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As a perfectionist, I know firsthand the desire to find the very best tool for the job.
If you are thinking whether you should choose Sunsama vs Motion for your daily planning, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, I will unfold why, although similar in function as planners, Sunsama and Motion differ significantly in their approach.
I had the opportunity to test both of these tools, and I can confidently say they are both impressive and worth the investment. I will share which one I decided to stick with and why, as well as which one you should choose for your daily planning, depending on your needs.
What is the difference between Motion and Sunsama?
If you’re on the fence about choosing between Sunsama and Motion (also called UseMotion because of the URL), you should know that these tools offer entirely different approaches to day planning.
Sunsama takes on a more mindful, guided approach. It walks you through a simple step-by-step process of selecting high-priority tasks for the day and then helps you integrate those tasks into your calendar.
This thoughtful process aims to keep you focused on the most important tasks and ensure you set realistic expectations and don’t work yourself into burnout.
I would say that Sunsama wants you to work smarter rather than harder.
In contrast, Motion takes a more dynamic and automated approach to scheduling. Once you input your tasks and priorities, this AI-powered scheduler automatically slots them into your calendar, making adjustments as needed throughout the day.
The automatic nature of Motion allows for more fluidity, especially if you have a fluctuating schedule or sudden, high-priority tasks that need immediate attention.
Motion’s goal is to help you get more done in a day and spend more time working instead of planning.
Both tools utilize the time-blocking technique to make sure there is time in your day for every task you want to get done.
What is Sunsama good at
Sunsama’s biggest perk is the guided day planning ritual.
The platform encourages you to kick off your day by making a to-do list of tasks, estimating and prioritizing them, and then pushing everything non-important for later.
Sunsama believes that you shouldn’t just be productive for the sake of productivity. It wants you to work with purpose and prioritize tasks that align with your bigger goals – instead of just doing more and more.
This helps you avoid busywork and focus on tasks that actually move the needle.
Sunsama nudges you to estimate the time for each task and to block the time for it in your calendar. It can also auto-schedule the task to the closest available time if you press X.
Finally, my favorite thing about Sunsama is that it integrates with all my tools, basically offering a unified dashboard to manage my day.
In a handy right sidebar, you can see your calendar events, emails, and tasks from other tools like Trello, ClickUp, Todoist, Github, and many more.
The app is very easy and intuitive to work with, and you can simply pull tasks from other tools into your agenda, or even drag emails as tasks. (I’ll talk more about this in the Integrations section as I compare Sunsama vs Motion feature by feature below.)
What is Motion good at
As a unique AI tool for planning, Motion stands out for its automatic scheduling and rescheduling capabilities that no other app matches at this point.
As you add tasks and set their priorities, Motion fits them neatly into your calendar.
This software re-evaluates these slots dynamically as your day progresses or if new tasks come up, ensuring that you are always working on what’s most important at any given time.
For example, if you create a new task with ASAP priority, it will push everything less important out of the way and reschedule everything automatically to prioritize this new one.
Motion app also has a great system for scheduling meetings!
Instead of manually going back and forth to set a time, Motion allows you to share your availability in various convenient ways (more on this later).
This is incredibly useful for those with packed calendars and frequent meetings, ensuring that tasks and meetings coexist harmoniously in your schedule.
Overall, Motion’s best perk is its ability to save you a lot of planning time. The platform’s automatic nature allows you to get things done in-between meetings or other commitments you may have.
Sunsama vs Motion: Feature comparison
1. Daily planning
Sunsama stands out when it comes to daily planning by offering a guided process.
Every day at your preferred time, Sunsama will prompt you with a series of steps aimed at setting up your tasks for the day.
It starts with listing the tasks, then estimating the time for each and pushing back everything that’s not important for today, and then timeboxing each task into your calendar (if you want).
During the planning stage, you can not only type in the tasks but also drag and drop them from other apps you have connected, which is how I mostly do it.
Motion doesn’t have a daily ritual like Sunsama because it automatically adds each task to your calendar as soon as you add it to your to-do list.
It employs machine learning algorithms that fit your tasks into your schedule based on priority and availability. This means less manual work for you, making it especially suitable for those who prefer a hands-off approach to daily planning.
Another feature of Motion’s daily planning is its adaptability. If a meeting runs long or a task takes more time than expected, Motion will automatically adjust your schedule accordingly.
Although Motion does offer a form of daily planning, it doesn’t encourage the same level of mindfulness that Sunsama does. It’s more about efficiently fitting tasks into your schedule than making you think about how each task contributes to your broader objectives.
For a more intentional and thoughtful approach to daily planning, Sunsama is the best choice.
Since Sunsama offers a more hands-on and mindful approach to scheduling, it only has per-task auto-scheduling, and not a fully automated process like Motion does.
When you finalize your workload for the day, you can either drag and drop each task into your calendar yourself, or click X and it will be done automatically.
While this requires a little more work upfront, it ensures that you’re fully aware of how your day is laid out and are more in control.
Motion’s auto-scheduling is what makes this planner worth the money.
With its intelligent algorithms, it takes your list of tasks and priorities for the day and automatically slots them into your schedule.
