In today’s fast-paced world, productivity tools make it a little easier to manage personal and professional tasks.
In the words of American author Paul J. Meyer, “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” And technological advancements have lent a helpful and reliable hand in managing every possible nitty-gritty of personal and professional life.
Designed to help individuals and teams increase their efficiency and effectiveness, productivity tools are software applications or digital tools that can automate repetitive tasks, streamline workflows, manage time and tasks, and help users stay organized and focused. Some examples of productivity tools include:
- Project management software that helps teams organize and manage projects by assigning tasks, tracking progress, and collaborating on shared documents.
- Time tracking software are tools that help users track how much time they spend on different tasks and projects, which can be useful for analyzing productivity.
- Note-taking and organizational apps help users keep track of important information, such as to-do lists, notes, and ideas.
- Automation tools help automate repetitive tasks, such as sending emails, scheduling social media posts, and generating reports.
- Communication and collaboration tools aid teams in communicating and collaborating more effectively, such as video conferencing software, instant messaging apps, and project management software.
Here is a list of the best productivity tools that you can use in 2023 to be extra efficient at work, in your studies, or life in general!
Best Office Productivity Tools
Microsoft Office is a suite of productivity applications developed by American multinational tech major Microsoft Corporation. It includes a range of tools like for document creation with Word, spreadsheet management with Excel, presentations with PowerPoint, email management with Outlook, and database management with Access, among others. The suite is available for Windows and Mac operating systems, as well as mobile devices running iOS and Android.
Similar to the Satya Nadella-led company, Google also has its own suite of cloud-based productivity tools that are together called Google Workspace (formerly G Suite). It provides a range of tools for collaboration and communication, as well as tools for creating and editing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. These include Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Meet, Google Calendar, and other applications.
Trello is a web-based project management tool that helps teams organize and prioritize tasks. The productivity tool provides a visual interface for creating and moving cards on a virtual board, making it easy to track progress and assign tasks. It is accessible on desktop and mobile devices and offers integrations with other productivity tools, such as Google Drive, Slack, and Dropbox. Trello offers both free and paid plans with additional features and capabilities.
Best Team Productivity Tools
Asana is a web-based project management and collaboration tool that allows individuals and teams to track and manage tasks, projects, and workflows in a centralized platform. The productivity tool, which offers both free and paid plans, is designed to help users stay organized and prioritize their work to achieve their goals. It is accessible on desktop and mobile devices with key features like individual to-dos called Tasks, collections of tasks represented by Projects, visual representations of projects called Boards, etc.
Slack is a messaging and collaboration tool that is accessible on both desktop and mobile devices and helps teams communicate more effectively. The productivity tool provides channels for group communication, as well as direct messaging for one-on-one conversations. Apart from real-time messaging, the San Francisco-headquartered tech company allows users to communicate through voice and video calls, and to collaborate on files and projects in a centralized platform. Furthermore, Slack allows users to create custom bots to automate tasks, such as scheduling reminders, responding to queries, and performing simple tasks.
Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing and virtual meeting platform that allows users to connect and collaborate with each other from anywhere in the world. The platform saw a massive surge in demand during the pandemic when remote activities were at their peak and the productivity tool provides a seamless and user-friendly experience for remote meetings, webinars, and online events. Zoom provides a range of tools for video conferencing, including screen sharing, virtual backgrounds, and recording.
Best Developer Productivity Tools
Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code, or VS Code, is a free, open-source, cross-platform code editor developed by tech major Microsoft. The platform supports various programming languages and has a wide range of features that make coding easier and more efficient. Some key features of the tool are Intellisense which helps in code completion and error-checking, built-in debugging tools to diagnose and fix issues in code, built-in Git support to manage developers’ code repositories and a vast library of extensions that can be installed to add functionality and support for additional programming languages.
