With the COVID-19 pandemic, it becomes highly imperative for the “office-going” mates to stay safely at home and pursue their work.
But working from home might not be as easy as we have been expecting – you get easily distracted because of random things happening around at home.
And being productive is another challenge for many people I have been working with.
So, if you are also looking for tools that can help you be productive and improve performance at work, this article is for you.
In this article, I will show you some of the best productivity tools to help you stay focused and become more productive.
Here are the tool categories we will be covering –
- Team Communication
- Password Management
- To-do list
- Project Management
- Video Conferencing
Geared to raise your productivity bar? Let’s get started.
While you are working from home, you’ll get lots of distractions, and it becomes easy for anyone to become inattentive to your work. This is a serious concern, and you must concentrate on the things that you work upon.
To combat this and make you calm and focused, here are the best focus apps that you can start using –
1. Freedom – Block Websites, Apps, and Internet
By empowering 1,000,000 individuals to be highly productive, Freedom is one of the best focus apps that block apps and websites in Mac, Windows, Android, etc. It gives you the freedom to create an unlimited number of blocklists so that you get rid of distraction-causing elements.
One of my favorite features of freedom is that it gives ambient sounds that make you feel calm and composed, thus improving your focus mindset. Also, you can enable a locked mode that doesn’t end your freedom sessions, and you can ultimately stay productive at your work.
Productivity Bonus offered by Freedom –
- You can start freedom sessions whenever you want or schedule a session for the future.
- It offers session annotation that lets you monitor what you have achieved and can track your progress.
- You can view your session history like duration, the type of devices, etc., for enhancing your productivity in the future.
- It enables you to share your productivity score with colleagues that spread a positive mindset and happiness.
2. Serene – macOS app for laser-focus
Serene hosts power-packed features that let you amplify your focus to the next level. It combines all the productivity aspects into a single tool to not run behind multiple tools to control every distraction-causing factor.
This productivity app blocks apps/websites, helps implement your planned tasks via to-do lists, prompts you to set clear goals, blocks notifications and silences your calls/texts.
Productivity Bonus offered by Serene –
- It enables you to set daily goals so that you get that punch to implement them without fail.
- It makes you productive by playing music or soundtracks that are built to improve your focus.
- It lets you work in short power sessions with proper breaks to keep your mind active and enthusiastic.
- You can customize the length of your deep work sessions and set reminders to start your sessions quickly.
A small dose of Inspiration for you: “A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.” – Brian Tracy.
Team Communication Apps
When working remotely, you need to update your work status, share resources, communicate with your teammates, and much more based on the requirements.
For this to happen, you need the help of the best team communication/chat apps that lets your work and your team’s tasks get done at a faster pace. Let’s have a look at the best team communication apps that boosts productivity.
1. Slack – Best Team chat app for businesses of all sizes
Slack is by far the best and most popular team communication apps used by almost all companies. It helps boost your productivity as you can create ‘n’ number of channels that make you stay organized, updated, and collaborate with your remote teammates more effectively.
Slack breaks the barrier of physical separation by connecting you virtually with your teammates via face-to-face chat. Moreover, Slack has constantly been updating its UI that promises to deliver a live, enriching, and interactive experience.
Productivity Bonus offered by Slack –
- You can follow up on everything happening in all the channels related to your tasks, deadlines, project status, etc.
- It enables you to connect with your clients by sharing a channel in Slack that lets your work be done faster.
- You can connect with your teammates anywhere at any time via voice and video calls.
- It offers a workflow builder that lets you automate your day-to-day tasks, which creates a hassle-free working experience.
2. Troop Messenger – Team Chat and Instant Messaging
Troop Messenger is one of the best team chat apps that guarantees to ignite your productivity levels with this innovative range of features. It enables you to proactively share your ideas, collaborates with vendors, organizes spaces, gets things done at a rapid rate via instant voice-video calling, and much more on the go.
It offers a user-friendly chat interface that is highly flexible and meets all your business needs and requirements. Also, it prevents exhaustion/burnouts by allowing you to chat with your colleagues in private mode only for a stipulated period of time.
Productivity Bonus offered by Troop Messenger –
- It enables you to instantly send a text message to multiple individuals or multiple groups at a single point of time.
