The best productivity tools help busy people effectively manage their day to day workload and their lives in general. Some productivity tools are designed to help with a specific task or vocation, such as sales, for which productivity tools streamline contact management and outreach. There are also productivity tools that help manage email, that help minimize distraction, and that enable project coordination and collaboration.
Sales productivity tools help sales professionals manage their contacts, which can include timing emails based on where a contact is in the sales funnel, generating and keeping track of leads, and aid with scheduling appointments and maintaining a calendar. Here are a few of the best sales productivity tools:
Assistant.to - Assistant.to is a free scheduling app that integrates with your calendar and email to help you easily set up meetings without having to send multiple emails. Features include automatic time zone calculation and easy rescheduling. Assistant.to also updates in real time, so if a previous open slot is taken by a different meeting it prevents other unrelated invitees from taking that time slot.
Copper - Copper is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool that enables easy and intuitive contact management while seamlessly integrating with other productivity tools including GSuite. You can track leads and active accounts and collaborate without having to do the busywork involved.
Evernote - Evernote is, at its core, a notepad app, but its additional features enable you to do much more than simply take notes. Evernote syncs with multiple devices so you can access your notes from almost everywhere; its Web Clipper function allows you save whole web pages or just the parts you need (info that remains available even if the material is removed from the web); its powerful search function can understand and search handwritten notes; and its document and business card scanning features help you keep all your data in one place.
HootSuite - HootSuite is a must-have app for anyone who needs to manage multiple social media accounts. It allows you to track all your company's social media campaigns from a single dashboard, enables single-click replies, and provides reporting so you can easily gauge your performance and assess growth.
Software engineering is a complex endeavor, so engineering productivity tools have to help coders collaborate and create and debug apps while not getting in the way or disturbing the flow.
GitHub - GitHub is a popular development platform for software engineers to track projects, review code, integrate tools, manage and communicate with development teams, and connect with a community of more than 36 million other developers.
Crimson Editor - Crimson Editor is a free Windows-based text editor that enables programming in HTML, C/C++, Perl, Java, Matlab, and LaTeX. You can also create custom syntax files that allow you to work in other programming languages.
Codenvy - Codenvy is a cloud-based development collaboration platform that provides software engineers with workspace creation and sharing tools, the ability to control versions and set resource limits, easily scale development, and much more.
Recruiters simply want the best people for the job; however, we've gone far beyond putting a "Help Wanted" ad in the local paper. To be effective, recruiters need productivity tools that connect them to the widest selection of qualified recruits while managing their contacts and scheduling meetings. Here are some recruitment productivity tools that do the job:
ContactOut - ContactOut allows you to pull valuable contact information, such as emails and phone numbers, from LinkedIn and Github. Potential employees are far more likely to respond to a personal email from a recruiter than to a LinkedIn message, so this contact data can be key to finding and hiring the right people. ContactOut also has contact management and email campaign tools for a deeper level of recruiter productivity.
Calendly - Calendly helps you schedule meetings while avoiding incessant back and forth emails by integrating with your calendar and allowing invitees to schedule times when you're available. It enables you to set standard buffers between meetings, cap the number of meetings per day, and set minimum scheduling notices to block last-minute meetings.
With more and more businesses relying on remote workers and teams being spread across the globe, work and collaboration productivity tools bridge the geographical gab and keep projects on track. Here are some of the best collaboration tools available:
Slack - Slack is a popular communication and collaboration platform that allows multiple people to work together as a team. It provides file sharing capabilities, video conferencing, and the ability to create subject-oriented channels for team members to deeply focus on topics. We definitely like Slack, as it's the platform upon which we've built the 10XFactory mastermind group.
Webex - Webex productivity tools set the gold standard in video conferencing, webinar creation and delivery, online training, team collaboration, and conference calling. It integrates with a wide range of other software platforms, including Salesforce, GSuite, and IFTTT. Webex productivity tools are widely used by companies worldwide, and have won a number of industry awards.
