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The top 10 free time blocking apps compared

The top 10 free time blocking apps compared

Cathy Reisenwitz
Content, Clockwise
November 6, 2022

The top 10 free time blocking apps compared
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“Time blocking” is a productivity and time management technique that Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Cal Newport use to get more done in less time.

While time blocking has many benefits, doing it manually is time-consuming. Luckily, there are free apps to help streamline the process for you. Below are 12 of the best free time blocking apps, compared.

An introduction to time blocking

Time blocking helps you:

  • Prioritize your most important tasks
  • Spend the right amount of time on each task
  • Know what you’re supposed to be working on
  • Move right to the next most important task
  • Improve your estimates for how long a task will take

To do it, choose what to work on and when, and then block that time off on your calendar. For a more in-depth guide to time blocking, check out What is time blocking? You can also check out our article about the differences between time blocking and timeboxing.

12 free time blocking apps

Below we’ve compared each block schedule app based on features, ease of use, and price to upgrade to a premium plan — listed in alphabetical order. 

1. Clockwise

Gif demonstrating Clockwise Autopilot opening up Focus Time

Clockwise

Clockwise is an AI-powered scheduling assistant that coordinates the way you, your team, and your company prefer to work. It works by moving meetings to their most efficient times, automatically resolving scheduling conflicts, and maximizing Focus Time for you and your team. Clockwise is the easiest way to block time for deep work, helping you and your teammates experience a more sustainable workday.

Key features

  • Focus Time: Enjoy long, uninterrupted blocks of time in your calendar, perfect for focused work
  • Asana integration: Block time in your calendar for specific tasks, pulled directly from Asana
  • Slack sync: Sync your Slack status with your calendar, see a daily meeting forecast, and turn on automatic Do Not Disturb
  • Zoom sync: Add a Zoom call to any meeting in one click
  • Teams: Set up and protect your no-meeting days, gain instant insight into your team's bandwidth, and automatically sync your team’s availability and schedules to a shared calendar
  • Personal calendar sync: Sync your work and personal calendars so you never accidentally double-book or miss an important personal event
  • Color-coding: Differentiate your 1:1s, standups, and one-off meetings at a glance
  • Clockwise AI Scheduler: Send scheduling requests directly to Clockwise via chat in this first-of-its-kind calendar experience powered by GPT

Clockwise onboarding is simple and smooth. Just set your working hours and preferences around meetings and lunch and you’re up and running.

Clockwise currently doesn’t have built-in task management. However, you can integrate with Asana to automatically block time for Asana tasks in your calendar.

Format

Clockwise is available as a web app, Google Chrome extension, and Firefox extension. You can also integrate with Slack and Asana.

Pricing

Clockwise is free and offers Teams, Business, and Enterprise plans starting at $6.75 per user per month.

Click here to try Clockwise for free!

2. Google Calendar

Google Calendar is one of the most widely utilized calendar apps with an estimated 500 million users worldwide. The interface is simple to use. It gives the user complete control over time blocking their schedule. You can share events or entire calendars with others via Gmail. However, there are a few features you may not be taking advantage of.

Key features

  • You can add to-do lists, set notifications, add flights and restaurant reservations automatically from your Gmail account.
  • You can glance at your schedule on a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual view.

Click here to read our full guide on how to time block in Google Calendar. 

Format

Google Calendar is a web app and has apps for iPhone and Android.

Pricing

Google Calendar is free for personal use. The Business version is $5 per month. 

3. HourStack

HourStack is a task and time management app with a drag-and-drop time blocking feature. It also includes a built-in time tracker to show you the amount of time you are spending on specific tasks. Contrast this with how long you expect to spend to get a realistic understanding of your tasks and learn how to time block within your schedule to maximize productivity.

Key features

  • You can use lists, calendar view, and color coding within the user interface to see your week at a glance. 
  • It integrates seamlessly with Asana, Trello, Google Calendar, Slack, Github, and other programs to help you schedule tasks. Hourstack is easy to use and integrates with your time tracking with time management to maximize your productivity.

Format

HourStack is available on the web, iOS, or Android. 

