I Put 10 of the Most Popular Planner Apps to the Test—Here are My Thoughts

Over the last decade, many planner enthusiasts have begun to shift away from paper planning and embrace the world of digital planning… including myself!

With ever-changing lifestyles and demands from home, work, school, and, of course, our endless ideas for side hustles (or is that just me? 😆) it’s easy to see why the flexibility and ease of a digital schedule is a top priority for so many of us.

There are dozens of pros to switching to a digital-only system or combining digital and paper planning to access the best of both worlds. But when it comes to a soothing aesthetic, not all digital planner apps are created equal. And if you, like me, love functional and beautiful spaces, this can be a bit of a letdown!

10 Planner Apps with Aesthetics

So, here’s the burning question we planner nerds have been asking:

Can digital planner apps capture the practicality and simplicity that we crave while filling the aesthetic void left by our beloved paper planners?

If you are considering migrating from paper to pixel and don’t know how to narrow down the best digital planners, this post is for you. We’ll explore the top ten aesthetic planner apps available on the internet and of course, I’ll share ALL the details (and my hoenst thoughts) so you can make the best choice!

Starting with my favorite app of all…

1. Notion

Notion’s strength lies in its unparalleled flexibility.

You can fine-tune every aspect of your workspace to align perfectly with your needs and preferences. Whether you’re adjusting dividers, columns, colors, or other elements, Notion offers a myriad of customization options, ensuring that each part of your workspace reflects your unique vision.

Personal Dashboard in Notion
Watch My Notion Personal Dashboard Tour

There is a bit of a learning curve to Notion, but once you understand the basics of Notion’s anatomy, the sky is the limit as to what you can create.

Keep it simple with a daily checklist or use it as a minimal notetaking app.

Or tap into Notion’s powerful database features to create a fully robust Master Task List, Health & Wellness Hub, Learning Library, and more. Notion is the perfect balance of functionality and aesthetics to manage all of your tasks, projects, and life responsibilities!

Notion Master Task List View
How to Create a Master Task List in Notion

What You’ll Love about Notion

  • All-in-One Workspace: This versatile tool integrates notes, documents, databases, daily tasks, wikis, and more into a single platform, eliminating the need for multiple apps. However, if you want a true calendar integration, you’ll need to download Notion Calendar. (Here are my thoughts on that. 😆)
  • Customizability: This is what Notion is famous for! You can customize Notion to fit EVERY use case by combining multiple design blocks with powerful databases to streamline all your organizational needs.
  • Collaboration: Teams love Notion for real-time editing, comments, mentions, and sharing of documents and databases, fostering seamless communication and productivity.
  • Flexibility: With nested pages, inline databases, linked databases, and customizable views, Notion enables you to adapt your workspace to your preferred workflow.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Notion is accessible across various devices and platforms, including web browsers, desktop applications (Windows, macOS), and mobile apps (iOS, Android). You can access and update your content anytime, anywhere.

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How Much Does Notion Cost?

Notion’s free plan offers plenty of perks, but if you want advanced collaboration, unlimited file uploads, and access to database automations (which are really cool) then you’ll want to upgrade to the $8/month plan.

My Thoughts

Notion is hard to beat due to it’s unlimited creative ability for managing all your roles and responsibilities. I haven’t found much that Notion can’t do, which is why I rely on it daily as my preferred productivity app!

We get super nerdy about Notion on my YouTube channel. Wanna subscribe?

2. Todoist

Todoist is more than just a task management tool, this productivity powerhouse streamlines your workflow and keeps you on top of all your tasks, whether you’re tackling personal projects or collaborating with a team.

I used Todoist for years as my Master Task List, until I swapped it for Notion!

While Todoist is not an all-in-one platform, you’ll love the app’s clean, minimalist design style. You can customize color schemes, how you view your tasks and lists (the calendar view is pretty cool!), and use icons to quickly identify task categories.

What You’ll Love about Todoist

  • Task Management: This is where Todoist really shines. Create tasks, set due dates, assign priorities, and organize tasks into projects and sub-projects!
  • Productivity Features: Use recurring tasks, reminders, labels, filters, and custom views to stay organized and focused.
  • Collaboration: Share projects and assign tasks to team members. You can also comment on tasks, attach files, and track progress collaboratively.
  • Integration: Todoist integrates with various third-party apps and services, including calendar apps, note-taking apps, communication tools, and project management platforms. This lets you streamline your workflow and access Todoist from your preferred tools.

