Cut Through Procrastination With These Pomodoro Technique Apps & Software

Joel Lee 17-04-2012

pomodoro techniqueProcrastination How This MakeUseOf Writer Procrastinates In 8 Easy Steps As you may know, MakeUseOf isn't staffed by robots that churn out articles daily through an automatic system. All of us have our own methods of getting down to the writing. Since I'm not a... Read More 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 call it “writer’s block”.


From my own experiences, I’ve learned that one of the striking differences between the successful and the unsuccessful lies in how you handle and react to procrastination tendencies. If you can find a way to quell your desire to procrastinate, then you’ll drive towards success 6 Mind-Blowing TED Talks About Psychology & Human Behavior The human brain is complex and confusing, which explains why human behavior is so complex and confusing. People have a tendency to act one way when they feel something completely different. Here are a few... Read More . If not, you’ll never get anything done.

One technique that has been proven to be effective for many people is the Pomodoro Technique. MakeUseOf has covered this topic in the past 3 Of The Best Free Pomodoro Productivity Apps Read More , but over the last few years, a number of apps and software tools have popped up making the Pomodoro Technique easier than ever.

The Pomodoro Technique: An Overview

pomodoro techniqueWhat exactly is the Pomodoro Technique? If you’ve never heard of this method, then keep reading. If you already know about it, feel free to skip on to the next section.

According to the inventor of the technique itself:

The Pomodoro Technique® is a way to get the most out of time management. Turn time into a valuable ally to accomplish what we want to do and chart continuous improvement in the way we do it.

Basically, all you have to do is the following:

  • Choose a task to be accomplished. In this case, writing.
  • Set a timer for 25 minutes.
  • Work on the task until the timer rings.
  • When the timer rings, make a tally mark and take a short 5-minute break.
  • The 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes of rest is 1 Pomodoro. Every 4 Pomodoros, take a 15-minute break.

That’s it. That’s the whole method.

Of course, you can alter the technique to suit your personal needs. If you’d rather work for 60 minutes and take 15-minute breaks, do that. If you’d rather work for 15 minutes and take 10-minute breaks, go ahead. The method is meant to help you, so feel free to tweak it to maximize your efficiency.

So what sort of apps and software tools can you use to make this easy on yourself? Here are a few that cover numerous devices and operating systems – and best of all, they’re free.

PomLife Lite [Android]

the pomodoro technique


If you’re looking for a free Pomodoro app for your Android device, PomLife Lite is as good as it gets for now. There aren’t a whole lot of choices available, so when it comes to free Pomodoro apps for Android, it’s all about the least of all evils. However, PomLife Lite does have a number of features that can aid you well.

As for PomLife Lite’s feature set, it’s a basic timer app with a built-in to-do list. You can customize it based on your Pomodoro preferences (work length, short break length, long break length). In addition, it tracks your individual Pomodoros for you.

For $2.99, you can upgrade to PomLife Pro. With it, you’ll get new features like activity sorting and increased list sizes.

iTomato [iPhone] [No Longer Available]

the pomodoro technique


Unfortunately for the iPhone, there are very few Pomodoro apps that are free. In fact, iTomato is the only free one I could find. Even more unfortunately, the feature set for iTomato is rather barebones. If you’re looking for a quality Pomodoro timer, you’ll have to fork over some cash.

With iTomato, you’re basically relegated to setting an egg timer. It’ll tick down until it reaches zero, then it’ll ring.

Pomodairo [Windows, Mac, Linux]

the pomodoro technique

Pomodairo is a standalone program that operates as a sleek desktop Pomodoro timer. However, it runs on the Adobe Air platform, which is good because it means that Pomodairo is cross-platform. However, it also means that the skin of the program won’t mesh with whatever operating system you’re using. If that bothers you, then you’ll need to look elsewhere.


With Pomodairo, you can set up various tasks and each task tracks statistics as you complete them – and that’s the selling point of this piece of software. It logs statistics related to your work progress and you can review your performance.

Tomighty [Windows, Mac, Linux]

overcoming procrastination

If you’re looking for a very minimalistic, no-distractions type of Pomodoro program, then Tomighty is the one for you. It sits quietly in your system tray as it tracks your time. The options are also minimalistic. You can set how much time to allot to each Pomodoro and each break.

