Best digital planners for 2021

10 Free Digital Planners That Are Simple to Use [2021 Edition]

Posted by Joseph Schlegel
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Most teams have some form of project planning in place. However, manual tracking is outdated and no longer sufficient, especially as more businesses develop hybrid strategies and countless digital project management tools become available. This is precisely why more people are transitioning easier to access digital planners that can sync across your devices. 

Digital planners enhance productivity by effectively streamlining your personal productivity workflows. Take notes, track meetings, set priorities, and quickly accomplish your goals. The best part? You typically can boost productivity using a digital planner for free!

What Are The Best Digital Planners for 2021?

1. Friday

We recently introduced an online daily planner app that is purpose built for remote work (try it for free here).

With the Planner, Friday users can quickly roadmap their day. See meetings, tasks, and work routines in one place, pulled from tools you already use. Know what you need to accomplish and do more focused work.

You will receive a daily agenda notification that surfaces everything you need to do over the course of the day. This includes meetings and appointments across *multiple* calendars, which is perfect if you have a work and personal calendar. You can see how this all works in the video below:

That's not all. If you install the Chrome extension you can see a simplified view of what you need to accomplish when you open a new tab in your browser. This helps you stay on track and knock out your tasks, faster.

Did someone ask for integrations? Connect to your favorite project management tool and bring those over to your task list. Quickly add any additional tasks to your day, too. 

Friday Planner Features:

  • See meetings and tasks in one view
  • Carve out time to focus and block distracting websites like social media
  • Receive a daily agenda email so you have a bird's eye view of what's on your plate
  • Integrates with Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meetings, and many of the top project management tools. Go into do-not-disturb mode when you're trying to focus or have meetings

Pricing:

Free: For individuals and small teams who want to try Friday and see how it works.

Team: $6 per month/per user

Start with the Friday Planner for free.

2. Todoist

Todist specializes in productivity software and creates tools that simplify and organize your workday. They are designers, engineers, and communicators united by a common goal, not a common location. Regain clarity by placing tasks into Todoist, no matter where you are or what device you use.

“It's simple, easy and not difficult to learn. I actually like how keeping track of tasks seems like something that doesn't take much time and something that I actually enjoy doing. It has a clean UI and has collaboration tools to work in teams and let each other know what needs to be done.”— G2Crowd

Pros

  • Easily organize and prioritize assignments.
  • Get a clear overview of all company tasks.
  • Divide and conquer your daily tasks in shared projects.

Pricing

  • Basic: Free
  • Premium: $3/person /m 
  • Business: $5/person /m 

Formats: Mobile, tablet, and web

3. Any.do

Teams can plan their day in seconds with Any.do’s daily planner app. Use this streamlining application to focus on meaningful action items that will deliver your goals. Any.do’s dashboard consists of your to-do list and calendar, allowing you to plan while staying on top of your agenda. Drag and drop tasks into your schedule to produce an efficient daily plan.

Pros

  • Reschedule tasks, mark them as done or delete them completely.
  • Prioritize tasks to save you hours of extra work and burden.

Pricing: 

  • Standard: Free
  • Premium: $5.99/p /m

Formats: Mobile, tablet, watch software and web

4. Passion Planner

The Passion Planner has a paper version, but their digital version consists of fun and simple planner PDF pages that you can download for free (requires an email address). Their options include a monthly undated planner PDF, daily layout with hours of the day for scheduling, extra to-do lists, and habit tracker. They also have free downloads for long-term planning, like a reflection sheet, self-care, calorie tracker and more. The Passion Planner is a well-known brand and their PDF downloads are great if you want to experiment and try multiple formats of planners.

Pros

• Trusted name brand for paper planners

• Easy to try and experiment

Pricing:

Free with an email address

Format:

PDF

5. OnPlanners

This is resource site with tons of planning templates. It includes daily hourly planners, daily to-do list sheets, budget planners, meal planners...you name it, OnePlanners probably has a PDF template that you can use right away. The only drawback is that if you are truly looking for a digital planner, than this may not be the best option. Technically, a PDF is digital but lacks a lot of the customization that a responsive software program like Friday would offer.

Pros

  • Variety of options
  • Highly customizable

Pricing: Free

Formats: PDF

6. Google Calendar

Make the most of every day by utilizing GoogleCalender. This digital planner provides multiple views of your day, week, and month prioritization, guest invites, calendar on the web and more. Safely backup data, so you don't lose your schedule if you lose your device.

