What is productivity? One definition for the term productivity is the quality or state of being productive. But what do ‘productivity’ and ‘being productive’ really mean? Everyone can have a different perspective of these terms as everyone finds productivity to include and depend on diverse aspects.
Here are some interesting quotes that can give you a better picture of how can ‘productivity’ be perceived and defined:
“Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before.” – Franz Kafka
“There’s a tendency to mistake preparation for productivity. You can prepare all you want, but if you never roll the dice you’ll never be successful.” – Shia LaBeouf
“Productivity- true productivity – will never be better or stronger than the foundation you built it upon.” – Tim Challies
One thing is certain when it comes to productivity. If you notice that you are not achieving results in your daily activities related to work or home matters and that your level of productivity is lower than usual, you will need to change something in order to improve and maximize your productivity flow. We are living in a constantly changing environment that requires good time management and task organization. Whether you are working as a teacher, marketing specialist, or developer, it is crucial to adopt new techniques in order to attain bigger efficiency and productivity.
One way to accomplish this is to try using productivity apps or tools that would assist you in organizing, planning, prioritizing, and executing tasks at home or in the office. Everyone fights different struggles, so improving productivity might happen in different forms, i.e. with the help of different tools. Consequently, one might need a tool for note-taking and organizing ideas or presenting information while other might need a tool for eliminating outside distractions and time management.
These aspects are tightly connected with our level of productivity and consequently affect the accomplishment of our daily tasks. Below we will present the best productivity apps and tools that can be utilized for increasing productivity.
These are grouped into six categories depending on the issues that can affect one’s level of productivity.
Team collaboration and communication
If you and your team find it hard to stay focused at work and finish your daily tasks effectively, as well as a struggle with communicating with each other, Slack is a useful tool that can help you.
It is categorized as a team collaboration tool that improves communication and cooperation which sometimes are crucial for achieving a good level of productivity and project success.
Collaboration plays a great role when it comes to achieving more in a project. Trello is a collaborative tool that boosts teamwork and projects’ success.
It allows users to have all important information at a glance and to organize projects and mark tasks as ‘doing’ or ‘done’ which allows keeping track of everyone’s work.
Knowing everyone’s project and task roles and assignments can be difficult when working in a team on big or small projects.
Asana is an example of a tool that can give you the opportunity to have everything you need in one place.
With it, you will be able to organize every detail of your ongoing projects, follow your progress, and make sure you meet your deadlines.
When working on a team project, is essential not to overlook important tasks and deadlines.
Not keeping everyone in the loop of what has been achieved and what needs to be achieved can cause chaos and confusion between the teams.
If you have trouble with team communication and collaboration it is a great idea to introduce your team to Basecamp.
It is a tool developed with a vivid design that enables users to communicate effectively with each other and thus increases the productivity of the whole team.
If your team is scattered across many locations and encounters issues with their internal communication and collaboration, as well as with scheduling and managing team meetings, a practical solution is needed so that the organization doesn’t risk projects failure.
GoToMeeting is an app that takes meetings on the go, thus enabling everyone member on the team, no matter its location, to host or join a meeting and improve communication with the rest of the team.
Streamlining the way one team works on projects can bring a significant success to the project.
One practical tool is customizable enough to make this happen – Wrike.
It is a tool used for improving teamwork and project management.
It helps users to streamline the way they work on team projects by making it possible to organize all project tasks and project information in real-time.
7. Cold Turkey
If you get distracted not only by the internet but also by some of the programs on your computer, including games, music, and movie players, you can try installing Cold Turkey.
It is a simple-to-use tool that provides the chance to block all daily distractions so that you can concentrate on important activities that need to be done on specific deadlines.
8. Stay Focusd
Researching through the internet can be time-consuming and when it comes to being productive and it can cause you to lose precious time and not finish any valuable work.
You can eliminate distractions, stop checking your social profiles and avoid browsing on websites online by using the practical extension Stay Focusd.
It is designed to make working more focused by limiting the time you spend on the internet.
Usually, when people can’t concentrate on the work they are doing they get frustrated and look for a practical solution.
If you as well have the bad habit of constantly checking whatever goes on in the background and you find it distressing, Freedom is one example of a tool for eliminating distractions.
It makes sure you significantly improve your productivity by allowing you to block distractions around you.
10. Focus Booster
Sometimes we all need a little push and encouragement to do something and to do it as well as possible.
When it comes to working or studying, a practical tool may drastically change how you perform.
Focus Booster is a tool that can easily help users in breaking bad habits, building new better habits, and becoming more productive when doing everyday activities at home or at work.
Focus and distraction are two opposite things.
Particularly, when one needs to work at the office, study in a library or simply have dinner with a dear friend, it is fundamental to put the focus onto the current moment and avoid all distractions, including the computer or mobile phone.
