Want to work smarter instead of harder in the coming year? Of course you do!
We’ve compiled a list of 10 productivity apps that will help you better manage your projects and time.
Working with any combination of these tools is sure to streamline your processes and maximize your efficiency.
What Is a ‘Productivity App?’
For the sake of this list, we’re defining a productivity app as any software that makes your work quicker and easier. Productivity apps can save you precious hours when used consistently.
The following apps are in no particular order. The ones you choose to use will depend heavily on the areas in which you’d like to be more productive. So take inventory of your current projects, and then select the apps that will help you reach your goals.
AND.CO is a one-stop shop for freelancers and independent contractors. Send invoices, proposals, and contracts; track your time (which is incredibly helpful if you’re charging for a service by the hour); set aside money for taxes; and manage your client list.
You can also upload files to Shoebox, a place for receipts and other documents that you can then attach to individual projects.
The best part of AND.CO is that all the above features are included in their free version.
Upgrading to a PRO account for $18/month allows you unlimited active clients, removes all AND.CO branding, makes contracts and proposals editable, and provides you with priority support.
Subscription options: Free, PRO ($18/month)
Flock is an online collaboration app that organizes your team’s conversations in one convenient platform.
Easily access your company directory and begin a private chat, video conference, or channel with any and all members. Flock also makes sharing files or images simple through its drag-and-drop feature. Use the search bar to quickly find a particular conversation, file, or link, or set a reminder so you won’t miss an important deadline.
You can also convert discussions to tasks and invite guests to relevant channels, whether they be freelancers, vendors, or others working alongside you on a particular project. Not to mention, you can automate your workflow and integrate your most frequently used third-party apps.
Subscription options: Free plan, Pro plan ($4.50/month billed annually or $6/month billed monthly)
Asana is a straightforward work management platform that helps you stay focused on your objectives, projects, and daily tasks. Its visual project ‘Boards’ allow you to set priorities and deadlines and share details and assign tasks across your team—perfect for keeping everyone on the same page.
Features include ‘Calendar,’ ‘Timeline,’ and ‘Portfolios,’ which allow you to see how your projects are progressing in real time. This can be helpful for addressing risks and reporting updates to stakeholders and supervisors.
Lastly, you can integrate third-party apps. Currently, there are more than 100 compatible integrations.
Subscription options: Basic, Premium ($10.99/month billed annually or $13.49 billed monthly), Business ($24.99/month billed annually or $30.49 billed monthly)
ToDoist is a task manager that helps you make progress on what can seem like a never-ending to-do list. Not only does it track your tasks, but most importantly, it allows you to organize and prioritize them, so you’ll always know what to work on next. You can bookmark favorites, create recurring due dates, or add sections or subtasks.
If you’re working in a team, you can delegate or leave comments on tasks. There’s also a template library, which can help you select the best task management framework for your specific project.
Lastly, you'll receive ‘Karma’ for completing tasks and maintaining productivity streaks. You can visualize your progress through a nice, clean, line chart.
Subscription options: Free, Premium ($3/month billed annually), Business ($5/month billed annually)
CloudApp is a collaboration tool that focuses solely on visual communication. Sometimes a picture truly is worth a 1,000 words—and can save you lots of time! Create and share messages instantly through screen recording, screenshots, GIF creation, and image annotation. You can add quick drawings, arrows, lines, emojis, and other elements to make your message clear. It also has a blur feature to hide sensitive information.
A visual search allows you to search within images for text, objects, or attributes like color, while an analytics and insights tool allows you to know who’s seen your content. You can even set up notifications to let you know as soon as certain content is viewed.
Subscription options: Free, Pro ($9 billed monthly), Team ($8/user billed monthly)
Trello follows what’s known as the Kanban philosophy, which was developed by Toyota to boost production levels and encourage flexibility. Trello is highly visual, which makes it pretty intuitive.
Break down bigger projects into smaller pieces by creating ‘cards’ for each task. Then arrange cards into separate columns, which can represent different phases of a project. Cards can easily be dragged from one column to the next.
Providing your team access to all your columns and cards allows for collaboration from beginning to end. You can add comments, attachments, due dates, and more. Sync Trello across all your devices, and you'll always be in the loop.
Subscription options: Free, Business ($9.99/month billed annually or $12.50 billed monthly), Enterprise (varies)
Slack is an incredibly popular communication app that makes collaboration simple. Losing messages in your overflowing inbox is a thing of the past since Slack not only organizes all your communications but makes them searchable, too.
You can create individual channels for various projects, departments, and clients. Plus, team members can jump in and out of conversations as needed (and opt to receive relevant notifications). Lastly, you can upload and share documents, video chat, send GIFs to teammates, and integrate Slack with other popular third-party apps.
Subscription options: Free, Standard ($6.67/month billed annually, $8 billed monthly), Plus ($12.50/month billed annually, $15 billed monthly)
Social media is crucial to brand awareness, but crafting posts and responding to comments can take up a large chunk of time. Hootsuite is a social media management app that lets you update your social media pages from the same screen without logging into each individual platform.
Hootsuite’s most valuable feature, however, is scheduling. You can plan out every post for the next week, month, or even year. In fact, you can schedule hundreds of messages at once. All you have to do is monitor your accounts as the software automatically posts content at the times you specified.
Subscription options: Professional ($29/month), Team ($129/month), Business ($599/month)
Box is a cloud content management system that gives you a single place to manage, secure, and share all content relevant to your team collaboration. Offering end-to-end data protection, secure file sharing, automated processes, and thousands of integrations, Box is a reliable way to simplify the way you work.
Box’s design makes it easy to use, while its synchronization tools helps keep your entire team in the know.
Subscription options: Starter ($4.75/month billed annually), Business ($14.25/month billed annually), Business Plus ($23.75/month billed annually)
Geared specifically toward creative entrepreneurs, HoneyBook is an all-in-one solution for your business needs. Manage client information and communication, track bookings, send invoices, take online payments, and automate your workflows. It also seamlessly integrates with the tools you already use.
Reviewers note that they love the way HoneyBook has allowed them to organize projects, eliminate all paper contracts, and get paid without issue.
Subscription options: Standard ($34/month billed annually or $40 billed monthly)
Here’s to your best business year yet!
All content provided in this post is for informational purposes only. The Oxbow Center does not endorse or guarantee any products offered on third-party sites.