21 Best Productivity Apps for 2022
Updated: October 10,2022
What’s your ultimate goal this year?
Here’s mine – to be as productive as I can be, all-year-round.
That’s why I’ve put together a list of the best productivity apps. Hop right in, I have exciting things in store!
You can expect to see:
- 23 apps with various productivity tools. You’ll find their key features, usability, and pricing.
- An easy-to-follow buyer’s guide is here to help you select the best option.
- Tips and tricks on how to amp up your daily productivity.
Alright, let’s begin!
Top 21 Productivity Apps for 2022
Best Productivity Apps for 2022
- •Todoist – Best for daily tasks
- •Monday.com - Project Management
- •Microsoft 365 – Best for office workers
- •Serene – Best productivity app for Mac
- •Time Doctor – Best employee time tracking app
- •RescueTime – Best for time management
- •Focus@Will – Best for work and study playlists
- •LastPass – Best for securing passwords
- •Grammarly – Best for writers
- •Slack – Best for business communication
- •Slack – Best for business communication
- •Pushbullet – Best for device syncing
- •Trello – Best for group tasks
- •Evernote – Best for note-taking
- •Forest – Best for reducing your phone usage
- •Freedom – Best for blocking distractions
- •Habitica – Best for gamifying tasks
- •Any.do – Best for personal productivity
- •Due – Best for repetitive tasks
- •Loop Habit Tracker – Best for daily productivity
- •Pocket – Best for bookmarking content
Todoist is a free productivity software you can use to organize everything – from your simple everyday to-do lists to complex work projects. It’s easy to navigate, which made it a definite user-favorite.
Here’s what else it can offer:
Are you someone who likes to wake up in the morning thinking about your daily tasks? Let this life management app take the stress off.
Its best asset is the Quick Add Task feature. It lets you create a list of tasks you need to do for the day, with a few taps or clicks. You can even add sub-tasks under each entry!
You know what else makes it quick? Its natural language support. You can just tell the app what to do, or type a few phrases and it will automatically add it to your lists.
Its Today section displays all the things you have listed. As you go about your day, you can update your tasks by marking them as to-do, in progress, or complete. The app keeps track of your daily movement!
And to keep you from stacking them on top of each other, you can organize them into multiple task categories. You can select or create fields such as Home, Family, Finances, Work, Study, and more.
You can create schedules and recurring due dates for your tasks as well. If you’ve got bills to pay, project deadlines to meet, or events to attend, use this option! Set up alerts and reminders on repetitive tasks so you won’t forget them.
It’s a great tool for professionals, too. For enhanced office productivity, Todoist integrates with popular automation software like Zapier, Integromat, and other business apps like Google Suite, Slack, Fantastical, etc.
And what’s a good productivity app without rewards? You’ll be inspired to get more organized by earning Karma points. You get them by adding more tasks or completing them on time.
Ease of Use
In terms of usability, Todoist makes organizing seem like a fun task. And it is! The app has a clean user interface, with all task categories arranged neatly. It also has project templates. You can duplicate the task formats you’ve made along with their own settings and customizations.
You guessed it – this app is free! Although that gives you up to 80 projects for 5 team members only. If you wish to upgrade, here are the paid plans:
- Premium - $4/month - 300 projects, 25 members
- Business - $6/month - 500 projects, 50 members
Even though the free version has those limitations, it’s still one of the best productive apps for Android, iOS, tablet, or desktop. Whichever device you’re using, the software works consistently! It checks all the boxes for a to-do platform, especially the daily essentials, and project management.
Monday.com is a cloud-based project management software that streamlines collaboration workflows effectively and transparently.
Ideal for HR professionals, sales personnel, and marketing teams, this app enhances business productivity to the max. You can perform a series of workflow collaboration and project automation. This way, everyone is in sync and you get more tasks done!
This work organizer presents a complete workspace for managing and organizing team tasks.
You can create a Board or multiple Boards, which is like an online spreadsheet. It contains your team members, activities, and all the deliverables. That’s essentially your only workflow, which is pretty simple.
You can add in more fields as you go, depending on your project scope. One example would be adding sub-tasks, checklists, and timelines. You can also add guest collaborators such as clients, freelancers, and other users. Just create a Shareable Board for them. It’s really powerful groupware!
Another great element you can add to your project boards is the Time Tracking feature. You can use this to measure your team’s productivity levels or note how much time a member spent doing a certain task. Heads up, though – the hours tracker is available only on a premium plan.
And of course, in a team setting, communication is key. Luckily, as Monday.com aims to be the best productivity app, it integrates well with various comms platforms like Slack and Zoom. And if your work involves a lot of automation, you can use it with Zapier, Outlook, or Google Suite.
Its newest integration is Adobe Creative Cloud, so now you can use it as an organizer software for design workflows too!.
Ease of Use
Just by looking at the UI, it’s pretty clear that Monday.com was made for collaboration. It is an intuitive, organized, and user-friendly platform.
Although some features have a learning curve, the main workspace isn’t hard to navigate. Add to that the presence of project templates. It’s a convenient feature that minimizes the extra effort of setting up daily projects or repetitive tasks.
Less time to set up, more time to be productive!
This business software isn’t free. But on the bright side, it does offer a 14-day free trial for all plans available. They include:
- Basic - starts at $8/seat, per month (one Board)
- Standard - starts at $10/seat per month (up to 5 Boards)
- Pro - starts at $16/seat per month (up to 10 Boards)
- Enterprise - Contact Sales (up to 50 Boards)
The price increases depending on your team size. It’s a little more expensive than others on my lineup of the best organization apps, but its features are worth it!
