Inspired by a talk at the local ruby user group, I started to use the Pomodoro technique to structure my work and breaks.

In order to get quickly started, I was looking for an easy way to start a timer on my Mac. After a quick look on the interwebs for a little helper I simply gave up, due to the vast amount of different options and interfaces. I the settled for a low-tech version using Quicksilver.

Using Quicksilver for simple timers

All I wanted to do, is get a simple pop-up after 25 minutes. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Fire up Quicksilver: + Space
  2. Switch to text mode: .
  3. Type Pomodoro or anything else that helps
  4. Confirm with
  5. Hit ^ +
  6. Type: Run after Delay... or a significant portion of it
  7. Confirm with
  8. Enter 25m - which is short for 25 minutes
  9. Hit
  10. Enjoy

After 25 minutes you will see a large “Pomodoro” on your screen. Be careful though, any key will dismiss the message. So it might happen, that it is gone before you notice.

Also there is no way, that I know of, to get a notion how much time already passed. I am also using a time tracking tool, which gives me an idea how much I am into the current pomodoro, if I need a little motivation.

For now, this solution gives me what I want without the need to install additional software. So it is a perfect fit.

Note: You can use the Quicksilver timer feature with any other command. You could open a website at 12 o’clock to get a lunch reminder or hit play in iTunes after 20 minutes to wake up from your office nap. It’s all at your fingertips.