Emphasis - Focus Timer

4.7 (901)
51.7 MB
Age rating
Current version
Aleksandr Fiodorov
Last update
1 year ago
Version OS
11.0 or later
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User Reviews for Emphasis - Focus Timer

4.71 out of 5
901 Ratings
4 years ago, DeJon Purnell
The graphic timer was a game changer
I’ve used several apps that apply the pomodoro technique, each with great success. But I’ve found this app to boost my productivity like never before. The boost in productivity has unexpectedly come from the timer being a graphic representation as opposed to the numerical representation common among most productivity apps. I noticed with the graphic timer I look at the timer a lot less and focus more on the work I’m doing. This could be because rather than thinking “Oh I have 5:32 left on the clock” (which I do often with numerical countdown timers) I see an estimate visually represented by a pie graphic and I think “There is still time left, so just keep working.” This “so just keep working” default that has come from not knowing the amount of time left down to the last second has helped me “just keep working” which was my objective in using the app. Couple this graphic timer with the simple progress tracker and minimalist user interface, this app has given me tremendous value in regard to productivity, especially as I continue working on my dissertation.
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2 months ago, -engago-
Excellent time tracker and Productivity booster
I don't do a lot of app reviews but Emphasis is seriously impressive! This app has everything - from its sleek design to its endless customization options and user-friendly interface. It's like having a mini productivity sidekick right in your pocket. You know those days when you feel like you've blinked and hours have passed? Emphasis' sleek Pomodoro timer keeps me on track and focused. And further, for different kinds of tasks, I’ve set up custom timers and chimes. For example, I’ve added an “I can do anything for 5-minutes” timer here. Anytime I’m not feeling productive, or procrastinating, I simply tell myself that I’ll do it for 5 minutes and turn on this timer, before I know it, I’m deep into work, and making progress. I've tried many Pomodoro apps and even owned a physical timer, but none of those are easy to stick to. Each one of them has one limitation or the other. This is the first app that I've stuck to using for a month, and keep coming back to. With the calendar view, you can quickly review how you spend your time, complete with neat pie charts that break it down. I would strongly recommend keeping the widget on the Home Screen. It reminds me how I want to spend my time.
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2 years ago, kaitlinjewel
I have been using this timer for over a year. It has helped immensely with my productivity, as I use it to time my “animedoro” sessions. The interface is clean and easy to use. The design is pretty, and having the timer not use the exact minutes left is a great feature so it doesn’t feel like I’m just counting down the minutes until my break. However, I have been steadily running into the same issue. I will start a work session, and the session will end without a notification or ding if I'm in another app despite me having both my sound and notifications on. I have it on my iPad, where I also take my notes at the same time, so it is possible this may be causing issues. Another problem I have is that I will finish a work session, and it will have me start another work session by pressing the timer, instead of starting my short break. Often times, I do not notice that it has changed and will accidentally start a new work session when I mean to be on a break.
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3 years ago, Sketchytide
Used for a month and already improvement.
[Background info, feel free to skip: • I am a 15 year old girl • I use the timer for school homework, reading and taking notes on self improvement and psychology related books, learning a 2nd language, and sometimes singing • I have only really used the pomodoro timer so far It has already helped me to get a lot more work done, in fact, I’m using the timer right now. One thing I was hesitant at first about the pomodoro technique was the 5 minute breaks that occur after every 25 minute session. At first I thought they were disruptive to my flow, but I’ve come to realize they prevent overly long breaks and burnout. Think of it this way — lets say it’s been a few hours after lunch and a person starts to feel a tad hungry. They may hold off on eating, thinking they’re avoiding unnecessary calories, but then they end up overeating when they finally do allow themselves to because of the intense hunger. Meanwhile they could have simply had a moderate meal earlier and be just as full. I highly suggest this technique to anyone, and this timer is perfect for it. I also appreciate its simple but still pleasant layout, the choice of different colors, and how all of the sessions and breaks (long & short) are customizable in both duration and amount.