3. Microsoft 365
I’m sure you’ve heard of the iconic Microsoft Office applications. They’re a work staple!
Well, this app wraps them all into one cloud-hosted platform, along with some cool features.
I bet you don’t know half of them!
Let’s start with the major spec which is the online Office suite. With Microsoft 365, you gain desktop, mobile, and web access to all MS Office applications. That includes:
- Word processing for documents
- creating presentations and charts in PowerPoint
- preparing worksheets and graphs in Excel
- desktop publishing in Publisher
- email management in Outlook
- safeguarding your device from malware and threats with Windows Defender
And many, many more.
Just like the robust work apps on this list, this one is also designed for collaboration. Using Microsoft Teams, you can work with other collaborators who have access to your files in OneDrive. And to keep the workflow secure, you can add multiple authentication settings to verify the identity of active users.
The program has great integrations, too! You can connect your office system with Skype as a communication hub for your team. You can also integrate it with SharePoint for increased collaboration, safe files exchanges, and content management. You can even set up email and calendar automations through Microsoft Exchange.
But hands down, the greatest convenience here is cloud access. All Office applications can be used on any device, even on your smartphone! That makes it one of the best productive apps for iPhone and Android. You get less features on mobile, though, so editing files and doing more hands-on work are best done on your computer.
Ease of Use
Microsoft 365’s features aren’t that difficult to navigate, which puts them among the best productivity tools. If you’re familiar with the Office applications I mentioned, then you won’t encounter any difficulties.
Adding users and creating teams is also simple, since everything can be done with one click and drag-and-drop option. Some AI features are also in place to make life easier, such as the enhanced grammar checker built into MS Word.
You can get Microsoft 365 at a reasonable cost. Plus, it comes with a generous free 30-day trial period. You can either buy it for personal or professional use, with multiple plan options for each variant.
- For Home - starts at $9/user per month (up to 6 users)
- For Business - starts at $10/user per month. Includes desktop Office applications.
Features and functionalities considered, this tool offers great value. Especially in a time where Office apps are common ground for professionals, the ability to enhance your workflow with a revamped Office 365 is a huge advantage.
Easy to use
Multiple work enhancers
Distractions are a common issue for students and professionals alike. Worry not - apps for productivity like Serene will get you out of that bubble!
It’s an easy-to-use software for macOS that helps you focus on your tasks. It will remove all possible disturbances, let you create to-do lists, track your progress, and so forth. Here’s more:
The tool mainly works as a daily planner app. You can set a primary goal for the day, then add the tasks along the timeline. You can even add user roles for each project such as Freelancer, Writer, Developer, Designer, etc. It’s an added personal touch!
Serene offers numerous ways for you to prioritize tasks and weed out the white noise. The most popular among them is the Website and App Blocker, which prevents you from accessing pages and applications that usually distract you. No manual work involved here, since you can list them all at once.
If your hands stay glued to your phone, the easiest remedy is its Phone Silencer option. Once you begin your “deep work”, the app automatically puts your phone on silent mode to avoid distracting alerts and notifications.
It also has a built-in time tracker! If procrastination is your enemy, this is your best weapon. You can set a time frame for each task and the app will show you how much time you have left to complete it. Easily one of the best time management apps here.
If you need music when you work, then you’ll be happy to know that you can also use this productivity tool to play background tunes while working.
Ease of Use
Is this app difficult to use? Absolutely not. It offers fluid navigation, and the overall workflow is easy to get accustomed to. Once you’ve put in your tasks, set up your timers, and activated your blockers, you can just hit “Go Serene” and the app will start running.
You might encounter some bugs though, since the software is still in development.
The best planner app isn’t free, but you can try it out for a good amount of time. The trial period isn’t time-limited. Instead, it’s credit-based. You get 10 deep-work hours for free. After that, you’ll have to pay for a subscription to get more usage.
It has the simplest pricing model, which costs $4 per month, billed annually. That gives you unlimited credits, plus all features unlocked. That’s it!
Overall, Serene is definitely among the top Mac productivity applications.
Relax, Windows users! The site says the app will be available for PC soon.
5. Time Doctor
Accurate time logs
Time Doctor is the easiest solution to the challenges of remote work. With this software, you can closely monitor your teams’ performance and prompt them to make full use of their time while at work. With features such as hours time tracking, task management, budgeting, and invoicing, it’s an all-in-one software that joins the list of the best applications for work.
If you’re looking for the best timesheet app, this surely is one of them. You can use it to record what goes on in a typical workday for you and your employees. You’ll get digital timesheets containing a summary of how a user spent their time on a project or task. And as time runs, it also takes automatic screenshots and adds them to the logs.
You can even check the duration of breaks and pauses, which is a great plus.
It’s also one of the top productivity apps for project managers. There’s a section that lets you create, delegate, and monitor multiple projects at once. You can even do your budgeting activities in this section.
You can also use this productivity software to process your payroll! It supports common payment channels including Paypal, Payoneer, Gusto, TransferWise, etc. You can set payment schedules and other invoicing requirements. No extra fees involved here.
Everyone is prone to distractions – even I am guilty of this! Time Doctor is aware of that, and it offers the perfect cure. The app monitors web and app usage as well. If it seems that you are spending more time than you should on non-work-related sites or apps, distraction alerts will pop up.
Ease of Use
You can download it as a desktop application or add it as a Chrome extension, which is how typical time management apps work. Either way, this tool is fairly easy to use. You can just select a task and hit Play to start the time tracker. The interface is quite dated, though - expect a few bugs and glitches. But it still offers great functionality.
Another bonus is that you can still track your time offline. Your timesheets get updated as soon as you get your connection back.
