We’ve all been there. You sit down at your desk and swear you’ll be productive, but earlier than you recognize it, the day is gone and you’ve wasted no less than half of it checking online news and your social media feed. There are nice methods to stop that sinking feeling, though, and we’ll undergo them in our choice of the most effective productivity apps. Most of them are free, too.
Caffeine, telephone notifications, web rabbit holes, muddle and delayed meetings are a part of the limitless pool of little, time-hogging distractions, not to point out the time you’re taking to get your focus back. All these can get you into a time sink, however when you determine the diversions, you possibly can work around, control and keep away from them for good.
With productivity apps, you possibly can kill these pesky forces that eat into your most efficient hours and understand small wins with each working hour.
From note-taking apps to timers and to-do lists, we’ve rounded up our favourite apps to maintain you productive.
What Are Productivity Apps?
Most jobs have a couple of tasks in widespread, comparable to planning, scheduling and holding notes. Productivity is about getting extra completed, which is why productivity apps exist. They arrange your tasks and assist you get stuff carried out in less time.
Productivity apps are the extras you employ alongside your core, task-specific tools, so you’ll be able to plan your tasks, save notes for quick access, handle your time higher and work paperless. The most effective productiveness apps work across platforms, akin to desktop, net and cellular units, so you possibly can degree up your efficiency whether you’re employed on-site or remotely.
We rounded up the most effective productiveness apps that may assist you to with undertaking planning and collaboration, time administration, taking notes and creating to-do lists.
Venture Administration and Collaboration
Productivity apps rework how teams in the office get issues accomplished together.
Venture management and collaboration apps help teams monitor their work whereas giving them visibility into the shifting elements of the challenge. That means, there’s less want for meetings, and staff know who’s accountable for which activity, the timelines, and whether the work has been accomplished.
When you’re accustomed to the kanban card-based system, you’ll find Trello straightforward to make use of for your every day tasks and venture management. Take a look at our guide on how you can use a kanban board if you want to know extra about this strategy.
Its simple interface, made up of columns and playing cards, makes it a perfect software to get started with primary challenge administration for people and small groups.
In comparison with traditional tools for resource management and monitoring progress towards specific finish dates, Trello is more versatile and freeform. You need to use it to manage ongoing workflows and individual tasks with its easy-to-understand boards and cards.
Each card, which usually represents a process on a to-do record, has options to add file attachments, photographs, hyperlinks, due dates and many more. When you’re achieved with a card or the board, you’ll be able to cover it from every day view while nonetheless with the ability to entry it everytime you want it.
Trello gives a beneficiant free tier, which includes unlimited boards, customers and cards however restricts you to 10MB file measurement, 10 staff boards and one “power-up” or integration per board. It has desktop apps for Windows and macOS, but you need to use it on the go together with the Android and iOS apps.
We like Trello quite a bit, as you possibly can read in our full Trello evaluation. It’s good at what it does regardless of being primary.
You’ll be able to take a look at Trello for free. Enroll for it or learn our Trello newbie’s information for recommendations on the way to get began.
For groups, Trello’s pricing ramps up shortly. The Business Class plan is $9.99 per consumer per 30 days, with a file measurement limit of 250MB and unlimited workforce boards. The Enterprise plan starts at $20.83 per consumer per 30 days for a minimum of 20 customers. It provides a 250MB file measurement restrict, unlimited boards and advanced safety tools and customizations.
Trello is the best choice should you want a easy, free kanban board for your staff, but if you need one thing with more superior options, explore our challenge management software critiques.
Asana is a user-friendly app that combines file storage, collaboration and undertaking administration parts in one platform, so you’ll be able to handle your duties across a group. It was among the first workplace instruments to make a splash, serving to groups monitor tasks and ongoing work while fostering collaboration and communication.
It’s a strong, easy-to-use device with a simple interface that works with tasks that aren’t too complicated, which is an enormous promoting level for individuals simply beginning with challenge management software.
The primary view is an inventory of duties to which you’ll be able to add subtasks to break them down further. You’ll be able to monitor what each group member is doing, create to-do lists for ongoing work, send requests to colleagues and set reminders for upcoming deadlines. It also allows for commenting on posts within the app.
As you’ll learn in our Asana assessment, you possibly can manage your tasks in a board or listing format, and if it is advisable to discover past tasks shortly, the search perform might help with that.
In contrast to Trello, which has file measurement restrictions, Asana provides you unlimited space for storing for your file attachments, so it’s additionally an efficient solution to stay super-organized and managing tasks. You possibly can read how the 2 examine in our Trello vs. Asana comparison.
