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.


Summary

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

8
  • lukas

    what is that histogram graph in your menubar

  • http://www.if.pro.br Igor Freiberger

    It seems several apps based on Pomodoro Technique are facing legal issues recently, probably regarding copyright of Pomodoro name. Pomodorable and My Little Pomodoro, the two best ones I found, are not available anymore.

    Between the apps still offered on App Store, Tomatoes has the best interface, but it resets the timer each time you do a pause, mishandling the whole Pomodoro idea. Tadam is a nice app, but it miss the possibility to name the jobs and keep a historic, while Pomodoro do a good job, but lacks any additional feature.

    While Pomodorable and MLP do not come back, I think other developers should consider improving their software to offer more options and nicer UI. Pomodoro niche is surely a good market to time and task management because many users do not need the complex, bloated GTD stuff.

    • http://palobo.tumblr.com Pedro Lobo

      Hi Igor,

      I agree with you in a sense that developers that wish to emulate apps such as Pomodorable and MLP should seize this opportunity.

      There are however apps such as Tadam, that I believe lie in an altogether different niche. More minimal apps for people that simply want a timer to help hem focus. Apps like Break Time, Tadam etc.

      I like The Pomodoro Technique because it helps me stay on track, but I have no ambition of becoming a Certified Pomodoro Master therefore Tadam fits nicely in my workflow.

  • http://www.peteriwanowitsch.com Peter Iwanowitsch

    Thanks for this simple app! It runs great on my Mac.

    • http://palobo.tumblr.com Pedro Lobo

      Hi Peter,

      Glad you like it and find it useful! I know I do.

    • http://tadamapp.com Radek

      So glad you like it! :)

  • https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tiempo/id561791243?mt=12 Ory Band

    The best Pomodoro app I know of is Tiempo. Simple, elegant, non-intrusive, light, and cheap.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tiempo/id561791243?mt=12

    • http://palobo.tumblr.com Pedro Lobo

      Hi Ory,

      I haven’t tried Tiempo and have only look through the site and description, therefore can’t back with confidence what I’m about to say, but here goes anyway.

      - I’m not too keen on having yet another app on my dock, so if I can’t remove it from there then that’s a point against it in my book;
      - It doesn’t seem like you can define custom times for your pomodoro cycles and breaks, sure, you can click and add/subtract 1/5 minutes but it seems to be done in an obscure manner;

      Once again, I haven’t tested this app so I could be totally wrong. If that’s the case I apologise in advance.

    • http://palobo.tumblr.com Pedro Lobo

      Curious timing… Tiempo is currently free.

  • Derek

    I have used pomodoro app for Ipad and I liked how I could put my Ipad on a stand and how the app running so when it would buzz I would not be caught off guard. Very helpful to manage time. Can’t wait to give this one a try. “)

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