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As a goal success coach who blogs about productivity, I have tested lots of day planners over the years, and Sunsama is the first one that I’m really excited about!
In this Sunsama review, I’ll share with you my impressions from using this planner app, how it works, and how it can help you get more done every day through a guided, stress-free planning experience.
Quick summary of my experience with Sunsama
Sunsama is an incredible day planner that takes away the stress of life management by helping you schedule your life one day at a time.
There is a simple step-by-step daily process inside Sunsama to prioritize the workload for the day ahead that you can objectively get done.
Sunsama encourages you to estimate the time that each task on your to-do list will take to finish and lets you know if your daily goals are unrealistic.
Since I work alone, I always saw estimating time like this as a chore and deemed it unnecessary. But after actually doing it for just a few days with Sunsama, I was shocked to realize that I tend to underestimate the difficulty of my tasks and plan for way more than 8 hours of non-stop work per day!
This explained why I was always feeling unproductive and like I was not doing enough, even after working long hours.
Sunsama allows you to time-block your tasks into your calendar, so each one has a real place in your day. This is super helpful if you have a lot of commitments or hectic days or simply want to always have clarity on what to do next (especially if you struggle with ADHD).
But if you are like me and prefer more flexibility, you can just prioritize and estimate the tasks for the day ahead without strict scheduling.
Another thing I love about Sunsama is that it doesn’t disrupt your current routine! You can connect any project management app you are using, such as Trello, Todoist, ClickUp, Asana, or Notion, and simply drag and drop the tasks to plan your day or week.
I would recommend Sunsama to ANYONE, which I rarely ever do. Even if you love your current planner, Sunsama will help you be intentional about your day, set REALISTIC goals, and schedule them around your other commitments to get everything done without stress.
No credit card required! Pay only if you LOVE it
What is Sunsama?
Sunsama is your ultimate day planner that integrates beautifully with your existing workflow. Designed to help you take control of your day, Sunsama helps you plan, prioritize, and schedule your tasks, whether they come from your head, your weekly goals, your emails, or other project management tools.
With guided planning, time blocking, and daily reviews, Sunsama helps you zero in on the most important work each day and gives you the structure to accomplish it.
The goal of the Sunsama planner app is not just to help you get more done! It aims to reduce the overwhelm that usually comes from juggling multiple apps and to improve your work-life balance through careful daily planning and reflection.
Benefits of planning with Sunsama
Who is Sunsama for?
Sunsama is designed for everyone who wants to create a healthy relationship with work. It’s aimed at entrepreneurs, professionals, freelancers, and all busy people who feel overwhelmed, overcommitted, overworked, or almost burnt out.
If you work long hours and don’t feel productive at the end of the day, Sunsama will be a game-changer (talking from experience here!).
If you feel stressed all day juggling various responsibilities and still don’t get enough done, Sunsama has the potential to help you have better results and feel good in the process.
That said, I think Sunsama is more geared toward work tasks rather than personal stuff. While it’s an incredible tool for managing your professional life, it might be overkill for only scheduling your personal daily tasks. Also, the pricing is a bit steep if you are, say, a student or a housewife.
Managing multiple commitments and using different productivity tools for work, studying, freelancing, side hustles, personal projects, and household chores can be overwhelming. Sunsama’s superpower is that it brings everything together in one dashboard, simplifying your daily life management routine.
Finally, Sunsama seems to be really helpful for people with ADHD. Across various productivity communities, I’ve seen people saying things like:
- “…tremendously changed my life for the better.”
- “I am more organized than I’ve ever been.”
- “…a lot of features that don’t just help me plan but also help me with the mental aspect of productivity.”
- “The price is worth it considering the amount of anxiety it’s dealing with.”
- “As someone with ADHD, second only to my meds, it has been the biggest game-changer for me in increasing my productivity.”
Now, let’s look inside Sunsama and find out what makes it such an amazing daily planner app!
Key Sunsama features
1. Centralized productivity workspace
Sunsama literally brings everything you need for planning into one spot. Emails, calendars, task managers, project management tools, you name it.
Everything can be simply pulled into your plan. Just grab it from any connected app and move to the board.
This is a really powerful feature I’ve never seen anywhere before Sunsama. (Honestly, this alone justifies the price for me.)
With Sunsama, all your life admin is in one dashboard, so you can say goodbye to the endless toggling between different apps or trying to keep all commitments in your head.