Time Doctor has a simple and straightforward pricing model. It offers a single package which costs $10 per month. By paying this fee, you can unlock all features; no additional tiers, premium upgrades, whatsoever.
If you wish to test the trackers before paying, the app offers a 14-day free trial.
RescueTime is a popular work hours tracker that runs in the background as you do your tasks. It records time spent on a project and monitors the sites and apps you use while working. Additionally, it provides tools that save you from giving in to distractions. Freelancers and remote workers get the most benefits out of this!
It’s also aiming for the spot of best productivity app for Android and iOS because it tracks your mobile usage.
With this software, you can put time-wasting activities aside by accurately measuring your productivity and setting your goals.
As you work, RescueTime logs your activity, analyzes it, and gives you detailed reports from the captured data. So even if you’re working from home or your colleagues are miles away from you, you can be sure that tasks still get accomplished.
You can categorize which activities you find useful and which not. This is a key identifier of your productivity levels when you start using the platform. Pro tip: Be a little meticulous with setting this up. This way, you’ll be able to get a more accurate Productive Pulse score, which is how things are measured around here.
Along that process, it automatically tracks the websites, applications, and files you access. And just like the best free time management apps, you can use the tracker even when you’re offline. The data gets uploaded the moment you connect to the internet.
In addition, one of the key benefits of time management apps is the ability to keep yourself distraction-free. There’s a FocusTime feature for this, which blocks your access to sites or software that hamper your tasks. You can set a blocking period for each site for added optimization.
Ease of Use
Although a bit dated, RescueTime still offers a comfortable interface. The main dashboard isn’t too busy, with sections and reports that are easy to work with.
Installing the mobile app is optional, but you can still do so if needed. One perk you get on mobile is that you can turn off phone alerts and notifications as an additional distraction blocker. Website tracking is a bit limited, though, so I suggest you do it on your desktop.
RescueTime has a Lite version which is a free work software. That gives you access to its essential features such as time and website/app tracking, goal-setting, productivity scale, and weekly reports.
On the other hand, a Premium version that costs $9 per month will give you additional features such as website blocking, unlimited reports, and more.
If tracking time and activity are all you’re after, then it’s definitely one of the best free productivity apps. But if you need a distraction blocker at the same time, you will need an upgrade for that.
If music gets you going, try Focus@Will! In this web-based software, you’ll find thousands of tunes that will motivate you to work better. These are sounds that are specifically written and produced to increase your productivity and enhance your concentration. So, it’s not just any type of music.
Employees from big brands like Amazon, SpaceX, and Microsoft are active users of this unique productivity software.
With this app, you’ll have access to a massive library of music dedicated to bring forth your most productive self. There are lots of categories to choose from: Uptempo, Alpha Chill, Ambient, Classical, Cinematic, Electronic Music… the list goes on.
Each sound is tested and approved by a handful of neuroscientists all over the globe. It’s also proven to help tame your thoughts, especially for people with ADD/ADHD.
See, it’s backed by science!
To start with it, you’ll have to log on and set up your Focus Sessions. A standard session will last for 20 minutes. However, you can stay there for another 200 minutes if you need to work more. The music will be playing for the whole duration. It’s that simple!
Now, it may not be the best timetable app, but you still have the ability to set a fixed time frame for a task or project.
Since it’s not the main function, the productivity tracker works, but it has limited insights. Unlike other productivity apps for Android, iOS, or desktops, you don’t get automated reports or levels here. But you still get an appropriate score based on how focused you were during a session.
Ease of Use
It’s web-based, which makes for easier access. Every time you need to regain your focus, you can just hit a new tab for your sessions. The music categories are well-arranged, so it isn’t difficult to find something you like.
Focus@Will offers tiered pricing with three subscription types. All plans offer the same thing which is an all-access pass to its music library. Features like Focus Sessions and Productivity Tracker are also included. The only difference is the length of the subscription:
- Annual - $52.49 per year
- Two Year - $45 every two years
- VIP - $224.99
It’s quite a huge purchase, considering the lack of monthly payments. But if you don’t mind paying one-time big-time, then it shouldn’t be a problem. Plus there’s a 14-day free trial for you to test it out. It does, indeed, offer an extensive library fit for any productive purpose.
If you’re like me, constantly hitting the “Forgot Your Password?”, hear me out. LastPass is the easiest solution. It’s a feature-stacked password manager and is widely recognized as the best productivity app for iPhone, Android, or any other device type. It provides a safe vault for your passwords, files, and sensitive information. And it’s free!
Other than giving you a place where you can store all your passwords, the personal productivity software also works as a personal information manager.
It auto-fills your login credentials so you don’t have to type it manually. Aside from that, you can also keep a record of your address books, payment cards, or bank accounts in your vault. Now you can head straight to social media or do online shopping with zero frills!
LastPass’ automatic password generator will produce a 12-character alphanumeric key with symbols to ensure no hacker (or stalker) will be able to guess it.
Its storing digital records options are among the best organizing tools – from insurance policies to club memberships. You can even share them with other people via email, with a few authentication measures. The receiver needs to have LastPass installed in order to access them, though.
This iPhone productivity app also has a dark web monitoring feature, which notifies you if your private information is being used without your authority.
LastPass has a lot to offer to businesses, too! You get dedicated options for identity and access management and safe collaboration toolsets. That includes managing employee access, setting up multi-factor authentication settings, sharing passwords, and preventing cyberattacks.
Ease of Use
It’s cloud-based, so once you’ve added a password to your dashboard, it’s stored on all your devices. Since there’s a lot of features here, expect a bit of a learning curve in navigating all the sections. But overall, the interface is neat and responsive.
Conveniently, you can also add LastPass as a Chrome extension.
