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The break time reminder app

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Stretchly logo

The break time reminder app

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

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Table of contents

Install GitHub All Releases Packaging status

The latest official installers and portable versions for macOS, Windows, Linux and FreeBSD can be found at Github Releases page.

macOS

You can also install Stretchly with Homebrew by running brew update && brew install --cask stretchly. When upgrading, run brew update && brew upgrade --cask. Don't forget to Quit Stretchly, first.

If you're using Alfred or Raycast on macOS you can use this Alfred Workflow or Raycast Extension to interact with Stretchly.

Application Signing

Stretchly is not signed (due to its costs) so you will need to use a workaround for the first run. The workaround depends on if you're running an Intel or Apple Silicon chip.

If you install via Homebrew, you can use the --no-quarantine flag to automatically apply the correct workaround.

brew install --cask --no-quarantine stretchly

Not sure which chip your computer has? Here's how to tell.

Windows

You can also install Stretchly with Chocolatey by running the following command from the command line or from PowerShell: choco install stretchly. Upgrade with choco upgrade stretchly.

Stretchly is also available in Microsoft's winget.

You can install Stretchly for all users silently by running this as administrator: installer.exe /S /allusers.

Linux/BSD/Portable

For portable versions and for Linux/BSD installers, head to Github Releases page. The most widely used distributions should be covered.

Linux note

Please see http://electron.atom.io/docs/api/tray/ for Electron's Tray Linux specifics. Having libappindicator1 (libappindicator on Fedora) installed should be enough for Stretchly. If the tray icon is not visible when using the Gnome DE, an extension, such as this, is required to enable it.

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 preferences are kept after reboot: Add kernel.unprivileged_userns_clone=1 to /etc/sysctl.d/00-local-userns.conf and reboot.

Running from source

To run Stretchly from source you will need Node.js, ideally the one specified in package.json. Clone the repo, run npm install and then simply run npm start to start Stretchly.

Custom installer

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

Default behavior

When you run Stretchly for the first time, you are presented with a Welcome window that allows you to change the language, review the preferences, view the online tutorial or simply continue with the default preferences.

Stretchly itself lives in your tray, only displaying a reminder window from time to time, which contains an idea for a break.

By default, there is a 20 second Mini Break every 10 minutes and a 5 minute Long Break every 30 minutes (after 2 Mini Breaks).

You'll be notified 10 seconds before a Mini Break (and 30 seconds before a Long Break) so that you can prepare to pause your work.

When a break starts, you can postpone it once for 2 minutes (Mini Breaks) or 5 minutes (Long Breaks). Then, after a specific time interval passes, you can skip the break. Both actions are available by clicking on the link at the bottom of window or by using the Ctrl/Cmd + X keyboard shortcut.

Clicking the Stretchly icon in your tray area will display the current status of breaks, provide menu items with extra functionality, and link to the Preferences.

Stretchly is monitoring your idle time, so when you are idle for 5 minutes, breaks will be paused until you return.

Stretchly is also monitoring Do Not Disturb mode, so breaks are paused when DnD mode is On.

Stretchly follows the theme of your system and is also available in dark mode.

Interact with stretchly from command line

When a Stretchly instance is running, the stretchly command can be use to interact with it from the command line.

Type stretchly help to get a list of all commands and options available as well as some examples.

Preferences

Most of the preferences can be customized by clicking on the "Preferences" item in the tray menu.

Preferences are divided into multiple categories and you are encouraged to take some time to make Stretchly your own by customizing them.

You can also Restore the defaults to return to the default preferences state.

Advanced Preferences

All preferences are saved in a JSON file. Use the Ctrl/Cmd + D shortcut while viewing the About section of Preferences, to show debug info and display a clickable link to the file.

It's recommended to Quit Stretchly before editing the preferences file.

To make sure that all works as expected, it's always good idea to check that format of the preferences file is correct, ie. by using jsonformatter.

After you make changes to preferences files, some of the values being shown in Preferences or elsewhere might show incorrect value, as the UI is expecting specific values and is not handling cases where user makes manual changes to preferences file.

Some of the extra preferences are available in Contributor Preferences for Contributors. Those are marked by Contributor Preferences badge.

Preferences marked with Not Reliable might not work correctly and might break Stretchly. Use at own risk.

Note: Before 1.0, Mini Breaks and Long Breaks were called Microbreaks and Breaks, respectively. To keep the upgrade smooth they still use that name in preferences file and in code.

