If you feel you are spending an unrealistic time manually organizing your to-do’s, it’s about time you learn about some of the best productivity tools to schedule tasks and manage projects. These tools and apps ensure that every minute of your day is productive and you are able to simplify your work processes. I have listed down the top 16 that include Slack, Asana, Coda, Trello, Notion, Hootsuite, Lastpass, and others that help me work smartly in different areas like project management, communication & collaboration, passwords, and documents management. I am also sharing tips on how to master your time and practice a 24-hour tech detox at least once a month to de-stress and achieve focus.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links in which I receive commissions. The reviews and opinions expressed in this article are my own.
Do you feel like you’re spending more time hunting down effective ways to be productive than you do being conducive?
Walt Disney said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” So here is a list of all the tools guaranteed to put you on your path to achieving greatness.
Here are the best productivity tools for 2021 that are guaranteed to make sure every minute of your day is prolific. Creators of these apps know you have a lot to focus on and take pride in providing the best assistance to you.
1. Slack – Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
This is a messaging app that allows fluid transmission in communication between all participants. It has slick features that enable “group work” where members can share relevant content.
Slack transcends distance. It is specially modeled to bring everyone together and keep colleagues at the same pace, despite differing locations. Discussions can be private or publicized where everyone can contribute.
The software saves you time by enabling you to collaborate with data that you may link from other sites. It has an added convenience feature that allows highlighting keywords as they appear in a conversation.
This productivity booster enables participants to “leave” chats they’re no longer part of so they don’t get “junk” messages.
- Schedule reminders
- Flexible communication
- Highlight feature
2. Hootsuite – Social Media Optimization
This app is perfect for people who need to oversee several social media simultaneously. This provides businesses with fantastic opportunities to have direct contact with their customers. So it’s essential to create posts that keep your target market interested.
This app is tailored to save you time by letting you set up a timetable for posting synchronously across various platforms. Ultimately, you’ll be empowered to be consistent with your accounts while also monitoring your social influence. As a result, this means that your content remains relevant always.
It enables you to control your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn pages from a single place. It also allows you to interact with your followers.
Once logged in, you have the option to create a roaster, weekly, monthly, bimonthly, it’s up to you. And after that, the software creates automated posts according to your scheduling. It sounds incredible, right!
- Juggle multiple socials at once
- Schedule posts
- Create a consistent social presence to build following
3. FocalFilter – Specific Site Restraint
Because time is money, you’ll want to optimize yours fully. FocalFilter allows you to inhibit access sites that may detract you.
Any websites added to this tool, for a mentioned time, are blocked so you can focus on the task at hand.
This way, you don’t have an opportunity to procrastinate by distracting yourself.
- Better work-life balance
- Curbs procrastination
- Boosts focus
4. Trello – Visual Organizers
It has a feature to help you keep track of your progress by checking things off as you go. You can also keep your group members filled in by updating your work as you make headway.
Furthermore, this tool is useful because it grants other members access to give feedback on work shared. Features such as adding comments, coediting, and voting, render collaborative work.
Trello is a handy way to order your ideas by filing data photographically with accompanying labels. It’s appealing and offers a convenient and flexible way to organize your work.
- Simple interface
- Fun stickers
- Creative To-Do app
5. LastPass – Password Safe
If you keep misplacing the diary with all your passwords, then this tool is perfect for you. LastPass provides a secure place to save all your passwords to your accounts, so you are never locked out again.
You’ll only need to remember the master password to access the encoded information.
It sounds too good to be true, but it does seamlessly securely file away all your secret codes. For extra security, a premium version is available.
- Secure software
- Two-factor authentication
- Finger Print login
- User vault
6. ProofHub – Scheme Supervisor
It’s the assistant you didn’t know you needed. It combines progress tracking for those big projects while keeping you accountable.
Think of it as an online boardroom with all team members present. Consequently, managerial tasks are significantly simplified. Leaders can keep a close eye on project progress, even from remote locations.
It allows you to appoint specific tasks to individuals and monitor time distribution. Timely updates mean that no time is wasted trying to “catch up” on what everyone else has done.