GitHub is a web-based hosting service for version control and collaboration that provides a range of features for managing code repositories, such as pull requests, code reviews, and issue tracking. The free plan allows users to create an unlimited number of public repositories, where anyone can access and contribute to the code, and collaborate with others. However, private repositories, where the code is only visible to a limited number of collaborators, are limited to three collaborators on the free plan. GitHub also offers paid plans, which provide additional features such as unlimited private repositories, advanced security features, and more powerful collaboration tools.
ClickUp rightly goes by its tagline “one app to replace them all.” It is a cloud-based project management and collaboration tool designed to help teams manage tasks, projects, and workflows. It offers a variety of features such as to-do lists, calendars, time tracking, goal setting, project timelines, and more. ClickUp is highly customizable, allowing teams to create their workflows, task types, and views that best fit their needs. It can be used by teams of any size and in any industry, from software development to marketing, education, and more. ClickUp also offers integrations with other tools such as Google Drive, Slack, and Trello, making it a versatile tool for teams who want to streamline their workflows and stay organized.
Best Email Productivity Tools
Boomerang is a productivity tool that allows you to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders to follow up on emails, and snooze emails until a later time. It is a browser extension that works with Gmail and Outlook. Some other features of Boomerang include something called “Respondable,” which analyzes the language and tone of an email and provides feedback on how likely it is to receive a response. In addition, Boomerang has a “Inbox Pause” feature that allows users to temporarily stop receiving new emails, which can be helpful when trying to focus on a specific task or during periods of high stress.
SaneBox is an email management tool that uses artificial intelligence to automatically sort emails into folders based on their importance, allowing you to focus on the most important emails first. SaneBox also offers a feature called “SaneReminders,” which allows users to set reminders for important emails that they need to follow up on. Users can also snooze emails, temporarily removing them from their inbox and bringing them back at a later time. Another useful feature of SaneBox is “SaneBlackHole,” which allows users to unsubscribe from unwanted email newsletters and other recurring emails with a single click. It is compatible with a range of email services, including Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, and more.
Gmail Filters are a built-in feature of Gmail that allows you to automatically sort emails into folders based on rules you set. With Gmail filters, you can automatically label, archive, delete, forward, or even reply to specific emails that meet certain criteria. This can help you keep your inbox organized and reduce the time you spend on email.
Best Free Productivity Tools
Evernote is a note-taking and organization tool that helps you capture ideas, notes, and information across all your devices. The basic version is free and provides tools for organizing notes, creating to-do lists, and saving web pages. With Evernote, users can create notes in various formats, including text, images, audio, and video. Users can also create notebooks and tags to organize their notes into specific categories. The tool also offers a range of tools for formatting and editing notes, such as highlighting, bolding, and underlining. One of the key features of Evernote is its ability to sync across multiple devices, including desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. This means that users can access their notes from anywhere, at any time.
Canva is a graphic design tool that allows you to create professional-quality designs, including presentations, social media graphics, and marketing materials. The basic version is free and provides a range of templates and design tools to get started. Canva is designed for both professional designers and non-designers, offering an intuitive drag-and-drop interface and a wide selection of templates, graphics, and fonts to choose from. With Canva, users can start from scratch or use a pre-made template to create their designs and can then customize the design by adding text, graphics, shapes, colors, and more. Canva also offers a range of tools for editing and enhancing images, such as cropping, resizing, and adding filters.
Otter.ai is a cloud-based speech-to-text transcription service that uses artificial intelligence to transcribe and analyze audio and video recordings in real time. It is designed to help people including those in the field of education, journalism, business, research, and more by transcribing real-time or recorded conversations, meetings, interviews, webinars, lectures, and other types of spoken content more quickly and accurately than manual transcription methods. The software also supports integrations with other popular productivity tools such as Zoom, Dropbox, and Google Meet, enabling users to automatically transcribe and store recordings directly within these platforms. The company recently launched a new AI-powered meeting assistant that can join meetings and take over the role of taking live notes, including making screen grabs and summarizing key points afterward.
