You might already know that using a set of internet tools is one of the best ways to increase your productivity. It’s different for different people, and it keeps on changing as we find better alternative to the current ones.
Here’s a comprehensive list of some of the best productivity tools and apps — categorized & subcategorized. And hey, it’s possible that your favorite social media productivity tool is missing here but I have already organized all the social media productivity tools at — Social Media Tools 101.
And yeah, most of the tools that I have mentioned here are free or freemium or comes with a free trial.
Productivity: The Fantastic Ten
Let’s start with the ‘fantastic ten’ as the following apps and tools are the most essential tools for (almost) everyone. And apparently, they’re my favorite productivity tools too.
- Gmail / Outlook.com — I love Gmail and Outlook.com — with a little bias on Gmail (thanks to its powerful labels, filters, search, and other features) and also it’s my email hub. Here’s a comparison of Gmail vs. Outlook.com vs. Yahoo Mail.
- Evernote (Freemium) — Evernote is my perfect blogging companion as it’s an awesome tool to collect and organize stuff as I browse the web. Here’s a list of over 30 Evernote tips and tricks.
- Todoist (Freemium) — Todoist is the best task manager app. Period.
- Feedly (Freemium) — Feedly is the best RSS reader to organize, read and share your daily news. And it’s too awesome that I don’t want Google to bring back their Google Reader. And yeah, it’s very much mobile too.
- Pocket (Freemium) — With over 10 million users Pocket is easily one of the most popular productivity tool. You can use Pocket to easily save articles, videos and more for later. All of your content goes to one place, so you can view it anytime, on any device — even without an Internet connection.
- Sunrise (for Windows, OS X, iOS & Android) — Sunrise is a free calendar app made for Google Calendar, iCloud and Exchange. It shows a consolidated view of all your events — from Google Calendar, Facebook, iCloud, Exchange.
- Microsoft OneNote — OneNote is a note-taker, to-do list manager, and much more. I personally use OneNote as a planner and to capture & archive ideas. I love its ability to organize content by tabgs and pages and subpages.
- Google Chrome — No, I don’t actually want to treat Google Chrome as a web browser. It’s much more! Seriously. It’s Google (with their different cloud services) who showed us the power of a web browser.
- Dropbox (Freemium) — Dropbox offers only 2 GB of free storage but still it’s the coolest cloud storage service. I love its simplicity and intuitive interface.
- Office 365 (Premium) — If you love Microsoft Office then you’re going to love Office 365. With one subscription, we can use Office on 5 PCs or Macs and 5 mobile devices (that is, you can share your subscription with 5 users) and you (only the primary user) also get 60 Skype world minutes per month. And… all users will get 1 TB of OneDrive free storage.
Everything Else (Quick View — Click To Scroll)
To help you better manage your daily tasks and to set reminders.
- Todoist (Freemium) — Todoist lets you manage your tasks anywhere — on 13 platforms and devices. Costs $29 for the premium version. Also try, Wunderlist.
- Any.do — Any.do is a free app that will help you manage your daily tasks, anywhere you go.
- Clear (Premium – for OS X & iOS) — Untangle your life with Clear — the to-do and reminders app that ensures you stay focused on what matters. Clear’s playful and clutter-free interface makes it easier than ever to stay organized. Costs $4.99 for the iOS app and $9.99 for the Mac app (comes with a 14-day free trial). Also try, Things, OmniFocus.
- Producteev (Freemium) — Manage your to-do list, assign tasks and get real-time updates on your projects — anywhere, anytime. On your iPhone. On your iPad. Or your Android device. You’ll never lose track of your tasks again. Costs $99/month for the premium enterprise version.
- Remember The Milk — Remember The Milk is the popular to-do list that’s everywhere you are: from your phone, to the web, to your Google apps, and more. Used by millions worldwide.
- EasilyDo (Freemium) — EasilyDo is a smart, all-in-one virtual assistant app that makes you more productive and more connected. No to-do lists, no digging, no switching back and forth between apps. Costs $4.99/month or $49.99/year for the premium version.
Your calendar. Online.
- Sunrise (for Windows, OS X, iOS & Android) — Sunrise is a free calendar app made for Google Calendar, iCloud and Exchange.
- Any.do Cal — Any.do is an award winning task list, featuring innovative planning tools.
- Google Calendar — With Google’s free online calendar, it’s easy to keep track of life’s important events all in one place.
- Outlook.com Calendar — It’s a beautiful calendar that has a clean and modern look.
