What's Your Sign? Common Traits of the Four Productivity Types
Work + Life Balance

What's Your Sign? Common Traits of the Four Productivity Types


None of us seem to have enough hours in the day to check every box on our to-do lists. To be more productive is something we crave, but like most things in life, there isn't a one size fits all method for getting us there. And maybe that's alright. 

According to a recent article on 99u.com, there are four types of productivity styles, each with corresponding strengths and tools. Depending on your type, you might work best under pressure, in big groups, or completely alone. You might even need regular chats in the breakroom to keep you going. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can help you tap into the most productive version of yourself. {click to tweet} We break them down below, along with some tools and tricks for making the most of yours.


You: Keep track of how much time it takes to complete a task. You set goals. You love goals. You plan your activities days (sometimes weeks) in advance. According to 99u, a Prioritizer defers to logical, fact-based, critical, and realistic thinking. You definitely want this person on your team because she is usually goal-oriented, decisive, and has great problem-solving skills. And she keeps the project on track.

You’re Not: The biggest fan of the unplanned, loose creative brainstorms, or ideas that aren’t backed up by data. 

You Could Use: In an effort to keep the productivity train rolling for the Prioritizer, 99u suggests tools like 42Goals to track your daily goals and log your daily activities, Moosti, a timer tool based on the Pomodoro Technique—and a great to-do list app, of course.

The Arranger is the quintessential girl next door. She cares about your feelings and asks questions to make sure everyone on the team is on the same page.


You: This is the productivity style with which I most identify. The Planner loves organization, planned and detailed thinking. This member of the team is the one to put together milestones for the project to make sure it gets completed on time. She sends out very detailed emails with bullet point lists and leaves nothing to chance.

You’re not: Into the word “spontaneous” or any suggestions that break from “The Plan.”

You Could Use: I have worked in creative project management for two years, and I must say that keeping great notes with deadline details is one of the best ways to stay on task and get done on time. I also use the tried and true Moleskin notebook with a Sharpie. Other 99u suggestions include the custom list tool, Toodledo, or Agendas, which creates interactive agendas and broadcasts them to iPad users. 

The Planner is not into the word “spontaneous” or any suggestions that break from "The Plan." 


You: Are the quintessential girl next door. An Arranger likes being supportive, is expressive, and thinks with her emotions. She cares about your feelings and asks questions to make sure everyone on the team is on the same page. Chances are, your PR or Marketing person is an Arranger—she loves selling through storytelling. 

You’re Not: Very good at hiding your feelings or working in isolation. You need that water cooler chat. 

You Could Use: A time limit on making small talk during work hours. Some other tools: focus@will, a neuroscience-based music service that helps you focus and retain information when working, studying, writing, and reading or stickK: a habit forming tool that focuses on incentives, accountability, and community (and if you are unsuccessful, stickK lets your friends know).


You: If you work in a very high-pressure environment, you probably identify as a Visualizer. This is the girl in your office who juggles multiple projects, feels energized by spontaneity and surprise deadlines, and always brings the best ideas. 

You’re Not: The best with the fine print. There are times when a Visualizer misses details because she is focused on the big picture and making connections. And because she’s incredibly spontaneous, her desk is usually a mess.

You Could Use: Tools that help you focus on creative brainstorms without distractions. Try iThoughts HD, A digital mind-mapping tool, or ZenPen, a tool that creates a minimalist writing zone where you can block out all distractions.

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Which style (or styles) are you? Let us know in the comments below. For more details and tools, read the article on 99U.