Tadam: Minimal Pomodoro

In this day and age, we find ourselves surrounded by constant distractions, making focusing on a single task at any given time an increasingly difficult endeavour. Often times, we have to resort to mental hacks and gimmicks to focus on the task at hand… I know I do.

One method I’ve found helps me focus is The Pomodoro Technique. Pomodoro apps are dime a dozen in the App Store, some more complex and feature rich, others such as Tadam, more minimal. I recently took it for a spin. Read on to find out how it faired.

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What It’s All About

The idea behind The Pomodoro Technique is a simple one: divide your tasks into small manageable portions of 25 minutes, aptly named Pomodoros, then follow each Pomodoro with a 3–5 minute break. This keeps you productive while helping you maintaining focus. Tadam is a small menubar app that helps time those Pomodoros.

How It Works

There’s a number of Promodo apps, but Tadam’s strength lies in it’s simplicity. It has few preferences and even fewer buttons. It won’t let you control how many Pomodoros a given task took, or show you a historical record of your completed tasks. However, what it does… it does well and that’s time your Pomodoros while staying out of your way.

Activate Tadam, choose your time and get to work!

Activate Tadam, choose your time and get to work!

Activate the app by either clicking on the menubar icon or the configurable hotkey and you’ll be presented with a popup window where you can input time and press Go. That’s it! Once it’s timing, activating Tadam again will render a different view, now you’ll have access to a disclosure triangle where you can access further options, such as Take a Break, Change Time, Pause, Preferences, etc.

Tadam isn’t a novel app, but it does add a few features that make it somewhat unique. When a timer nears it’s end, the menubar icon will pulsate letting you know time’s almost up. This in essence allows you to allot just a few more minutes to complete the task (this would have been great when doing exams… Just a few more minutes…) When your time does end however, a soothing chime will sound and a modal window appear. Here, once again you can choose to work a little longer or finally take that much deserved break.

Work a little longer or take a break, you decide.

Work a little longer or take a break: you decide.

Visual Cues

Tadam is smart about staying out of your way, yet letting you quickly know where you stand. It pulls this trick off with subtle but effective visual cues. When a timer is paused, the menubar icon flashes, whereas when time is almost up, it lightly pulsates. A quick glance at the menubar icon also shows you visually how much time has passed.

Subtle but effective visual cues.

Subtle but effective visual cues.

Final Thoughts

While overall a great app, it does have space for improvement. I felt the app could have benefited from more keyboard shortcuts, allowing a user to quickly pause a timer or change time. The developer has promised though that this is coming in a next release along with possibly AppleScript (for those who, akin to myself, like to tinker).

So while it’s not the only app of it’s kind nor is it the cheapest, it’s elegant, functional and does just what is promised on the label:

Simple Pomodoro timer that stays out of
your way and lets you get the work done

This little gem of an app, helped me focus while writing this review.


Simple Pomodoro timer that stays out of your way and lets you get the work done.