As if it can’t be more impressive, it is multilingual, making it the go-to tool for many companies.
- Organize scattered files
- Task management
- Time tracker
7. Skype – Flexible Meetings
Skype allows you to take your communication to the next level via video call. Instead of traveling long distances to attend meetings in person, you can schedule Skype calls wherever you are.
It provides far conferencing benefits at the convenient ease of a click of a button, enhancing accessibility.
Skype manages to meet the demands of the mobile and global workforce by providing quick and effective collaboration.
- Conformable schedules
- High quality with rich video features
- Interactive tools for messaging
8. Asana – Collaborative Coedits
This digital version of a handwritten list de-clutters virtual ‘desk.’ It keeps all ongoing work in one place and delegates responsibilities to participants.
At an affordable price, you can avail of this tool, which is simple enough to use. It helps you create the best online work environment for you, while seamlessly helping you schedule deadlines.
Asana is reliable and ensures everyone sticks to their goals, accommodating up to fifteen members at once in the free version.
- Links tasks quickly
- Generous member allotment
- Fluid interactive elements
9. Airtable – Product Management
To keep your desktop clutter-free, Airtable allows you to construct the most conducive workspace. Its versatility ranges from designing the best project pipeline for you to giving detailed reports and pending assignments.
The sheets generated clearly show task priority, helping you be efficient by drawing your attention to what’s essential.
The customizable details include color-coding tasks and displaying individuals responsible for each and the due date.
In addition to the calendar feature, there’s also a video making option to amplify the user’s experience.
- Provide concise reports
- An organized layout that keeps things simple
- simplified categories make everything easier to find.
10. Clockify – Time Tracker
Clockify allows you to visualize how productive you’ve been by providing an instant overview of your billable time.
It collects data on how you spend your time, whether work-related or otherwise. This way, the summary it provides enables you to track whether you’ve utilized your time wisely.
It’s available on multiple devices, iOS, Android, Web, Windows, as well as across various browser extensions.
- Effective time tracker
- Generates a summary of time allocation for better understanding
- Accessible on multiple devices
11. Zapier – Automated Collaborator
The business app that lets you automate collaboration across various apps. With just a few clicks, you can customize it to your liking and save yourself time weekly.
Once you’ve selected which apps to zip together, any new data entered will send you a notification on synched attachments. This means that updates are accessible to everyone, genuinely allowing everyone to be their most productive selves.
- Handles monotonous tasks, so you don’t have to
- Allows communication between multiple apps
- Synchronizes updates to keep everyone in the loop
12. Monday.com – Organized Workspaces
The first day of the week requires efficiency to set the tone for everything else. And this is what Monday.com does. It facilitates workload distribution, and progress checks to keep you at your best.
It gives you access to the bigger picture, with regular updates on the progress of different parts of various projects.
Monday.com takes care of all your mundane tasks, so you can keep your eye on the speed your business is moving in.
- Managing and tracking the workload
- Data visualization
13. Notion – Smart File
Notion allows you to file away all your data at the click of a button. It doesn’t get simpler than that. It combines four tools in one, so you don’t have to have multiple tabs open all at once. This saves you time and space.
It allows you to customize coding styles that best reflect you and your team. This enables you to run through your To-Do list practically.
Tasks and issues that have been completed can be ticked off, and so cancelled to give you a clear view of your progress.
It keeps a record of everything in an organized manner that allows you to find anything when you look for it.
Notion contains smart editing tools that keep everyone on the same page. With everyone seeing the bigger picture, time will be better utilized, completing tasks and meeting deadlines.
- Multiple views
- Note taking
- Tasks and projects management
14. Google Suite – Multifunctional Coordinator
G Suite is a multifunctional tool that comes in handy, whether you’re working from your desktop or mobile device.
It combines other Google features like Calendar, Slides, Docs, Gmail, Drive, Hangouts, allowing real-time collaboration. Any changes are automatically backed up. Users have access to making edits, and there’s a wide range of templates available.
It caters to both individual and business needs, with the former being free and the latter requiring payment.
