The Ultimate Guide to the Best Productivity Apps, Tools, and Software

Read up on this year's 30 most popular productivity apps and how they'll help you stay as organized, focused, and efficient as possible.

Written by: Kristen Baker
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To say that I’m a planner is an understatement. I’m always making to-do lists and live by my calendar that has repeat reminders for weekly and monthly things I need to get done. When “The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up” became popular, I felt instantly validated.

The problem was that all this planning and list making and calendar organization — well it wasn’t actually very organized. I’d have a few different notebooks and sticky notes scattered throughout my apartment, car, and various bags for work. My calendar was stuffed with random papers and often got left at home or work — never where I was when I needed it most.Download our complete workplace productivity guide here.

So you can imagine that it was actually “life changing” when I discovered a few key productivity apps for my phone. Now, I had my to-do lists with me at all times.

(Let’s face it: Are we ever more than a few feet away from our phones?) I could sync my calendars and share them with friends and family to keep us all on track. I could get push notifications to remind me to make that doctor’s appointment 6 months from now and send a friend a birthday message.

It’s no surprise that productivity apps have become so popular. Most of us have too many priorities, commitments, work, and other things — and not enough time. But luckily, there are apps — most of them free — you can download to make your life easier, more balanced, more productive, and most importantly, more in control of your time.

Check out this list of some of the year’s most popular apps, organized by category. And download a few to become the most efficient version of yourself.

 

 

What are productivity apps?

A productivity app is a software app designed to make yourself, your team, or workplace more efficient. These can range from apps for mobile devices to extensions you can install on your browser.

Now matter where you download them, they can greatly improve your focus, help you stay on task, and improve organization. They’re also not one-size-fits-all. From time management and scheduling, to task management to creating healthier habits, there’s an app to suit your needs.

Best Productivity Apps

If you're looking for the best productivity apps and tools across the board, these are our top picks.

Pro-tip: You can use HubSpot's App Marketplace to find over 1,200 integrations to connect with your productivity app.

1. Todoist

Best for: Individuals and teams
Cost: Free, $4/mo (Pro), $6/user/month (Business)

best productivity apps: TodoistImage Source

With Todoist, a user can remind themselves of tasks they need to complete by quickly jotting them down in the app in the same way that you might text a friend. The app will interpret your message and set a task for you based on the language you used. You can even use a hashtag to categorize the reminder.

For example, if you write, “Send in the final draft of paper tomorrow by 4 p.m. #journalism,” the app will then set a reminder for you at 4 p.m. tomorrow in your “Journalism” project. Todoist, which is free, also allows you to effectively manage group work by assigning tasks to different people.

What we like:

You can integrate Todoist with over 60 other apps, including Amazon, Alexa, Dropbox, and Slack, making this a great option for someone who wants to connect their personal to-do list with their workplace to-do list.

2. If This Then That (IFTTT)

Best for: Individuals and businesses (h5)
Cost: Free, $2.50/mo (Pro), $5/mo (Pro +)

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If you’re struggling with app overload on your devices, If This Then That (IFTTT) can help. IFTTT integrates all the apps on your devices and helps them work better together. It does this by allowing you to set up specific triggers for different actions.

For example, if you have a smart home, you could use it to sync with your weather app to set your home a certain temperature. If you’re a business, your marketing team could use IFTTT for scheduling and cross posting content automatically.

What we like:

For all that it does IFTTT is pretty-user friendly. It comes with over 700 services ready for automation with new ones added regularly.

3. Toggl

Best for: Freelancers and businesses
Cost: Free, $9/user/month (Starter), $18/user/month (Premium), custom pricing (Enterprise)

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Toggl makes time tracking and staying on top of your team’s activities a cinch. Set reminders, project timelines, and organize client billing all in one spot.

The Toggl software is designed to be easy, so users can get started right out of the box. Their easy to read reports can help you figure out exactly how much time or project takes to complete — not how long you think it will take.

What we like:

This tool is perfect for both busy freelancers and larger teams where every minute counts. It streamlines invoicing and billing hours so you have one less thing to worry about.

4. Due

Best for: Individuals, freelancers
Cost: $7.99 for mobile app, $14.99 for desktop app

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Like the name suggests, Due helps users stay on top of tasks with reminders about important deadlines. The app, for Apple OS users, comes in both a mobile and desktop version. It’s a powerful, user-friendly to-do list that makes light work of busy schedules.

In addition to setting tasks, Due lets you set timers and run multiple at once, perfect for cooking or setting specific time limits for tasks. Due can also sync your reminders through Dropbox or iCloud.

What we like:

Due continues to send you reminders until you mark the task as complete, helping to hold you accountable for your to-do list.