Let’s take a look:
The main area in Sunsama is your daily tasks board. This includes all tasks that you planned for a particular day, including the ones you pull from other tools, whether it’s Trello, Todoist, Github, etc.
You can also drag emails into your board, converting them to tasks, which is one of my favorite features because responding randomly to emails is one of my biggest time-wasters.
In Sunsama, you can switch between the Tasks view and the Calendar view while the left and right part stay fixed. This allows you to easily drag and drop tasks, emails, and tickets into your agenda.
2. Guided daily planning
The main thing that differentiates Sunsama from the rest of the smart day planners is that it offers a guided step-by-step planning process instead of just giving you the tools to figure out planning yourself.
Every day, Sunsama nudges you to check off your completed tasks and plan the day ahead. You get to pick whether you prefer to do it in the morning (review yesterday and plan for today) or in the evening (review today and plan for tomorrow).
Personally, I do the latter, so I wake up knowing exactly what awaits me today.
Sunsama will also send you daily reminders via email for the first several days so you get into a habit of regular planning!
If you are wondering what the planning process looks like, let me show you!
Step 1: Review your day
Sunsama prompts you to take a minute and review how your day went. Here you check off the completed tasks and move the rest into the “Didn’t get to” column.
If you get used to keeping Sunsama open during the day and checking tasks off as you go, there isn’t much to do for you on this step.
It gives you an overview of your accomplishments and a chance to reflect on what went wrong.
Another thing Sunsama shows you is how many productive hours you had today, assuming that you estimated the tasks during the planning phase.
Step 2: Plan your tomorrow
Time to roll up those sleeves! In this step, you figure out the scope of what needs to get done tomorrow.
What’s great is that you can pull tasks from pretty much anywhere: other apps, your email, your backlog of undated tasks, and more. No need to type each one unless you want to!
Step 3: Push non-essential tasks
We’ve all been there: the to-do list is a mile long, and you only have so many hours in a day.
Sunsama helps you prioritize the most important work while pushing everything else to either tomorrow or next week.
Here it keeps an eye on your workload and notifies you when you plan more than you can realistically get done in a day.
This was totally the case for me at first – Sunsama made me realize that I used to put 9+ hours of focused work on my plate every day and then get frustrated that I didn’t do it all. No wonder I felt unproductive!
So, I urge you to roughly estimate each task at this stage and keep an eye on your workload.
Studies show that an average worker spends less than 3 hours in meaningful work, so be realistic. After a week or so with Sunsama, you’ll get an idea of your work patterns and how much workload is ideal and realistic for you.
Also, make sure to take into account your meetings if you have any. Don’t plan 6 hours of work if you have 5 hours of meetings unless you are actually ready to work for 11 hours without breaks!
Step 4: Finalize your plan
The final stage of planning with Sunsama is to finalize your game plan.
Put those tasks in order, pull them into your calendar if you want to block the time for each task, and click “Looks good” when satisfied.
(For the sake of this Sunsama review, I took this screenshot later in the day to show you how the Dark theme looks!)
3. Daily Kanban view
As an ex-software developer, I always appreciate it when I see a Kanban board in online planners!
Sunsama visualizes your tasks on a day-by-day basis so you can easily see the workload for each day and move the tasks around.
It is not fixed to a particular week, as it usually is in the calendars. Instead, it has a horizontal scroll so you can see several days back or as many days ahead as you wish.
There is a convenient button to quickly get back to Today’s view in case you get lost or scroll too far away.
4. Calendar view
If you switch to the Calendar tab at the top right corner of the Tasks view, you can see your calendar. If you connect any of your calendars, it will show all existing events here, such as meetings or appointments.
When you look at the Kanban board, there is a smaller Calendar view in the right sidebar. When you look at the Calendar view, you can see the Today’s tasks there instead.
Sunsama offers a convenient way to time-block your tasks by simply dragging them into your calendar.
You can do the same with tasks from other project management tools or with emails. They are all in the same right sidebar, and you can quickly switch between all your active integrations.
Sunsama really pushes you to timebox your tasks so you protect the time for each one in your calendar and focus on one thing at a time.
And then there’s the backlog. It’s similar to the Inbox feature in Todoist, and it serves as a to-do list where you can put any task that needs to be done but not necessarily today.
