Our 5 Best Study Timer Picks

The key to success for anything is making sure you have prepared well. For school, being prepared can help you to meet deadlines and help you to get better results on quizzes and exams. So studying is obviously very important. Let's have a look at methods to help you study effectively. 

One method that’s been proven effective is the use of study timing - specifically the Pomodoro technique. It’s a method that keeps us from procrastinating, making us more productive on a daily basis. The technique is not just for studying but for any tasks we tackle regularly.

The Pomodoro concept is simple. You focus on a task for 25 minutes and then take a break for 5 minutes. This is repeated until you’re happy with the progress, or when you’re done with your tasks. Since this method is considered the best for studying, the following study timer apps we recommend are all Pomodoro-capable timers.

  • Forest (mobile app)
  • Our first on the list is a cute mobile app developed by Seekrtech. 

    Forest is a Pomodoro timer with an environmentally friendly incentive feature. It is offered in both Android and IOS devices. Their concept is simple. You grow a tree on the app by making progress on your goals. It has a simple timer mode or a Pomodoro mode for you to choose from. It also has a stopwatch feature.

    On top of the timer feature, the trees you grow in the app can be converted into real tree planting efforts through their partner sponsors. The app also has planting reminders, customizable phrases (for motivation), and statistics for you to have an overview of your weekly or monthly activities.

  • Focus (IOS devices and MacOS)
  • If you like simplicity, this app is for you. Created by German-based developer Meaningful Things, the app is specifically meant to help you focus on your tasks. It follows the Pomodoro technique and is purely a timer app.

    Due to the streamlined design of the app, Focus is capable of shielding you from distractions and being more efficient in handling your tasks. It allows for task priorities and weekly or monthly reviews of your activity. Since it is in the cloud, you can easily sync data allowing for accessibility in any Apple device.

  • ClickUp (mobile and pc)
  • Our first on the list that applies to all types of devices is ClickUp. The app is marketed as the app that can replace them all. It has time management features, social media features, documents, team management features and such.

    The timer app is just a part of the whole. It has all the basic timer features, but also integrated time trackers whenever you work on the tasks loaded into the app. It also offers automated time tracking whenever you do an activity using the app or while accessing it, and then turns that into a comprehensive analytics report at the end of a period. If you’re into hardcore time management, this is the app you use.

  • Be Focused Pro (MacOS and IOS)
  • Another very good app for study timing is this app developed by Xwavesoft. It is another pure timing app, but with a simple task list feature.

    On a pc, it is a widget that you can readily click to start timing. You can choose the task you’re working on from a task list and then get a report after the period of how much time you’ve spent on different tasks. Timing intervals are customizable, including the short and long breaks. You can also set target intervals per day or per week.

    What we like best about this app is its user-friendly interface both in the mobile or pc. It has interactive notifications and customizable alarm sounds and vibration. Since it is also in the Apple ecosystem, it is also fully synchronized with all Apple devices.

  • Pomodoro (web)
  • If you prefer to study with a PC, this web-based app is for you. It is a simple timer app where you can set your break durations and study sessions. You can also set a target number of Pomodoros if you have a quota in mind.

    What we like about this app is that it is very easy to use and accessible from any device that can access the web. Also, it has a notification block feature giving you the peace and quiet you need for studying. If you want a hassle-free timer, this is the one for you.

  • Minimalist (IOS including Apple Watch)
  • Another strong contender in the study timer apps category is Minimalist. It is only available for IOS devices at the moment, but plans are in place for better accessibility by Davetech.

    The only app among our list meant to support the Apple watch at the get go, Minimalist is clean and simple. In the phone and watch, it appears as an app where you can make to-do lists and track time. There are also options for ambient sounds meant to help you focus. All the basic notification features are present too. In the tablet, it can be set-up to appear as a widget for quick access. The to-do lists can also be shown in multiple widgets too. Overall, a very seamless option for IOS users.


    How we chose our recommendations

    The above selection of apps we’re based on these criteria:

    • Ease of use or simplicity of user interface
    • Accuracy or suitability to Pomodoro technique
    • Accessibility
    • Add-on features

    Efficiency tips on using study timers

    • Make use of Pomodoro progress trackers. There are several shops online that sell tracker templates that compliment study timing. These are very helpful if you’re into tracking your progress on certain projects. From a parents’ perspective, this is also great for monitoring your kids’ study habits.
    • It’s good to experiment at first, but when you find the most suitable timer, use it consistently. This will help you be efficient since you don’t need to learn the basics for every new app. Once you stick with one, you instinctively know what to do after several attempts. You will master and form habits in no time.
    • Optimise your app based on your needs - provided it has features that allow it. For instance, you can set the volume of your notifications depending on the time of day. Night-time studying is okay but it's not good to disturb others. Maybe personalise the notification if need be. Do all necessary changes to make your daily studying sessions as easy as 1-2-3.

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