A nifty function is the celebrations, which could be a unicorn, colorful face pop-up or narwhal, that cross your display as a reward you every time a process is completed. That goes a great distance in serving to you stay productive at work. Read our Asana newbie’s guide for those who’d wish to discover ways to use the software.
In case you’re considering Asana, you can begin with its usable free tier, which is right as a fast duties record or managing private tasks but has a staff limit of 15 customers.
Nevertheless, in the event you need more options, you possibly can upgrade to Asana’s paid plans. They start at $9.99 per consumer per 30 days for the Premium plan, move up to $19.99 per consumer per 30 days for the Business plan and change to customized pricing for the Enterprise package deal, which presents priority help and additional security.
Trello and Asana are strong challenge administration instruments, but there are several different nice options that you would be able to take a look at in our greatest venture administration software article. If Trello’s strategy is just too restricted for you, learn our Wrike evaluation or Monday.com assessment. Their uncluttered interfaces and commonplace undertaking administration options make work simple and simpler to do.
It’s straightforward to type dangerous habits, they usually’re arduous to interrupt from as soon as they’re ingrained. Slightly outdoors help can typically get you back on monitor and spending your time better. Time administration apps enable you to arrange and benefit from your time.
Timewarp mechanically teleports you to a productive website each time you go to websites that distract you, akin to social media or on-line news websites.
It’s a easy but efficient app that always reminds you to cease procrastinating by establishing “wormholes,” which redirect your requests to go to distracting web sites to productive ones.
Should you get stuck on Instagram taking a look at family photographs or feedback on your latest selfie uploads, Timewarp will remind you the place you have been earlier than you bought distracted, and return you to a extra productive website, corresponding to your calendar or online to-do listing.
You’ll be able to set up a wormhole for unproductive websites, so everytime you enter a hyperlink to at least one, you’ll as an alternative be led to a productive web site. That means, you gained’t waste time.
The Google Chrome extension also can display the time you spend on each website every single day, and you may let it present you motivational quotes that will help you keep driven to work extra and procrastinate less.
As soon as you install Timewarp, contemplate which websites you waste time on and what you would be doing together with your time as an alternative. Then, set up applicable rules for the place such links should redirect to.
Although the software is free, it has a couple of downsides, resembling limited options. Plus, there’s no timer to dam specific web site domains for outlined durations of time. It also doesn’t allow you to enter webpage URLs and only works with the Chrome net browser.
Productivity Owl is an extension that works like Timewarp, except it could actually’t redirect you back to productive websites. As an alternative, it blocks access to websites you add to your blacklist, preventing you from taking a look at them throughout your working hours.
The owl follows you to every page you go to, simply so you’re not tempted to go away your tasks undone. Whenever you enter an internet site on the “naughty” record, the owl swoops across the page and closes your tabs to save lots of you from time sinks.
That means, you possibly can permit work-related websites and block recognized time-wasting websites. If you wish to put aside recreation hours, you’ll be able to schedule them and the owl gained’t hassle you during that point.
The wrath of the judgmental owl will enable you to give attention to what you’ll want to get completed and also you’ll begin to keep away from distracting websites over time.
Different notable time management instruments value a mention embrace StayFocusd and Toggl, which are additionally Chrome extensions. StayFocusd is right for private use, while Toggl is an effective choice for teams. You could not want all of Toggl’s options, nevertheless it’ll show you ways properly you’re hitting your timeline objectives.
Inspiration and ideas can strike anyplace, which is why you need a note-taking app to tie every thing collectively. Whether it’s a lengthy essay, a quick reminder or a to-do listing, note-taking apps offer you a workspace to add something that may assist together with your tasks.
Evernote is a useful note-taking app that makes it straightforward for you to create notes and manage them into notebooks.
Its features embrace a lot of the text formatting instruments in a phrase processor and customary fonts, in addition to the skills to insert media, connect information and even report voice notes. You may as well label your notes and use customized tags to type them for later use. Notes might be tied together with crosslinks, too, identical to you’d with a private website.
Evernote manages encryption, nevertheless it’s supported by Saferoom, a third-party add-on that permits you to privately encrypt your notebooks with a password recognized solely to you. You’ll be able to read more about that in our detailed Evernote assessment.
Although it has an excellent desktop app, Evernote is extra helpful for tablet and phablet users. Most customers choose its free model, but you’ll be able to improve to both of its two paid plans. Evernote Premium presents 10GB per 30 days for $7.99, and Evernote Business costs $14.99 per consumer per thirty days and offers 200GB plus 2GB per consumer.
