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Ever since I saw the first Instagram ad for the Motion app, I was curious about this productivity tool. As a solopreneur with multiple projects and responsibilities, the idea of a smart app that can learn my habits and schedule my days the way I like it instantly caught my attention.
Motion’s marketing team is no joke; they kept bombarding me with intriguing ads until I gave in and signed up for a free trial. In this honest Motion app review, I’ll share with you my experience of letting AI schedule my work for a week.
I will give you an insider’s look at how it works, what features it offers, how much it costs, the parts I like and dislike, and who I think Motion is best for.
Quick summary of my experience with Motion
As someone who loves being in control, I had some reservations regarding letting anyone, especially AI, manipulate my schedule. I actually connected a calendar I rarely use first to get a feel of how Motion works and make sure it won’t mess up my existing schedule.
Turns out, I didn’t have to worry. Motion does a pretty good job of working around your blocked time and pre-scheduled events. It schedules the tasks from your to-do list into empty slots on your calendar, taking into account your deadlines, priorities, and even preferred working hours.
Motion app offers unique AI scheduling features that no other app matches in 2023, and after figuring out the initial setup, you can expect to save a noticeable amount of time every day. Whether you get a 137% increase in productivity or not would depend on how much you have on your plate and how often you have sudden urgent tasks that need to be prioritized.
I also think that Motion’s meeting booking tool is really cool – to be honest, I didn’t even know they have it until I started using the app. If you have a lot of work calls or client appointments, this feature will make the price worth it for you.
This review is for the Motion productivity app (usemotion.com) and NOT for the Motion marketing app for creative ad management (motionapp.com).
What is Motion?
Motion is an AI-powered online planner designed to assist in managing your schedule, organizing your tasks and events in one place, and increasing your productivity.
Through automation and machine learning algorithms, it intelligently plans your day by automatically organizing your to-do items and meetings based on priorities and deadlines, creating a clear agenda for the day.
By planning your schedule down to the minute, Motion app aims to save time and ensure that nothing slips through the cracks. I’ve seen Motion advertised on social media as the cure for ADHD, as it helps you become more organized, manage time more effectively, and focus on one task longer.
In simple terms, Motion is an AI assistant app that plans your day for you and tells you exactly what to do next.
Like any good AI productivity tool, Motion can make your life easier as it takes over a complex and often time-consuming task of scheduling.
If one of your tasks happens to take more time than planned or something unexpected comes up, Motion will take care of it by rescheduling the other tasks in the best possible way based on your availability and other preferences.
Basically, it has the potential to replace a bunch of other apps you may be using: calendars, project managers, to-do list apps, appointment scheduling software, and even some focus tools.
Motion AI’s benefits
Who is Motion app for?
Based on my tests, Motion productivity app is best for:
- Busy entrepreneurs & CEOs. When you have enough on your mind, delegating scheduling to AI will take some weight off your shoulders, so you won’t have to waste time organizing and re-organizing your calendar.
- Project managers. Handling multiple people is never easy, whether it’s your team members or customers. Motion will ensure you get some work done in-between all those meetings.
- Service-based business owners, coaches & consultants. With Motion, you’ll be able to easily manage all your business-related tasks in one calendar with your client calls, and an impressive scheduling system is a cherry on top.
- Creative professionals juggling multiple projects.
- Small teams, especially remote-first. AI scheduling tools make it really easy to coordinate the workload of a virtual team and schedule meetings when every required person is available.
- Those who have trouble focusing and/or are easily distracted. Motion tells you exactly what task you should be working on right now, and limits the time for finishing it, so there is no room for doubt and wandering thoughts.
- People with ADHD. Many of the Motion adverts I saw talk specifically about ADHD, and I’ve seen quite a few ADHD-focused bloggers who say that Motion helps them get things done.
If you fit into one of these categories, sign up for a free 7-day Motion trial and see if it helps you save time and simplify your planning.
While I think Motion is a very effective app and can really help some people, I wouldn’t recommend it to absolutely everyone. It might be too complicated or too expensive when your schedule is not as busy or unpredictable.
I wouldn’t recommend Motion to…
- Solopreneurs with a single project (like me). A few years ago, I was exploring multiple business models and sometimes juggled 10+ projects at a time. Motion app would have been a lifesaver at the time! But now, as I’m focusing 90% of my time on a single project and pretty much know the ins and outs of my business, I prefer to be in control of my schedule vs letting AI decide when I should do what.