Great news – you can use LastPass for free! It contains all the essential specs, but not the extra features like unlimited sharing, dark web monitoring, and encrypted file storage.
On the flipside, here are its paid packages:
- Premium - $3 per month. Includes 1 GB of encrypted file storage.
- Teams - $4/user, per month. Includes up to 50 users.
- Enterprise - $6/user, per month. Includes an unlimited number of users.
Overall, LastPass is one of the best free productivity apps in the password manager world.
Are you tired of getting red marks on your paper, or countless revisions for your articles? Then you should take a look at Grammarly – the popular writing software whiz. It’s one of the top productivity apps, harnessing Artificial Intelligence to improve the written works of students, bloggers, authors, scholars, and over 30 million other users!
Grammarly is a master of detecting common grammatical errors on any type of content. That includes the essentials such as spelling, punctuation, word choice, and basic to advanced grammar.
With this productivity tool, you can avoid the usual suspects of faulty writing like verb tenses, subject-verb agreement, and other incorrect usages. Grammarly offers editing suggestions right away. It has 99% accuracy - let’s save the 1% for the few times it gets the wrong context and places commas where they shouldn’t be.
Other than that, this free work software is perfect for enhancing your writing style. It gives you an actionable readability score, along with parts of your content you can improve on. This is a useful feature if you want to make your content highly engaging.
The trick is to set writing goals. You can set parameters for your content like the preferred tone, emotion, genre, domain, etc.
The software also has a built-in plagiarism checker! It scans your full text, compares it to billions of existing content on the web, and identifies duplicates that could get you in trouble. It even shows you the exact page where it came from! But you’ll have to get a premium account for that.
Ease of Use
Grammarly is extremely easy to use. You can either download it as an app or add it as a Chrome extension. You have the option to write directly in the program or upload your existing documents. Just note that this software won’t work offline.
If you’re on the go, the Grammarly mobile keyboard is perfect for quick fixes on your smartphone.
It’s free productivity software! But with that version, you only get the basics, which include spelling, grammar, and punctuation checks.
To get the full suite of tools, you’ll have to upgrade to Premium. These are your options:
- Monthly - $29.95/month
- Quarterly - $19.98/month
- Annual - $11.66/month
- Grammarly for Business - $12.50/user/month (Minimum of 3 users)
These are steep price points, but that’s to be expected from the best productivity tools.
Slack is a feature-rich messaging app that keeps your team in sync with the tools and documents you need at work. It’s one of the greatest free productivity apps that does more than you can expect in a communication app. You get a handful of automation features as well as integrations that make it useful for collaboration.
There are no barriers to communication with this office productivity tool. It’s the single platform that has it all! Upon entry, you can create various “team channels” where you can bring people together to discuss projects, delegate tasks, etc.
A public channel is where anyone can openly communicate, while a private channel is where a few people can discuss and share confidential information.
If you need to go back to a message, thread, or file, this free work software will also save you time and effort scrolling through tons of messages. A quick search will do the trick!
Slack Connect also lets you easily collaborate with people outside your team. If you’re laying out proposals to your clients or reaching out with customers with a new offer, you’ll find this tool extremely useful!
Speaking of collaboration, you can deliver more than just messages. You can also share files, photos, videos, and other documents within your channels. It’s a good thing that Slack has over 2,000 apps and integrations you can use to enhance your workflow. Popular business software suites like Google Drive for cloud storage, Microsoft Office, Zapier, and Salesforce can be integrated into the platform.
Ease of Use
Slack offers a fluid and intuitive interface that’s ideal for all sorts of communication. Navigating your way through the channels couldn’t get any easier, and they are within quick access even if they’re stacked. As soon as you sign up, you can create your channels and add people as you go – a step that doesn’t require advanced tech skills at all.
As mentioned, Slack has a free version. That gives you unlimited channels, up to 10 third-party integrations, and a 5 GB storage limit. If you need more, these are the paid packages:
- Standard - $6.67/month. Includes full searchable message history.
- Plus - $12.50/month. Includes all Standard features and identity management.
- Enterprise - Contact Sales. Includes up to 500,000 collaborators.
Slack is team communication and collaboration wrapped into one, which is why it’s among the worthiest productivity apps here. For large-scale collaborations, though, the free version might be insufficient, especially with the limited file storage.
Clean, intuitive UI
Asana is a powerful collaboration tool, helping you manage numerous tasks and key initiatives. You can say it’s the best planner app for professionals, with some extra features for effective workflow-building. Big names like Disney, Google, Deloitte, Sephora, and Spotify rely on this business productivity software for their teams.
Task management is the key asset of Asana. You can arrange them in standard to-do lists or boards. You can set due dates for each task, assign them to your members, insert files and documents, and more. You can add more fields as you please.
To track the progress of your projects, you can view them on your Timeline. Alternatively, you can create individual or general Portfolios for extra monitoring features. This will show you who’s working on a particular task, or which tasks have already been fulfilled.
There’s enough space for work communication as well. Each team member can add comments, upload attachments, and review the fields in the same workflow. You can also start discussions with a team member by mentioning them within the lists.
You don’t get a time tracker for your tasks, but your lists or boards still get updated immediately.
Ease of Use
Asana has a clean and intuitive interface. While its features are highly stacked, it doesn’t get too overwhelming or clunky – even for non-tech-savvies. Project templates also cut down your work efforts in creating new lists or boards.
The desktop organization software works like a charm, but wait ‘till you utilize its mobile app! If you’re out in a lunch meeting or doing fieldwork, you can still track and update your tasks.
Guess what? Asana is completely free if you’re working with 15 members or less. You get 1000 tasks with unlimited teams, which is good enough for a small project.
