- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 1: What Is Timeboxing, Why Does It Work, And Why Should You Care?
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 2: Nested Timeboxing
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 3: Dual Timeboxing
- Three Minutes Of…
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 3.5: Timeboxing Turns Work Into Play
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 4: Decremental Timeboxing
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 5: Incremental Timeboxing and Mixed Timeboxing
- My (Current) Timeboxing Tools: Hardware Timers
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 6: Q&A
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 7: Isn’t Timeboxing Just A Waste of Time?
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 8: Don’t Those Super-Short Timeboxes Make Timeboxing Meaningless?
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 9: Birthlines And Timeboxing
- Decremental Timebox → Real Time Conversion Table
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 10: Timeboxing, Tony Schwartz and Recovery
- Can Timeboxing Help Me Do Really Big, Hard Things?
- Protected: How Zombie Gunship Taught Me All I Need to Know To Make My Real Life Awesome (And So Can You!): Gamifying Real Life For Fun and Profit and (Almost) For Free
- Nothing Is Hard
- Protected: All I Ever Needed to Know in Life, I Learned from Cloud Storage
- Protected: Don’t Be The Kaiser or the Fuhrer
- How To Get Nothing Done: The Art and Science of Wresting Defeat From the Jaws of Victory
So, with all this talk of timeboxing lately, I’ve conveniently left out the details of what tools I (currently) use to actually implement it all. There’s a good reason for that: shorter articles are like shorter work periods; they’re more likely to actually happen. Long articles are a burden to you and me — you have to wade through all this text; I have to edit them to make sure they’re coherent. With shorter posts, I get to be both to-the-point and disjointed — like a Michael Bay movie or something.
…Like you needed to know all that…
Anyway, so, yeah, timeboxing. Well, fundamentally, timeboxing uses just one type of tool: a (countdown) timer with some form of alarm/notification function. There are two basic types of timers:
- hardware — actual physical timers, and
- software — timer applications that run on a more general purpose computing device like a PC or an iPad.
I use hardware timers almost exclusively because, well, because we all know that software can be full of it sometimes. Like, YouTube is great, but IMHO, it still lags behind satellite TV in some crucial ways. The great thing about software is that it can and does improve, but those improvements often take time.
We can’t sit around waiting for our Palm Pilots and laptops and iPads to boot, so we grab pen and paper. Similarly, all the clicking and mouse-moving involved in using a software timer can get very old very fast, especially if you’re doing “microtimeboxing” with 60~90 second blocks (see dual timeboxing, decremental timeboxing for details). So, for now, hardware is the way to go. Besides, not all my timeboxing is done in computer-friendly environments…
Since I live in Japan, I got all my timeboxing devices (isn’t that the sexiest way of saying “egg timer” you’ve ever heard?) here. However, statistics show that a slight majority of the readers of this blog live in the US, so, YTMV — your timer may vary 😛 .
With that rather unnecessary introduction out of the way, let’s just talk about hardware timers today and leave the software for another post.
||Despite the crappy quality, the pros outweigh the cons. It’s a great for studying and other desktop activities.When doing dual timeboxing, I use this as the small timer and the T-135 as the big timer.The massive start-stop button is very satisfying to push. You get a great feeling of…I dunno…something. Accomplishment? “Yeah, motherlover! *PUSH*!”…
A good buy overall, despite the flaws.
The silent/flashing mode makes this great for places like libraries and cafes.
||I have 3 of these in my little Japanese abode. ’Nuff said.The unit’s a really nice size, about the size of a stopwatch. Unfortunately, since it is essentially a kitchen timer designed to be stuck on flat surfaces like refrigerator doors, you can’t really carry it around like a stopwatch.But then…that’s sort of like complaining that your screwdriver makes a bad fork… 😛|
||Good from far, far from good. Seems like a good idea on paper, but sucks in the flesh. Strongly disrecommended.|
|SEIKO TIMEKEEPER VIB SSBJ023||
||Dials rule. More things should have dials on them. iPod taught us that.The all-black SSBJ01, the little sister model to this one, looks nicer and costs less, but (AFAIK) doesn’t have the vibe feature.I use this in shops a lot because I actually used to get lost in a “selection trance”/”decision loops” [“maybe I should get this one…oh wait, but this one’s cheaper…but I like this other one more…maybe I should check the other store first…oh wow, they have these around corner; I wonder what else I’ve missed!”], trying to make perfect decisions. By timeboxing my shopping, I can get in, stay in long enough to have fun but not so long as to be wasting life, get out, and get on with life.
The silent/vibrating mode makes this great for places like libraries and cafes.
That concludes today’s hardware discussion. Tune in some other time for information on software timers. Oh yeah, if you have any hardware/software timer reviews or recommendations of your own, feel free to post or link to them right here in the comments section. 😛