The BEST productivity apps for you and your business

Time is your most valuable resource and you don’t have enough of it to waste. 

Productivity has been one of the biggest trends of the last ten years and everyone seems to have a special product or method that will improve yours 100 times over.

The issue now is, which of all these products are actually going to help you.

To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the best productivity apps that will actually help you save time and aren’t just a big gimmick. 

For the sake of this article, we’ve defined a productivity app as anything that helps you save time and focus on your work.

We’ve also categorised them to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.

Time tracking

Rescue Time

Rescue Time is one of the most complete productivity apps on the market. It focuses on time, website and app tracking, as well as, distraction blocking. You can also set personal goals and receive alerts when you meet or go over those goals. Other features include adding work hours and scheduling hours where you were working offline.

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free and premium plans

Device: desktop (macOS, Windows, Chrome, Linux), mobile (Android, iOS) and browser (Chrome, Firefox, Brave)

Toggl

Toggl is a popular time tracking software and lets its users track their workflow across multiple platforms and identify problem areas. Users can set up timers, tracking, rates and an array of integrations. They can also access productivity reports and view profit vs labour costs.

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free and premium plans

Device: Desktop (macOS, Windows), Mobile (Android, iOS) and browser (Chrome, Firefox).

Distraction blocking

Forest – Stay focused, be present

Forest is a mobile app that takes productivity and turns it into a game. Users select a time that they want to concentrate for and in that time they plant trees. If you leave the app, your tree dies. For every tree you plant, you earn money and grow your own forest. What makes this app even cooler is that once you earn enough coins, you can pay to have a real-life tree planted in a reforestation plantation.

Who can use this: individuals

Cost: Free and premium plans

Device: Mobile (iOS and Android)

Freedom – Block Websites, Apps, and the Internet

Freedom is a website and app blocker that can be used to remove any distracting websites while you are trying to focus. You can choose to block specific distracting apps and sites, all app and sites or all apps and sites except those that are whitelisted. You can also set up locked mode to prevent you from unblocking apps and sites. Scheduling is also available if there is a certain period during the day that you do not want to be using apps or the internet.

Who can use this: individuals

Cost: Free and premium 

Device: Mobile (iOS, Android), desktop (macOS, Windows), Browser extension (Chrome, Firefox, Opera)

To-do apps

Todoist: The to-do list to organize work & life

Todoist is a to-do list app where users can add and organise task across various projects. If the user is part of a team they are able to add people to their projects and delegate tasks to their team members. The program also generates reports and visualisations that show the user how many tasks they have completed over a period of time and which tasks are taking them the longest to complete.

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free and premium plans

Device: Desktop (macOS, Windows), Mobile (iOS, Android), Browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox), Email (Gmail extension and add-on, outlook), Wearables (Apple Watch, Wear OS)

Any.do

Any.do is an organisational app where you can create lists for different tasks you need to complete or of items you need to purchase. As well as to-do lists, it also has a calendar, daily planner and reminders. With premium, you are also able to set up location-based reminders and recurring tasks.

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free and premium plans

Device: Desktop (macOS, Windows), Mobile (iOS, Android), Browser (Chrome, Safari), Email (Gmail extension and add-on, outlook), Wearables (Apple Watch, Wear OS), Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Calendar

Calendar: Online Meeting Scheduling & Shared Calendar App

Calendar is currently in its beta stage but is one of the most robust calendars available. Along with general calendar features, users can also schedule meetings by letting their clients and partners choose a free time slot, generate meeting transcriptions and share their calendar with their teammates. The program works across multiple platforms and can be synced with your pre-existing calendar.

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free and premium plans

Device: Browser, Mobile (iOS, Android)

Woven – The Best Calendar App for Busy Professionals

Woven is a calendar app designed for working professionals who require appointment scheduling. Users can create templates for different appointment types and direct scheduling links so their clients can book appointments that align with their schedule. The app also has group polling to help pick the best time for all group members and availability sharing. Travel planning and map view is another feature offered in the software.

