ThinkingClock is offered for free. It is written in Java. We tested it with Java 1.7. To download the latest version of Java go to the Oracle website.

Application for Mac here. Application (zip file) for Linux and Windows here.


The idea of ThinkingClock came from the following reflexion: how could we display the time differently?

When trying to find an answer, I realised that most of the time when I look at a clock:

  • I calculate how much time is left before I need to do the next task planned at a fixed time;
  • Which helps me to decide what is the most important task to do during that lapse of time.

So we created a clock that will display the remainder time. In line with GTD methodology, we added a 2 minutes timer. We also like the idea of the pomodoro method: divide your working time into chunks of work without interruption, then a short break as a reward - so two more clocks.

The application runs standalone and stays on display even when you swap between applications on your desktop.

Clock picture


 Horizontal display


vertical-clocks Vertical display

The ThinkingClock consists of 5 clocks/countdown - from left to right/top to bottom:

  • normal clock
  • countdown
  • Pomodoro
  • Break
  • Quick

Count: to use when you have a fixed time when something needs to be done (meeting, having to leave for appointment, make a call, etc). You enter the time and a description (optional). The clock will then display how much time is left and will beep when reaching 00:00. If you move cursor over the clock, the hint shows the appointment time and description. Once the appointment time has been reached, the countdown starts counting how late you are and displays the time in red!

Pomo: start countdown for a fixed time (default 25 minutes). The principle is that you should concentrate on your task for that length of time - no internet or mail browsing, no coffee break, no quick call. To learn more about the pomodoro concept see Pomodoro technique.

Break: after a period of concentration, short break (default 5 minutes).

Quick: helps you to implement the Getting Things Done principle that if an action takes less than 2 minutes to do, you should do it immediately.


To start a countdown, click on the corresponding icon. To cancel it, press on the X button. To cancel the appointment pop-up, press the Esc key.

Under Tools, Options (Preferences for Mac) you can modify the following: which clock to display, sound on/off, stack vertically, displaying seconds, default time and the colour scheme for the clocks.


About ThinkingRock

ThinkingRock is developed by Avente Pty Ltd, an Australian registered company.

ThinkingRock is not affiliated with or endorsed by the David Allen Company.

Getting Things Done® and GTD® are registered trademarks of the David Allen Company.

Read more about the ThinkingRock team in this interview on the Netbeans website

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