Think of Backlog as your task waiting room. These are tasks that don’t need immediate action but should be on your radar.
It is also accessible from the right sidebar so you can look through your Backlog when you are planning a new day and pull the tasks onto your agenda.
I tend to use it during the day to note down random tasks that come to mind so I can address them later during the planning phase and not forget anything.
This allows me to keep my head clear instead of cluttered with all things to remember, as well as removes the worrying about forgetting.
Other notable Sunsama features
If you’re like me, sitting to manually drag each task into your calendar feels like another task to do. That’s why I was so excited about Motion, the AI planner that schedules your whole day for you (see my full Motion review here).
Sunsama’s auto-scheduling feature is not as powerful as Motion’s in the sense that it doesn’t immediately add each task you create to your calendar.
At the same time, Sunsama doesn’t have the same goal as Motion – to get as much done as possible in a day. Instead, it wants you to be more mindful about your workload and plan one day at a time. (Read more in my Sunsama vs Motion comparison review.)
This way, you really focus on choosing the most important tasks that make a difference versus just doing more work.
So, how does auto-scheduling work in Sunsama?
All you need to do is to right-click a task you want to auto-schedule and select ‘Add to calendar.’
Or, even easier, just hover or click on a task and press X.
That’s it. Sunsama will automatically add it to your calendar to the closest time possible in-between your meetings and other commitments, taking into account your preferred work hours.
The scheduler will ignore the events where your status is Free, as well as the declined meetings you have on your calendar.
And don’t worry, if you have personal or additional calendars that you don’t want to interfere with your scheduling, you can hide that particular calendar from the view during the planning ritual.
When you create an account with Sunsama, it will ask you about your preferred scheduling hours.
You can choose different hours for each day; for example, here is mine:
The coolest thing is that you can have a bunch of additional calendars and schedule specific tasks accordingly!
For example, you can have a calendar for personal tasks in the evenings or a dedicated calendar for a side project you only work on during weekends.
Sunsama cares about your work-life balance and doesn’t want you to get overworked and burnt out.
If you try to schedule for more hours than you have in a day, you’ll get a warning like this from Sunsama:
That’s a really thoughtful feature that helped me a lot to keep my workload realistic, especially at the beginning.
If you have ADHD or tend to procrastinate a lot, staying focused might be challenging. Even the productivity tool can distract you with all the things on your agenda and pull you into randomly planning and overthinking everything.
Thankfully, Sunsama has what’s called a Focus mode!
When you write-click on a task and select Focus, or simply hover and press F, it hides everything on the screen except for that task.
You can also start a timer to see how much time the task actually takes you to finish! And track sub-tasks separately if you want.
As an entrepreneur, I think the ability to create repeating tasks is a must-have feature for any planner.
We all have things like emails to check daily, weekly meetings with team members or clients, and other regular things we need to do.
And if you want to build new positive habits, you definitely need your planner to have this feature.
Sunsama lets you set tasks to repeat daily, weekly, or any custom time frame you have in mind.
After setting the task to Repeat, it will automatically appear in the Daily Kanban view according to the schedule.
Planned vs actual time
This is a very eye-opening feature if you don’t usually track your time.
Sunsama allows you to estimate how long you think a task will take and then record the actual time spent.
If you’ve ever wondered where your time went, this feature is your reality check. It will help you get a real grasp of your work patterns.
While Sunsama is built around planning one day at a time, it doesn’t mean you can’t plan a little bit ahead.
Just like with daily planning, Sunsama has a Weekly Planning ritual where you can list your weekly goals.
It lets you review the previous week and then plan and prioritize tasks for a new week.
This helps you keep an eye on long-term goals and make sure you don’t lose focus.
Weekly Objectives is another tab in the right sidebar, so you can also drag and drop the tasks from here when you plan each day.
I also saw that they have monthly, quarterly, and yearly planning on their Roadmap, so we might see those as well soon!
Even though Sunsama was built to work on top of various other tools, I think it’s becoming a solid planner and will gradually replace the need for using others.
Desktop & mobile apps
Sunsama has a desktop version as well as mobile apps for managing your tasks on the go. It is only available for Mac on desktop, and for both Android and iOS on mobile.
Mind you, the mobile features are pretty limited, and it’s clearly not meant to be used as your main app. It’s more for viewing your agenda and quickly adding tasks when you aren’t at your desk.
