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The Mooas Cube Timer is the perfect time management gadget

It keeps me — and my family — on track.
Writer Molly Fahner Calhoun shares her timer cube in her hand and next to her laptop
TODAY Illustration / Courtesy Molly Fahner Calhoun

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Like many people, I’m pretty dependent on my smartphone for … well, everything. It’s my calculator, alarm clock, calendar, you name it. So, when I stumbled upon this cube timer, on one hand I thought, why would I need that? But I’m also a sucker for simplicity and novelty, and the couple steps it can take to set a timer on my phone can, at times, be kind of a pain. Plus, reviewers rave about this time management gadget — and admittedly, the thing is cute — so I was intrigued enough to try it.

I didn't know what to expect, but I would have never predicted that such a tiny tool would have such a big effect on my daily life!

Mooas Cube Timer

At first glance, I loved that this cube timer's 2.5-inch square size is small enough to be tucked into a kitchen drawer, but large enough not to get lost amongst my kids’ Legos. It only requires two triple A batteries (not included), and I didn’t have to read a five-page manual with ridiculously confusing photos describing how to use it.

It’s important to point out that this gadget comes in five colors — Coral, Mint, Violet, White and Yellow — and each shade comes with different time presets, so you should think about what you’d like to use it for before purchasing. For instance, the Mint version can set to 1-, 3-, 5- and 10-minute time increments, while the White version has presets for 5, 15, 30 and 60 minutes.

How it works: Turn the switch to low or high volume, decide which time preset you want, flip the cube so the desired time is facing upwards — and let the countdown begin. When the time is up, it gives off a series of beeps, and the discreet red light on the side of the cube will stop blinking. Easy peasy, right? Surely something this straightforward had to have a catch. So, in flagrant disbelief of the simplicity of this product, I set out to try it with my daily tasks — instead of reaching for my smartphone.

It’s a great motivator for homework

My elementary-aged kids have very little concept of time. My son, in particular, is a world-class staller at the age of eight, and he takes his sweet time doing everything from eating cereal to putting on socks. Getting him to commit to nightly homework has historically involved a whole lot of time wasting on his part and nagging on my part. But when he was offered control of timing his reading with this cube, he was giddy with excitement. He was suddenly energized — and shockingly, over a series of a few days, he was motivated to read longer.

We also used the Mooas Cube as a “pick up the pace” timer in the morning before school to see if my son and daughter could be dressed and ready within an allotted time. I’m not sure if it was their sibling competitiveness or if this cube is magic, but the speed at which they moved once I started the timer was every parent’s dream. Overall, both loved that it was easy to use—and I, for one, was happy that they didn’t have the digital distraction of my smartphone.

On a similar note, this cube timer also kept me focused while trying to check things off my endless to-do list. While sitting at my computer, I’d set it to 10 minutes so I could allocate a fixed time for returning emails or working out my family’s schedules. If I got distracted by a text or social media, the timer would jolt me back to reality before I wasted two hours looking for a funny GIF or scrolling through Instagram.

It’s an upgrade of your old-school egg timer

Sure, your smartphone can be convenient to time your enchiladas or grilled salmon in the oven, but there are several benefits to having a separate device to keep tabs on dinner. First, using the cube timer means you won’t have to fumble with your germ-y phone and get greasy fingerprints all over it in the process. Another plus? If my dish wasn’t quite done, I could quickly flip the cube to the one- or three-minute side to give it a bit more cooking time.

Courtesy Molly Fahner Calhoun

I also liked that while cooking, I could set the alarm to the louder volume, which made it easy to be heard above the range fan or the TV that I usually have on in the background. One con: Remember that you can’t change the time presets — what you order is what you get. So, if you have to boil pasta for exactly eight minutes, this may not be ideal.

It’ll help you rev up your workouts

When it comes to exercise, I quickly lose motivation from monotony. I found that one of the most exciting, and unexpected, uses for this cube was for when I was working out at home. It’s ideal for timing things like planks and wall squats because you don’t need to take several steps to set it. It’s also perfect for timing high-intensity intervals like lunges or mountain climbers, without needing a trainer to keep tabs on your at-work times and rest periods.

While I was initially skeptical about the Mooas Cube Timer, it’s possible that I’ve barely scratched the surface on all its uses. Next up, I’m going to use it to take an afternoon nap.

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