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4 years ago, Derkadur
Aesthetically Pleasing and Simple
Love the aesthetics of the app and the graphical nature of the timer vs digits or a clock. Also I like that it’s not bloated with unneeded features or busy menus. One thing I would like to point out is when I’m either listening to text to speech/music or out of the app, is that the sound is low and occurs only once. Some Bluetooth headphones create a delay between the phone playing a sound and the headphones actually playing the sound, causing the first maybe half or quarter second of a sound clip to be cut off. I have missed the bell/ding of the timer multiple times this way. I wonder if a repeating sound option or more sound choices could be added in the future. Of course, this app and the Pomodoro Technique have definitely increased my productivity.
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4 years ago, Rii_Pierce
Sleek design inspires use/productivity
I am really enjoying this app so far; I love the design and ability to choose color scheme. The timer itself is a bit cluttered looking though. But I absolutely love that there’s space for notes, customizable tasks and intervals and overall really does help encourage focus. The only reason I’m not going with 5, is the silly think with the timer design, but mostly that it’s not available for OS. The fact that I have to use it on my phone makes it considerably harder to ignore my phone, and I typically need to tuck it away somewhere to fully focus. Having this available for Mac desktop/laptop etc., would be an ACTUAL game changer, and I would probably start forcing everyone to get it. Really hoping that’s something that will be coming in the future...hopefully very early future. But overall, great all.
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2 years ago, alexamb121997
simple and to the point!
I don’t really care for the fancy, multiple features that most pomodoro apps have so this is a perfect fit! minimalistic and no unnecessary features 👍🏽 if there was anything to add, its just an aesthetic idea i have. since you have the option to change the color theme, maybe add an option to change the font theme? just a small detail but it’d be cool to have! edit: another feature i think would be cool is to have a timer widget that shows how much time has elapsed while using your device. For example, if I’m using an app for my focus work, then i could see a moveable widget timer on the screen. Hopefully that makes sense!
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3 years ago, MountMischa
Perfect... until the update
Before the most recent update, I used this app daily alongside my flash card app Anki. I would study for 5 minutes, with 2 minute short breaks, and 12 minute long breaks. However, to get through my excessive amount of flash cards (+600... I’m in medical school), I need about 40+ 5 minute sessions (ie. The daily goal). However, the most recent update decreased the permitted daily goal to 16. This limitation actually makes it impossible for me to use this app, my favourite of all the pomodoro timer apps. I ask, as an exhausted student, please change this feature back to allow for more study sessions! Because the app it otherwise perfect, for which I thank you! No distractions, no ads, background colour options to decrease visual distractions. Honestly, I still try to use it but I have 1400 Anki cards today, I wanted to plead for the return of my study buddy. Thank you for all your hard work!
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2 years ago, A HW
Wonderful! Streamlined display and easy to use
The simplicity of the display is amazing; there’s nothing there to distract or confuse or overwhelm. The “pie” display for time is awesome. The ease of use is just wonderful, too; this app (or at least, its developer) just “gets it.” I only used the app for about 4 or 5 days before I decided it was definitely worth paying for it. I struggle with regulating attention and maintaining focus, especially when at work, and have tried a number of different apps to help keep me organized and/or on track; this app is for sure one of my favorites.
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4 years ago, Raina M
Simplicity supports success
Incredible solution ADD/ADHD. I’m unbelievably distractible and struggle to refocus once I believe I’ve failed at focusing. I use a variety of techniques to help me, but this is one of the most important. Most pomodoro apps are a little fussy and have distractions built in. This app shows you only what you need/what’s important when you need it, but still has deep functionality so you can do things like track your progress. Working for 25 minutes doesn’t feel like a long time at all, and frequent breaks feel like I’m cheating on how much time I actually spend working, but the thing is, *it works*. I’m at least doubly as productive when I use this app versus when I don’t. That’s not an exaggeration by the way. I work in a metrics driven role and my numbers at least double every time I use this app. The dings/chimes at the end of a work session/break are rewarding and I honestly get so excited to hear the special melody after I’ve reached my daily goal. 10/10 would recommend.
