While a number of modern applications have made work easier, they can also be distracting as we try to be productive at work. With a full email inbox, messaging apps, and time management software, it can feel as though you are focusing more on the apps than your actual productivity. There is no perfect answer to finding a way to reach your goals, but there is software designed to help you stay on-task.
Many of these applications are available for both computers and mobile devices. With a comprehensive integration of the software, you can become capable of completing tasks faster while also taking your work with you no matter where you go.
With the right apps, you can streamline your workflow and make your processes simpler so you can move onto your next great project. First, we’ll take a look at how productivity apps may benefit you, then we’ll rank some of the best ones for you.
What is productivity software for personal use?
Personal productivity software is designed to make your own tasks and overall workload more manageable. It’s easy to feel bogged down by the number of emails you need to answer or the tasks you need to finish. Most productivity software
helps you target which areas you can improve on and which tasks need to be completed first.
This can help you find a way to reach your goals at work while also helping you create a more effective work-life balance. If you would like to finish your projects at the office for the day so you can go home to enjoy your hobbies or family, productivity software may provide the assistance you need. Once you have access to the data you’ve collected through the use of the app, you can make informed decisions on how you can avoid certain time wasters.
What types of applications are available for personal use?
Some personal applications include programs that block certain websites such as Facebook, YouTube, or others for a designated amount of time you’ve deemed fitting. This can be useful if you find yourself spending more time online for pleasure than for work. Time-tracking software is also very common and allows you to see how much time you’re putting toward each task and what areas may need more attention.
Mobile devices have changed the game when it comes to integrating certain software. To-do lists are popular among personal productivity apps because they can be used across a number of different devices. You can also use them to connect with others in your family, like reminding your kids to complete their homework or your spouse to pick up the groceries. Because they can be used for business and home, they’re versatile options for those struggling to find work-life balance.
Personal productivity software can also be helpful for those prone to multi-tasking a bit too much. While multi-tasking can help you to be more productive, you also need to know the correct way to manage your time while you do it.
This is where apps can come in handy. They allow you to make the most of your downtime by highlighting which tasks should be completed first. You’ll then be able to accomplish more when you have some moments of free time.
What is productivity software for business use?
Businesses may decide to use office productivity software for a number of reasons, including simplifying warehouse orders and managing projects. And their overall impact can vary as well, because they can do anything from reduce the number of meetings that need to be held to help create a better invoicing and billing system. Plus, for those working in a team environment, these apps can be a great way to determine which tasks should be reassigned or adjusted.
What types of applications are available for teams?
Many of these apps include tools to help you keep better track of how a project is coming along or to keep track of assets. These applications tend to allow for greater visibility for employers, who can see where a project might be lagging and where they can increase workflow.
Project management can be done much more successfully when accompanied by apps because they allow managers to see which employee is doing what and when they’re doing it. They can track every aspect of a project and also gauge how quickly and efficiently it will be finished.
As a result, this can help managers spend more time doing actual work rather than being on calls or stuck in meeting rooms. Project management apps allow users to be more involved while also creating more visibility for which tasks are being completed.
What types of applications are available for employees or small business owners?
If you’re a remote employee, this software can also help you stay on task in an environment where it’s easy to be distracted. There are time-tracking and website-blocking apps that are useful for telling you where you may be wasting your resources. These apps can also inform you that it’s time to take a break if you have been working too many hours at a stretch.
There are a number of applications available for invoicing and billing, too, which can increase your productivity through automation. Time that you may have spent working on getting your employees (or yourself) paid can be put toward growth or fostering client relationships. Productivity apps can be especially helpful for small business owners who have to wear many hats.
Online applications are the future
Many of the applications we’ll discuss have taken the place of traditional office suites. Because many of them are designed to work in conjunction with cloud-based software, office suites that don’t offer this function are being phased out. This also means that you can collaborate more easily with your employees or coworkers. And because the documents are available online, you won’t need to download them for use.
Of course, even with a number of productivity applications, it is still up to you to finish your tasks. This software can be useful when you need to get back on track, but you’ll still need to finish what you started.
How would you like to be more productive?
