Reclaim.Ai — Achieving EffectiveTime Blocking with AI
An Honest Review on Reclaim.ai
In life I know a few things to be certain for myself; I constantly feel like I have no time. My days feel so focused on getting work done, achieving work goals and then resting from work I don’t get (at least don’t feel like) I get time to do things I love. I want to draw more, craft more, code more, develop games more. I’m always trying out new ways to be a bit more productive, efficient and restful with my time.
I feel like I’m being constantly pulled between wanting to be productive, wanting to pursue passions and wanting to make as much money as possible so I can do what I love. I don’t dream of a life of labour but a life of fulfilment and accomplishments on my own terms.
Which is why whenever a new application comes out with a promise to help manage my time better I jump at the opportunity to test it out.
So for the past week, I’ve been testing out Reclaim.AI. Below I’m going to talk about how it helped me, what I think are some drawbacks to Reclaim.ai and give a final verdict on this application.
Reclaim.ai is essentially a smart assistant. It links to your Google calendar and will schedule your life out in neat blocks. All you need to do is input is your usual schedule on Google calendar, add in any tasks (also linked to Google Tasks), any habits you want to pursue and the frequency of those habits. It combines habit tracking. scheduling, time blocking, to-do lists and even integrates into slack.
What Works Well
I came into using Reclaim with a few goals in mind. Finding time to complete some personal coding work, drawing, exercise, leaving time for deep work and managing my work schedule around these goals.
What I found was Reclaim is very intuitive, as long as you give it the correct information. As with any project I tend to start with an over-scoped vision of my week. Thankfully, as day 3 approached and I was wondering how I had done this to myself, Reclaim has some useful habits you can just automatically add to make life a little simpler. Such as lunchtimes, meditation and you can even allocate office/working hours for yourself.
One feature I appreciate is enabling decompression time. After meetings, the calendar adds in a little time for you to decompress before attending the next meeting. On busy days this is a godsend to just have time scheduled in to grab some food, coffee or just sit and rest.
What I found most useful about Reclaim.ai was the creation of Tasks and Habits. When I needed to create new tasks I can estimate the amount of time it will take, allocate it into increments and also apply a due date to it.
For my use case, I have some assessment marking I need to complete. I was able to schedule it in increments of between 1–2 hours over 2 weeks between a 9 to 5 schedule.
The Problems (and features for the future?)
While some parts of the world are in lockdown, I am not. My time is now divided into working from home and f2f work. While there is a feature to account for travel time, it doesn’t detect which tasks require travel time very well and I can’t select the tasks that do require travel time. Having the ability to select tasks and tick that they require travel time would help immensely in my time blocking.
Another feature I would like to see in the future is the ability to label different forms of work beyond solo work and teamwork. I teach, I write, I research, I attend meetings, I have a second job etc. Being able to diversify this would be helpful in the future.
Another aspect that needs more work is the ability to move tasks in the calendar of reclaim. I can in Google Calendar but then there are some syncing issues/ waiting for it to sync issues which then adds time to my schedule, not simplify it. On the subject of syncing, I need other mail clients desperately. I have about a whole host of emails coming in from Outlook and having a central hub would make it easier to deal with.
Overall, I really love it! I feel after this week of experimentation I’m going to take some time to really fix some of my own personal issues when it comes to time blocking(expecting too much of myself, not allocating breaks etc). I think in the future this is going to be incredibly helpful towards my productivity. In particular when it comes to my self motivated work like studying, writing, drawing etc. While there are some features I would like to see in the future, I’m more than happy to ride out an application in its early conception.
Start using Reclaim.ai for free at this link: https://reclaim.ai/r/s/2aHh7