One of the reasons I like the Time Timer (see previous post) is that it is elegantly simple. It does what it does and nothing else. There are no complicated switches and menus. No one however technologically challenged could possibly have any trouble working it.
This contrasts with my digital timer which has a vast array of different settings, which even after studying the instructions at length I’m not really comfortable with.
Guess which is the better for timing intervals?
I suspect that the Time Timer took a lot of thought to make it as simple as it is - a lot more thought in fact than went into the design of the digital timer.
This reminds me of something which has always struck me about discussions on the subject of Do It Tomorrow. People always want to make it more complicated. When they hit a snag, their solution is to complicate it. So they end up with an array of lists, reminders, plans and priorities which sound as if they will take more time to work than the work itself.
This is actually going in the wrong direction. Do It Tomorrow is a very simple system. All you need to work it is a page-a-day diary and a pen. There’s no need to plan your day, because the system produces your next day’s work automatically. And it provides a simple, easy way of checking that your work is in balance with your time.
When any system gets more and more complicated this is almost always a sign that a “work-around” is in progress. What this means is that it’s easier to work around a problem than to look at why that problem is happening in the first place. For instance if someone is being lazy about how they focus their work, then it is easier to introduce a new layer of complexity than to ask the searching questions that need to be asked.
Anyway, how could I improve the Time Timer? Well, I think it would be good to have it count-up as well as count-down, so we could just add a little button here, and it would be good to have a digital display as well - that would be easy if we made the main dial smaller. And if we’re making the main dial smaller, why not have two dials so we can time two things at once…?