Productivity is a buzzword that everyone wants to achieve, but not everyone knows how. With so many tasks, projects, and deadlines to juggle, it can be hard to stay on top of everything and finish tasks efficiently. That’s why productivity apps are so popular and useful.
Productivity apps are software tools that help you organize your tasks, communicate with your team, collaborate on projects, take notes, automate your processes, and more. These range from simple to-do list apps to comprehensive project management platforms and can help you save time, energy, and money.
In this article, we’ll show you some of the best productivity apps based on different categories such as task management, collaboration, note-taking, etc. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to boost your productivity and achieve your goals with ease.
Best Task Management and To-do List Apps
Managing your tasks and projects can be a daunting challenge, especially if you have multiple deadlines, priorities, and collaborators. Fortunately, many apps can help you organize your work and life more efficiently.
In this section, we will review some of the best task management and to-do list apps available, and compare their features and pricing.
Todoist is a popular and powerful app that lets you create and manage your to-do lists across various platforms, such as Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Web, and more. You can easily add tasks, subtasks, due dates, reminders, labels, filters, and comments to your lists, and sync them across all your devices.
You can also collaborate with others by sharing lists and assigning tasks. The app has a smart natural language recognition feature that allows you to type in your tasks simply and intuitively. For example, you can type “Write blog post every Monday at 10 am” and it will automatically create a recurring task with the right date and time.
Todoist has a free version that offers basic features for up to 80 projects and 5 people per project. The premium version costs $3 per month (billed annually) and unlocks more features such as:
- Calendar sync
- Email integration
The business version costs $5 per user per month and adds features such as a team inbox, team billing, admin controls, priority support, and more.
Microsoft To-Do is a task management app that helps you capture, organize, and complete your tasks from anywhere. It integrates with Outlook Tasks, so you can manage your tasks from your email inbox or calendar.
You can also create lists for different purposes, such as work projects, personal goals, shopping lists, etc. You can also use the My Day feature to get personalized suggestions for the most important tasks to focus on each day.
Microsoft To-Do is free to use for anyone with a Microsoft account. It works on Android, iOS, Windows 10/11, Mac, Web, Wear OS, Apple Watch, etc. It also integrates with other Microsoft apps such as OneNote, Planner, or Cortana.
Trello is a visual and collaborative app that helps you manage your projects and tasks using boards, lists, and cards. You can add lists to each board to represent the stages or categories of your tasks. You can then add cards to each list to represent the individual tasks or ideas.
You can also invite other people to join your boards and assign tasks to them. It works on Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Web2, and more. It also integrates with many other apps such as Google Drive, Slack, and Zapier. This is one of the best productivity apps to use with large working teams.
It has a free version that allows you to create unlimited personal boards and 10 team boards, plus you can add up to 10 MB of attachments per card. The paid versions offer more features such as:
- Unlimited team boards
- Larger attachments
- Advanced checklists
- Custom fields
- Priority support
- And more!
The business class version costs $10 per user per month and the enterprise version costs $17.50 per user per month billed annually.
Asana is a powerful and versatile app that helps you manage complex work across teams. You can create and organize your tasks and projects in different ways, such as lists, boards, timelines, calendars, and forms. You can also add details such as due dates, assignees, dependencies, subtasks, attachments, and comments to each task or project.
The My Tasks feature in the app lets you see all the tasks assigned to you in one place. You can collaborate with others by sharing projects and tasks with them.
The app works on Android, iOS, and the web. It also integrates with other apps like Gmail, Outlook, Slack, and Zoom. It has a free version where you can create unlimited tasks and projects for up to 15 team members.
The premium version is $10.99 p/m, and the business version is $24.99 per user p/m. Each subscription offers more features such as unlimited team members, timelines, dashboards, forms, rules, milestones, portfolios, goals, and approvals.
TickTick is a personal productivity app that offers a comprehensive solution for individuals looking to streamline their daily lives professionally and personally. With its clean, intuitive interface, it provides a multitude of features designed to enhance productivity and task management.
