Productivity tools are all about maximizing your time and making your life easier while getting the day’s tasks done, whether that’s by integrating the apps you regularly use or through effortlessly organizing your inbox.
Below we round up the cream of the 2021 crop of productivity tools – and summarize how they can improve your work life.
Spike is a tool that can hugely boost productivity in the workplace. It fuses an email app with messaging features, and the result is simple, seamless chat conversations that allow users to collaborate in a more streamlined and natural way, perfect for group projects, and team meetings. It also features a dynamic Priority Email Inbox, Online notes, group chat, video and voice messages settings, as well as file management facilities and a calendar.
- Personal accounts are free and include unlimited personal addresses
- Solo package, for minimum 1 business account, costs $12 a month
- Team package, for minimum 2 business accounts, costs $8 a month
- Business package, for minimum 5 business accounts, costs $7 a month
- Free trial available
- Online Help Centre
- All message data fully encrypted
ProofHub is a project and task management tool. If you run a team, or regularly oversee projects of any size, then ProofHub is an ideal way to help keep things on track, offering features such as custom workflows, proofing, project templates and project progress reports, it’s an all-under-one-roof option to smooth the path of a project from concept stage to delivered result.
- Essential package costs $45 a month and facilitates the creation of 40 projects, allows unlimited users and 15GB storage
- Ultimate package costs $89 a month and facilitates the creation of unlimited projects, allows unlimited users and 100GB storage
- No per user fee
- Free trial available
- Support accessible online
- 100% secure transmission of data, no unauthorized access and Network access restricted
Trello is designed around the concept of multiple collaborative boards to facilitate the effective and efficient management of projects. Each board can be categorized, tagged, and customized in order to assign and work on tasks, and to set each task’s priority level. The Trello boards are expandable so can be increased as your team or workload grows, and can be used to manage projects, meetings, events, plus team and individual goals.
- Sign up and Basic package are free
- Business Class package costs $10 a month and is designed for teams with up to 100 members
- Enterprise package costs $17.50 a month for companies requiring advanced features, additional security and support. This cost is an estimate based on 25 users accessing Trello – for a custom price based on your team’s needs, contact Trello for details
- Customer support available online or via telephone
- All data encrypted and and weekly vulnerability scans completed to ensure security is optimal
Buffer is a social media toolkit designed to support small businesses in building their brand and overall online presence. Its four key components are the analysis of social media performance, the planning of campaigns, effective customer engagement initiatives, and tracking subsequent reach. Buffer currently has over 70,000 customers and operates from 15 countries around the world, and its overarching aim is to allow consumers to find their way to a specific brand more easily.
- Basic Plan is designed for individuals, is free of charge, and enables users to manage up to 3 channels
- Essentials Plan offers unlimited channels and costs $5 a month
- Team Pack is available as an add on plan and enables users to add unlimited team members and clients; contact Buffer for prices
- Free trial available on Essentials Plan
- Online Help Centre for customer support, plus access to webinars and online tutorials
Google Docs is a beautifully simple, yet highly effective, productivity tool that enables users to create, edit and collaborate on documents online – meaning files can be accessed and worked on anywhere. As a document storage and task management system it is an extremely useful tool to enable working alone or as a team on multiple projects and tasks. Styling tools, smart editing functions, and document templates are all featured, and files can be worked on off-line, too.
- Google Docs is free; for businesses requiring Google Docs as part of the Google Workspace package, charges vary – see the Google Workspace site for details
- Online Help Centre and Forums available
- Android version available to download
- Users are able to password protect files and set sharing options
Productivity as Standard
Incorporating the right productivity tools into your digital workspace can make a significant difference to the ease with which tasks can be completed, and the extent to which collaboration is possible. By choosing the right tools for your individual circumstances or business, you can expect to see an increase in what’s achievable in a set timeframe.
Use tools to build your brand on social media, to create collaboration-friendly files and documents, to manage multiple projects or to take business communication to the next level. Many of the tools listed above offer free trials, so explore what works for you, and watch productivity almost effortlessly increase.