Pricing

For personal use, HourStack is $12 per month. For teams the pricing is $15 per user per month.

4. Plan

Plan is a time blocking app with a built-in to-do list that integrates with your Google or Outlook Calendar.

Key features

In addition to making time-blocking dead-simple, it offers multiple workspaces and useful analytics, which they call “insights.”

Onboarding is a breeze, and the user interface is both beautiful and intuitive. We like that onboarding ends with a CTA to email hello@getplan.com with questions or feature requests.

By default, the time blocks you add in Plan don’t show up on your calendar. To make that happen, you need to integrate Plan and your calendar using one of your three free integrations. To use more of the available integrations you need to upgrade. Upgrading is just $4 per month, and gets you unlimited support, feature input, and unlimited integrations. Integrations currently on offer are as follows: Box, Github, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Gmail, Outlook, Jira, and Zendesk.

Format

Plan is a Mac and iPhone app.

Pricing

Plan offers a free option and paid options start at $6.67 per user per month.

5. Planyway

Planyway is a drag-and-drop tool for integrating a Kanban board for task management with your Google, Microsoft, or Apple calendar.

Planyway

Key features

  • View your calendar and work management platform in split-screen mode. Then, drag and drop tasks onto your calendar for instant time blocking.
  • Planyway offers push notification reminders you can set at any date or time of day for priority tasks.
  • You can create tasks and subtasks, set priority and sort by priority, and label tasks to group them.

Format

Planyway is available as a web app and a Mac, Windows, and Chrome app. You can also access Planyway through their mobile apps.

Pricing

Two-way calendar sync requires upgrading, which starts at $3.50 per month if you pay annually, and $5 if you pay month-to-month.

6. Sunsama

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.

Key features

  • When you log in, it asks you what you need to accomplish that day and the amount of time you expect each of those tasks to take. It then schedules your task list for you to maximize deep work. 
  • You can also create to-do lists sorted by day.
  • It syncs with external programs such as Trello, Jira, Asana, Gmail, Github, and others to help you manage tasks in a single location.
  • The Slack integration is especially powerful; you can share your daily plan with your teammates and turn your Slack messages into tasks.

Format

Sunsama runs on web, macOS, Android, and iOS. 

Pricing

Sunsama offers users a free 14-day trial. After that, the individual plan costs $16 per month (billed annually) or $20 per month (billed monthly). The pricing for the Business plan ranges from $20-$40 per month per user.

7. Ticktick

Ticktick’s strength as a time blocking app is in the ease with which users can schedule tasks.

TickTick: Todo list, checklist and task manager app for Android, iPhone and Web

Key features

  • It's designed around the pomodoro technique where you focus on deep work for a specific amount of time (generally 25 minute intervals). Ticktick has a built-in pomodoro timer that helps you keep track of your workflow.
  • A standout feature of Ticktick is how easy it is to update your to-do list while on-the-go via voice input, email, Sire, or widgets.
  • When you complete a task, the app gives you an Achievement score which helps incentivise users.
  • You can set certain tasks to repeat or get notification reminders for important tasks. 
  • Integrates with Slack, Gmail, or you can integrate with other favorite apps via Zapier. 

Format

Ticktick is an iPhone and Android app.

Pricing

Ticktick offers users a free version or you can pay $2.99 to access the Premium version. 

8. Timebloc

Timebloc is a daily planner and time tracking app.

TimeBloc | Daily Planner

Key features

  • Timebloc allows you to color code and tag your tasks.
  • Timebloc allows you to incorporate your daily routine and edit your blocks of time.
  • You can also set notifications so that you don’t forget about any important tasks throughout the workday. 
  • The premium version shows you statistics that help you understand how you spend your time better. It breaks your time down into categories like work, study, leisure, ect. This gives you insight on how you’re using your time and can help you schedule your time to reach your goals more effectively. 

Format

Timebloc is a mobile only calendar app, available for iOS and Android. 

Pricing

Pricing for the Timebloc annual subscription is $26.49. 

9. Trello

Trello is a project management tool modeled around Kanban boards.

