09.06.201623 min read

The 30 Best Productivity Apps Ever Created

Productivity is great. The more productive you are, the quicker you work. The quicker you work, the more you get done. The more you get done, the better you’ll feel about the time you’ve spent and the more important you’ll become to your team or company.

Unfortunately, humans can’t work like machines, and so you’ll need a bit of help from technology to work at your most effective pace. From experience, testing, and research, we here at Process Street have collected the 30 best productivity apps ever created for you to cut through your workload.

Now, I’m not saying that you should use all of them; that would defeat the point of streamlining your workflow and optimizing your day. Instead, these productivity apps are best used by picking one or two from each category.

best productivity apps - nothing productive

Speaking of which, these tools cover:

  • Communication
  • Document creation/writing
  • Note taking
  • Task and project management
  • Time management
  • Spreadsheets
  • Storage
  • Social media management
  • Utilities

If you’re looking for an app to help your productivity in a specific area, then feel free to jump ahead to the right category. Otherwise, strap yourselves in, because you’re about to save yourself weeks of needless time wasting.

Communication

GoToMeeting

best productivity apps - gotomeeting

Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Browser

GoToMeeting makes it incredibly easy to set up, then carry out a meeting on any of your devices. Whether you manually boot up the app, click the icon in your Windows tray or use their add on in programs such as Microsoft Office, GoToMeeting allows you to invite whoever you want into a meeting for either an audio or video call.

For maximum effectiveness, try using this to carry out the meetings you plan with a scheduling app like Doodle.

Inbox

Available on Windows, iOS, Android, and Browser

In the debate of Inbox vs Gmail, it’s a pretty tight finish. However, Inbox has taken over as the email app of choice for the Process Street team; the ability to batch archive with a single click, snooze emails until later, and even create one-click reminders sold us on the app.

It’s worth noting, though, that Inbox is better than Gmail only really if you want to archive (not delete) emails, and already have a Gmail address, since it’s built on top of Gmail. Still, if like us you despair at the state of your inbox, wishing there was a quicker way to handle the emails you don’t need to read without straight up deleting them, Inbox is a great way to solve your woes.

Slack

Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Browser

Slack is team communication with charm. Not only is Slackbot a killer example of a user onboarding process, but it makes chatting with both individual team members and specific groups a cinch. In fact, Slack is the main port of communication between our teams at Process Street.

You can upload images, share files, integrate Slack with other apps (eg; send a Slack message when a Trello card in your board is edited), and even host calls with what is fast becoming a major player in the team chat scene. For example, not only do we separate out teams into various group chat channels (such as “content creation” and “content marketing”), but we reinforce our company culture by casually chatting and posting random gifs in the “general” channel.

TeamViewer

best productivity apps - teamviewer

Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Browser

With over one billion installations, TeamViewer is certainly a popular choice for online meeting, remote support, and access. This nifty app allows you to not only communicate with your team effectively but also take control of a team member’s desktop if they’re having issues. If your support team is struggling to convey fixes or topics over the phone, or even with screencasting, you can’t go wrong with TeamViewer.

Document creation/writing

Google Docs

best productivity apps - google docs

Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Browser

Whilst Google Docs has been overshadowed a little by Quip, it’s far from beaten; although I’ve been testing Quip for a while now, I can’t quite bring myself to boot Docs for good. The grandaddy of collaborative text documents, Docs integrates with Google Drive for easy cloud storage and comes with a host of options for sharing your documents with the rest of your team.

All edits are automatically saved and synced to your Google Drive, and all changes are recorded in an activity log, allowing you to keep track of exactly what was changed when it was edited, and who changed it. This is why I (and several of our team) am reluctant to migrate fully to Quip; we all have local Google Drive backups of our work, and so using Docs to create new text documents just makes the most sense.

From allowing others to view, comment or even edits your own documents in real time, Docs is one hell of a killer writing app.

Quip

best productivity apps - quip

Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Browser

Quip lets you create documents and collaborate on them with as little distraction as possible, from pretty much any device you could want to work on. Not only is it designed with collaboration and communication in mind, but the interface is fantastically easy to use, giving you a frictionless experience when all you need to do is sit down, open up a writing app and crack on.