Tomighty can run as a portable program on Windows, or it can be installed onto any machine that is capable of running the Java runtime.

Focus Booster [Windows, Mac]

pomodoro technique

For maximum availability, look to Focus Booster. It’s not riddled with an overload of settings and options. Instead, it’s very sleek and minimal and its standalone desktop version can be run on Windows and Mac. However, if you don’t care for installations or if you’re on Linux, you can use their free browser version.

Do you use the Pomodoro technique?  If so, has it helped you get better?  What apps do you use?  Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit: Headache Image Via Shutterstock

Related topics: Pmodoro Technique, Procrastination, Task Management, Time Management, Timer Software, To-Do List.

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  1. Constantine
    December 6, 2015 at 5:53 am

    There's an error — there's no link to download «Tomighty» on GNU/Linux. Also, «Pomodairo» requires some Adobe Air, which is said to no longer supported.

    So, no useful apps are listed, but thx for attempt anyway.

  2. Anonymous
    September 1, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Another very configurable, minimal Windows app that I have used for years is Scirocco Take a Break. And it's free.

  3. Caroline W
    December 19, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Hi. Thanks so much for writing about the 'Tomighty' program. I like the Pomodoro technique and have only found either online versions or apps from the windows store. I like this as it hides in the system tray discreetly. Its functions are very easy to customise and it's really simple. Thanks again!

  4. Ashutosh Dave
    August 23, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    This is really a nice list!! I am using Workrave. I am looking for an app like workrave which can make computer to go into sleep automatically when I take breaks and wakes up after the break is over. Is there any app like this? If not is there any way to do it. For eg. I take a 10 minute break after 45 minutes for work and I want my computer to go into sleep mode automatically and wake up after 10minutes. If there's an alert before going into sleep, it would be much better.

    • Joel Lee
      August 26, 2012 at 12:07 am

      Sorry for the delayed response. I don't know of any apps that can put your computer to sleep and automatically wake up after a certain time period. It would seem difficult for a program to send a wake-up signal when the machine is sleeping and not running cycles.

      As an alternative, might I suggest installing a simple reminder program and then manually sleeping your computer? When you come back from your break, just click your mouse or press a key and the machine should awaken itself.

      • Ashutosh Dave
        September 16, 2012 at 11:15 am

        Yep..that what I have been doing!! thnx!!

  5. Martin
    June 28, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Thanks! Great view!
    I use the Pomodoro technique more than 3 years. It's a better time manager.
    I like "Focus Booster" for MAC, but for Android I use "The Pomodoro Technique Handset"
    This is the best pomodoro application on Android.

  6. Rahul
    April 18, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Thanks a ton. I badly need to increase my productivity. Would surely try pomodoro.

    • Joel Lee
      April 18, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      No problem. Hope your productivity goes up like mine has. :D

  7. Frances
    April 17, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    You should have a look at Its a social network for writers to collaborate on stories together.

    • Joel Lee
      April 18, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      Pretty cool. I'll check it out! :)

  8. Jacky Cheung
    April 17, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Justin, there is HUGE amount of different pomodoro timers, online , offline, etc
    even pomodoro technique game

    • Joel Lee
      April 17, 2012 at 11:36 pm

      There really are a lot of them out there. However, for the most part, there are 3 desirable qualities but you can only choose 2: free, available on your system, and built with all the features you need.

      Even with such diversity, sometimes it's hard to find one that you like--especially if you're looking for free! :D

      • Baris
        June 6, 2012 at 5:48 am

        Hi Joel,

        Thanks for the list. Focus Booser is my favorite browser app.
        When it comes to iPhone/iPad apps, I believe "It's Pomodoro Time" satisfies all your 3 desirable qualities. Please give it a try and let your readers know how you like it:) Thanks again!



        • Joel Lee
          June 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm

          I just took a look at It's Pomodoro Time and you are right: it does look like a useful Pomodoro app for the iPhone, and it's free! It even looks better than the iTomato app that I linked.

          Thanks for bringing it to my attention. :)

  9. Justin Pot
    April 17, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I've been looking for a good Pomodoro timer. Great list!

    • Joel Lee
      April 17, 2012 at 11:35 pm

      Thanks. I hope one of these ends up being the one you love. :)