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The Most Important Design Tool You’re Not Using

How the Time Timer can revolutionize what you do

The Time Timer - 8 InchAbout five years ago, I started looking for a new timer to use in my design workshops for business executives. I’d used a watch up until then and communicated time to participants like, “we’ll stop at 2:35,” or “five minutes starting now . . . one minute . . . okay, we’re almost done, so wrap up your current concepts . . . okay, let’s wrap up . . . okay, let’s quiet down and share.” Repeatedly asking enthusiastic CEOs to put down their Sharpies just wasn’t cutting it. I wanted everyone to be on the same page about how much time remained on a given exercise–something with a definitive end and something that would spatially display time to concretely communicate an otherwise squishy concept.

Then, I came across the device that would quickly become my most valued design tool: the Time Timer. It was love at first sight. In a life surrounded by feature-packed, overly-designed gizmos begging for my attention every moment of every day, the Time Timer was the most earnestly designed object I’d ever seen. It’s one of those objects that is so simple, it’s easy to think that it wasn’t even designed at all, that it just exists because that’s what it was meant to be. It’s even called the Time Timer! It didn’t have some cute monosyllabic meaningless name. It is exactly what it is, a time timer and it is perfect.

I use an 8-inch timer for my workshops, I have a little one in my kitchen, and I have a 12-inch timer on the wall right next to my monitor in my office. It keeps me on track. Why do these work so well? It all comes down to its physicality.

Please select this link to read the complete article from Fast Company.

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