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4 years ago, DoodleDesk Mini
Exactly what I need... One glitch though
I love the simplicity, the color scheme, and the addition of being able to add a tag line, the ease of starting and switching timers. I love how the interface encourages long form writing. It’s more in line with the way I think and process what I need to do while also offering the option of simple checklists/to-do’s. There is one glaring glitch though. When I logged out and then logged in, it did not remember my preset settings and some of my writing was lost into the abyss. This is a huge no-no, so I hope the developers really fix it or give us to export/back-up our data.
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4 years ago, Hiiiii 😆😘
Life Saving App
This is an awesome app that you should really try. I absolutely adore this app. I have something called ADHD which means I have trouble focusing and I get very easily distracted. This app is a life saver. Before I got this app it took me hours to get homework that other people in my classes did in five minutes. With Emphasis it now takes me so much less time than it was. But of course I still was a few minutes behind the others and I knew that, that would never change no matter what miracle life hack you have. And I’ll just say that this is definitely one of those miracle life hacks.
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3 years ago, J_MichelleM
Changing my original review
I’m changing my review because it’s been a little upsetting about this most recent update. I had updated thinking that I’m only getting stability problems fixed but turns out all the features that I’ve been using are suddenly premium for $25 a year. I understand that in order to receive more benefits, updates, software, and overall app development that this is important. However, I was not notified on the update and seems like a lot for compared to other apps that may only have one payment and be done. Therefore I must part ways with this app even though it was perfect for me and had everything I wanted. I couldn’t justify paying that much yearly for another app that does the same thing for perhaps a one time payment.
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1 year ago, Typodontist
Best Pomodoro app for me, hands down.
There is something about the graphical countdown, rather than a numerical countdown timer, that works perfectly in sync with my brain. I have an unhealthy obsession with time and I love how this so,how strips it away and lets me focus on the work to be done in a chunk of time. I’ve tried Pomodoro and tons of other apps but nothing clicked like this one. I also love the tracking capability, and how it syncs between my iPad mini and iPhone. I use an iPad mini for running this app, and then have my phone free for productivity.
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2 years ago, cutedarling09
This app is one of the best out there, literally the UX Design, the Interface, the colors, the fonts, the whole thing is fantastic (and would be a five star review) HOWEVER: Although I understand the developers needing to profit off of these apps please change some features back to Free! I think everything sans the stats and colors and future customizations should be free. Even with the stats a basic overview of how much you’ve used the timer should be free as well. This app was one of my favorites and I am extremely disappointed that they have taken off some basic features and made them premium. Please please please! I don’t disagreeing that some features should be premium, however some of these are necessary! Here are my top features I wish were free again: Sound Theme Basic Stats and Weekly Report Auto-Start Work Toggle A few more color options Also, some review said there is a limit to the number of sessions you can do; I haven’t seen that yet myself but I agree that it should be unlimited sessions, or a high number which works for most users. (I will update my review if some improvements take place)
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3 years ago, anniebdoll
Was perfect until subscription was required.
This app was perfect (keyword WAS) before the subscription was required. It let you set timers at any length and it had stats that you could use to track your productivity. It even had that lovely minimalistic style that is not distracting but also quite chic and it let you change the color of the background to a variety of soothing or fun colors. Now, they require a $25 annual subscription for most of the colors, most of the settings, and to even be able to view the stats. I really loved this app and wouldn’t have minded an ad or two in the settings if it kept it free, but now I feel that most of the app is restricted.
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3 years ago, an0nym0us
Great app, even better customer service
I’ve been using this app for 2 years and love it. It’s great for productivity with the pomodoro settings, but also a great “colors timer” for my kid’s two minute transitions between activities. There are so few apps that can do both, and this one not only manages it but looks great doing it. When I ran into a pro subscription issue with the last update, the developer was quick to respond (within 24 hours) and fixed the issue right away. Overall - 11/10, would recommend in a heartbeat.
