Creating a timer app for ADHD

Hey brains!
So i’m going straight to the point. The pomodoro technique is known to help people with ADHD to get stuff done right away, but I think it can be optimized to work even better.Personally, I have been tweeking the technique by myself a lot and have found that some adjustments would help me. Mostly, some instant gratification after I finish a pomodoro, and small reminders during the task to remind me to go back on it if i’m distracted.
I didn’t find the perfect app on the Android store for that, and thought, hey, why don’t you create it? So I’m going to try doing just that! And I came here for help on ideas of features that you’d like to have in an app like that. I thought that brainstorming this together, we could develop a good app for brains like us! :heart:

For now, here’s the planned features:

  • A timer that can be configured to work in any number of sessions, any duration with short and long breaks (So if you want the standard pomodoro technique, you’d choose 25min per session, 5 minutes short breaks, and 15min long break every 4 sessions).
  • A small notification sound that would be played randomly ever 5 to 10 minutes to remind you to go back to work in case you got distracted. The sound should be a bit loud but short, so you don’t have to touch your phone to stop it in case you’re working, but you can still hear it if you’re distracted.
  • Unlockable achievements serve as gratification, for example achievements for finishing 4; 6; 8 sessions in a day, a word of encouragement when you finish each session etc (If you have ideas for achievements, go ahead).
  • Unlockable features that unlock when you go through a certain number of sessions. These should be relatively easy to unlock in the first three weeks of usage, so that by the time you’ve unlocked all of them (and there’s not as much challenge), using the app would become habit.
  • You can set a ‘project’ you’re working on when you start a session (for example: Study: Biology, Math; or Work: Client X/Y etc)
  • Time tracking per project so you can figure out how much time you actually spent working on something.
  • To do list that would also work like ‘mini projects’, you can track the time you spent on each task.

That’s basically the most important things I have in mind right now, i probably forgot some basic features that would be implemanted nonetheless.

I’d love to hear of what features you think would be necessary for that kind of app; lemme know!


I would kill for this to be a thing!

In as so far as project planning, what about integrating some sort of calendar too. Say, a student studying for finals has a study group to meet on a certain day, they could put that into the app, be notified of the meeting before it’s supposed to be begin so they can get there or get set up and prepared in time, and then a follow up notification at the time the meeting is supposed to begin that allows them to start their study timer sequence? It’s set up specifically for that appointment on that date.

I fell that could be applied to a number of scenarios, cleaning days, holidays, setting aside time to reply to emails and work on projects if you work from home, things that are apart of a larger project but could be a schedule task from day to day as well that optimizes the use of your pre-scheduled timer?

I hope like heck that all made sense! :sweat_smile:


You just read most of our minds I’m pretty sure…

Nothing to add, just popped in to say that sounds awesome!


I would die for an app like that!! Personally I would also love the option to block or silence other apps like WhatsApp, Facebook or games just for the length of time the focusing time takes, If I get a text during a Pomodoro, I tend to “just look at it” and end up talking or watching videos for 6 hours straight. Maybe also making your achievements shareable with a group of people with similar dificulties, it does help me at least over here when I get reassured I’m not alone in the struggle. All the success with the project!!


Thank you all for the ideas, and the interest! :heart:
@Foxsox: That does seem like a good idea, but it seems like maybe too big of a feature to add a whole calendar system to it. I want to keep this as ‘simple’ looking as possible. However, I was already planning to add a minimalistic ‘to-do list’ to it; I may be able to simply add in an option to add reminders for the tasks and it would work the same way as a calendar app, without the calendar. So basically, you’ll have a to-do list with some tasks that have reminders. Once the time is up, you’ll get a notification and an option to start the timer right away. Maybe add in automatic reminders every 5 or 10min if the app doesn’t detect a timer being started after the first reminder? So it’ll act like a snoozed alarm.

@Assynj: Thank you! That means a lot! :heart: I guess our minds are pretty similar in this tribe, or should I say, our brains :heart::heart:

@Karla_De_La_Garza: Thanks!! :heart::heart: That’s actually something that I haven’t thought about but it would be super helpful! I can’t promise it because tbh I can’t think of a way to implement it like that (asking for access to other apps notification can be tricky): maybe just locking the screen during the duration of the timer? So the only thing you’d be able to use is the ‘stop timer’ button, but you’d still get the notifications and it might be too tempting to simply stop the timer.
Another option would be to have the app cut off Wifi and Data automatically during the Pomodoro, and activating them back during the breaks; then cutting them off automatically once the break is over. That would work really well for me personally, but I think it might be bothersome for people that need to use their phone for research during the Pomodoro … Maybe a de-activable feature? I’d love your thoughts on this!


Awesome idea! I guess one thing for me would be having the timer be visible somehow on the lock screen of my phone when it’s running. I like the visual cue I get from the the timer I have on my desk. If I could glance down and see it quickly somehow, that would make an app really useful.


I love that idea! the simpler the better!

When I remember to use it this timer never fails me

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@Adyl could you make it an option for users to record their own personalized audio cues? For example, “yay! You earned a break!”, “Break’s over! Time to get back to work”, or whatever people want to say? I would love to get my ever-encouraging Heart to be my Pomodoro voice :grin:


Super awesome idea!!


some kind of social integration, alltouh will be more complex to implament. it has done wounder for duelingo with the leaderboards.

could be some kind of discord integration with reminders of what people achive while you are on a break/while working. will need some tweaking ofc. but i think you get the general idea.



I LOVE the idea of the tracking feature. It’d be so good to see that visual log of all the time spent.

Also what Will suggestion about it being visible on the lock screen, etc would be so helpful.

Maybe an option for background noise like Tide has when you hit the timer? Like rain/wind/white noise type of thing (that has an on/off option for those who like/dislike noise to help focus)?

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I love the idea for this app. I do like the idea of a reminder for the tasks you mentioned. It would be really nice if you could set a time that you want to work on a project or assignment and get a notification that its time to get some work done. I think that would be very helpful for me personally.

Sorry if this is too long to read in one go🐿️
The blank lines signify breakpoints (take a break read the rest later)

I think that one of the most important things is to make it free (as in candy) and open source so that other heart’s and brains with the right knowledge are able to develop the features they want/need (I’ve been thinking of making something just like that but can’t seem to make a nice looking UI in java/android to save my life)
This would also allow the project to live on for longer than a ADHD brain can focus.

I would recommend using gitlab and gitkraken for version-controling (gitlab being a alternative to github with a more distraction free UI and gitkraken being a desktop client for version-control systems, also with a clean ui)

DM me if you have questions :brain:

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Wondering if the “reward” could be some little game built into the app? Like, yay! You done good! Here’s a little game of blah blah blah? Although, I know that all of our brains like different kinds of games…so maybe that won’t work well.

OK, sorry, I tried.

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Sounds like a good idea

Maybe Adyl should make the app semi modular allowing people to develop separate minigames

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Once I’d typed it out…I realized that would be a lot of work. And I don’t like making a lot of work for people. I’m already a lot of work just knowing me. LOL


I love a good timer! I use Beautiful Timer for so many things, like laundry and tea, and lately, for cooking.

I used Thyme for cooking when I was cooking more and cooking a lot of things at once (it has five timers set up to represent four stove burners and the oven, which is incredibly useful). Also, it hasn’t been updated to be compatible with the current OS in my phone in a couple versions, so I’m not sure how well it even works anymore.

An ADHD timer app would be wicked awesome, though!

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