Mac: We’ve discussed how important it is to take breaks and get up from the computer regilarly, and we love apps that help you do it. Coffee Break for Mac is one of those apps, but instead of just reminding you every so often to take a break, you can schedule the breaks whenever it suits. When it’s break time, the app will darken your computer screen for the duration of your break so you can’t just ignore it.
Once installed, tell Coffee Break when you want to be reminded to take a break, and for how long. You can set up to five breaks over the course of the day, and enable or disable them individually. Then, tell Coffee Break how long each of those breaks will be. When the timer goes off, Coffee Break will alert you that it’s break time, and the app will then slowly darken your display so you have to stop using it. You can tweak how much the app dims your screen, but the default is around 90%. Then, when the break is over, your screen will return to normal, and Coffee Break runs in the background quietly, sitting in your menubar.
You can use Coffee Break as a way to dim your screen over your entire break so you don’t use your system, or just long enough that you feel compelled to actually take your break and not ignore the fact that you meant to get up and walk around. Windows users looking for similar apps can try previously mentioned Workrave or Breaker, another app we love.
On Mac, other alternatives telling the built-in clock to announce the time on the hour, or an app like Awareness, which offers a different take on reminding you to take breaks. Coffee Break is available in the Mac App Store for $2.99.
Do you use a utility to remind you to get up from the computer every once in a while, or do you just set a timer? Share your thoughts in the comments below.