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3 years ago, Appuser133
I never write reviews but this app is 10/10
I have ADHD and working in a focused way for long periods can be really tough. Enter pomodoros: it’s such a great way to get things done but it requires a good tracker. This is hands down the best one (and free?) that I’ve found. Simple interface, a VISUAL timer (not numbers, which are harder to make concrete as they’re ticking down) that allows you to see how much time is left to motivate yourself without getting anxious with a countdown clock. Even options to make beautiful text checklists and color customization. Download this now!
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4 years ago, Afshin Morpha
Loved the design
I didn’t understand the functionality of the middle button/folders/notes at first. I think they could be simpler and more straightforward. Or a tutorial would be nice. I love the minimal design of the app but this section is difficult to understand because of no instructions. Also I think being able to define different tasks and seeing the time allocation in the graph would be perfect and is a feature that adds a lot to the app without making it more complex.
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3 years ago, Ari :D
Why fall in the world of subscription?
In a world of everything being premium and having to subscribe to enjoy the totality of an app, a one time pay app was a relief. And that’s what I enjoyed with Emphasis when it was introduced first as Pomodoro. I did my payment and was able to enjoy all the features. Now, I have to suscribe to enjoy the things I once paid for? I don’t usually write app reviews, but it disappoints me that after years of using this app as I paid for it, I have to now subscribe to another service to even use the palette of colors. It’s a hard goodbye, but I thought this app as different from the broad app as with subscriptions nowadays. I was wrong.
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3 years ago, Azderson
A few suggestions
Nice looking timer and promising statistics functionality. Biggest problems are related to the markdown-style editor. First, clicking the title of the template document unexpectedly closes the app and means the template cannot be easily deleted. Second, it’s not possible to reorder lists of folders or documents. They just get added to the top of the existing list and stay there until deleted. Finally, deleting individual elements from the editor is somewhat undiscoverable, but once you know to scroll to the right horizontally on the keyboard toolbar after long pressing the element it’s not too bad.
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3 years ago, girl friend 6
I absolutely love this app, it works perfectly without having to buy anything. All features work perfectly. The only thing i disliked was i couldn’t use it on my iPad as an extra window, not until today at least! I never liked having the app on my phone as i would always get distracted with all my strategy games. Now that i can use it while i study on my iPad, it is officially perfect for me. I highly recommend. <3
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4 years ago, Hthrglass
Emphasizing how much I appreciate this App
Ok so first of all I’ll explain why I’m crazy about this app, then the Pros that come with and then I’ll touch on the only con (personal opinion here) that I could come up with. PROS ~ beautiful colors to change the appearance. concept and therefore simple interface to work with. ~ the ability to be able to identify the lengths of time I would like my activity to be set at! ~ reminders to take a break ~ and that I have the option to keep my screen on; so I may glance at it from time to time to make sure I am staying on track (currently doing this right now!!) CON ~ allow users to change the name of the “Work Session”. Ooooh ok, there’s one more con I guess (just finding out now) does not sync with my iPad or MacBook Pro or Apple Watch and that’s a tad annoying. !!Oh, that was my timer!! My time is up guys; hope this was helpful! Definitely worth giving this app a chance!
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3 years ago, Ferrari :D
Better than any other of the “free” apps
I had to scroll a little more to find this app, when it really should be at the top of the list. All of the other focus apps I’ve downloaded for “free” aren’t technically as advertised, since they keep bugging me to GO PRO. This app on the other hand does exactly what you want: simple to use, professional design, and not one annoying ad. Meant to allow you to focus on your work without ANY distractions!!!
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11 months ago, Robotdjuret
I have been using this app since there were no users and I love it. I recommended it to everyone, I used it through my whole PhD and then—boom—9 dollars a month?! This thing was fantastic for it's simplicity and its statistics and now after all this time, after purchasing it and recommending it, it ends up paywalled. But that's not all! After complaining about this a couple years ago when it happened, I found myself with a lifetime subscription—which I was super thankful for—but then I come back to find my original review canned, my account non-existent (AGAIN, btw, this is the SECOND time my stats have been deleted), and my review also missing. C'mon, man.