For bigger projects, however, the free version comes with restrictions. Among others, you won’t get access to Timelines and dashboards.
Choose one of those following plans:
- Premium - $10.99/user/month. Includes custom dashboards and forms.
- Business - $24.99/user/month. Includes Premium features and workload manager.
Asana is the best to-do app for professionals with digital workflows. It’s not the most robust project manager, but if we talk task management? No other software compares!
Easy to use
Pushbullet is a mobile, desktop, and web-based software that brings your devices together. Developed by professional tech guys in San Francisco, this productivity app for Android claims to change the way you work.
But does it deliver?
What does “connecting your devices” really mean? If you have a smartphone, tablet, and computer, you can access each gadget’s basic functions from any synced device. That’s pretty much how Pushbullet works.
Let’s say you’re working on your computer – away from your phone. You receive an important message. This app delivers the message to your computer and allows you to reply to it. You can even access your inbox for existing messages. Convenient, right?
This free productivity software also delivers other notifications such as calls, emails, and other important alerts.
If you need to free up some space on your phone gallery by transferring media to your computer, this app’s got you! You can send files, notes, photos, videos, links, and other attachments within seconds. And if you got friends with the Pushbullet app installed, you can transfer files to their devices as well.
There’s a file size cap though – you can only send files up to 25 MB. It’s not much, but it’s a good upgrade from the previous 10 MB.
Ease of Use
You can download Pushbullet painlessly. Alternatively, you can access it on your web browser as well. After signing in to your Google account, the setup process is pretty simple, which basically entails which devices you wish to connect. You also have the option to add it as a Chrome or Firefox extension.
It’s not supported by Apple’s operating system yet, but if you’re using Mac, you can still access its web version.
It’s one of the top productivity apps for Android you can use for free! Yes, you read that right. The free service gives you 100 messages per month, 2 GB storage, and access to the key features above, which can satisfy moderate users.
A Pro subscription comes with extra features. You get unlimited messages, and you can send files up to 1 GB plus 100 GB of storage space. This will cost you $3 per month if you pay yearly.
Trello is a cross between a project manager, event management tool, and task coordinator. It’s one of those personal organizer apps designed with a Kanban-style workflow. It arranges the different work stages in a project and shows how each one progresses. Teams at Squarespace, Google, Costco, and Fender trust Trello.
As mentioned, Trello mainly offers Boards. Each one may contain multiple lists you can break down into different categories.
You can optimize each list by adding Cards. They contain all the project elements such as members, tasks, schedules, and other particulars. You can filter them by adding labels like “due next Friday”, “client remarks”, and whatnot. Because of this, it’s the best daily planner app for any team.
To further enhance your boards, Trello offers various Power-Ups that give you extra features. With this feature, you can have the ability to insert attachments, transfer documents, communicate with your team, or add buttons. This also powers a handful of integrations such as G Suite, Microsoft Office, Slack, etc.
It also offers automation toolsets with the Butler Power-Up. You can add specific parameters to certain tasks and set recurring commands for due dates and schedules.
It doesn’t offer in-app hours time tracking, but don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world! You can add it as a separate Power-Up if you need to track and monitor the working hours of your teammates.
Ease of Use
Trello is a flexible and easy-to-use platform. Plus, its cloud hosted! You can access your boards anytime, anywhere. You can also update your tasks on your mobile, which is why it’s one of the main productivity apps for iPhone, Android, and tablets.
Hold on to your hats, because Trello is free. It’s an ideal option for smaller teams, handling simple projects. There are paid plans available, though. Just for comparison, check out its packages:
- Free - 10 boards, 10 MB per attachment.
- Business Class - $9.99/user/month. Includes unlimited Boards and Power-Ups.
- Enterprise - $17.50/user/month. Includes all Business features for 100 users.
All in all, Trello is among the chief free productivity apps for task organization. If you can skip the Power-Ups, then the freemium plan should be sufficient. For bigger teams, though, it might be too simple.
Optical character recognition
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Evernote. It’s a note-taking app that’s an everyday essential for most students, freelancers, professionals, and everyone in between.
Aside from its accessibility, the ‘king of notes’ has reigned supreme among other apps for its abilities; cloud-based system, multi-platform usage, and optical character recognition. You can also use it as a free personal organizer software. Here’s more:
It supports multiple content variations. You aren’t limited to text notes. You can also record audio notes, insert tables and attachments, and create formatted checklists.
It’s also one of the best organization apps. You can group your files into notebooks, sort them by placing tags, save attachments, and cross-link notes.
If you’re working in teams, it also offers a Work Chat feature that integrates a communication channel. You can easily connect with your collaborators and transfer files using the same workspace.You are also free to integrate your work with other platforms such as Google Suite, Microsoft Office, Slack, etc.
Its special feature is the Optical Character Recognition (OCR). Evernote lets you scan and search text in images. No need to manually type your text from screenshots or pictures of handwritten notes. Just use this trick!
Ease of Use
Evernote is relatively easy to use, and it works consistently on Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android. If you’re someone who keeps notes both on your smartphone and computer, Evernote lets you do it efficiently by syncing your files across your other devices. Thanks to its cloud system, you can gain easier access to your files anywhere.
Evernote has three plans. And one of them is free! Just like how most productivity apps are designed, you get more tools and features based on your plan subscription.
You can choose from:
- Basic - Free. Includes 2 synced devices and 25 MB note capacity.
- Premium - $7.99/month. Includes unlimited devices and 200 MB note capacity (14-day free trial).
- Business - $14.99/user/month. Includes all premium features and collaboration access (30-day free trial).