For those members of our team who have been able to kick the Google Docs habit (namely Ben Brandall), Quip is serving as a more than able replacement. Collaboration on documents in Quip is, admittedly, even easier than in Docs, so bear that in mind when choosing your writing app.

Note-taking

Evernote

Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Browser

Evernote makes taking screenshots, saving articles, making notes, and more incredibly easy. Not only can you save files, images, and notes from almost any device, but you can tag and arrange these items into specific folders, eliminating any clutter from your storage.

Coming as an app for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, a website, and a browser add-on, Evernote is brilliant for keeping a synced database of articles, notes, images, etc, across all of your devices. Give the free account a try; you can always upgrade if you fancy having a little more space to play with.

Pretty much our entire content team uses Evernote to snap screenshots and save articles for later, but we also use it to send notes to each other which are (via Zapier) converted into actionable Trello cards.

Task and project management

Any.do

best productivity apps - anydo

Available on Mac, iOS, Android, and Browser

Brilliant for anyone who’s often on-the-go, Any.do is a task management program which focuses on simplicity and syncing across multiple devices. Conversations, file uploads, and sub-tasks allow you to break down and work through tasks, whilst their Moments feature is ideal for quickly jotting out your morning plan for the day ahead.

The free plan is perfect for those just looking to keep themselves on track with a few simple tasks, but if you want to share more than one then you’ll need to upgrade to a premium account.

Asana

best productivity apps - asana

Available on iOS, Android, and Browser

Asana is a task and project management app which puts teamwork and organization at top priority. Coming with an internal chat system, calendar, task and project creator and manager, along with various views for your team means that everyone will know what they should be doing and when. You can even track the progress of your teammates’ tasks using their checkbox system.

Asana is free for teams of up to 15 members, and $8.33 per member per month beyond that. The price, however, also allows you to set private tasks and projects, have unlimited dashboards and guests, and set task dependencies.

OmniFocus

best productivity apps - omnifocus

Available on Mac and iOS

Although it’s only available on Mac and iOS (including the Apple Watch), OmniFocus is a powerful tool in your task management arsenal. Not only can you sync your tasks across all of your devices, but you can set reminders based on time or location (eg, remind you to buy milk when you walk past the store), sort through your tasks without directly opening the app, and even filter your tasks into particular perspectives for easy viewing.

Process Street

Available on Browser

We can’t publish a post on the best productivity apps out there without including Process Street; the best app around for documenting your processes and tracking the progress of your team as they complete the tasks you give them. Not only can you improve the efficiency of your team by giving them a checklist to work through and tick off as they go, but their accuracy in their tasks will get a boost due to the instructions laid out in plain text.

From better onboarding to fine-tuning the workflow of your most effective team members, Process Street will help you to work as quickly and effectively as possible.

Todoist

best productivity apps - todoist

Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Browser

Todoist is a task management app which focuses on letting you set up, organize and complete your tasks quickly, all while spending as little time in the app itself as possible. It achieves this by naturally interpreting the language you use (for example, “Read a book chapter every day at 8 p.m.”), making creating your tasks a cinch.

Plus, it’s our own team’s favorite personal to-do list app (by a small margin), due to how natural it feels to use. That is, if you’re willing to spend some money on the premium plan.

Trello

best productivity apps - trello

Available on iOS, Android, and Browser

Once you’ve used Trello, it’s hard to imagine tackling a large project without having a board set up for it. By creating boards to house your separate projects, you can make individual tasks into cards which can then be sorted into columns according to the action that needs to be taken or the progress of the task.

Not only that, but you can assign team members to specific cards, set due dates, add attachments, integrate it with hundreds of other apps via Zapier, add in-card checklists, and much, much more. For example, we have a “Blog Articles” board with columns such as “Ideas,” “Work In Progress,” “Waiting Review," and “Ready To Publish.” Then, whenever one of us gets a new idea, we create a card in the “Ideas” column and proceed to shift it over as the task progresses.

It’s both a worthy entry for being one of the best productivity apps, and our team’s pick for the best project management app on the market.

Wunderlist

best productivity apps - wunderlist

Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Browser

If you’re not quite ready to fork out for Todoist’s premium account, or you’re looking to integrate your to-do-list app with services, Wunderlist is a fantastic alternative. It has everything you could want to organize your life; folders, tasks, subtasks, reminders, attachments, collaboration, due dates, and prioritization.

Admittedly, the UI is a little clunky to get to grips with, but the sheer list of features Wunderlist boasts is not to be underestimated.

Time management

Doodle

best productivity apps - doodle

Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Browser

Doodle is all about making scheduling as easy as possible. The app will sync your calendar with anyone else you wish to arrange a meeting with, allowing you both to easily see the exact date and times you are both free. No switching between Doodle and your calendar, no mistakes or clashes with your schedule.

A quick note though: The free version contains ads and will not allow you to set automatic reminders.

Google Calendar

best productivity apps - google calendar

Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Browser

Google Calendar is a staple app of many across the world, but it’s nonetheless worth reinforcing as a fantastic piece of kit. The real power of GCalendar comes with its events; these allow you to segment your days into color-coded blocks of time, providing you with the framework of your day to come. Plus, if you don’t fancy using Doodle to arrange meetings, you can always share your calendar with a teammate and have them compare your free time to theirs to see when you’re both free to chat.

The app also allows you to specify the location of the event, add a Google Hangouts call, send others email invites to the event, and generally organize your time effectively. For example, the content creation team here at Process Street have events in our calendars marked out for our twice-weekly calls to catch up and discuss how everything’s going; if the time changes or someone’s unavailable, we need only update the event.

Spreadsheets

Airtable

best productivity apps - airtable

Available on Windows (beta), Mac (beta), iOS, Android (beta), and Browser

Airtable lets you create spreadsheets which go far beyond just storing data. Not only can you create and save custom filtered views for your records, but you can upload attachments, integrate with hundreds of apps through its API, link related data cells together, and even collaborate with your team on the same knowledge base.

For example, we use Airtable to track all of our content, linking keywords to search volume, titles to URLs, and much, much more. Any piece of content related to Process Street is recorded and documented, and with Airtable’s search and filter features, it’s easy to instantly bring up the information you need.

All that, plus the base app is free; currently, the only thing you can pay for is more records and available attachment storage in each of your “bases,” along with priority support. However, you can create unlimited bases for free, so unless you desperately need to link every piece of data, just create a fresh database for free when the old one is full.

Storage

1Password

best productivity apps - 1password

Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android

If you’ve ever found yourself getting lost amongst a growing pile of logins, all of which need to be unique, secure and on hand at all times, 1Password is the app for you. Not only can you store thousands of logins for easy retrieval, but their Chrome plugin lets you automatically fill in any saved login on your current page with a couple of clicks.

I, for example, started using 1Password shortly after joining the Process Street team back in November 2015. Now, rather than wasting time finding, guessing or resetting my passwords for various sites, all I need to remember is the master password to allow access to the 1Password vault.

Coming with a free six-month trial (after which you’re charged $2.99 per month billed annually) and unlimited installations across devices, this app is a lifesaver.

Dropbox

best productivity apps - dropbox

Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Browser

Dropbox is a handy cloud storage service which is ideal for users who want to keep things simple. Their file layout is similar to that of a desktop, making it easy to get to grips with, and you can gain a significant amount of free space (up to 16 Gb) if you successfully invite other users to the service.

Admittedly, when compared to its competitors, Dropbox can be found a little lacking for high-end users, but for anyone who wants to keep things simple and just back up a few files to the cloud for safekeeping, you can’t go wrong with Dropbox.

Google Drive

Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Browser

Google Drive is the cloud storage platform for power users. Not only does it beat Dropbox for the standard amount of free space (15 Gb), but the effortless integration with Google Apps (which are pretty stellar in their own right) cements Drive as our go-to choice of cloud storage.

The local Google Drive folder on your computer can be used to upload files to the cloud storage easily and efficiently, whilst folder (and individual item) permissions are customizable. If you want to show a team member a specific file, but keep the others hidden, it’s no problem.

