The 5 best planning apps for personal growth in 2023

Published in Intentional living, Digital minimalism on Feb 22, 2023
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So, you’ve decided that enough is enough, and this year you’re going to make lasting changes in your habits and routines. Maybe you’ve got a bunch of ideas in your head that you know are going to change your life and bring you joy. But how do you make a plan to succeed? And what tools can you use to help you achieve your potential? 

We’re living in a digital age, and thankfully there are many apps and tools online that we can use to do that planning, reach those goals, and find that joy in the day-to-day. They can help you do many things from organising your tasks to providing you with useful insights and reminders.

This article looks at the best planning apps to aid you in your intentional living and personal growth journey. I’ll provide you with info on each one, highlighting their pros and cons, pricing, and how I use them.

1. Notion

Notion life dashboard with many links and icons

If you’re in the same circles as me (nerdy, self-development ones), you’ll have heard of Notion. I’ve been using Notion to keep track of my resets, goals, and daily planning for years now, and I haven’t found anything quite like it anywhere else. 

Notion is an all-in-one tool for productivity that features a wiki-style layout and has a ton of features, including databases that can link to multiple pages and task management tools.

It also has a really active community, and there are many templates that are provided by the team at Notion and also community-made that you can use to get started with your planning.


  • Notion has a lot of functionality, and many ways to display information on the page

  • It looks beautiful and has a very clean look by default

  • Information syncs with the cloud for easy switching between phone and desktop

  • It’s free (for personal use)


  • It can be a bit of a learning curve if you want to use databases in your templates

  • Everything is stored in the cloud, so you can’t use Notion offline and privacy may be a concern

If you want more than the provided templates and aren’t sure where to start, one of my favourite Notion templates is a paid one from creator MuchelleB called the Life Map Notion Pack, which incorporates Getting Things Done (GTD) and ideas from other systems to allow you to create the life you want.

We do our household and future planning in Notion, and Notion Pro is the perfect plan when you need to share information with multiple people.

Other info

Price: Free (for personal use)

Best for: Planning sheets and personal project management

URL: Notion

Resources: Notion’s Template Gallery

2. Todoist

Todoist list of projects and tasks

Again, if you’ve ever watched a video or read an article in the self-development realm, you’ll probably have heard of Todoist.

Todoist is a very popular task manager app that lets you organise and set priorities for tasks on your to-do list. It can give you reminders, and allow you to add labels and filters to help you keep on top of your list and manage your time well.

As an added bonus, the app is able to integrate with other productivity tools like Google Calendar and Trello, which makes it a super convenient option for personal growth planning.

I like to use Todoist to manage my day-to-day actions and also serve as a quick capture for any tasks that pop into my head as I’m out and about!


  • It’s free (unless you want all the bells and whistles)

  • It is well-supported and integrates well with other productivity applications

  • Its data is available offline, so you can see your tasks anywhere


  • It lacks Kanban features that give you more visibility on the status of a task

  • Data from the app is stored in the cloud, so privacy may be a concern

Other info

Price: Free / Paid Pro plan

Best for: Task management 

URL: Todoist

Resources: Getting Things Done (GTD) with Todoist

3. Evernote

Evernote app screen

Evernote has been around for a very long time, and it’s still going strong. It’s a powerful app used for note-taking that allows you to quickly capture your thoughts and ideas in a variety of different formats. 

Got an idea for a new melody for that song you’re writing? No problem, record some audio. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Why not chuck those in there too?

Evernote not only lets you capture information, but it also lets you tag and later search for that information, ensuring nothing gets lost in the digital ether.

You can use Evernote in many ways to track your projects, and goals, and stay organised. I use it to quickly capture and organise my ideas.


  • Many types of input are available for information capture

  • The tagging and searching capabilities are next level

  • You can clip web articles for inclusion in your notes


  • If you’re looking for features you remember using in the past, those were likely removed a few years ago

  • Some users report a bit of a buggy interface

Other info

Price: Free / Paid plans available

Best for: Quick capture and brainstorming 

URL: Evernote

Resources: Evernote Experts Monthly Roundup: Getting Things Done With ... 

4. Insight Timer

Insight Timer app screens

This app has been an absolute game-changer for me. Insight Timer is a meditation and mindfulness app that is packed with useful features that help you to reduce stress, improve your focus, and cultivate a positive mindset.

There are guided meditations for a variety of situations, sleep sounds, a timer that can be configured for the length you want and the sounds you want, and courses.

Insight Timer makes it easy to develop a regular meditation practice which is a big factor in my own well-being and has supported my personal growth for many years now.


  • There’s so much content available for free

  • The timer and guided meditations are everything you need to cultivate a successful meditation habit


  • Downloading audio for offline requires a paid subscription

  • Most of the courses require a paid subscription too

Other info

Price: Free / Paid plan available

Best for: Meditation and reflection

URL: InsightTimer

5. Morning! Gratitude journal

Morning! Gratitude Journal app screens

The science behind gratitude is clear; establishing a daily habit of gratitude significantly positively impacts your wellbeing. This app has been instrumental in me cultivating this habit.

Morning! is a simple daily gratitude journal that gives your prompts to set your mindset for the day, and provides a place for reflection at the end of the day.

You can set reminders to encourage you as well as look back on your previous entries too. I love to do this at least every morning and it really positively frames my day ahead.


  • It’s lockable with finger print

  • You can set daily configurable reminders

  • Get inspired by daily quotes

  • The premium version is a one off payment


  • Custom colour themes and mood tracking is available on paid version only

  • Available on Apple only

Other info

Price: Free / Paid premium option

Best for: Gratitude journaling

URL: App store

So that’s us! Now all that’s left to do is try out some of these tools and see if they integrate well into your daily life. Remember, the key is to find something that works for you and how you like to stay organised rather than trying to squeeze into a system that doesn’t suit you.

Good luck, friend! Remember to be kind to yourself, enjoy the journey and celebrate your progress.

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