The Best Productivity Planners to Get You Through the Day

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In 1789 Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy in which he made the now idiomatic statement “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

I’d like to propose that we update this statement with another certainty for the modern working world.

Death, taxes and….increased productivity.

Alright, maybe that was a little tongue in cheek, but that’s the point of a joke. It needs to have enough truth to make it worth discussing. And in the modern world, we are unbelievably focused on productivity, and it can often cause an undesirable amount of stress.

With increased demands on our time, it becomes more and more important to plan in a way that relieves some of the pressure and prevents us from falling behind.

Here are 9 of the best productivity planners to get you through your day.

BestSelf Co.

This journal originally started as a Kickstarter project and has since become incredibly popular. The BestSelf Co. planner spans thirteen weeks and is focused on helping you set achievable goals that can be chunked into concrete actions in an appropriate time frame. It’s a beautifully designed tool that includes essays about productivity and positivity gives daily inspirational quotes to set the tone. There are a number of thoughts related to self-improvement, with some engaging stories and anecdotes to back them up.

Best for you if:

You like self-improvement books and would like some extra motivation to get you through the day.

The Morning Sidekick Journal

This is a daily journal that is focused on helping its users develop a highly effective morning routine. With 66 days worth of pages, user than track their morning progress over a two month period. The journal is to be filled at night time before bed and in the morning after waking up. By recording your sleeping times and most important task for the next day, you can offload your cognitive stress, set your intentions and get a good rest.

Best for you if:

You often start the day full of stress and without a clear direction, and you’d like to get a better grip on your mornings.

The Mastery Journal

This journal comes straight from John Lee Dumas, the host of the amazing Entrepreneur on Fire podcast. The Mastery Journal teaches you how to master focus, discipline and productivity in just 100 days. With four daily sessions to complete and reflect on the most important tasks of the day, and 10-day reviews, this journal is a little more advanced than your average planner. Its design is clean and very well made, and there is a detailed introduction that outlines how you may use the journal.

Best for you if:

You’re a driven, Type-A individual who would like a challenge for the next 100 days. This journal is not designed to be used all the time.

Mobile Planners

Any.do

This is a simple but useful app for iPhone that comes in a free and paid version. The daily review feature allows you to review your most important daily task immediately before you commit to it, which comes in handy with the paid version as there are location-based reminders that make it feel as if the planner is really integrated into your day.

Best for you if:

You have the tendency to be forgettable and want something that can remind you about your tasks on the go. Also if you’re willing to pay for the pro version.

Hours

This is an incredibly simple app whereby you simply track all the time you spend on different tasks, down to the minute. It´s color-coded and user-friendly and all you need to do is hit the clock to start the timer. Don´t be deceived by the simplicity, tracking your hours closely can be an incredibly insightful way to manage your productivity.

Best for you if:

Often feel like you are wasting time and want to know where exactly it’s all going!

Just Press Record

This app is a voice recorder that automatically transcribes your voice notes. It has recently been updated on iOS with a clean user-friendly interface that makes it look like the music and messages apps. The app supports over 30 languages, which is pretty impressive, and the transcription is accurate. If you often think of ideas on the go and down have time to write them down, Just Press Record will be an absolute lifesaver.

Best for you if:

You like to flesh your ideas out by talking about them, and you tend to find yourself on the go without the time or space to note things down.

Desktop Planners

EverNote

EverNote has been a staple productivity app for years now, but with frequent updates, its´status as a productivity planner kingpin is not being questioned. The desktop app allows you to capture any note, memo, file, or receipt and put it all in one place. Though it has been criticized for being increasingly costly over the last few years, those who use it are quick to point out that the amount of time you save and the amount on creativity the app facilitates, easily pays back the cost. If you are involved in any kind or research or project management tasks, EverNote is the way to go.

Best for you if:

You have to synthesise a lot of information and you want somewhere to put it all in one place.

Trello

Trello has fast become one of the leading project management tools available. In some ways, Trello is like a simplified version of EverNote for teams. If you want to track multiple projects and keep your teams connected, Trello is an incredibly cost-effective way to do so.

Best for you if:

G Suite

While many people won’t necessarily consider the suite of Google cloud-based tools a productivity planner, when used together they are incredibly effective. Google apps can be used on any device and the files are immediately updated, so regardless of where you are or what device you have with you, you will have access to the latest file. The app is a free alternative to Microsoft Office, which has been criticized for being increasingly expensive and not very user-friendly. Google products can be integrated with almost all other web apps and the free and automatic updates mean you never need to worry about the software. If you use Google Calendars, Drive and Sheets to track your tasks and time spent, you may never need another productivity planner!

Best for you if:

These are appropriate for everyone, and most of us are probably using at least one of them. If you don’t feel like you need any fancy bells or whistles and you want something free and easy, Google apps are for you.

Ultimately, planners can only ever facilitate productivity, they can’t change your attitude towards your work. However, if you’re looking for something that will help you along the way, these tools are some of the best available.