5. Calendly

Best for: Teams and businesses
Cost: Free, $8/seat/month (Essentials), $12/seat/month (Professional), $16/seat/month (Teams), custom pricing (Enterprise)

top productivity apps: CalendlyImage Source

Calendly is a meeting scheduler that simplifies the scheduling process. Sending emails back and forth between teams to book a meeting that fits everyone’s schedule is a pain. Calendly eliminates this headache completely and saves time by showing availability preferences.

When you sign up, Calendly asks you to sync your calendars with their service. From there, users enter their availability preferences and preferred time slots (ie. 15mins, an hour). Once you’re ready to set up a meeting, simply send people your calendly link and they can choose the time that works best for them.

What we like:

Calendly also offers a CRM version that allows you to simplify the booking process for teams using HubSpot, Salesforce and other CRMs.

6. Taskful

Best for: Individuals, freelancers, and professionals
Cost: $3/month

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Taskful’s progress bar takes completing your to-do list to a new level. The bar moves forward as you continue to check off your tasks throughout the day, giving you a sense of accomplishment. The app even tracks your steps so you can stay in line with both your work and health goals.

Users can create an inbox in Taskful that syncs with other devices and sends email reminders. If you’re a fan of bright colors, you’ll enjoy the app’s aesthetic as well. Added bonus: Taskful is free.

What we like:

The app even pushes encouraging messages throughout the day to your device to keep users motivated.

7. Habitica

Best for: Individuals
Cost: Free, $4.99/month; $14.99/every 3 months; $29.99 every 6 months; and $47.99/year

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Let’s face it. Setting new tasks and goals can feel like a chore. Habitca gamifies this process to make the experience more enjoyable. Essentially, it turns your life into a video game.

In this game, all of your habits, daily tasks, and to-do list turn into little monsters you have to conquer. The more monsters you slay, the more you progress. Mess up, and your progress slides backwards. Each outcome produces either a reward or punishment. Plus the addition of competing with friends provides extra motivation if you need it.

What we like:

Turning goal setting into a game makes creating better habits a more enjoyable experience, making participants more likely to keep up the good work.

8.Rescue Time

Best for: Individuals and remote teams
Cost: Free, $6.50/month, $9/month (Premium), $72/year (Premium)

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Having trouble focusing or setting enough time aside to complete your tasks? Rescue Time removes distractions so you can focus on what needs to get done. Once installed on your PC or Mac, Rescue Time assesses your work style and meeting schedule and combines that data to give you a focus work goal.

When you trigger a focus session, Rescue Time blocks websites that distract and negatively impact your progress. Its reporting feature also allows you to compare your productivity to see what’s improved and what areas need more work.

What we like:

The program will help you figure out what apps and websites steal your productivity most so that you can focus more on what matters.

9.Engross

Best for: Individuals and freelancers
Cost: Free

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Engross keeps users on task by eliminating distractions and maximizing your time management efforts. The app, which is available for both Android and iOS, has features like timers, calendars, and reminders to help you stay on task.

The pomodoro timer comes in handy for blocking off dedicated work time, and the app blocker will block all of the unwanted apps running in the background so you can avoid distractions.

What we like:

Engross’ statistics and analysis features allow users to keep tabs on their efficiency, with the option to add labels to improve your productivity insights.

10. Hypercontext

Best for: Managers, teams, and businesses
Cost: Free, $5.60/person/month (Pro), $8.80/person/month (Business)

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Hypercontext helps managers run better meetings by ensuring each has an agenda, notes, next steps, and goals that tie back to their OKRs. The app turns your calendar events into meeting workspaces. Whether using it for one-on-ones or team meetings, your meeting notes and decisions are accessible from one agenda.

You can create your agenda (which can be shared with your team and attendees) from scratch, or choose from a ready-to-use agenda template. This workspace is perfect for collaboration and allows team members to add items to the meeting agenda at any time. The detail view allows users to add more context to a meeting item, attach files, and add comments.

Once your meeting is complete, you can check off items that have been covered and send out meeting notes to everyone included in the workspace.

What we like:

If you’re not sure where to start, Hypercontext offers a library of over 500 conversation starters to make sure you have the most valuable discourse in your meetings. This list can be filtered by role, meeting type, or topic.

11. Chanty

Best for: Team sand businesses
Cost: Free, $3/person/month

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Chanty is a team collaboration platform aimed at boosting work productivity for teams.

Chanty is not just a communication tool, it offers a wide variety of other features, such as audio and video calls with screen sharing; a built-in task manager with the Kanban board, allowing you to create messages, assign a team member, set a due date and a task priority. Chanty’s Teambook provides a single hub for organizing tasks, conversations, pinned messages, and all the other content you share; and integration with a number of third-party apps.

