Jan Hovancik

Open-source enthusiast, connecting the dots in Product teams. CV with contact info



The break time reminder app

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

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Table of contents

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 settings, view the online tutorial or simply continue with the default settings.

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.


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.

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

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
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 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 timers will be cleared and will stay at 0 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.

Appearance Contributor Preferences

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

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.

Check for new version

If you don't want to ever check for new version, set checkNewVersion to false.

Make Stretchly show breaks as regular windows Contributor Preferences

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 Contributor Preferences

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": [

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": [

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.

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.


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? …).


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.


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.

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

You can copy debug information to the clipboard.


Stretchly uses log package for some extra logging.
Format as following:


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

Known issues





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 Open Sans fonts licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0.


See LICENSE file.