Have you ever heard of the 13-month year? If there was a way to save 2 hours every day, it would translate to a bonus month at the end of the year.
Well, Motion is just promising that.
Motion is a rapidly growing all-in-one productivity tool that uses artificial intelligence to auto-schedule your day. It will work as your personal assistant to automatically prioritize your tasks based on their due dates, importance, and available time slots on your calendar. But it will do so much more…
In this Motion app review, I am going to take you on a tour of the most important features, pros, cons, pricing, and essential setups to help you decide if this app is right for you. I’ll also highlight some of the weaknesses to deliver an in-depth yet honest Motion review.
Let’s get started.
What is Motion?
Motion is an emerging, AI-powered productivity tool with some unique features. It can replace your personal calendar, work calendar, project management tool, and meeting scheduler.
Motion has a desktop app, a mobile app, and a web app to sync your tasks and events across all your devices. It will support deep work and help you schedule a perfect day by allowing room for completing your most important and urgent tasks and re-scheduling unfinished tasks. Motion not only helps you plan your day, but it also helps you schedule meetings quickly and supports team collaboration.
Motion app review
History & mission (please don’t skip this)
The Motion app was co-founded by Harry Qi in 2019. It’s a rapidly growing startup headquartered in San Francisco, currently serving 40K users worldwide.
Motion auto-scheduling features may appeal to people living with ADHD. Harry, CEO and co-founder of Motion, also struggles with ADHD and developed this productivity tool to fill the gap where traditional productivity apps fail.
Being an AI-driven business, it’s important whether Motion uses your data ethically and legally. They provide on their website information about how they will handle your data and they were audited by a leading organization in security and compliance certifications for SaaS companies. You can request a full audit report from the customer service. Otherwise, your data are encrypted at rest and in transit.
I always prefer working with productivity apps where I can see the man behind the machine. That’s why I was happy when I found Motion’s company culture distilled into a public document. They work as a small team and have a transparent working culture.
What I missed, however, was a bit more information about the company on Motion’s website, though it’s a relatively new player in the productivity game.
All things considered, the team is likable like the Motion app.
Let’s see how to get started with Motion.
Getting started with Motion
Motion offers a free trial for 7 days. You need to complete these steps before you can use the Motion app:
- Connect your Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook Calendar. (As Motion’s core function is scheduling, you can’t skip this step.)
- Select your work hours. (Your tasks will be auto-scheduled during work hours by default.)
- Schedule your recurring tasks. (You can skip this step if you want.)
- Create your workspace. (Your workspace will host your projects and tasks.)
- Create your first project.
- Create your first 3 tasks (at least one of those).
I don’t like this rigid onboarding process, although it takes 5 minutes. I also don’t like that you can only log in with your Google account or Microsoft account. Otherwise, the onboarding process goes smoothly.
Now that you can use Motion, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the anatomy of the Motion app.
Motion anatomy & user-friendliness
There’re three main tabs in Motion.
- Calendar: This is your calendar displaying your scheduled events and tasks from Motion. (It will also display your events from your Google Calendar or your Microsoft Outlook Calendar.)
- Projects & Tasks: Here, you’ll see your task list and all your projects. Your My Tasks section contains all the tasks assigned to you from different workspaces plus the private tasks you created here.
- Booking: Here, you can quickly create and customize your booking page, create a booking link, and share your availability.
Projects and tasks are at the heart of any task manager app. With Motion, you can view your projects on a list view and a Kanban view. The Kanban board has multiple grouping and sorting options, and you can easily change task parameters on a card.
My Motion app review, however, wouldn’t be honest without mentioning the weaknesses.
There’re some flaws or, I should say, strange things that I recognized as a GTD practitioner:
- When you create a new task, the scheduling Window doesn’t disappear, you need to exit from it manually. This is the case with both the list view and the Kanban view.
- No undo button to reverse an action: When you complete a task or accidentally mess things up, there’s no undo option to reverse things quickly and easily.