- Someone who doesn’t have a lot of meetings. While you can still leverage automatic scheduling and prioritization, it usually makes more sense to use a simpler online planner. Motion is much more valuable as a calendar assistant when you have a lot of meetings or appointments every day and struggle to get any work done in between.
- Students. The price is honestly too high for a student, and there are less complex and more affordable solutions like Sunsama or Todoist.
- Busy moms. If you don’t spend most of your day behind the computer, Motion won’t be as beneficial for you. Unless you are a mompreneur with multiple businesses, in that case, sure, give Motion a try.
- Someone who is looking for a habit tracker. Building good habits requires you to do a specific thing at a specific time every day, and Motion is not built for that. In fact, AI prioritization and shuffling make it more confusing than it should be. For habit tracking, I would recommend finding an accountability calendar that suits your needs.
Main features of Motion
1. Automatic day planning
The main purpose of the Motion calendar is to plan your day automatically, finding the best possible time for every task so you don’t have to worry about it.
It keeps track of all your deadlines and schedules tasks into available areas of time around your events according to their importance and urgency.
The app has three main tabs: Calendar, Tasks & Projects, and Bookings.
The Calendar view in Motion has two main sections. To the left, you see a list of the tasks you ought to do next, and the rest of your screen is the calendar.
You can look at the whole week or at a single day’s agenda.
Here is an example of the week’s view:
You can choose in Settings whether you want Sunday to be your first day of the week.
The calendar tells you what you are supposed to do right now in the top right corner.
To create a new Task or Event, you can simply click on the calendar and drag it for the desired duration. The calendar user interface is very intuitive.
You can block regular time for focused work, and Motion will not allow anyone to book meetings, and will not schedule any other tasks during that time.
In my example above, I have several hours blocked for focused writing every day.
And here is what the day’s calendar looks like:
The red line shows where you’re at, and you have clarity on what to do next at any point of the day.
I’ll describe other ways to create a new task a bit later in this comprehensive Motion review.
When you click Start task, it will show up in the top right corner with a countdown.
There are three options for what you can do with a task in progress:
- Complete the task (If you don’t complete the task, Motion will consider it not finished and later reschedule it for the next day)
- Add more time (Really useful for those times when something takes longer than you hoped it would – happens to me quite often as a perfectionist)
- View details (Opens the editing view where you can change everything, including the deadline and task’s priority, and also Complete or Delete the task)
Other than starting there are many quick options of what you can do with a task in the Calendar view. To access those, you need to hover over a specific task and click three dots to the right.
- Start Task
- Add time
- Do later – postpone the task until a specific date
- Do ASAP – Motion will try to reshuffle the upcoming tasks to give this one a higher priority and find the closest possible slot for it.
- Focus Banner – seems to do the same as Start Task. It creates a tiny banner in the top right corner with the countdown and quick options. I think it’s supposed to block distractions, but personally, I don’t find it particularly useful. I use the Freedom app to block distractions when I really need a focus session.
If something is not right, for example, if you are likely to miss the deadline, Motion will let you know in advance so you can adjust accordingly.
Projects & Tasks view
After Calendar, Motion’s most important view is Projects & Tasks.
Here you can manage your projects and workspaces, for example, have a separate project for each client, or organize however else you prefer it. Here you can quickly update a specific field of any task, say, change the priority, the deadline, or assign it to a different person.
You can assign a task to one of your team members and it will auto-appear on their Motion calendar in a matter of seconds, choosing an appropriate time slot based on availability, deadlines, priority, and other things they have for the day.
Within a project, you can click Add Blocker on any task and choose another task as a dependency. Motion will understand the relationship between tasks and schedule them sequentially.
The coolest thing is that it works across the team’s workspace, and with tasks assigned to different people. So even if the first task gets rescheduled on one person’s calendar, the blocked task will be rescheduled accordingly in another person’s calendar.
I come from a software engineering background where we usually used either Kanban or Scrum board, so I was glad to see this option in Motion.
By default it groupes everything by priority but you can also group by status and change other filters to your liking.
Especially if you manage a team of people, Motion’s Kanban board gives you a clear view of everything that’s happening.
You can make good use of filters to see things from a different perspective, for example, only look at the workload or completed tasks of a particular team member, or only show high-priority tasks sorted by the due date.
Any changes you make can be saved as a new view. So if you find yourself using the same filters over and over again, you can just create a new view and access it in one click next time.
2. Adjusting your agenda
One of the best features of Motion is its ability to adapt your schedule to any circumstances.
If you ever had something unexpected come up and had a headache trying to fit it in and figure out what you can move – Motion will do this for you, saving you time and energy.