Overall, Evernote is among the top productivity apps that can meet your note-taking essentials for personal and professional use. Although it isn’t the best for heavy-duty use - what with the storage/upload cap and device syncing limits - it still provides enough tools for efficient file management.
Good reward system
If you have trouble keeping your hands off your phone, as 66% of people do, Forest is the easiest solution. It encourages you to unplug from your digital life and do more productive tasks instead. In return, it rewards you with the ability to plant actual trees. See, you’re doing yourself and our planet a huge favor!
The creators of this productivity software are partners with a legit tree-planting organization called Trees For The Future. To date, almost a million trees have already been planted through the app. How is that possible? Simple:
It’s like playing a game. You plant a virtual tree, which can only grow when you’re not using your phone. How long each tree will grow is up to you! You can set up a timer for ten minutes to two hours – you’re in control.
And if you jump back to your phone before the timer stops, the tree will stop growing.
During focus sessions, your Forest will also flash motivating alerts like “stay focused” or “don’t touch your phone” to keep you going. But don’t worry, you can still take focus breaks for up to 60 minutes. You can turn this on whenever you like, and the app will let you know once it’s done.
By the end of the day, you’ll get reports and insights on how successful you were with your sessions.
That’s basically the process, but it’s not how the actual tree-planting works. To do that, you’ll need to earn coins (not Bitcoin, mind you) and spend them in-app to be able to donate to the said organization.
Ease of Use
Using Forest is simple. After downloading the productivity app for iPhone or Android, you can instantly start planting trees. You can just set the timer and hit “Start” when you’re ready to stay focused and leave your phone as your tree grows. It’s also easy to track your progress on how many trees you’ve planted by frequently visiting your personal Forest.
The app costs $1.99 on the App Store and Google Play. It’s simple, eco-friendly, and relatively cheap, which is why it’s one of the best Android and iPhone productivity apps today. The tree options are not that many, but if you’re putting more value on the activity itself, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Freedom is designed to help you make better use of your time. Over a million users have tried it, and professionals at Apple, Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft can vouch for it. Let’s see why:
Sometimes, we spend more time on social media or mobile games than we should. If it gets to a point where it hampers your work or study sessions, then it’s time to use a productivity app like Freedom.
The best solution for this is to use its website and app blocker. YouTube videos and Instagram posts taking too much of your time? Add them to your block lists. There’s no need to do it over and over either since you can block them all simultaneously for a certain period.
It also works as a time management planner app. You can schedule your tasks, focus sessions, or meetings and set a duration for each entry. If you have recurring events and due dates, you’ll find this really useful.
There’s a time tracker for your tasks, which is a good side-feature. It’s not the best timetable app, since I’ve noticed that timesheets don’t get updated in real-time. But it still comes in handy if you want to keep logs of your work hours.
You can even use it to build efficient workflows! It can be integrated with several applications for work like Asana, Skillshare, Adobe Suite, and more!
Ease of Use
The app has a simple and straightforward platform. After signing up, you get a neat dashboard that displays all the essential tools. Blocking sites and apps and scheduling tasks is easy, which can be done through one-click controls. Its multiplatform support also makes it accessible on all types of devices.
Freedom isn’t free, but you can take it for a spin with a trial run. It’s not time-limited. Instead, you get your first seven sessions for free. When that runs out, you’ll have to subscribe to its paid plans:
- Monthly - $6.99/month
- Annual - $2.99/month
- Lifetime - $129 one-off fee
These are cheap price points, and a fee worth paying if you’re looking to improve your daily habits. It’s among the best productive apps for Android, iPhone, or any operating system.
Free to use
If organizing your tasks seems like a boring job to you, why not play a little game called Habitica? Instead of the usual interface for making to-do lists and setting goals, the best productivity app turns it into an actual quest, and you’re the hero.
It now has over 4 million active players. Should you join them? Let’s find out
Habitica takes all the essentials of a life management app and lets you have fun with it. Just like in a role-playing game (RPG) setting, you get your own character, go on an adventure, complete milestones, defeat enemies, collect rewards, and accomplish levels.
All of this revolves around you accomplishing your tasks and hitting your goals.
Your main dashboard is divided into three categories. The first one is Habits, which is a column that contains your main goals. The next one is To Do, which you can fill with your tasks or missions. The last one is your Dailies, which is where you can add your activity for the day.
But what happens when you fail to fulfill your duties?
Your hero takes damage. Or, if you’ve entered a Party with other users, all members of your team will take damage. All the more reason to stay committed to your tasks!
The only bad thing about entering Parties is that if other players don’t care about their productivity, you get caught in the crossfire. You lose points as a result.
So, if you want an organizer software, but find the popular ones boring, go with Habitica!
Ease of Use
You don’t need to be a pro gamer to play Habitica. It has easy gameplay, and a simple navigation for your dashboards. It’s among the popular productive apps for Android and iPhone, but good thing there’s a web-based version. Thanks to this, you can still use the app on your PC or Mac.
Habitica is completely free! But just like most RPG games, you can acquire special items such as pets, weapons, and skins by paying real cash. The currency used to buy these are called gems.
To get this, you’ll have to pay for a monthly subscription that costs $5 per month.
Great for collaboration
Accessible on all gadgets
Preparing to-do lists isn’t much of an appealing habit for most people. If you can relate to that, this tool will change your mind. Just like the top productivity apps, it provides a space where you can efficiently manage your daily life. More than 30 million people make up the Any.do fanbase!
Let’s see what the fuss is about.
If you’re looking for the best apps to organize your life, Any.do is one of the top. It’s a multi-platform program that offers great functionality for task organization and habit management.