Microsoft OneNote doesn’t have a few of Evernote’s useful options, nevertheless it still ranks among the greatest note-taking apps available on the market. Read our OneNote assessment to seek out out why.
OneNote lets you create notes flexibly and accurately because it mimics an actual sheet of paper in a pocket book. You’ll be able to recreate words and diagrams, report video notes, seize classroom lectures for those who’re a college students who’d slightly pay attention than sort and place text wherever you want in a notice.
An internet clipper that allows you to save pages to OneNote and add call-outs or annotations to remind you why you clipped analysis pages is obtainable as a browser extension. It additionally provides students and academics a free Workplace 365 subscription with a legitimate faculty e mail tackle, plus 1TB of cloud storage.
In contrast to Evernote, which provides limitless storage throughout its plans, OneNote only gives 5GB storage with its free version, so your media information and paperwork share that area. That stated, you’ll be able to pony as much as get 1TB for just $6.99 per 30 days and get Office 365 free. Read our OneDrive evaluate for a more complete take a look at the most effective cloud storage options it has to supply.
Other tools you should use for note-taking embrace Google Maintain, which isn’t as powerful as Evernote or OneNote. It doesn’t have useful tools similar to notebooks, text formatting features, a desktop shopper or the power to add file attachments.
That stated, it’s good for holding reminders, voice memos and recording sudden flashes of inspiration on the fly. For extra choices, read our evaluate of the perfect note-taking apps.
Many individuals use a pen and paper to draw their to-do lists, however there are several to-do listing apps that can assist with monitoring tasks. We picked one of the best to-do listing apps, so that you don’t should wrestle discovering the best one for the job.
Todoist is a cloud-based, cross-platform to-do listing app that balances power with simplicity.
It works for personal use to handle simple everyday tasks or for a workforce’s ongoing work. We just like the color-coded spaces it supplies for you to manage private or work to-dos.
Though it isn’t the only to use or strongest app out there, you possibly can run it on any platform, which is its strongest promoting level and doubtless why it has more than 10 million users.
You possibly can shortly add duties in your “inbox” and transfer them to associated tasks, set due dates and get alerts when every activity will get executed. All these options can be found for free, but if you want to add custom filters and labels or attachments, it’s a must to subscribe to its paid plan.
Todoist Premium costs $3 per thirty days and supplies labels, reminders, filters, the skills to upload information and comment on duties, automated backups, calendar sync, productiveness development reviews and more. Todoist Business prices $6 per individual per thirty days, however it comes with a free 30-day trial and provides workforce inbox and admin and member roles to Premium’s features.
When you overlook to make use of to-do apps, Any.do will assist with that.
It makes it straightforward and quick so as to add duties and arrange them into lists with due dates. Its “plan my day” function will drive you to schedule whenever you’ll end every process so you’ll be able to keep in mind to get issues carried out. You’ll be able to write down duties, assembly agendas, reminders, and even notes whether or not you’re offline or online.
Any.do integrates with Google and Outlook calendars, so you’ll be able to view your duties and appointments in one place and get quick access to your record from any cellular system or the online.
The browser extension will enable you to improve your day by day enter and output. You should use it for free or pay for $2.99 per 30 days for the premium version to get extra options, resembling colour coding, recurring duties and location-based reminders.
Todoist and Any.do aren’t the only to-do record tools you need to use. There’s an countless record of succesful to-do listing apps around, like Wunderlist, which is user-friendly and cross-platform. Its free version provides you access to all options. It also helps maintain you organized and collaborate with others when you’re working with a group.
Productivity is a broad area with a terrific choice of apps that can get you targeted on the tasks at hand and make a difference to your private life or in your group. Our record of productiveness apps focuses on dedicated instruments you need to use to get began, however plenty of different software can deal with the tasks above.
Password managers, which encrypt and retailer your passwords so you possibly can reference each web site you enroll for shortly, are also great apps for saving time and enhancing productiveness. In case you want one, take a look at our record of the perfect password managers.
There aren’t any really dangerous tools on this area, and like Trello, Todoist and Evernote, most present cellular apps that work properly on Android and iOS. Regardless of which app you go together with based mostly on the areas you’d like to improve on, you’ll discover one thing that works for you. Plus, all the instruments here come with a free version or free trial, so you’ll be able to simply enroll for and check any of them.
Drop us a remark in the part under and tell us in the event you’ve tried any of our picks or which apps maintain you the most efficient. Thanks for studying.