Editing Break ideas

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

Note that when a new Stretchly version with new break ideas is out, your custom ideas will not be overwritten. You can reset break ideas to the latest defaults when you "Restore defaults" from Preferences window.

Editing Break notification interval Contributor Preferences

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

Editing sunrise time to pause breaks until morning

In the preferences file you can set the morningHour setting to pause until that hour today or the next day Otherwise, you can set morningHour: "sunrise" and set posLatitude, posLongitude in preferences 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 Contributor Preferences

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

New version notification Contributor Preferences

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

Play sound at the start of the Break Contributor Preferences

In the preferences file, set microbreakStartSoundPlaying: true, to start a Mini Break with a sound (The same sound will be played as at the end of the break). Same for breakStartSoundPlaying.

Natural breaks inactivity time Contributor Preferences

In the preferences file, set naturalBreaksInactivityResetTime to your preferred value (in milliseconds greater than than 20000ms). This is an idle time length, after which Stretchly breaks will be paused until the user resumes activity.

Volume for break sounds Contributor Preferences

In the preferences file, set volume to your preferred value. Default value is 1, which is 100% volume. Set it, for example, to 0.61 for 61% volume.

Postpone/Finish Break Shortcut

In the preferences file, set endBreakShortcut to your preferred value. We do not validate this input, so please check Electron's documentation for available values for key and modifier. When a given accelerator is already taken by other applications, this call will silently fail. This behavior is intended by operating systems, since they don't want applications to fight for global shortcuts.

If you'd like to disable the shortcut, set value to empty string "".

Default value is CmdOrCtrl+X.

Pause Breaks Shortcut

In the preferences file, set pauseBreaksShortcut to your preferred value. We do not validate this input, so please check Electron's documentation for available values for key and modifier. When a given accelerator is already taken by other applications, this call will silently fail. This behavior is intended by operating systems, since they don't want applications to fight for global shortcuts.

If you'd like to disable the shortcut, set value to empty string "". That's the default value as well.

Resume Breaks Shortcut

In the preferences file, set resumeBreaksShortcut to your preferred value. We do not validate this input, so please check Electron's documentation for available values for key and modifier. When a given accelerator is already taken by other applications, this call will silently fail. This behavior is intended by operating systems, since they don't want applications to fight for global shortcuts.

If you'd like to disable the shortcut, set value to empty string "". That's the default value as well.

Appearance Contributor Preferences

In the preferences file, change themeSource: 'system' to either 'light' or 'dark' to always use the specified theme.

Break window color

In the preferences file, change mainColor to whatever color you like.

Welcome window Contributor Preferences

To show the Welcome window again on the next start, change "isFirstRun" to true.

Theme transparency Contributor Preferences

To specify how solid the break window should be when Theme transparency is enabled, set the value of opacity from 0 to 1 (which is in turn 0 to 100%).

Break window size Contributor Preferences

To specify the size of the break window, set the value of breakWindowHeight and breakWindowWidth from 0 to 0.99 (which is in turn 0 to 99% of the size of the screen). Don't set 100% as that's fullscreen.

Make Stretchly show breaks as regular windows Contributor Preferences Not Reliable

If you want Stretchly breaks to act as regular windows (have a titlebar, turn off always on top, be minimizable and focusable) set showBreaksAsRegularWindows to true.

Pause/resume breaks only when specific command is running

By editing appExclusions in preferences file, you can automatically control when Stretchly breaks are paused.

If you want Stretchly to be paused when specific apps are running, you could have this value (breaks are paused when Skype or Atom are running):

"appExclusions": [
    {
        "rule": "pause",
        "active": true,
        "commands": [
            "/usr/share/skypeforlinux/skypeforlinux",
            "atom"
        ]
    }
]

If you want Stretchly to be running when specific apps are as well, you could have this value (breaks are paused when Skype or Atom are not running):

"appExclusions": [
    {
        "rule": "resume",
        "active": true,
        "commands": [
            "/usr/share/skypeforlinux/skypeforlinux",
            "atom"
        ]
    }
]

You can specify multiple values, (as appExclusions is array) and Stretchly will take the first one that is marked as "active": true. Multiple commands can be specified as well. They are case sensitive.

You can also specify appExclusionsCheckInterval in milliseconds: lower number means more often checks, but also higher CPU usage. Default value is 1000 which is 1 second.

Pause breaks on Suspend/Lock Not Reliable

If you don't want to reset breaks once system is back from Suspend/Lock, set pauseForSuspendOrLock to false.

