We are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.
In fact, there are many task management apps out there, and many utilize the Pomodoro Technique of tackling work in blocks while taking short breaks in between. 30/30 is an established Pomodoro-esque timer app that allows you to create a daily timed task list. The name implies you’ll work in a 30 minute block and take a 30 minute break, but the app offers much more flexibility. You simply add new tasks (using gesture controls like dragging your fingers apart vertically), choose a time frame for them, and put them in order. The app will let you know when time is up on one task, and automatically starts the next in line. You can add or subtract time as necessary, easily move tasks around, or pause a task when you’re interrupted.
30/30 seems to work best when you need to accomplish a task (or several) and use it to keep you on track and focused. For example, while working on an assignment, you can schedule 30 minutes of writing, a 10 minute break, 30 more minutes of writing, 20 minutes of Netflix, a 6 minute coffee run, 30 more minutes of writing, and so on.
This app can also help you figure out how you work – do you need 20 minutes of writing with a 20 minutes break? Is a task taking longer than you anticipated, forcing you to schedule more blocks? Is it helpful to work on another assignment for 30 minutes and come back to your paper with fresh eyes? 30/30 can teach you how to use your time more efficiently.
Most helpful features:
- Attractive, easy-to-use interface.
- Instructions for using the app are built into the format as a sample task list, so you can try and test out all of the features before starting your own list.
- Uses gesture controls (swiping right to delete, tapping with two fingers, etc.) that are easy to learn.
- You can schedule tasks from a few seconds up to 9 hours each (though that would slightly defeat the purpose of the app!).
- You can turn on reminder notifications for when you leave the app, but want to stay on track.
- It doesn’t force you to assign a task to a time of day, so you can start and stop tasks as your time allows, or rearrange the order of tasks with a swipe of the finger.
It may take you a few minutes to figure out the gesture controls, but after that the app is easy to navigate. Overall, I found the app incredibly helpful.
30/30 is an easy-to-use task management resource that can help you work smarter and avoid the procrastination trap. As always, if you try it out, feel free to let us know what you think!
The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.
Contents contributed by Lauren D. Hall, Circulation Librarian