What we like:

Chanty offers unlimited searchable messaging history that comes even in their Free plan.

Time Management & Scheduling Apps

If you’re someone who admittedly needs a little help in the organization department, or if you’re a “Type A” personality who loves planning, then time management and scheduling apps could be a great option for you. These apps help with short- and long-term planning, as well as efficiency, so you can enjoy as much free time as possible.

12. Blink

Best for: Individuals
Cost: $0.99

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You want to plan out your days and create to-do lists, but you’re also a minimalist. Blink is the app for you.

For just $0.99, you can create quick memos and reminders in a non-list format. The horizontal layout of information is beneficial to someone who prefers a unique way to list tasks and create reminders or repeating notifications.

What we like:

Blink is a simple, no-frills app that will help you tackle your to-do list like a pro.

 

13. Things

Best for: Individuals and professionals
Cost: $9.99
best productivity apps: Things app

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If you’re somebody who loves to organize your tasks by the time of the day, Things may be of interest to you. The app, which costs $9.99, has a feature that helps you manage your time by separating your daily tasks into three sections: Today, This Evening, and Tomorrow.

Things also links your to-do lists with your other devices, like your laptop, iPad, etc. In addition to tracking tasks, you can set both short- and long-term goals, and check off the steps that you complete along the way.

14. Reclaim.ai

Best for: Individuals, teams, businesses, and freelancers
Cost: Free, $8/mo (Starter), $12/mo (Business), $18/mo (Enterprise)

reclaim

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Reclaim.ai is an AI calendar app that automatically finds the best time for your tasks, habits, meetings, and breaks in your busy schedule. The advanced AI creates the perfect schedule for you every day, making sure you have enough focus time defended to stay productive, optimizes your meetings by priority, and improves your work-life balance by limiting distractions and keeping your work within the workday. It’s perfect for individuals who want to improve their productivity, up to entire organizations who want to give everyone in the company the power of an AI assistant.

For example, if you want to defend 2-4 hours a day for productive work, you can create a smart event called a Habit that will automatically find the best time in your schedule, while keeping this time flexible as new meetings and appointments are added to your calendar. Once you run out of opportunities to reschedule, Reclaim locks this time in so it’s protected on your calendar.

What we like:

Reclaim is very user-friendly and easy to set up! It’s perfect for meeting-heavy professionals, as well as people who need to defend more time for heads-down work.

15. TimeCamp

Best for: Teams and professionals
Cost: Free, $6.99/user/month (Basic), $9.99/user/month (Pro), custom (Enterprise)
best productivity tools: timecamp

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If you want to regain control of your team’s productivity, TimeCamp comes with a helping hand. It’s an automatic time-tracking software that logs time in the background, saving users hours they usually waste manually filling their timesheets. The data it collects can be used for various purposes - from time reporting through attendance and payroll to invoicing based on project hours.

Most importantly, the tool offers high availability of time-tracking options. In its timesheet view, you can start a new timer or add a new entry manually. By installing a desktop app, you can not only log time but also track your daily activity. If you or your employees work from various locations, use its mobile app.

What we like:

TimeCamp integrates with 30+ tools like Jira, Trello, Asana, or Monday, but with its browser plugin, that list extends to over 70+ apps.

16. Google Calendar

Best for: Individuals, professionals, and teams
Cost: Free
best productivity tools: Google Calendar

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If you have a Gmail account, chances are you’ve heard about Google Calendar. The app gives users smart suggestions to help them be more productive during the day. These suggestions include ways to easily find times for meetings as well as how to quickly book meeting rooms and locations.

You can invite people to join events on your calendar and create repeating notifications for personal (and group) events or reminders.

What we like:

If you create tasks from your email and want everything to seamlessly integrate, Google Calendar may be the best fit for you.

Focus Apps

Do you ever find yourself aimlessly browsing the internet? Scrolling through your Instagram feed even though you know there is significantly more important work to be done? Staying focused is hard these days — distractions are everywhere. Focus apps will help you stay in control of your tasks and manage your time more effectively.

17. Clockify

Best for: Freelancers, hybrid teams, and businesses
Cost: Free, $3.99/month (Basic), $5.49/month (Standard), $7.99/month (Pro), and $11.99/month (Enterprise)

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Clockify is more than a productivity app — notably, it's one of the most popular time trackers. This intuitive solution allows you to stay on top of your productivity, activities, and tasks, minimize the amount of wasted time, and focus on what matters most. A variety of reports provide a powerful insight into users’ behavior, so you can easily organize your tasks in accordance with your most productive times of the day. Did we mention the Pomodoro timer as one of the
features? It’s a perfect solution for getting rid of distractions and easing into the state of deep work.

