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App tracks your distractions and tells you how much time you’re wasting online

Create an objective. Put it on your list. Track the time to accomplish it. Deceptively simple. Which is exactly why it is so difficult for many people.

No matter what it is, if you want to do something well, you have to focus. That means creating a task list, allocating time for each task and rolling up your sleeves with the objective of getting it done. For some of us it’s easy. For others, not so much. One minute you’re analyzing data and the next thing you know you’re texting your friends and planning for the weekend. Not quite the same thing.

Enter Focuslist. With Focuslist you have it all spelled out in front of you. According to their website, you start by writing down all the tasks for today. Split bigger tasks into smaller ones. Plan your day ahead and commit to doing everything on your list. Then for each task, you allocate time to accomplish the task. Mark your best estimate.

FocusList will count everything and show what does your day look like.

One tomato, two tomato

Focuslist uses what is called the Pomodoro technique. In Italian, Pomodoro means Tomato. Which is important only because the technique was created back in the 1980’s by Francesco Cirillo who is Italian.

According to, Essential to the Pomodoro Technique is the notion that taking short, scheduled breaks while working eliminates the “running on fumes” feeling you get when you’ve pushed yourself too hard. It’s impossible to over work when you stick to the system. When you reach a goal you earn a short break.

Time passages

Call me silly but I have to wonder: if the basis of Focuslist is the Pomodoro Technique, and the Pomodoro technique has its own website and product, why not just go the source? The only difference is that the Pomodoro concept was created in the pre-app/pre-iPhone 1980’s and thus uses a silly-looking tomato-shaped timer. You set your tomato-timer for 25 minutes or however long you want and go about your task.

You’re working against the clock. The buzzer sounds and you either reached your goal or you didn’t.

In modern times, the tomato is now an app and looks a lot more high-speed than carrying around a small tomato. FocusList comes with time tracker built in! Was it a good day? Ask your data. Just open Stats and look at the history of Pomodoros/day, what times you worked, and how good your estimates were.

If it was me (and feel free to steal this idea) I would have made Focuslist a little more cutting edge: Like if I blow my deadline a voice comes online to call me names or conversely if I did good I get a verbal compliment. At least you stand out from the other 50 time-management apps that are on the market.

Focuslist. Make a list. Stay focused. Get to work.


Written By

Nearly three decades living and working all over the world as a radio and television broadcast journalist in the United States Air Force, Staff Writer, Gary Picariello is now retired from the military and is focused on his writing career.


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