I personally am totally satisfied with Sunsama’s web version and don’t use any apps. I have my browser open all day anyway.
But I guess it depends on your workflow: obviously, not everyone is sitting behind the computer all day like me.
Sunsama offers a 14-day free trial without even asking you for a credit card.
They say they only want you to pay if you love the app, which is admirable considering that most other tools are profiting from forgetful people.
I think I was sold on day two and decided to subscribe because I was impressed. Sunsama actually made my planning easier and gave me interesting insights about my workload in the first few days.
Sunsama costs $20 per month, which becomes $16 per month if you pay yearly.
Can you get Sunsama for free?
There is no free plan in Sunsama. However, you can use it fully for free for 14 days.
Sunsama states that it’s against the free plans for several reasons. You can read their pricing manifesto for more details.
They also never do special holiday deals or lifetime deals – they are confident their product is equally valuable all year long.
Sunsama’s price point will not please everyone, but it ensures that they can support the app and keep developing it to make it even awesome-er!
No credit card required! Pay only if you LOVE it
Let’s talk about my favorite part of Sunsama – integrations!
This is honestly the feature that makes this app stand out (at least for me) in the sea of dozens of good planners on the market.
Sunsama deeply integrates with all your favorite tools and lets you drag and drop tasks or emails directly to your Kanban board.
So, what kinds of integrations does Sunsama offer?
- Calendars: If you connect your Google or Outlook calendars, Sunsama will pull your scheduled meetings directly into your plan and work around them when auto-scheduling tasks. When you block time for tasks or make any changes to events, there is a 2-way sync feature that keeps your Sunsama and external calendars in harmony.
- Emails: If you’re using Gmail or Outlook, you can read emails directly in Sunsama and drag them into your daily plan as tasks. I love this because it prevents me from getting distracted by randomly responding to emails when I have better things to do.
- Project management tools: This is where Sunsama really flexes its muscles. You can pull tasks and issues directly from other tools! Any task you have in Trello, Todoist, Asana, ClickUp, Notion, Github, Jira, Linear – you name it – can be drag-and-dropped right onto your daily plan in Sunsama.
- Zoom: If video calls are an integral part of your workday, Sunsama allows you to connect your Zoom account and add your Zoom web conferencing details to specific events.
- Team collaboration tools: If you use Slack or Microsoft Teams, Sunsama nudges you to share your daily plan with your team at the end of the daily planning ritual. And if that’s not cool enough, you can also pull Slack messages as tasks!
Why are Sunsama integrations the best?
Okay, I can hear you asking: “How is this any better than what’s already out there?”
Well, Sunsama is not a one-way street. It doesn’t just pull tasks from your favorite apps; it syncs your actions to update those apps as you manage the tasks.
We’re talking about some pretty useful automations here!
For instance, when you complete a task in Sunsama that you pulled from Trello, it can automatically move that task to the next column in Trello.
Done with an email task? Sunsama can archive, delete, mark as read, or label that email in your inbox.
So, not only are you updating your Sunsama board, but you’re also staying up-to-date on all your other platforms without doing anything twice.
You can tell that Sunsama is efficiency-oriented, that’s for sure.
How does Sunsama work?
Let’s sum this all up, shall we?
Sunsama works as a centralized productivity workspace that integrates with your calendars, emails, and project management tools.
It guides you through a daily planning process, allowing you to review your previous day, plan your tasks for the next day, and auto-schedule them around your existing commitments.
The app offers a daily Kanban view, a calendar view, and various features like Focus mode and Recurring tasks to streamline your workflow. It’s designed to be a one-stop shop for your daily and weekly planning needs.
Final verdict: Is Sunsama worth it?
Overall, I am genuinely impressed by Sunsama! I’ve tested SO many planners before, and this is probably the only one I love so much that I want to recommend it to EVERYONE who struggles with productivity.
To me, Sunsama is worth every penny and then some. This planning app has the potential to optimize your life in a way no other tool does and make a real difference in your productivity without making you feel burnt out.
What sets Sunsama apart is that it doesn’t just provide you with a toolbox; it gives you an entire guided process for daily planning. The goal is not to list tasks but to empower you to be more intentional with your time.
In the end, what really blows me away is how Sunsama brings all your essential apps into one integrated workspace. None of the planning and productivity apps I used or tried before have been able to tie all the loose ends together as seamlessly as Sunsama does!