Need more time in a day? We all do.
Consider the potential of some of the latest and greatest productivity tools that can help you be more efficient, focused and/or organized.
About 55 percent of retailers believe better technology can positively impact productivity. At the same time, once distracted, it takes 23 minutes for productive workers to get back on track and complete the task they started working on.
Therefore, online tools can potentially help us get more done. The following are at least 15 of the best free productivity tools you should know about.
(And if you’re working from home, check out our 11 tips to be more productive.)
Time-management productivity tools
RescueTime operates in the background of your device, quietly logging your activity without serving as a distraction. You’ll be able to see how much time you spend doing various things, such as visiting a particular website or using certain apps.
This tool also allows you to set targets and alerts to help you curtail poor productivity habits. In other words, it helps you limit wasted time on your devices, especially since it’s cross-platform.
The free version of RescueTime offers up to three months of data for analysis. Any paid subscription has no limits on data and also includes additional features.
Got a small team in need of time management? Todoist might be for you. The easy-to-use tool bridges time management with traditional to-do lists and a light amount of project management.
Todoist gives you a daily and weekly overview of what work you have to do, appointments scheduled and anything else you’re tracking. You can also delegate tasks to others as desired.
It integrates with dozens of apps and services to help you automate your trackable workflow. The free version limits you to five people and 80 active projects at any given time, but paid subscriptions are available for more functionality.
Clockify is brilliant in its simplicity and is absolutely unlimited and free to all users. Consider it similar to a stopwatch where you can easily record how long you spend working on different projects.
When you start a timer, you can add labels, descriptions and project details. Then, just hit “stop” when you’re finished. This tool allows you to configure timers to start as soon as you open your internet browser (so you don’t have to remember to start a timer), so be sure to dig around in those settings to find what works best for you and your work style.
Clockify also integrates with other applications, such as Trello, Asana, Jira and Todoist, among others. If you prefer, you can use it as a browser extension rather than the full application or in its mobile app form instead of the full desktop web application.
Would a bit of gamification help you hit your productivity goals? Or, some other goal? Consider trying Beeminder.
You actually can track almost anything using this tool, whether it’s how many contracts you get customers to sign per week, how many hours you work per day or how often you go to the gym. Anything.
Beeminder is considerably flexible and will log your progress once you set your goal. You then aim to stick to the “yellow brick road,” which is the progress graph that is supposed to keep you on point with your targets to ultimately reach your goal.
You can even take things up a notch and add your credit card to the tool so that you can be fined when/if you fail to stay on track.
Known for its simple time tracking at its core, Toggl works on multiple platforms and synchronizes so that you can move between devices and still track your work.
- The availability of manual and automated tracking
- A Pomodoro timer, which is a time management method of working in intervals for 25 minutes at a time
- Automatic detection of idle time
- Integrations with other apps and services
- Highly flexible customizations
While Toggl offers detailed reports, there is no invoicing option within the tool itself.
A free Chrome extension that restricts the amount of time you are allowed to spend on “time-wasting websites” like Facebook (for example), StayFocused offers a ton of customizing options, such as which websites to block, how long to block them and so on.
It is only available on Chrome right now.
Project-management productivity tools
Asana aims to help everyone stay on-task and organized together. The team-productivity tool helps you keep all projects and tasks in one spot, where you can assign different users to specific jobs.
- Ability to build a visual Gantt chart quickly
- See and track work on Kanban boards
- Calendar functionality
- Integrates with other apps
- Goal-setting mechanisms
- Real-time reporting
- Automation capability
- View distribution of workload across team members
While free to start, Asana has paid subscriptions if you have a team of half a dozen workers or more.
A central spot for project planning and organization, Freedcamp allows you to add project to-dos, share files and join discussions with team members.
A bonus with Freedcamp is that much of the functionality is included in its free version. Any advance features (like integrating invoices) can be pay-per-add-on, allowing you to pay for only what you need.
It’s cross-platform and integrates with many other applications and services.
Trello is a project-management tool that at first glance resembles a Pinterest board except without all the photos. Instead, it’s a visual presentation of lists, labels, tasks and so on that you can easily drag and drop as you like.
Its features are all geared toward productivity and teamwork, where your team can collaborate. Trello integrates with other apps and services and also offers no-coding automation.
The free version is likely enough for small teams, but paid subscriptions are available if you need more.
Save-for-later productivity tools
Granted, we can’t talk about Google Drive without at least mentioning the slate of other tools within the Google universe. But Google Drive still stands on its own as a cross-platform cloud storage and organization tool.
This makes it easy to share (and even edit with Google Docs and Google Spreadsheets) all types of files.
Team-wise, Google Drive offers the ability to chat and share notes within a document, and it’s completely free.
Evernote enables you to save notes (both audio and text), organize photos, set reminders and upload attachments across all your devices in one place.
One of the common uses of Evernote involves its bookmarklet, where you can easily “clip” web articles and store them to read later on any device.
It also integrates with other apps and services. The free version allows you to sync two devices. If you need to sync more (or simply want more storage space), you might consider one of the paid subscriptions.
Need a place to save the great content that you don’t have time to read (or watch) in that moment? Pocket can help.
Saved content formats include articles, images, videos and so on).
Social media productivity tools
Efficiently managing your social media accounts definitely requires the right tool. Fortunately, there are several free options out there that can work, depending on the platforms you’re on and the needs that you have.
Check out these 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools that can help you be more effective with your social media presence.
Miscellaneous productivity tools
Slack organizes how your team communicates with each other. You can break up conversations into channels so that each channel provides a focus.
In addition, you can connect your team to another collaborating team if desired. Direct messaging and voice/video calls also are available.
Slack integrates with other applications and is cross-platform. The free version is very robust, but if you find yourself needing more than the messaging archive or app-integration limit, consider one of the paid subscriptions.
The password struggle is real and can be a real time suck. LastPass remembers all your passwords and can be used across several devices.
Not only will this tool store your passwords in its secured vault, it also will audit your passwords to help you create better, more secure ones.
The free version has plenty of features and is still very secure, but if you’re looking to be able to add employees to certain password folders, for example, consider a paid subscription.
A Chrome extension, Right Inbox allows you to set up multiple signatures, email sequences, delayed sends and more.
The idea is to stay on top of the chaos that might be your email inbox.
A bonus feature is built-in email tracking.
While you’re looking at boosting your productivity, think about how you can improve your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.