Daily Planning Ritual in Sunsama. I'm running a business with ADHD. Sunsama daily task manager and calendar allows me freedom to work my best, comfortably.

Daily Planning Ritual in Sunsama

I’m running a business with ADHD, Sunsama, daily task manager and calendar allows me freedom to work my best, comfortably.

Disclaimer: This is totally my personal opinion and Sunsama did not ask me to post this or even contact me about sharing.

I’ve been running my own business for over 2 years now; task and time tracking has always been a struggle for me, with ADHD. I’m making progress with efficiently and effectively running my business, in order to achieve what I want to. Time tracking and task management apps I’ve been using, are clunky and take so much extra thought and navigation to use. They are more distracting to me and when I’m deep in the workflow. That catch in my system can derail me for awhile and I can’t afford that. I also find that most of the applications I’ve tried feel like they are built for larger companies first, over just a single user.

Each morning (before Sunsama) seeing the emails from other project management systems reminding me “Your task from 2 days ago is late.”, “your _______ Task is due today.” Oh–that task I haven’t gotten to yet, because of all of the other things that come up in my work day?

Cue the anxiety and frustration.

Sunsama…guides me along because it knows I’m capable, I just need some support.

What I like about Sunsama is it doesn’t tell me what to do. It guides me along because it knows I’m capable, I just need some support.

In my first weeks using Sunsama, I got an email from the Founder, Ashutosh Priyadarshy, with a reminder to merely PLAN my day. Accompanied by excerpts from books or essays on success and life. All of which are encouraging and have the ability to bring you to a place that makes you want to follow through. Ashutosh mentions their daily planning ritual, and you know that is my language. So I felt even more so, that Sunsama is for me.

The Planning Ritual

I like that each day starts with planning. It’s automatic–ready and waiting for me at the time I set when I start my day. It probably takes less than 5 minutes. But here is my long winded explanation. Some tasks and channel names have been removed for client privacy.

Yesterday in Review

First, I get an overview of what I did the previous day. My total time in tasks (the task time is set by me when task creating), then a pie graph of how I spent my time divided by types of tasks. This is something I had no idea I needed. After all this time of task and time tracking, I know I need the information to be able to gauge how long it takes me to do certain things in order to properly quote them again and plan for projects. But seeing how my time is spent visually, really made reality click into place.
Especially using Sunsama alongside Toggl, which is the time tracking app I recently started using that also use pie graphs to display how I spent my time.

Shows the screen for Sunsama's "yesterday in review". Listing time spent yesterday with a pie graphs on the left. On the right, the task completed yesterday.
"Yesterday in Review" Step 1 of Sunsama's Daily planning ritual. Some text hidden for client privacy.

Sunsama also lists the tasks I completed yesterday, and allows me to add anything I finished yesterday that I may have forgotten to add. If I want to be super detailed down to the minute, I can compare my Toggl report to Sunsama and add any other tasks that may not have been in my plans for the day. I haven’t done this though.

What do you want to get done today?

After reviewing yesterday, it’s time to plan my day. Sunsama displays a “Today” column with tasks I’ve already put there. It also allow the option to integrate with Asana and Trello, in order to pull tasks from there to place into your day. There is also the Sunsama task backlog to reference. This morning I saw a task on today’s list, that I actually completed yesterday, so I just deleted it from today, and remade the task under “Yesterday”; in which yesterday’s stats were updated.

What do you want to get done today? Today's task list and backlog of tasks.
Sunsama "what can wait" screen during the planning process. Displays a list of tasks under "today", offering you to move them to another day, or next week.
What Can Wait?- Sunsama Planning Ritual
What Can Wait?

Then Sunsama asks me to look over everything again. Are there low priority tasks that can wait til tomorrow? Because let’s be real long to-do lists can be daunting, and sometimes we can be unrealistic about our expectations for the day. I’m pretty confident about my day today though. I have about 4 hrs of tasks scheduled, so that will allow time for other things to come up. But if I decide later, I can always move them to “Tomorrow” or “Next week”.

Finalize Your Plan

Now, the last step before starting my day; Finalizing. Here is where my favorite integration comes into play. Next to my task list for today is my Google Calendar. Anything I have scheduled there, like meetings, appointments, and lunch (yeah I have to have that reminder). I can move my tasks into my schedule and it adds them to my Google Calendar, so even when I’m using the calendar app, my tasks are there. This is such a great integration, I haven’t found any hitch yet.

Sunsama finalize your day. Listing the taks for the day and displaying a Google Calendar schedule for the day in order to add tasks to your schedule.
Finalize your plan for today in Sunsama. With (so far) seamless Google Calendar integration.
Channels and Time Allotment

While I look through my tasks I’d created today, I add the channel it belongs to and adjust the time allotments for each task.
Yesterday, when I added the tasks – I didn’t want to spend the extra time thinking about the time allotment and channel, because I knew I’d be able to do that during the morning’s planning session; you know the allotted time for that sort of thinking.

That’s it! The day has been planned.

I keep the Sunsama window on one half of my laptop, which is docked next to my 30” widescreen monitor, so it’s easily accessible and never gets covered up. In this window I also have a tab open for Toggl, in case I want to view reports throughout the day. I use Toggl to track my actual time with the desktop app, which stays up in a small window in my work area (the widescreen). The too aren’t integrated together, but my personal use of the two show how they complement one another. I can compare what I planned on doing today, to what I actually did. Which allows me to actually see; you know with pie graphs, how the two compare and use this information to change or plan for habits I notice.

I’m planning on continuing to note how I figure out tools and create rituals to make shit happen. This app allows for flexibility and control in my task planning and guides me along with a clean, streamlined process. It shows everything I need to see in one window, so there’s no bouncing around trying to compare apps. Plus, the first couple weeks of emails have been really motivating!
It doesn’t virtually berate me and make me feel anxious with the list of tasks in red because I didn’t get to them. I work for myself for a reason, to do so in a way that works for me–not the cookie cutter work process a larger company prefers.

If you want to give Sunsama a try, do so with this link and I’ll get $25 in credit, then you can share and get you some credits too!

Sunsama half-screen Dashboard. For quick glance access.
Sunsama Full Screen Dashboard