I have always been fascinated with productivity apps intended to help users structure work days to complete tasks and take breaks and I’ve dabbled with a few timer-styled apps here and there to see how well they keep me on track throughout my work day. I hadn’t found any that really worked for me but I think Binary Hammer’s 30/30 gesture-driven timer app, which debuted in the App Store yesterday, may change that.
When you first open 30/30, you’re presented with a few tutorial screens to show you how to use the app and the gestures to create, delete, move, and edit tasks. There are no buttons in 30/30′s main interface and its gestures are reminiscent of one of my favorite to do apps, Clear.
Once you’re past this tutorial, which can be viewed again through the Help option in the settings menu if needed, you’re presented with 30/30‘s main screen and some fake tasks to give you some practice. You can delete these and start over from scratch or just edit them to suit your needs.
The concept here is simple – you create a list of tasks and assign each a time between one minute and 60 minutes. Once you start the timer with a tap, 30/30 will count down the time you’ve set for a task and sound an alarm at the end to let you know when you need to move on to the next one. If you’re using another app or your iPhone or iPad is locked when the timer ends, you’ll get a single push notification alert.
By default, an Auto-Pause setting is enabled which stops the timer at the end of each task and requires you to re-start it to move on to the next one. Personally, I prefer to disable this Auto-Pause setting so that the timer automatically starts for the next task without any input from me.
30/30 will simply rotate through your list of tasks over and over again like a playlist on repeat until you stop it, which can be very handy for interval workouts or if you simply want to alternate work sessions with breaks all day. Or you can enter enough tasks to fill up to 10 days before they start repeating, allowing you to structure your entire work week if you want.
Other settings include on/off toggles for brightness, vibrate on alert, sounds, and push notifications. A News button here provides updates and information straight from Binary Hammer, a feature that I think would be useful in every app to learn of impending bug fixes or other issues.
30/30 is free to download from the App Store but you can pay for it if you want via the In-App Shop button in the app’s settings, which reveals the option to pay $.99, $1.99, or $2.99 via in-app purchase. Binary Hammer’s President, Bob Koon, calls this “Pay what you want” and likens it to the shareware software model. So, if you find 30/30 useful, you can “donate” accordingly to show your support. Amusingly, the in-app purchase confirmations note that you’re buying a “Boatload of Thanks” when you do donate.
My work days may not be routine enough to use 30/30 every single day but when they are, 30/30 will be running on my iPhone or iPad to help keep me on track. 30/30 is a worthy download if you’re at all interested in trying to give some structure to your work day to help you get things done.