Saturday, 2 April 2011

Pomodroido Tasker Integration

Last weekend I read Pomodoro Technique Illustrated and decided to give it a try. A while back I adopted Getting Things Done to organize my life. GTD is great for organizing and remembering tasks, but doesn't help with actually doing the work! Procrastination is still a problem. Pomodoro helps in that respect because it uses the idea of time-boxing to create artificial deadlines to help focus the mind. Combining GTD and Pomodoro seems to me to be a very promising personal productivity approach.

Anyway, since I have an Android phone, I had a look around for an application that would help me adopt the Pomodoro technique. Pomodroido fits the bill nicely.

The thing that really impressed me with the application was the integration with Tasker. Tasker is one of those apps that I've had on my phone for a long time, but never really found a use for. It's the swiss army knife of applications - you can do almost anything with it. I just never bothered learning how to use it properly.

When I bought Pomodroido I compared the free version with the pro version. The pro version promised Tasker integration. Intrigued, I bought it to try it out. And when I tried it out I realized I'd missed a trick with my own application, Meditation Helper. You see, Pomodroido triggers an event when a Pomodoro starts, and another when it ends. Tasker knows about this event, and therefore you can change the settings of your phone during a Pomodoro.

Here's what I did.
  • When a Pomodoro starts I change the display timeout to 10 seconds, disable the screen lock, and switch off the radio. This means that during a Pomodoro I will not be disturbed by telephone calls, I can switch the screen on to see how much time is left in the Pomodoro without having to unlock the phone, and the screen will switch off again after 10 seconds.
  • When a Pomodoro ends I revert these changes back to their defaults, and also switch the screen on as a further indication to me that the Pomodoro has ended.
This is really clever. In Mediation Helper I added options to enable airplane mode during a meditation, to disable the screen lock etc. Instead of doing this, I could simply have fired an event when the meditation session started, then fired another when it ended, and allowed the user to customize their experience using Tasker.

Although I have put any further development on Meditation Helper to one side for the meantime, I have added 'Tasker Integration' as one of the main new features that I will introduce in the next version.

Update: here are links to the Tasker profiles I created.

No comments:

Post a Comment