Today I’ll be reviewing a remarkably simple application, but one that can have a surprising impact on how you work when using your Mac. It’s called FuzzyClock, and is a menu bar tool for altering the way in which your Mac reports the time. Rather than a simple time such as 14.45, FuzzyClock would display “Wed, quarter past two”.
The review will take a look at the various preferences available within FuzzyClock, and investigate the impact it can have on how you work. I’ll also showcase a few other menu bar clock applications for displaying the time in a different fashion.
Interface & Preferences
This is usually the area of a review where I would post a large, impressive screenshot of the application in question. For FuzzyClock, this is all I have to show:
Rather than a basic readout, my OS X menu bar displays the current time in a human readable fashion. It alters approximately every five minutes. Clicking the time shows more accurate information along with the current date:
Various preferences are available, including the ability to add special time readouts, alter the color and font used in the menu bar, or add a chime to sound every hour.
Adding custom time “specials” can be surprisingly useful, allowing you to set specific times of the day when you should be doing a particular task:
Obviously my daily tasks are not simply to drink coffee and answer emails for 15 minutes – but it’s an illustration of how the system can be used!
Display & Sound
Two display options cover whether or not to display the current day in the menu bar, along with where the clock should be located (to the right or left of other menu bar applications):
An hourly chime can be set to play any sound of your choice. A potentially useful feature could cause the clock to chime at the beginning of any designated “special” time period, alerting you to the fact that a particular time has arrived. Unfortunately this isn’t possible at present.
Why Go Fuzzy?
The question must be posed as to whether this really offers any advantage to the regular clock bundled with OS X. Personally I find myself less inclined to simply “clock-watch”, worrying that minutes are ticking by and I’m not getting anything done. I feel more relaxed.
I appreciate that this may sound a little crazy, but give FuzzyClock a try and see for yourself. The utility is completely free, and I would be surprised if you don’t stick with it.
Menu Bar Clock Alternatives
A wide selection of other utilities exist for making the time displaying in your menu bar more useful. Here are a few you may like to check out:
- Alarm Clock – A useful app for setting multiple alarms, timers and stopwatches with the ability to play music as an alert.
- JetClock – If you want people to think you’re very important, you can display the time in several major cities simultaneously.
- TinyAlarm – An even simpler alarm clock, with pre-defined intervals for setting up quick alerts. Think of it as an egg timer for your Mac.
- MenuCalendarClock – A very compact monthly calendar which can integrate with iCal to quickly show appointments and dates.
FuzzyClock is ridiculously simple, but I urge you to give it a try. Download it, use it for a few days, and let us know in the comments whether you’ll be sticking with it.
It may seem like a gimmicky app but my experience is that you’ll feel more relaxed and be less likely to clock-watch for minutes on end!