Adding your tasks is simple, but setting them up gives you a wide array of options. Under each entry, you can set recurring due dates, include sub-tasks, write notes, upload attachments, and regroup them into different sets.
Through alerts and notifications, the app makes sure you’re always on top of your schedule. You can also get location-based reminders if you’re on the go.
You can share your tasks with other people. Need someone to pick up the grocery while you write your research paper? Its task collaboration setting will help you assign other entries along the same timeline! Now two and more tasks can be done simultaneously.
Ease of Use
Navigating through the app is overall intuitive. You can group your tasks into categories for quick access - a great addition! It’s particularly impressive how accessible it is on various devices – even on smartwatches and speakers.
My only gripe is that completed tasks take a while to be marked as finished, which can be annoying.
Any.do has a free version! However, you get access to more productivity tools by getting a Premium upgrade. Your payment options are as follows:
- Monthly - $5.99/month
- Yearly - $2.99/month
You get a 7-day free trial if you get the Yearly plan.
With the free version, you won’t be able to get location-based reminders. There are also limitations to the Any.do moment feature. But it still has the essentials, which is pretty much sufficient for personal use.
Going Premium will cover your work needs better. Still, it’s one of the excellent productivity apps for improving your personal well-being.
Simple and slick
Has countdown timers
Due has a nag feature that tells you what you need to do – over and over again. Kinda like how your mom wakes you up for school or tells you to drink your vitamins before leaving.
Of course, just like the other first-class productivity apps on our list, it comes loaded with features.
You’ll be able to organize tasks and set reminders lightning-fast. Along the Quick Access Timings section, you can set key periods within the day and add task reminders within each time frame.
You can add as many repeats as you like, with the option to postpone them if anything comes up.
To make things even easier, this app is equipped with natural language processing. No need to type full sentences or descriptions of your tasks. You can just type “pick up documents 1 PM Sunday” and it goes straight to your reminders. No need to scroll through your calendar to pick a day!
Similar to time management apps, Due also lets you set timers for individual tasks. It’s sort of like a time tracker, but designed for short tasks like checking for emails or writing a letter.
So how does it motivate you to commit to your tasks? Your reminder will go off for as long as the task still exists. You can’t just turn it off the way you would shut off your alarm in the morning. Your alerts only stop when you mark your tasks as complete!
Ease of Use
This productivity software has simple functions. That’s probably why the interface isn’t cluttered with too many sections, buttons, etc. Adding tasks and optimizing them only takes a few seconds, all done with a few clicks.
Cloud access and storage also lets you receive your reminders or manage them on any connected device.
Due is available on the App Store for $6.99. That’s a little steep for a simple tool, but its features sure make up for it. Sadly, there’s no free version… yet.
Apparently, it only runs on Apple devices for now. So if you’re searching for productivity apps for Android, you can go ahead and skip this. But if you’re an iPhone or Mac user, it’s definitely worth the seven-buck purchase!
20. Loop Habit Tracker
No annoying ads
HabitHub rich insights
Loop Habit Tracker is an Android productivity software that helps you refine your everyday routine. You can set alerts and reminders so you won’t forget your daily tasks. But of course, I wouldn’t include it here if it didn’t have other marvelous features.
Let’s start with this: it’s a free and open-source software!
HabitHub is basically your main dashboard, which contains all the productivity tools you can use to manage your habits.
It gives you different methods to accomplish your tasks and make it a daily thing! The first one is the Streak technique, which gives you laser-focus on hitting your goals. You gotta do what you gotta do, without breaking your “streak.”
The other one is the Rewards technique, which is pretty much self-explanatory. Every task completed comes with a prize which motivates you to keep up the great work.
Either way, both are proven to be great habit-builders!
To measure your progress, the HabitHub does a good job of providing you with actionable results and good insights. It displays a simple spreadsheet, graph, or chart that shows your productivity trend for the past few days, weeks, or months.
The only limitation I’ve noticed is that it hardly reports numerical values. So if you have tasks like checking 50 test papers or doing 100 pushups, there’s no way to track them.
Ease of Use
You don’t need to be techy to use Loop. It also works offline, so even if you’re not connected to the Internet, you can still take this app to your early morning run or brunch. Onboarding is also easy, since it doesn’t require you to sign up or anything like that.
It’s not as robust as the top productivity apps when it comes to backing up, but the database still allows you to export your files to third-party storage drives - Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
As I said, Loop is a free app. There are no in-app purchases either, and the best thing about it is the zero ads. However, it limits you to up to five trackable habits only.
Buying the Premium version which costs $4.99, will give you unlimited usage.
It certainly outshines other free productivity apps for Android. Though a Premium subscription will, of course, buy you more functionality. But if you’re simply after the basics, the free version should work just fine!
Let’s try to paint a picture here. You’re chilling on your couch, reading that HuffPost article. Suddenly your mood shifts, and you decide you want to read it in the coffee shop. Pocket lets you save that article and open it without opening the site again. Readers will surely find this productivity tool greatly satisfying!
Here are its other features:
Pocket integrates with various websites and apps. It’s like creating your own content library!
And just like the best organization apps, Pocket keeps a neat record of your saved items. You get to add tags and group them into different categories for quick access.
Additionally, its Highlights feature lets you put up a separate stash for saving important parts of your content. As the name goes, you can select a portion of an article, and just click Highlight to remember that part. Save-ception, everyone.
The app also displays how much time you have left to finish reading that post or watching that video. Perfect for killing your time while waiting for the next train!
You can also share your saved content with other Pocket users, by simply posting it on your public profile. Additionally, there’s also a social media sharing option you can use.
The only issue I’ve come across while using this app is that sometimes, the images and other visuals like graphs or infographics take too much time to load.