How Much Does Todoist Cost?

If you only need a simple to-do list, Todoist is hands down, the best free daily planner app. However, the premium version offers task reminders and file uploads, which is helpful! When I used Todoist, I couldn’t live without these two features, so I upgraded to the $4/month plan.

My Thoughts

Everything about Todoist is pretty straightforward and intuitive, so if you’re looking for a simple task manager that is easy to set up and use, this app belongs on your phone’s coveted home screen. It’s one of the best free daily planner apps!

3. ClickUp

You can’t search for aesthetic planner apps without stumbling upon ClickUp. This app compels die-hard Notion users to take a second look—including me!

That’s because Clickup blends the aesthetics of Notion with the simplicity of Todoist.

ClickUp Main View

This tool offers a robust project and task management system that empowers you to organize your tasks and projects. Whether you’re managing personal to-do’s or collaborating with a team, ClickUp provides customizable task lists, due dates, priorities, and status updates to keep you on track and focused.

You can even add custom fields to your tasks (similar to Notion database properties) and customize your color themes to match your branding or personal preferences!

What You’ll Love about ClickUp

  • Customizable Workspace: You can tailor your workspace layout, fields, statuses, and workflows to suit your needs and preferences.
  • Whiteboards and Docs: Both help visualize your ideas when fleshing out a large business or personal project.
  • Powerful Reporting and Analytics: You’ll get robust reporting and analytics features, including customizable dashboards, charts, and graphs. This allows you to track project progress, monitor team performance, and gain insights to make data-driven decisions.
  • Collaboration Tools: This app facilitates team collaboration by allowing real-time editing, comments, and mentions, while sharing templates and data, enhancing communication and productivity.
  • Integration Ecosystem: Clickup integrates with a wide range of third-party tools and services such as Google Drive, Slack, Zoom, GitHub, and more

How Much Does ClickUp Cost?

Like most other apps, the free version of ClickUp might be enough for personal use, especially since it comes with unlimited tasks. But if you want unlimited EVERYTHING, including integrations, storage, and dashboards, you can upgrade to the Unlimited Plan for $7/month.

My Thoughts

ClickUp is a big contender to Notion so, of course, I had to see the hype for myself. I didn’t find the app extremely intuitive to use, but I did like the ability to customize my Home dashboard. In addition to my tasks and events, I liked that I could add reminders, lists, and custom “cards”.

4. Trello

Trello is a popular project management tool due to its drag-and-drop Kanban style view. But Trello easily serves as task manager as well! Just assign each task to a card and use the checklist feature inside each card to further break down that task into subtasks.

Before I moved everything into Notion, Trello was my go-to online planner app. I used it to help me develop new products, resources, and sales campaigns. Trello even housed my editorial calendar for both my blog and newsletter.

Trello Main Screen

Plus, the visual nature of the app turns even the most mundane of tasks into a pleasing list. You can customize board backgrounds, add images to each card, and assign color-coded tags.

What You’ll Love about Trello

  • Big Picture Planning: Trello’s board system lets you see all your projects and tasks in one convenient workflow. You never get lost in the details and can quickly visualize your progress.
  • Card Context: Every Trello card houses an extensive amount of information. From tags, due dates, checklists, images, and other “Power Up” features, you have all the information you need to reference in one place.
  • Power Ups: Speaking of “Power Ups”, you can activate extra features to boost your planning experience, including integration with other apps.
  • Built-in Templates: Save time when you use Trello’s templates, or create your own to speed the setup of your own workflows.
  • Streamline Automation: Use Trello’s built-in “Butler” to streamline repetitive tasks, create cards automatically, and ultimately save you time.

How Much Does Trello Cost?

You can use Trello for free and get access to unlimited cards. However, your workspace can only hold 10 boards. So, if you’d like more boards, storage, and access to advanced checklists, you can upgrade for just $5/month. This one is very affordable!

My Thoughts

I loved Trello and was sad to leave! Mostly because I adored the visual nature of the boards and cards. If I ever left Notion, Trello would be the siren song that called me back. I think it’s so simple and easy to use. You don’t need to undergo an extensive onboarding process, and you’ll instantly feel more organized once you add a few boards to your workspace.