Best Personal Productivity Tools
Todoist is a task management tool that helps you create and manage to-do lists. It provides a range of features for setting due dates, assigning tasks to projects, and organizing tasks by priority. With Todoist, users can create tasks in various formats, such as text, images, and audio. They can also assign due dates and times, set reminders, and prioritize tasks based on their level of importance. Todoist also offers a range of collaboration tools, allowing users to share tasks and projects with others and assign tasks to team members.
Forest is an app that helps you stay focused and avoid distractions. It uses a gamified approach to motivate you to stay on task by growing a virtual tree while you work. If you leave the app to check social media or other distractions, the tree dies. If you complete the task without interruptions, the tree is added to their virtual forest. Over time, users can build up a virtual forest of trees, which serves as a visual representation of their productivity. They can also set goals and track their progress over time. Forest also offers a range of customization options, allowing users to choose different types of trees and backgrounds. Forest is available as a paid app on both iOS and Android and as a Chrome extension.
Google Keep is a note-taking and organization tool that helps you capture ideas, notes, and information across all your devices. It is designed to help users keep track of their ideas, tasks, and to-do lists in a simple and efficient way. With Google Keep, users can create notes in various formats, such as text, images, audio, and video. They can also create lists and reminders, set due dates and times, and add labels and colors to their notes to help with organization. Google Keep also offers a range of tools for formatting and editing notes, such as highlighting, bolding, and underlining. Google Keep is available as a free app on both iOS and Android, and as a web-based app.
Best Productivity Tools for Students
Grammarly is a writing assistant tool that can help students improve their writing skills by checking for grammar and spelling errors, as well as making suggestions for sentence structure and tone. With Grammarly, users can upload or copy and paste their text into the app to receive real-time feedback on their writing. The app checks for common errors and offers suggestions for improvements, such as rephrasing sentences, adding or deleting words, and correcting spelling and punctuation errors. Grammarly also offers a range of additional features, such as a plagiarism checker, a tone detector, and a vocabulary enhancer.
Quizlet is a study tool that allows students to create flashcards and study materials for a variety of subjects. It provides a range of study modes, including games and quizzes, to help students learn and retain information. With Quizlet, users can create their own flashcards and study sets or use existing sets created by other users. They can also add images, audio, and other media to their flashcards to help with memorization. Quizlet also offers a range of study modes, such as matching, fill-in-the-blank, and multiple-choice quizzes, as well as games to help users reinforce their learning.
Google Drive is a cloud-based file storage and collaboration tool that can be useful for group projects and sharing documents with classmates. It provides a range of tools for creating and editing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. One of the key features of Google Drive is its collaboration tools, which allow users to share files with others and work on them together in real time. Users can also leave comments and feedback on shared files, making it a powerful tool for team collaboration and project management. Google Drive also integrates with other Google apps and services, such as Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides, allowing users to create and edit documents directly in the app. It also offers a range of security and privacy features, such as two-factor authentication, encryption, and access controls, to help keep files and content secure.
Best Productivity Tools for Windows
Notion is an all-in-one workspace tool that provides a flexible and customizable platform for individuals and teams to organize their work and collaborate in one place. It can be used for project management, note-taking, knowledge management, task tracking, and much more. Notion allows users to create pages, databases, tables, calendars, and other types of content, which can be customized with different views, layouts, and templates. Users can also collaborate in real time, leave comments, assign tasks, and share documents and files.
Microsoft To Do
Microsoft To Do is a task management tool that helps you create and manage to-do lists. It provides a range of features for setting due dates, assigning tasks to projects, and organizing tasks by priority. The productivity tool developed by the American tech major is available for free on Windows, Android, iOS, and the web in multiple languages. Microsoft To Do also integrates with other Microsoft apps and services, such as Outlook, Teams, and OneNote, allowing users to manage their tasks and to-do lists directly from these apps. One of the key features of Microsoft To Do is its smart suggestions and recommendations, which are powered by Microsoft’s artificial intelligence technology. These suggestions can help users prioritize their tasks and stay on track with their goals and deadlines.
