Mastering time management can be tough. But choosing the right tool to help you do it — well, that can be even tougher. If you’ve explored some of your options in the SaaS space, you’ve probably heard about Motion, which uses automation and AI to build your schedule for you.
Motion is an all-in one calendar app, task and project management tool, and scheduling tool — but it does have its limitations. Motion may not be right for you if:
- You want an affordable option (or even better, a free option)
- You’re only looking for either a scheduling tool or a task management tool, not both
- You need a tool that creates more time in your day, not just plugs tasks into time slots
In this quick guide, we’re going to explore various productivity tools and how they compare to Motion. You’ll learn where each tool shines (and where it can improve), so that you can choose the best app to manage your busy schedule. Let’s start!
Alternative 1: Sunsama
OS: Sunsama is available as a web app, desktop app (macOS and Windows), and mobile app (iOS and Android). For iPad users, Sunsama recommends using the web app instead of the iOS app for a better user experience.
Sunsama is a digital daily planner. What makes Sunsama unique is that it guides you through planning your day every day, so you can be sure you’re spending your time in an intentional way. Sunsama encourages you to reflect on your past day, add tasks via integrations, and push back non-essential tasks.
Like Motion, Sunsama also offers automatic time blocking for tasks.
Integrations: ClickUp, Trello, Asana, Notion, Jira, GitHub, Gmail, Outlook, Slack
Sunsama costs $16 per month when billed annually, or $20 per month when billed monthly. You can also try it for free for two weeks!
Alternative 2: Todoist
OS: Todoist is available as a web app, desktop app (macOS, Windows 10/11, and Linux), and mobile app (iPhone/iPad and Android). Todoist also has browser extensions (Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari), wearable apps, and email add-ons.
Todoist is a highly-rated task management and to-do list app (4.8 stars and 98,000 ratings in Apple’s App Store!). Known for how user-friendly it is, Todoist lets you capture tasks, add due dates, and organize everything into sections and subtasks. Other key features include priority levels (so you always know what to work on next), filters (so you can view tasks by due date, priority, and more), and different views.
You won’t find as many AI features in Todoist as you will in the Motion app. However, there’s one AI-powered feature called Filter Assist, which lets you use natural language to create filters for your tasks, even if they’re complicated (e.g. “view tasks that are assigned to me, have a due date of next week, and are high priority). Another key functionality difference between Motion and Todoist is that you can’t schedule meetings with Todoist as it’s purely a task management tool.
Integrations: IFTTT, Alexa, Google Calendar, Slack, Gmail, Zapier, Fantastical, and more
Whether you’re a team or an individual, you can get started with Todoist for free. For more advanced features, upgrade to Personal Pro workspace ($4 per month, billed annually) or a Team Business workspace ($6 per user per month, billed annually).
Alternative 3: Trello
OS: Trello works on mobile (iPhone/iPad and Android), desktop (macOS and Windows), and web.
Trello is a flexible work management tool. It’s ideal for both individuals and teams who want to plan, track, and manage their work in a visual way. Using boards, lists, and cards, you can create a virtual Kanban-style board, and create a system for any kind of workflow. Trello also provides a huge library of templates to help you get started quickly.
Although Motion and Trello are both project management tools at their core, they’re very different platforms. Motion builds your schedule for you, while Trello empowers you to do the planning yourself. Trello also excels as a collaboration tool with plenty of features that allow team members to work asynchronously, or in real-time. Motion is new to the project management space, and reviewers on Capterra and G2 report that there’s room for improvement.
Integrations: Slack, Jira, Miro, and more (API available)
Trello is free to use. However, you can upgrade to a paid plan for premium features like custom fields and different views. Paid plans range from $5 – $17.50 per user per month, billed annually.
Alternative 4: Akiflow
OS: Akiflow is available as a web app, desktop app (macOS and Windows), and mobile app (iOS and Android).
Akiflow is designed to help you consolidate all your tasks from various apps into a universal inbox. From there, just drag and drop tasks onto your calendar, and voilà! It’s time blocking made easy.
While integrations are common among productivity tools, what we love about Akiflow is that you can pull action items from Gmail, too. This truly makes Akiflow a great way to capture and gather all your tasks — not just the ones that live in your project management tools.
Both Motion and Akiflow are great tools for time blocking. But the former uses AI to handle time blocking automatically, while the latter doesn’t offer very many automation features.
Integrations: Slack, Gmail, Notion, Asana, ClickUp, Zoom, Google Calendar, Trello, Todoist, Jira, GitHub
Akiflow starts at $14.99 per month, billed annually. A free trial is also available!
Alternative 5: Clockwise
OS: Clockwise is available as a web app (getclockwise.com/app). Clockwise also has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, and integrations for Asana and Slack.
Clockwise is a time orchestration platform that works on top of Google Calendar (and soon Outlook). It uses AI to find the best meeting times (even across time zones), while creating uninterrupted blocks of Focus Time in your schedule. It’s the perfect solution for teams that meet regularly and still want time for deep work. Plus, it’s the only ChatGPT-powered calendar that lets you use natural language to manage your calendar.
Like Motion, Clockwise helps you optimize your time with AI. But there are two fundamental differences. First, Clockwise helps teams create more Focus Time in their schedules, while Motion helps individuals prioritize and plan their tasks. (That said, you can easily integrate Clockwise with Asana for additional project management benefits.)
Second, Motion automatically schedules and reschedules tasks around meetings, never actually touching meetings once they’ve been scheduled. Clockwise, on the other hand, reschedules flexible meetings like one-on-ones to their most efficient times and fixes conflicts, truly helping you to optimize your entire day.
- Slack. Syncs Slack status with Google Calendar and turns off Slack notifications whenever you’re busy
- Asana. Lets you schedule Asana tasks on your calendar for easy time blocking
It’s free to get started with Clockwise — just make sure you use your work Gmail account at sign-up. Premium plans start at $6.75 per user per month, billed annually.
Here’s a quick recap of what we covered:
- Clockwise is best for teams that meet regularly and still want time for deep work.
- Akiflow is ideal for individuals who want to schedule tasks manually using the time blocking method.
- Trello is best for individuals and teams who want to track the progress of their tasks and projects in a visual way.
- Sunsama is ideal for individuals who want to time block their tasks automatically.
- Todoist is best for individuals who want to take their to-do list to the next level.