With a timeboxing tool like Motion, you don’t need to drag and drop anything unless you want to make manual adjustments.
That said, if you want to place a specific task at a specific time, you can always manually drag it there, and Motion will lock it in place.
Another standout feature of Motion’s auto-scheduling is its dynamic nature.
If something changes during the day – maybe a task takes longer than anticipated or something urgent came up – Motion will automatically re-shuffle the tasks in your schedule to accommodate the change.
If you are looking for a planner with hands-free, automatic scheduling, Motion is the clear winner.
3. Task management
Sunsama offers a visually engaging day-by-day task management layout that allows you to easily grasp your workload.
You can move tasks around freely, and there’s a horizontal scroll feature, enabling you to view several days in either direction.
The platform promotes time-blocking, a technique where you allocate specific time slots for tasks by dragging them into your calendar.
You can switch between two tabs: Tasks and Calendar, and when you are looking at one, you can also see the other one as a list in the right sidebar.
To add a new task, you can simply click on “+” and write the name. That’s it!
Additionally, Sunsama offers a “Backlog” feature to add random tasks that you need to do but not necessarily today. This feature helps you jot down random tasks that come to mind throughout the day, decluttering your thoughts and ensuring you don’t forget anything during your planning phase.
The Backlog is accessible from the right sidebar, making it easy to pull tasks onto your daily agenda.
Motion has a “Projects & Tasks” view that is separate from the Calendar view.
In there, you can see your tasks either as a list of projects or as a Kanban board grouped by priority (ASAP, High, Medium, Low).
You can use various filters and group the tasks by different criteria if you want, and then save this as a new view so you don’t have to change the settings every time.
Adding a new task in Motion is a bit more complicated compared to Sunsama. This is understandable, as it needs all the information like priority, duration, and deadline to autoshedule it in the best possible way.
That said, you can still add it quickly with just a name, and Motion will apply default settings, for example, set the priority as Medium.
If you’re the kind of person who wants to set up their tasks and let the software do the heavy lifting of managing them, Motion is the right tool for you.
Task management in Sunsama and Motion serves different needs and purposes. Sunsama is more geared towards a thoughtful, manual approach, while Motion focuses on automating as much of the process as possible.
Personally, I prefer the simplicity of Sunsama.
Let me just say: this is my favorite feature in Sunsama!
I’ve tested many planners, but I’ve never seen such an easy and intuitive way of integrating different tools into one. This is where Sunsama really shines.
Sunsama has a robust set of integrations that can connect with almost all the tools you’re likely already using, like Google Calendar, Gmail, Slack, Trello, Asana, Todoist, GitHub, and many more.
Each tool you connect is available in the right sidebar at any time, letting you see everything in one place and pull any task into your agenda.
I also LOVE the Gmail integration: it lets me check my emails directly in Sunsama and add emails that require actions as tasks to my plan.
And that’s not all! The best part is that all integrations are two-way streets with automated traffic. This means that if, for example, you grab a task from Trello, Sunsama can automatically move it to the next column as it gets planned or finished.
Similarly, you can manage emails and automatically archive, label, or delete them after you’re done with them.
Having your tasks, messages, and projects all in one place can be a significant advantage for streamlining your workflow. It sure is for mine!
While Motion does offer integrations, its list is not as extensive as Sunsama’s.
Most of them are more meeting-oriented. You can sync your calendars for daily planning and connect Gmail to send automatic reminders to event invitees if you want.
It also integrates with Zoom and other video conferencing tools to make meeting scheduling easier.
Motion focuses more on its core functionalities than on integrating with a wide array of third-party services. So, while you can link it with some external tools, it doesn’t provide the same depth of functionality that Sunsama does when it comes to integrations.
Sunsama is absolutely a winner when it comes to integrations. And not only versus Motion but all other planners I’ve tried!
5. User interface and navigation
Sunsama probably has the best user interface I’ve ever seen. It’s clean and intuitive, but at the same time, it gives you access to absolutely everything in rarely more than one click.
With a focus on day-by-day task management, the layout makes it easy to move tasks around and view your schedule. You can scroll as much as you want to see future or past days.
There is a little calendar to the left, and you can click on “Sunsama” at the top to access settings, rituals, and more.
Navigating through different features, like your upcoming tasks, backlog, mail, and integrations, is effortless, thanks to a well-organized right sidebar.
The platform also offers convenient shortcuts so you can do many actions just by pressing one button.
Sunsama’s design philosophy is clearly about making the interface as frictionless as possible so you can spend more time getting things done and less time figuring out your way around.
Sunsama’s interface allows you to easily check things off after finishing.
Motion’s interface is similar to most other project management tools: powerful but cluttered.
I would say it requires somewhat of a learning curve to figure everything out.
Sometimes it wasn’t clear to me how to access something from another place, and the default settings are not always what I need (although this might be a personal preference).
Although it might not offer the same level of intuitive navigation as Sunsama, it compensates by offering fully automated scheduling, so you don’t need to click around that much anyway.
Sunsama has easy access to every feature and no visual clutter compared to Motion, so it’s an obvious winner again.