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3 years ago, Cowlistaa
Love the design but major glitches...
I love the intuitive use and minimalistic design. Easy to swap timers and helps to keep me on track. However, other than the clock feature nothing else has been working for me. I attempt to make a list and will type to add items, but as soon as I go away from the list page everything gets deleted. It also has issues tracking my progress in the left most statistics tab and often unsaved my preset setting after a while. My daily time tracker also isn’t working correctly as it seems to be counting down instead of up? So the numbers never goes above zero and shows a red number difference as I complete work sessions
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3 years ago, Yu-Hwa
Major problem with task function
The app itself is great and I love its minimal interface. The only problem I have is the task function. Every time I add a new task and press x, the task is gone when I go back to the task page. The tasks don’t save for some reason. Also, when I press the 2 horizontal gray bars at the top of the task page, the app crashes. I tried relog into the app a few times but the problem remains. I’m not sure if this is a glitch on my end but I hope it can be fixed soon. Besides the task page, I highly enjoyed the timer and the app’s simplistic design.
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3 years ago, jhed9
A Great Execution of the Pomodoro Technique
After reading about the Pomodoro Technique in the New York Times, I went looking for an app that I could use for it. I've tried several, and this is that one I landed on. It has a nice balance of customizability and simplicity. The only thing I might ask for is an option to play a ticking sound while the timer is running, but I'm iffy on whether I would like that in the long run. Thanks for such a useful app!
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3 years ago, Fatenwolf
Increased focus and productivity
I started using this app in law school - between hating specific courses, feeling overwhelmed with assignments, chronic procrastination AND my ADHD, this app allowed me to focus for manageable periods, working at my own pace and checking of tasks as I powered through. I’ve recommended it to my friends and family and those who followed suit have raved about the app too! I will definitely continue to use it for years to come.
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2 years ago, Rod Rosa
A necessity for the committed student
I have been using Emphasis for approximately two years and consider it an essential part of my study plan. The app is simple and intuitive, keeps you on track, and ensures that you observe the necessary breaks from maximum brain function. I highly recommend this app for anyone engaged in extensive bouts of studying
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3 months ago, -E G
Have to log in with Apple or Google account
After purchasing, I was prompted to log in with my Apple or Google account to use the app. I tend to choose to create an seperate account when I purchase an app but the option to do so is not presented. It is only after you have purchased the app, you notice there is no option to create an account and locked-in to using your Apple or Google account. It would be great to have a choice to create a seperate account.
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3 years ago, beccarab
The alert tones don’t work
I’m not sure if this is just my phone, but I would like to hear the tone go off when the work period is over or break period. For some reason, the tone doesn’t sound even though the notification appears on screen. Otherwise, I love this app. So easy to use & set up, such a simple & pleasant interface, & overall a great tool to have in your toolbox for days when sitting down to do work feels daunting.
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3 years ago, Jazz aside
Simple and amazing!
I really enjoy how simple and to the point this app is. There’s not too many bells and whistles to get absorbed in; it has exactly what you need in a fun and customizable enough way that has really helped me focus on my homework! Also the auto-switching of timers from work to break time is awesome because it’s one less thing for me to keep track of!
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2 years ago, Create with Lexi
Must Have for Students
I started using Emphasis in 2021, and I have loved it ever since. I thought this would be just another timer, but boy was I wrong! In this app, you can customize your pomodoro ratio and also change the timer ringtone. I also love no ads when studying and changing the theme. Stellar job Emphasis!
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3 years ago, Nabin Dhakal76
Tasklist was useful
I was suddenly surprised to see the tasklist gone. Maybe it was for stability reason but tasklist was very useful. Not any other apps had the simplicity of those lists as that of emphasis. I hope it comes back or some kind of switch for that. Overall, I’m grateful to the developer and I would still give it a 5 star
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4 years ago, chrisl088
I love this app! It’s minimal, clean, and helps me be focused while working. If they made a desktop version, I think it would be a game changer. I am someone who while working hates looking at my phone. If they made a desktop version with a timer and note taking functions that are synched to the Iphone version it would enhance my workflow/efficiency!