If there is a scheduling conflict, Motion will reshuffle the nearest tasks that don’t have fixed time to accommodate the change.
For example, if you change the priority of a task, the AI will recalculate its position and place it earlier or later, moving other tasks accordingly.
The shuffling will also happen if you change a deadline, if you create an event for the time when there are tasks scheduled, or if someone assigns a new task to you.
3. Easy meeting scheduling
If you have a lot of team or client meetings, you’ll be really excited about this feature. I didn’t realize they had it until I started using the app and saw how powerful it is – and now I think that the meeting scheduler might convince you to try Motion if you are on the fence about the price.
Motion has a unique booking tool inside the productivity app to help you book meetings faster and avoid back-and-forth emails.
At the same time, it’s much more flexible (and friendly) than just sending someone a Calendly link.
If you go to the Booking tab, you’ll see that you have several ways to share your availability with someone.
First, you can set up a permanent booking link for a specific kind of meeting. For example, if you offer services or product demos, you can have several predefined booking links with different duration or schedules.
Here you can choose who is coming (so Motion checks everyone’s availability), the duration and location of a meeting, whether or not you want buffer time in-between meetings, and how your link itself should look like.
Additionally, you can add some questions that must be filled out before booking, so you’ll have something to work with even before meeting the person.
Another convenient option for meeting booking is to manually drag several available time slots on your calendar.
For example, if you specifically want to talk to someone on Wednesday, you can choose the times during the day, and Motion will only offer those for booking.
Now the coolest part!
Motion automatically generates a message based on your availability which you can simply copy and paste into an email.
Clicking on any time slot or on a booking link will take the person to your booking page accordingly.
Then it’s the usual: fill in your name, email, and the required questions if any – and you are booked.
Motion scheduling tool also allows you to set up an email reminder that will be sent to a person before the meeting to reduce no-shows and help out your forgetful clients.
You can customize it however you like, for example here is mine:
Other Motion app features
As we now have a clear understanding of Motion basics, let’s take a deeper look at several convenient features.
Quick task creation
In Motion, you can create a task in several ways.
If you do this in Calendar view, or click on an existing task to edit it, this is the screen you’ll see:
You can simply type the task name and click Schedule, and Motion will add it to your agenda with default settings.
Or you can set everything manually, such as the priority, deadline, and whether or not it can be split into several smaller chunks.
If you create a task in the Projects & Tasks view, you’ll see a different view where you can fill in more details, use formatting, and discuss things with teammates in the comments.
Here are several ways to add a new task in Motion:
- Click anywhere on the calendar.
- Click Add Task in the left area of the Calendar view.
- Click Add Task in the top right corner of the Projects & Tasks view.
- Click on “+” near the project name to add directly to a specific project.
- Press Option + Space on Mac at any time. As someone who loves shortcuts, this is my favorite way! It works on any page, even Bookings – very handy when you are in the middle of something and want to quickly write down an action item that crossed your mind.
Travel time for the events
This is a very nice feature that many calendars don’t have.
Motion allows you to add travel time before and/or after the event so it gets reserved on your calendar as well and doesn’t get filled with tasks.
Motion sorts and schedules your tasks based on priorities.
Other than the typical High, Medium, and Low, Motion also has the ASAP option – it will try to move everything out of the way to accommodate this kind of tasks.
Option to lock the time
Sometimes you want to do a specific thing at a specific time – but if it’s a task and not an event, Motion can always shuffle things and move it around.
This felt a little frustrating to me at first until I figured out that you can fix the task in a specific place!
If you simply move the task to a different place in a calendar, Motion will lock it and not auto-reschedule it anymore unless you explicitly tell it to.
Although if you don’t set it as Complete by the time it’s supposed to end, Motion will auto-schedule it again to make sure it gets done eventually.
I believe every good calendar app should have an option to add recurring tasks, and Motion doesn’t disappoint.
The best way to create a recurring task in Motion is to click on Recurring tasks at the top in Projects & Tasks view (either in Projects or in Kanban).
I didn’t find a way to create recurring tasks in Calendar view but you can edit the existing ones with no problem:
I also haven’t found a way to turn a one-off task into a recurring one as these fields don’t appear when editing “normal” tasks. But that’s not a super frequent use case anyway.
Support of multiple calendars
What’s really useful about Motion is that it allows you to sync all your calendars, as long as they are Google-based or Microsoft/Outlook-based.
Even if you have several personal calendars, a work calendar, and a couple of additional calendars you use for side businesses or other projects in your life, you can integrate them all and literally see everything that’s on your plate on a single screen in Motion.