One of TickTick’s standout features is the inclusion of the Pomodoro timer. Drawing from the time-tested productivity technique, it nudges users to work in concentrated sprints punctuated by refreshing breaks.
It also features a location-based reminder feature, which can send reminders based on geographic locations. For instance, you can set a reminder to buy groceries as soon as you’re near your favorite store.
It has a free version that allows you to create up to 9 lists, 99 tasks per list, and 2 reminders per task. The paid versions, $2.4 per month and $4.8 per month offer more features such as unlimited lists and tasks, 5 reminders per task, subtasks, calendar view, timeline view, and even custom smart lists.
Time Management Apps
Time management is a crucial skill for anyone who wants to be more productive and efficient. Below are some popular apps that can help you track, plan, and optimize your time.
RescueTime is an app that automatically tracks how much time you spend on different apps, websites, and documents. It gives you detailed reports and insights into your productivity, distractions, and goals. It’s perfect for people who want to understand their work habits and improve their focus.
It can categorize activities on a spectrum from very distracting to very productive. This allows you to see the duration of your activities and understand their impact on your productivity. For instance, if you spend just 30 minutes on a news website, RescueTime will flag it as a potential distraction, nudging you to reflect on its value.
Another invaluable feature is the FocusTime session. It allows you to temporarily block distracting sites and enable a work-focused environment. Other features include goal setting, alerts, focus, and offline time tracking. It’s free for basic features and costs $12/month or $78/year for premium features.
Toggl is a simple and intuitive time tracker that lets you track work hours across projects, tasks, and clients. It’s ideal for freelancers, teams, and businesses who need to track billable hours and manage projects.
With a straightforward start and stop button, logging hours is a breeze. If you ever forget to hit that button, there’s no need to fret; you can always add time manually. It also allows you to sync your data across multiple platforms, integrate with other apps, and generate reports and invoices.
Besides tracking, Toggl offers detailed reports. This means you can see where your hours are going, making it easier to identify time sinks or to ensure client billing accuracy. Plus, its friendly interface allows you to categorize and tag time entries, so everything stays organized.
Toggle also has a mobile app, which helps guarantee you keep tabs on your time, wherever you are. For the basic features, it’s free for up to 5 users. However, for the premium features, it costs $10 per user per month or $108 per user per month.
Timely is an AI-powered time-tracking software that automatically tracks everything you do on your computer and mobile devices. It uses machine learning to categorize your activities and create accurate timesheets.
This means you won’t be left scratching your head, trying to recall where your hours went by the end of the day. Instead, Timely lays it all out for you, showing you a clear picture of your day. The dashboard interface offers a refreshing way to view your schedule. It lets you see your planned tasks side by side with the actual time spent.
The app is available across multiple devices. There are four different subscription plans available for this app ranging from the $9 per user per month starter plan to the $22 per user per month unlimited features plan.
Have you ever wondered where your day went? With Clockify, you get a front-row seat to your time. It’s the most popular free time tracker for teams, allowing you to track time spent on tasks, projects, and clients. With Clockify, you can even generate reports to analyze your data.
Clockify also offers various features to manage your team, such as scheduling, time off, approval, invoicing, and expenses. Team dynamics is another area where this app shines. Collaboration is simple for those leading or simply spectating team spaces.
It works across devices and platforms so you can track time from anywhere. Clockify is free forever for unlimited users and projects. However, you can also upgrade to a paid plan for more functionality.
Note-taking and Document Management Apps
Note-taking and document management apps are essential tools for productivity. They help you organize your thoughts, ideas, and information in a convenient and accessible way. There are many apps to choose from, depending on your preferences and needs.
Here are some of the best note-taking and document management apps that you can use to boost your productivity.
Evernote is like a trusty notebook you always carry around, but on steroids. It’s a popular app that lets you create, edit, and sync notes across all your devices. You can add attachments, such as photos, maps, web links, documents, and more.
The app also allows you to scan paper documents with the built-in scanner. You can also create checklists and use tags to organize your notes. This makes it easy to categorize everything from meeting minutes to recipes.
