Making time for creative work: a gadgetry approach

Make Time Clock by Fractured Atlas

I admit it. When I heard about the Make Time Clock, the first foray into product development by Fractured Atlas, I admit I was a little skeptical.

But after seeing Selena Juneau-Vogel’s 5-minute IGNITE presentation (basically a modified PechaKucha) about the clock yesterday at NAMP, and talking to Selena for 15 minutes last night, I’m sold, and I just made my Kickstarter pledge.

The idea is simple: create a visual and tactile representation of ongoing progress toward a project or goal that you’re having trouble making time for, to help you move forward on what’s important (what matters to you) rather than what’s urgent (what matters to everyone else).

There are systems out there to help you prioritize and systems out there to help you make incremental progress. But this is different: it’s something that sits on your desk or your kitchen table and gives you (and the members of your family/household/work community, which is not incidental) evidence that you’re putting in the time necessary to make progress: by default in sessions of 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week.

There are three things I particularly like about this approach:

(1) It’s a physical object, not a thing that runs on your computer (or on pieces of paper, or in your mind).

(2) It’s visible to others, not just to you, which makes it possible for you to solicit and receive social reinforcement—again, from people who are physically present in your environment, not just your Internet friends.

(3) It acknowledges that five or ten minutes snatched here and there will not be sufficient. Creativity happens in sessions, not in five-minute increments; there’s a ramp-up and a wind-down.

I’m actually going to use this thing.

They have a little under four weeks left to get another 120 pledges, so get yours in. Tell them that Selena sent you.


  • Reply L. Niedermeyer |

    Thank you so much Rich for writing about Make Time Clock. We are learning how to differentiate ourselves from other trackers and productivity tools. You articulate so clearly what it is we are trying to swing the pendulum in other other direction towards – mindfulness, awareness, rhythm, consistency (vs. trackers for efficiency, productivity and guilt).

    Thank you for backing our campaign. Thank you for helping get the word out. When the first production device rolls out, you’ll know you had a part in making that happen.

    L. Niedermeyer
    Make Time Clock, Chief Connector

So, what do you think ?