Apart from boosting personal productivity and efficiency, Clockify offers relevant team management features, such as scheduling, approval, and invoicing. Adding team members and marking billable hours has never been easier — businesses can easily keep track of progress on different projects, as well as all of the other relevant analytics and expenses. Another option worth mentioning is — you can set the time estimates to visualize and compare planned vs. tracked time. Moreover, thanks to Clockify’s forecasting feature, you can set up
alerts to promptly adjust your schedule or cost projections — if you exceed or get close to the estimated values.

What we like:

Cross-platform availability comes first to mind — you can track time, productivity, and goals via Clockify in your favorite browser extension, web version, desktop, or mobile apps. Additionally, integrations with over 80 popular tools are just a click away.

18. Focus

Best for:
Cost: $8.49/month, $49.99/year
Focus app

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Are you someone who likes to work in short bursts? Then maybe take a walk, listen to some music, check your emails, or send a text? Focus might be a great addition to your routine.

This free app uses the Pomodoro Technique and places individuals in “Focus Sessions” for 25 minutes at a time. During that 25-minute period, users focus on a task and try to get as much done as possible. After the session ends, they can take a short break. Once the individual completes four 25-minute sessions, they get a 15-20-minute break to do whatever they want.

What we like:

This task manager also allows you to keep track of the work you have completed throughout the day, so you know what still needs to get done. This is a great option for someone seeking structure and motivation.

19. Forest

Best for: Individuals and environmentalists
Cost: $3.99
best productivity apps: Forest

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Forest is a pretty unique productivity app that works on any iOS device. If you consider yourself an environmentalist, you’re going to love this. When you want to focus, you open the app and virtual trees begin to grow. If you close the app while a tree is growing, you’ll watch it deteriorate.

The app works well for group projects too. It has a feature where the trees can only grow if everyone in the group is on task. As you continue to use Forest, you collect virtual gold coins. When you decide to spend a gold coin, Forest will work with its partner organization, Trees for the Future, to plant a real tree.

What we like:

Over 273,000 trees have been planted thanks to Forest users. This app is great for people who need a little bit of visual stimulation and motivation.

 

20. Freedom

Best for: Individuals and Students
Cost: Free, $8.99/month, $39.99/year
best productivity app: freedom app

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Freedom is a good option for people you who find a way around other focus apps and seriously struggle with distractions.

Freedom allows you to block specific sites during the time you want to focus and get work done. There is a pre-generated list of sites you can choose to be blocked from. You can also add to that list if your time-wasting sites aren’t there. You can schedule these focus sessions in advance and even make recurring sessions.

What we like:

“Lockdown Mode” ensures even the sneakiest of users won’t be able to work around the system and become distracted. Freedom offers users seven free blocking sessions before requiring a subscription fee.

 

21. Stay Focusd

Best for: Individuals and professionals
Cost: Free
best productivity apps: stay focusd app

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Stay Focusd is a Google Chrome extension that promotes productivity through focus and discipline. The app restricts how long users can stay on the sites that they waste time on.

Once the allotted amount of time on a specific site is up, the user cannot go to that site for the rest of the day. The app blocks all types of sites, subdomains, specific pages, as well as in-page content (videos, games, etc.).

Stay Focusd is a good option for those of you who like to keep a bunch of tabs open while working to occasionally scroll through a social media newsfeed or watch a video on YouTube.

What we like:

The app forces you to practice good focus habits. And if you don’t feel like working on those habits, don’t worry — the app will block you from all of your time-wasting sites anyway!

 

Personal Apps

Personal productivity apps help you organize your life when things get messy or stressful. They remind individuals of which groceries they need to pick up, what errands they have to run, or who they need to call to say happy birthday.

They tell users how many more steps they need to take to reach that arbitrary, daily goal of 10,000 that we all supposedly need to hit. There are even personal productivity apps that help us meditate and stay in control of our stress levels.

22. Mindfulness

Best for: Individuals
Cost: Free, $9.99/month (Premium), $59.99/year (Premium)
best productivity apps: Midfulness app

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Are you feeling a little high-strung? Anxious? Someone who needs a reminder to breathe and relax every now and then?

Mindfulness can help you do just that. Individuals use the app to meditate, relax, and be more present in their daily lives. There are over 200 timed and guided meditation sessions with statistics that help you keep track of your journey.

What we like:

Mindfulness also has an integration with Apple’s Health App, so you can continue to keep track of all of your personal health goals in one place. The app is free, and the guided meditations range in time from 3-30 minutes. That’s right – 3 minutes. Now you have every excuse to start meditating.

