In this very competitive and busy world, just hard working doesn’t always bring a fruitful result for us. Fact is we need to work smarter, not just harder. And ultimately be more and more productive for staying top on every task. Productivity is a measure of efficiency or simply how efficiently you can complete your task. It’s actually getting desired results with less time and effort.
Today, every successful person, institute or company is obsessed with productivity. The exciting technologies of present time always try to give very easy and effective solutions to almost all of our problems, small to big ones. As a result, there’s an excellent range of productivity apps available for making our day-to-day tasks easier and more effective. These apps can help you to complete your professional and personal tasks in a lot more efficient way. You can have many of these apps for free or go for the premium ones to get more featured functions.
Here are 12 popular and widely-used productivity apps that can immensely boost your productivity:
Todoist (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Chrome, Safari, Firefox)
- To-Do lists
- Task Management
Free, Premium: $3/Month
Todoist is one of the top-ranked productivity apps that helps millions of people organize work and life. It keeps track of all the tasks, projects, and goals of the user in one simple place. It also syncs across devices and integrates with necessary apps. The free version allows collaboration with five people per project and managing 80 projects at a time. Upgrading to premium provides options like reminders, labels, filters, templates, activity log, add tasks via email, comments & file uploads, calendar feeds, themes and automatic backups.
Evernote (iOS, Android, Windows, Mac)
- Organizer & Planner App
Free, Premium: $7.99/Month, Business: $14.99/User/Month
When it comes to organizing thoughts and ideas, Evernote will probably be at the top. Evernote is one of most widely used note taking app with a variety of features. Users can take & store text, audio, drawings, pictures, PDFs, web contents and other attachments as notes. It also gives reminders, email alerts, multi-device syncing and sharing options. The premium version has powerful organizer and planner functionalities. Its business plan allows collaboration and team projects.
Any.do (Web, Android, iOS)
- Task Management
- To-Do lists, Calendar, Reminders, Daily Planner
Free, Premium: $5.99/Month
Any.do is a great option for organizing our busy life. This is the all in one app featuring calendar, lists, planner, reminders, virtual assistant, voice-entry feature and more. It provides cross-platform syncing among phone, laptop, computer, web and even smart-watch. Any.do premium version comes with prioritized tasks, location based reminders, unlimited attachments, unlimited collaboration and some other options.
Asana (Android, iOS, Web)
- Project & Task Management
- Collaboration & Integrations Tool
Free, Premium: $13.49/User/Month
Beyond from to-do lists, Asana is one of the very first workplace apps for collaboration, integration and communication within teams. It’s a highly featured project management tool. Users can create to-do lists, projects, assign tasks to team members, keep track of ongoing works, set reminders & deadlines, send requests, make comments and much more. It’s a great option for remote work and team management. The basic/free version of Asana allows collaborating with up to 15 teammates. Upgrading to premium increases this capacity and unblocks more features. Asana also gives business and enterprise (custom) plans. Companies like TED, Pinterest, Uber, Deloitte, Voxmedia, Comcast — use this app for productive communications.
Trello (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Web)
- Work/Task Management
- Collaboration & Integrations Tool
Free, Premium: $12.50/User/Month
Another popular and very efficient workplace collaboration tool is Trello. It’s a highly customizable and flexible task management app. Users can create, share, manage or organize anything from simple to-do lists or tasks to complex projects very easily. The app works in Kanban style, a visual layout originates from Japan. Here tasks are added as cards with deadlines, attachments, assigned members and with “to-do,” “going” and “done” statuses. These cards are grouped into boards, called Trello boards. So teams can visualize their workflow and keep track of work progress easily. Trello ensures instant messaging within teammates, multi-device syncing and integration of many third-party services. Its free version is limited with 10 team boards, although the business plan (premium) gives unlimited boards.
Slack (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Web)
- Team Communication & Collaboration
- Remote Working
Free, Premium: $8/User/Month (Standard), $15/User/Month (Plus)
Slack is a channel-based group messaging platform, specially designed for remote workers. This widely used business communication tool offers IRC-style features like persistent chat rooms organized by topic, private groups, and direct messaging. Users can have group discussions, 1 to 1 conversations, audio calls or video calls. In Slack, teamwork and conversations are organized into dedicated channels. A channel is a single place for teammates to share messages, files or other attachments. Slack ensures real-time messaging by syncing across devices and also integrates with some third-party services. Along with the free version, Slack offers ‘Standard plan’ for small and medium-sized businesses and ‘Plus plan’ for larger businesses.
