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From cooking to workouts — this cube timer simplified all my everyday tasks

It keeps me and my family on track.
Courtesy Molly Fahner Calhoun

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 first 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 of 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 Time Management Cube Timer

  • Compact: 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.
  • Multiple time presets: 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.
  • Easy to use: 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 time is up, it gives off a series of beeps, and the discreet red light on the side of the cube will stop blinking.

Surely something this straightforward has to have a catch. So, in 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 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. Shockingly, over a series of a few days, he was motivated to read longer.

Courtesy Molly Fahner Calhoun

We also used the Mooas Cube Timer as a “pick up the pace” tool 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 1- or 3-minute side to give it a bit more cooking time.

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 also 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.