- You cannot manually re-order tasks within a project or list.
- Although you can toggle projects, there’s no dedicated place for them other than individual project windows: they live on the same screen as My tasks do.
- There is no room to customize (and differentiate) your projects visually: no color coding or icons.
- Limited visibility of labels: Although you can assign a label to each task and you can filter for them, I find it hard to batch my tasks across projects with the same label.
- No quick-add option: I miss a shortcut that can add a task and specify its properties quickly.
Otherwise, I find the Motion app easy to navigate. It has a user-friendly interface with support for keyboard shortcuts. You can easily move between task fields with the Tab key.
Motion supports a dark and a light theme to accommodate different needs and personalities. The user experience across platforms (Web, Mac) is coherent.
Let’s continue our Motion app review with a few essential steps to get the most out of this productivity app.
Essential setup in Motion
You can make your life easier if you take the time to properly set up Motion tailored to your working style. I handpicked the essential setups for you:
- Display a secondary time zone column on your calendar: You can display a secondary time zone on your Motion calendar, which is helpful if you often meet with people from other time zones. You can enable a secondary time zone under the Settings tab. Navigate to the Time zone and toggle the list. The cool thing is that you can now edit your secondary time zone right on your Motion calendar.
- Choose your default video conferencing method: Navigate to the Settings tab and hit Conference settings. Here, you can choose your default conference method. Thanks to the native Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams integrations, you can schedule and run meetings right from Motion.
- Weed out unnecessary notifications: Properly setting up notifications is key to focused work. So, make sure that you check or uncheck the boxes under the Notifications tab.
- Set up your calendar: Go to Settings and hit Auto-scheduling. Here you can give permission to Motion to display tasks on your Google Calendar or Microsoft Calendar.
- Set up your workspaces: You can set up your workspaces individually. You can add statuses and labels, and give access to team members.
Let’s jump into the key features of Motion.
Motion displays all your scheduled tasks as well as your events on your calendar. The app will also show your Google Calendar entries. There’s a two-way sync between your Motion calendar and your Google Calendar (or Outlook Calendar): your Motion events will appear on your third-party calendar, and you can choose under the settings whether you want your tasks to be shown.
There’re two types of tasks in Motion:
- Free tasks (displayed with a dotted border): Free tasks have soft or far due dates. They can be moved without risking missing the deadline.
- Busy tasks (displayed with a solid border): Busy tasks have a pressing deadline (well, it all depends on how busy your calendar is). The Motion AI sets tasks as busy when there is no time left before the deadline.
If a task’s status is Not started, it won’t show up on your calendar. By default, your tasks will be auto-scheduled meaning that Motion will move them to an empty yet appropriate time slot.
If there’s enough time until the deadline, your task remains a Free task and gets a dotted border. If the deadline is pressing, your task becomes a Busy task and gets a solid border.
Motion’s taxonomy lets you re-schedule not-so-pressing to-dos while bringing your attention to more important tasks. The AI also will arrange your tasks not only by their due dates but also by considering priority. Higher-priority tasks will be moved forward.
Of course, you can always re-arrange your tasks manually.
If you get the concept behind this unique time-blocking feature, Motion can rewire your brain.
Task and project management
I’ve already covered how tasks are working and that there’re Free tasks and Busy tasks in Motion. You can work with your tasks on your calendar or under a dedicated project list.
You can even create task dependencies with blockers. If you use blockers, the AI algorithm will schedule your tasks in proper order.
You may want to run a basic Pomodoro timer on each task. Hover over your task in your Motion calendar and hit the play button. It will start measuring the remaining time.
Unfortunately, Motion currently lacks an email to task feature. Most if not all the best task manager apps support turning your emails into tasks. I work a lot with email, so this is a big disappointment for me.
Meeting management (booking)
Motion works like the best meeting scheduling apps. You can set up your availability, create a customizable booking page, embed your page on your website, send automatic reminders to invitees, create buffer times between meetings, and more.
It’s good to know that free Motion tasks can be booked while busy tasks can’t.