A great bonus comes from the fact that Google doesn’t use G Suite for advertisement. So none of your information is stored, and there are no ads.
Public calendars allow customers to view scheduled company events, allowing them to stay relevant.
- Quick android access
- AI facilitated meeting scheduling
- Team drives
- Meetings for teams
15. Coda – Team Docs
Coda works, so you don’t have to. Its blend of amazing features ensures that you keep your unique style of doing things.
Coda allows you to do all your work in a single document. That means you won’t need to be continually switching across multiple files, making you numerous times more efficient.
It has features that allow the participant to give feedback on shared files from “clapping” to posting “thumbs up’s.”
It incorporates fun tools like emoji’s and eliminates mundane tasks like copying and pasting data by creating file links.
It has endless, artistic templates to get you started, ensuring that you’re just as engaged as you’re efficient. Other cool tools featured are interactive games. What’s not to love?
- All in one doc
- Build as you go feature
- Document sharing
- Project planning
16. Zoom- Video Communication
Already trusted by a number of top-performing organizations, Zoom is a video conferencing and communication platform.
It’s user friendly and does not run issues like buffers or manual adjustments. One of the best features is that you can bring in more than 10 people into the conference call without compromising the video or audio quality which is something all of us expect from an effective communication platform.
Sharing recording and presentation is easy and this is the reason why besides other fields, it is most popularly used in distant learning and by academic institutions.
- Video and audio calls
- Screen sharing
- Documents and recordings sharing
- Visual information sharing
and a bonus…
Xtensio is the go-to platform if you want to create and design beautiful online presentations, reports, or just about any business documents.
This is a fully-packed project management tool where collaborators can share and edit files simultaneously.
Xtensio can definitely increase team’s productivity with its drag-and-drop features and professional-looking templates that are made available.
- Drag-and-drop elements into the doc
- Customization to meet branding
- Privacy controls
Biggest Productivity Hack: Tech Detox
A 24-hour tech detox is something that helps me focus, cut off from the digital noise, and reclaim my time for meaningful activities and interactions. A tech detox means that you remain away from all digital devices and be more mindful of your other experiences and activities. While it might be challenging for some, there are a few things you can do to ensure the experience is successful, to begin with:
- Inform your family and friends about your tech detox plan beforehand
- Plan the day around your favorite hobbies and other stress-relieving activities–meditation, cooking, reading, gardening, etc.
- Turn your digital devices off and keep them away from your immediate reach
- Make the most of the above productivity tools to organize and schedule work while you are on a tech detox.
- Keep a journal and track your progress to contemplate on the experience
Master your Time
The digital world has invented an abundance of distractions. With more ways to waste our time than ever before, we’re always looking for better ways to beat the clock. So here’s my bonus list of tips on being productive.
1) Make Realistic Time Allocations
- Be honest with yourself: Unless you are blessed with superpowers, you cannot function at optimum for twenty-four hours. So let that reflect on your calendar. Don’t overbook yourself.
- Write That List: Make it a habit that as ideas come into your head, you jot them down, so you don’t miss anything. Life is what happens when you’re busy, but nothing beats a solid plan. And once you’ve gotten to it, you’ll get significant satisfaction from ticking it off.
- Busy Doesn’t Mean Productive: Being under stress because your hands are full doesn’t mean you are making substantial headway. Every so often, take a step back and look at the bigger picture and gauge where you are. If you’re running around in circles, its better to put that task down and pick up something else you know you’ll finish.
Are you trying to get your work life in order by getting more done in a day? Or are you just building accountability in your personal life? It doesn’t matter. The principles are the same. Take the initiative and condition your mind to discipline. Receive help where it’s offered. Productivity doesn’t look like overloading oneself. It means prioritizing what’s important and leaving the insignificant to someone else.
I hope this guide unlocks your productivity and saves you plenty of time. Let me know in the comments section which of these you’ve tried.
Liked this post? Be sure to check out my previous posts on the subject where I share more nuggets. Read about how other businesses maximize productivity, what apps they use, and what tips work for them.