5. Morgen Calendar

I only found out about Morgen a month or so ago—and I’m hooked!

In addition to its robust calendar features, Morgen Calendar seamlessly integrates task management capabilities into its platform. You can create tasks, set deadlines, and prioritize your to-do list directly within the app, ensuring that your tasks are aligned with your schedule and goals.

morgen calendar view for time blocking

Morgen syncs to multiple calendars, allowing you to manage them all in one place. You can also customize the colors of each calendar to create an aesthetic look. My favorite hack is to find a color palette on Pinterest to assign to each calendar so you know they all blend together. You can grab my custom colors here!

If you like a clean and compatible calendar view for time blocking, Morgen could be a really good fit. It’s such a cute calendar app.

What You’ll Love about Morgen

  • Unified Calendar: Morgen combines all your calendars and tasks into one place so you can time block your schedule more effectively. Add new tasks straight into Morgen, or connect to your favorite task manager to drag and drop those tasks directly into your timeline.
  • External Booking Links: There’s no need to use an extra app like Calendly to find a meeting time. Morgen provides your very own booking page.
  • Advanced Scheduling Tools: Morgen offers smart scheduling to improve time management and productivity (like a 30-minute Buffer Time after meetings!)
  • Time Zone Tracking: Add multiple time zones to your calendar and hover over the event to see the time for each zone. This is especially helpful if you work with a virtual team.

How Much Does Morgen Cost?

Morgen’s free plan is extremely limited. You only get one calendar integration, and the mobile app is read-only—meaning you can’t change or add to it from your phone. If you want to add multiple digital calendars and task integrations, access those booking links, and actually use the mobile version, you’ll want to upgrade to the Pro Plan for $9/month. But I think it’s worth it!

My Thoughts

This app has quickly become my favorite calendar app, especially since it integrates so well with Notion. (FYI: you’ll need a pro account to unlock this integration). While I plan my week in Notion, I work from my daily schedule in Morgen. I love seeing all my daily routines, events, and tasks in one place. And I can easily drag and drop blocks whenever my schedule changes.

6. Sunsama

With its unified task management, smart scheduling, time blocking, calendar integration, collaborative workspaces, and personalized insights, Sunsama is an excellent tool for entrepreneurs.

It has a clean, simple design and intuitive productivity layouts. It allows for email management and time tracking right within the app. With a few clicks, you can have guided daily planning, pulling from your connected calendars.

You can also drag and drop tasks from other planning apps, like Todoist, Trello, and Notion!

View of Sunsama

What You’ll Love about Sunsama

  • Focused Work Sessions: You can schedule time blocks for specific tasks and projects and then use the built-in Pomodoro Technique to foster productivity and deep work.
  • Task Consolidation: If you have tasks across multiple platforms, you can bring them all inside Sunsama.
  • Integrated Calendar View: Sunsama seamlessly integrates tasks and calendar events into a single view, helping you manage your time effectively and avoid double booking.
  • Weekly Review: Sunsama prompts you to reflect on your week and assess how you’re spending your time.
  • Collaboration Features: You can collaborate among teams with features like shared task lists, real-time updates, and the ability to assign tasks and deadlines to team members.

How Much Does Sunsama Cost?

Sunsama is one of the pricier planner apps, coming in at $20/month. So, you want to be sure this planner app is the right choice before you commit! At this time, there is no free version, but you can sign up for a free 14-day trial if you’d like to take it for a spin.

My Thoughts

Sunsama actually reached out to me and asked if I would try their app. When I first logged on, I immediately thought this was a mix of Trello and Morgen Calendar. I enjoyed seeing a Kanban-style view of my weekly tasks alongside my daily schedule and I liked the ability to drag and drop tasks into my calendar. However, I don’t think I loved the app enough to pay $20/month for it.

7. GoodNotes

GoodNotes is technically more of a notetaking app; however, I’m including it in this list because you can import your favorite PDF printables or digital planner templates into this app, resulting in a digital planner that closely resembles a paper one!

Goodnotes Planner view

All you need is a tablet, a stylus, the Goodnotes app, and your chosen files. Then, you can customize this planner with endless options for digital stickers, washi, and more. Easily add, delete, or rearrange sections of your notebooks, and combine different parts of different planners to create your ultimate planning system.

