Dec 26, 2020
3 mins read
So, here we go. Without giving you a novel of my entire life, I'd just like to say that I love open-source software. I've grown to like it increasingly more because it enabled me to do things I've only dreamed of. Create fast and beautiful apps, documents, websites, even awesome APIs. Whatever you want.
After getting a lot help from these pieces of software, I have finally started giving back. Previously I raised a few issues here and there and tried to be as detailed as I could be to help the maintainers fix bugs or implement new features and I also made a PR [Pull Request] to fix an issue in a Docker image. But that was it.
Now I'm finally ready to share something that I made myself. No, it's not a world-changing invention but I do hope that it becomes useful for people working from home. If a single person endorses this project, then it was worth it.
Why I made a pomodoro timer of all things
The TLDR is: because of the pandemic. I'm probably not the only one whose daily schedule was wrecked by COVID. I'm the type of person who works at his workplace and (mostly) relaxes at home. Staying home meant I lost a lot of time I spent (mostly) productively and I realized that I became easily distracted in the middle of whatever important I had to do.
Developing this app was also a distraction, by the way, but a somewhat useful one, at least. I was recommended some online pomodoro timer apps, but I wasn't really satisfied with any of them: some had price tags here-and-there, others looked a bit distracting in their design (okay, the timer was in the centre of the page but there were menu items leading elsewhere) or I did not find them to be customizable enough.
That was enough reason for me to develop my own timer. At first I thought I'll finish it in a few days and then use it and be happy. That "at first" was in August. Now the app has a bunch of features and is (in my view) quite extensible and is really minimal in its design to give me as little distraction as possible. Since it received a bunch of features, I decided "why not open-source it?". And it is in the process of going open-source.
What can it do?
A big feature for me is the ability to choose between different styles of timers. It's classic to include a "minutes:seconds" style of timer, but it's easy to just watch the seconds passing. I built three styles into this app:
the traditional one for those craving it
an "approximate" one that only shows minutes (eg. "13 minutes", the one on the screenshot)
a "percentage" one that shows even less: it only presents the percentage of your section completed (eg. 50% of work done)
Aside from that, it's also quite customizable! You can
show/hide your schedule that shows the next few sections (eg. breaks and long breaks)
toggle the progress bar behind the timer
change all the timers (you're not limited to 25 minutes of work, 5 minutes of short breaks and 15 minutes of long breaks)
change how frequent long breaks are (by default every third break is a long one)
enable/disable audio and/or browser notifications when sections are finished
... and more options are coming!
It also has a few neat features:
it is really fast
can be installed to your home screen as an app (it's a PWA, or Progressive Web App)
remembers your settings
adaptive ticking (updates the time less frequently while the tab is not visible) that can be disabled
has no ads, pop-ups or any distractions
Why support this project
Like I said, this app might not be a game-changer for a lot of people, but if someone does find it useful, they can show their support in a multitude of ways:
contribute to the app (eg. by reporting issues, suggesting new features or making changes to the code)
share the app on social media
buy me a coffee
If the app ends up being used by more people, I'll likely invest in a custom domain, for starters.
The app is nearing its first proper release. I'm working on getting it out to everyone and making its source code public. I've recently created a home page for it and after a few minor touch-ups it should be ready to go in the new year.
I hope it will come handy for at least some of you. Stay tuned!