- Most productivity apps are free to download and use. Some offer monthly, yearly, or lifetime subscription services.
- When looking for productivity apps, most people look for flexibility, analytics, and a pleasing and easy-to-use interface.
- Productivity apps can help you set and achieve goals, track and analyze your progress, and collaborate with others.
Productivity apps will help you get stuff done. From organizing a busy day to keeping a small or large business on track, apps that help manage tasks, calendars, time, and habits are excellent ways to be productive. But which apps are actually worth using? This article aims to explore just that. We’ll look at the seven best productivity apps, breaking down the best and differentiating features of each. Are you ready to get motivated and organized? Great, let’s begin.
Google Drive is one of the best all-inclusive productivity apps available today. The cloud-based tool is a collaborative powerhouse because it allows you to create, share, store, and collaborate on documents, sheets, presentations, PDFs, photos, and videos.
Google Drive is encrypted and secure, and scans any shared files for threats. If any malware or viruses are detected, Google will remove them. In addition, Drive integrates well with Microsoft Office and PDFs, making it the ultimate office tool.
While Drive is free, you can opt for a paid option and get more storage.
Trello uses cards to sort tasks and workflows, working like a Kanban or pin board. You can separate your goals by lists, giving you insight into several avenues. For example, you can view tasks that you need to get done, tasks that are in progress, and tasks that you’ve completed. These sections make tracking your or your team’s progress easier, more visible, and more collaborative.
You can automate workflows and tasks and organize them by view: timeline, table, calendar, workspace, dashboard, and more.
Wrike is a “transparency for everyone” type of CRM. The app implements Gantt charts, Kanban boards, automation, and over 400 apps to create one of the best collaboration tools for business or personal use.
Wrike also has a great selection of templates for meeting notes and action plans, but the customization abilities help it stand out from others on and off this list. Customizable item types allow you or your team to ditch conventional terms and icons and use what makes sense for your needs and goals. Overall, Wrike can help any agile team achieve its efficiency goals with automation and no-code workflows.
Wrike offers a free plan, or you can opt for paid plans ranging from team to pinnacle.
Basecamp’s motto revolves around the idea that less is better, which works well for collaborating in a-sync or remote environments. For example, if you or your company believes in simplifying things while maintaining a collaborative feel, you can use Basecamp’s message boards to eliminate unnecessary emails. Basecamp is perfect for freelancers, start-ups, and small teams due to its Campfire messaging app. Campfire is a lot like Slack but does away with the hashtag channels, so you can focus on communicating based on teams.
Basecamp offers a free trial for 30 days. After that, you can opt for a pro plan that is cheaper than the total cost of Slack, Google Workspace, and Asana.
Are you a habitual note-taker? If so, then Evernote is the productivity app you’re looking for. With this easy-to-use tool, you can create and assign tasks and send reminders. Further, everything in Evernote is cloud-based, so you’ll see things syncing in real time. Evernote also allows you to scan documents and stay paper-free to stay eco-friendly. In addition, if you’re a frequent collector of recipes, the app will enable you to “clip the web.” Clipping saves things like recipes without the ads, so you can get cooking without needing to scroll for five minutes to get to the ingredients.
Finally, Evernote integrates well with Google Calendar, which makes it easy to stay on top of deadlines.
Evernote offers a free version, as well as personal and professional options.
Microsoft To Do
Similar to Evernote, Microsoft To Do is an app that does what it sounds like — makes short work of a long list of priorities. The app is a great way to stay ahead of your to-do list. The app works with Android, Windows, and Apple devices so anyone can use it. You can share your lists with others and even break down tasks by sub-tasks, making it easier to say on top of things. To Do is one of the simplest, most straightforward productivity apps out there and is perfect for anyone who wants a digital to-do list.
Microsoft To Do offers monthly or yearly personal and business plans.
While Grammarly isn’t a proper productivity app, it will undoubtedly help you get things done while looking professional. You can use Grammarly as a standalone app, for creating text, and to check spelling, grammar, and plagiarism. You can download Grammarly to your computer or mobile device as a text checker and editor in text boxes, emails, and anywhere you’re typing. It’s a useful productivity tool that helps maintain professionalism and correctness on all communication channels.
Grammarly offers a robust free version, or you can pay to go pro and get more options.
Essential Features to Look For in a Productivity App
While looking for a productivity app to buy or download, there are a few features that most people will take into consideration. These features are:
- User Interface
Easy to Use Interface
Learning the ins and outs of a new productivity app can be stressful. And while the first time may be a confusing experience, with little to no time, it should get easier. Nothing is more frustrating than navigating a clunky, poorly designed productivity app. That’s why it’s essential to look for a user-friendly app. User-friendly means that the overall look and feel is clear and manageable, and not loaded down with too many features. An easy-to-use interface appears clean and not overloaded with buttons and other calls to action or CTAs. To find a productivity app that will be easy to use, check out the app’s website, and download a free demo if possible. A free demo should help you determine if the app will be easy to learn or only introduce more pain points into your pipeline.
A good productivity app is flexible in that it’s easy to adapt the app to your ever-changing needs. Not only do you need a productivity app that offers workflows for varying roles (production, engineering, design, and more), but you need an app that can adapt to changes in those teams’ processes.
It’s also helpful to consider productivity apps that offer templates so that each team can have customized workflows and visibility into those workflows.
While these flexibility examples are mainly based around professional teams and their use, flexibility is key whether you are looking for a productivity app for personal or professional use. Flexibility for personal use is similar because you want apps that adjust to your schedule and workflows. Whether making a to-do list or writing a dissertation, you will probably need to change everything, from your timeline to process.
Measuring your efficiency and progress with productivity apps is a great way to stay on top of your work and life. That’s why analytics is an important part of most apps on this list. It’s invaluable to get insights into how well you or your team are performing. Some types of analytics to look for include engagement, earnings, production, and capacity.
Finally, one of the most important features to look for in productivity apps is if or how they allow integrations with other apps. If teams use several different apps to get things done, it increases the chance of sabotaging production yields. For example, if you use an app meant solely as a to-do list, you may need another app to manage actual workflows and communicate with others. However, if all you really want to do is take notes, some apps on this list can help you do just that.
Using Productivity Apps
Productivity apps can help teams get organized and stay focused. They can also help with team collaboration and transparency in workflows. Also, productivity apps can help busy people stay motivated and on track with easy-to-use features. If you’re ready to get and stay focused, try one of the productivity apps we mention here to help you get started.
|Google Drive||Cloud-based tool for creating, sharing, storing, and collaborating on documents, sheets, presentations, PDFs, photos, and videos.|
|Trello||Task and workflow management using cards, lists, and various views for organization and collaboration.|
|Wrike||CRM with Gantt charts, Kanban boards, automation, and over 400 apps for collaboration and customization.|
|Basecamp||Project management and team collaboration with message boards, Campfire messaging app, and a focus on simplicity.|
|Evernote||Note-taking app with task creation, reminders, document scanning, and integration with Google Calendar.|
|Microsoft To Do||Task management app with list sharing, sub-tasks, and compatibility with Android, Windows, and Apple devices.|
|Grammarly||Text checker and editor for spelling, grammar, and plagiarism, useful for maintaining professionalism in communication.|
The image featured at the top of this post is ©FGC/Shutterstock.com.