It’s the problem everyone faces — but especially those running small businesses, working remotely, or managing their own project. How do you stay productive and focused? There is so much in the world that is specifically designed to distract us, that it often seems like we’ll never get that important piece of content, or that fix on the purchasing flow, or whatever it might be, done.
It doesn’t need to be like that. We’ve
gathered together the best, brightest, and easiest-to-use productivity
apps on the market. We define productivity as completing tasks on time,
and efficiently. Being more productive means you can get more done, and
get those jobs done better. Let’s take a look at some of the best, all
of which are available for free, for their basic plans - which might
just be all you need for your work right now.
We believe that Voog can massively improve your productivity, through allowing you to build a stunning-looking website in just 15 minutes, meaning all your attention can go on the crucial matters you might have been missing. If you want to see what we mean, join us for free, now.
EvernoteDo you work in a business where you, and possibly several other people, are involved in a content management process? It can be tricky, especially if you’re constantly sending Word or OpenOffice documents to each other. The problem here is that, if you have two different versions of a document in circulation, version control can get out of hand. Another issue is that it can be challenging to remember and find time to download all of those documents, and place them in relevant and easily locatable folders on your computer or in cloud storage. It becomes a daily exercise in file management.
Evernote solves the latter issue by separating your notes into notebooks, of which you can have an unlimited number. You don’t have to start a new document, per se, just to note down some observations - opening a note within Evernote feels much less formal and more enjoyable. You’ll never lose information in those notes, because Evernote, which offers free access across two devices, syncs notes to the cloud. You can write news stories, blog posts, or even to-do lists in there, and it’s all searchable from a bar at the top.
The best feature, for people who like to read longform stories, for example, on the move, but don’t always have steady internet access, is Evernote Web Clipper; what this does is take an offline copy of any website, with images if wanted, so you can finish reading them at your leisure. This means if, for example, you’re gathering customer reviews, you can clip them all in a specific folder and review them any time, from your connected devices. It’s also useful on paywalled sites with a certain number of pages free.
It’s a longstanding favourite of the online business community, and there’s a big reason for this — Slack is endlessly adaptable, and probably the best way of putting your team on the same page, wherever they work.
looks not dissimilar from Skype, and like that application, it offers a
suite of messaging, chat, and calling options - but unlike Skype, Slack
is designed for teamworking, and is far more customisable when it comes
to alerts in group conversations, popup notifications, status modes
(online, offline, etc), and also the range of what it’s possible to
share on chats.
On Slack, you and your whole team can see
documents, or images, which, when uploaded into a group conversation,
are visible to all. It’s easy to administer who is in what chat, and to
add plugins to make it easy, for example, to share Google Drive files,
or to add a gallery of photos that you want to place on your site, for
What makes Slack a brilliant productivity application, though, is that you can keep it running on all your devices, but also tell it not to alert you of new chat entries, unless marked urgent, between a certain time period, making it easy to get rest from your smartphone. You also never miss an important conversation, thanks to comprehensive search functions. If you work for more than one employer, no problem - you can have multiple Slacks open on the same computer or phone.
If you’re anything like most people, you’re
probably someone who used to scribble down reminders on Post-It notes
and put them on your computer, or later on might use your notes app as a
catch-all for your thoughts and ideas on what should come next in a
creative project. Both of these methods are okay, but have drawbacks.
Priority levels are easy to set,
through colour coding. If any tasks are too much for you, or you have a
team that you’re working with, you can delegate or escalate tasks in the
team, and review the other team members’ performance of those tasks.
The karma points, streaks, and levels are built into Todoist so that you
can easily chart your team’s progress through objectives that the
program roadmaps depending on the tasks you enter, and their deadlines.
Todoist is a fantastic application that will make life easier for you, whether you work alone or with 50 people. Like Voog, you can try it for free.
Any.do is an all-in-one productivity platform that helps people and teams stay organized and get more done. It helps businesses of all sizes assign tasks, track progress and create to-do lists.
Any.do started as a to-do list and task list app in November 2011 on Android followed by complementary apps for iOS and Chrome.
Weekdone is a team productivity and goal setting app that is free to up to 4 users. It works well as both a task planner and a quarterly goal setting application. Instead of focusing on projects like most other productivity management tools, employees and teams work towards quarterly OKRs (Objectives and Key Results).
nTask suits people and teams who have to shuffle between various tools to get things done. It brings all of those tools together in one agile collaboration platform. From making checklists to managing projects, collaborating with project teams, scheduling meetings, sharing files and more, nTask lets you do everything using just one tool.
Zoom is one of the most popular video chat applications at the moment. It allows you to organize video meetings, webinars, and conferences with up to 1,000 video participants and 10,000 viewers.
You're guessed it, we're talking about Skype. Almost everyone has a Skype user, almost everyone has used it for once. At least. So why aren't you using it for your business? It's a perfect tool whether you're communicating with your co-workers, talking to your clients, partners or even making conference calls across the world. You can keep your beloved smartphone but use Skype whenever you can. No need to waste your profit, or what?
Back in 90's, you must have loved MS Office. But, hey, it's 2014! Google Drive (Apps) — and MS Office online — are here for you now. Of course, you can write a doc in MS Word, save it on your hard drive, then send it to your colleague, let him download it, edit, send back and so on. Sounds a bit pointless, when you can edit it online inside a browser window and get it done right there (on-site management, just like Edicy) — together with your whole team.
Now, when you got 8 working-hours, then how much of it is spent on each task you have? Well, you can either take a wild guess OR you can track your time. Our developers have gone with Toggl, a tool developed by fellow-Estonians who run their business in California. Thanks to Toggle, we now know exactly on which project our time was spent. Besides, tracking time will help you a lot when it comes to reporting your big boss-man.
Okay, you can keep your precious project managers. But you can make their and your life much easier by using the right tools. In Voog, we use two different tools to manage our tasks. Developers, coders and designers have grouped their tasks into PivotalTracker, allowing all the members to add new and modify already existing tasks. On the other hand, our non-development team has chosen Basecamp. But in the end, they both serve the same goal — keeping your business on track.
All these apps will help you stay more productive and also improve the teamwork and productivity in your workplace. Wheter you are working from the office or remotely, these tools will be as useful for you as they are for us in Voog.
In conclusion, stop wasting your money, time and nerves by using ancient tools just because you didn't know any better. Ditch inefficiency and take your business to another level.