No more having to check several apps or calendars to know your availability! No more trying to keep things in your head and not forget anything.
Motion AI scheduler takes this weight off your shoulders and lets you use your mental energy on actually getting stuff done.
Another great feature of Motion that I haven’t seen in competitors is the ability to create multiple schedules for different needs or projects.
During the onboarding process, Motion will ask you what your preferred working hours are.
This will become your schedule called Work Hours.
There are other pre-defined schedules in Motion, such as Day, Night, and Personal hours, each of which you can customize depending on your lifestyle.
For example, you might want to create a schedule called Morning and use it for planning your morning routine. Or create a separate schedule for a side project you are only available for on Saturdays.
By default, Day is 9 am – 5 pm and Night is 6 pm – 9 pm.
When you are creating a booking link or a new task, you can choose which schedule to use for it. Motion will use Work hours as your default schedule.
Motion has a desktop app available for Mac and Windows so you don’t have to use a browser to manage your projects and calendar.
Motion offers a mobile app for both Android and iOS to add tasks on the go. But the functionality is very basic, and frankly, it’s not meant to be used as mobile-first.
Motion app natively integrates with:
- Calendars: Google and Microsoft Outlook
- Conferencing tools: Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams
- Gmail for sending meeting reminders or rescheduling requests
- Zapier for connecting Motion seamlessly into your existing workflow
Modern look + color coding
Yes, like a typical girl stereotype, I like the apps I use to look pretty and modern.
Some project management tools have been in business for decades – you can literally tell by just looking at their design.
Motion is a newer player in the planning industry. Founded in 2019, this app joined the market with a fresh clean look.
I like that they have both light and dark interfaces. You can choose one, but personally, I kept it at default which means it changes in sync with my system settings (light during the day, dark at night).
Motion offers another great feature that I think should be a staple in calendars, but for some reason, it’s not – color coding.
You can see it in action on the very first screenshot of this use motion app review, where I showed you the calendar view.
Color coding makes it easier for the brain to differentiate between the types of tasks, allowing you to grasp the entire agenda faster. It should be especially helpful for those of my readers who struggle with ADHD.
Motion for teams
Besides everything we already covered in this Motion calendar review, this tool offers some additional functionality for teams.
The Motion app aims to increase team output by 25%, allowing time that was once spent on manual planning to be used for additional work. This not only translates to more money but also helps in retaining clients better.
How Motion helps teams:
- Automatically plans daily tasks for each team member
- Helps you clearly see everyone’s workload and project’s progress in one place
- Understands when one employee’s task blocks another employee’s work and schedules accordingly
- Reorganizes the workload if there is an unexpected meeting or a personal emergency
- Finds a convenient meeting time based on each team member’s availability
- Eliminates overwhelm and creates a clear agenda for you and each employee
- Makes sure the team meets deadlines and high priority tasks are done first
As a manager or a team lead, managing your team’s workload will be less stressful with Motion. You’ll always be on top of every project and task, reducing the need to constantly check in on progress and allowing you to steer clear of angry clients.
Motion AI pricing
Motion offers a 7 day free trial that gives you access to all features: automated AI-powered scheduling, task and project management, feature-rich meeting booking, and more.
I would say it’s enough to get the hang of it and see how it works but maybe not enough to see the benefits in time-saving just yet since you have to spend some time first to set everything up.
After the trial, you have two options: Individual plan and Team plan.
- Individual Plan costs a whopping $34 if billed monthly, which is why I don’t recommend this app to students and those with relatively simple linear schedules. However, if you commit to it annually, it’s only $19 per month which is much more doable for individual use.
- Team Plan is $20 monthly or $12 if you pay annually, and I think it’s totally reasonable considering the meeting scheduling and all the other team benefits. Even for a small team, I would recommend giving Motion a try as it can replace several other apps.
What I like about Motion
What I don’t like
While overall I think Motion is a great calendar app with unique features, there is always room for improvement.
Here are a couple of things that I didn’t like and features I didn’t find:
Final verdict: use Motion or not?
Overall, Motion app is a great AI planner with a unique set of features and the potential to save a lot of time and headache.
I think students or some people with relatively simple agendas might find it a bit complicated and pricey, but it’s worth it if you have a busy schedule and several projects to manage.
From my experience of using Motion, I would say it’s best for entrepreneurs, managers, and freelancers, especially for those who manage multiple projects or team members, have a lot of meetings, and have a generally dynamic workflow that changes a lot.
Be ready to go through a learning curve at the beginning and try not to get overwhelmed. I’m pretty sure it will save you time and make you more productive after you figure out the initial setup.