Best work break apps at this point in time?
September 5, 2017 3:44 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a good app to remind me to take regular computer breaks. There are lots out there; what's your favorite?

I'm after something that I can set to remind me to take regular work breaks when I'm at my desk, as simple as that. I can find 101 different apps via Google, but I'd really like some personal recommendations for fairly recent ones. Please save me time by sharing your favorites! Free is ideal, but I'm happy to pay for something that works well.
posted by rubbish bin night to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I am on a Mac and, for a while I used Timeout and it worked well, but the latest release seems to be bloatware so I stopped using it.

Honestly, I just wanted a pop-up to remind me to get up at regular intervals. So what I did instead is:
1) Install terminal-notifier to allow the ability to launch alerts.
2) Used crontab to launch the alert when I feel I needed breaks. In this case, a 30-second break every 15 minutes and a longer break every hour.

Here's my crontab file:

05,20,35 * * * * /usr/local/bin/terminal-notifier -message "Take a 30 second break!!" -title "Break Time" -timeout 30
50 * * * * /usr/local/bin/terminal-notifier -message "Take a longer break!! (5 mins)" -title "Break Time" -timeout 300

posted by vacapinta at 4:43 AM on September 5, 2017

I have zero self-control, and make heavy use of apps like these. I gave up on Timeout because it was complicated and not restrictive enough.

The two apps below create breaks that survive restarting my Mac. You can also set both of them to be more permissive.

Rest (Mac, Windows)
$5 for Mac.
This tool is aimed at the individual user. It offers breaks and stretch reminders.

RSIGuard (Mac, Windows)
This tool is aimed at the corporate user, although it's accessible to individuals. In addition to breaks and stretch reminders, RSIguard implements maximum hours/day, counts keystrokes, provides alternates to mouse dwell-and-click through keyboard.
To ration internet access, I also use
Freedom (Mac, Windows, iOS)
Monthly $7; annual $30, and lifetime $120, discounts often available.
posted by Jesse the K at 4:58 PM on September 6, 2017

« Older What is this elaborate logo or symbol?   |   What music is my character listening to - in 2003 Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.