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

Best Planner Apps: Top 5 Tools for Productivity in 2022
December 13, 2021

Dwight Eisenhower once said that “plans are useless; planning is indispensable.” As both a U.S. president and top WWII military commander, Eisenhower had some complicated things to plan.

Unfortunately for many of us, planning happens through a mishmash of digital and paper task lists, notes (Post-it and otherwise), and various siloed calendars. We end up limping along to our project deadlines instead of marching purposefully toward them.

But no matter if you’re strategically deploying troops across Europe or wrangling an overloaded workweek, planning really boils down to two components: a to-do list and the time you have to get it done. In fact, if you spend just 10-12 minutes planning your day, you’ll save up to 2 hours of time you would have otherwise wasted from poor planning. Individual contributors average a full 1.96 hours of unproductive task work every day, almost 25% of their entire workweek.

If you’re ready to manage those two components better and break the cycle of poor planning, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll walk you through five of the best planner apps for productivity, so you can get more done in less time and feel the calm that comes with a fully completed to-do list.

  1. Todoist - for list planners
  2. Reclaim.ai - for productivity-driven planners
  3. Trello - for visual planners
  4. Google Tasks - for Google user planners
  5. Things 3 - for Apple user planners

5 Best Digital Planner Apps to Keep You Organized at Work

1. Todoist - for list planners

Todoist is a task management planner app that lets you gather all your tasks into one convenient place so you can prioritize, track, and even delegate your to-do list. Todoist is great for both leaders and individual contributors who have long to-do lists filled with multi-faceted projects.

Todoist is one of the most feature-rich task management apps available. (source)

Pros

Simply creating a plan to accomplish unfinished goals will reduce stress and boost productivity. Todoist is where you create and keep track of that plan.

The app has a lightweight user interface that makes it easy to add one-off, recurring, or multi-step tasks (like new-hire onboarding). You can assign a priority level and reminder to each item, so you know what needs attention now and what can wait. And there are productivity visualizations—like charts and graphs—so you can see your progress.

Todoist lets you divide and conquer big jobs by assigning tasks to teammates. Plus, you can integrate the app with your email, Slack, calendar, and files—allowing collaboration to flow across communication channels.

Cons

Todoist doesn’t support automated time blocking or managing your availability. Meaning, you’ll either have to manually block time on your calendar to complete tasks, or take a risk that competing priorities will overlap in your workday.

Todiost pricing: Free → $5/month for teams


2. Reclaim.ai - for productivity-driven planners

Reclaim is a smart calendar assistant planner app that syncs your multiple calendars and your actual availability, and automatically blocks time for your tasks and projects, no-meeting days, and even your regular routines like a daily lunch break. It's a great solution for anyone with a busy calendar, from makers who need time for deep work sessions, to managers balancing productive work alongside lots of meetings.

Reclaim is an intelligent calendar assistant that creates up to 40% more time in your workweek using smart time blocking. (source)

Pros

All the to-do lists in the world won’t help if you haven’t set aside time to complete your planned goals. Reclaim takes care of that for you by automatically scheduling time blocks in your calendar, then flexibly adjusts as new tasks, meetings, and priorities pop up.

Say you have a Task to complete by next Thursday that’ll take several hours. You tell Reclaim about it, and the app will break it up into smaller time chunks, then fit them into your calendar—moving each around automatically when other events get scheduled. As the deadline approaches, Reclaim puts a hard fence around that time so no other events can take it over.

The Habits feature in Reclaim does the same for your regular routines, like if you enjoy meditating every morning. You’d ask Reclaim to find 20 to 30 minutes of quiet time each day before noon. The app will automatically find time around your other calendar events scheduling as a soft time block that can adjust, but as a morning fills up, it’ll stop shifting and mark your meditation time as busy—defending it from rescheduling around new events.

Reclaim also syncs your personal and work calendars and auto-schedules your 1:1 meetings. So when you create a work meeting in Zoom or set a lunch date in your personal calendar, it auto-syncs to all other connected calendars and apps — like updating your Slack status to show when you're busy doing deep work, or when you're in a Zoom meeting. Reclaim will even show you how much time you’re spending on things like solo work and in meetings, and allow you to reprioritize all of your plans around what’s most important in a single click.

Additionally, Reclaim is consistently rolling out new features that make group tasks easier and project management seamless, with existing integrations to ClickUpAsana, Jira, Todoist, Linear, and Google Tasks (Monday.com, Trello, and more coming soon).