TeamViewer (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome OS, BlackBerry OS)
- Remote Administration
- Collaboration Tool
Free, Premium: starts from $49/Month
TeamViewer is a remote access, remote control and remote support tool that works with almost every desktop and mobile platform. It’s a very powerful software for working closely with remote team members. By using TeamViewer, you can have access to devices located anywhere and control them remotely. For businesses, it enables users to connect with multiple workstations remotely and they can share any files or tools, collaborate with a number of people. Service providers can provide remote supports with it. Although the free version is available only for personal users and non-commercial uses, TeamViewer has business/premium plans for more featured options.
Toggl (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Web)
- Time Tracking
- Timesheet Management
Free, Premium: $9/User/Month
Toggl is a simple but powerful time tracker for hassle-free time tracking, that helps to identify how much your time is worth. With its timer, reminders and idle detection, users can keep track of how much time they spend on different tasks. Again its detailed reporting can help anyone to be more productive. It’s a very flexible and customizable app with a lot of functions like automatic timer, timesheet management, reminders, email reporting, bulk editing, pomodoro timer, project dashboard, PDF & CSV file imports, multi-device synchronization, third-party apps integrations, etc. However, the free version of Toggl offers five-person team limits along with some limited options. Its premium plan unblocks all the features.
IFTTT (Android, iOS, Web)
- Task Automation
- Conditional Statement Creator
Free, Premium: starts from $5 or $15 /User/Month
“If This, Then That” or simply known as IFTTT, is an interesting and very interactive productivity tool. It allows users to create any conditional statement that commands a particular app to do certain things at a certain time. For example, you want all your gmail attachments uploaded to the cloud drive. So you can make a sequence like, “If any of my gmail contains attachments, then upload those fills to Google drive” and IFTTT does the rest. By automating the tasks in this way, anyone can save more time and increase productivity. In IFTTT, a chain of conditional sequences is called ‘Applets’. There exist a number of pre-built applets in the app and users can create more custom sequences to automate their tasks. Also it has 300+ apps integration.
Zapier (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Web)
- Apps Integration
- Automation Tool
Free, Premium: $24.99/Month (Starter), $61.25/Month (Professional), $373.75/Month (Team), $748.75/Month (Company)
Another powerful integration and automation tool is Zapier. This one is more focused on business and other productivity apps, though you can integrate with over 1500 apps and services to share data and automate any task between them. Moreover, making autonomous workflows is very easy in Zapier — point, click & automate. Here an automated workflow between the apps is called ‘Zap’. For example you can have a zap that saves your email attachments to a Dropbox folder and gives a Slack notification every time. In the free version of Zapier, you can have 5 zaps and 100 tasks/month. Users of Starter plan and Professional plan can have 750 and 2,000 tasks per month respectively. Team and Company plan allow creating 50,000 and 100,000 tasks per month respectively.
Microsoft Office 365 (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS)
Source: Office 365
- Office Productivity Suites
Premium: Personal – $6.99/Month (1 user), Family – $9.99/Month (6 users), Business – $15.00/Month
Whenever we think of any office software suite, the first thing that came up in our mind is Microsoft Office. Still it’s the world’s most widely-used office suite which is now increasing its popularity with the latest full featured incarnation – Office 365.
Microsoft Office 365 is a line of productivity apps encompassing Microsoft’s all office software suite along with the premium ones and cloud support. You can get all the premium and rich features of Microsoft’s productivity apps including Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneDrive, OneNote, Microsoft Teams, Yammer, SharePoint and more in one place. And you can easily sync all of this with any of your devices.
Source: G suite
- Online Office Suite
Premium: $6/User/Month (Basic), $12/User/Month (Business), $25/User/Month (Enterprise)
Google’s office productivity suite (Docs,, Sheets, Slides, Drive) has earned much popularity in a very short time. Specially, these productivity apps are widely used in mobile devices. It’s also very reputed for its cloud supports. G suite is the business-grade version of Google’s office suite. It’s a cloud-based productivity, collaboration and communication tools series that includes Docs, Sheets, Slides, Keep, Forms, Sites, Drive, Calendar, Gmail, Hangouts, Currents, Meet and Jamboard. So it can provide you a comprehensive productive service in just one place. G Suite also gives additional supports depending on the package (business/enterprise). Again, Google offers a free Education plan of G suite available only for educational institutions.
Apart from the apps listed here, you can find a lot of other apps with various options for increasing productivity. All these apps will help you in many ways in your struggle for being productive every day. One thing is sure, more productivity means more time and more money. So, why not be more organized and get more done?
Anaet Ullah Biswas
Student | Department of Business Administration
Mawlana Bhashani Science & Technology University.