23. xTiles

Best for: Individuals, Freelancers, and Small teams

Cost: Free, $10/mo (Pro), $96/year (Pro), free Pro for student and non-profit organization

xTiles productivity appImage Source

xTiles is a whiteboard where you can create a database and a database where you always have access to a free board. The tool is intended:

  1. For task management, both personal and team. From simple to-do sheets to complex scrum structures
  2. Space for organizing research and Brain Dump. Combine images, links, and text in one Simple, Flexible, Customizable space.
  3. The easiest and fastest way to make a presentation. Just collect heterogeneous content, and the tool itself will arrange it into a natural layout of tiles, cards, and widgets. And it’s easy to share them with anyone, even non-users.

Besides the traditional ability to set and track tasks, you also get a friendly workspace with powerful visualization options. It comes in web, mobile, and desktop versions that can sync.

The gallery of free templates for different needs (CVs, planners, brainstorming, mood boards, etc.) helps save time preparing documents.

What we like:

The fastest way to organize information and get an aesthetic document right away. xTiles gathers your tasks in one place instead of you so that you won’t forget anything.

24. Strides

Best for: Individuals
Cost: Free
best productivity apps: strides app

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Do you have a bad habit you’re hoping to get rid of completely? Or a good habit you want to retain? Strides combines all of your good habits, the routines you want to continue, and your personal goals into one app.

It has a SMART tracker, meaning the app holds you accountable with reminders and charts to keep you motivated and focused on achieving your goal. The app works well for people who are more visual. Green and red pace line systems track your progress.

What we like:
Strides is a good (and free) option for those of you who want detailed reminders for your daily routines.  

25. Google Keep

Best for: Individuals
Cost: Free
best productivity tools: Google Keep

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Google Keep works a bit like a virtual Post-It Note. Individuals can use this free app on any iOS device. You can write quick lists, create reminders, record a voice memo, and organize all of your notes by color, category, and label.

This app is great for those who need to quickly jot down something while on the move. You can also set reminders for specific notes.

What we like:

Google Keep is a simple way to stay organized and remember tasks that need to be completed. 

26. Kiwake

Best for: Individuals
Cost: Free, $1.99 (Basic), $13.99 (Premium)
best productivity apps: kiwake

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We are all guilty of oversleeping now and then. Some of us simply aren’t morning people, hitting snooze over and over again and ending up being late for work or other important events. That’s where Kiwake comes into play.

This inexpensive app gets you out of bed with a complete wake-up process that has three main categories: body, brain, and motivation. The app has you take a picture of an object far away from bed prior to going to sleep so you can prove that you got out of bed in the morning.

You can also play a mini-game to wake up your brain while laying in bed. And lastly, you can review your tasks for the day to get motivated and up to speed on what needs to be accomplished.

It’s safe to say you’ll have time to make breakfast every morning after downloading this app. Extra points for your personal health goals!

What we like:

Kiwake does not have a snooze button, so there’s no way around getting up for the day. 

Workplace Apps

One of the most notorious places where people get distracted and fall behind on their work is while they are actually at work. Anyone who sits at a desk behind a computer for an entire week has plenty of opportunities to be inefficient and lose focus.

Workplace productivity apps not only keep you on track with work tasks, but also assist you with managing teams of people, communicating with colleagues, organizing important documents and files, working with PDFs, and more.

27. ClickUp

Best for: Teams and professionals
Cost: Free, $5/user/month (Unlimited), $12/user/month (Business), $19/user/month (Business+), custom (Enterprise)
best productivity apps: clickup

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ClickUp is a free, all-in-one productivity app designed to manage everything from your daily to-dos to complex projects. Many times teams use ClickUp for its powerful customization abilities and feature-rich experience to optimize processes, monitor project updates, and collaborate with the team.

ClickUp features hundreds of flexible tools to boost productivity, along with a user-friendly interface and a drag and drop functionality to empower your work management.

With ClickUp's Free Forever plan, you get 1,000 MB of storage and can add unlimited members. For more advanced features, their paid plans start at $5.

What we like:

You can visualize your work with over 15 unique views in ClickUp including List, Gantt, Calendar, and its Kanban-like Board view, while Custom Fields, Task Statuses, and 1,000+ integrations help you streamline your workflows even further.

28. Google Drive

Best for: Individuals and businesses
Cost: Free, $12.99/user/month (Business)

It doesn’t get much better than Google Drive for a secure way to share files and collaborate. With an integration with docs, slides, sheets and forms, you’ll easily be able to create projects and collaborate in real time with your team.

Drive also complements your team’s existing technology, allowing teams to collaborate in Microsoft Office files without the need to convert file formats, and edit and store multiple file types, including PDFs, CAD files, images, and more.

What we like:

In addition to being simple to use, Drive also offers added security with built-in protections against malware, phishing, and ransomware to ensure your files are secure.

29. Internxt

Best for: Individuals and freelancers

Cost: Free, $0.99 / month (20GB), $4.49 / month (200GB), $9.99 / month (2TB)

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The Internxt app gives you access to its Drive and Photos services to manage your files or photos efficiently and quickly from anywhere, on any device. 

Internxt gives you a clean and minimal workspace in its design, allowing for seamless organization of your files in Drive. Your files are regularly backed up in the cloud, so you have peace of mind and won’t lose any progress on the work you save. The same can also be said for the Internxt Photos app, your memories will automatically be synced and available instantly to share with friends, family, or colleagues. 

Creating an Internxt account is quick and easy, and you can get up to 10GB of free storage to help you get started on building a cloud storage system where you can edit, organize and search for files quickly and easily so you can focus on streamlining your workflow.

What we like:

Internxt’s commitment to privacy means you can be sure that your data and files are secure and safe.

30. Quip

Best for: Teams and enterprise level businesses
Cost: $10/user/month (Starter), $25/user/month (Plus), $100/user/month (Advanced)
best productivity tools: Quip

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Quip is a free app that works well for teams of all sizes that are looking to collaborate easily and share thoughts. Users can edit documents, create spreadsheets, revise task lists, take notes, and message other team members in real time.

You can gain access to all that Quip has to offer on any device, at any time. Quip has integrations with numerous other apps, such as Dropbox and Slack, to make your team’s experience even more streamlined.

What we like:

This is a really simple option for anyone looking to improve organization and communication among team members at work. 

31. CloudApp

Best for: Teams and professionals
Cost: Free, $3/month (Individual), $8/user/month (Teams), custom (Enterprise)

best productivity tools: CloudApp

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CloudApp is a cloud-based communication software that allows you to seamlessly create and share screen recordings, annotated screenshots, GIFs, and more.

By using keyboard shortcuts or the easily-accessible app, you can instantly record tutorials, explain concepts, and more, directly from your screen. This feature will save you time that would otherwise be spent painstakingly drafting a lengthy email. Collaboration is more efficient and more personalized with the webcam recording option.

What we like:

In addition to screen recordings, you can easily create GIFs and annotated screenshots to collaborate with your team.

32. PDF Expert

Best for: Professionals and teams
Cost: $6.67/month, $139.99 (Lifetime one-time only purchase)
best productivity tools: PDF expert

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If you have ever tried working with a PDF document, you know how finicky they can be.

The PDF Editor is allows you to do all of that. For starters, you’ll be able to change text and images on any PDF that comes your way. Users can even sign, send, and export documents straight from the app.

PDF Expert allows you to write notes and set reminders about different sections of the PDF as you work through the file.

What we like:

This app is great for anyone who needs to give feedback, annotate, or mark up a PDF. 

33. Trello

Best for: Busineses and enterprise level companies
Cost: Free, $5/user/month (Standard), $10/user/month (Premium), $17.50/user/month (Enterprise)
best productivity apps: Trello

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Trello is a free app made for solo or group work. Whether it’s making a to-do list for a quick-turnaround project, managing an editorial calendar, or tracking a 6-month redesign, the app has a layout that works.

Users can list multiple projects at once and make them visible to their whole team on the app’s dashboard. There are project boards with deadlines to clearly lay out the steps necessary to achieve success at the end of the project.

The boards and steps within them can be assigned to a group or one person. Trello has features that give users the ability to attach documents, videos, and pictures.

What we like:

If you’re on a team where people are all working on different pieces of the puzzle at once, Trello is a great way to ensure everyone is on the same page and aware of overall progress. 

34. nTask

Best for: Teams and businesses
Cost: $3/month (Premium), $8/month (Business), custom (Enterprise)
best productivity tools: nTask

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nTask is a versatile tool with a number of features that help you take care of your everyday organizational needs and requirements.

You can use it as a scheduler, as a workspace for your physical and virtual teams, and also as a meeting hub for all of your conversations with your squad.

What we like:

You can use it to create and assign projects to your team — and you won’t have to worry about your data getting into the wrong hands. nTask has Two-Factor Authentication for extensive security.

35. Documents 6

Best for: Individuals and businesses
Cost: Free, $9.99 (Plus), $49.99 (Professional)
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Do you use cloud-based file storage? Dropbox? iCloud? Google Drive? If you need to share text files, music, videos, or photos frequently, this app can help.