Cons

Reclaim does not currently offer team-oriented features beyond automated scheduling for 1:1 meetings.

Reclaim pricing: Free → $9/month (paid plans coming in 2022)


3. Trello - for visual planners

Trello is a collaborative planner app that uses a kanban format to help you organize, manage, and visualize tasks and progress. Trello is particularly useful when managing projects with lots of moving parts and several stakeholders.

Trello makes to-do list building and tracking a visual exercise. (source)

Pros

Instead of endless text lists and bullet points, Trello users plan tasks on cards. The cards are slotted into columns representing each task’s stage of completion. A simple drag-and-drop motion moves them to the next stage.

So if you want to track multiple steps involved in team OKRs, you can create a Trello board for each objective, and a card for each task within those objectives. Once the product team is done with their part of a task, you slide the card to the next column, which tells marketing it’s time to get to work.

Unlike a simple bullet point, each task card can be a self-contained project in itself. You can add reminders, checklists, attachment previews, and team members can add comments and emojis and tag co-workers.

Trello excels at integrations, connecting with hundreds of other tools like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Slack. The Slack integration is particularly useful. Imagine a Slack notification that gets triggered automatically when someone creates a support ticket in the #dev channel.

Cons

While Trello has several features to help you organize a team project, it doesn’t have the ability to translate cards or tasks to realistic planning on your calendar. So it’s up to you to manually adjust times, and be wary of time overlaps.

Trello pricing: Free → $17.50/month

4. Google Tasks - for Google user planners

Google Tasks is a mobile-first, bare-bones planner app for Google Workspace users that’s designed to help you create and manage a to-do list on the go. Google Tasks is particularly useful for coordinating to-do lists among heavy email users as you can manage and create tasks right from Gmail. 

Google Tasks doesn’t have many extras, but it shines as a basic to-do list manager that integrates with your Google Workspace tools. 

Pros

To-do lists are most powerful when you can easily take them with you wherever you go. That’s where Google Tasks excels—as a mobile app that’s ready to use whenever and wherever you are. Google Tasks also lives within your Google Calendar and Gmail so you can plan tasks right alongside your inbox.

While Google Tasks doesn’t have the bells and whistles of other planners on our list, it does have a few basic functions. For example, you can break big jobs into sub-tasks, then set due dates and notifications for each one, and reorder your list with a basic drag-and-drop function.

The biggest strength of Google Tasks, though, is that it’s part of Google’s ecosystem of tools. That means it’s fully integrated with other Google products you may already use. So if your boss sends an email asking for this week’s report, you can create a to-do item from Gmail, track your progress in Google Tasks, then quickly trace that task back to the original email.

Google Tasks can also be a great option for cross-company collaborations where teams and people may not be working with the same task management tool or system, but can co-manage tasks using Rooms. You may even be collaborating outside your organization where you can’t share access to a company management platform, but they likely have access to Google’s platforms, so you can all coordinate there.

Cons

Even though Tasks is fully integrated with your Google Calendar, it doesn’t manage your schedule like you think it would. For starters, when you create a task, it doesn’t block time out on your schedule. It’s more of a reminder.

Also, when you create a task, the due date is just the day the event is scheduled. Helpful to remember a birthday party, but less so if you’re planning a project that will take 10 hours to complete.

There is a workaround, though. You can integrate Reclaim with Google Tasks to get the power of Google and the assistance of an actively managed calendar.

Google Tasks pricing: Free (with Google account)


5. Things - for Apple user planners

Things is a planner app built for Apple devices and designed to help wrangle growing task lists with smooth automations and easy-to-use controls. You can use it on your Mac, iPhone, Apple Watch or iPad. The app is ideal for individual contributors, or as a personal task manager, but not really suited for managers who plan for an entire team.

Things is a recently redesigned planner app that makes to-do list creating and management, dare we say, fun. (source)

Pros

Cultured Code, the team behind Things, recently rebuilt their planner and productivity app with a focus on pleasant aesthetics and enjoyable interactions. The result is a tool that makes task planning less chore and more fun.

At the heart of Things 3’s new design are several easy-to-use controls. For example, you can drag the blue “+” icon and drop it anywhere to instantly create a new task or headline, or reorder several tasks at once with a quick drag-and-drop. A simple downward swipe gets you to the search function, and you can even use Alexa to add entries via voice to make planning a breeze.

