Product Announcements – Dejal Systems, LLC of Portland, Oregon has released Time Out 2.5, an important update to their popular break reminder app for macOS. This free app sits in the background tracking the last time the user took a break. At regular intervals, it reminds users to take a short respite from their current tasks. Users can take the time to stand, stretch, and move around a bit, in order to refresh themselves. They can also schedule both long and short breaks, offering flexibility for the user’s own personal preferences.
Time Out offers two types of breaks by default. A “Normal” break by default will occur every hour, lasting for 10 minutes each time. This allows users to get up, move about, stretch, and even take a quick restroom break. “Micro” breaks occur every 15 minutes, lasting for a short 15 second period. This gives users the opportunity to adjust their posture, look away from the screen, and relax their focus. Both types of breaks are adjustable, and can be delayed, disabled, or deleted by the user at any time. Users can also add their own custom breaks, of any delay and length, and at any specific time. This feature is handy for reminders about fixed breaks such as lunch, or mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks.
When a break is due, Time Out slowly dims the screen, and displays a customizable break theme. During the break, the app’s progress bar displays the remaining break time, and also offers optional buttons to allow a break to be postponed or skipped, if needed. Once the break is over, the break screen then fades, allowing the user to return to work. Time Out then begins marking off the time until the next scheduled break.
“It’s very easy for users to fall into bad habits when using a computer for hours on end. People strive to complete their tasks on time, pushing themselves to the limit,” says Time Out developer David Sinclair. “The human body just isn’t built to sit in one spot for hours at a time, staring at a monitor and typing at a keyboard. That’s why I created Time Out. It offers a gentle and customizable way to remind users to take much needed breaks, reducing stress and increasing their productivity.”
Time Out has an option to show the time until the next break in the menu bar. By clicking the timer, users can access the app’s preferences, allowing them to make quick adjustments to the app’s settings if needed.
Version 2.5 adds Mojave dark mode support throughout the app. It also includes a new option on the Break Schedule page of the preferences to choose which days of the week a break is available. Using this option, you could indicate that breaks should only occur on weekdays, or only Fridays, or any other combination. The days of the week can combine with a time range, or apply all day on the indicated days.
Another new supporter option is on the Advanced preferences page: the ability to disable the app switcher, force quit, and shut down panels during a break. Most people probably don’t need this, but if you need a little extra encouragement to avoid skipping breaks, this might be helpful, when combined with existing options to disable the postpone and skip buttons.
Customization doesn’t end with appearance; Time Out can also be set to perform various actions before, during, or after a break. The app can display a notification, speak text, play a sound, or even run an Automator or AppleScript action. All actions can be chained, allowing users to set as many, or as few actions as they prefer. What’s more, these actions can be set to execute at any time, be it just before a break, after a break starts, just before a break ends, or after it’s over. A number of useful scripts are included with the app, and custom scripts created by Time Out users are also available for download from the Time Out website.
The Preferences window allows users to view the breaks and their options, and it includes buttons along the top to quickly add a break, pause all breaks, postpone or skip the upcoming break, or get help. Users can also post about the app on Facebook and Twitter, as well as visit the Dejal social media pages.
Color-coded labels can be applied to any break to visually indicate which type of break is due next. Users can also view when the break is next due, how long ago the last break was, and also use hover buttons to start, postpone, disable, skip, or delete a break. Users can also apply and edit a global keyboard shortcut to immediately start a specific break. Other options include scheduling features that set the length of a break, how often it occurs, what time of day it occurs, and even the next date and time it is due to occur.
One customization option that will be especially useful for corporate users is the ability to add any app to an Exclusions list that tells Time Out to not allow break reminders when any app included in the list is open, or is the frontmost app. This option is particularly handy when users are performing such tasks as FaceTime calls, viewing videos, or making presentations.
Time Out keeps users at their best. It reminds them to make better use of their time by taking regular breaks in order to remain mentally sharp, productive, and healthy. Version 2.5’s new features make creating, scheduling, and controlling regular breaks an easy-to-include part of any workday.
- macOS Yosemite (10.10) or later; ready for Mojave (10.14)
- 64-bit Processor
- 13.8 MB
Pricing and Availability:
Time Out 2.5 is free, and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Health and Fitness category, as well as the Dejal website. Advanced features are available via easy in-app donations.