The 15 Best Productivity Apps in 2021 (Ranked)

The 15 Best Productivity Apps in 2021 (Ranked)

Today's digital workflow has made task management so much more quicker and efficient. However, it also comes with its challenges and distractions, thereby making it essential to get your hands on the right tools and software applications that are designed to assist with different tasks. Whether it's writing a simple document, or creating a complex database, or assigning different tasks to a team of many members, and keeping a track of it all - the web is loaded with numerous applications that promise a spectrum of features.

If you are looking for some software that emphasizes on task management and easy collaborations, or want to block some unwanted online elements - here's a list of the 15 best productivity apps that are going to make it so much more convenient.

Google Suite

Designed by Google Inc. itself, Google Suite is one of the most incredible packages of productivity apps out there. Some of the major inclusions of the Suite are Gmail, Hangouts, Drive, Calendar, Sheets, and Docs. The paid memberships of the suite also let you add multiple users with enhanced cloud storage, domain management, shared calendars, support services, and several additional admin tools. Each of the applications of the suite is designed with a user-friendly interface and great customization options.

Feature Summary

  • Gmail is one of the best email services on the web.
  • Google Suite makes it easy to manage multiple email addresses and domains.
  • The different applications are accessible from any device, no matter where you are.
  • Hangouts enables you to make free worldwide voice calls.
  • Built on a Cloud Platform, the Suite is one of the most secure productivity packages out there.

Cost

Google Suite is available in 3 tiers, including Basic, Business, and Enterprise. The Basic version lets you use the apps for free with certain limitations, while the Business Starter is $6/month. The Business Standard is $12/month, and Business Plus is $18/ month.

Trello

Perfect for collaborative teams, Trello is a very easy-to-use project management platform running on the Kanban board philosophy. It lets the teams track their progress by adding and organizing tasks into groups of 'to-do', 'going', and 'done'. The app's methodology works on three building blocks - boards, cards, and lists. You can create new boards for tasks and assign them to your team members, setting out the task priority, making checklists, sharing files, syncing tasks and calendar, as well as working offline. The business version of the app comes with additional administration tools and better privacy settings.

Feature Summary

  • Easy-to-use project management for collaborative teams.
  • Allows making to-do lists with due dates, further assigning them to people.
  • Trello boards make and manage lists of cards mentioning tasks and to-do lists.
  • Instant messaging lets team members communicate in real-time.
  • Lets you create personal or business teams.

Cost

The software comes as a limited free version, while the paid version starts at a fee of $10/month when billed annually.

Notion

Notion can be termed as a collaborative alternative to apps like Evernote. It's perfect for those who don't want to use a dozen productivity tools, instead prefer a single platform to get different tasks done with great efficiency. The developers also integrate Slack within Notion to create a one-stop destination for all the important team resources, including guidelines, documentation, and more. The software allows you to achieve the same results like that of Evernote or Google Docs, while also using its great task management and project features.

Feature Summary

* Lets you create and share notes, documents, and media files.

* You can build a central knowledge base of guidelines and information for all team members.

* Calendars and customizable Kanban boards adapt to your specific work.

* Designed for easy editing, focused writing, and rich media.

* Lets you work together on different tasks in real-time.

* Works with databases and spreadsheets.

Cost

The Personal version comes for free with limited features, while the Personal Pro costs $4/month. For teams and businesses, the Team version costs $8/month per member, whereas the Enterprise version is custom designed by contacting the support.

Slack

An intuitive messaging platform crafted for teams, Slack is a great communication tool for remote workers allowing them to collaborate with people at different locations. It also improves collaborations within an office setting. It can integrate up to 2,000 apps to allow your team to do more in less time. Instant messaging is bifurcated into channels that can be joined or left by team members, while they can also chat in separate threads.

Feature Summary

* Allows screen sharing and live communication between team members.

* Allows you to set availability statuses.

* Drag-and-drop file sharing for images, PDFs, videos, and more.

* Allows voice and video calls.

Cost

Slack can be used for free to create a single workspace perfect for small teams, whereas the paid editions are priced starting from $2.67/month for small businesses and $5/month for large administrative needs.

Monday

A feature-rich project management solution, Monday is a more powerful alternative to Trello, apt and appropriate for larger teams and complex projects. If your team is handling multiple projects simultaneously, then Monday with its Kanban dashboard is all you need. The software provides multiple views for different projects, lets you create, group, and assign tasks, along with adding their due dates. The tasks can be labeled accordingly, such as 'working on it', 'to do', 'done' etc. It also allows convenient file sharing for everyone on the same dashboard.