Whether an app works for you or not can depend on a number of factors, including how you process information and what kind of job you have. If you find yourself on social media more than working on a project, you may need a different type of application than someone who spends hours going through his or her email. Finding the right software means taking the time to think about your work schedule and where you can improve.
You’ll also want to think about your short- and long-term goals for productivity. Some of these can include making more money, managing your time in a more productive way or developing stronger relationships with your coworkers or clients.
This process allows you to recognize your weaknesses and to determine where you may need some extra help from technology. With so many productivity applications out there, you need to determine exactly what you hope to accomplish.
Best productivity applications for personal use
allows you to take ideas you would normally use in a slideshow and make them more engaging and interactive through animation. This software allows you to fully develop your project and make it interesting and fun for those who are viewing it.
Cost: From $7 per month for standard, $19 per month for plus, and $59 per year for premium
Available from the Google Store
, this mobile app helps you keep track of emails and sends reminders for you to follow up. It also includes integration with a number of other apps, including Evernote and Salesforce. With automated responses, labels that can be assigned to different types of emails, and bulk editing, you’ll be ready to tackle that overflowing inbox.
Cost: Free to download
If you would like a detailed analysis of the amount of time that you spend on various apps and websites, RescueTime
has got you covered. The app
provides a variety of charts to help you see where you’re spending your time and in which areas you’re most distracted. It’s also available for both phones and computers.
Cost: Free for the lite version, $9 per month for premium
Finding the right work-life balance isn’t easy for everyone. With Plan
, you can track all of your daily habits, including how many hours you’ve slept, how many tasks you’ve completed, and your daily step count. It’s also integrated with Google Calendar, so you can get an idea of your typical daily behavior over time.
Cost: Free for team use, $6.67 per user per month for premium
Planning your social media posts can be time-consuming, especially when you’re spending your time on a number of platforms. When you use Buffer
, you can plan your social media posts in advance. It also allows for optimization for each platform, which can bring in more traffic and create more engagement for your posts.
Cost: Free for personal, $15 per month for pro, $65 per month for premium, $99 for small business, $199 for medium business
Best productivity applications for businesses
Creating quality ads on Facebook can take time and there is no guarantee that it will bring in new business. AdEspresso
takes some of the guesswork out of creating ads by allowing you to make several variants over a short period of time. This makes it easier to test if ads are working and to make changes.
Cost: From $69 for base version per month, $199 for premium per month, $399 for elite per month, $599 for diamond per month
Addressing customer concerns quickly and efficiently can be difficult when you have messages coming in from a number of different channels. With Intercom
, all of your contact methods are aggregated into the app. You can see messages from live chats, emails, and social media. This makes it easier for your team to keep up with responding to customers.
Cost: From $136 per month for essential version; $202 for pro
Creating workflow charts doesn’t have to be a drag. Zapier
makes it possible to put together a complex workflow chart and offers integration with Slack and Trello. You can know the status of a project and whether it needs to be pushed through faster. It also includes a feature that sends emails with updates to the workflow directly to your Dropbox account for review.
Cost: Free or $20 per month for starter version, $50 per month for professional, $125 for professional plus
When you’re looking to manage your invoicing more effectively, it can help to have an app that tracks your business expenses. Designed for small businesses who don’t need to have full-fledged accounting software, FreshBooks
keeps you looking professional and simplifies your entire billing process.
Cost: $15 per month for lite, $25 per month for plus, $50 per month for premium
One of the most difficult parts of project management is knowing what your coworkers or employees are up to. Wrike
offers integration with other applications and an easy-to-use interface. It is also simple to get set up and running, so you can begin analyzing how to structure a new project in a matter of minutes.
Cost: Free, $9.80 per month for professional, $24.80 per month for business
Whether you use productivity software as a small business owner, an employee, or a freelancer, you can find new and realistic ways to save time and get things done. No matter which ways you are distracted, there is software to help you and your business get a handle on them and succeed by increasing your productivity.
About the Author: Daniel Horowitz is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Daniel is a New York-based author and has written for publications such as USA Today, Digital Trends, Unwinnable Magazine, and many other media outlets.