+5
Under review

Start timer from toolbar button

Bob 5 years ago updated 5 years ago 4

It could be helpful to have the option to start the focus timer from the button on the chrome toolbar instead of having to open the extension in a new tab.

+1
Under review

This is tricky I'm afraid. The button here is a Chrome 'browser action' (some docs, in case you're interested: https://developer.chrome.com/extensions/browserAction), which is only allowed to either perform some action when you click it (opening the extension page, as here), or to show a popup next to the button with a little content. Any extension is only allowed one browser action. This means I have fairly limited options to change this.


Does this cause that much of a problem? I think most people tend to go through this once to start the timer, and then start from notifications instead subsequently, which avoids this almost entirely. Is that not your workflow? Or is it that you do that, but this is still annoying when you're starting initially?


The options I can think of are:


  • Single click on button opens the tab, double click starts timing immediately. This sounds fine, but may make the current normal functionality a little weird. In the moment just after you first click the button, it's not clear whether you're just clicking, or you're only half way through double-clicking. Should the Build Focus page open immediately when you first click, but disappear on the 2nd click to start the timer? Or should clicking the button normally wait until it's sure you haven't double clicked before opening the page, adding a weird delay?
  • Clicking the button creates a popup, instead of opening the full page, with 'start' and 'open city page' buttons. I don't think that this really helps with your issue much, and doesn't feel like it's going to work nicely.
  • A separate extension; I could create a second very simple extension (which you'd have to install separately) that adds a 'start immediately' Build Focus button, next to the existing Build Focus button. This sounds like exactly what you want, but having to have two extensions is slightly annoying.

Hopefully that's a useful insight into the options here. Any strong preferences for what might help resolve your issue? Do you know of any other Chrome extensions with good solutions to this kind of thing?

+1

I do rely on the notification popup to start a new timer or take a break, so that workflow works well.


Out of your 3 options, I like the second one the best. The popup could be as simple as those two buttons, or it could be similar to the existing notification popup.


The main thing that I would like to be able to do is start a timer without displaying my city to the office. I can appreciate the benefit of gamification in the workplace, but I'm not totally sure my boss would be on board.

> The main thing that I would like to be able to do is start a timer without displaying my city to the office. I can appreciate the benefit of gamification in the workplace, but I'm not totally sure my boss would be on board.


Ah, thanks, that's really useful to know! I hadn't thought about that at all, but you're right, I can definitely see how that's an issue.


The popup option does sound like it'd solve that, but it's also going to add extra friction for other people using the tool normally, so I wouldn't want to do that by default. I could add an option to enable this though. I'm still tempted by the extra extension approach though, since that feels a bit more flexible. Hmm.


Another interesting option I've discovered: it looks like I can very easily add items to the right click menu. If you could right click the Build Focus icon and hit "Start focusing" from there, would that solve your problem?

A right-click menu option would solve my needs.


Looking at the 4 other Chrome extensions I have installed at the moment, 2/4 have right-click menu options and 4/4 have a dropdown on left-click. Either one would be a solution for me, as long as I can start a timer without looking at my city.