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Excited Pixel BreakTime 2.0 review

A handy app to ensure you take regular breaks

Excited Pixel BreakTime 2.0
During breaks, BreakTime dims the screen in an attempt to ensure that you trot off for some tea


  • Simple to set up and use
  • Looks very stylish
  • Uses few system resources
  • Offers plenty of exit options

There aren't many science guys out there who'll argue that humans evolved to sit at desks, typing away at keyboards and bathing themselves in the glow of monitors. In fact, recent studies claim this lifestyle is extremely bad for you and you should at the very least take regular breaks from your hallowed sitting position.

BreakTime is an app that can give you these reminders and, optionally, force you to step away from the keyboard.

In use, BreakTime reminds us a lot of The Iconfactory's Take Five: after you define time settings (for gaps between breaks and length of breaks), the app gets out of your way. Then, 10 seconds before a break is due, a sleek countdown window appears under BreakTime's menu-bar item.

You can use a slider to delay the break, if you wish; otherwise, the screen dims and the BreakTime countdown begins, signalling your window of opportunity to grab that cuppa.

Using the app's preferences, you can optionally have it 'enforce' your break by disabling the Mac OS X app switcher and any early use of the countdown window's Done button.

If you're insanely busy, there are escape paths - the window has delay timers of its own (for one, five and 15 minutes), and you can always quit the app using Command+Q.

We really like BreakTime - rather like Take Five, BreakTime does a simple thing really elegantly, with very little intrusion. It's also light on the system and light on your wallet, and it's therefore pretty much perfect for anyone who rarely remembers to take regular breaks from office tasks. And we bet that's most of you.

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