G Suite - G Suite is a massive collection of productivity tools that includes Gmail, Google Cloud, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and far more. Chances are you're using at least one of the G Suite products already, but it's worth checking out what other Google productivity tools could help you and your team work together better.
Freedcamp - Freedcamp is free collaboration software that allows you to plan everything from work projects to camping trips. Its wide array of features include a task list with subtasks, a Kanban board for visualizing task completion, a Gantt chart that lets you assess progress in all your tasks at once, communication tools, and an invoice creator.
Trello - Trello is an intuitive collaboration tool that enables teams to use project boards and task cards to track a project's progress bit by bit. You can add comments, share files, and set due dates to ensure team members have everything they need to complete tasks fully and on time.
Time management isn't always easy. Whether you're working remotely or freelancing, these time management productivity tools will help you keep track of your most important asset:
Toggl - Toggl is an easy-to-use time tracking app that allows you to track your time with the click of a button. It works on a wide variety of devices (the browser extension works with more than 80 online tools), and provides in-depth reporting so you can easily see where your time's going. Toggl's advanced features include timesheet management, email reports, and business intelligence tools that let you know how your business is managing its time as a whole.
Harvest - Harvest is a time tracking an management app with additional features make it a powerful tool for small businesses and independent contractors. It allows you to easily track both time and expenses, to track your team's time, to ensure projects are staying in the black, to avoid scope creep, and to seamlessly invoice your clients and get paid online.
RescueTime - RescueTime is a time management app that runs in the background, tracking how you spend your time online. You can find out how much time you've spent on a specific site, how much time you've spent writing emails, how much time you've spent in meetings, and more. Then it provides detailed reports that show you what you've been doing. From that point you can use RescueTime to block distracting websites and set alerts to track time spent on a single activity. RescueTime Lite, which tracks your activity and provides reports, is free, with available Premium and Organization packages for more robust solutions.
Personal productivity tools include a wide array of apps, from helpful software that keeps you on task and minimizes distractions to apps that allow you to automate simple tasks.
Freedom - Freedom is a deceptively simple but powerful app that allows you to work distraction-free. With Freedom you can block potential distractions - the alluring websites and apps that pull you away from your work. It syncs across devices, so it helps you stay on task no matter where you're working.
SelfControl - SelfControl is a free Mac app that allows you to block websites, mail servers, or anything else on the internet that could potentially pull you away from your work. Once you've listed your blocked sites and have set the timer, not even rebooting your computer or deleting the app will allow you access until the time's up. Pretty hardcore, and absolutely essential.
Forest - Forest is a mobile app that keeps you focused with a simple graphic - a tree that grows more the longer you leave your device alone. You plant a tree when you want to stay focused, but if you pick up your device you leave the app and your tree dies. Your grown trees amass into a forest, visual proof that you've remained focused. Even cooler? You can spend virtual coins you've earned from growing trees to help Trees for the Future plant real trees!
Calm - Calm is a mindfulness app that features more than 100 guided meditations that help you improve your focus, reduce anxiety and stress, get better sleep, and learn relaxation and mindfulness techniques to use outside the app to stay, appropriately, calm. The app also includes a library of exclusive music for focus, relaxation, and sleep.
Brain.fm - Brain.fm provides, simply, music for your brain. The app features music that, with the help of auditory neuroscience, is designed to help you stay focused. Music can obviously evoke feeling, but Brain.fm takes it to an entirely new level by feeding music into an algorithm that tweaks it to improve focus and eliminate distraction (via neural phase-locking and salience reduction, properly). In short, when you use Brain.fm you can't help but focus.
IFTTT - IFTTT (If This, Then That) is a free app that enables all your devices to communicate. So, for example, you can connect your calendar app to your smart thermostat and when you return home from a trip your home will be warm. Or when your Lyft or Uber shows up your porch lights will turn on. IFTTT connects everything smart to everything smart and automates your life.