If you’re a follower of Getting Things Done or Pomodoro, or even if you are not, a Mac program called Vitamin R-2 may be of interest to you.
If you subscribe to David Allen’s Getting Things Done philosophy, you’ve already gotten everything out of your head and into your system. That system could be electronic or paper. In my case, I use Cultured Code’s Things. But once you have everything out of your head, you need to plan your next action. Things and the other apps don’t necessarily help you to that. This is where Vitamin R-2 comes into play.
This app (which will integrate with your Things lists), allows you to work your next action in what they call Time Slices. They start with 15-minute increments, but you can adjust that to more or less up to 45 minutes (after that, they highly encourage you to take a break).
There are several interesting features in the app. One is a Noise Generator, which doesn’t do much for me, but someone else may find it helpful. They have a four-paned Now and Later board, which allows you to “jot” notes and keep working on what you were working on.
If you use Things, you can drag your task into the Time Slice window. If you aren’t working on a Things task, you can type your task in. I started with a basic “Develop an understanding of how Vitamin R works.” I spent 15 minutes (the default time slice) exploring the program and clicking on various things. It was enough to gain familiarity, and I completed a task.
Today, I worked on a writing project. If I stopped typing for a period of time, it began “ticking” at me. When I resumed typing, the “ticking” stopped. It was a nice little reminder to “get back on task.” Yet it didn’t complain when I shifted away from Scrivener for a few minutes to look up a fact on a website. It’s as if the app knew I didn’t need to be annoyed right then.
In addition to being able to block out noise with the noise generator, you can also remove distractions by closing or hiding apps.
For $24.95 ($24.99 in the App Store), it’s a reasonably-priced app. If you’re not sure if it’s for you or not, they offer a 14-day free trial (website only — App Store doesn’t allow such things), which I encourage you to avail yourself of.