ShareX is a free and open-source screenshot and screen recording software for the Windows operating system. It allows users to capture and record their screens, annotate images, and share them with others. In addition to its screenshot and screen recording capabilities, ShareX also offers other useful features, such as a color picker, QR code generator, and URL shortener. It also supports scripting and automation, which can help users streamline their workflow and save time.
Best Productivity Tools for Mac
Apple Notes is a simple and user-friendly note-taking application that is built-in to Apple devices, making it a convenient option for users who want a basic note-taking tool that can be easily synced across devices. It allows users to create and organize notes, to-do lists, and checklists in a variety of formats, including text, images, drawings, and audio recordings. Apple Notes also offers a range of formatting options, such as text styles, bulleted lists, and tables, allowing users to customize the appearance of their notes to their liking.
MindNode is a mind-mapping tool that can help you visualize and organize your thoughts and ideas. The productivity tool provides a visual interface for creating mind maps, making it easy to brainstorm and organize your ideas. With MindNode, users can create mind maps by adding nodes for their ideas and connecting them with lines and arrows. They can also add text, images, and links to their nodes, making it easy to capture and organize their thoughts and ideas. MindNode, which is available for Mac, iOS, and iPadOS, is a paid app, with a one-time purchase fee for each platform. It offers a free trial period to allow users to try out its features before committing to a purchase.
Alfred is a productivity tool that can help you automate tasks and search for files and information on your Mac. It provides a range of features for launching apps, performing web searches, and creating custom workflows. Alfred is a powerful launcher that helps users search for files, open apps, perform web searches, and execute system commands, among other tasks. One of the key features of Alfred is its ability to search the web and perform web searches directly from the app. Users can search for information on Google, Wikipedia, or other websites, and quickly view the results without leaving the app. Alfred also offers a range of powerful productivity features, such as the ability to perform calculations, search for files and folders, and control system settings such as volume and screen brightness.
Best Sales Productivity Tools
HubSpot Sales Hub
HubSpot Sales Hub is a customer relationship management (or CRM) tool that can help sales teams manage leads, automate sales processes, and track deals. It provides a range of features for managing customer interactions, including email tracking, meeting scheduling, and pipeline management. It is designed to help sales teams increase their efficiency, streamline their workflows, and close more deals. HubSpot Sales Hub is available in both a free and paid version. The free version offers basic sales management features, while the paid version unlocks additional features such as advanced sales automation, team management, and custom reporting.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a sales prospecting tool that can help sales teams find and connect with potential customers on LinkedIn. The productivity tool provides advanced search and lead recommendations based on user-defined criteria and sales preferences. It provides a range of features for prospecting, including lead recommendations, account insights, and CRM integration. Another key feature of LinkedIn Sales Navigator is its integration with other sales tools, such as Salesforce, HubSpot, and Microsoft Dynamics. This allows users to manage their sales pipeline and track their progress in a single platform. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is available in both a free and paid version.
ZoomInfo is a B2B contact database and sales intelligence platform that provides businesses with accurate and comprehensive information on potential customers and leads. It offers a range of features to help businesses identify and connect with potential customers, build targeted marketing campaigns, and increase their sales revenue. With ZoomInfo, users can search for and access detailed information on millions of businesses and professionals worldwide. This includes company size, industry, revenue, location, employee count, and contact information such as phone numbers and email addresses.
Best Productivity Tools for Lawyers
Clio is a cloud-based practice management tool that can help lawyers manage their cases, clients, and legal documents. Clio offers a wide range of features to help legal professionals manage their workflow, including case management, time tracking, billing and invoicing, document management, task management, and more. With Clio, legal professionals can track their billable hours, generate invoices, and manage their finances all in one place. The legal productivity tool is available in several pricing plans, including a basic plan for solo practitioners and small law firms, and more advanced plans for larger firms with more complex needs.
