools For Group Co-Ordination & Meetings 10+ Great Online Tools For Group Co-Ordination & Meetings How do you manage a team of people who are spread out geographically? How do you co-ordinate international time zones? The concept of working via the Internet has begun to creep into the everyday workplace,... Read More across continents or just need to know what time it is in Amsterdam before you call your friend there, these five websites should help reduce your confusion.

Hours Apart: Quickly Visualize Different Time Zones

At times you just need a quick comparison. Hours Apart is an easy way to get just that. Add as many cities as you like, and you will see the time in each.

hours-apart-time-zones

It simple sure but it’s effective, and a great place to start if you’re coordinating a widespread team.

Time Map (Android, Free): Full Time Zone Map With Current Times

Sometimes it helps to see times in context. Time map shows you the time and all of Earth’s time zones simultaneously. This free Android app couldn’t be simpler.

time-map-android

That’s right: it’s a map of the Earth, complete with all time zones and the current time for each.

XKCD’s Now: Comic That Functions as a World Clock

There’s a relevant XKCD for everything – even time zones. Comic 1335 isn’t so much a comic as it is an actual time zone tool, and it’s possibly one of the most useful ones on the web.

xckd-clock

The outer ring stays the same, but the inner circle rotates throughout the day – letting you see roughly what time it is in different parts of the world. I’d pay to have this as an actual wall clock, but for now we’ll have to settle with going to XKCD.com/now.

Veern (iOS, Free): See What Time it is Where Your Friends are

Courtesy is more complicated when it involves math, as anyone with a friend in a different time zone can tell you. If that’s you, Veern is worth checking out. This simple app lets you add friends with time zone and contact information.

veern-timezone-contacts

The idea: you can open this app to see what time it is where your friends are. If it’s a decent time to talk you can call them. If not consider emailing or texting instead. It’s a simple way to avoid calling your overseas friends at 3 AM.

Miranda (iOS, Free): Simple Time Zone Clock With Scrolling

Sometimes you just want to quickly see a list of cities alongside the time, or adjust time quickly to get a comparison. Miranda is an iPhone app that lets you do just that.

miranda-main-screen

You’ll see the current time right away, and can turn the wheel to scroll back and forth through time – perfect if you’re trying to schedule a meeting. Rotate your phone and you’ll see a quick visual letting you know where it’s day and where it’s night.

miranda-visual

Reviewers on iTunes really like this one, and it’s free, so there’s no reason not to check it out.

What’s Your Favourite Time Zone Tool?

There you have it: five tools to help you better understand time zones. Of course, we’ve looked at other tools for this before. You can find the right time email anyone How to Email Smarter With Buit-In Time Zone Converters How to Email Smarter With Buit-In Time Zone Converters Read More , or even add a world clock to Firefox Keep An Eye On The Time Around The World With FoxClocks [Firefox] Keep An Eye On The Time Around The World With FoxClocks [Firefox] The world has become a village, and New York is as close to Sydney as any other city in the world. I am speaking in digital terms of course. Thanks to the digital super highway,... Read More if you really want to.

I want to know which tools you use for the job, though. Let me know in the comments below, along with what kind of topics you’d like to see for the next edition of Cool Websites and Tools. Let’s chat!

Image Credits: Standard Time Zones Via Shutterstock

  1. Ken
    March 28, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    My favorite way of comparing or checking time zones is by heading over to Time Tracker
    http://www.timeticker.com/

    For those who prefer using their iPad or iPhone, they have an app available. Sadly, no app (that I'm aware of) for Android. At least not yet.

    • Justin Pot
      March 30, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      So loud!

  2. Von Adam Martinez
    March 28, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    I just type the city or country whenever I want to know its current time.

    • Justin Pot
      March 30, 2015 at 2:08 pm

      Into Google, right? That's a great tool.

  3. klu9
    March 28, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Of the websites, neither Hours Apart nor XKCD get Mexico right. Hours Apart still has Quintana Roo on its old time zone (it changed to a different time zone 2 months ago), and XKCD (OK, I know it's just a comic) thinks Mexico is all one single time zone!

    I haven't tried Time Map yet, but the map displayed here also isn't updated for Quintana Roo's time zone change.

    • Justin Pot
      March 30, 2015 at 2:08 pm

      I had no idea there were so many time zones in Mexico! Let me know if Time Zone Map is accurate, I'd like to know.

  4. Harry
    March 28, 2015 at 11:27 am

    The simplest tool is to enter in google "time city country", and presto!

    • Justin Pot
      March 30, 2015 at 2:01 pm

      Yeah, that's a really useful approach I use regularly.

  5.        
    March 28, 2015 at 10:58 am

    that awkward moment when you remember almost all timezone.

    • Justin Pot
      March 30, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      That strange moment in the morning, over coffee, when you try to figure out what a random Internet commenter is trying to say, but can't, so you just keep drinking your coffee.

  6. Saikat
    March 28, 2015 at 5:53 am

    Let me know if you hear about XKCD coming out with an actual clock like that :)

    Inspired by that, this World Clock project came close.

    • Justin Pot
      March 30, 2015 at 2:01 pm

      I might try my hand at making one sometime. :)

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