Whether you're timing the perfect cup of tea or counting down to your next break, a good timer application is invaluable. Here's a look at the five most popular Windows timer applications.
Orzeszek Timer (Free)
Orzeszek Timer won many readers over with a dead simple interface that allows you to input your countdown needs with flexible formatting. Orzeszek Timer recognised, for example, "5" as five minutes, "1d 3h 8m 30s" as one day, three hours, eight minutes, and thirty seconds, and can even recognise future date and time combinations for those long haul count downs. Orzeszek Timer also accepts command line arguments so you can make batch files for your most frequently used countdown values. No Installation required.
Focus Booster (Free)
Focus Booster is a free Adobe-Air based timer implementation (it's also available for Mac OS X) that sports a sleek interface and built-in break timing. From the options menu you can adjust your session length, your break length, toggle a ticking background sound on and off (great if you like the motivation ominous ticking provides), and toggle the main alarm sounds on and off. Focus Booster has a slick meter-style count down so not only do you see the time counting down but, for the more visually oriented among us, you see the bar slowly fill as the seconds are marked off. When the bar is completely green your time is up.
CookTimer is a simple countdown timer with presets for 3/5/10/15 minute blocks of time as well as a custom user input. CookTimer will, if toggled to do so, automatically reset and begin the count down again and continue to ring until attended to (handy if you're the kind of person that can hear a chime and become distracted before you deal with what the chime represents). CookTimer is also available for Linux.
SnapTime appears, at first glance, like many of the other tiny one-function timers available. Delving into the options menu reveals a slew of settings, however, that allow you to customise the alarm sound, display a message, push a system tray notification, run a program, change the display font, loop the alarm, set it to automatically restart, and more. No installation required.
CoolTimer, most notable perhaps for the shockingly pink default colour scheme, is a classic in the timer app world. Some readers have been using CoolTimer for as long as they can remember using timer apps on their computers. It sports an easily adjusted counter as well as support for multiple preset times. You can use the built-in sounds or load your own audio files and it functions as an alarm clock, a count down timer, and a stock watch. Timers can also have accompanying notices in order to remind you why you set the time.