How to use a pebble smartwatch as a pomodoro timer

December 28, 2018

When using the pomodoro technique, I’ve found it useful to have access to the pomodoro timer in the lowest-friction way possible. In particular, I like having the timer on my wrist. I implemented this with a Pebble watch, which I bought used for £40.

With the timer on your wrist, you can walk away from your computer during breaks, without having to go back and check how much break time you have left. During long breaks (usually 20 minutes every 4 pomos), you can enjoy a walk outside the office (pictured below). The watch will also vibrate at the beginning and end of every pomo.

The benefits of having the timer on your wrist instead of your phone may seem trivial. In practise, I have found that even a little bit of friction can cause me to fall off the pomodoro wagon.

The Pebble company is now defunct, but the watches can easily be found on eBay. The Pebble app store has also been shut down, but I still have the .pbw files of two pomodoro apps: Solanum and Simple Pomodoro. You can sideload these apps onto your Pebble through the Pebble smartphone app. The pebble smartphone app still exists on the Google and Apple app stores, and could itself be sideloaded if it ever disappears.

I prefer Simple Pomodoro, because it supports long breaks. Solanum is more beautiful.

It’s possible to use a Pebble pomo timer in tandem with any other timer. I like having a timer on my computer screen. Just start the two timers at the same time and they’ll keep going in sync.

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