If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for ways to better manage your daily tasks at work, perhaps even streamline group projects more efficiently. You’ll find six such solutions ahead with the best productivity apps of 2021 for any kind of professional with a virtual workload.
Apps are built on an incredible purpose by allowing us to store and sort data, communicate information, and do many of the small, tedious tasks that escape us or simply take up more time than we’d like to set aside.
In an age where most of our jobs rely heavily on the internet, and while we’re dividing our attention so sparsely onto a single screen, technology can act as a virtual assistant.
You might already know of apps that entrepreneurs, smaller businesses, and freelancers practically swear by to help with productivity, such as the designing tool Canva, and Asana for group projects. There’s more where that came from.
To help you manage your tasks and work more efficiently, try out these highly recommended desktop apps. Prices vary from free to membership plans for a handful of users. And, we’ve picked the best ones for different goals you’re hoping to achieve in your job.
Notion: Best all-in-one app
Notion does it all in a single place, so all discussions, assignments, and documents are in a single place and easy to pull up when you need them. You can customise Notion to look and work the way you need it to — just think of building blocks you can drag and drop like LEGO blocks to create the dashboard, website, or system of your productive dreams.
To start, you can sign up as a single user and reap its benefits, while the option to add on users as your team grows is there for you too.
TickTick: Best for organising schedules, tasks & lists
If you remember the to-do list app GTasks a decade ago, TickTick is the new and improved version by the same team but with more functionalities. First, you can create tasks through voice input, and then organise them in various calendar views.
What we really like about TickTick is that it helps not just to organise, but to enable users to get into their best headspace to work using the Pomodoro Technique. This technique is a time management system that breaks work down into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks. TickTick comes with a built-in Pomo Timer accompanied by white noise in the background for your workday soundtrack. You’ll also get to track your productivity in the Achievement Score tab, where your score increases with every completed task or decreases when the completion of tasks is delayed.
Freedom: Best for blocking out distractions
Freedom is like an HR rep standing behind you, making sure you’re not on social media during work hours. And while many of us are working from home now and being our own boss, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Freedom puts you in control of your distractions. Plan your schedule either on-the-fly or ahead of time by selecting the times, days, and sites to block out, with the option of repeating it daily or weekly. This website/app-blocker works on Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and Chrome.
Grammarly: Best for proof-reading and editing text
Grammarly is an AI-powered writing assistant that helps you make corrections and edit in real-time. It’s a great help not just for journalists, copywriters, and creative individuals, but anyone really, as it can assist in any kind of writing form such as emails, presentations, and reports. The plug-in works automatically for any text typed out on Gmail, Twitter, WordPress, LinkedIn, and all your most-used sites. In its latest update, Grammarly can now assess the tone of your messages, letting you know if you sound optimistic, confident, and friendly.
Otter: Best for translating voice notes into text
Creative workers will also find the app Otter useful for transcribing audio. It’s perfect for long interviews, lectures, conversations, or transcribing those late-night moments of inspiration. Otter is also very helpful for companies working remotely as it can be integrated with zoom and turn meetings into minutes automatically. From there, you can even search, play, edit, and invite collaborators to your audio or text files. The app is powered by Ambient Voice Intelligence, which means your Otter is always learning to recognise voices and adapt to a special terminology.
MindMeister: Best for turning mind maps into projects
MindMeister takes the clever concept of mind mapping online — and that’s just the starting point of what it can do. If you haven’t heard of mind maps, these as graphical representations of your thoughts and ideas, mapped out to help you see the bigger picture and all its components. Once you’ve created the base of your mind map on MindMeister, the fun begins. Users can share and develop ideas with as many friends or colleagues as needed. The app’s sharing and edit tools work in real-time across all collaborators so you can even use MindMeister to comment, vote, and make changes while having a brainstorming session.
(Main image credit: Christin Hume/Unsplash)