Achieve Planner

Personal Time Management Software



Plan Your Work for Better Results

3. Daily and Weekly Planning

The Weekly Schedule is where you decide when you are going to work on each of your projects.

Weekly planning gets you away from trying to FIND time for your projects and helps you MAKE time for them.

The week is a natural period for effective short-term planning because it’s short enough to make meaningful plans based on your top priorities, and it’s long enough to allow you to balance urgent tasks with important long-term projects and initiatives.

If you are familiar with the time management principle of the "big rocks" in the jar (click here to learn more about it), weekly planning helps you put the "big rocks" into your schedule first.

Achieve Planner uses project blocks, which are times that you've committed to a specific project, to represent your big rocks. A project block is like an appointment that you make with yourself to get your most important work done.

The best way to prove to yourself that you are really committed to a project is to MAKE time for it by scheduling it in your calendar. Many Achieve Planner users report that scheduling project blocks really helps them get their projects done, even if they only use project blocks 2-4 hours each day.

Weekly Planning gives Achieve Planner a significant edge over other tools that just focus on task management but don't incorporate weekly planning.

Weekly Planning

You can use project blocks to plan as much of your time as makes sense in your work environment.

Some people may only be able to plan the first two hours of the day reserving project blocks for their most important projects, while others may want to use project blocks to plan their entire day.

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In general, it is better to schedule time at the project level instead of the task level to avoid adding too much unnecessary detail to your plan.

You'll find that focusing on a specific project for a block of time is much more effective than jumping around from one unrelated task to another. It will help you stay focused while avoiding distractions and multitasking.

In my experience, project blocks work best when they are about an hour. That way you have a well defined unit of work with a clear beginning and ending... and you can stay focused without feeling too tired or distracted.

You'll find that staying focused for a one-hour block at a time is not that difficult if you practice and keep using the system.

If you need to, you can easily reschedule your project blocks as needed by moving the appointments.


"I would like to congratulate and thank you for developing a very useful piece of software. I am a scientist doing biomedical research at a large university medical school and I am VERY busy.


I have looked for a long time for software that would be genuinely helpful in managing my schedule.


Your product is the first thing that I have found that really seems to be working."

- R.E. Crist, Ph.D.


Time Charts

Using time charts, Achieve Planner helps you allocate time to different activity zones like work, breaks, routine work, health, family time, etc. to represent what your ideal week would look like.

Figuring out and consciously designing what a very productive day would look like for you ahead of time is a great way to add more structure to your workweek and incorporate time for breaks and energy recovery right in your schedule.

If you like, you can display these color-coded Time Charts in the background of your schedule or you can hide them from view.

Click Image to View Larger Size

A time chart is a great way to integrate breaks and fun activities in your schedule so you see that your life is not just about work.

Video Tutorial (link opens in new window):

  • Time Charts - How to use Time Charts to plan your ideal week

Weekly Planning Wizard

Focus on your most important projects each week and decide how much time to commit to themThe Weekly Planning Wizard is a powerful and valuable tool in Achieve Planner because it helps you MAKE time for your most important projects ahead of time.

You start by deciding what projects are the most important for the upcoming week and how much time you want to commit to each of them.

You can then drop project blocks into the schedule based on your time commitments.

Weekly planning with project blocks helps you put first things first and MAKE time for your most important projects each week.

Video Tutorial (link opens in new window):

  • Weekly Planning - How to use the weekly planning wizard to plan your week

If you prefer, you can also use drag & drop to add project blocks into your weekly schedule at any time. Just drag items from the Projects panel in the Weekly Schedule tab and drop them into your schedule.

Video Tutorial (link opens in new window):

  • Project Blocks - Other ways to create project blocks in the weekly schedule
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Case Study # 2 - Professor, Doctor, Researcher & Working Mom

Caroline Richardson, MD is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan Health Systems, a research scientist, a family practice doctor and working mom with several projects and responsibilities for each role.

“I have a lot of different jobs: physician, researcher, teacher, mom and lots of projects going for each role. Before I started using Achieve Planner, I spent a lot of my time just trying to figure out what I should be working on and things I was supposed to be doing didn't get done.

I went through a phase of using Microsoft Office OneNote to keep track of my stuff and it just wasn't a good enough to do list manager and project manager for me,” Caroline says.

