Minimalist Pomodoro timer promises distraction-free productivity

There are plenty of productivity techniques floating around the Internet, but one of the most popular ones has actually been around even before the Web as we know now came to be. Named after a tomato-shaped kitchen timer, the Pomodoro technique is so simple that it’s too easy to brush it off as trivial, but its effectiveness has also been known for decades. Of course, that has also led to plenty of apps and gadgets that embrace the hype while forgetting the spirit and actually induce stress and distractions rather than productivity. Fortunately, there are better and more creative ways to design a Pomodoro timer, like this minimalist beauty that allows you to enjoy the simple benefits of the technique without having to rely on a clunky analog timer, especially one that looks like an awkward tomato on your desk.

Designer: Gary Peng

The Pomodoro technique is extremely simple and takes advantage of the fact that the human brain can only concentrate on a single thing for a short period of time. In theory, you do that single thing for 25 minutes and then take a break for 5 minutes before repeating the process. Because it’s that simple, you really don’t need complicated tools other than a timer, whether it’s a mechanical kitchen timer or a smartphone app, both of which come with their pros and cons. That kitchen timer can look odd on your desk and a mobile app risks distracting you with other things on your device.

POD is a tool that combines the feeling of an analog timer with the convenience of an electronic device in a simple yet attractive form. It’s nothing more than a small white puck that has five very discreet dot lights on top arranged in an arc. There is no control other than pushing the puck down like a button, which is what starts the countdown.

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Each dot of light represents either five or one minutes, depending on the mode. When you’re in “work” mode, the lights count down to 25 minutes in total, while “break” mode is the usual five-minute period of rest. The POD is also minimally distracting, using only flashing lights to get your attention rather than sounds or vibrations. This means you can easily use it in environments where you need to be very quiet, like in a library.

The POD also relies on trusty CR2032 batteries that you can easily replace, so you won’t have to worry about running out of juice for a long time. Its minimalist charm will make it look at home on any desk, table, or shelf, and doesn’t induce the same tension and stress the same way that a ticking kitchen timer would.