YNAB should be more helpful with planning
YNAB is great at stopping you spending money you don't have, it's also great at teaching you to priortise spending on what's most important in the moment. What it is not good at is assisting you to plan ahead (unless you have bundles of cash and it's not a worry).
I say this because this month is our 5th month of YNAB. We've paid off debt and now it's time to spend some money on things we've been holding off. Problem is, for me to figure out what those things could be, I had to create a spreadsheet. This spreadsheet estimated income and removed the known expenses. This then allows me to set targets in YNAB against the variable categories (grocery, eating out) which then allows me to allocate more towards what we want to do (to me, this is budgeting).
Why can't YNAB help me create a view of this?
I understand that YNAB's ethos is preventing you from spending money you don't have but the flip side is that a lack of planning means you can find it harder to achieve goals that require a bit of forward thinking. I have found also that as you get paid you end up topping up categories just to stay on 'today's' budget and not the longer term view.
Illustrated in the image, it would be good to see the introduction of the planned column. This would still fundamentally work with the allocated, activity and available columns to prevent you from spending what you don't have - but it would at least give a view of what limits you should strive for to achieve what you get out of bed for in the morning.
Are you a month ahead? Are you budgeting in one month chunks, only using last month's money?
Until I was in that state, I used a spreadsheet, too.
Actually, I still use a spreadsheet for playing with things sometimes because it's easier.
Anyways, being in that state, or "being Buffered" used to be YNAB's rule #1, which makes the planning a lot easier.
Aside from all the monthly buffer stuff, how about just doing a general savings goal for each category? That would be equivalent to your "Planned" column. You might save it all, you might not, you might spend too much or just enough. Either way, there's a visible reminder that you'd like to save more in there if possible but still be able to spend.