The world is obsessed with productivity. We all want to know how to get things done more quickly and with less effort; improve our time management skills; and lead more productive, fulfilling lives. The eight productivity apps listed in this blog post will help you achieve those goals.
We've pulled from our personal experiences and conducted detailed, in-depth research to compile the best productivity apps for 2021. An investment in just a few of these tools is sure to make you more efficient. So without further ado, let's dive in!
How We Define "Productivity Apps"
For the purposes of this blog post, a productivity app is any piece of software that makes your job easier and allows you to get more work done in less time. Some of the applications listed below aren't "productivity apps" in the traditional sense of the phrase. But each is worth having and will save you hours of precious time when used consistently.
After reading through our list, we encourage you to sit down and think about which areas of your life you'd like to become more productive in for 2021. Then get the app (or apps) that will help you get there.
The Productivity Apps You Need In 2021
Each of the following 10 productivity apps will make you more efficient in some way.
Before we start, we should note that, while our list is numbered, the placement of apps doesn't represent their level of importance. Meaning the first app isn't better than the last. The numbers simply make it easier to track through this post. Ready?
We may be biasted, but CloudApp is the de facto #1 based with a nearly 5 star rating from our 4 million customers. a highly intuitive visual communication tool that can save your team up to 56 hours a week! The only difficulty is deciding how you're going to use all that extra time.
Whether you happen to be communicating with a colleague, a customer, or a client; CloudApp's free screenshot tool on mac and pc , screen recorder, GIF creation, and image annotation features will help you get your point across faster. Don't bother writing lengthy, complex emails, simply show people what you mean.
3 million users, including industry titans like Uber, Facebook, and Adobe can't be wrong. CloudApp is an incredible productivity app that you need in your business software suite. Fortunately, it's incredibly affordable.
The free forever plan will get you started. For additional features, subscribe to an upgraded plan for just $9+ a month.
Lucidchart's features improve your productivity by offering high-quality visual creation with simple keyboard shortcuts or a quick click of the mouse.
To use the tool, simply create a custom document or choose from multiple templates to get you started. Then start making your visuals easily with hundreds of shapes, colors, and the option to add layers.
But Lucidchart is more than just a personal productivity tool. It can also be used to keep your entire team on track. Collaborate within the software by simply tagging team members. The seamless communication allows for work to get done faster.
Lucidchart is free for basic functionality, $7.95 a month for individuals, and $9 a month (per user) for a team account with premium features. You can also contact Lucidchart for an Enterprise-level quote.
Looking to save more time, be more productive, and achieve better focus? Look no further than Calendar, the smart tool that you need to add to your stack.
This artificial intelligence-led productivity app is always learning for you and will save you time and effort as you plan out your day, week, month, and even year. The best part? The more you use it, the more valuable it becomes.
With Calendar, you can allow anyone to choose a time and book a meeting with you, directly inside the app. And you'll never have to worry about overbookings, as Calendar will automatically protect you from any meetings being scheduled at the same time.
Calendar, featured in CNN, Inc, Forbes, and Entrepreneur, will also let you dive deep into the analytics of your calendar to discover ways to maximize your productivity and save more time.
It's easy to get started, just go straight to Calendar.com and follow the sign up prompts. You can get started for free or get access to more features via a monthly subscription plan.
4. HubSpot CRM
HubSpot CRM was built from the ground up to be ready for the modern world. Intuitive and automatic where other systems are complicated and manual, HubSpot CRM takes care of all the little details - logging emails, recording calls, and managing your data - freeing up valuable selling time in the process. It regularly ranks as one of the best CRM software products for small businesses.
Here are the reasons HubSpot CRM is the top choice for small businesses:
- Manage your pipeline and never let a deal slip through the cracks.
- Find and focus on closing the warmest leads.
- Use our proven email templates or create your own.
HubSpot CRM is 100% free forever and comes natively integrated with other free features that essential for small businesses: email marketing (up to 2000 emails/month), meetings scheduler, forms, email tracking, live chat, chatbot builder, reporting dashboard, contacts and pipeline management.
Clients: Wistia, Atlassian, InVision, VMWare
Price: 100% Free Forever
You've heard of Slack. The unicorn company, currently valued at over 20 billion dollars, is one of the fastest growing of all time. Major corporations like Target, Oracle, and AirBnB use the app on a regular basis because it's an incredible productivity booster.
If you've never used the tool before, it's a communication app that makes collaboration a breeze. Email is great for many things, but it can be cumbersome when conversing with colleagues. It's too easy for messages to get lost, or buried beneath a mountain of other emails.
With Slack, all of your office communications are neatly organized and searchable. Different channels can be created for different projects, departments, and clients; and team members can jump in and out of conversations as needed. Meaning they won't get notifications about conversations they're no longer involved in.
