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Published on March 18, 2021

5 Best Daily Planner Apps To Boost Your Productivity

5 Best Daily Planner Apps To Boost Your Productivity

In today’s fast world, it’s impossible to keep your daily plan in your head in hopes to not miss an important occasion.

Long gone are the times of misplaced post-it notes in hopes to keep tasks in sight. Today we’re blessed with endless digital daily planner apps. They make our lives easier, keep us organized and productive.

If you’re not using one yet, it’s time to start right now. If you’re not sure which one would suit you best, I have listed the 5 best daily planner apps for you to have a variety of choices. These specific apps are chosen for several good reasons. They not only help you to boost your productivity but also make your daily life much easier.

Before we get started, there are a few important criteria that need to be taken into consideration. Matching the app with your personal preferences and expectations is an important task:

  • Focus – Focus is a key element in getting things done. It is crucial for effective and efficient management without wasting time. This is the first element we will be looking at when choosing the best daily planner app for ourselves.
  • Organization – This is the main promise for most of the daily panner apps – to keep you organized. And it is probably the first reason we are thinking to get the app in the first place.
  • Habits – Boosting productivity would not be possible without creating improving habits. It is important to keep ourselves accountable to stay on track to reach goals.

Below you will find the 5 best daily planner apps. Try them out. Decide for yourself which one works best for your personal needs and preferences.

Note, these apps aren’t in any particular order. All of them are great at what they do. My aim is to help you get a better understanding of how each of them can serve your needs to boost productivity.

1. Serene (macOS)

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    Serene is a true winner when it comes to the laser focus category as it helps to shield you from distractions. It lives up to its promise by not letting distractions hold you back.

    The distraction blocking feature helps you enhance focus to achieve more in less time. It’s designed to get you into deep work and achieve goals faster.

    It not only keeps you organized but also improves habits to focus on deep work.

    With its One Daily Goal approach, it helps you stay on track without getting distracted by tasks that don’t contribute to one daily goal.

    Key features include:

    • Focus session timer – clearly defined intervals of focused work with a timer that shows you the timing. Knowing how much time you have left to complete tasks, gives you extra motivation.
    • Website and App blocker – blocked access to websites keeps your focus in check. Knowing the apps that highly distract you will help to increase focus. Staying productive during focus sessions allows staying on tasks without unnecessary interruptions.
    • Activities tracker – getting clear on your productive times is a great way to track your activity. While knowing your most common distractions is a key element in improving habits.
    • Daily planner – setting up your daily plan according to one focus goal is a great way to staying organized. It helps to get stuff done with clearer intention and focused attention.
    • Focus music – playing background music can be a great tool to keep yourself focused and motivated.
    • Phone silencer – putting your phone on silent mode automatically eliminates unnecessary distractions.

    Serene has 10 free deep work hours, and its paid offer is $4/month.

    2. Todoist (iOS, Android, macOS, Windows)

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      Todoist is one of the most popular best daily planner apps amongst solopreneurs, team managers, and larger companies. This app keeps you organized and on task making sure nothing gets forgotten.

      Todoist supports many other app integrations which allow better workflows and easier tasks management. With many advantages, this app lives up to the standards of a highly organized management system. It supports subtasks, sub-projects, recurring tasks, notifications, and more.

      Key features include:

      • Prioritizing tasks – getting the most important things done keeps you productive.
      • Task management – creating subtasks, indicating recurring tasks, including due dates for individual tasks is an easy breeze. Labeling tasks by priority, by context, or personalized system, gives you a customized approach. Setting reminders help you manage better and achieve faster.
      • Progress management – keeping track of progress with the app’s measurement and reporting features. It allows to follow the actions and take measures according to the wanted outcome.
      • Project management – setting up project goals will allow you to make sure you’re on track throughout.

      Todoist has a free version, and its paid offer starts from $3/month.

      3. Things 3 (iOS)

        Things 3 is your personal organizer for business and life. It provides the highest support to boost your productivity and keep you organized. Its simple layout is easy to understand, manage. It lets you start right away as there is no need for a feature introduction.

        Key features include:

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        • Easy input – getting your tasks in the app should be easy, simple, and a smooth process. Easy input means less wasted time. And this is exactly what this app provides.
        • Heading – adding titles to your checklists is a great way to keep tasks separate. It allows you to focus on completing the project and not miss a thing. This means each task can be dialed down into smaller tasks with checklists supporting them. It looks exactly like you would create it on paper. The difference is the option to set a deadline, add tasks to your calendar, and organize them by your unique categories.
        • Integrations – added your email to your to-do list is just one of the examples for smooth tasks management. Seeing your to-do and tasks together as you integrate your calendar is a way to never miss a thing.
        • Planning – seeing all your upcoming lists neatly laid out helps you follow the plan you have set out to do. Scheduling repeated actions on automation will save a lot of time. Reminders will keep you on track.
        • Search option – finding made easy. This option lets you search for any word you’ve ever typed in the app. It gives you the ability to create alarms and notifications for your various tasks.

        Things 3 costs $49.99 on Mac with 15-day free trial. It’s $19.99 on iPad and $9.99 on iPhone.

        4. Any.do (iOS, Android, macOS, Windows)

          If you want to stay organized and get things done, Any.do promises that and more. Its time management features keep you on the tasks. They remind of scheduled activities that can’t be missed.

          Amongst the usual features like due dates, prioritizing, automatic notifications, recurring tasks set up, reminders, and a drag&drop interface for easy-to-do list creation, it has other beneficial key features:

          • Data Synchronization – adding a scheduled event on your calendar and synchronizing it to multiple platforms like Google Calendar and WhatsApp reminders keeps you efficient.
          • Offline Access – knowing that you will be able to access your tool anywhere anytime gives a great deal of freedom, peace of mind, and the ability to always be on top of things.
          • Task management – integrating your to-do list with a calendar makes planning and scheduling easy.
          • Voice capture – being on a run, it’s handy to leave a voice message to yourself that turns into a note on your to-do list. You never know when the next brilliant idea will come to mind!

          Any.do has a free version. Its paid offer starts from $2.99/month.

          5. Trello (iOS, Android, macOS, Windows)

            Trello is for individuals and teams looking to be more productive. It is focusing on helping teamwork reach new levels. Its features allow customized workflows. Simple user experience combined with strategic collaboration between team members for effective work.

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            Tasks can be grouped into boards and cards which can contain another set of tasks in themselves. Individual tasks can be assigned to groups or individuals with deadlines and checklists. If you want more, here are some of the key features:

            • Effective to-do list – adding due dates, assigning to a specific team or person lets you manage the progress.
            • Collaboration – inviting anyone to get things done. It helps you make things happen without a complicated onboarding process.
            • Instant messaging – discussing tasks in real-time adds efficiency and makes it easy to communicate from anywhere.

            Trello has a free version. Its paid offer starts from $10/month.

            Bottom Line

            Choosing the right tool for daily planning can be time-consuming, I hope that this process was made easier for you.

            Whether you are managing your personal time, your team, work projects, or creating a plan for a vacation, use what suits best your specific needs.

            Choosing a daily planner app to boost your productivity is a great way of keeping your mind focused and your progress high. The planner apps help you to make most of your time with ease.

            More Productivity Tools

            Featured photo credit: William Hook via unsplash.com

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            Agnese Rudzate

            Agnese is a next level success strategist.

            5 Best Daily Planner Apps To Boost Your Productivity How To Save Time And Achieve More Every Day

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            Published on April 8, 2021

            10 Simple Ways To Refocus a Wandering Mind

            10 Simple Ways To Refocus a Wandering Mind

            Want to know what Steve Jobs thought was the ultimate key in achieving success?

            “Focus and simplicity… once you get there, you can move mountains.”—Steve Jobs

            And this belief is even more important today than it was years ago. At your fingertips is a literal world of information and entertainment. So, it’s no wonder we all have such wandering minds nowadays.

            Thanks to the internet and smartphones, attention is practically a currency we should be more budget-minded about. In fact, a person who can stay focused is not only more likely to get more done but also be more satisfied at the end of the day because of it.

            Going further, a person who’s focused will more easily achieve their goals—anything from losing 20 pounds to getting a promotion at work is within the reach of this type of person.

            So, in the spirit of that idea, here are 10 ways to tame that wandering mind of yours and turn it into a laser-focused brain that gets things done.

            1. Find Your Totem

            Remember the totem in the movie, Inception? It’s an item that reminded people they weren’t in a dream when they touched it, and it was able to keep them grounded in reality.

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            You can replicate this idea when it comes to staying focused as well. All you’ve to got to do is find something to be your “focus totem,” and it’ll remind you that you should stop daydreaming and get back to work. Ideally, it’s something you can see and touch.

            In the movie, a chess piece and a spinning top were used—both are good ideas. You could also use a picture of your family, a mini trophy, or even wear a ring to focus your mind as well. (In fact, a green lantern ring might be kind of cool for this.)

            2. Promise a Reward

            Incentives are an obvious way to go. Having gold at the end of any journey makes you want to press forward just for the sweet results. In general, rewards should correlate to the difficulty/length of the work.

            For example:

            • Finish a quick house chore = a piece of chocolate
            • Complete an annoying administrative task = 10 minutes of Youtube
            • A successful day of work = a whole movie on Netflix

            Pretty simple stuff, right? But you’d be surprised how often you forget to reward yourself for doing solid work on the regular.

            3. Make It Stupid Easy for Your Wandering Mind

            I don’t know about you, but if I perceive my work to require more effort than I care to use, I’m instantly turned off. This then leads to distraction and procrastination. But you can offset this by breaking a difficult task into a bite-sized piece.

            Case in point, what seems easier: 30 pushups or 3 pushups?