Since she started using Achieve Planner, Caroline has noticed some significant improvements in her organization and productivity, “I spend less time spinning my wheels, less stuff not getting done because I forgot to do it, and more efficient planning and execution of tasks.”

She adds, “I also spend less time writing out to do lists. I feel generally calmer because the constant feeling that I have forgotten to do something important is not nagging me. I might miss a deadline or I might not have time to get something done, but at least I know exactly where I stand with every project and task and I can make rational decisions about what is most important.”

“When I'm at work, I can focus more on work stuff because I know that my list of tasks for home is up to date and that when I get off work, I will be able to efficiently tackle home tasks.

I am more focused when working on a specific project because I am more confident the current project is the thing I need to focus on now and that the little tasks / emails / phone calls are all on a list and can be accomplished quickly later. More things are getting done and I'm less likely to miss deadlines.”

Caroline found Achieve Planner's task tracking functionality and the ability to schedule time for projects particularly helpful. “I think the task list features are really great. It is easy to add, rearrange and sort tasks. Also the idea of planning blocks of time to work on bigger projects has really helped me get the big stuff done,” Caroline says.

She adds, “Work on large complicated projects was going slowly, but the planning and organization features of Achieve Planner, especially the idea of breaking projects down into sub projects and tasks, scheduling and prioritizing each one and having a follow up or next step task for every task that has been completed is very helpful. I put in a large grant last month for which I planned and tracked every step and every revision in Achieve Planner until it was done.”

Because Achieve Planner incorporates sound time management principles, Caroline found that just using Achieve Planner has helped her develop better time management habits, “Because I work on so many different projects simultaneously, I was constantly switching from project to project and the transition time between projects was eating up all of my time.

By planning large blocks of time to work on a specific project, I waste less time with frequent transitions and make more progress. Also, the organization and tracking features of Achieve Planner decrease transition times because I always know what task needs to be done next. I have several different offices and the scheduling features of Achieve Planner helped me plan my meetings etc so that I don't spend all day driving from one office to another getting nothing done.”

Caroline found that using Achieve Planner helps her say “no” to opportunities and commitments that don't fit with her top priorities, “I am better able to respond to invitations and requests for collaboration or consultation because I have a better idea of how much of my time is already used up over the next few weeks. It used to be that if I got an interesting invitation I would leave it in my email inbox for a while trying to decide if I could do it. Now I say no more often and more quickly because it is more obvious that taking on another task or project is not a good idea.”

Caroline also found the time management training and support included with Achieve Planner particularly helpful saying, “I think the online tutorial was excellent and allowed me to get up to speed with the software very quickly.”

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“I was reading over the testimonials on your website and I have to agree with all of them. I have spent the last 10 years working really hard on my time management skills and using the Tony Robbins RPM system.

Honestly I have to say that by using the Achieve Planner system, it has helped me focus much more on my RPM process because I was not wasting the time I was before managing the system. I have gotten a very good process down now and my efficiency and effectiveness has skyrocketed.

Mike Suco

“I purchased AP for my business and it has been a huge help in tracking and getting things done. It is straightforward and easy to use. It makes getting projects done much easier and tops Outlook and other tools that are either featureless or too huge and complex.”

Ray Diaz

“This by far the most intelligent piece of time-management software I’ve come across and I’ve tried a few.”

Joe Kissoon

“I’ve been using it for almost a month, and I’ve found it to be very helpful in managing my dissertation project.”


“I’ve looked at several personal productivity / task management software packages over my 9 year career in IT... I have to say that Achieve Planner is hands down the best personal productivity app I’ve ever used!

It is quick to learn & awesome at unifying all of my life’s commitments while not skimping on the details if you should need them. I also love the ongoing time management tips & messages of encouragement which really help keep me focused and remind me WHY it is important to stay on-track! Thanks Effexis!”

Greg Pickrell

Wow! I’ve been waiting 20 years for this product!”

Fernando Chapa

“Your Achieve Planning software is the best I’ve used. Continue the great work!”

Dan Cross

“Achieve Planner is the first time-management software program that I have found that really allows me to organize myself in a way that is more consistent with my wholistic lifestyle.

Believe me I have checked out a few programs and have an entire shelf of books and videos in addition to all the workshops and seminars I have attended.

It has been an up hill battle for me as a very right brained, ADDer (Definition of ADDer: Someone who finds life so exciting and full of possibilities that they can’t help but keep adding more and more to their already fabulous life!)

