If you’re looking to transform chaos into clarity, or simply add structure to your daily schedule, a digital planner might be the answer. Whether it’s managing work commitments, studying, keeping a work-life balance, or staying on top of client interactions, a planner app is an invaluable tool.
A planner app can be used to make your daily schedule, prioritize and schedule tasks, create to-do lists, and keep track of important notes seamlessly across multiple devices. If you prefer the traditional approach, here is a list of the most fabulous paper planners.
While paper planners are still preferred by those of us who are more kinesthetically inclined, online planners have gained prominence over traditional ones.
There are several compelling reasons:
- Immediate access on multiple devices – be it on iOS or Android mobile app, tablet, or computer, ensures that you can check your upcoming tasks, schedule or meeting notes in an instant.
- Seamless updates and synchronization across devices – a feature paper planners simply can’t match.
- Customizable to individual preferences – can be tailored with various templates, color coding, and tagging options that make your to-dos look appealing, and daily planning more efficient and personalized.
- Notifications and alerts functionality – gives the option to create reminders, alerts, and notifications so that your important tasks and deadlines are not missed.
- A more sustainable choice – environmentally, digital planners are contributing to reducing paper waste, which is impossible with physical planners.
Other benefits worth mentioning are option to search for specific entries quickly, data backup capability to prevent loss, and integration with other digital tools or platforms.
- Planner Pro
A great productivity tool, Asana is a flexible project management tool designed to enhance team collaboration. It has tons of integration options too.
We picked Asana as the best free planner for teams due to its easy to use interface, which makes collaboration seamless for any type of team size. Asana is also one of the best productivity apps for iPhone.
- Outstanding Gantt charts
- Overview of workload assigned to each teammate
- Tasks can be updated by multiple people
- Files can be attached and marked up with comments
- It has a cumbersome time-tracking feature
- It has a steep learning curve if used for complex projects
- Clunky offline mode
- Cluttered e-mail notifications
- Free Basic plan
- Premium account for €10,99
- Business account €24,99
Track time in Asana with Timeular
Start effortlessly tracking time dedicated to specific tasks. Smoothly integrate your time tracker with Asana, using Zapier
Read: Time tracking in Asana – all you need to know
Structured is considered a top planner app for macOS and iOS, while for Android devices, according to their website, it’s still a work in progress.
Anyhow, the planner app has as its main functionality the merger of to-do lists with calendars – it integrates with Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, Yahoo!, and AOL.
The app works as a daily planner that you can use to organize your private and work life into daily tasks.
The app can set customized reminders, plan recurring tasks, and visualize your day in a timeline.
We picked Structured as the best free planner for Mac as the creator, Leonard Mehlig, is recognized for developing Mac and iOS apps.
- Daily schedule-timeline visualization
- Great look and feel
- Customizable notifications
- You can use the app across your Mac, iPad, and iPhone (Android too, but limited)
- Color coding for all your tasks
- To integrate a calendar app, you need a paid subscription
- Lacks a time tracking integration
- There is no monthly overview
- Free version
- Pro monthly $ 2.99
- Pro yearly $9.99
- Pro lifetime $29.99
TimeTune is a time-blocking and daily planner app. The app is suited both for personal to-do lists, as well as professional tasks.
The daily planner app works according to the timeboxing time management technique. The app also shows you statistics about the activities you accomplished, so you can have a weekly overview of your time.
- You can set custom reminders and choose different sounds and vibrations
- Easy-to-understand insights and stats
- It is based on the time boxing technique
- Appreciated by folks with ADHD
- The interface can be clunky sometimes
- It doesn’t allow collaborative tasks ( no option for group tasks, one seat only per account)
- No option to check off items in the daily planner app
- Pro ads-free $9.99
As the name says, Fantastical is one of the best daily planner apps in the iOS landscape.
With eye catchy and smooth navigation, we picked this app as one of the best digital planners for iPhone for several reasons. First, it won the Apple Design Award in 2016, and four years later, in 2020, it won the Mac App of the Year Award. Moreover, the app works seamlessly across Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
- Award-winning design
- Easy-to-use interface
- Interest calendars (create and customize different calendars for each aspect of your life)
- Daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly overview
- Some key features are locked behind subscription
- Free version
- Individual Pro $6.99
- Family Pro $10.49
Read also: The best time tracking tools for iPhone
The famous software review platform G2 classified Trello as the number 1 planner for Windows, and this reinforces why is one of the best productivity apps for Windows.
Trello is a tool that allows you to manage remote employees due to its minimal key features and simple UI, which is relatively straightforward. It’s built as a Kanban-based, this digital planner is often used as a task management tool.
- Ease of use, with a seamless way to assign tasks
- Attractive design for visualizing your to-do lists
- File sharing feature
- Plenty of features in the freemium version
- Limited when it comes to managing complex projects with dependencies
- Limited insights and reporting
- Missing a time tracking feature
- Free version
- Standard $5 monthly
- Premium 100$ monthly up to 100 seats
- Customized enterprise plan
To integrate Trello with a standalone time-tracking tool, dive into this article that explains the step-by-step process of integrating the digital planner with Timeular.
Track time in Trello with Timeular
Smoothly integrate your Trello with Timeular using Zapier, and start effortlessly tracking time!
Notion is a prominent project and knowledge management tool, that gained terrain both in the professional world, but it’s used for student juggling assignments, too.
Some of its massive popularity is owed to the book “Building a Second Brain”, written by the productivity expert Tiago Forte. The expert emphasizes the idea of creating an external digital brain, to store and manage data and ideas, which can lead to higher productivity, and creativity, and reduce information overload.
