Sunsama vs Motion Compared: Which I Preferred

No Comments

Photo of author

By Ewen Finser

Last Updated on May 8, 2024 by Ewen Finser

I’ve recently been on a productivity kick, trying to organize the chaos of my inbox and calendar. I’ve also been looking for ways to synchronize my personal workflow with our team project management. 

This experience first led me to Motion, which I reviewed here. Once I went down the rabbit hole here, I discovered Sunsama as a Motion alternative. 

Motion is a smart task manager that uses artificial intelligence to optimize your workday. It helps you make the most of your time by efficiently scheduling tasks and meetings. Its user-friendly interface ensures that your productivity levels remain high.

On the other hand, Sunsama is a comprehensive productivity platform that combines task management, calendar features, and team collaboration. It allows you to manage tasks across various platforms, making it an efficient tool for those juggling multiple tasks.

Main Differences Between Sunsama and Motion

These are some of the key positioning and functional differences between these two productivity apps at a glance:

  • Sunsama is exclusively geared towards PERSONAL productivity and time management, whereas Motion features personal and TEAM plans for organization-wide usage.
  • Sunsama is slightly more affordable for individuals, with plans starting at $20/month, whereas Motion starts at $34/month (both services offer annual discounts).
  • Motion heavily integrates AI to automate calendar optimization, whereas Sunsama relies on you to spend more time up front architecting your workflows.
  • Sunsama focuses more on reflecting on what work is important, whereas Motion is more about making sense of your current and historical work habits to craft an optimal system.
  • Motion has a built-in calendar booking interface (meeting assistant), whereas Sunsama does not (but integrates with third-party apps that do).

In-depth Analysis of Features

Each tool boasts unique features designed to enhance your productivity and that’s clearly the orientation coming in.

I’ll dissect these features for a better understanding of what each platform offers.

User Interface: First Look

The user interface is a critical element of any productivity tool, as it determines how easily and efficiently you can navigate through the application.

Sunsama offers a well-organized dashboard split into three panels – calendar, tasks, and third-party integrations. This layout allows you to access all necessary information at a glance.

Motion feels MUCH more minimalist in approach, with each section on its own page and a simple home page displaying your upcoming tasks and events.

Motion is laser focused on “work productivity” too, even featuring on ROI calculator for time savings on their pricing page:

This layout is designed for users who prefer a clutter-free, focused work environment.

Motion vs Sunsama User Interface

Task Management & Workflow Streamlining

Task management is at the core of any productivity app. Sunsama simplifies task creation and management with a built-in Pomodoro timer to enhance productivity. It allows you to add subtasks and categorize tasks into Channels or Contexts for better organization.

In contrast, Motion provides a more advanced task management system. It uses artificial intelligence to slot tasks into your calendar based on their priority, deadlines, and your availability. This automation can significantly help with task prioritization and meeting deadlines.

Motion vs Sunsama Calendar and Meeting Scheduling

Sunsama’s calendar integrates seamlessly with your existing Google or Outlook calendars, providing a drag-and-drop interface to add tasks to your schedule. However, it lacks dedicated meeting booking capabilities.

Motion, on the other hand, excels in dynamic scheduling, especially for meeting bookings. Its calendar page is dedicated to managing meetings and tasks around them.

If your work involves many meetings, Motion’s AI-powered scheduling can significantly enhance your productivity.

Sunsama vs Motion Calendar

Team Collaboration and Reporting

Motion leverages its AI system to enhance team project management, assigning tasks based on team members’ availability.

Sunsama, in contrast, integrates with Google Contacts for easy team member addition and provides digital meeting rooms for effective team collaboration.

In the area of reporting, Sunsama provides a detailed view of task completion and time spent, while Motion shows how much time was spent waiting for meetings versus productive work.

I really liked Motion’s regular weekly reports as a post-hoc analysis of important work KPIs.

Integrations Compared

When it comes to integrations, Sunsama is the clear winner, with an extensive list of popular apps like Todoist, ClickUp, Gmail, Trello, and Slack. It also integrates with Zapier, expanding its connectivity to over 5000 apps.

Motion, however, currently only directly integrates with core meeting and calendar apps like Gsuite, Apple Calendar, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams.

That said, they do have a fairly healthy list of Zapier “zaps” that appear to be growing nicely.