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11 months ago, NE KY
I feel like a tool like this really helps with productivity, and I’m excited about being able to customize the times now! The only thing I wish was different is that the timer doesn’t sound when I have a different app opened on my phone. I wish I could hear it every time.
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10 months ago, ReviewingStuff4You
No complaints!!
I honestly really like the app. It’s so much easier to use than any other pomodoro website I’ve used. It also has a tracker to make a bit of how much you study every day! I haven’t been using it for long, but I definitely recommend.
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4 years ago, Ggrocks529
I was skeptical because of the lack of reviews and downloads but this app has truly increased ny productivity and focus. I enjoy the fact that the timer does not show the actual numbers counting down. For some reason watching the clock countdown like how it does on the Apple clock timer is very distracting and reduces my focus for some reason.
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2 years ago, Anonymous Google Doc Lover
great app BUT…
amazing app. super aesthetic and minimalistic which allows me to just focus. my critique is that it doesn’t count time spent after the timer is done. i often study past my set time (usually 25 minutes) because i get into a groove and i want to ride it out. but the overtime doesn’t get counted in my stats. otherwise, this app is a 5/5
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3 years ago, Oh Dustin
Use it everyday
I enjoy the simple design and function of this app. The color options are great (brown is my favorite), and the minimalist look is exactly what I was wanting when I went looking for a pomodoro timer app. Not too much or too little, this app is just right.
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3 years ago, ksidddndkwkwoe
I feel very productive
This app is the best pomodoro app I have tried yet! It is very customizable and has improved my grades. I also have been inspired to study more. I think that if you are unsure about getting this app and are reading this rn, I recommend you should try it and see if it works for you 😋
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1 year ago, T. Nathan
Minimalist with lovely design
Solid pomodoro timer with some fantastic little touches like lovely animations. Only thing I really wish it had was a Live Activity to track timer progress outside the app, so I hope that is added soon. Even still, this is a great productivity timer for those who want a more minimalistic design like I do.
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3 years ago, LexVel
Absolutely love this app.
I feel like a lot of other apps try and do too much. This give you all the right setting with just enough customization while still keeping a clean minimalist design. The only thing I don’t enjoy is I can’t flip my phone or iPad into landscape.
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3 years ago, EthanV94
Great but needs background noise
Love the simplicity of the app and the data tracking, but I wish there was an option to turn on “ticking” sounds as the timer is counting down. Having a repetitive noise like this helps me focus and would be really nice to have as an option.
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2 years ago, Sky I love it!
I would recommend
I would recommend this app, honestly the app really helps out with my focus and my reading plan I’ve been trying to get my reading improved and this app has really did it!
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4 years ago, Dm4llik
This is an amazing app
I just love how everything can be done with this one app like pomodoro lists and so on. The one piece of feedback I’d give is that when opening the lists it should go to the main page instead of last list that you were on.
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3 years ago, nuerodivergent
Helpful for ADHD
I use this app a lot to help me stay focused. It’s helpful if you struggle to focus or just get started with your work. The only thing that annoys me is that there are certain features you can’t use unless you have a premium account, but ya know that is what it is🤷🏽‍♀️ I would recommend this app
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3 years ago, 🌞🌻✨💛
I have had 0 motivation the past month so I decided to try a timer app because the one that comes with apple devices never seems to have an impact on my productivity. I can assure you this works A LOt. I can’t even make this up but i genuinely feel so so motivated !!!
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2 years ago, Mike3292
Simple and elegant
Came here after trying other apps like Focus but they didn’t feel very “at-home” on iOS. I feel like Emphasis has a great design that has an iOS aesthetic, and works well. One thing that would be great is if it had live activities and synced across devices.
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