Organizing your tasks and daily plan are also easy in Things 3. Headers break up big projects into manageable tasks, while checklists break multi-step tasks up even further. And if you have a bullet list somewhere else, just copy and paste it into Things, and it’ll create a checklist for you.

Work-life balance is important, and Things helps you keep the two separate. There are “Today” and “This evening” tags that automatically categorize tasks as things to do at or after work. And the “Upcoming” view lets you see what the next few days have in store without muddying up today’s goals.

Cons

Things is a personal planner app. Meaning, it’s great for the individual trying to organize their life, but it has little team support functionality.

The app is also missing any meaningful priority planning other than simply reordering tasks in a list. So if some tasks come with a hard deadline and others can be moved to the back burner, you have to manage that manually in Things.

And, of course, as a beautiful but siloed to-do list, Things 3 won’t actively protect your schedule to make sure you actually have the time needed to complete everything on your list.

Things 3 pricing: $9.99 for iPhone & Watch, $19.99 for iPad, $49.99 for Mac (one-time purchase)

Bonus: Calendly

Calendly is an appointment scheduling and availability planning app that allows you to eliminate back-and-forth communications when agreeing to meeting times. We've thrown it in as a bonus because planning isn't just about finding time for your own to-dos; it's also finding time to meet with users, customers, prospects, and co-workers.

Calendly is the only item on our list besides Reclaim that offers an effective availability planning feature. It also integrates neatly with Slack and your existing calendar, serving as an excellent complementary tool for conventional planner apps.

The app doesn't offer task management, priority planning, productivity metrics, or product management capabilities found in more robust planner apps. Calendly really works best when complementing those other solutions.

The Best Planner App = More Calm, Less Chaos

Every week it seems to be the same thing—we pledge to be conscientious and resolve to make like Buffett and Gates. Then before you know it, it's one unexpected meeting/obligation after another, and the workweek spirals out of control.

But it doesn't have to be that way. The best planner apps make it easy to manage your schedule, collaborate with your colleagues, and effectively prioritize your time and energy.

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Calendar Heroes: Chris Hunt, Staff Site Reliability Engineer at Stack Overflow
September 10, 2021

Calendar Heroes: Chris Hunt, Staff Site Reliability Engineer at Stack Overflow

Working on a team that is spread across 10 different time zones and our Calendar Hero, Chris Hunt lets us in on how he is able to do it. Check it out!
Durable Identity: Employee-Friendly SaaS for Life Changes
September 7, 2021

Durable Identity: Employee-Friendly SaaS for Life Changes

The average person changes jobs every 4.1 years, but you shouldn't have to re-sign up for every SaaS app that often. The future of work will be more durable - your identity will survive life changes.
Weekly Status Reports: 3 Steps to Reduce Meetings & Boost Productivity
August 31, 2021

Weekly Status Reports: 3 Steps to Reduce Meetings & Boost Productivity

"This meeting could’ve been an email.” We're all thinking it. Even 71% of senior managers feel their meetings are unproductive. Reduce meetings and boost productivity with weekly status reports.
The Best Time to Meditate? Prioritize Self-Care
August 26, 2021

The Best Time to Meditate? Prioritize Self-Care

The best time to meditate depends on your intention and your schedule. But no matter when you meditate, you can reap the benefits. The important thing is that you make time for this healthy habit.
Top 6 ADHD Organization Tools
August 24, 2021

Top 6 ADHD Organization Tools

Staying organized can feel like a constant battle for people with ADHD before you find your ideal rhythm and workflow. Here are the top ADHD organization tools to help you become more productive.
No-Meeting Days: Top 4 Advantages & How to Start at Your Company
August 19, 2021

No-Meeting Days: Top 4 Advantages & How to Start at Your Company

Are meetings consuming your workweek? 78% of people feel their meeting schedule is out of control - see how one no-meeting day a week can improve your productivity, team morale and prevent burnout.
Calendar Heroes: Ben Hutton, JSON Schema Specification Lead at Postman
August 17, 2021

Calendar Heroes: Ben Hutton, JSON Schema Specification Lead at Postman

Working as JSON Schema Specification Lead at Postman, Ben shares how he balances priorities while developing the JSON Schema strategy and it's tooling, and supports the open-source community.
Calendar Heroes: Shay Kingsbury, Program Manager | Go To Market at Hootsuite
August 11, 2021