Evernote has a free plan with 2 GB of storage and syncs up to two devices. You can upgrade to a premium plan for more features like offline access, advanced search, and PDF annotation.
Notion is a versatile app that combines note-taking, document editing, project management, and collaboration in one place. With this app, you can create and customize pages with different blocks, such as text, images, tables, lists, calendars, and Kanban boards.
Notion is perfect for someone who juggles multiple apps for note-taking, task management, and documentation. It allows you to link pages together to create a wiki-like structure for your notes. Instead of switching between different apps, you can create customized ‘pages’ in Notion that cater to your specific needs.
The app also allows teams to work together in real time, making it easier to share ideas, assign tasks, and keep everyone on the same page. You can tailor each page’s access, so some can be personal, while others can be open for team input.
Notion has a generous free plan that gives you unlimited pages and blocks, and syncs across all your devices. You can upgrade to a paid plan for more features like version history, file uploads, and guest access.
OneNote is a Microsoft app that offers a structured way to capture, organize, and share notes. Its primary advantage is the layered organizational system. It allows you to create distinct notebooks for varying purposes, such as work projects, personal journals, or academic subjects.
Within each notebook, you can establish sections and then populate those sections with individual pages of notes. It also allows you to share and insert files, web links, tables, charts, and other elements. Shared notes can be co-edited in real-time, making it a necessary tool for team projects or shared responsibilities.
The app syncs with your Microsoft account and integrates with other Microsoft apps, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. It’s free to use and offers unlimited storage and devices.
Google Docs is a reliable cloud-based word processing application offered by Google as part of its Google Workspace suite. Its primary function is to enable users to create, edit, and store documents online. It provides accessibility from any device with an internet connection.
The app lets you collaborate with others in real time, add comments and suggestions, and access revision history. It also supports a range of formatting and styling tools comparable to traditional word processing software.
It saves your documents automatically to Google Drive, where you can store up to 15 GB of files for free. Although Google Docs is cloud-based, you can access your notes and documents offline with the Chrome browser or the mobile app.
Collaboration and Communication Apps
These apps help teams work together efficiently, facilitating communication, project management, and collective creation, enhancing productivity. They can support remote work, streamline workflows, and foster creativity and innovation within teams.
Slack is a digital communication platform designed to facilitate team collaboration. With its organized structure, teams can create specific channels to house conversations related to particular topics or projects.
This structured approach makes sure that members can join or leave channels based on their relevance, helping keep discussions focused and on-topic. It also provides options for private channels and direct messaging.
Slack seamlessly integrates with other tools like Google Drive, Zoom, or Trello. This integration simplifies workflows by centralizing notifications and updates within Slack, reducing the need to switch between multiple platforms. You can use the free plan for small teams and paid plans starting from $6.67 per user per month.
Microsoft Teams is a comprehensive app that combines chat, video meetings, file sharing, and collaboration tools in one platform. It allows you to create teams for different departments or projects and communicate with internal or external users. This platform allows users to access Office 365 apps like Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.
For more direct or private discussions, Microsoft Teams offers one-on-one chats or group chats. This is particularly useful for quick clarifications or discussions that don’t pertain to an entire channel.
Microsoft Teams is included in Microsoft 365 subscriptions, which start from $5 per user per month. Its main benefit is its integration with Microsoft products. Other premium features include live captions, breakout rooms, and security compliance.
Zoom is a leading app for video conferencing and webinars. It’s suitable for a range of purposes, from business meetings and academic lectures to large-scale webinars and presentations.
With the app, you can host or join video calls and online meetings with up to 1,000 participants. You can also share your screen or whiteboard, and use interactive features like polls, chat, or reactions.
Zoom offers cloud recording, transcription, and live streaming options. To provide security, Zoom offers password-protected meetings and waiting rooms. The waiting room feature guarantees that the host can control entry, allowing participants in one by one or all at once.
It has a free plan that allows unlimited one-on-one meetings and 40-minute group meetings. Paid plans start from $14.99 per host per month.
Basecamp is a project management app for teams to manage projects, tasks, and communications. Its design is centered around clearly defining what needs to be done, by whom, and when.