Ease of Use
Nobody likes a cluttered reading area. That’s why Pocket keeps it really simple! You can either view your items in lists or grids, whichever you find more appealing. The interface also automatically detects the content type – whether it’s an Article, Video, or Audio file – and arranges it accordingly.
Offline access is a plus, which puts it in line with the other major productivity apps you can use anywhere. Just be sure you have a stable internet connection while saving content and give it enough time to download.
You can use this app for free! It lets you save unlimited items, bookmark hundreds of sites and apps, and add tags to your content.
However, a premium subscription will unlock more features such as unlimited highlights, quick search, and lifetime copies of your saved pages. Here’s how much it costs:
- Monthly Membership - $4.99/month
- Annual Membership - $44.99/year
If you intend to use it casually, I’d say just use the free productivity software. But if it’s for long-term use, especially for professional reasons, the paid version will give you much better functionality.
How to Choose the Best Productivity App
There are a lot of options, but which one is right for you?
Let me help you with that.
Consider these things:
Life plan apps will help you with tasks, habits, and personal organization. That includes
Todoist, LastPass, Pushbullet, Evernote, Mind Meister, Habitica, Due, and Loop Habit Tracker.
If improving your focus and overall productivity is your goal, use Serene, Freedom, Focus@Will, Forest, or Any.do.
If you intend to boost your work performance and collaboration, your options should revolve around Monday.com, Microsoft 365, Grammarly, Slack, Asana, or Trello.
If you’re looking for a good project manager, Asana, Trello, and Monday.com have features you can find in a dedicated project management software.
A time management planner app, like Time Doctor or RescueTime, will improve the way you spend your time on tasks.
If you’re a cheapskate like me, you can simply utilize free productivity software! Choose from Todoist, RescueTime, Habitica, LastPass, Pushbullet, Evernote, or Any.do. You can use their tools free of charge!
But if you’re willing to pay for a productivity solution, you can consider Monday.com, Microsoft 365, Focus@Will, Slack, Asana, Grammarly, or Freedom. Any of these would be a great investment, especially for teams.
To fully maximize the best productivity tools, you have to be able to integrate them with other essential programs too. That includes Google Drive, OneDrive, MS Office, Skype, just to name a few.
To be particular, Monday.com, Microsoft 365, Asana, Slack, and Trello are offering extensive integration support for a host of business apps and automation tools like Zapier, Salesforce, etc.
Of course, you’ll want a tool that works well with your device.
Apps you can best use on your PC or Mac include Monday.com, Serene, Time Doctor, Grammarly, Slack, Asana, and Microsoft 365. Some of their functionalities can be accessed via mobile as well.
If you’re on the go, Android and iPhone productivity apps like Todoist, Evernote, LastPass, or Habitica are great options.
How to Increase Your Productivity Without Using Software
You know what’s overrated? Multi-tasking. Don’t get me wrong – juggling many tasks with one hand does come with a few benefits. But accomplishing one task at a time will improve your focus and give you the ability to prioritize tasks.
Preparing Your to-Do List
Having a list of things you need to accomplish will give you better time management habits. If using a daily planner app isn’t for you, a pen and paper works just fine! Add it to your daily routine. Or better yet, start each day with it!
Give yourself a deadline for each task. Whether it’s cleaning your drawers for five minutes or learning how to drive in three days, setting due dates will help you commit to your duties religiously. Before you start utilizing the best time management apps, this is a great place to start!
I’d be lying if I said I never put off a task just to watch a viral video. We’re all prone to procrastination, and the cure is to eliminate distractions as much as you can. It can be as simple as putting your phone down and putting it in silent mode!
You don’t have to be in work mode all the time. In fact, taking regular breaks helps you refresh your mind and regain your focus – it’s proven by science!
Nothing screams “motivation” louder than a good reward. Treat yourself to something nice for your hard work. No productivity tools needed! I guarantee it’ll keep you going and strive to accomplish more.
With the number-one productivity apps, anyone can put the “pro” in productivity.
These apps are your number one assistant in accomplishing tasks, tracking your daily activities, organizing your work and personal life, or simply motivating you to bring out your best self.
If you use them long enough, you can even unlock new skills!
So shake off your lazy bones and start moving.
You’ve got the whole year ahead of you!
How can you improve productivity?
You can boost your productivity by simply listing down your tasks, fully committing to them, minimizing your distractions, and effectively managing your time. These top productivity apps can help you! They provide the necessary tools and platforms where you can do exactly that.
What do productivity apps do?
Productivity software helps you with overall motivation, life and work organization, team collaboration, project management, disturbance reduction, effective communication, and harmonic workflows.
Do productivity apps work?
Absolutely! As a matter of fact, Slack statistics show that over 10 million people and 600,000 companies use this platform as a daily tool. With these numbers alone, you can tell that apps for productivity help boost performance.
What are the 5 most commonly used productivity tools?
The productivity tools you’ll typically find on someone’s phone or laptop include Todoist, Monday.com, Microsoft 365, Time Doctor, and Grammarly.
What is the best organizer app?
Todoist is the best life organizer app. You can plan out your daily routines with this software, including your work tasks.
What productivity software is best?
It’s a toss-up between Todoist and Monday.com. These are the best productivity apps that push you to accomplish more by staying on track with your goals. Todoist is more for personal productivity, and Monday.com is leaning more towards office productivity.
Nero is an all-around wordsmith with a degree in Communication Arts— not the vicious emperor you might know in history books. He's an avid reader. A frisky writer. A tech enthusiast and occasional binge-watcher. He likes long walks on the beach. Enjoys deep thinking and shallow conversations. Hates ketchup. Panic! At The Disco.
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