Manage Your Team's Projects From Anywhere | Trello

Key features

  • Trello is customizable as you can add whatever columns and card titles work best for you. 
  • For time blocking, you could start with a column for each workday and then assign different tasks to different work days depending on which are the more important tasks. On each card, break the task down with to-do lists, due dates, and other details that you need. 
  • Seeing the week’s tasks at a glance will help batching similar projects or schedule tasks at the time of day that works best for you. A clear awareness of what you need to do will help you get more done in a shorter amount of time. 

Format

Trello is a web app and has Android and iPhone apps.

Pricing

Trello allows you to use up to 10 boards for free. For unlimited boards, pricing is $10 per user per month. 

10. Todoist

Todoist is one of the most popular productivity apps that exist today, with a focus on task management and to-do lists.

Todoist: The to do list to organize work & life

Key features

  • You can create as many to-do lists as you need which can be shared with other relevant people. You could make a to-do list titled “grocery list” where you and your partner keep track of what you need to pick up at the store, or another one titled, “client presentation” where you and your coworker keep track of what still needs to get done before that big meeting on Friday. 
  • Todoist also allows you to set notifications, recurring tasks, subtasks, priorities, due dates and more. The due dates will show up in the in-app calendar view, helping you prioritize the most important tasks. 
  • Todoist integrates seamlessly with calendar apps such as Outlook Calendar, Google Calendar, and others. 
  • Great alternative to Any.do.

Format

Todoist is a web app with iPhone and Android apps.

Pricing

Todoist offers a free version, a Premium version for $3 per user per month, or a Business plan priced at $5 per user per month.

11. Clockify

Clockify is a user-friendly time management app that helps individuals and teams optimize their work hours. Its intuitive time blocking feature allows you to allocate a specific time frame for each of your work items, ensuring improved focus and efficiency to complete tasks.  

Collaborate seamlessly with team members and keep a record of all your time spent on tasks and projects, enabling you to analyze productivity and plan future time slots. Clockify offers a free plan, making it accessible for individuals and small teams to get started with effective time management and task management. If you’ve ever used TimeCamp, you’ll find that Clockify offers similar features with the additional time blocking feature.

Key features

  • Track time with an easy-to-use timer, or enter hours manually
  • Manage your time as a team by inviting team members to schedule time in a single workspace
  • Generate your timesheet in an instant
  • Visualize your time with a calendar view, add events from Outlook or Google, and block out activities for better planning
  • Gain insights into your time slots and usage with detailed reports, charts, breakdowns, and status views

Format

Clockify is available as a browser extension (Chrome, Firefox, Edge), desktop app (Mac, Windows, Linux), and mobile app (iOS, Android).

Pricing

Clockify offers a free plan that covers essential time management features. Access advanced functionalities with Pro, Business, and Enterprise plans starting at $3.99 per user per month.

12. Fantastical

Fantastical is a powerful calendar and task management app designed to simplify your daily planning and task management. Create events and tasks effortlessly, stay on top of important deadlines, and even collaborate with team members — all within a single, intuitive app.

With flexible pricing options and a range of powerful features, Fantastical empowers you to optimize your work hours, boost productivity, and make the most of each day.

Key features

  • Schedule time to complete tasks alongside calendar events, and receive timely due date notifications to stay organized and on track
  • Group different calendars and task lists for easy management, with the option for automatic activation based on location or time slot
  • Easily share files and photos directly from Fantastical to your iCloud, Google, or Exchange events
  • Streamline scheduling recurring events and tasks with quick templates generated from existing entries

Format

Fantastical is available as both a desktop and mobile app for Apple users.

Pricing

Fantastical offers a free 14-day trial with access to basic features. For individuals, premium plans start at $4.75 per month, while teams can access the same benefits at $4.75 per user per month.

Bottom line

When it comes to improving productivity and overcoming procrastination, time blocks work — and these apps are a great place to start your time blocking journey.

Clockwise combines the power of time blocking with the magic of AI to create your ideal work day, everyday. Try it for free today!

About the author

Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz is the former Head of Content at Clockwise. She has covered business software for six years and has been published in Newsweek, Forbes, the Daily Beast, VICE Motherboard, Reason magazine, Talking Points Memo and other publications.

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