While I can't think of anything that will help with (b) I use Workflowy.com for (a) and just enter a one-line reminder and then forget about it until I next have a break / bit of time to deal with it. What I've found with Pomodoro is that it removes me from the equation. I am the rate-limiting step in getting stuff done because other stuff pops into my head, but a combination of 'dump it here and forget about it' and 'get on with what I started' seems to be productive. Of course I may acclimatise and will have to add in 5 minute beatings to motivate myself ;)
It's easy to do, just start a timer for 25 mins, do something useful. Stop for 5 mins, do it again and so on with longer breaks in between 'sets' of Pomodoros.
But I wanted to see how a day would look if it were full of Pomodoros (I'd never do as many as listed but did a big calculation just in case). One of my afternoon tasks today (that I gave myself when I'd finished other stuff, which I did woohoo), was to create a shareable Excel spreadsheet with the timings I'd worked out this morning.
Here it is, instructions are appended below but also embedded in the first tab of the sheet.
Jo's Pomodoro pre-calculated time wrangling spreadsheet:
and here's a better one from Alan Hennness, my new mortal enemy ;)
Hope you find it useful. Tough luck if you don't (no need to tell me, it works fine for me and that is its primary* purpose) ;)
*sole, but I'm being polite.
Go to tab marked 'Pomodoro calculations'. Leave the 9am example (the one on the left) and use the one on the right - enter your preferred start time and press enter. The table should populate itself with the suggested timings.
Obviously you still need to use some sort of timer device, but I made this for myself so that I could see how a day might look. Feel free to ignore it entirely :)
Ones in green are timings you may wish to change as these are the breaks. You can amend the calculation in Cells L10, L18 or L26 and the remaining calculations should update accordingly.
Use the guide in columns J and K to amend any timings - this is based on the fact that there are 288 x 5 minutes in 24 hours.
The formula for adding 25 minutes to the time in a cell (where the cell is C3) is
The formula for adding 5 minutes to Cell C3 is
If nothing else, and let alone whether or not Pomodoro is of any use, I'm delighted to have learned how to wrangle time formatting in Excel.
The locked spare is in case anyone mucks up the first sheet - the password is jobrodie
Since I made this for me, and it seems to work, I imagine that's the end of it but if you need to contact me I'm on firstname.lastname@example.org but I'm afraid I'm not going to be doing any more calculations. I'm certain there's a better way of doing this sort of thing but since I've found a solution to how to do this my interest in it has dropped back to zero ;)
Happy productivity, or time-wrangling,
This page was what pointed out to me the 5/288 style of calculation for 25 minutes: