Advertising

Published on March 18, 2021

5 Best Daily Planner Apps To Boost Your Productivity

Advertising
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)

Advertising

    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)

    Advertising

      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:

        Advertising

        • 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.

            Advertising

            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

            More by this author

            Agnese Rudzate

            Agnese is a next level success strategist.

            How to Stay on Task And Avoid Distractions How To Set Weekly Goals To Change Your Life Why You Should Stop Working Long Hours (And How To Stop It) 5 Best Daily Planner Apps To Boost Your Productivity How To Save Time And Achieve More Every Day

            Trending in Focus

            1 How to Prioritize Work When Everything Seems Important 2 15 Strategies for an Effective To-Do List 3 How to Organize Your Tasks With Weekly To-Do Lists 4 The Flowtime Technique: A Pomodoro Alternative 5 How to Deal with Digital Distraction to Improve Your Focus

            Read Next

            Advertising
            Advertising

            Last Updated on October 28, 2021

            How to Prioritize Work When Everything Seems Important

            Advertising
            How to Prioritize Work When Everything Seems Important

            Even with all of the advances in modern technology, there are only so many hours in the day to cram in everything that we need to do. A simple “to-do” list doesn’t always cut it, and it’s easy to feel adrift in a sea of tasks without an oar. The key to managing all of the work responsibilities on your plate is prioritization.

            In theory, prioritization is pretty simple: write down what you need to do and then start doing it.

            Here’s the thing about prioritization though — it’s always changing. Every project manager knows that things come up, fall through, and get moved around. How we adapt to those changes can determine the success or failure of our effectiveness in completing that ever-growing to-do list.

            So how to prioritize work when everything seems important?

            In this article, we’ll look at various ways to help you become a master of time management at work and keep all of those proverbial spinning plates from crashing to the ground.

            1. Write out All the Things You Need to Do

            Becoming a master of prioritizing will have numerous benefits. You’ll get more done, climb the job ladder faster, and have more free time to enjoy life outside of work. It all starts, though, with making a list of what you need to get done.

            Write down the things you need to get done at work today, tomorrow, this week, and this month. Don’t worry about the order — we’ll get to that in a minute — just write down everything.

            2. Start by Asking: What’s Really Important Here?

            Chances are, you have a pretty full list and that a good deal of them seem like the most important thing or at least top priorities. Some of these tasks may very well be top priorities, but others can probably wait. And they’re going to have to if you’re ever going to tackle the top priorities on your list.

            Each priority will fall under: do, defer, delegate, and delete. You don’t necessarily need to assign each priority a label just yet, as there are a few methods to help you cut through the fog.

            3. The Triangle of Cost, Scope, and Time

            One method that effective project managers use to help with prioritizing tasks on a large-scale project is by looking at each task as an equilateral triangle. Each priority’s side can be measured by its cost (resources needed to complete it), scope (how big the task is) and time (how long it will take to complete). Here’s a graph showing the Triple Constraint, illustrated by the site Project Manager:[1]

            Advertising

              You may be able to change a particular side of the triangle, perhaps reducing the cost needed to finish it, but it will likely involve altering the scope or deadline.

              Put it to use:

              If a deadline and scope can’t be changed on a task, then perhaps that project takes top priority and compromise will have to be made with cost or the scope of other tasks.

              4. Apply the Eisenhower Matrix

              “I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” —President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

              It was out of this quote that the Eisenhower Matrix of prioritization[2] was formed. Remember those do, defer, delegate, and delete labels we mentioned?

              Here’s where they come into play as illustrated in a graph made by James Clear:[3]

                • Urgent & Important = Do. As in, do it now.
                • Important & Not Urgent = Decide. Do it later, and decide when to do it.
                • Urgent & Not Important = Delegate. Give the task to somebody else.
                • Not Important & Not Urgent = Delete. Don’t waste your time on it.

                5. Eat the Frog… Trust Me!

                If you allow procrastination to set in, then everything else will slow down and you’ll accomplish less. Mark Twain advised that if you eat the frog first (that to-do list item you’re avoiding) then the rest of the day will feel like smooth sailing.

                How you start your day can really establish how productive you are. Identifying and knocking out your most important task (MIT) first will set you up for accomplishing everything else.

                6. Make Your Prioritization Precise With the ABCDE Method

                Everything might seem important, but it’s not and there’s a way to find out what is and what isn’t.

                Look at each item on your list and give it a letter between A and E (with A being the highest priority). Now give each A a number in correspondence with the order you’ll do it in.

                Advertising

                Repeat the process until every task has a letter and a number. You’ll begin to notice with more clarity what really is a top priority and what’s a D2.

                7. Keep Things Realistic

                There’s a good chance that you’re not going to get to every single task on your list at the precise time you would like. Things change and often when you least expect them to, so it’s important to be flexible and realistic with what you can do.

                If you find yourself so busy that you regularly lack the energy to accomplish your work, then you may need to take a closer look at what can be delegated and deleted.

                8. Identify Your 20% Task

                The Pareto principle states that to reach true efficiency and effectiveness nirvana, you should get 80 percent of your results from 20 percent of your effort. This can be easier said than done, but there are some tips you can use to put into practice.

                If you could only accomplish five things what would they be?

                Now take away three of those. What are they?

                Now pick just one.

                That’s an MIT.

                9. Stop Checking Your Email So Often

                You’ve probably heard it before, but when it comes to prioritizing work like a boss, it’s worth mentioning again.

                Stop checking your email so often. According to a survey of nearly 20,000 working professionals, the most successful ones had a very specific trait in common — they were incredibly good at managing incoming emails.[4] They knew how to filter which emails tied into their highest priorities and that’s what they focused on.

                Besides, don’t make checking emails the first thing to do at work! Here’s why.

                Advertising

                10. Revise and Reevaluate

                Our lives are constantly changing and the stars are never going to always perfectly align for every single thing on your to-do list. Deadlines get pushed around, projects get dropped, and everyday life can get in the way.

                Senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Robert Pozen, recommends looking at your schedule for the next day each night before going to bed and revising and reevaluating your items as necessary.[5]

                11. Make the Most of Modern Technology

                An easy-to-use time management and planning tool can really help with knocking out all those priorities. No matter how busy your life is or how much is on your plate, keeping it all organized is going to be essential for getting most of it done.

                Maybe you’re a Google spreadsheets sort of person or perhaps you want an app with all the bells and whistles. There are plenty of options out there, so find one that works for you and put it to use.

                12. Take a Tip from Warren Buffet

                A big part of shortening the path to reaching those Mount Everest long-term goals is clearing out the clutter that gets in the way.

                Warren Buffet reportedly told his personal pilot to make a list of his top 25 goals.[6] He then told him to circle the five most important. Everything else was to be avoided as these things may have seemingly been important, but not of enough importance to deserve the same energy as the top five.

                13. Are You Delegating? Because You Should Be

                The “delegate” part of the four Ds can be tricky for some people who may not feel comfortable asking for help, but it’s a crucial skill to learn. Your boss may be able to help if you reach out. The intern or new hire may be eager to learn a new aspect of how your business functions. Somebody else on your team may be more skilled at a particular task than you.

                If you learn to become comfortable with delegating certain duties when needed, you’ll accomplish those MITs quicker.

                Learn how to delegate effectively in this guide: How to Delegate Tasks Effectively (Step-By-Step Guide)

                14. The Leaky Boat Conundrum

                Keep in mind when prioritizing those tasks just how valuable your time is. Time spent working towards the wrong priority is wasted time. It’s easy to start a project (the boat), but run into a change that alters its outcome or level of importance (the leak), yet we feel compelled to finish it and find ourselves paddling a sinking boat. Sometimes, the best idea is to move to a new boat rather than fix the leak.

                15. Apply the 5 Whys

                Developed by a Japanese industrialist,[7] this method for determining the importance of a priority is incredibly simple. Here’s the deal:

                Advertising

                Write down the task and why it’s important.

                The fewer times you have to refer back to why the task is important, the more important it is.

                If you need to remind yourself why it’s important numerous times, the benefit of completing the task probably isn’t that great.

                Learn more about the 5 Whys technique here: How to Use the 5 Whys Method to Solve Problems Efficiently

                16. Don’t Let The Bumps Derail You

                There are going to be those days when the frog gets the best of you and everything on your plate looks like an MIT. Everybody has those.

                The important thing for any project manager, entrepreneur, or successful person in general, is going to be consistency when developing and working through that to-list.

                There will be leaky boats and times when there’s nobody to delegate. Take a step back, take a closer look at those work priorities, and stay focused .

                Bottom Line

                We only spend around 40 percent of our workday on primary tasks, with things like checking emails, meetings, and trivial tasks eating up the rest of the day. If you learn how to prioritize effectively, however, you’ll soon find that managing that giant to-do list is easier and finishing those must-do tasks happens quicker!

                More About Time Management

                Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

                Reference

                Read Next