If you get distracted easily and have difficulty bringing your focus back on important things, you can try using Forest. It is an app that focuses on planting and taking care of trees, so whenever you want to focus you can plant a tree and if you open websites you had previously listed on Blacklist, your tree will be killed.
Are you a music lover who can’t seem to find a way to focus?
When it comes to getting hours of valuable work done without distractions, listening to music can help.
It is known that music can positively influence cognitive skills by stimulating the brain.
The app Brain. fm is invented with the purpose to help users to become more concentrated by listening to custom-designed music.
Note-taking and organizing
When you need a tool designed especially for your thoughts and notes, check Evernote.
It is a productivity tool that can assist you in managing your whole day and organizing your daily personal and work activities.
One very interesting feature of Evernote is the possibility to ‘clip’ any information from the Internet and bring it anywhere with you.
Note-taking is an ideal way to organize yourself at work and at home.
Today everyone needs a tool for note-taking so that they don’t forget important things.
CintaNote is one tool that provides users with practical features for note-taking and self-organizing.
With it you can take notes, attach images or files to them and synchronize them across different devices.
Moreover, you can sort, tag and retrieve your notes at any time no matter if you are online and offline.
If you have heard about mind mapping you already are familiar with how it works.
It is a technique that enables people to practically organize ideas and take notes and thus can help in maximizing productivity.
Therefore if you are in need of a tool that will assist you in preparing meetings and taking post-meeting notes, brainstorming, or even event or party planning, you should try iMindQ.
It is a software application with a user-friendly design that enables users to use it both for personal and professional activities.
16. Google Keep
When you realize that you seem to keep forgetting your to-do’s and there is no one that could remind you, it’s time to take control of your things.
Whether it comes to your home or work activities, a reminder is necessary.
Google Keep is a tool for note-taking and creating to-do lists that works with time-reminders.
So, if you need to make a list of your daily tasks and make sure you don’t leave anything behind, you can set a time-based reminder in Google Keep.
17. Dropbox Paper
Keeping notes about the upcoming activities is very important if you want to effectively organize yourself and improve your effectiveness.
But if your activities require more than just taking notes, such as managing tasks or run meetings, you should check Dropbox Paper.
It is a tool that offers more than note-taking – it brings creating and coordination in one place.
18. Box Notes
Whether you have to take notes during a meeting or brainstorm with your coworkers, real-time collaboration can considerably improve your productivity.
If this real-time collaboration is backed up by a practical tool that makes easier the team working is even better.
A tool that allows this kind of collaboration is Box Nodes.
It is designed as an online tool in which users can take notes, organize brainstorming sessions, make meetings’ recaps, and more.
Time and task management
Time tracking is important if you want to become more productive while performing work or home activities.
Toggl is a productivity tool that offers users to have a detailed summary of the time spent working on any program and executing any task.
This way users can get a comprehensive overview of how they spent their time and see whether is necessary to work on improving their productivity.
Are you wondering how to never lose a track of everything you do during the day?
A tool that can help you to easily organize and prioritize daily activities and projects is available under the name Todoist.
It is a tool that allows making a plan with daily or weekly goals, to highlight priority levels of the tasks and to measure and review progress.
When executing daily tasks at work or at home, it is essential to not let any distractions interrupt you.
When that happens you can waste a lot of time and consequently lose track of what you have been doing and risk completing your tasks successfully.
There is an app that is designed to help those who find it challenging to organize their time and it’s called ‘Time’.
Productivity can be essentially improved by implementing a time tracking tool in your daily tasks.
But the experience is better when this tool has the feature not only to track but to suggest, train, and improve in accordance with its users’ accurate edits.
The ideal solution that includes all these functions is Timely – a tool supported by artificial intelligence.
If you want to organize your time in relation to your tasks for the day it would be easier if you could specify how much time approximately you would need for each specific task.
To avoid doing this with pen and paper you can start using HourStack.
It is a tool created to watch over your clock and to provide you with the possibility to indicate essential information about your tasks, such as how much time will it take you to finish them.
Whether you work as a freelancer or in a team, you need to keep an eye on the time you have at your disposal for successfully completing a project or a task.
This is strictly tied to your level of productivity and if you want it to be higher you certainly need to manage your time properly.
To achieve this more easily you can try working with Timeneye – a tool that makes working on tasks more efficient by allowing you to track time on a calendar-based dashboard.
About the author
Kristina Gjorgievska, a content writer and translator. Eternal inspiration: the magical Italy, Jim Morrison’s poetry, Bernardo Bertolucci’s timeless “Stealing Beauty”, and the dynamic and meditative Ashtanga Yoga. You can connect with Kristina on LinkedIn.