- It ensures that you get easy access to share your files across individual/ group chats.
- Make your team members understand that you have sent an important message by acknowledging with read receipts.
- It offers advanced search filters to find all your resources and lets you flag crucial messages that need utmost importance.
A small dose of inspiration for you: “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” – Babe Ruth.
Password Management Tool
While working from home, you might be using WIFI or a public network for internet access. Such networks are prone to hacks, and you may lose access to confidential company data.
That’s why instead of saving passwords on your browser, you should use a password management tool that safeguards your passwords.
1. Dashlane – Best Password Manager App
Dashlane is one of the predominant password manager applications that promise to deliver a safe and secure online browsing experience. It enables you to create, save, and autofill your passwords/personal information. So you don’t need to remember or manually enter the login details.
Dashlane offers a secured single-sign-on feature that allows you to use the app on multiple devices simultaneously.
Productivity Bonus offered by Dashlane –
- Dashlane enables you to share encrypted passwords with individuals or groups, which enhances security.
- It offers a meaningful dashboard that displays the health score of your password and lets you track the changes made.
- It supports two-factor authentication and is compatible with other mobile authenticator apps too.
- Easily sync your Dashlane data to all your favorite devices, including iOS, Android, Windows-powered devices.
2. LastPass – Best Password Manager and Vault App
LastPass is a reliable, safe, and flexible password management tool that safeguards your data from potential security breaches. It is a freemium tool that offers a secured password vault to store your encrypted account, personal, payment, notes, and much more on the go.
It provides you instant threat alerts when your data is at risk on the web so that you can prevent the situation from getting exacerbated. Also, you can give access to your peer who is highly trustable so that in cases of emergency crisis, he/she can operate your account and recover it.
Productivity Bonus offered by LastPass –
- It offers multi-factor authentication that adds an incredible layer of security to your data.
- You can store, organize and access valuable information like addresses, credit cards with the help of encrypted notes.
- It enables you to digitally back up important documents and also other critical files.
- Allows you to share unlimited account details and other data with a high level of authorization and security.
A small dose of awareness for you: Did you know that 60% of employees use the same password across multiple works and home applications?
To-do List Apps
Working from home is an entirely different scenario when compared to working from the office. You stay on track and finish off all the tasks when you are in the office because you are just focusing on office works.
But when it comes to WFH, you may have to manage household tasks as well. While both tasks are essential, using a to-do list app allows you to prioritize and fix a time for each job.
This ensures that you neither forget any task nor get delayed for anything important.
1. Evernote – Best Note-Taking app
Evernote is a popular to-do list app that enables you to take notes, organize & manage your tasks, and allows you to share your content quickly across any kind of app. It eliminates excessive scrolling and lets you find your notes swiftly with powerful search and tag options.
This productivity app permits you to express ideas, capture images, record audio during meetings/lectures even if you are offline. It also helps you to effectively collaborate with your team members by creating spaces that collect, organize, and share resources for faster accessibility.
Productivity Bonus offered by Evernote –
- It allows you to add text, images, PDF, audio, etc., to your notes.
- Evernote saves you time by scanning all your documents in a reliable manner.
- You can save web clips and mark them with arrows/highlights to denote their importance.
- It provides tons of templates for almost every task – Business Plan, Habit Tracker, Marketing&Sales, Meetings, Project Management, etc.
2. Todoist – The To-do list to organize work and life
Todoist is one of the best to-do list apps that helps you free up your task pressures and deadlines by organizing everything perfectly. It provides you a 360-degree view of all the tasks that need to be managed and prioritized, which helps you to stay in the limelight forever.
It enables you to share your workload as you can delegate tasks your daily tasks to your peer members. Todoist offers a big board with Kanban-style designed cards which allow you to drag tasks, collaborate with teammates and unlock the progress that is achieved,
Productivity Bonus offered by Todoist-
- Enables you to simplify your workflow by connecting todoist with calendars, emails, and files.
- You can set reminders so that you never miss out on any important/critical tasks.
- Allows you to set recurring due dates so that you’ll be notified correctly amidst your busy schedule.
- It provides task filters that let you view your custom tasks based on due dates, projects, assignees, and much more.
A small dose of inspiration for you: “Rename your “To-do” list to your “Opportunities” list. Each day is a treasure chest filled with limitless opportunities; take joy in checking many off your list.”
