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get things doneDo you work better after planning out your day? Is starting a piece of work, a seemingly insurmountable task considering the mountain of things to do accumulating around your ears? You probably need something to tell you when to do what, and most importantly when to take a break 3 Tools To Remind Yourself To Take A Break & Relax While Working At The Computer 3 Tools To Remind Yourself To Take A Break & Relax While Working At The Computer Working on the computer may not be very physical, nevertheless it's tough on your body. If you are damned to spend your working hours behind a desk, you had better find ways to do something... Read More .

30/30 might just be the app you’re looking for. It’s a free organisational godsend for people who take on too much and then don’t know where to start. It’s also great for workaholics who don’t realise taking regular, short breaks actually increases productivity 6 Apps To Help You Focus & Be Productive [Mac] 6 Apps To Help You Focus & Be Productive [Mac] Read More .

How It Works

Ease of use is paramount when it comes to organising an already hectic schedule, and thankfully 30/30 keeps it nice and simple. Enter your upcoming tasks into the organiser, choose a corresponding symbol and assign a maximum of one hour to each task. Start the timer and begin your day, using the app to prompt you when it’s time to stop and do something else.

get things done

By limiting each task to an hour, the app is essentially forcing you to break up large tasks into smaller chunks, ideally with breaks in between. So if a task would usually take you two hours, you would have to create two tasks. The ability to insert a ten minute break in the middle (and be notified about when to take it) is the main draw here, with micro-breaks proven to increase productivity.

When it’s time to move on to a new task or take a break, the app will alert you. Tap the notification and the next task automatically starts when the app resumes. This makes the process fairly automated leaving you to get on with your busy life.

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how to get things done

Naturally things don’t always go to plan, and you can pause and reset the timer if you’re interrupted or find yourself needing to rush out. Your schedule automatically repeats, so it can be as simple as a basic work-break cycle or as complicated as your whole schedule planned down to the last minute.

30/30 Vision

When I first used 30/30 I couldn’t help but be reminded of another of my favourite apps, the simple list-making app Clear Clear For iPhone: Elegant & Simple List-Making For $1.99 [iPhone] Clear For iPhone: Elegant & Simple List-Making For $1.99 [iPhone] The Internet has been awash with hype about Clear since it was first announced and demoed by developers, Realmac Software. The app finally hit the App Store last week and is already proving itself a... Read More . It uses a fairly non-orthodox interface which relies entirely on gestures and 30/30 works in a similar way.

how to get things done

At the top of the screen is the timer, and tapping this will start the chain of events you have laid out for yourself. To create a new task, pinch apart below it with your fingers. I had some trouble getting the tasks to appear where I wanted them, but it’s easy to move a task once created by tapping, holding then dragging. Swiping horizontally will remove a task; handy if you’re not using 30/30 as a sort of Pomodoro timer Cut Through Procrastination With These Pomodoro Technique Apps & Software Cut Through Procrastination With These Pomodoro Technique Apps & Software Procrastination is a malady that pervades students and workers in all corners of the world and it infects amateurs and professionals alike. As a writer, I suffer from procrastination on a daily basis. Some people... Read More .

how to get things done

Each task uses a colour to differentiate it from the last, and the list background changes to a lighter shade to reflect this. You cannot specify which colour the task should use, but you can modify the symbol that appears next to each task. There are quite a few symbols to choose from, with a vast number of activities covered. The symbols themselves aren’t overly important but they are an attractive visual aid.

get things done

Tapping the top-left cog icon reveals a settings menu that allows you to quickly enable and disable sounds, vibration and notifications as well as toggling auto-pause when the current task is finished. There are also options here for rating and donating, with donation being an optional in-app purchase to show your love to the developer.

Download: 30/30 for iPhone @ App Store

Conclusion

In the version I reviewed (1.02) there are no limitations or adverts and no price tag, which makes 30/30 a great little free app. If you’ve never tried the micro-break technique before, then 30/30 makes it easy to try without having to buy an app or manually time yourself.

In addition to this, 30/30 can be used to organise a tight schedule with the only limitation perhaps being the maximum time of 1 hour per event. If you’ve been looking for a promising free app to help better organise your working day, this one is definitely worth the download.

Have you used 30/30? Maybe you prefer another, similar app? Does the Pomodoro technique work for you? Do you work all day without a break? De-stress and let us know in the comments, below.

  1. Denis
    July 5, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Does anybody know how to skip a certain task and go to the next one? For example, I have set up 1 hour of work and 10min of break. After 1 hour, I had my 10min break, but I forgot to start the break timer in 30/30. So afterwards, I had to stop the timer, reorganize the order of my tasks and then start the timer again. This kind of reordering is starting to be more hassle than it's worth, especially if I have to skip more tasks in one day.

    • Tim Brookes
      July 6, 2012 at 4:25 am

      I've replied on the above comment which should ping Bob (the dev) who will hopefully respond to you here. After playing with it myself I can't find a way to do this, other than to pause and shuffle much like you described. Let's see what happens!

    • Bob Koon
      July 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      Hello!

      Apologies for the late reply. I only just saw this.

      Alas, there is currently no way to do this without stopping the timer first. However, the next (huge!) update will have this feature.

      --Bob

      • Tim Brookes
        July 17, 2012 at 11:46 pm

        Thanks Bob!

        • Bob Koon
          August 17, 2012 at 4:11 am

          Hello!

          I thought you might be interested in knowing that the 2.0.1 update to 30/30 is now live. iCloud sync, multiple lists, and more! :)

          --Bob

  2. Bob Koon
    June 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Great article!

    The latest version (1.0.3) allows tasks to be up to 3 hours long and the color can be set from within the task editor.

    --Bob
    Creator of 30/30

    • Tim Brookes
      June 23, 2012 at 1:22 am

      Thanks for letting us know Bob, it's a great little free app!

    • Tim Brookes
      July 6, 2012 at 4:24 am

      Hi Bob, perhaps you could answer the other comment on this post from Denis who is wondering how to skip tasks? If not maybe you should consider it a feature request and add it in to a future version?

      Nothing like hearing from the dev himself! :)

      Tim

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