We are an overloaded and working generation. Statistics indicate that every year we are spending more and more time working.
Multitasking, a variety of different skills and knowledge are required to keep up with a rocket-fast world we are living in. Most of the day we have to be at the peak of our performance. Time is the great leveler. Therefore, organization skills and time management play a major role in everybody’s life.
Of course, there are many different ways to improve your organization skills, and it is recommendable to use as many of them as you can, but today we are talking about subordinating new technologies with old school techniques to best suit your needs and keep you well organized throughout the day.
On this list, you will find 33 best productivity apps and tools of all kind, including Android and iOS applications, windows applications and desktop software even old techniques like ‘Pomodoro’.
33 best productivity apps and tools
Offline Access: $5 per month or $45 per year.
Evernote is an amazing note-taking app. It is available for Android and iOS. Basically, it’s an interface where you can organize your notes and paperwork. You can type in to-do lists, even insert that nice checkbox, scan in whole documents, insert pictures and videos into your notes and then automatically sync up those notes between your smartphone and your computer, storing everything online. The interface is really user-friendly and looks amazing. If you want to increase your productivity this app is a good choice.
• Slack Lite –Free
• A Standard Slack account costs $8.00 per user per month (or $6.67, if paid annually)
It is 2016 and we are still using mails. Well, things are about to change, thanks to Slack. Slack has to become the main communication tool amongst business people, students, and even normal everyday mobile users. There are a few unusual features that make Slack perfectly suited for work. Some of them are automatic archiving of all your interactions, a good search engine and the ability to work on just about every device you use.
Boxer is one of the most feature-rich iOS email apps. It supports all major email providers including Microsoft Exchange (ActiveSync), Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud, AOL, Outlook.com/Hotmail, and IMAP.
The reason we chose Boxer before many other email apps is because of Cloud File Integration, or the ability to attach a photo or add a file from Google Disk or Dropbox when writing a message. There are also many different useful features like swipe actions to archive, delete, or mark emails; assignable profile photos for people who send you emails. You can also “like” messages, which will notify the sender you received it.
• Free Basic account for tracking time for up to 5 users
• $10/month per user Pro account for unlimited team size, billable rates, time estimates, and advanced reporting
Toggl is a simple time tracker tool – just click the Toggl button and your timer begins! It’s a super simple, super easy way to track the time it takes to complete various tasks. Toggl also lets you look at reports and see how much time you spent on different projects throughout the week.
5. IFTTT (“if this, then that.”)
IFTTT is a must-own iOS productivity app. Its main idea is to let you connect a wide variety of Internet-connected apps, services, and devices, even if you don’t know how to code. On the IFTTT website and mobile app, you can learn how to build commands (recipes) using icons and a few simple fields.
Now you can post a new photo to Facebook, and automatically save it into Dropbox. Receive an email from a new contact, and see that person’s information appear in a spreadsheet.
6. HOOTSUITE (For Social Media Masterminds)
Price: It runs $14.99 per month with the basic needs met, although any extras will add up quickly.
HootSuite is tremendously helpful when managing various social media accounts. Monitor all your social activity across networks in one easy-to-use dashboard which lets you schedule posts, delegate social assignments to team members, organize Twitter lists and followers, measure performance, and more.
7. GOOGLE DRIVE
Everybody knows about Google Drive. It is as popular amongst iPhone users as it is among Android users. Drive presents much more than just a cloud-based storage and syncing service. You can also use Drive to create, edit, store, and collaborate on documents. It is also suitable if you are working in a team since sharing files were never easier.
It is by far the best cloud offering you will find, and it is free of charge unless you need to store more than 15GB of files.
Price: $3.75 per user per month
Trello is a simple and handy way to stay organized. It looks a lot like a Pinterest board, but instead of being totally photo-centric, Trello lets you add lists, labels, and tasks that you can drag, drop, and play with at your leisure. While it’s nothing revolutionary, it could be just the thing for visual organizers and serves as a nice alternative to covering your monitor in post-it notes.
9. LAST PASS
Price: $12 per year
LAST PASS is an online password manager and Top Ten Reviews Silver Award winner (http://online-password-manager-review.toptenreviews.com/lastpass-review.html#sthash.Hx5YrXTX.dpuf )
LastPass captures your username and password when you log in to secure sites and replays those credentials when you revisit a site. It also captures login data when you sign up for a new account. A must have an app for all of you who have to manage a lot of accounts on your iPhone.
Premium subscription service that costs $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.
Easily do is an award-winning assistant that organizes your work and personal life. With this app you can: merge duplicate contacts, check traffic so you know when to leave for a meeting, identify email you may have forgotten to respond to, get a reminder for meetings committed to in email that is not on your calendar, add flights to calendar & notify you of delays or cancellations. No, it is not a joke, this app will turn your iPhone into productivity guru and you into an organized user and in the same time can also manage your email accounts and calendars from Gmail, Yahoo, Exchange and IMAP accounts, and other services like LinkedIn, Evernote, and Facebook. It supports virtually all airlines, hotels, restaurants, shipment providers, & rental car companies.
„Recommended on NBC’s Today Show by Randi Zuckerberg, The Katie Couric Show, and featured by Apple on the iTunes home page!“
Freedcamp is great for project planning, organization, and action. Share project to-dos, project files, and join in discussions with team members and all this for free.
If there are advanced features like CRM and invoices you want to integrate, you can pay per add-ons so that you’re only paying for what you really need.
Named as one of the best of 2014 by both Apple and Google Play.
Wunderlist has a long list of features, including public and collaborative lists and real-time sync. It is one of the best to-do list apps out there.