But Slack is more than just an email alternative. You can also share documents, video chat, and send GIFs inside the application. To really boost productivity, integrate your other tools like Google Drive, Dropbox, SalesForce, and CloudApp. Plans range from $0 to $12.50 a month, per user.
Trello is a project management app that makes managing projects less stressful; enjoyable, even. How is that possible? It all starts with the platform's Kanban philosophy. Trello is highly visual, which makes it very intuitive.
Users can break big projects down into smaller chunks by creating "cards" for every task. Cards can be arranged into different columns, which represent different phases of a project. As tasks get completed, cards are easily transferred from one column to the next.
Here's how this process might look in a real-life scenario:
Jen is tasked with managing her company's blog. To keep track of all the articles written and submitted by different writers, she creates a Trello board with four columns: "Blog Ideas", "Writing", "Editing", and "Published".
As each blog idea is worked on, it makes its way from the "Blog Ideas" column, all the way to the "Published" column when the article has been finished and posted. Make sense?
Trello is free to use, though they do offer premium plans with additional features starting at $9.99 a month.
Social media is a business game changer. Companies have never had such easy access to their customers as they do now. It's an amazing opportunity, but it comes at a cost: crafting social posts and responding to comments takes a lot of time.
Fortunately, there are apps out there that make posting social media content much less time-intensive.
Hootsuite is a social media management app that allows you to update your company's Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn pages from the same screen — without having to log into each individual platform. You can also reply to comments inside the tool, too.
But the real reason why Hootsuite makes our best productivity apps for 2021 list is because of its scheduling feature. Log in once, schedule every post you plan to make for the next week, month, three months (Hootsuite allows you to schedule hundreds of messages at a time), and then just monitor your accounts as the software automatically posts content at the time you specified. How cool is that?
Hootsuite plans start at $29 a month after a free 30 day trial.
Toggl is the simple, intuitive time tracker that you and your team will actually use. It isn't limited by device and works on your computer, tablet and phone; so no matter where or what you're working on, your hours are being tracked. Oh, and you'll never forget to turn this productivity app on because it sends you friendly reminders to do so.
When you've completed a task, take a look at the detailed report. Toggl crunches the numbers and shows you how your time was spent. You just have to analyze its findings and adjust the way you work in the future to be more productive.
If you're a freelancer, a tool like this is mandatory. How else will you accurately bill clients? But even those who are employed on a salary basis will find Toggl useful. After all, to become more productive, it helps to first know how you're really spending your time.
Toggl is free to use, though premium features start at $9 a month per user.
We'll say it, passwords are incredibly frustrating. Having to remember a different combination of letters, numbers, and symbols just to log into each digital tool you use for work is a nightmare. And the truth is, passwords actually don't do much to improve security.
Enter LastPass, a password management tool that makes it easy to generate, remember, and even share detailed and secure passwords. Here's how it works:
- Download the LastPass browser extension to your computer.
- Create your LastPass account and create a long, detailed master password.
- Add sites and unique passwords to your personal LastPass password manager vault.
- Now, when you go to any of the sites that have been added to your personal LastPass vault, LastPass will automatically fill in the details for you.
If you want to boost digital security and productivity, you need LastPass, which can be used for free with basic functionality. Paid plans with additional features start at $4 a user.
Before electronic signature software, signing documents was a pain...
First, you'd have to scan your specific contract into the computer and email it to your recipient. Once received, the signee would then need to print the document out, sign it, scan it back into their computer, and, finally, email it back to you. That's just too many steps!
HelloSign takes the hassle out of signing contracts by enabling you to sign them electronically. And don't worry, every document signed through HelloSign is legally binding.
As an added bonus, your signed contracts are organized inside the secure HelloSign system, meaning you don't need to waste time or space storing physical documents. Simply create the agreement, send it out for the necessary signatures, and file it away for future reference.
HelloSign is free for limited use and upgraded plans start at $13 a month.
It should be noted that only the user creating and sending documents is charged this monthly fee. Those receiving contracts are not required to pay anything in order to sign them. In fact, they don't even need to create their own account.
Last, but not least, we have Zapier, which allows its users to create integrations and automations between apps that normally wouldn't communicate with each other. For example, a new email received in Gmail can be programmed to automatically download all included attachments to a Dropbox folder and alert you via Slack.
The best part is, all of these integrations and automations can be built with just a few clicks of your mouse; no coding required. Just select your business software of choice (this productivity app works with over 1,500 other tools, so your favorites are bound to be included) and start building customized workflows.
You'll save hours every week and become much more productive when you let Zapier handle monotonous tasks like data entry for you. After a 14 day free trial, plans cost $20 a month and beyond, depending on the features you want.
Discover the Best Productivity Apps for You
If you want to become more productive in 2021 (and who doesn't) the ten apps listed in this blog post will help. We encourage you to investigate each of them yourself, sign up for the free trials, and see if they can assist you in getting more done in less time.
Download CloudApp and get started today!