Documents 6 lets you sync the files and folders you save to the cloud. The app also has a web browser for file downloads and a feature to read, annotate, and edit files.

What we like:

This file manager is free and a great addition to your toolbox if you’re frequently using cloud-based storage. 

36. LastPass

Best for: Individuals and businessses
Cost: Free, $3/month (Premium), $4/month (Families), $4/user/month (Teams), $6/user/month (Business)
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Whether it's your email, your workspace, or one of the numerous other accounts you have to sign into every day, it’s safe to say there are a few of us with lists of our usernames and passwords hidden somewhere “safe.” (Yes, I’m guilty too. No, I’m not telling you where my password list is.)

The app is free and securely stores all of your usernames and passwords in the "Vault.” It helps you generate strong passwords and creates online shopping profiles for the sites you frequent most. LastPass automatically enters your login information for you when you visit a site, so there’s no scrambling to find that hidden password list you created.

For those of you who are slightly skeptical about security, LastPass lists their advanced protection system features online, which includes an AES-256 bit encryption (you’re the only one with the password to your encryption key) and the option for additional security, like an optional pin, multi-factor authentication, TouchID, and offline options.

What we like:

With LastPass, you only need to remember one password (your encryption key) to get into all of your online profiles.

37. Slack

Best for: Professionals and teams
Cost: Free, $7.25/month (Pro), $12.50/month (Business+), custom (Enterprise)
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Slack is the ultimate team communication app. Whether you have a team of three or 3,000, you can all easily communicate and connect on Slack.

You can communicate in groups of users or channels, which you can name by team or topic. The channels can be company-wide or include just a select group of people. You can also send a direct message to one other person, cutting down on email and speeding up the communication process.

Not only is the chat function easy to use, but you can also share documents, photos, videos, and more. Personally, I’m a fan of the feature that allows you to send GIFs to your co-workers.

What we like:

There is also app integration with numerous other resources you may be using at the office, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Twitter. Slack is ideal for those looking to easily communicate and collaborate with a team of any size. 

 

Writing Apps & Note-Taking Apps

Are you someone who's constantly jotting down notes, thoughts, and to-do lists, and then forgetting where those lists are? Sometimes you need to quickly record information, and other times you need extensive notes on a specific topic. Writing and note-taking productivity apps have functions that help users record information in an efficient manner, with plenty of editing, sharing, annotating, organizing, and exporting options.

38. Bear

Best for: Students and professionals
Cost: Free, $1.49/month (Pro), $14.99/month (Pro)
best productivity apps: bear

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Bear is a free app that works well for anyone looking to type out a quick list of things to remember or even those who need to write a long essay. Users can link their notes together, organize their thoughts in a way that makes sense to them, and write in plain text so exporting and converting notes to a PDF or uploading to a CMS is simple.

What we like:

Bear has a clean, minimalist aesthetic for those who prefer a minimalist look. The app organizes your notes through hashtags, so you always know in which section your work is located.

39. Notability

Best for: Educators and students
Cost: Free, $14.99/year subscription
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Professionals, teachers, and students can all benefit from this writing app. The app is a simple tool used for paperless note-taking, PDF annotating, free handwriting, and sketching (if you aren’t a fan of typing). Users can complete and sign all types of documents with Notability, and send them straight from the app.

If you’re someone who enjoys both writing and typing notes, then Notability could be a great option for you. The app has a feature that turns written notes into typed notes, so you can keep all of your information in one place. Additionally, if you’re in an important meeting or class and want to ensure you don’t miss a beat, you can record audio as well.

The app even has a function to build checklists and detailed outlines if you want to write in-depth pieces while in class or at work. And don’t worry about saving all of your information to Notability and losing it. All of your work is backed up to the cloud, making it easy to access it from anywhere.

What we like:

This app is the modern way to take notes and has useful features for personal, educational, and professional use.

40. Evernote

Best for: Students, professionals, and teams
Cost: Free, $6.67/month (Personal), $9.17/month (Professional), $14.99/user/month (Teams)
best productivity tools: evernote

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Evernote is more of a notepad-planner hybrid. If you find yourself writing shorter notes or wanting a place to jot down a to-do list, Evernote might be more tailored to your needs than Notability (though they do share many of the same features).

The app allows users to write or dictate notes, sketch, and share documents with other devices. You can also make an agenda and create a checklist.

What we like:

If you like having your notes and to-do lists in the same place, then Evernote works well. 

41. Hemingway Editor

Best for: Students and professionals
Cost: $19.99
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The Hemingway Editor app is exceptionally useful to anyone who writes often. The app makes your writing as clear and concise as possible by bringing wordy prose to your attention. It’s kind of like having your own virtual editor.