- Fantastical (Premium – for OS X & iOS) — Quickly create new events and reminders with natural language input and more. Costs a one-time $4.99 for iPhone, $9.99 for iPad, and $19.99 for Mac (comes with a 14-day free trial).
- Doodle (Freemium) — Doodle radically simplifies the process of scheduling events, meetings, appointments, etc. Costs $39/year for the premium version.
Try the following note-taker apps as everybody needs at least one note-taker app that syncs all notes with your other devices.
- Microsoft OneNote — It’s one of the best and most powerful app to capture your notes, ideas and to-do lists — all in one place. It’s free and is available on all your devices — Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Web.
- Evernote (Freemium) — Lets you take notes, sync files across your devices, save web pages, capture inspiration, and share your ideas with friends and colleagues.
- Evernote Skitch — Get your point across with fewer words using annotation, shapes and sketches, so that your ideas become reality faster.
- Google Keep — Quickly create, access and organize notes, lists and photos with Google Keep. All your notes are automatically stored in Google Drive.
- Box Notes — Create documents, take notes and share ideas in real-time with anyone.
Archive your thoughts online.
- Day One (Premium – for OS X & iOS) — Day One is a simple way to journal. It’s easy to quickly enter your thoughts and memories and have them synced and backed up in the cloud. Costs a one-time $1.99 for the iOS (iPhone & iPad) version and $9.99 for the Mac App.
- LiveJournal (Freemium) — LiveJournal is a community publishing platform, willfully blurring the lines between blogging and social networking. Costs $25/year for the premium version.
- 750 Words (Premium) — Motivates you to write 750 words a day. Costs $5/month with a 30-day free trial.
- iDoneThis (Freemium) — Reply to an evening email reminder with what you did that day. The next day, get a digest with what everyone on the team got done. Pricing starts at $5/month for the premium version.
List of some of the best word processors — online and offline.
- Microsoft Word Online (Free) — Collaborate for free with an online version of Microsoft Word. Share documents with others and work together at the same time.
- Google Docs (Free) — Create, edit, and share your work online and access your documents from anywhere.
- Pages for iCloud (Free) — Lets you create and share documents in your browser.
- Zoho Docs (Premium) — Create, manage, organize, share and collaborate on documents easily with Zoho Docs. Pricing starts at $5 per month per user.
- Draft — Write better with Draft. Easy version control and collaboration to improve your writing.
- Microsoft Word (Premium – Windows & OS X) — Word is better than ever with tools that help you polish your documents like a pro. Costs a one-time — $139.99 for Student version, $219.99 for Home version, and $399.99 for Professional version.
- Apple Pages (Premium – OS X & iOS) — Pages is a powerful word processor that gives you everything you need to create documents that look beautiful. And it even works effortlessly with people who use Microsoft Word. Costs a one-time $9.99 for the iOS App and $19.99 for the Mac App.
Bookmark stuff as you browse the web.
- Diigo (Freemium) — Diigo is a powerful research tool and a knowledge-sharing community. Pricing starts at $5/year.
- Pinboard (Premium) — Pinboard is a personal archive for things you find online. You save bookmarks to the site and can find and search them later from any computer. You can also set the site up to automatically import your links and tweets from a number of other services. Costs a one-time $10.51.
- Kippt (Freemium) — With Kippt you can save links, read articles, watch videos, share notes and much more. Your collections can be private or public, or shared with the people you work with. Costs $5/month for the premium version.
- Saved.io — Saved.io is the fastest way to save links in the cloud. Just type saved.io/ in front of any URL to save a bookmark to the cloud.
- Delicious — Delicious is a free and easy tool to save, organize and discover interesting links on the web.
Supercharge your emailing experience by using the following tools.
- Postbox (Premium – for OS X & Windows) — It’s a great alternative to Outlook or Thunderbird — with better Gmail integration, Dropbox support, social connection, conversation views, tagging, etc. Costs a one-time $9.95 (with 30 day free trial).
- Mailbox (Free – for OS X, iOS, & Android) — It’s the best email app for iOS and Android. Period. Also try, Boxer, Mail Pilot, CloudMagic.
- Boomerang (Freemium) — Boomerang adds scheduled sending, and with integrated email reminders it helps you reach Inbox Zero. Pricing starts at $4.99/month for the premium version.
- ActiveInbox (Premium) — Get things done by turning Gmail into a task manager. Costs $39.95/year.
- Rapportive (Free – for Google Chrome & Mozilla Firefox) — Rapportive shows you everything about your contacts right inside your Gmail inbox.
- SaneBox (Premium) — SaneBox prioritizes important emails and summarizes the rest. Pricing starts at $7/month for the premium version.