What You’ll Love about Goodnotes

  • User-friendly interface: Goodnotes tools and options are easy to access and intuitive.
  • Extensive Templates and Layouts: Etsy offers hundreds of premade templates and themes for all kinds of planner styles that are easy to access and use. But the best deal is to grab a Brainbook Library All-Access Pass so you can pick and choose from over 250 planner designs to create your dream setup.
  • Wide Range of Decorative Elements: Purchase digital washi tape and stickers to add flair to your planner pages.
  • Ability to Record Audio Notes: Instead of only text notes, you can record voice clips to enhance your note-taking or journaling.
  • Integration with Digital Pens for Natural Handwriting: Digital pens like the Apple Pencil work seamlessly with this program.

Unlike other planner apps, Goodnotes doesn’t act like a true digital planner. So you won’t see recurring tasks populate on certain days of the week, for instance.

This app is specifically for those who don’t want to carry around a paper planner but love the idea of “duplicating” their paper planner in a digital format, where they don’t have to worry about planner supplies taking up excess space. It’s a solid front-runner in the cute planner apps field!

How Much Does Goodnotes Cost?

Goodnotes charges a $29.99 one-time fee to download the app if you’re in the Apple ecosystem or $6.99/year for Android and Windows. If you decide to buy a digital planner rather than make your own, you’ll need to purchase that in addition to the app pricing.

My Thoughts

I’ve used Goodnotes for daily journaling and notetaking (I do love the handwritten vibe!), but when it comes to using Goodnotes as a digital planner, I’d much rather plan in a paper one. Just my personal preference!

8. Ellie Planner

Ellie Planner is a beautifully designed digital tool that helps you organize your schedule, tasks, and goals. It is great for people who like the daily Kanban system and has a simple and clean aesthetic.

You can create tasks and subtasks, set deadlines, add notes, and track your progress—all within the same platform!

Ellie Planner View

What You’ll Love about Ellie

  • Easy View Customization: Ellie offers daily, weekly, or monthly views of all your tasks. You can easily switch between them if you want to try something different.
  • Exceptional Brain Dump Features: Ellie is built to offload your tasks and ideas and easily organize them into categories.
  • Time Block-Style Work: Drag tasks from the Kanban view into your calendar to visualize your day.
  • Analytics and Time Tracking: You get a built-in time tracker with Ellie to visualize how you spend your time.

Many people view Ellie as the lightweight version of Sunsama, without the hefty price tag. But it does lack integrations, robust features, and quick-add functions to capture tasks from your brain into the app quickly.

How Much Does Ellie Cost?

With Ellie, a lot of features are locked under the premium version. You can access limited options for free or pay $9.99/month for calendar integration, labels and recurring tasks.

My Thoughts

Immediately after I logged in, I saw exactly why others consider this app to be a Sunsama dupe. Although similar in design, Ellie feels cleaner and easier to use. I love the Brain Dump section to quickly add tasks that don’t require a specific due date. And the estimated time tracker for each task is brilliant! I’m constantly underestimating how long each task takes, so this is an incredibly helpful feature for better planning.

9. Amazing Marvin

Amazing Marvin is a feature-rich app designed to engage and motivate its users to complete tasks by gamifying their to-do lists. It is created specifically for those who tend to procrastinate by focusing on different work and learning styles to uncover what motivates task completion.

Plus, the interface is so clean and minimal! You can choose your color scheme and even upload your own fonts.

Amazing Marvin Home Screen

Amazing Marvin is similar to popular to-do apps like Todoist, but gives you the ability to toggle various features on and off based on whether you want access to it.

For instance, you can automatically roll over any tasks you didn’t get to today to tomorrow, and bulk import your favorite affirmations to display at the top of your dashboard each day.

What You’ll Love about Amazing Marvin

  • Flexible Task Management: You can organize tasks using a variety of styles, such as lists, tags, priority levels, due dates, and custom labels.
  • Customizable Workflows: Amazing Marvin enables users to select their preferred productivity methodologies, whether it’s GTD (Getting Things Done), Kanban, or others.
  • Analytics and Insights: This app provides insights into users’ productivity habits and performance, like task completion rates, time spent on different tasks or projects, and other metrics to help users identify areas for improvement.
  • Focus Mode and Smart Scheduling: Use the Focus Mode feature to minimize distractions and stay focused. Smart scheduling allows you to schedule tasks based on their priorities, deadlines, estimated time, and available time slots.