The app lets you create projects for different goals or clients, assign tasks and deadlines, upload files and documents, and track your progress. Basecamp also has a message board, a chat room, a schedule, and a card table for brainstorming ideas. It costs $99 per month for unlimited users and projects.
Loom is a video messaging tool that bridges the gap between text-based communication and face-to-face meetings. It allows you to record and share videos, your screens, or a combination of both. You can also add annotations or emojis to your videos.
This productivity app gives you the option to watch and reply to videos from others or embed them in other platforms like Slack or Gmail. This feature makes Loom ideal for explaining complex concepts, giving feedback, or updating your team on your work.
Loom has a free plan that allows up to 100 videos and 5 minutes per video. Paid plans start from $8 per user per month.
Calendar and Scheduling Apps
As the name suggests, Calendar apps provide functionalities to set appointments, reminders, tasks, goals, and events in a structured format. They also help you coordinate with others, share your availability, send, and receive invitations, and sync your calendar with other apps and services.
Google Calendar is a free online calendar service that lets you create and manage events, tasks, reminders, and goals. You can sync your calendar with your Google account and access it from any device.
The app supports natural language input, letting you create events by typing phrases like “Lunch with John tomorrow at noon” or “Remind me to call mom on Sunday”. You can also share your calendar with others and see their availability.
It seamlessly integrates with other Google services, such as Gmail, Google Meet, and Google Tasks, as well as third-party apps like Zoom, Slack, or Trello.
This is a personal information manager that includes a calendar, an email client, a task manager, a contact manager, and a note-taking app. It’s part of the Microsoft 365 suite of productivity tools, tailored for business use.
You can use it to organize your appointments, meetings, deadlines, and events. It allows you to sync your calendar with your Outlook account and access it from any device. You can also sync your calendar with other Microsoft services or third-party apps like Zoom, Evernote, etc.
The app has many impressive features like the ability to set recurring events, assign different colors to your events, send and receive meeting invitations, share your calendar with others, and view other calendars.
You don’t have to pay to use the basic features. However, to use advanced features like online meetings, cloud storage, advanced security, and premium support, you have to subscribe to the paid plan, which starts from $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year.
Calendly is a simple and elegant online scheduling tool that helps you book meetings and appointments with anyone. It allows you to set different types of events, such as one-on-one, round-robin, collective, or group.
Another impressive feature is the automated reminder that lets you send email or text notifications to your invitees and yourself before and after the events. You can customize the messages and frequency of the reminders as well.
It offers integration with other calendar apps like Google Calendar and Outlook Calendar. You can also connect it with other apps, such as Zoom, Stripe, and PayPal.
Calendly has a free plan that allows you to create one event type with unlimited events. The paid plans start from $8 per month per user and offer more features, such as unlimited event types, team schedules, and branding.
Fantastical is a powerful and beautiful calendar app primarily known among Apple device users. It lets you create different calendars in one place for different purposes, such as work, personal, and family.
The app allows you to use natural language to create and edit your events, such as “Lunch with John tomorrow at noon” or “Remind me to call mom on Sunday”. You can also use voice commands with Siri or Google Assistant.
It has a visually appealing and easy-to-use interface. With it, you can add widgets to your home screen or watch face to see your upcoming events, tasks, and reminders at a glance.
It’s available for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS devices. It has a free plan that offers basic features, such as creating events and tasks, syncing with other apps, and adding widgets. The premium plan costs $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year and offers more features.
Productivity apps are not only tools that help you get things done but also habits that help you work smarter, not harder. They can help you organize your tasks, communicate with your team, collaborate on projects, take notes, automate your processes, and more.
In this article, we showed you some of the best productivity apps in different categories. However, choosing the best productivity app is not enough to boost your efficiency and achieve your goals. You also need to use it consistently and effectively. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your productivity apps:
- Set clear and realistic goals and break them down into manageable tasks.
- Prioritize your tasks based on urgency and importance.
- Schedule your tasks and block time for focused work.
- Track your progress and review your performance regularly.
By following these tips, you can leverage the power of your productivity apps and optimize your productivity.