– Steve Maraboli
Project Management Apps
While you are working away from the office, it becomes tedious to collaborate with your teammates and managers to plan and execute the ongoing projects.
This is where you can use project management apps to streamline your daily workflow activities such that you can finish all the assigned tasks, keep track of team performance and plan accordingly.
1. Asana – Best Project Management Tool
Asana is one of the best project management tools that help in managing your team’s day-to-day tasks and projects. It fosters effective collaboration by bringing all your teammates into one shared workspace to brainstorm ideas, thus increasing productivity.
It enables you to design each stage of your work to see what’s important and removes the friction to quickly complete the task. The great news is that it automates your daily repetitive tasks so that you can concentrate on optimizing other critical project tasks.
Productivity Bonus offered by Asana –
- It offers a list view with which your teammates will know what they have to do, which tasks are prioritized in the list, and deadlines for completing them.
- Enables you to manage dependent, overlapping, and scheduled tasks so that you need not struggle and proceed with the tasks in a peaceful manner.
- Allows you to see how many pending tasks your teammates have across projects.
- You can set strategic goals for your tasks and also track your progress that helps in measuring your work productivity.
2. Trello – Popular Project Management Tool
Trello is a top-rated collaboration tool that offers a Kanban-style working board to get all your tasks done faster. It provides a user-friendly interface that lets you quickly set up and customize your workflows for any type of task.
With the help of its lists and cards, you and your teammates can check upon upcoming tasks, checklists, deadlines, attachments, etc. Also, by accessing its built-in automation, you can automate everyday tasks, create custom buttons to process workflow, and schedule assignments for your teammates.
Productivity Bonus offered by Trello-
- It reates a timeline view for effective planning of your projects.
- It offers a useful set of integrations across various platforms so that you can skyrocket your productivity levels.
- You can track and manage your tasks and even share the updates with your teammates.
- It allows simple data export and provides workspace-level templates to enrich your project functionality.
A small dose of inspiration for you- “Operations keeps the lights on, strategy provides a light at the end of the tunnel, but project management is the train engine that moves the organization forward.” – Joy Gumz
Video Conferencing Tools
Ever since the concept of remote work started, video conferencing apps are in high demand. These tools enable you to virtually see your teammates, communicate with them, schedule meetings with your clients and do much more with the advancement of features.
1. Zoom – Most Widely used Video Conferencing App
Being trusted by millions of businesses, Zoom is the top-grossing video conferencing app that offers a suite of features to make you productive. You can conduct meetings, webinars, align the communication flow using chats, host virtual events, and the list keeps going on.
Creating a meeting link is easy, and the attendees can quickly join by entering their name or meeting ID. It also offers conference rooms that allow you to run or join video meetings with a few clicks and taps.
Productivity Bonus offered by Zoom
- Enables you to host meetings in HD audio and video clarity with a limit of 1000 video participants.
- You can apply filters, engage by sending reactions, conduct polls, thus making meetings more creative and fun-filled.
- Allows you to record your meetings so that you can keep track of important aspects.
- Improves collaboration as multiple participants can simultaneously share their screens which makes your meetings to be perfectly structured.
2. Cisco Webex – Best App for Video Conferencing
Cisco Webex is one of the best and secure apps that enables you to host HD video conferences, share screens, allows you to connect with your teammates via messaging, and lets you make/receive calls. It promises to deliver a hybrid work experience by enabling seamless collaboration across different platforms.
It readily helps increase your focus power during meetings by muting all the distracting sounds in the background. The best part is that it offers a digital assistant that provides live translations in 10 languages, fostering easy connectivity.
Productivity Bonus offered by Cisco Webex –
- It offers a control hub that provides advanced analytics with interactive visualization and meaningful insights.
- Enables you to send messages, files in saved spaces which will organize your workflows.
- Provides flexible meeting options like breakout rooms, creating blurred/virtual backgrounds, and much more.
- You can easily schedule, host and join meetings by integrating Webex to Google or Microsoft calendars.
A small but valuable tip for you to conduct effective meetings:
Always create a proper agenda before the meeting and circulate it to your teammates. It makes them feel confident as they will prepare in advance, and you get the satisfaction of conducting a productive meeting.