For that reason, we’ve seen Notion expand to being used as a: task manager, business planner, and knowledge manager, and we dare to say, you’ve added even your daily chores in Notion for another layer of structure.
Notion works seamlessly across all platforms. It’s good software to increase productivity on your iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows, and Mac.
Note: We’re avid users and fans of Notion, so that is the reason for its larger description, but now let’s move on to its key features!
TIP: Read “The Best AI Productivity Tools” to discover why Notion is on this list, along with other AI solutions.
- Its flexibility. Notion is known as a hybrid between other apps, specifically Google Docs, Dropbox, Excel, and Todoist
- Available across all the devices
- Large template collection
- Notion Academy
- It may take some time to learn how to use the planner app at its best
- It can be slow sometimes
- If used to manage projects with higher complexity, it may be a bit clunky
- Free Basic plan
- Premium account for $8/user/month
- Business account $15/user/month
You might find useful The guide to Notion time tracking.
Planner Pro is a daily planner app that syncs with Google Calendar, tasks, and notes. The software adapts to any kind of user needs:
from more organized people with a specific to-do list or repetitive tasks, to creative people who might need to schedule tasks diligently, or even start using a Google calendar.
We picked Planner Pro as one of the best daily planner apps for iPads due to its powerful sketching and note-taking functionality. Let’s see how its key features rank, and how it integrates into your day-to-day work.
- Planner Pro syncs with Google Calendar
- Sketch directly in notes to edit tasks
- Organize, prioritize tasks, and add task details
- Various calendars are all synchronized in one place
- If tasks are not completed, they are dragged to the next day
- Can’t use the Apple Pencil with it
- It may have some bugs as users report the app shuts down unexpectedly
- Pro version $29.99
There are plenty of to-do list apps out there. Two of the most famous ones are TickTick and Todoist (Read also: Todoist time tracking). In the end, for us, TickTick won the best daily planner app in the freelance category, as it seems effective in their daily planning.
Freelancers often have to handle multiple clients but need a clean and quick overview of tasks. One of the main key features freelancers need is to create project timelines and set deadlines, so they can stay on top of every client’s requests.
While a simple to-do list may not be enough, the best daily planner apps for freelancers should include as well: calendars, Pomodoro timers, intuitive UI, and unlimited reminders.
TickTick marks all the boxes!
- Integrated pomodoro timer
- Calendar view
- Reminders can be set to come up on the day before the task
- Add pictures and files to your tasks
- Timeline view
- Lack of integration capabilities
- Lacks two-way sync with your calendars
- Monthly Pro $2.79
- Yearly Pro $27.99
You might also be interested in: The best time tracking apps for freelancers
If you’re a student, you’ll need to organize your exams, study sessions, and classes thoroughly. As the best digital planner for students, we picked iStudiez. This software and its key features were tailor-made with a student planner in mind.
iStudiez can become your daily planning app, as it gives you multiple options: you can enter your class schedule, including the professor’s name, contact info, and office hours.
You can also color code your classes and use icons to make them visually exciting and easy to scan.
- GPA tracker
- Customized over students
- Colo cording different classes
- You can enter your grades
- Sync data across other devices
- For some users, the paid version is too expensive for students
- Issues with multilingual settings
- Can’t group different semesters together
- Pro version in-app purchase $2.99
- Pro version desktop $9.99
This might catch your interest too: How to be more efficient. Achieve more in less time
All-in-one encrypted to-do and daily planner app built with ADHD brains in mind. After some digging and research, we discovered this hidden gem.
- End-to-end encryption: no one has access to your data except you
- Habit tracker
- Note-taking feature
- Ready-made workflows for grouping tasks
- Multiple integrations
- Rich documentation on how to get started
- Still a work in progress, as Mike, the creator, said here
- Not possible yet to embed images and attach files
- No keyboard shortcuts are available
- Missing a time-tracking feature
- Pro $6/month
If you ever feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you need, you’re not alone, but Bordio might help with better time management.
Bordio is a digital planner that comes with a colorful, customizable interface and flexible features. The platform allows you to organize all your tasks in one place, set due dates and notifications so you never miss an important deadline.
Whether managing a large-scale project, planning your daily tasks, or trying to stay on top of recurring tasks, you’re able to tackle all these with this daily planner.
- Waiting list with tasks that may become urgent or important in the future
- Color coding to differentiate between different projects or categories
- Task duration estimation to better understand time allocation
- Project creation feature to break down tasks into smaller, manageable pieces,
- Allows to assign due dates, priorities and track progress
- On the mobile app, it is not possible to show the plans several days in advance but just day by day
- It’s missing a time tracking feature
- As of today, Bordio does not work for teams and organizations
- You can’t share tasks with other people.
- Organizations: $5/month
We’re hoping you’re now equipped to make the right decision in choosing your best daily planner app, and this will lead you to reach peak productivity and sharpen your time management skills.
Whether you choose paper or digital planners, remember that each one has its peculiarity, but most daily planner apps have a degree of customization, flexibility and key features a physical planner does not.
This depends on your needs. Pick a planner that adapts well to your lifestyle and your habits. Consider ease of use, budget, and integrations available. This article lists the best productivity planners, digital and on paper.
How to choose the best productivity planner? Ask yourself the following questions:
* easy to use: How tech-savvy are you?
* budget: What is your budget? Would you rather pay once or monthly?
* collaborative workspace: Do you need to share the space with other people?
* integrations: Which other apps are you using that you need to integrate with the tool?
* frequency: How often do you want to use the planner? Is it something you’ll use daily, monthly, or yearly?
Lunatask is one of the best daily planner apps for folks with ADHD.
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