Sunsama vs Motion Pricing Trade Offs

Pricing for me is a key consideration. If I’m using a tool or software every day, I’m generally fine with a monthly charge over $9/month, but if it’s significantly over that I’ll be re-evaluating my usage frequently.

Since both Motion and Sunsama fall into this premium category, my advice here is to set a time frame (30 days, for example) with a calendar reminder to re-assess your usage to see if it’s really useful.

Sunsama Pricing

The more reasonable of the two is definitely Sunsama here.

Sunsama can be had for as low as $16/month, but only on the annual pricing tier. So there’s really only ONE plan with a fixed pricing model, it just depends if you want month-to-month vs annual billing.

I did like the “mandatory” 14-day free trial with Sunsama as it really forces you to get into it (or not) before committing.

Motion Pricing

Motion is more premium and has a more complex (although not overly so) pricing scheme.

Motion, with its advanced AI features, comes at a premium, priced at $19/month for annual billing or $34/month for monthly billing on the INDIVIDUAL tier.

Their new TEAMS tiers starts at $12/month per user on the annual plan and $20/month per user when billed monthly.

Other Alternatives Worth Checking On

I’ve been on a bit of a productivity optimization kick recently, and these are some other options I’ve either tried or strongly considered:

  • Reclaim.aiReclaim focuses more specifically on the Artificial Intelligence side (as the name suggests), but has less of a team orientation compared to Motion. Good if you’d like to leverage AI to manage your calendar, but don’t really need the other Motion features. See my latest review of here as well as how Reclaim compares directly to Motion here.
  • Another Sunsama competitor that actually does have enterprise and business tiers, but the tooling and workflow is more of a personal view.
  • More of a simple personal calendar management optimizer, focused on aesthetic calendar design (great for visual, color-coded scheduling).
  • A fairly new entrant, backed by YCombinator so one to watch, currently personal around time blocking.
  • More of a time management app, with pomodoro timers, productivity tracking, most popular in Asia right now but adoption is growing.
  • Not a NEW app, but they are the original smart to-do list that offers a similar planner optimization approach (already as teams, enterprise support).
  • Notion: Not a direct competitor, but I mentioned Notion because it’s a customizable “lego building block” work operating system that can be useful if you want to integrate your calendar, workflows, and actual work (documents, spreadsheets, etc..) more closely together.

Making the Right Choice: Motion or Sunsama?

The choice between Motion and Sunsama largely depends on your specific needs. For me, it boiled down to these specific use cases:

  • If you’re an individual looking for a centralized system: Sunsama, with its robust third-party integrations and comprehensive task management capabilities, can handle almost every aspect of your digital life.
  • If your workday is meeting-heavy: Motion’s AI-powered scheduling system could prove invaluable. It can efficiently organize tasks around your meetings, ensuring you maintain productivity throughout your workday.
  • If you’re a team leader or work in a team: Both apps have strong features to support team collaboration. Sunsama could be more suitable if your team heavily relies on various external apps. If your team’s work requires careful scheduling and prioritization, Motion’s AI-driven task assignment might be more beneficial.
  • If you’re on a budget: Sunsama’s pricing is slightly more affordable, making it a better choice for individuals or teams who need a comprehensive productivity tool but have a tighter budget.

After testing both tools, it’s clear that both apps have features that the other does not, and both excel in areas where the other falls short.

My take here is that Sunsama is great for meticulous planners who want to architect a great “personal” system, whereas Motion is more focused on busy professionals who need to leverage the AI for a jump start.

For an in-depth review of each tool, you can read our detailed Motion Review and Sunsama Review.

You can also take advantage of their free trials: Motion offers a 7-day free trial while Sunsama offers a 14-day free trial, giving you ample time to explore each tool and determine which one best suits your needs.

My Final Cut: Sunsama vs Motion

The bottom line for me is that both Sunsama and Motion are top-tier productivity tools, each with unique strengths.

Sunsama shines with its expansive integrations, Kanban style format and comprehensive task management, while Motion’s AI-powered scheduling, calendar management and task prioritization set it apart as a fairly unique & easy to get started with system.

PERSONALLY, I ended up sticking with Motion because 1) I needed a quick implementation off of my current de facto workflows and 2) I liked the team features to expand into for our broader organization. If you are are on the fence, I’d start with Motion here.

Leave a Comment