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free (in beta period)

Device: Browser, mobile (iOS, Android), chrome extension, Gmail addon

Communication

Slack

Slack is a team communication software, designed to optimise how companies communicate internally. It seeks to solve the issues that occur when communicating through email. Users can create channels to message groups or send direct messages to individuals. You are also able to share files, add integrations, receive notifications and call other members of your organisation.

Who can use this: teams

Cost: Free and premium plans

Device: browser, Desktop (Windows, macOS), Mobile (iOS, Android)

Zoom

Zoom is a video conferencing and communication software for remote teams and meetings. Both basic audio and video calls are available with additional features like screen sharing, text chats and recordings available. It can also be used to host video webinars and support breakout rooms. Keyboard/mouse control, co-annotation and whiteboarding are also available for group collaboration.

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free and premium 

Device: Mobile (iOS, Android), desktop (macOS, Windows), Browser

Project management

Trello

Trello is a product management software with a range of templates for users to choose based on their project. Its most famous template follows the Kanban method where the workflow is broken up into three stages; to-do, doing and done. The software aims to create a more efficient workflow and help its users to visualise and tackle their projects more effectively.

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free and premium plans

Device: browser, Mobile (iOS, Android)

Asana

Asana is a project management and team collaboration software where users can create projects, teams and tasks to visualise their workflow. The software lets you make a team and within the team, you can set up projects which might be solo or shared projects. The projects offer two views (list or board) and tasks are categorised as to-do, doing or done. Tasks can be shared by multiple team members and you can upload whatever supporting files to your tasks as needed.

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free and premium plans

Device: Browser, mobile (iOS, Android), Gmail add-on, Adobe add-on

Milanote

Milanote is a tool for organizing creative projects into beautiful visual boards. By design, it feels a lot like working on the wall in a creative studio – visual, tactile and sometimes a bit messy – Milanote is a great fit for designers who work in teams remotely. The software lets you write notes & to-do lists, upload images & files and save things you find on the web and organize visually using the flexible drag and drop interface. Milanote is filled with hundreds of built-in templates to help you get started with a variety of different projects, from creating a mood board to writing that perfect creative brief. Boards by default are a private place to think, but with a single click you can create a shared workspace for collaboration with your team

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free and premium plans

Device: Browser, mobile (iOS, Android), Chrome Extension, Desktop

Social media

Hootsuite: Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard

Hootsuite is one of the most powerful and popular social media scheduling software on the market. From the program, you can schedule posts, campaigns and ads. You also are provided content curation to see what content has been popular as of late and robust analytics to see the success of your own content. With the right plan, you can also connect your social media inboxes to monitor and engage with your clients, in the one place.

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free and premium plans

Device: browser, Mobile (iOS, Android)

Password Management

Last Pass: Share Passwords with a Password Manager for Business

Last Pass is a complete password manager for individuals, families or companies. With this program, users can store, generate and share their passwords. They also have a specialised set up for companies which provides employees with their own vaults as well as shared folders for common passwords.

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free and premium plans

Device: browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge), Desktop (Windows, macOS), Mobile (iOS, Android)

Document Management

HelloSign: Legally Binding Electronic Signatures

HelloSign is Dropbox’s document signing software where users can send documents and request e-signatures from their recipients as well as sign documents themselves. The software integrates with a range of applications, including Dropbox and G Suite. It also provides a number of templates and the more expensive plans offer features like bulk sending. 

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Paid plans

Device: G suite, Dropbox

Scanbot: The PDF Scanner App for iPhone and Android

Scanbot is a mobile PDF scanner app that lets you take a photo of a document and converts it into a PDF. When a document is scanned, the app automatically crops it, straightens is and colour corrects it as needed. You can choose to automatically upload the file to your cloud storage software and/or share them with others. The software also recognises text and allows you to highlight, edit and search the text. Files that can be scanned include documents, receipts, sketchbooks, whiteboards, QR codes and barcodes.