Feature Summary

  • Multiple project management for large teams.
  • Multiple views let the user check overviews, workflows, timelines, reports, and more.
  • Lets you track progress, update statuses, get deadline notifications, and prioritize tasks.
  • The Chart View and Timeline View options offer amazing data visualizations.

Cost

The Basic plan is $24/month when you get an annual plan, while the Standard plan is $29/month. The Pro purchase comes for $48/month when buying the annual plan or $59/month if you choose to pay every month.

Freedom

Typically, distraction blockers are designed to work only on the device you are using at a particular moment. However, Freedom lets you block distractions, including apps and websites on all of your devices at the same time. You don't need to block Instagram on your desktop, only to open it on your smartphone immediately. If you start a new session, all the distractions will be blocked everywhere. Simply set up the blocklists before you schedule or start a session. The app comes with a lockdown mode that doesn't let you edit any blocklists during an active session. Additionally, you have got optional focus sounds that are ambient noises from nature or coffee shops.

Feature Summary

  • Lets you set up unlimited blocklists before you start a session.
  • Focus sounds options make it even more interactive.
  • Blocks distractions across all your devices.

Cost

Freedom doesn't have a long-term free version, but a limited trial allowing you to run 6 sessions. You can later go for a Premium version that starts at $6.99/month.

Process St

Process St is a one-of-a-kind tool that makes task management easier for teams that don’t necessarily possess the same developer or designer skills. It's a checklist tool that creates and assigns tasks to different team members. There's also a template library for processes like social media image design, content promotion, invoicing, and fire inspections. The members can follow instructions and check them off the list as they progress. The users can make changes to the template to include their own instructions, while also adding, removing, or editing tasks on each checklist.

Feature Summary

  • Allows making collaborative checklists and track progress.
  • Lets you make organized workflows for days, weeks and months while automating checklists.
  • Allows adding videos, text, and images for better team communication.
  • Conditional logic helps in creating dynamic checklists to adapt to project demands and team needs

Cost

The software comes with a free trial, while the Basic paid version costs $12.5/month per user, the Standard version costs $25/month per user, while the Enterprise edition is custom designed after contacting the support center.

Workflowy

Workflowy is a power-packed organizational tool to take notes, collaborate, make lists, brainstorm, and plan tasks in a single place. The app is based on expandable bullet points, each of which can function as a separate document. When you sign in, an interactive tutorial introduces you to the app's functionality. The bullet point structure is perfect for complex projects, and the user can create quick notes as their own nodes or simply work on multilayered lists for different tasks or meeting outlines. There's so much more, ranging from a built-in tagging system to smart shortcuts. Additionally, you have got options for easy sharing and collaborating, while also creating public web links for viewing or editing.

Feature Summary

  • Lets you prepare as many lists and items as needed.
  • Numerous fonts and themes available.
  • Strong data security.
  • Rich collaborative features and smart shortcuts.
  • Detailed note-making with individual node documentation.
  • Lets you take backups to DropBox.

Cost

The service is free with limited features and 250 lists per month, but a Pro plan with more customization options costs $4.99/month.

Superhuman

Superhuman entirely redesigns a traditional inbox to integrate great productivity with some organic features to improve overall email efficiency. The application offers great keyboard shortcuts for almost every command, and a must-mention feature is the local browser-based storage that brings out more speed when sorting through countless emails in a jiffy. The ability to 'undo' a sent email is a groundbreaking option, just like pulling up LinkedIn details from the mailing platform. It has got numerous automated tasks and pre-written message replies, while also allowing you to snooze emails you don’t want to get to immediately.

Feature Summary

  • The wonderful snooze option lets you manage emails better.
  • Keyboard shortcuts for different commands make the process so much easier.
  • Superhuman enables you to un-send an email that has already been sent.

Cost

The application costs $30/month.

Zoom

Zoom allows high-quality video conferencing while letting the members streamline project workflows with the help of the application's numerous features. The software can display up to 49 videos on a screen at the same time while having up to a thousand participants on a single video call. And that's why, the application is apt and appropriate for classroom settings, virtual team meetings, professional webinars, as well as online conferences. It's a wonderful tool for remote teams, allowing them to create individual groups and letting them collaborate instantly.

Features Summary

  • Easy to execute group collaboration.
  • Allows whiteboarding and screen sharing.
  • Lets the users share files through drag and drop.
  • Allows audio calls and video meetings.
  • Third-party application integrations include Evernote, Calendar, and more.

Cost

The software is Free for personal meetings that host up to 100 participants and group meetings for up to 40 minutes while allowing unlimited one-on-one meetings. The Pro version costs $149.90/year. the Business version comes for $199.90/year, and the Zoom United Business comes for $350/year.

