In this article, I’d like to introduce you to an awesome world clock that I discovered in the process of trying to solve a personal dilemma. One of the lessons that I learned immediately upon starting my online writing career is that the Internet is very much a global phenomenon.
This means that if you’re going to spend a lot of time working and playing with others online, you better quickly get used to the idea that the concept of time has has much less power on the Internet. In a business office or a manufacturing facility, when there’s an important meeting at 3 p.m., everyone sets their watch and shows up right on time.
Things aren’t so straightforward on the Internet. If you set a meeting for 3 p.m., who’s 3 p.m. are you talking about – the folks in China, Germany, Japan or the United States? When you’re an online author working for several clients, things get even more confusing with deadlines that occur all around the globe and in multiple time zones.
In order to solve that problem, I decided to download and install Qlock, an awesome world clock that provides me with a glimpse of the time zones where my clients are based, and reminds me whenever certain important deadlines are due. Using the Qlock world clock, you’ll never miss another online deadline or meeting again.
Qlock – An Awesome World Clock That You Can’t Live Without
I started using Qlock as an experiment. Before I started working for MakeUseOf, my only major client was a California based company. While it was a little annoying to constantly calculate the time zone difference so I wouldn’t miss any IM meetings, it wasn’t exactly rocket science. All I had to do was add a few hours to determine East Coast time versus West Coast time and I was good to go.
However, when I started writing for MakeUseOf, that all changed. With the chief editor based in Germany and with editors and writers scattered all across the globe from Belgium to India to the U.S. – the entire concept of teamwork is now based upon how well you understand and manage global time zones. At the beginning, when our chief editor would set a deadline of 10 p.m. the day before publication, I would consistently run right up into the deadline and once I even missed it. For a guy that prides himself in never missing a deadline, this was quite humbling.
So I hunted around for an app that could help. Just recently, Simon covered some cool alarm clocks, however those are based on your own time zone. Tina also covered some awesome alarm clocks, but again – one time zone. So, for those of you who lead the same multiple-timezone life that I do, I present – Qlock.
Once you download and install Qlock, you’ll instantly have desktop icons that display the current time in major cities all around the world. The default is 4 cities and the time is displayed in military time.
Changing one of the icons to another city is as easy as clicking on the city name inside the icon. If you want to add an entirely new icon, you just right-click the icon of the Earth in the taskbar and select “Create Qlock.” In this case I’m changing my New York icon over to Boston, MA because that’s the largest major city that’s closest to me. This will represent my home time zone. If you don’t want to search for your city, you can just click on the map and it’ll automatically select the city for you.
When you right click on the globe icon, in addition to “Create Qlock,” there’s also the option to sync your current time with any of the several government servers.
You can set up the clock to sync with the server using any interval you like, or you can leave it in manual. Once you sync your time with the server, you can rest assured that you have the most accurate time possible – now you have no excuse for being late for the Skype meeting!
Customizing The Qlock Display
My favorite feature of this awesome Qlock world clock is the fact that you can easily place each individual time zone clock however you like on your desktop. They don’t intrude into your workspace, but they’re instantly available if you click on the globe icon in the taskbar.
In my case I’ve added a California zone for my CA client. An England time zone for my buddy in the UK. My home time zone of Boston, and the German time zone for MakeUseOf. I like having all of my zones displayed together near my Vista Sidebar, so here I’ve stacked them up and there they’ll stay.
While this is cool enough – Qlock also offers a very handy alarm clock system which you can set for each individual time zone on your desktop. To set the alarm you just double-click where it says “No Alarm.” Once you do, the alarm clock screen for that time zone appears.
As you can see here, you can set up an individual alarm, or you can have it alarm on a certain day of the week. It’ll issue an alert sound, but you can also type in pop-up text as well. For each time zone you can set up to five independent alarms.
As you can see under the German time zone, your alarm date will countdown, so you can see how much time you have left to complete that article, or until the meeting. If you don’t like the current time display, you can change it by simply clicking on the time. I didn’t really want military time, so I changed them all to standard time with the “am/pm” display.
I find that in this world of international friendships and global online partnerships, the ticket to success is understanding where and when your colleagues and friends are so that you can catch them when they’re not only awake, but also the most productive. By downloading Qlock, you’ll be able to overcome the time-zone confusion and take control of your global online activities and work.
Do you do a lot of online work or play that crosses many time zones? Do you know of other tools that can help overcome time zone confusion? Share your insights in the comments section below.