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ReclaimAI Blog

Productivity tips, calendar hacks, and product updates from the Reclaim team.

Announcing the Planner Beta: a New Way to Manage Your Workweek
April 5, 2021

Your schedule changes all the time. Even for the most rigorous productivity nerds, it's too often the case that a "perfectly planned" week ends up falling apart as soon as Monday morning rolls around. 

Whether it's inbound meetings, changes to your priorities, or last-minute emergencies in work or life, it's just too difficult to predict what each day will bring to plan your week down to the minute in advance.

But what if your schedule was a living thing that could respond and adapt to those changes? What if you could click a button and watch your whole schedule reconfigure itself to suit changes in your needs?

Introducing Planner

Planner takes Reclaim's core capabilities -- Tasks, Habits, and Calendar Sync -- and surfaces them all in one place for you to get complete control over your workweek.

If you're already a Reclaim user, you're already familiar with how Reclaim blocks adaptive, flexible time on your calendar for you to focus on the most important to-dos and routines. We built these features specifically to help with the problem we mentioned above: that even with a lot of intentionality and planning, it's just too hard for busy professionals to manage their calendars alone.

But Planner goes even further, giving you fine-grained controls for rescheduling your Tasks and Habits automatically, reprioritizing your schedule when things change, and fetching tasks from your backlog to get them scheduled in seconds. 

With Planner, you can plot out your week in a fraction of the time it takes today, and reshuffle things if your priorities change (which they will) during the week.

Of course, Reclaim will continue doing its thing behind the scenes: even if you use Planner to schedule your priorities, Reclaim keeps things balanced in the background by automatically rescheduling your Tasks and Habits if they get interrupted, or adjusting them to suit changes in your schedule. 

Planner is another, powerful layer that puts you in the driver's seat so you can give Reclaim even more context about what needs to happen each week. In Planner, you can:

What's in Planner?

Planner combines several big improvements to Reclaim in one place, each one specifically designed to help you take control of your workweek. Let's take a look at them.

Calendar View

At the heart of Planner is a new calendar view within Reclaim, specifically designed to help give you simple and powerful control over your Reclaim-managed events.

This is where you can make changes to your Task and Habit events, like rescheduling time blocks for later automatically or removing events you don't want to spend time on that day. Here's a quick look at what's in the calendar view:

  1. Action Menu: you can click on any event on the calendar to get different actions that you can perform on the event. In the case of Tasks and Habits, you'll be able to reschedule the event, mark it as done, delete it, and more. For any events that aren't managed by Reclaim (like a meeting you were invited to) you'll see actions to open the event in Google Calendar, change its category, or edit Buffer Time that was added to it.
  2. Budget Bar: this is where you'll see your week broken down by category. If you've opted into automatic color-coding for your whole calendar, the colors on the budget bar will match the events on your calendar. You can also filter your events by clicking on different segments of the budget bar.
  3. Week Selector: you can navigate from week to week by clicking the arrows on this section of the calendar UI. You can also click "Today" to snap to the current week.
  4. View as...: since Reclaim dynamically changes Tasks and Habits from free to busy as your workweek fills up, and because you can set different privacy settings for your Tasks and Habits, it can be helpful to see your calendar as others will see it. You can use this option to see what others will see if they look at your calendar.

Planner Sidebar

To the right of Reclaim's new calendar view, there's a space where you can manage all your scheduled, unscheduled and completed Tasks and Habits for the week. 

This is where you can tell Reclaim -- with a single click -- that something needs to get done ASAP (or that something needs to be pushed to next week) so that Reclaim can automatically schedule it.

  1. Search: you can search through your Tasks and Habits to quickly schedule them for the week. This is a nice way to fetch items from your backlog to prioritize them for your schedule.
  2. Priority Toggle: you can prioritize your Tasks and Habits to tell Reclaim that they need to be scheduled sooner by just clicking the little blue triangle on any Task or Habit within the sidebar.
  3. Action Menu: you can click the "..." next to any Task or Habit to get controls for editing, adding time, rescheduling, and deleting.
  4. Scheduled this week: this section of the sidebar will show you all Habits and Tasks that are scheduled for that week.
  5. Unscheduled: this section of the sidebar shows all Habits and Tasks that Reclaim didn't have time to schedule that week.
  6. Done: this section of the sidebar shows you all completed Habits and Tasks. You can confirm that you completed a Task by checking it, and you can also uncheck Tasks that you didn't actually complete so that Reclaim can reschedule them.

Example: prioritizing a Task to get it done sooner in Planner

By default, Reclaim will schedule your Tasks and Habits according to the rules you've set for them. In the case of Tasks, they get scheduled based primarily on their due date, with Tasks that are due sooner getting scheduled sooner. In the case of Habits, they get scheduled based on the order you've stack-ranked them.

Oftentimes, however, your plans change and you might need to get certain Tasks done sooner -- even if their due date is later than other, lower-priority Tasks. Similarly, sometimes you might really want to make time for a particular Habit that you want to focus on that week.

This is where prioritization comes in. Using Planner, you can mark a Task or Habit as prioritized, which means that Reclaim will attempt to schedule it before attempting to schedule your other non-prioritized Tasks and Habits. Simply put, prioritizing a Task or Habit pushes it to the top of Reclaim's scheduling order.

Here, we have three tasks, all of which are due on April 9th:


As you can see, "Roadmap Deep Dive" and "Hiring Work" are both scheduled for this week, but "Write strategy doc" isn't. Let's say that I really want to make sure that I get time for "Write strategy doc" this week. I can hover over the Task in Reclaim, click the "Prioritize" button...

...and now "Write strategy doc" is scheduled, because I just told Reclaim that I want to prioritize that Task for the week!

Voila!

Prioritization is a really powerful and simple way to really align your calendar with the stuff that matters most. You can prioritize any Task or Habit, and it will automatically tell Reclaim to try scheduling those prioritized things first before it tries to schedule any of your other Tasks and Habits.

Bonus: a New Tasks Experience

As part of the Planner beta, we've also launched a brand-new Task creation experience that makes it effortless to get your to-dos scheduled.

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Now, you can just click "Create Task" from anywhere in Reclaim, or hit C on your keyboard, and you'll be able to quickly add Tasks to Reclaim using Tab and Cmd-Enter to add details and submit. Give it a whirl!

Give it a try!

Planner is in public beta and available to all Reclaim users starting...now! Give it a try, send us your feedback, and above all: get control over your workweek.

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