Additionally, the app highlights adverbs, passive voice, and complicated statements to help you become a more impactful writer. The Hemingway Editor also allows you to publish directly to Medium and WordPress. All of these features make the $19.99 price tag worth it.

What we like:

The app works offline, so you can continue writing from your favorite internet-free, inspirational locations.

Voice-to-Text Apps

Are you someone who finds handwriting notes inefficient? Maybe you’re a fast typer but you still find yourself in situations where you can’t keep up with a speaker or lecturer?

Voice-to-text productivity apps are a great solution to these problems. Just hit record, and the app will transcribe the audio, so you can go back and listen later.

42. Otter

Best for: Teams and businesses
Cost: Free, $8.33/month (Pro), $20/user/month (Business), custom (Enterprise)
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Otter is a note-taking app that combines audio, speaker identification, and transcription. The app is a useful tool for journalists and students alike. If you ever need a “chill” day where you can sit back and listen rather than furiously take notes, you should try this app.

The app is designed to transcribe long-form conversation, so don’t worry if you find yourself in a long lecture. Otter will identify each of the people based on their voices if you’re listening to multiple speakers or are interviewing multiple people. If you’re a visual person, then the app will also work well for you — it highlights the words it transcribes in real time.

What we like:

If 600 free minutes of transcription isn't enough for your lectures, classes, and interviews, you can upgrade your account to premium and get 6,000 minutes of recording time.

43. Descript

Best for:
Cost: Free, $12/user/month (Creator), $24/user/month (Pro), custom pricing (Enterprise)

Descript is another transcribing app with audio word processing and web publishing functions. It’s a useful tool for those who conduct regular interviews, want accurate quotes from their subjects, and hope to share their audio with listeners online. This is a great option for those times that require you to take in a lot of information both efficiently and accurately.

Descript is exceptionally helpful in interview scenarios. Once the app transcribes your audio, you can edit, cut, and remix the recording. The editing “Wordbar” is a feature that sets this app apart from competitors. The horizontal bar allows you to easily drag words closer together to get rid of unnatural pauses or separate them to give the listener a moment to breathe and understand what they just heard.

What we like:

With Descript, you can publish your audio and collect comments from listeners on the web. You can also export your audio from Descript to multiple other platforms, including Avid Pro Tools and Apple Logic Pro X. 

Meeting & Scheduling Apps

The last type of productivity app I’ll mention is helpful for those of you who need scheduling support. This includes social media planning, scheduling in-person workplace meetings, and event planning.

These apps will make it easy to stay on top of your editorial calendar and reduce the frustrating back and forth that happens when trying to schedule meetings.

44. Crowdfire

Best for: Social media managers and marketers
Cost: Free, $7.48.month (Plus), $37.48/month (Premium), $74.98/month (VIP)
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Do you run multiple social media accounts? Post to one or more platform multiple times per day? Search the web for images and fun articles to inspire your work and engage your followers? Crowdfire can help you with all of these tasks.

The app, which is free, is a way for users to schedule their social media posts — which may include multiple pictures and videos — in advance. Crowdfire then gives users the analytics behind their posts so they are able to track engagement and see what’s working and what needs to be modified.

Crowdfire is a simple app with features that go a long way since successful social media planning takes time and effort.

What we like:

With a planning app like Crowdfire, you can sit down and work on your company's social media accounts for a specific amount of time, then have your work automatically post whenever you choose. No more headaches when it comes to social!

45. Doodle

Best for: Teams and businesses
Cost: Free, $6.95/user/month (Pro), $8.95/user/month (Team), custom pricing (Enterprise)

When you’re trying to book a meeting, get together with friends, schedule a book club, or plan any other event that includes multiple people, it can be hard to find a day and time that works for everyone. Sending texts and emails back and forth to find a date that works is inefficient and time-consuming. That’s where Doodle comes in.

This free app allows users to find the best date and time for any event by suggesting a number of options for invitees to select their preferences. Doodle is so user-friendly that your invitees don’t even need the app to choose their preferences. It works via iMessage, Facebook, WhatsApp email, and more. There is even a calendar integration to avoid any confusion between you and your invitees.

What we like:

Doodle is the ultimate way to get as many people as possible to attend your important meeting, party, or event.

Conclusion

Distractions, mismanaged time, and procrastination are all cutting into our ability to be productive. No matter your personality or work ethic, there is a productivity app that can help you. Think of them as friendly bits of technology that can measurably improve your ability to work efficiently.

Productivity apps are tools that not only impact the quality of your work but the time you spend away from work. Who doesn’t want to spend less time worrying about being productive and more time actually getting things done?

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