Planner and Productivity Apps for the Technologically Challenged by Danielle Lively
Danielle Lively Neal is a former professor turned entrepreneur who provides brand strategy consulting, career coaching and marketing services for clients.
My utopia is an office supply store, or maybe the Container Store, anything with organization and colors and that’s all about getting things done! I have always been a fan of paper planners but I have also recognized the practicalness of having access to my calendar digitally 24/7 even if my planner is too big to carry with me. I have begrudgingly started using both and am quick to download the newest planning app. The big issue with the planning apps is the learning curve, which I never have to worry about with my trusty paper planner. The following are some of my favorite planning apps that I think will also blow you away in their ease of use and ability to sync with what you already have, no worries about having to reenter everything!
The Post-It App is just that…Post-Its for your computer or phone! How cool is that?!?! I have always been a fan of the paper version of these, but I have found them especially useful on my laptop screen, which used to have paper notes all over it, or for my phone screen. I know it sounds a bit counterintuitive, but I have been known to write things on my hand or stick a Post-It on my phone screen to remember something. Now I can just open the app and pop a Post-It up from the app. But it isn’t just great for notes, you can also set alarms and reminders for events and tasks. Those of you who are big into using a Post-It planning system because you like to see things visually, can accomplish the same thing, albeit if you do it on your phone, smaller, digitally and take it with you wherever you go. Even if you don’t use this as your primary planning app, I would highly suggest downloading it for use for notes anyway. Some people ask if Sticky Notes, which comes standard with some computers, is the same thing, and yes it is, but the Post-It App and computer program has more versatility and features in my opinion.
The Fantastical app predominantly works with Mac and Apple products the best. It can integrate across all of your devices and sync with current iCal. It is easy to use and they offer a large number of planning customizations for how you want to set up your schedule and how you want it to look when you pull your calendar up. One thing to note on this app though is it’s amazing “natural language processing” ability. What the heck does that mean? Basically, unlike some voice to text programs, it can process your natural language better to include it in your schedule. For example, you can simply say “Meet Julie at 5 for coffee at Starbucks,” and it easily adds it into your calendar. From reading reviews and my own experiences with other apps, this app is the very best at the natural language processing, making your planning even easier.
The Click Up App prides itself on being “the one app to replace them all!” Click Up is very much an entire task management system in an app. So you can manage tasks, documents, chats, goals, your calendar, you name it. You can also import from other productivity apps or calendar apps into Click Up and sync across devices. There are so many different calendar views you can select based on your preferences which was one of my favorite features. They also have something called “spaces,” which for those of you who have task management systems might also be understood as “teams.” Within those “spaces” you can customize who is allowed in that space so you can add your team members or whoever you like to that calendar, task, docs, or goals or the like. You can access the app from your mobile or desktop and they also have a Chrome extension, voice assistance and email add-ons if you want to use them. Looking at reviews of Click Up, one thing that stood out was their amazing customer service. When you are technologically challenged like me, that’s a big bonus!
Where are my Gmail gals at!?!? I have been using Google calendar for awhile now and it was my primary digital calendar until I started working at a company that predominantly uses Outlook. The nice thing is that I can sync my Outlook and my Google calendar all in one. In fact, since I have 10 different Gmail accounts, don’t ask, I can actually have a calendar for each one of them and identify them by color and look at them all at once or one at a time. It’s genius! The Google calendar does sync across all your devices as mentioned with Outlook as well. If you do have a Gmail it will also pop up when you open an email that has a potential time and date you may want to schedule in it without you even asking, which I also find to be quite helpful. Like all the other apps it can be accessed digitally from anywhere!
This is the planning app that fans of paper planners have been waiting for! This app allows for the same fun and personalization of a paper planner, but it also has all the features of a digital planner. It will sync up to Google, iCal, Apple, and Outlook among others. That means you can have the beauty of a fun planner with cute push notifications in your hand but still be able to access it from anywhere you have your phone! This app definitely ranks above all the others in terms of its beauty and would also be loved by creatives who want an app that is visually stimulating as well as practical.