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break time reminder app
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stretchly Humane Tech Build Status Build status JavaScript Style Guide codecov Join the chat at

break time reminder app

stretchly is a cross-platform electron app that reminds you to take breaks when working on your computer.

Become a Patron!

By default, it runs in your tray and displays a reminder window containing an idea for a microbreak for 20 seconds every 10 minutes.

Every 30 minutes, it displays a window containing an idea for a longer 5 minute break.

User gets notified 30 seconds before break (and 10 seconds before microbreak) to be able to prepare to pause the work.

When break/microbreak starts, you can postpone it once for 5 and 2 minutes respectively. After a specific time interval passes, you can finish it early.

Both actions are available by clicking the link at the bottom of window or by using Ctrl/Cmd + x keyboard shortcut (except finishing early in strict mode).

You can pause/resume stretchly's break reminders. On Windows and macOS, you can set the app to start at login. Also, Do Not Disturb mode is respected on those platforms.

You can also skip to the next break or microbreak anytime from the menu, or reset (restart) breaks.

The tray tooltip shows information about how much time is left till the next (micro)break, the number of microbreaks until the next break, or the time remaining in pause till breaks resume.

Tray menu displays the time and type of next break as well.

Microbreaks and breaks can be customized:

  • you can set the duration and interval of breaks
  • you can enable/disable breaks
  • you can enable/disable strict mode (breaks can't be finished early)
  • you can enable/disable ability to postpone breaks

  • you can choose from different color schemes
  • you can pick a sound to be played at the end of the break

  • you can set the break window to be fullscreen
  • you can disable (micro)break ideas
  • you can disable pre-(micro)break notifications
  • you can disable notification sounds
  • you can disable monitoring of system idle time for natural breaks (when user leaves and after return idle time is greater then break duration, stretchly will reset breaks)
  • you can disable monitoring of DND (Do Not Disturb) mode on MacOS and Windows (breaks are not shown in DND mode)
  • you can disable the display of breaks on all of your monitors
  • you can change the default monochrome tray icon to a colorful version
  • you can change the interface language

All settings can be reset to defaults.

On first run, stretchly will present you with Welcome window, where you can set your locale and read Tutorial.

You can view Tutorial again anytime from About window.

Advanced settings

All settings are saved in a JSON file. To open it, use Ctrl/Cmd + d shortcut in About window and click on link to it.

Editing break/microbreak ideas

In the settings file, change useIdeasFromSettings: false, to useIdeasFromSettings: true, and edit breakIdeas and microbreakIdeas.

Editing break/microbreak notification interval

In the settings file, change breakNotificationInterval: 30000, to whatever value you want. 30000 is 30 seconds. Same goes for microbreak.

Editing sunrise time to pause breaks until morning

In the settings file you can set the morningHour setting to pause until that hour this or next day Otherwise, you can set morningHour: "sunrise" and set posLatitude, posLongitude in settings to pause until the actual sunrise in your area. E.g. if you live in Boston you would set: morningHour: "sunrise", posLatitude: 42.3, posLongitude: 71

Editing postpone functionality

In the settings file, you can edit microbreakPostpone and breakPostpone to enable or disable ability to postopne breaks, microbreakPostponeTime and breakPostponeTime to change postopone time in milliseconds, microbreakPostponesLimit and breakPostponesLimit to change number of allowed postpones per break, and finally, microbreakPostponableDurationPercent and breakPostponableDurationPercent to change percentage of break in which user can postpone the break.

New version notification

In the settings file, set notifyNewVersion: false, to disable new version notification.

Play sound at the start of the micro/break

In the settings file, set microbreakStartSoundPlaying: true, to start a microbreak with a sound. Same for breakStartSoundPlaying.

Install Github All Releases

Latest installers for macOS, Windows, Linux and FreeBSD can be found here.

On macOS you can install stretchly by running brew update && brew cask install stretchly.

On Windows, you can install stretchly for all users silently by running this as administrator: installer.exe /S /allusers.

You can create an installer by running npm run pack or npm run dist after npm install --no-save.

Running from source

To run app you will need nodejs. Clone the repo, run npm install and then simply run npm start to start stretchly.

It should run on any electron supported platform. Tested on macOS, Windows and Ubuntu Linux.

Linux note

Please see for Electron's Tray Linux specifics. Having libappindicator1 installed should be enough for stretchly.

For Natural breaks, you might need some packages too (libxss-dev).

If stretchly is not starting, you might need to run sudo sysctl kernel.unprivileged_userns_clone=1. Read more here. Depending on your distro, you probably want to do something similar to this, so the settings are kept after reboot: Add kernel.unprivileged_userns_clone=1 to /etc/sysctl.d/00-local-userns.conf and reboot.


Feel free to join development of this app via Issues and Pull Requests. Before implementing a feature, please open an Issue first, so we can be sure that no one else is working on it and so that the changes will be accepted.


One can use Ctrl/Cmd + d shortcut in About window to show debug information:

  • location of settings file (Clicking on settings file location will open it.)
  • debug information for break planner

You can copy debug information to clipboard.

Known issues

TODOs and Ideas

  • tests
  • PR tools
  • make installers/executables
  • create about page
  • only one instance
  • create longer breaks (5min every 30 minutes)
  • create settings for breaks
  • remember settings after restart
  • autostart app
  • start break anytime from menu
  • sound notification at the end of the break
  • strict mode (can't finish break early)
  • information about when will be the next break
  • create keyboard shortcuts
  • color-picker for themes
  • some kind of silent mode (see #44 and #327)
  • history/timeline of breaks
  • localization support (l12n, gettetxt via Crowdin, Weblate or so)


(by date of the first contribution)

  • Jan Hovancik, @hovancik,
  • Martina Mocinecova, (stretchly logo), color schemes
  • Jason Barry, @JCBarry,
  • Alex Alekseyenko, @alexalekseyenko
  • Sean Manton, @sxmanton
  • Yuriy Gromchenko, @gromchen
  • Mael, @laem
  • Marian Dolinský, @bramborman
  • midpoint, @midpoint
  • stothew, @stothew
  • Zhivko Kabaivanov, @unholyHub
  • sergiopjf, @sergiopjf
  • William Chang, @wilicw
  • Purva, @purva98
  • Riddhi, @riddhi99
  • Fahim Dalvi, @fdalvi,
  • Nic Desjardins, @nicdesjardins
  • Vladislav Kuznecov, @fizvlad
  • Oleg V., @neooleg
  • Manuel Jesús Aguilera Castro, @manueljaguilera
  • Ciprian Rusen,
  • Carlo Gandolfi, @cgand
  • Kavya Jain, @kavya-jain
  • Denys Otrishko, @lundibundi
  • p-bo, @p-bo
  • Alina Leuca, @alinaleuca
  • Sabine van der Eijk, @Sabin_E
  • JavaScript Joe, @jsjoeio
  • Ismail Demirbilek, @dbtek
  • Giacomo Rossetto, @jackymancs4
  • Hum4n01d, @hum4n01d
  • Ary Borenszweig, @asterite
  • Jonatan Nyberg, @jony0008
  • Gowee @Gowee
  • William Lin, @FanciestW
  • Hisman Yosika, @dnjstlr555
  • Mehmet Fatih Yıldız, @mfyz
  • Sunny Dhoke, @sunn-e
  • Przemysław Rząd, @rzadp
  • Artūras Stifanovičius, @troyanas

Humans and Tools

Sounds credits

Sounds used in this application are listed here.

Fonts credits

This app uses Lato fonts under the OFL license. See OFL.txt file.


See LICENSE file.

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