Adobe Acrobat is a PDF editor that can help lawyers manage and organize their legal documents. It provides a range of features for creating, editing, and annotating PDF documents, as well as merging and splitting PDF files. Adobe Acrobat also has powerful redaction tools that allow lawyers to remove sensitive information from documents without affecting the rest of the content. Furthermore, lawyers can use Adobe Acrobat to create digital signatures and manage their signature workflows.
OneNote by Microsoft is a helpful productivity tool for lawyers as it allows to create notebooks, sections, and pages and could help keep track of different cases, client information, and notes. It allows one to share notebooks with others, making it easy to collaborate with colleagues or clients on a case. OneNote is closely integrated with Microsoft Office, allowing users to easily insert content from other Microsoft Office programs, such as Word, Excel, and Outlook. This can help create legal documents, manage calendars, and send emails.
Best .NET Productivity Tools
.NET productivity tools refer to software tools that are built using the .NET framework, a software development platform created by Microsoft. These tools are designed to help developers and other professionals increase their productivity and efficiency by providing features such as code editors, project management, and debugging tools. Some of the best .NET productivity tools are:
Visual Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) developed by Microsoft that can help .NET developers create, debug, and deploy applications. It provides a range of features for code editing, debugging, and testing, as well as integrations with other development tools. Visual Studio supports a wide range of programming languages, including C++, C#, Java, Python, and more. Visual Studio integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Azure, which is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform.
LINQPad is a productivity tool that can help .NET developers query databases using LINQ (Language Integrated Query). It provides a range of features for querying and manipulating data, as well as running C# code snippets and scripts. LINQPad provides a library of code snippets and samples that developers can use to learn and explore LINQ. It supports multiple data sources, including SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, SQLite, and more. This allows developers to work with a wide range of data sources without having to switch between different tools.
NuGet is a package manager for the Microsoft .NET framework that allows developers to easily add third-party libraries and frameworks to their .NET projects. The productivity tool provides a centralized repository of pre-built packages that developers can use to add functionality to their projects. NuGet manages package versions and dependencies, making it easy for developers to update packages to newer versions or to add new packages to their projects. This can help developers stay up-to-date with the latest features and bug fixes. The open-source software integrates seamlessly with Visual Studio, allowing developers to easily search for and install packages from within the IDE. NuGet is supported on multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.
What are productivity tools?
Productivity tools are software programs and apps that help individuals and teams manage their time, streamline their workflows, and increase their efficiency.
What are the different types of productivity tools?
Some common types of productivity tools are: task management tools, time management tools, communication and collaboration tools, note-taking tools, project management tools, file storage and sharing tools, automation tools.
What are the advantages of productivity tools?
Productivity tools offer a wide range of benefits, both for individuals and teams like increased efficiency, better time management, improved collaboration, enhanced organization, greater accountability, reduced errors, and easy access to information, among others.
What are the most used productivity tools?
Some of the most popular productivity tools used by individuals and businesses are Microsoft Office Suite, Google Workspace, Zoom, Slack, Evernote, etc.
Most common Microsoft productivity tools?
The most common Microsoft productivity tool is Microsoft Office Suite which includes MS Word, MS Excel, MS Powerpoint, OneNote, Teams, etc.
Most common Google productivity tools?
The most common Google productivity tools are part of the Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) suite of applications, which includes Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Forms, Google Drive, Google Calendar, and Google Meet.
Is ChatGPT a productivity tool?
ChatGPT can be considered a productivity tool in some contexts, as it can help individuals and teams to save time and increase productivity by providing instant answers to questions and assistance on a wide range of topics. For example, if someone has a question about a particular topic, they can ask ChatGPT for help rather than spending time researching the answer themselves. However, it’s worth noting that ChatGPT is primarily designed to provide information and assist with tasks, rather than to manage projects or automate processes, which are the main functions of many other productivity tools.