Because of how robust and flexible computers have become, we have made them integral in our daily life routine. For Windows users, there are two simple, yet useful, utilities that give us mere mortals time-management enhancements that can make how we work better. They are Citrus Alarm Clock by Orangeline Interactive and Egg Timer by Mike Robertson.
Citrus Alarm Clock
Citrus Alarm Clock is just that: an alarm clock application that will wake you up in the morning or alert you to other events of your choosing. What I like about this nifty application is that, unlike your typical alarm clock, the sound is not jarring or sudden, but rather it is gradual and wakes you up gently over the course of a minute or so. As it plays the audio file of your choosing, it starts off with absolute silence and then slowly raises the audio volume in increments until you are awake.
You can also skip days in advance so that an alarm won't sound at certain times, generate custom playlists so that you don't have to hear the same thing every morning, and use a convenient wake-from-sleep capability so you don't need to leave your PC on full steam overnight. In other words, you can set the alarm and put the system into sleep mode and, when the time approaches, your computer will automatically turn back on before the alarm is expected to go off.
Next up, we have Egg Timer. This tool can come in handy when you need to keep pace with your day-to-day activities. It can be really easy to get distracted or overwhelmed with a project at work and lose track of time. The Egg Timer, although quite simplistic by nature, is nice for a quick and dirty timer. Sometimes, firing up Outlook to make an event instance with a date and time could be either overkill or superfluous, depending on the nature of what is being accomplished. This tool is also nice as a study aid to enhance concentration. For instance, the Egg Timer was useful for me to keep pacing myself when studying for all my exams.
As far as price goes, Citrus Alarm Clock can be purchased for $12.95 after the 30-day trial, while Egg Timer is available for $5.
An avid technology writer and an IT guru, Matthew is here to help bring the best in software, hardware and the web to the collective consciousness of TechRepublic's readership. In addition to writing for TechRepublic, Matthew currently works as a Customer Success Professional for Ultimate Software in Santa Ana, California.