How can finding the best planners and their features help you?
A planner with the features that you need can:
- calm a busy mind.
- organize your thoughts.
- release us from internal and external pressures.
- allows us to be clear on goals.
- make scheduling our busy lives easier.
Today’s best planners offer tools that meet the demands of our very busy professional and personal lives. The advent of smartphones means planning anything, from a weekly grocery shop to large-scale, multi-office collaborations, is easier than ever. But they are different, and there are some features a good planner needs. Today, these include easy-to-use interfaces, real-time updating systems, and easy scheduling by hour, day, week, and month.
There are many general planners available that cater to a mass market or the average consumer. And these are generally handy apps to have on your phone or computer. However, some of the best planners are apps designed as all-in-one solutions to meet the demands and needs of specific businesses. Consider refrigeration contractor software that requires handling of specific clients and jobs and task assignment to employees. These apps are a lifesaver.
Easy to Use Graphical User Interfaces
Some apps are designed well in the background and can do impressive things. But the front end (what you see) is often an afterthought to the overall system. This can be a terrible thing for a planner or any app, really. A good planner app must appeal to all users with an easy interface:
- Navigation systems and toolbars or buttons for finding what you need easily.
- Visual representations of data and projects for data at a glance.
- Quick and easy access to any part of the system from anywhere in an app.
Getting the interface right is a challenging thing to do. Some planners are very technical, and showing data in a digestible format can be challenging. But it’s the user who must be thought of first. Google Calendar is a perfect example of an app that’s easy to use and does its job.
Today’s Best Planners Integrate with Each Other
Integration is a word we hear a lot when it comes to technology, and especially apps. But this isn’t just technical jargon. There is a good reason for this. A study by Harvard found that teams in high-performing companies use apps, including planners, around 1,200 times per day. This means there is a lot of margin for error, cyber security risks, and inefficient use of time. Some of the best planners today will integrate across apps and platforms for a streamlined workday.
Multimedia Systems for Data Extraction
Some of the best apps you can use offer different ways of extracting and displaying data. What is data? Most people think of data as logical numbers based on values. But data is anything that gives you information. This can be a graph, planning blocks, or even media such as. PDF files and video. Work-based planners designed for specific industries offer various methods of showing data based on what the users of those systems generally rely upon to do their jobs.
Seamless Efficiency Across Workflows
Most modern businesses rely on a streamlined workflow. Planners are an excellent way to maximize the use of time in the most efficient way possible. A good planner enables this and helps reduce the chance of mistakes from poor communication between colleagues and customers. Any planner you use should also come with some accessible collaboration tool where data can be logged by one team for access by another as and when it’s needed.
Extra: The Most Popular Planners by Sector
With so many planners available, it can take a lot of work to know which ones to use. Of course, we all have Google Calendar and general apps. While these are excellent for personal use, they lack features when it comes to professional job planning. Here are some of the best by sector:
- Construction: Leap is used by residential builders, often combined with Monday.
- Medical: most healthcare teams use ClickUp for appointment scheduling.
- Hospitality: TouchBistro is designed for use across restaurants and bars.
- IT and Networks: agile software rollouts and updates can be handled by Jira.
- Cybersecurity: Sprinto integrates into cyber plans for testing and risk management.
- Law: efficient and streamlined legal project management is made easier with ProProfs.
- Tech: Parallax offers systems for project visualization and real-time team collabs.
There are some excellent general professional planners that any business can benefit from. Monday and ToDoist are perfect examples. Yet pretty much all sectors will have digital planning in mind that gets the job done or have even been designed to meet the needs of a business.
Real-Time Updates to Schedules
One of the key resources any good project has and needs is communication. Communication can be done at the same time and updated instantly or out of sync and checked later. Fortunately, new tech and modern devices mean communication is much better than it used to be. Some modern planners update in real-time so anyone with access can see data as it comes. This is beneficial for updating the office with data from workers in the field, for example.
Access to Historical Data
This is optional for all types of business and almost never in a personal planner. However, access to historical data is essential in some sectors and even comes under compliance laws in others. Not all planners come with this feature, so if your business depends on providing data, then it is best to use a planner or app that offers this. Monday is a great example. Monday offers a feature called Rewind that provides access to backed-up workspaces such as custom boards.
Time Tracking with Today’s Best Planners
The effective use of time is a skill that not many people have, and a lot of businesses don’t offer training in this. A survey by Zippia found that only 20% of people manage time well, and over 80% of those surveyed don’t use any time management system at all. This is where planners can be a major game changer with features that offer valuable time management. This is often done by scheduling, project and staff management, and resource allocation as required.
Scale-Based Scheduling Features
Depending on how you work, there is often a need to track goals and plans on a regular basis. Some of the busiest CEOs will schedule meetings and events in groups of minutes because they have so little time. A good planner must offer scheduling based on the required scaling:
- A high-level view for a top-down image of a planned week.
- Linking everyday tasks as part of a larger planned goal.
- Easy ways to prioritize the tasks that need to be done hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly.
This might seem basic, but when your time management requires more than the average person, having the ability to go deeper into a schedule is a game-changer. Not all planners offer this feature, and some can only plan by day, whereas others let you plan by the minute.
Tools and Features for Work-Life Balance
Finding a good work-life balance is one of the hottest topics around today. It never helps to overwork yourself, and just having a planner can help you avoid some of the associated stress. However, some of the most useful ones offer features that separate your work planning from your personal planning with tools for setting boundaries. Some advanced tools, such as smart assistants, will also remind you about quality-of-life activities such as taking regular breaks.
Tools that offer custom solutions based on your sector are among today’s best planners. They also have an interface that’s easy to use for people of all skill sets, including navigation and getting the data you need. It also helps to reduce your reliance on so many planning tools and apps by using ones that integrate with each other. But back to basics, a good planner offers scaling scheduling features and provides separate features for work and personal life.