What makes Motion stand out is the ease with which you can schedule and run meetings right from the Motion app. The Drag Times feature makes the scheduling process a breeze. You can select the available times from your calendar, copy the text, and you’re ready to share.
Once your guest chooses a meeting time, they will get an email with the meeting link and the meeting will show up on your Motion calendar. Both of you have the choice to reschedule or cancel the meeting easily.
When the meeting approaches, you can run the meeting with one click right from Motion. (You can connect your Zoom, Google, or Microsoft Teams account and select your preferred video conferencing method under the Conference settings.)
The only thing I missed from this impressive feature set is the group polling option. I hope the Motion team will put this feature on the roadmap sooner or later.
We’re now at a turning point in this Motion app review: how much does it cost?
Motion has no free plan. Although it’s not a problem, I find the 7-day free trial a bit tight.
To get started with your free trial, you must submit your credit card credentials, which is common in the subscription world.
Motion comes from $19 per month per user if you commit to an annual subscription. If you don’t, it will cost almost twice as much for a month ($34). This is interesting just as the fact that the Team Plan costs far less per user, beginning from $12 per month when billed annually.
Both the Individual Plan and the Team Plan offer a fully functional task manager, project manager, meeting scheduler, and AI calendar. The Team Plan offers collaboration and AI-powered planning and prioritization for each team member.
This price is in the upper range. Currently, Asana charges $10.19 per user (billed annually) for their Premium Plan while ClickUp still takes the palm with a $7 Unlimited Plan. You can add ClickUp AI to your paid plan for $5 per user per month, which is still more affordable than Motion, although ClickUp’s AI functionality doesn’t cover auto-scheduling.
Overall, Motion is a bit pricy, but considering its unique functions, the price is tolerable.
Motion app review: FAQ
1. Does Motion have a free plan?
Motion has a 7-day trial, which offers a fully functional app. When the free trial ends, you must switch to a paid plan. You can choose monthly billing or commit to an annual plan. The latter is almost half the price monthly.
2. Is there a way to set recurring tasks or events in the Motion app?
You can easily set up recurring tasks in Motion. There’s more than enough room for customizing the frequency. You can choose daily, weekly, biweekly, etc. intervals. You can even select specific days of the week or set up a repeat for every weekday. You can also create repeating events in the Motion calendar with granular details.
3. How can I set up and sync external calendars (Google Calendar, Apple Calendar) with Motion?
Calendar management is at the heart of Motion, so they require you to sync one of your external calendars when you begin to use the app. Motion currently supports Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook Calendar. If you want to connect other external calendars, you may want to use Zapier or the API.
4. Can I set reminders and notifications for tasks and events?
With Motion, you can set up reminders for both meetings (events) and tasks. You can also set up email notifications about statuses, assignments, and new comments.
5. Does Motion integrate with other calendar and task management apps or services?
Motion currently has native integrations with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Google Calendar, Gmail, and Microsoft Outlook 365. Thanks to the Zapier integration, you can connect Motion with hundreds of third-party tools. Motion also has an API, so you can build up your own integrations. Integrations with Slack, Notion, Asana, and Monday are on the product roadmap.
Motion app review: the verdict
If you like time-blocking, you’re someone who relies heavily on your calendar and has a busy schedule, runs a lot of virtual meetings, or maybe you live with ADHD, the Motion app can be a game-changer. Motion excels at time-blocking, scheduling, and AI capabilities, but they have a long way to go to becoming a cutting-edge task manager or project manager app.
Although I’m quite happy with Motion and it has an intuitive interface, they won’t save the world. No all-in-one productivity tool will. Just as with Notion, ClickUp, and Friends, Motion has its own niche (and flaws).
It’s important to emphasize that Motion is a relatively new app on the productivity landscape. With their impressive growth path, I’m sure they will sooner or later make their way up to the hall of fame of productivity tools. Can’t wait to see!
What I like and dislike about Motion
Get started with Motion.