Permatime: New Resource for Global Teams


Permatime - Mozilla Firefox 3.1 Beta 1 (Build 20081007125523)We’ve looked at a couple of utilities designed to help teams spread across timezones stay on track, including the FoxClocks addon to Firefox and the EasyTZ site. A new approach, Permatime, offers a new way to check what time it is everywhere – and to represent it in easy-to-read URLs to boot.

When you first visit the Permatime site, you’ll be asked to pick your own timezone – you can type in something like “PST” or “Central” or “Belgrade” and a dropdown list will help you choose. Then, you’ll see your current time in your local timezone. That’s not much – but if you then add “London” and “Moscow” you’ll see the time in all three zones. The site remembers you timezones across visits, too, so if you have a spread-out team you can set it up once and then just go there for current times whenever you want.

But that’s not where the “permatime” comes in. There’s also a button on the user interface to create a new permatime, and when you click it, you get to pick any arbitrary date and time, as well as one of your default timezones. The system will then cough up a URL for you. For example, I’m likely to take my kids trick-or-treating around You can see from the URL when that is – and if you visit that URL and set your own timezone, you’ll get the time translated into your local zone.

There’s nothing earth-shattering here, but my experience has been that timezones lead to missed meetings more than anything else. So any service that makes it easier to treat time as a constant rather than a variable has my vote.


Tim Diggins

Hey @Dan Power, I agree with you on India – looks like we have a similar problem to China and need more cities listed (under India/New_Delhi, India/Bangalore, etc.)

As for the interface, anything specific you can identify as confusing/difficult? We’re keen on getting feedback. Feel free to add bugs or feature requests at

Tim Diggins

Good question @Dima. Currently we’re just using the published timezone names, which have some drawbacks:

China is apparently listed as PRC (China has only one official timezone). Mostly the timezone listings are based around important cities – but while there is an Asia/Shanghai, there is no Asia/Beijing. Strange. Looks like we will need to fix that locally (follow

As for Australia – it has multiple timezones, so you need to type in a city you’re intested in, like Melbourne, Sydney, or Adelaide… excitingly (for us timezone geeks) Adelaide is one of the few timezones with an half-hour offset!

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