Monitor to show breaks on Not Reliable

In case you have disabled showing of breaks on all monitors, you can specify which one should contain the break window. Set screen value to one of the following:

  • "primary" - primary monitor as given by OS
  • "cursor" - monitor where there is cursor
  • "0" (or 0), "1", "2" etc, where "0" is the first monitor returned by OS and so forth

Show time to the next break in menubar icon Contributor Preferences Not Reliable

If you want Stretchly to show time to the next break in menubar icon set timeToBreakInTray to true.

Show current time in breaks Contributor Preferences

To show current time in breaks, set the value of currentTimeInBreaks from false to true.

Contributor Preferences

Stretchly is free but you can support it by contributing code, translations or money. You will be rewarded by getting access to Contributor Preferences, ability to Sync Preferences, chat on Discord and more!

You can access contributor features after authenticating with Github or Patreon in the "Love Stretchly" section of Preferences.

Sponsoring on Github Become a Sponsor!

GitHub Sponsors does not charge any fees for sponsorships from user accounts, so 100% of these sponsorships go to the sponsored developer or organization. Github Sponsors Matching Fund will also match every donation.

You will be able to access Contributor Preferences, Sync Preferences. You won't be able to chat on Discord.

Sponsoring on Patreon Become a Patron!

Patreon has fees plus it uses PayPal, which has its fees as well.

You will be able to access Contributor Preferences, Sync Preferences and Discord chat.

Donating with Crypto currencies

Bitcoin

3EyJNtJPuQjfqP5czN88kPySwxVjv7h42y

Ethereum

0x377f05E76e96EC4C19fF225e767FeD77b1750294

Zcash

t1XyjwJtViEqATUnPKG6mdUwN4TkoCfxzcM

Let me know if you would like to use some other currency.

Currently, there are no rewards for donating with Crypto currencies, as we can't programmatically match them.

Donating with PayPal Donate with PayPal

PayPal has fees.

Currently, there are no rewards for donating via PayPal, as we can't programmatically match them.

Contributing code

By contributing code (or translations), you will be able to access Contributor Preferences, Sync Preferences. You won't be able to chat on Discord.

Development

Feel free to join in the 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 that the changes will be accepted. It is important do discuss changes before implementing them (Why should we add it? How should it work? How should it look? Where will it be? ...).

Pre-requisites

  • Node.js (please use version specified in package.json)
    • Linux/MacOS - you might want to use Node Version Manager to install specific version
    • Windows - download installer for specific version; during installation check “Install Additional Tools for Node.js”
  • git
  • Github account, if you'd like to upstream your changes

Now you can clone the repo with git clone https://github.com/hovancik/stretchly.git. Change to the new created directory and run npm i to install node packages needed.

Read on.

Debugging

You can use Stretchly's built-in debug shortcut by pressing Ctrl/Cmd + D in the About section to show information such as:

  • Location of the Preferences and Log file (Clicking on file location will open it),
  • Debug information for break planner

You can copy debug information to the clipboard.

If you start Stretchly in development mode with the npm run dev command, it makes it possible to debug the application in your browser on http://localhost:9222.

Logging

Stretchly uses [log](https://github.com/megahertz/electron-log) package for some extra logging. Format as following:

  • System: my message for messages regarding Operating System, ie: System: resume or unlock
  • Stretchly: my message for messages regarding Stretchly

Translations

You can help to translate Stretchly on Weblate. Consider joining with your Github account to be correctly credited. Translation status

Known issues

MacOS

  • users experiencing their Dock hiding after a break, requiring command + tab or a mouse click to get focus back, check System Preferences > Users & Groups > {User} > Login Items. If Hide is checked for Stretchly, uncheck it, it should solve the issue.

Linux

Windows

  • users who upgraded to Windows 10 from previous Windows versions might be in "Do Not Disturb mode" all the time so they need to check "Show breaks even in Do Not Disturb mode"
  • users with Chromium-based browser (Chrome, Edge, etc...) might need to set some flags when browser is non-responsive after break

Contributors

Also see Github's list of contributors.

1.0 Icon and UI design by Colin Shanley (www.colinshanley.com).

Humans and Tools

Sounds credits

Sounds used in this application are listed here.

Fonts credits

This app uses Noto Sans fonts licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0.

License

See LICENSE file.

Open Source Agenda is not affiliated with "Stretchly" Project. README Source: hovancik/stretchly
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