For me the point of managing my time is to be able to live with minimal stress and have even more fun, pleasure and prosperity... and Achieve Planner helps me do that!”

Caroline Bell, PhD

“I have tried just about every piece of time and project management software on the Internet, as well as most of the goal setting software that’s out there too!

I have to say that Acheive Planner is _the best_ program I have ever used.”

Dean W. Charron

“Also, thanks for a brilliant product. I have tried several time management type applications prior to discovering "Achieve" and they all seemed to lack something.

After loading the achieve trial I purchased the product very quickly afterwards as I could see the potential. I’ve now been working with "Achieve" for three weeks and will certainly recommend it to others.

It does exactly what I need and gives me a method of managing the multiple projects that my daily work involves.”

Paul Ralph
Scotland UK

“Thanks for making such an awesome product. This is far superior to any I’ve used before!”

Stephanie Chapman

“I work from home, and use to have my work schedule, ideas, and notes, spread between two desks, on multiple pieces of paper or just held in my head.

Achieve Planner has changed all of that. This tool is incredible, and has helped me organise everything so that I now have a solid plan to work to.

I know exactly what I have to do each day, and I can promise you one thing. Planning for the weeks and months ahead has never been this fun! Keep up the great job!”

Andy Williams

“Thanks so much for making a great product. It’s really helping me get organized in my personal and professional life.”


“It’s a great software product and we both love to use it. We both tried to use Tony Robbins OPA/RPM system for years.

My husband managed to make some progress with it, but it was a little too complicated.

The Achieve Planner does everything that OPA should have done and it is perfectly integrated with Outlook. More people need to know about it”

Liz Blackham

“I’d like to say that I really enjoy working with AP planner.

You made it so ergonomic. We can reach easily and rapidly any task, contact or project.
The keyboard shortcuts are very useful and intuitives.

There’s a lot of possibility in this software (I didn’t use every one of them yet) and I can’t hardly wait for the next developpements.
Really, Bravo !”

Richard Lavoie

“Your Acheive Planner is a work of genius. I recently purchased the
productivity suite and am stunned by all that this program offers. It’s like having a 24/7 personal assistant and personal life coach all rolled into one.

I just want to thank you for the time, effort, and creativity you’ve put into developing this truly revolutionary product.
May you live long and prosper!”

Mercedes Goldcamp

“I am in love with Achieve Planner. It has made a significant difference in how I organize my time and I am accomplishing more than ever without that feeling of being overwhelmed. Thank you for developing it.”

Bev Dugar

“This is the very best planning system I have ever used. I manage a small business and run about 5 or 6 departments by myself.

Achieve Planner has made it possible to effectively track all of my tasks and projects in one system. Thank you. Keep up the great work.”


“The tutorials are excellent - short and to-the-point. They clearly explain  the steps needed to achieve a task in Achieve Planner without a lot of extraneous commentary.

I was/am very impressed. There are a lot of garbage tutorials ’out there’. Yours are excellent & I have found them most useful.”


“I’m finding it quite helpful. I’ve just been using the basics for about 3 weeks now and already starting to feel like I have a better grip on my week.

It allows me to take a realistic look at the amount of time I have available and then plan my task time accordingly.

I’m finding fewer tasks are "slipping between the cracks", plus I’m not as frustrated by not trying to meet unrealistic expectations.

The integration with Outlook is also very handy in that I can easily assign Tasks to staffers.”

Mark Herman

“Btw, I am IMMENSELY pleased with the Achieve Planner. I am a software engineer myself, and appreciate the detailed attention to the finish the careful engineering that has gone into the features of the software. Very well done!”

Arthur Vanderbilt

“I have been using this tool for about a month - I have tested many,
many, software tools for project & task planning before and have NEVER found anything that has immediately and positively impacted the way I work.

This is a GREAT tool and I only wish I’d found it years ago.

Thank you!”

Paul Sheard

“You have a very good program and its the best I have seen. Thanks for the help and I look forward to using it daily.”

Paul R.

“I sent you an email earlier on Procrastination and the wins I had from that course. I just thought the wins were big until I started applying the technology of your Time Management course.

Just after the first week of using Time Charts and Project Blocks my production has soared mainly due to NOT multi-tasking and doing what I'm doing while I'm doing it.

I have benefited greatly from using your technology and your software program, Achieve Planner.”

James Owens



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