Calendar Heroes: Shay Kingsbury, Program Manager | Go To Market at Hootsuite

Shay Kingsbury at Hootsuite shares how she balances priorities while leading merger and acquisition integration and Go To Market for Sparkcentral at the social media marketing and management platform.
Using Slack ‘Scheduled Send’ + Reclaim.ai to Schedule Messages
August 10, 2021

Using Slack ‘Scheduled Send’ + Reclaim.ai to Schedule Messages

Slack released a much-anticipated feature in June of 2021: scheduled sends for Slack messages. This, paired with some awesome Status syncing capabilities from Reclaim, can help you become a rockstar Slack communicator and role model for your team.
Calendar Heroes: Michele Wiedemer, Manager of Customer Education at Snyk
August 9, 2021

Calendar Heroes: Michele Wiedemer, Manager of Customer Education at Snyk

Michele Wiedemer at Synk shares how she balances priorities while developing the education training program for security champions and developers at the open source security platform.
Best Time to Exercise? Morning, Afternoon or Whenever
August 4, 2021

Best Time to Exercise? Morning, Afternoon or Whenever

Exercising for as little as 15 minutes a day can increase your lifespan by as much as 3 years, and you’ll sleep better and feel less stressed too. Here's how to optimize your workouts for the best time of day.
Make Time to Read: 5 Practical Tips for Busy People
July 28, 2021

Make Time to Read: 5 Practical Tips for Busy People

Reading has amazing benefits, and 35% of people want to do it more. It increases verbal intelligence, makes you a better leader, reduces stress, and fends off Alzheimer’s. Here are 5 tips to try out.
Calendar Heroes: Rohini Pandhi, Product @ Square
July 26, 2021

Calendar Heroes: Rohini Pandhi, Product @ Square

Rohini Pandhi, a Product Lead at Square, shares her style, tools and methodologies for balancing priorities while leading the product efforts for one of the top digital payment companies in the world.
15 Best Slack Apps for the Future of Work
July 22, 2021

15 Best Slack Apps for the Future of Work

Check out the top 15 Slack apps productive teams are using today to build and support the future of work at their organization across calendar management, project management, status updates, HR and team building.
Calendar Heroes: Q&A with Connor MacDonald, CMO at The Ridge
July 19, 2021

Calendar Heroes: Q&A with Connor MacDonald, CMO at The Ridge

Connor MacDonald at The Ridge shares his style, tools and methodologies for balancing priorities while leading the marketing vision for the brand that brought the world the first RFID-blocking wallet.
Clockwise vs. Reclaim.ai: 8 Key Differences in these Smart Calendar Tools
July 7, 2021

Clockwise vs. Reclaim.ai: 8 Key Differences in these Smart Calendar Tools

We get asked almost every day: what's the difference between Reclaim.ai and Clockwise? While we're both in the smart calendar space, there are some key differences to consider.
Naming Calendar Events: 5 Calendar Etiquette Tips
July 2, 2021

Naming Calendar Events: 5 Calendar Etiquette Tips

Need to create better calendar event titles to communicate context to your invitees, colleagues and incoming schedulers? Calendar communication starts with the first thing people see: the event title.
Lunch Breaks: 5 Ways to Improve Your Productivity
June 22, 2021

Lunch Breaks: 5 Ways to Improve Your Productivity

Want to improve your quality of work, energy level, and creativity? In this article, learn 5 ways in which taking a lunch will actually boost your productivity.
Effective Meetings vs. Pointless Meetings: How to Tell the Difference & Prioritize Your Own Time
June 17, 2021

Effective Meetings vs. Pointless Meetings: How to Tell the Difference & Prioritize Your Own Time

Learn the 5 key differences between effective vs. pointless meetings, and 3 tips to avoid unnecessary meetings getting booked on your calendar.
3 Ways to Find Work-Life Balance in the New Normal
June 10, 2021

3 Ways to Find Work-Life Balance in the New Normal

You want work-life balance, but work and life can't separate into equal halves. Forget balance, here are three ways to make work-life harmony a reality.
Reclaim just raised $4.8M in seed funding! 🎉
May 26, 2021

Reclaim just raised $4.8M in seed funding! 🎉

We're excited to announce that Reclaim has raised $4.8M in seed funding led by Index Ventures. Here's what comes next.
Pareto Principle: Using the 80/20 Rule for Priority Management
May 25, 2021

