Apps chrome

10 productivity apps that could transform the way you work

Whatever the nature of your productivity, productivity apps can help you achieve this goal.

The demands of remote work, busy schedules, and a rapidly changing world are blurring how we allocate our personal and professional time. It can seem quite overwhelming.

Productivity apps provide tools to organize, prioritize, and manage your obligations. They also help you stay focused and check things off on that endless to-do list.

Here are our 10 favorites.

Productivity apps that will help you work smarter: our picks

Productivity apps range from comprehensive tools to niche tools that help you focus on your work, track your habits, manage your time, or prioritize your obligations.

The list below includes productivity apps that offer simple and effective mechanisms to maximize productivity. Many are free or include a free trial, so they’re worth a shot whether you’re an established professional or starting a new job.

Productivity apps are listed in alphabetical order.

1. Absorb

Whether you want to improve your concentration while working from home or need to manage a busy life on the go, Engross can help.

The app includes a Pomodoro clock, planner and calendar, as well as reminders and statistical analysis of how you use your time. Using Engross allows you to block notifications and functions from other apps to keep you from getting distracted. Engross’ simple, minimalist design means the app itself can save you time compared to more complicated apps.

Cost: Free
Available for: Android, iOS

2. Evernote

Designed to help you keep track of notes, tasks, and events, Evernote provides all-in-one planning assistance. Evernote lets you embed text, images, audio files, PDFs, and other documents so you can work anywhere.

Note-taking templates, a web clipper, and handy resizing and recoloring features make organization easy. Because Evernote captures information across devices, it lets you quickly sync and find your schedule and notes.

Evernote’s free app offers note-taking and web clipping options, while personal and business accounts let you store more content, work offline, and integrate the app with Slack, Salesforce, and Microsoft Teams.

Cost: Free with limited features, personal account $8/mo, business account $10/mo, Endnote Teams account $15/user/mo
Available for: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac

Sunlight through the trees in the forest.  Surrey, United Kingdom

Getty Images/iStockphoto

3. Forest

Forest lets you plant a virtual tree when you want to focus. As you do your work, this tree grows. Walk away before your job is done, get too distracted, or procrastinate and your tree dies.

To help you determine your focus needs, Forest offers a personality test to get you started. However, Forest does more than just grow e-trees. The app partners with tree-planting organization Trees for the Future to plant real trees using user-submitted virtual coins.

Cost: Free Chrome extension; $3.99 for iOS; free for Android with in-app purchases
Available for: Chrome, iOS, Android

4. Freedom

Freedom blocks websites and apps to help you stay focused. You can also work offline and block the internet entirely so you don’t waste time or schedule hours for your blocklist to start.

Freedom provides ambient noise and lets you track session history and take notes on the tasks you complete. By syncing Freedom across all devices, you can free yourself from distractions anywhere.

Premium Freedom features include unlimited sessions and devices, recurring scheduled sessions, and partner discounts.

Cost: Free trial, $8.99/month, $3.33/month for annual subscription, $159.99 for purchase
Available for: Android; iOS; mac; The Windows; extensions available for Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Opera


5. Habitica

Habitica turns building productive habits into a game. Rewards and punishments motivate and inspire you while engaging with other users to create a community of competition and accountability.

To use Habitica, you import your Tasks, Habits, and Tasks as monsters you need to conquer. You maintain your avatar’s health and level up by completing tasks. Subscribers can purchase gems to help run the site.

Cost: Free, subscriptions available; $9/month team subscription with +$3 per member
Available for: Extension Android, iOS, Chrome


6. If this then that (IFTTT)

A tool for integrating apps, devices, and services, IFTTT offers smart home, social media, and cross-content applets to streamline your online activities. IFTTT also lets you customize applets to suit your needs.

IFTTT’s 700+ automations maximize efficiency and eliminate incompatibility between apps and devices. Integrated brands include Dropbox, Slack, Fitbit, and Twitter. For example, you can set to use IFTT to automatically save new iOS contacts to Google Contacts.

Free access to IFTTT unlocks five automations at standard speeds, while the Pro and Pro+ plans offer additional features. Developers can access IFTTT documentation and explore new strategies and connections for customers and users.

Cost: Free, IFTTT Pro for $5/month, IFTTT Pro+ for $10/month
Available for: Android, iOS

7. Notion

Notion brings teams together in one workspace by letting you create living documents, customizable workflows and roadmaps, and shareable content. Notion allows individuals and businesses to use and adapt templates for meetings, tasks, weekly planners, and onboarding.

Notion users have access to wikis, project management tools, calendars and design documents. Additional resources include blogs, guides and tutorials, and webinars.

Free for individuals, Notion offers personal pro and team plans as well as corporate contracts.

Cost: Free, $4/mo for Personal Pro, $96/user/year or $10/user/mo for Teams, Custom Pricing for Business
Available for: Android, iOS, Mac, Windows

8. RescueTime

RescueTime boosts focus and removes distractions by tracking the work you’re doing on your computer. It uses this data to give you insight into your focus habits.

RescueTime gives you goals and keeps you motivated throughout the day. By identifying strengths, RescueTime tells you the optimal time for focused work, alerts you if you’re taking on too many tasks, and lets you know when you’re losing focus.

When you sign up for RescueTime, it creates a profile based on how you work. The RescueTime survey assesses the type of work you do, the setting, your work schedule and your work goals.

Cost: Free with limited features, $9/month, $78/annual plan
Available for: Windows, Mac


9. Todoist

A short-term and long-term planner, Todoist helps you capture and organize tasks. Todoist provides sections and categories of subtasks to keep you organized, lets you set up recurring tasks, and helps you prioritize tasks.

Notifications and reminders accompany labels, tables to help you get an overview, and filters. Todoist provides task archives and weekly and monthly statistics to give you productivity and activity updates.

Cost: Free with limited features, pro plan at $36/year or $4/month, professional subscription at $60/year or $6/month
Available for: Android and iOS; Linux, Windows, Mac; Gmail and Outlook; Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Safari; portable

ten. To fall over

To accommodate freelancers and individuals, small teams and large groups, Toggl provides an office time tracker that is compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux. The app offers inactivity detection, reminders, timelines, a Pomodoro timer, and offline time tracking.

Toggl lets you track your activities on the go with Toggl Track, a browser plugin that integrates with tools like Asana, Trello, and Jira.

Mobile apps accompany desktop functionality, while more than 100 integrations let you capture billing and invoicing information, track employee timesheets, and monitor payroll and budgeting.

Cost: Free with limited features, $9/month starter for small teams, $18/month premium, custom pricing for enterprises
Available for: Windows, Mac, Linux; Android and iOS; Chrome and Firefox