a daily planning app that is not a productivity app

If you’re anything like me, then you may have gone through your fair share of task management or to-do list apps. I’ve tried them all, from simple to-do list managers in my notes app to big hits like Monday, Todist, Asana, ClickUp, and Notion. They all did what I needed, but there was always something that made me stop using them, be it too much or not enough.

My task management needs

For my personal use case, I needed a task management application that could do the following:

Set project goals with (soft) deadlines; I like to shift deadlines from time to time Synchronize with my calendars Have SCRUM board features so I can move projects from stage to stage Manage professional and personal tasks Easy to set up and easy to use

Past task management apps

I tried using the regular Apple Notes app to launch, but after a few tasks it got really messy. Apple Notes is great for product listings, or maybe short lists. But as a universal application, this was not enough for me.

So I went to the big players. I tried them all. I’ve tried Asana, Notion, ClickUp, Todoist, and Monday, but they’re all either missing something, taking too long to set up, or just doing too much for me. These services tried to make you work there all your life and not just act as a task manager or project management software. Monday was the only service I was stuck on for a while, but at the end of the day it still felt like work or an extra step I forced myself to take.

Sansama and their approach

My friend told me about Sunsama almost a year ago and said I should try it. It was a calendar-oriented diary. The key word here is “managed” – it’s like a daily exercise, but I’ll explain more in a bit.

When you sign up for Sunsama’s free trial (use the link for 30 days instead of 14!), you go through a beautifully crafted introductory and installation process.

It starts by asking what planners you have used in the past and lists all the services I mentioned earlier and more. All of the services and apps mentioned are actually well integrated with Sunsama, so if you still want to use Asana when migrating to Sunsama, they can easily work together. But once you choose your integrations, this is where the managed aspect comes into play.

“Exercise” Sunsam

The rest of the attunement process is similar to a morning yoga session. It will ask you when you want to plan your day and set it as a routine; the idea is to spend 5-10 minutes every morning planning your day. You are then asked to plan your daily goals, then think about what you achieved the previous day and take note of what you plan to achieve the next day. All with a very positive connotation, which brings me back to it every morning. It’s almost like breathing exercises before the start of the day.

Sansama Planning

Using Sunsama as a Task Manager

Once you set up, you will be taken to the control panel and from here it is very easy. You create your tasks, give them a deadline, assign a duration to work on them, and start attacking your tasks in the order you see fit. The user interface is pleasant to use; it’s very clear on a superficial level, but also has some subtleties that might help.

Sunsama Calendar Dashboard

On the left, you have a calendar view with your specific channels that you can customize. In the center is your Monday-Friday view with all the tasks you need to complete, and on the right is the integration toolbar. Everything works with the plus button at the top of each day, and then you can click and drag tasks throughout the week. So if you don’t do something, you just carry it over to the next day.

Notable Features

Some last features to mention are, of course, integrations. You can easily integrate with all third party services and what works great is that every task or email can be easily dragged and dropped into your Sunsama calendar. As you can see in the image below, each task resulting from my mail integration has a small Gmail icon.

You can also easily create different channels that can be assigned to specific tasks. I use three main channels – 9to5 YouTube, 9to5 website and personal. This way I can organize my tasks as much as possible.

Conclusion

As I said before, Sunsama has evolved into this morning exercise that I do Monday through Friday. I drink coffee, I log in, I see what I have achieved, and I see what I have ahead of me; it’s a simple and visual way to get the job done. I am someone who has struggled a lot with organization, task management and everything in between and Sunsama has helped me a lot to stay focused on the task at hand. And it reminds me at the end of the day to get off my computer and go spend time with my family, that’s all we work for anyway!

What do you use to manage your tasks? Do you use your native note taking app? Are you using something like Sunsama? Or do you memorize everything in your head like I used to think I could? Let me know in the comments!