13. THRIVE DAY PLANNER
Price: 22.50 $
Thrive Day Planner is specifically designed for busy entrepreneurs who need help mapping out a business strategy, setting growth goals and organizing business operations. The Thrive Day Planner has the design and feel of a traditional organizer, but it’s a digital tool that can be accessed from your computer, tablet or phone. And the daily inspirational quotes from fellow entrepreneurs are a nice touch for those, particularly hard days.
14. 1-3-5 LIST
1-3-5 encourages you to “Get things done by setting these few, simple goals for the day.” Choose one big task, three medium tasks, and five small tasks, simply check them off when complete and add new tasks the next day. By limiting you to a finite and accomplishable list, this system can help you feel in control of setting realistic goals and meeting them.
15. POMODORO TECHNIQUE
Pomodoro is based on the idea that we’re more productive when we work with our available time, instead of struggling against it. The system allows for short, scheduled breaks to limit overwhelm and burnout; by combining a long uninterrupted stretch of work with a short, timed break, Pomodoro helps with both productivity and balance.
16. STRICT WORKFLOW
Strict Workflow is the best one that’s loosely based on the Pomodoro Technique. It can also block distracting websites while you’re in a work phase. If you like to experiment with new methods of working more productively, snag this app for help.
STAYFOCUSED keeps you productive by blocking distracting websites either for a time that you set (say, 9 to 5, Monday through Friday) or after a certain time limit (no more than 30 minutes of Facebook per day). It’s an extremely simple and free browser plugin that you can get around by using another browser but still nudges you in the right direction to be the productive person you want to be.
Price: Free 30-day trial, paid plans start at 9.95$ per month
Freshbooks is the perfect accounting tool for non-accountants. Creating invoices can be a huge hassle if you lack experience in bookkeeping – luckily, Freshbooks has stripped invoicing down to its core components, in a simple UI that’s guaranteed to save you hours upon hours on accounting work.
If you hold a lot of meetings or are the assistant for someone who does, Do.com will guide you toward better meeting practices while also providing a central place for archives, follow-ups, and more.
Price: Free; $2 per user per month for Plus
$2.00 at Atlassian
HipChat by Atlassian is an online, real-time, team communication and collaboration platform. If your team is searching for a replacement to email, HipChat should be at the top of your list. With excellent features, including screen-sharing and video calls, all for a very low price.
21. LIBRE OFFICE
LibreOffice is the leading free desktop-style alternative to Microsoft Office. If you don’t want to pay for Office, LibreOffice lets you get your work done without it. The suite comprises a word-processor called Writer, a spreadsheet called Calc, a presentation app named Impress, a drawing app (Draw), a math formula formatter and solver (Math), and a database app (Base) that creates flat-file databases and can manage or access almost any existing standard flat-file or relational database format.
22. NAME CHANGER
Price: Free; $10 donation suggested
NameChanger is a free Mac app that lets you quickly rename batches of photos. Its functionality may be duplicated by apps like Photoshop, but if you want a free, no-brainer, functional photo renaming app, this is a solid choice. It could save you hours the next time you organize your digital photos.
Price: From $59.04 per year
Why think about a presentation linearly with slides, when you can create a huge whiteboard of material and move a camera around to highlight different parts? Making presentations with Prezi is more like creating a short film. Prezi is dynamic, and your presentations will be, too.
Sometimes you don’t need Photoshop, but you do need an app that can help you take screenshots or record videos, mark them up or add effects quickly, and share them with others. SnagIt! gets those kinds of jobs done fast and on the cheap. For a mere $50, you can have speed on your side with SnagIt!, available for Mac and Windows.
25. X1 SEARCH
Price: $49.95, plus $19.95 yearly for optional premium support
X1 Search is an ideal tool for finding what you need on your computer, from files to emails, with minimal effort and no wasted time.
Zapier is an excellent online service that lets you create automated actions connecting disparate business apps and services, all without requiring any coding.
Price: Free; paid accounts from $20 per year
Zotero is a research and citation assistant, available as a desktop app and browser plugin. It helps you effortlessly gather, organize, analyze, and cite sources, and then share the results of your research.
Insomnia prevents Windows from going to sleep. This is helpful when you are in the middle of downloading a large file or burning a DVD and you can’t afford your computer to prematurely end the task by going to sleep.
If you always need to literally be looking over someone’s shoulder, use Join Me as a way to see another person’s screen instantly. There is no complicated sign in; just type their special URL and the screen appears. This way, everyone will literally be on the same page.
30. PAPER 3.0
Paper lets you draw on photos, create diagrams, charts, and drawings, and create checklists and other notes with ease. It’s as close as we’ve seen to technology mirroring “pen and paper” behavior.
It is very hard to find time to read every book you want from cover to cover. And that is where BLIKIST steps in. Blinkist is like CliffsNotes for over 1,000+ best-selling nonfiction books, allowing you to “read” each one in just 15 minutes.
Dropbox is a cloud service that lets you access your photos, docs, audio, and video from anywhere and share them with others easily.
When I say everywhere, I mean everywhere: mobile device, desktop, laptop or someone else’s computer through the Dropbox website. The service is similar to Google Drive which is number 7 on our list.
33. CALENDAR (any type you like)
A calendar is used for the “hard landscape” of our lives. Use it to set due dates and reminders for things that are date sensitive. You calendar can either be analog or digital, but having a digital calendar is nice because of the ability to search, move things around easily, as well as send invites.
The secret to being productive is to manage yourself well. Just having the tools is not enough, you also need self-discipline, an organized approach to your tasks, the ability to use your resources well and knowing when to let go.
Have you been using a great app or tool we failed to mention? We’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment and tell us about your favorite productivity application or tool.