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            It’s obvious, but sometimes our brains need to be “convinced” we’re only doing a small amount of work to get things going.

            But here’s something cool about this tactic: You can (and most likely will) keep going past your stupid easy benchmark. You don’t have to, but my experience tells me once you get going like this, it’s easy to go beyond your bare minimum goal.

            4. Empty Your Mind With Journaling

            Sometimes, there’s too much stuff floating around in your brain that is making your mind wander. In that case, it can help to spill everything in your head onto a journal to free up some space. You can use a pen and pad for this or something digital like Evernote.

            There are two basic ways to go about it:

            1. Freestyle – where you just write whatever randomly flows through your brain without thinking or pausing. This is great if you’ve got a million different ideas racing through your brain.
            2. Focused – where you create prompts or an outline to streamline your thinking and you just respond to the questions or format. This is best when you want to grasp a certain topic.

            5. Use the “Just 5 Minutes” Method

            Try telling yourself that you’ll work for “just 5 minutes” and then you can stop. You’ll find that the task feels far easier to handle. And like the “stupid easy” method, this tricks your brain into thinking the task is lower effort than it really is. After all, 5 minutes for even the worst task is psychologically manageable for any person out there.

            The key is to honestly allow yourself to stop at 5 minutes—no matter what. That’s what allows your brain to accept the method as legit and also lets it overcome the mental hurdle that makes your brain want to wander around and focus on anything but your task.

            6. Recite a Focus Mantra

            I like to think of mantras as a totem you can take with you anywhere you go. They serve the same purpose—reminding you to stay focused—but can be done anywhere and anytime.

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            I find the most powerful type of mantra to be based on reality. I learned this approach from Dr. Jon Fader—a performance coach who was on “Good Morning America”—and his book Life as Sport: What Top Athletes Can Teach You about How to Win in Life. He calls this “objective optimism.”

            Basically, you create a mantra that’s based on personal success in your life. That way, the mantra isn’t just a fluffy positivity statement, there’s also the weight of real-life success giving it power

            Some examples:

            • If you’re struggling to make yourself go to the gym but have technically been there many times already, you could say, “just another day of heading to the gym—easy.”
            • If you’re suffering from impostor-syndrome after accepting a promotion, just say, “I’m here for a reason” to remind yourself that your efforts were recognized by others and are the real deal.
            • If you’re nervous about an upcoming sports competition but have trained diligently for it, you could say, “I’ve done all the work possible” to remind yourself that your earlier efforts have created the best version of you for the event.

            As you can see, the most powerful mantras are evidence-based and positive. So, just find proof of relevant success in your life and transform it into a motivating mantra.

            7. Use the “Multi-Yawn” Approach

            One of the best ways to be distracted is to be tired. And sometimes, you’ll be tired in such a way that you’re “sort of” working but not realize that you’re actually constantly distracted.

            If you can notice when you do this, one thing I like to do is crank out as many big, satisfying yawns as possible. Olympic athletes sometimes do this before their big events. It calms them down and helps them perform better in the process. And it works just as well for us regular folks. I find it has a similar effect to taking a good nap (and actually works best in unison), so you can imagine how effective this can be.

            8. Find an Easy Win

            Nothing feels good like winning. So, it can help to find a few simple tasks you can do with little effort and just get them done immediately. This will create momentum and propel your productivity forward. The feeling of success will lock your focus in on the task at hand and refocus your wandering mind. Use this when you feel “resistance” to getting your work started.

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            9. Create a “Wins” List

            Feeling like a capable person who can win at life is motivating in and of itself. In light of this fact, it can help to have an ongoing “wins” list to prove you’re an able person.

            Just keep track of all your daily wins—big and small. And whenever your focus starts to wane, give that list a peek and remind yourself that you’re more capable than you realize.

            10. Add Stakes to the Mix

            If you were to lose $20 if you failed to complete a task, would you be more focused on completing it? Of course!

            Try and find ways to put something on the line when it comes to completing your tasks, and you’ll find your focus, motivation, and ability to things done to be higher than ever before.

            For example, if you’re at work, you could involve a co-worker by saying you’ll buy their food if you don’t complete a task before lunchtime rolls around. At home, you could say you’ll also mow the lawn if you don’t remember to wash the dishes before the day is over. Or you could just use something like Beeminder or TaskRatchet, which actually charges you cash for failing to complete a task or goal on time. (It’s scary but effective)

            All are viable methods, so just give one of them a shot.

            Who Else Wants More Success?

            Of the many methods of winning at life out there, focusing is definitely a top-three contender. You can’t get anything you want in life if you don’t buckle down and get your work done—a wandering mind won’t create success.

            But with these 10 focus tips, you’ll be ahead of the competition and be closer to a fitter body, higher income, and a flat-out better life than before.

            More Tips on Sharpening Your Focus

            Featured photo credit: Clay Banks via unsplash.com

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