How Much Does Amazing Marvin Cost?

Currently, there is no free version of this app due to Amazing Marvin being fully self-funded, but you can test it for a full 31 days. This app is also quite affordable at $8/month and comes with outstanding support.

My Thoughts

This app is probably the one that intrigues me the most! I love the minimal look. What really blows me away, though, is the amount of customization you can add to personalize your planning setup. You have complete control over your sidebar, color scheme, and how tasks display in your dashboard. If I were in the market for a new planner app, I’d probably move to this one!

10. Artful Agenda

Designed to visually mimic popular paper planners and calendars, Artful Agenda offers a wide range of beautifully designed themes and customizable layouts, allowing you to personalize your planner to suit your aesthetic taste.

You can customize fonts and colors, add stickers, buy different covers and media packs, and get different page layouts. The app is compatible with Apple Pencil, so you can draw and write on the planner too!

Artful Agenda Planner Spread

Not only does Artful Agenda offer customizable task lists, goal tracking, habit reminders, and note-taking capabilities, but it also syncs with Google Calendar and other common digital tools to eliminate the need to transfer tasks between apps.

What You’ll Love about Artful Agenda

  • Customizable and Personalized Experience: With customizable themes and colors and flexible layout options, you can tailor your planner to reflect your unique style and organizational preferences, creating a personalized planning experience.
  • Beautiful and Intuitive Design: This app offers a visually appealing and user-friendly interface, making it enjoyable to plan and organize your schedule.
  • Decorative Features: Premade sticker packs and washi packs are available for purchase to decorate your digital spread, much like a Happy Planner.

How Much Does Artful Agenda Cost?

You can try Artful Agenda for free for two weeks. After that, this app costs $45/year plus any covers and stickers you purchase from the Artful Agenda store.

My Thoughts

I was originally introduced to Artful Agenda via an ad, and it was enough to convince me to test it out! If you want a tool that resembles your paper planner, Artful Agenda is one of the best daily planner apps that retains that look and function. However, I didn’t personally didn’t love the aesthetic of this one as I prefer a more minimal look. But it’s still a top contender in the space!

Which is the Best Planner App?

I have to admit, testing all of these apps made me second guess my current combo of Notion and Morgen Calendar. 😆

There are so many more options available than ever before… and they’re SO GOOD!

But this deep dive also reminded me how important it is to choose a planner that’s right for you.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, you can use my Find Your Match Planning Guide to discover what has and hasn’t been working with your current setup. I’ll also guide you through a Planning Preferences quiz to help narrow down which planning style you resonate with most.

While I don’t list every app in the guide we discussed in this list, you should walk away with a good idea of the type of planning tool you want to try.

Claim Your FREE Guide

Get ready to find the right planning system designed just for you.

Planning is so personal because our lives, needs, and visual preferences vary so much. Taking the time to figure out our must-haves in a planner app will automatically eliminate some of the contenders, making it much easier to make a choice you’ll be happy with long term.

Do you…

  • Want to easily add digital stickers and washi, draw, or add handwritten elements in any part of the planner, keeping it close to your past paper planner styles? (Try GoodNotes or Artful Agenda)

  • Want a clean, sleek look with little to no distractions but easy-to-modify color or icon abilities? (Try Todoist, Ellie, or Amazing Marvin)

  • Want an easy-to-follow, straightforward approach to managing your daily tasks and timeline that offers a minimal aesthetic and you don’t have to put any effort into customizing? (Try Ellie or Trello)

  • Want to customize and edit everything while also adding visually appealing elements? (Try Notion or Clickup)

  • Want something that’s more focused on color coding and is date-driven instead of task-driven? (Try Morgen or Sunsama)

Start thinking about what might appeal to you ahead of time so that when you are presented with one of these aesthetic planner apps, you’ll know exactly which one you want to try first.

By the way, if Notion intrigued you even just a little bit, I’d love to connect with you on YouTube. Notion is my specialty and I can’t wait to share all of its incredible potential with you!

New to Notion?

In this beginner-friendly “crash class”, you’ll learn the basics of pages AND databases so you can create your own personalized Notion workspaces with confidence.

What Digital Planning Apps Have You Tried?

Are there any others you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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