One of the things I love about working with people all around the world is that I feel like an international woman of mystery. Unfortunately, by “mystery” I mean time zones and my propensity for mixing them up, especially since I live in a country that does not participate in daylight saving time.
Missing phone appointments or calling people obscenely early in the morning is embarrassing, so I was happy to install FIO (an acronym for Figure It Out). The free Chrome extension lets you pick a 12-hour or 24-hour clock and up to five locations, including your own. It then arranges the time zones in order and assigns each of them a color that shifts throughout the day. Bright orange means afternoon, while indigo blue signifies the middle of the night.
But wait, you might be thinking, why not just use the iOS world clock (which includes a map on iPad) or one of the many similar websites out there?
The answer (at least for me) is simple. There are days when I talk to people in at least five time zones and if I have to stare at yet another row of clock faces or world map, I will go crazy. The impact on my sanity is incremental, but very real, and I thank FIO for saving a little piece of my brain. FIO’s colors and format can also help cut through the mire of jet lag if you frequently travel. I plan to use it alongside World Time Buddy, an easy-to-read time zone converter.
FIO’s developers plan to add features like winter and summer clocks, as well as clocks based on major time zones, like Greenwich Mean Time, and make the site fully responsive so it can be used on mobile devices, too.