Image: Oleg Chepurin, Getty Images/iStockphoto

For many individuals, working in a modern, always-connected, always-on world requires communication and collaboration with colleagues working in other parts of the planet, living in different time zones. Tracking the specific time in another part of the world and then remembering how that time compares to your reference time, is not an endeavor many of us wish to actively pursue.

Fortunately, there are digital tools to help make the tracking of time zones less taxing to our business communications. For users of Microsoft Windows 10, the often-overlooked Alarms & Clock app can be set up to show at a glance the difference between time zones for areas that you designate.

This how-to tutorial shows you how to access the Alarms & Clock app in Windows 10 and set up a simple but effective map of time zone comparisons important to you.

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How to track time zones with the Alarms & Clock app

Once most Windows 10 users set the time and date on their system clocks, they never think about those settings again. But the Alarms & Clock app in Windows 10 can be useful, if you apply a little imagination.

To open the Alarms & Clock app, you can type “clock” into the Windows 10 desktop search box and select the appropriate search result. Or, you can also find the app listed under “A” on the Start Menu. Since it is a Windows 10 app, you can pin the Alarms & Clock app to the Start Menu or Taskbar, as well. When the app is open, click the Clock tab to reach a screen like the one shown in Figure A.

Figure A

The app should be indicating the current time zone based on your Windows 10 system settings. In our example, that is US Standard Eastern Time.

To continue our example, let’s say we have teammates and colleagues important to our work located in various parts of the world. Click the plus button (+) on the bottom of the screen and enter desired locations. Adding those locations will create a map similar to Figure B.

Figure B

The example map compares the current time, but what if you want to compare time zones three hours from now? Click the double-clock button on the bottom of the screen to open the Compare window. As shown in Figure C, this setting adds a timeline to the app which allows you to slide back and forth along the axis to compare all relative times. In the example, we are comparing time zones when our system time reaches 5 p.m.

Figure C

Click the Cancel button to return to the standard view.

Simple help tracking time zones

While the Alarms & Clock app in Windows 10 is a simple application, it can still be useful. Of course, the same task outlined in this article could be accomplished with a simple internet search, but that would involve opening a browser, navigating to a search engine, typing a valid search, choosing a result from the list, and then retrieving the appropriate information. For this basic time zone comparison task, it would be easier to simply open the Alarms & Clock app in Windows 10.