You can even use Google Drive to trigger various actions by using Zapier. Most recently, we’ve started using free screencasting apps and Google Drive together; when a screencast is saved into a specific Drive folder, Zapier automatically copies it into a Trello card and message to a specific teammate. This way no time is wasted, there is little confusion (you can visually demonstrate your point with a screencast) and you waste no time converting, exporting, then sending the final product.

Social media management

Buffer

best productivity apps - buffer

Available on iOS, Android, and Browser

If you’ve ever considered an app for social media management, chances are that Buffer came up in your search. The premise is simple—you don’t always have time to post content to your social media accounts, especially if you have multiple, so why not schedule your posts instead?

Buffer allows you to easily do this for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, and (if you’re a premium account) Pinterest. Needless to say, it’s insanely helpful to be able to spend a half hour queueing up 10 or so posts, then just leave it be until the next batch you want to release comes along. You can even queue up posts from your iOS or Android device whilst you’re on the go.

Tweetbot

best productivity apps - tweetbot

Available on Mac and iOS

If you’ve ever found yourself wishing for a cleaner Twitter experience, Tweetbot is the app for you. Serving as an alternate interface for Twitter, it hosts a customizable timeline, no ads, automatic syncing between the iOS and Mac apps, support for multiple Twitter accounts, along with the ability to save searches, view trends and much, much more.

In short, if your use Twitter for anything other than a quick notification checkup once a month, give Tweetbot a try.

Utilities

AirDroid

best productivity apps - airdroid

Available on Windows, Mac, and Android

If you have an Android device (especially one you use for work) then you’ll want to grab this. AirDroid allows you to access and interact with your Android device on your computer; you can answer messages, manage, copy, and send files—all from the comfort of your keyboard.

If you wanted to go further, their premium account lets you locate your phone from your computer, take photos of anyone trying to unlock your phone, dial remotely from the web and much more.

Freedom

best productivity apps - freedom

Available on Windows, Mac, and iOS

Freedom lets you block distracting websites for a set amount of time, whether you’re on a PC or mobile device. For example, if you know that you’re being tempted by Twitter, or led astray by Facebook, you can nip that distraction in the bud and block it before you lose an hour to liking posts and cat videos.

Their trial allows you to have up to seven blocking sessions, so take full advantage of that time to see just how much your productivity goes up when you can’t access those distracting websites at all.

IFTTT

best productivity apps - ifttt

Available on iOS, Android, and Browser

IFTTT (If This Then That) allows you to automate simple processes easily. It operates on a simple model—if a specific event happens (eg, you receive an email), an action is performed (eg, all attachments are saved into Google Drive).

Whilst it isn’t quite as powerful as Zapier, the simplicity of IFTTT, along with the ready-to-use automations submitted by other users, make it perfect for simple processes and personal use. For example, whilst our team loves Zapier, using IFTTT’s mobile apps make it incredibly easy to create a note in Evernote from your mobile device, or save an image of a receipt.

Pocket

best productivity apps - pocket

Available on iOS, Android, and Browser

Pocket is pretty much bookmarking on steroids. Using your browser, email, or any of over 500 applications (including Twitter and Flipboard), you can save content to read or view later if you’re pushed for time.

Be it an article, video, or something else, all of this content can also be synced to your iOS or Android devices to view on the go. A perfect addition for anyone drowning in bookmarks or content that they can never quite get around to taking a look at.

Skitch

best productivity apps - skitch

Available on Mac and iOS

Skitch is an app from the team over at Evernote which lets you quickly capture, annotate, then save (or send) images. Whilst the support for the Windows and Android versions are certainly missed, Skitch continues to be a great way for Mac and iOS users to easily snap a screenshot or photo, add text, arrows, basic shapes, or highlight in various colors, then ship it off to where it needs to go.

Do you agree with our best productivity apps?

So there you have it—the 30 best productivity apps ever created. Once again, don’t go away and try to use all of these at once—you’ll probably so lost in creating your to-do list every day that you’ll never get started on your real work. Instead, think about what you need to streamline and take some inspiration from a category or two above.

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This article originally appeared in Process Street.

This article was written by Ben Mulholland from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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