I just released a new version of my Google Chrome extension Break Helper (it can be found here).


I added two new features: one more time management rule - Pomodoro technique. Basically it lets you split your work in blocks. Work for 25 minutes and rest for 5 minutes. I think it’s the sweet spot, because from my own experience I know, that 20-20-20 rule’s break time (just 20 seconds) is too short for a proper rest and 50-10 rule’s break time (10 minutes) is just too much at a time. I often find myself not waiting until the end of the break and get back to work.

Another feature I added is (optional) audio notifications. They are played when your break ends to let you know that it really ended. I think it’s quite useful, if you rest away from your workplace, stare away through the window or do something else. At first I tried to play sounds using HTML embed tag, but in Chrome’s notification it flickered a bit and I wasn’t able to fix that with CSS (even with hiding it). Then I switched it to** HTML5 audio** tag, which worked nicely.

As for Javascript, I rewrote some functionality. Cleaned up some code, removed duplicated code and made it more reusable, improved my storage structure (now I store only 2 objects with multiple parameters, everything encoded in JSON, and before I had everything as a separate local storage array element). Reuse as much code as possible, because modifying something, that is used in a number of different places is very… painful.

Problems and to do

One issue that still persists is the design. I am not happy with it and I don’t think users like it, that’s why I plan to redesign it. The problem is I’m not good with design work, but oh well, it’s time for improvements.


Now Break helper has 40 users, 14 weekly installs, 3 **ratings and is rated at **4 stars. I think it’s pretty good, since I’ve done nearly no promotion of it, just created a thread on one forum, which resulted in some users.

I still have some plans how to improve the extension, like redesigning it. After that I’ll try to do some promotion. A month ago I saw a post on Lifehacker that featured a very similar website. I think I remember using it 20-20-20 rule. Any chances they saw my extension? And if the extension catches on, I hope to expand to other browsers (Opera, Firefox), maybe mobile niche (iOS, Android).

If you have any suggestions or comments, please don’t hesitate to leave them below or contact me.

Break helper on Chrome Web store