I’m a big fan of the Pomodoro technique and all its various iterations. As the world moves faster and our attention span gets shorter, short bursts of deep work followed by quick breaks can be a fantastic way to chip away at projects that require a lot of time to complete, especially when you’re easily overwhelmed by big, time-intensive work.
Pomodoro timers are a dime a dozen. All varieties of them exist all over cyberspace—as desktop programs, browser extensions, mobile apps, and, you know, just regular-ass kitchen timers—and I’ll probably talk about a number of them on this blog as time goes on. But for now, I want to focus on one in particular: Brain Focus.
Brain Focus in a Nutshell
Brain Focus is an Android-exclusive Pomodoro timer app. At first glance, it appears quite simple. You get 25-minute work sessions and 5-minute breaks in between, with a longer break after four work sessions. When you start a work session, you get a few additional options, like the ability to pause the timer or note an interruption. There is also an indicator at the top to show how many work sessions you’ve completed.
The simplicity is delightful but it is also deceptive. Brain Focus is much, much more than a simple Pomodoro timer; it is also a task list, a time tracker, and even an app blocker if you want it to be. You can choose from several different color schemes and upwards of 30 different languages! And the bulk of the app is 100% free, though there is a one-time payment premium version that unlocks extra perks like backups and widgets. I paid $1.50 USD when I bought it in 2017.
Powerful though Brain Focus may be, it is limited to just the Android ecosystem. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing and should not at all deter you from checking it out (unless you have an iPhone, I guess). But I personally prefer apps that I can use both on my phone and my laptop. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for a future web port or Windows app.
Overall, Brain Focus’s lack of cross-platform utility is its only real drawback as far as I can tell. I’ve been an on-and-off user for years now and it seems like every time I open the app, I discover something new. As far as Pomodoro timers go, you’ll have a hard time finding anything better, especially on Android.
Pros: Fully customizable, easy to use, clean interface