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free and premium 

Device: Mobile (iOS, Android)

Google Drive

Most people are well aware of Google Drive but if you’re not, Google Drive is a cloud storage software that you can use to store just about anything (documents, videos, images, spreadsheets, powerpoints, etc.). Being part of G Suite, Drive is seamless with other Google apps and Gmail. It also has simple sharing functions if you’re part of a Google Organisation and if a file is made public to an organisation, workmates can easily access files when they need to.

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free

Device: Browser, mobile

Automation

Zapier | The easiest way to automate your work

Zapier is an automation software that creates integrations between your apps and lets you create ‘zaps’. A zap causes an action in one of the connected apps to trigger an action in the other. This helps you to automate your workflow by removing the steps you would previously take to perform an action in two different software.

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free and premium plans

Device: Browser

IFTTT

IFTTT (otherwise known as If This Then That) is an automation software that connects your apps and sets up automatic triggers. These triggers are called applets and can be anything from reading your location when you leave home and turning the lights off to sending emails of your instagram posts to your grandparents. 

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free and premium plans

Device: Browser, Mobile (Android, iOS)

Note-taking 

Otter Voice Notes

Otter is a notes app that records audio from meetings and then auto-transcribes the audio. After transcribing the audio, it separates the speakers which you can then assign to a meeting member if needed. Users can also share the meeting notes with colleagues, clients and partners who can then comment and highlight the notes as needed.

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free and premium plans

Device: browser, mobile (iOS, Android)

Best Note-Taking App – Organize Your Notes with Evernote

Evernote is a note-taking app where users can write notes, record audio and attach files. The software offers many formatting styles, including tables, attachments, checklists, highlighting and image annotations. These notes can then be organised based on date created, in alphabetical order or using tags. Premium features of the program include forwarding emails to your Evernote account, scanning and recognition of business cards, content recommendation and team collaboration.

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free and premium plans

Device: Browser, mobile (iOS, Android), Desktop (macOS, Android)

All in one

Notion

Notion is an all-in-one workspace that combines popular productivity apps so users can access all the features in the one space. In the program, you can add notes and documents, a knowledge base or company wiki, tasks and projects, and spreadsheets and databases. You can also use over 30 media types in your notes, to-do lists, project boards and spreadsheets.

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free and premium

Device: Browser, mobile (iOS, Android), Desktop (macOS, Windows)

ClickUp™ | One app to replace them all

Click up is an all in one workspace and productivity app to replace all your current productivity apps. The software combines to-do lists, project management, documents and notes, spreadsheets, email and chat, events and calendar, goal tracking and time tracking. Users create a workplace and then make personal or teams spaces depending on how they wish to organise their space.

Who can use this: individuals and teams

Cost: Free and premium

Device: Browser, mobile (iOS, Android), Desktop (macOS, Windows), Gmail plugin, Voice (Alexa, Google Assistant), Chrome extension

Writing

Grammarly: Free Writing Assistant

Grammarly is a digital writing tool that uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing. The chrome extension can be used to correct your documents or any text that you write when you fill out forms, communicate on social media and more. You can also change the audience you’re writing for and the tone you are trying to achieve.

Who can use this: individuals

Cost: Free and premium

Device: Browser, Chrome extension, Desktop (macOS, Windows), Word, Outlook

Habit tracker

Habitica – Gamify Your Life

Habitica is a habit and goal tracking app that includes a game element. Users set their habits and goals and earn rewards for achieving these. The rewards include levelling up your avatar and unlocking battle armour, mysterious pets, magic skills and quests. You can also invite your friends and battle monsters together.

Who can use this: individuals

Cost: Free

Device: Mobile (iOS, Android)

Habitify

Habitify is a habit tracking and management app. Users can set habits which they can organise into categories or times of the day. The frequency of the habit can also be adjusted as needed. You’re also provided with charts that outline completion rate, streaks, check-in time, daily performance and yearly review.

Who can use this: individuals

Cost: Free and premium 

Device: Mobile (iOS, Android), browser, desktop (macOS), Apple Watch