6. Meeting scheduling
While Sunsama does offer basic meeting scheduling features through its calendar integration, it is not its strong suit.
You can set up events and invite participants, but the process is somewhat manual and not as integrated compared to Motion.
Sunsama primarily focuses on task planning, and while it does a great job there, meeting scheduling is not its main area of expertise.
Meeting scheduling is where Motion shines. The platform provides a more integrated and automatic approach to setting up meetings.
First of all, you can create multiple booking links for different purposes, all with different setups and availability.
When you share it with someone, this person will see a typical booking page.
Motion also allows you to quickly choose several blocks of time if, say, you only want to talk with this person on a specific day(s).
You can add questions that a person needs to answer before booking. There are also optional email reminders to minimize no-shows.
This planner has a ton of settings to customize this process, which I can’t possibly list all here. You can read more about it in my Motion review.
Of course, all the automatic scheduling happens around your meetings, so you are never double-booked.
If you have a lot of meetings or appointments every week, Motion is the better choice as it can save you lots of time scheduling those.
7. Focus mode
Sunsama offers a nice focus mode designed to keep you on track.
When activated, this feature minimizes distractions by dimming other tasks and honing in on the task at hand.
In the focus mode, you can start the timer to track how much time the task takes to finish.
This feature aligns perfectly with Sunsama’s overall philosophy of mindful work and preventing burnout.
Motion, while efficient in other areas, doesn’t offer a focus mode feature that matches Sunsama’s level of sophistication.
To be fair, it does have what’s called a Focus Banner. It has a countdown, but you can hardly see it, and it doesn’t stop you from getting distracted at all.
If you have trouble staying focused on a task, Sunsama is your friend once again.
8. Team collaboration
In Sunsama, you can share the workspace with your colleagues, but as you invite each one, it will be charged to your account.
It’s clearly designed for personal use and managing your days in one dashboard on top of other project management tools you may have.
That said, you can totally connect apps like ClickUp or Asana, in which you usually collaborate with your team, and drag tasks from there.
You can also integrate Slack and pull messages directly to your plan, converting them into tasks.
Motion has quite a few team collaboration features. In fact, it has a dedicated Team plan with multiple capabilities on top of the autoscheduling.
In Motion, you can have shared projects, and it will auto-plan everyone’s daily workload based on the assigned tasks.
For example, if you assign a task to someone, Motion will automatically schedule it to that person’s calendar based on the priorities.
When you schedule team meetings, it will take into account everyone’s availability, which is really powerful for people with busy schedules.
Motion’s Team plan wins this category.
Sunsama vs Motion: My experience
I went all-in with each of these tools as I was choosing a new planner for myself.
Sunsama surprised me by turning what I once considered a chore (time-estimating tasks) into an enlightening exercise. I love its step-by-step daily planning process and that it helps me schedule my day’s workload more realistically.
In fact, in the first several days of my trial, Sunsama made me realize that I had consistently been attempting to jam more than 8 hours of non-stop work into a single day. This realization alone brought clarity to why I often felt unproductive despite working long hours.
As I mentioned before, Sunsama’s capacity to seamlessly integrate with other tools is a game-changer for me: I pull tasks from other project managers and add emails I have to act on as new tasks almost every day.
Even though I had 14 free days to test Sunsama, I was hooked quickly and already knew that I’d eventually upgrade to the paid plan on day 3.
It made me completely ditch my paper planning tools I had been holding on to for years, and it keeps me organized and productive in a non-stressful way.
As for Motion, I was impressed by its autoscheduling capabilities – it’s something I’ve never seen before at that level.
On top of that, discovering Motion’s meeting booking tool was a pleasant surprise; it’s a feature that easily justifies the cost if your day involves numerous work calls or client appointments.
I ended up canceling it because I felt like it was a bit of overhead for my needs. (I explained why and who it’s best for in my review.)
Sunsama pricing vs Motion pricing
Sunsama offers a 14-day free trial and doesn’t even ask you for a credit card.
(They know their product is awesome, and you’ll fall in love with it – I did!)
After the trial, the cost is $20 per month, or $16 if you pay annually.
Motion offers a 7-day free trial.
Unlike Sunsama, they do ask for your credit card info, so be careful and don’t forget to cancel if you choose to go with Sunsama.
Motion offers two plans:
- Individual is $34 per month, but if you pay yearly it’s only $19.
- Team is $20 per user, but becomes only $12 per month if you pay yearly.
Sunsama vs Motion: Which is better?
This guide should give you a comprehensive review of both Sunsama and Motion. But in case you don’t have time to read it all, let’s sum up the result of this comparison.
Both tools fall under the category of daily planners, but their individual functionalities can appeal to different types of users.
Sunsama aims for intentional planning and a stress-free work life, offering a convenient dashboard with multiple integrations and guided planning rituals.
Motion, on the other hand, is ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to plan manually but needs a lot to get done.
Let’s look at Sunsama’s and Motion’s pros and cons at a glance:
After testing both tools, I personally chose Sunsama as my daily planner.
If you are still unsure, take advantage of both trials and see the tools in action! This will make it super clear which one is best for your planning needs.