Time Out Free: An App to Enforce Your Stretch Breaks

It’s hard to get up and stretch on a regular basis, especially when your computer allows you to keep working!

I will spend all day on my ass. That can’t be good. I have been dreaming about the perfect app that would force me to get up by blocking all access to what I was doing.

I found the app I’ve been looking for: it’s called Time Out Free.

Time Out Screenshot Time Out Free is a timer that kicks in every so often (you set the rules) and blocks your entire screen. You can set short breaks and long breaks, and you can override the breaks if you want to. Time Out Free makes it easy for me to remember to stand up, stretch my legs and move. It encourages me to stay hydrated and to fill up my empty water glasses.

It’s a developer’s best friend (and worst nagging enemy!).

It can be frustrating, but I know that it’s good for me, so I removed the option to skip breaks. The three options are:

  1. Take a break
  2. Delay the break by 1 minute
  3. Delay the break by 2 minutes

After three delays, I get annoyed and stretch. The app works!

Suggestion for improvement: move to the menu bar.

Given that it’s a free app, it’s already amazing. I believe an improvement would be to have the app in the menu bar and remove it from the dock. That way, it’s not taking up space in the app switcher. To get around this for now, I’m using Dock Dodger, which works well…except that the preferences are not easily accessible.

By Zack Katz

Zack Katz is the founder of GravityKit and TrustedLogin. He lives in Leverett, Massachusetts with his wife Juniper.