Pareto Principle: Using the 80/20 Rule for Priority Management

How to use the Pareto Principle 80/20 rule to block time for your priorities.
3 Single-Tasking Tips to Improve Your Focus
April 28, 2021

3 Single-Tasking Tips to Improve Your Focus

While you may think multitasking is a skill you can master, only 2.5% of people can do it effectively. Your brain performs best when “single-tasking”, focusing on only one thing at a time.
How to Create a Smart Calendar
April 22, 2021

How to Create a Smart Calendar

A smart calendar can help you simplify calendar management and boost productivity. Here's how to create a smart calendar so you can take control of your busy schedule.
Time Management Advice - Top 3 Problems & How to Solve Them
April 9, 2021

Time Management Advice - Top 3 Problems & How to Solve Them

Most time management advice is out of touch with reality. Here are the top 3 problems with it and how to solve them.
Announcing the Planner Beta: a New Way to Manage Your Workweek
April 5, 2021

Announcing the Planner Beta: a New Way to Manage Your Workweek

We're excited to announce that Planner is now available in public beta for all Reclaim users. Planner lets you prioritize and schedule all your Tasks and Habits exactly the way you want, every week.
4 Time Blocking Planner Approaches to Squeeze More From Busy Schedules
March 25, 2021

4 Time Blocking Planner Approaches to Squeeze More From Busy Schedules

Time blocking is the habit of mindfully scheduling daily and weekly tasks to get everything done as efficiently as possible. A time blocking planner is used to organize your new, efficient schedule.
Context Switching Is Destroying Your Workday: Here's How to Fix It
March 16, 2021

Context Switching Is Destroying Your Workday: Here's How to Fix It

How do you stop context switching from eating into your productive time? We look at tactics to help you reduce task switching and improve your concentration at work.
Why You Can’t Focus at Work, and How to Get Back on Track
March 8, 2021

Why You Can’t Focus at Work, and How to Get Back on Track

It's not always easy to achieve deep focus in the modern workplace. Here are evidence-based strategies you can use to improve your focus during the workday.
Time Management for Managers: How to Tame Your Busy Calendar
March 1, 2021

Time Management for Managers: How to Tame Your Busy Calendar

Most managers calendars are dominated by needless meetings and tasks that should be delegated. 50% of the week is gone and you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing. Time to prioritize your calendar.
Introducing Tasks: your to-do list finally meets your calendar
September 1, 2020

Introducing Tasks: your to-do list finally meets your calendar

We just launched Tasks. It's like your backlog and your calendar decided to make it official and get hitched.
Introducing Habits: smart, automatic time blocking for your routines
June 26, 2020

Introducing Habits: smart, automatic time blocking for your routines

Struggling to make time for the things that matter in these crazy times? Never fear, Habits are here.
Calendar Heroes: a Q&A with Zachary Smith, Managing Director at Equinix
May 27, 2020

Calendar Heroes: a Q&A with Zachary Smith, Managing Director at Equinix

We had a chance to sit down virtually with Zachary Smith, who founded Packet before it was acquired by Equinix, where he now serves as Managing Director for their bare metal and edge computing business.
Introducing Reclaim Assistant: more flexibility, more smarts
May 11, 2020

Introducing Reclaim Assistant: more flexibility, more smarts

We just launched Reclaim Assistant, a smarter way to get your calendar under control.
The only Google Calendar hacks you'll ever need
April 23, 2020

The only Google Calendar hacks you'll ever need

Tired of reading posts about Google Calendar hacks and tips that just aren't useful? This is the one for you.
4 new features from Reclaim to help you work from home
April 16, 2020

4 new features from Reclaim to help you work from home

If you're new to working from home or working remotely, these new features from Reclaim will help you to keep your sanity intact.
5 ways to help your remote teams
March 31, 2020

5 ways to help your remote teams

Now that your teams are remote, how do you make sure they don't burn out? Here are 5 ways to help your remote teams keep things balanced.
How good is your work-life balance?
February 7, 2020

How good is your work-life balance?

How defended is your work calendar? Here are some numbers that might make you wonder.
Announcing Reclaim LifeWork: sync all the calendars!
January 24, 2020

Announcing Reclaim LifeWork: sync all the calendars!

We're excited to announce the launch of Reclaim LifeWork. Automatically block time on your work calendar for personal events, and never miss out on life again.
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