"I’ve tried all kinds of available calendar apps, but this one is by far my favorite! I often tell my friends to drop their apps and opt for Google Calendar because I really think it is so much better than any other free-cal app out there." — Apple App Store Review

Pros

  • Create events in a few taps with smart suggestions for event titles, people and places.
  • Events from email are added to your Calendar
  • Schedule View brings schedules to life and makes it easy to see what's ahead with images and maps.

Pricing: Free

Formats: Mobile and tablet

7. Notion

Notion serves as a workspace for notes, docs, wikis, projects and collaboration. Use it on your own, with your team, or as an entire company. Get started for free, then add your whole team. Notion’s daily planner template includes all kinds of planning in Notion from a Notion daily calendar to a Notion Daily Journal. 

“Notion helps us keep track of the 30+ design projects we have going at once. We can click into any of them to get the full lay of the land right away.” — Justin Watt Director of Operations, Metalab

Pros

  • Great for securing company information all in one place
  • Embed youtube videos and attach files up to 5MB if you are a free user. 
  • Easily write essays in blocks and arrange them in order in a way you like.

Pricing

  • Free: For personal use & individuals
  • Personal Pro: $4 /person per month
  • Team: $8 /person per month

Formats: Mobile, iPad, and web

8. Trello

Trello starts as a free project management solution that delivers a Kanban board approach. Use it with your agile or scrum project management methodologies or use it independently. Each task and set of tasks is then grouped on a board. Move your cards to different progress points, depending on the work that has been done and tasks that still need to be completed. A drawback to Trello is that it's mainly meant for teams, even though they have boards for personal planning, too.

Pros

  • Built-in workflow automation.
  • Convenient team playbook
  • Syncs with all your devices

Pricing 

  • Basic: Free
  • Premium plan: $13.49 /month /per user
  • Business plan: $30.49 /month /per user
  • Enterprise plan: Available by quote

Formats: Mobile, tablet and web

9. Asana

Asana is a team collaboration tool for people who prefer to mix approaches to tasks and choose to implement their tasks in a list view. With Asana, you can assign team members to cards (within a project board) or to-dos (within a project list). You can add attachments, labels, subtasks, descriptions, and comments.

You can also mark certain tasks as milestones, define dependencies between tasks, and track your tasks' deadlines in a calendar view.

Pros

  • Keep track of all tasks and projects.
  • Share information with the necessary individuals/groups.
  • Report on work, all in one central place.

Pricing

  • Basic: Free
  • Starter: $13.49/person /m 
  • Premium: $30.49/person /m 

Formats: Mobile, tablet, and web

10. ClickUp

ClickUp is a project management tool that your whole organization can use for free! Most corporations charge premium prices for what ClickUp delivers for free. Enjoy unlimited users, tasks and various product features using their Free Forever plan. 

Pros

  • Communicate directly on a task and assign action items. 
  • Design workflows and duplicate them anywhere. 
  • Classify tasks by importance.

Pricing

  • Basic: Free
  • Unlimited: $5 /person /m

Formats: Mobile, iPad, and web

Choosing the Best Digital Planner for You

How do you determine which digital planner is right for you? That depends on whether you need to track assigned tasks, quarterly goals, timesheets, or streamline automation; remember, the possibilities are almost endless. 

It’s important to think about the features and what outcomes they should help drive. We’d strongly encourage you to answer the following questions as you decide on what app makes the most sense for how you want to use a planner at work.

  • Does the planner show meetings and tasks into one place? Any planner app should merge calendar events and tasks into a single view (like an analog planner does)
  • Does the planner integrate with existing tools? If you already use project management software, the planner needs to pull work out of those systems.
  • Does the planner complement existing tools? You don’t need another calendar app. You don’t need another project management tool. You need a way to roadmap your day and finish with a feeling of accomplishment.
  • Is the planner available on multiple platforms and devices? Is a mobile app available? Does the team regularly update the product? Is it easy to chat with support?
  • Does the planner drive regular reflection and continuous improvement? Can you see how you are allocating your time on a regular basis? Does the tool help you have more successful days?

Other helpful articles:

What does a digital planner do?

Should I use a digital planner?

How do I make a digital planner?

Does Google have a daily planner?

Is a paper planner better than digital?

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