Timer app - remind me after 30 minutes

My work requires me to complete timesheets, and i always end up doing this retrospectively using my calendar and trying to remember what I was doing during my calendar gaps.

I’ve tried filling my calendar in for all gaps, but I forget. I’ve tried using Timery, but I forget to change the timer.

What I’d like is:

  • a timer app that will ask me to set a timer every 30 minutes (either schedule or based on timer duration (preferably time)
  • ability to stop notifications by selecting a “I’m not tracking time anymore today” option and stopping all timers for the day

I could do this using shortcuts, but the only way I can think of is the Time of Day option, which would require lots of individual shortcuts and limited ability to stop timers for the day.

Any ideas? Thanks!

Someone else might have a better recommendation for a single time-tracking app with the kind of built-in recurring reminders you’re looking for, but Shortcuts could probably still work…

I do this, which might be a starting point for you.

The recurring reminder part isn’t too much of a problem (I might use Due for that part). Question is how/where you want to log what you’re doing. I’m fond of logging time direct to my calendar, but if you’re not using a specific time logging app to capture the data, you might append entries to a text file in iCloud or Drafts or some other Shortcuts enabled app that can accept text input that’s already in your toolkit.

You could schedule notifications from within Shortcuts using Toolbox Pro. The notification itself could be set to run a shortcut that prompts you to note current task/item and append that text to a file. For ease/speed, you could set this up with some default text (e.g. “continued”) to indicate that you’re continuing the same task/action from the previous 30 minute block. The final actions of that shortcut could set up the next 30 minute reminder (or not, if you’ve finished tracking for the day).

Again, as an alternative, you could use Due for the recurring reminder part, with similar thinking for logging notes/actions and setting the next timer. I’d probably trust Due to get my attention more than I’d trust a notification.

Thanks @jsamlarose!

A couple of things I omitted

  1. I don’t really care about the time outside of completing the time sheets.
  2. The time I log is in categories (as per my time sheet), so I might have a category called “Internal Meetings” and other which is “Client A”. There are few enough categories to require them to be available from a dropdown rather than free text
  3. I need to see the time aggregated by day - I don’t need to know when I entered the time for, just how long for in total for the day

I’d love to see what you did - as you said it might make a great starting point!

Are you able to share the Shortcuts?


Alright I’ve had a go and learnt a ton :slight_smile:

I set up all of the time codes in Data Jar, then had that drive menus in Shortcuts for Client and Project in Timery.

This runs as an initial timer starter for the day (called “Clock in”. If the time code doesn’t exist, Timery will create it.

Then, every half hour between 7am and 7pm, a time of day automation runs that runs this shortcut, with a couple of rules so it doesn’t ask me when I’m not working (is a timer currently running?).

If a timer is running, it vibrates my device and runs the “Clock in” shortcut, which if I select the menus on, will stop the current timer and start a new timer as per the menu selections. If no timer is running, it does nothing.

Seems to work well. I’m disappointed that Personal Automation can’t run without notifying you, as it means I’ll get a silent notification every half hour which is a bit janky, but hopefully won’t be too annoying.

Suggestions above are great. You might also want to look into some Pomodoro Technique software. My favorite is Vitamin-R. It is probably far more functionality than you want, but take a look.


I use Harvest as it is also multiplatform and if you forget that it is running it will track you down with notices say “Hey you have not done anything for a while” and give you a set of options. The reporting features are amazing and it even can be set up to create invoices.

I still use a Pomodoro Timer as @anon41602260 suggests and love the technique but the available software leaves a lot to be desired.

I was using Vitamin-R previously then switched to Tomatoes also sold as All Things Done. Although I liked this app it has been very buggy and the developer’s engagement seems low with their last tweet on Twitter happening in 2019 so I have yanked it and went back to Vitamin-R.

Now testing another app named Focus Booster.

There was a previous app that I cannot recall the name of and it clicked all my boxes but was discontinued.

There seems to droves of Pomodoro apps but most of them do not have a good feature set and seem to get rotten quickly and get discontinued.

Vitamin-R seems to be best in class but I hope they add some additional features for ease of use.

The issues I see with Vitmain-R is that you have to re-enter a lot of data to define the time slices. There is no real-time syncing between iOS app and macOS app except sharing file information.

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Of course, the best pomodoro timer for reminders is, a pomodoro timer:

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