Loom

An easy-to-use software, Loom can be used as a browser-based application that you can enable with your Chrome Extensions, or simply downloaded for the Desktop. It's a quick video creation service that allows you to create videos by capturing your webcam, screen, and microphone. It lets you record your screen and camera, the camera only, the screen only, your full desktop, or simply an open browser tab. Plus, you can keep the audio on or off while making the recordings. You can use it to make demo videos, prepare video tutorials with screen recordings, and so much more with great ease.

Feature Summary

  • Provides amazing flexibility when it comes to making professional recordings with different Record Setting options.
  • Lets you save your created videos or directly share them over the web without cluttering up your device with heavy video files.

Cost

The Free version lets you capture screenshots and make short videos, while the $8/month Business purchase is for advanced recording and analytics.

CleanShot

CleanShot enables you to capture clutter-free screenshots, that too without worrying about desktop icons scattering all over the place. The app comes with the best marking and annotation tools, while also letting you change the opacity. It comes with the option to blur, and lets you generate correctly aligned screenshots having your wallpaper as a background, record your screen, customize keyboard shortcuts, and more. The latest version CleanShot X (only compatible with macOS) has a critical feature called Pinning, which puts a screenshot on top of everything else.

Feature Summary

  • Takes clutter-free screenshots.
  • Allows you to take scrolling screenshots on all apps.
  • Great annotation tools.
  • Records screen as GIFs as well as videos.
  • Allows you to record voice notes when you take screen recordings.

Cost

The pricing differs with the number of devices you want to run the app on. For a single device, it comes for $29, while 2 device purchase costs $49. For 10 devices, the app comes for $229 and each purchase comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

1Password

Online and personal security is increasingly becoming a matter of concern, which makes it imperative to use variable passwords for all your logins. 1Password is the best productivity app for password compilation and security that can manage that pile of logins while keeping them secure, unique, and on hand at all times. Plus, the Chrome plugin allows you to automatically fill in saved logins.

Feature Summary

  • Keeps all passwords secure at one place.
  • Connects your accounts, and lets you select the right password to log in to different portals.
  • Helps you make strong passwords.
  • Keeps work, family, and personal passwords at different spots with password vaults.
  • The Travel Mode removes sensitive data from all your devices while crossing borders, restoring them later with a click.

Cost

Coming with a free 14-day trial, the software offers Personal paid plans between $2.99 to $4.99 per month, whereas the Business plans range between $3.99 to $7.99 per month.

Grammarly

When it comes to communication in today's workflow, the use of documents, chats, emails, and digital letters only seems to increase day by day. And this is where a powerful real-time text editor and correction tool comes into play. Grammarly not only edits your grammar and spellings but also works on the tone and style of writing at the same time. Grammarly is highly intuitive and accurate in nature while working everywhere, ranging from Google docs to Slack, emails to Jira, and even Facebook and Twitter. You can use it with great convenience while maintaining your routine workflows and letting Grammarly take care of your writing.

Feature Summary

  • Grammarly checks punctuation, spelling, missing articles, grammar, while also revising unclear sentence formations.
  • Integrates with different applications of Google Suite.
  • Underlines any mistakes you have made in red.

Cost

The Free version checks mistakes and makes your writing more concise, while the Premium version coming for $11.66/month also works on the style and tone. The Business version costs $12.50/month per member.

Action Buddy

Whether you want to write a blog post, create on-boarding emails, send out some press releases, schedule posting a few social media posts, book in a few beta testing sessions for your apps or games, or any other task that you can think of - Action Buddy can help you with it all.

The idea is to assist consultants, students, freelancers, professionals, entrepreneurs, and everyone who needs digital help to be incredibly productive. The app provides you with an accountability partner who helps you keep on track and complete your weekly actions or tasks.

Feature Summary

  • Work solo, with a colleague, friend or be matched with another user
  • Take a weekly 15-minute Zoom / Google Hangouts call to stay accountable.
  • Stay motivated by making a pledge to complete your tasks

Cost

Action Buddy is free for a 14-day trial, while the paid version costs $5/month. If you choose to get a yearly membership, it costs $45.

Summary

Taking a look at the aforesaid list of best productivity apps and time management software, it can be concluded that you have got something or the other to get all your tasks done. If one doesn't suit all your requirements, you can always combine a few of these apps to create a streamlined workflow for your personal and professional needs. The most productive working system is all about making use of the right features and efficient apps, and each of the above won't fail to delight individuals as well as business organizations.