Time management is a really important issue! Not only is time money, as the saying goes, but there's also never enough of it. I'm sure those people with an office job will understand what I'm getting at. It's tough to efficiently get through your daily workload. Why? Because you get too easily distracted and don't have a real system to organize and prioritize your work.
Personally, I'm a big fan of the so-called GTD method (Getting Things Done) as far as time and task management is concerned. Unfortunately, no good solution has been found for Android so far. By pure accident, I stumbled upon a brand new method: the Pomodoro technique.
The "Pomodoro Tasks" app revolves around precisely this particular technique. This app may sound like an Italian pizza, but I just had to try it out...
First off, I have to admit that I don't know all the ins and outs of the Pomodoro Technique. There is ,however, a free book available that gives a detailed explanation of the technique. But here's how the technique works in a nutshell:
Pomodoro is based on five principles:
Planning: At the beginning of your day, you think of all the tasks you have to accomplish during the day.
Tracking: During your work, you consistently mark any observations or efforts.
Recording: Set up an archive of your daily completed tasks as well as your personal evaluations.
Processing: Convert raw data into information
Visualizing: Package information in a format that makes it easier for you to understand your improvements and then utilize them
With Pomodoro a timer needs to be set for 25 minutes before starting to work. Within this time (actually called Pomodoro) you work with diligent concentration on one single task. No distractions or disruptions can occur in this time or you have to start your Pomodoro all over again. Once you've finished one Pomodoro, you check place a checkmark next to your task and enjoy a five-minute pause. After your break you keep on going: start a new Pomodoro, work hard for 25 minutes, put a checkmark, and take a five-minute break.
Every four Pomodoros you're entitled to a 15-30 minute break. Perfect time for emails, coffee, paperwork and all that other stuff that keeps you away from your work...:)
As soon as you've accomplished a task, it gets crossed out. If you got it done while the Pomodoro is still ticking, you aren't allowed to move on to another task. You can just relax till the timer's up. Once it rings you can dedicate yourself to a new task.
As I said, I can't really judge for myself if Pomodoro works in the real world. I've just started trying to implement this technique into my day-to-day life. And my first impression is actually pretty good...
The Pomodoros Tasks app can be used for the following:
Start the Pomodoro task timer
Start the break timer
Display the break duration after the fourth Pomodoro
The variety of features isn't too great, but it's enough for you to get the job done.
It's too bad that you can't add details to any of your tasks. Maybe I just haven't given this Pomodoro technique enough time. I'm fairly sure that combining it with another time management program could be really useful. There's definitely room for improvement for this app, but they've gotten off to a good start.
Screen & Controls
The app is easy to figure out. From the get-go, you know exactly what to do if you're already familiar with the Pomodoro technique.
The tasks can be easily and quickly rearranged according to their priority level. Just slide your tasks up and down on the screen with your finger.
You can also cross out tasks with a slide of the finger.
Here's what the menu button has to offer:
Options: Set up the duration of your Pomodoros, breaks, and pauses.
The Pomodoro timer could DEFINITELY have been made BIGGER and EASIER TO READ!
Speed & Stability
Pomodoro runs well. No complaints.
Pomodoro Tasks is available for free from the Android Market.