- AwayFind (Premium) — Notifies you of messages that matter — via mobile, SMS, or voice. Pricing starts at $5/month for the premium version.
- Mailstrom (Premium) — Remove hundreds (or even thousands) of messages from your inbox all at once. Costs $4.95/month with a free trial. Also try, NudgeMail.
- Unroll.me — See a list of all your subscription emails and unsubscribe with one click.
- Scrubly (Freemium) — Delete duplicate contacts from Outlook, Mac, Gmail and Google Apps address books with the Scrubly. Pricing starts at $19.95 for the premium version.
- BrandMyMail (Freemium – for Gmail) — Brand your emails with your company look, dynamic signatures and email templates. Pricing starts at $39.99/year. Also try, WiseStamp.
Teamwork & Productivity
You know the secret of great stuff. Don’t you?
It’s all about teamwork! :)
- Trello — Drop the lengthy email threads, out-of-date spreadsheets, no-longer-so-sticky notes, and clunky software for managing your projects and get Trello, the easy, free, and visual way to organize your important stuff. Trello adapts to your project, team, and workflow. Also try, Mural.ly (Premium).
- WorkFlowy — WorkFlowy is an organizational tool that makes life easier. It can help you organize personal to-dos, collaborate on large team projects, take notes, write research papers, keep a journal, plan a wedding, and much more.
- AgileZen (Freemium) — AgileZen is a simple, flexible, and cost-effective web-based software for project management that helps you and your team get things done quickly, efficiently, and effectively. Costs $99/month for the premium version.
- Asana (Freemium) — Say goodbye to emails, to-do lists, calendars & status meetings. And say hello to Asana. Pricing starts at $50/month for the premium version.
- KanbanFlow (Freemium) — KanbanFlow is a project management tool allowing real-time collaboration between team members. Costs $5/month for the premium version. Also try, Kanban Tool.
- Flow (Premium) — Flow is project management software that simplifies teamwork. Use it to plan projects, prioritize to-dos, delegate tasks, and collaborate beautifully. Pricing starts at $19/month (with a 30-day free trial).
No, not just a project management software. It’s much more!
- Zoho (Freemium) — Zoho’s project management and collaboration software keeps track of everything right from simple tasks to complex projects — all in one place. Pricing starts at $20/month for the premium version.
- Basecamp (Premium) — Makes it easy for people in different roles with different responsibilities to communicate and work together. It’s a place to share files, have discussions, collaborate on documents, assign tasks, and check due dates. Pricing starts at $20/month with a 60-day free trial.
- CatchApp (Freemium) — Catch up with everything your team is working on. See what’s going on, gain insights and take action. Pricing starts at $4.99/month for the premium version.
- Solo (Premium) — A project management tool for freelancers. Pricing starts at $14/month with a 30-day free trial.
- Evernote Business (Premium) — Makes the ideas, research and expertise of your team easily discoverable, creating an open, productive and smarter workplace. Pricing starts at $10 per month per user.
- Redbooth (Premium) — An online collaboration platform for team and task management with project management tools like video chat and file sharing. Pricing starts at $49/month.
- Wrike (Freemium) — A web based project management software that gives you full visibility and control over your projects. You can do online project management, time tracking, and project planning. Pricing starts at $49 per month for the premium version. Also try, Project Bubble, Wrike, Viewpath, Huddle, LiquidPlanner, 5pm & Projecturf.
- Podio (Freemium) — Create workspaces to collaborate with specific groups of people, use an Employee Network for company-wide communication across departments and locations, and get their work done using Podio Apps. Pricing starts at $9 per month per employee for the premium version. Also try, Clarizen.
Collaborate and work together to do it.
- Yammer (Freemium) — Yammer is a private social network that helps employees collaborate across departments, locations and business apps. Pricing starts at $3 per month per user for the premium version.
- Slack (Freemium) — Slack is a platform for team communication: everything in one place, instantly searchable, available wherever you go. It’s free to use for as long as you want and with an unlimited number of people. Pricing starts at $6.67 per month per user for the premium version.
- Flowdock (Freemium) — Flowdock is a team collaboration app for desktop, mobile & web. Work on things that matter, be transparent and solve problems across tools, teams & time zones. Pricing starts at $3 per month per user for the premium version.
- Moovia (Premium) — A secure social environment to host your team’s projects, tasks, meetings, ideas, messages and documents. Pricing starts at $20/month.
- Pie (Free) — On Pie, chats are always on-topic, so you and your coworkers can focus on what’s important.
- HipChat (Freemium) — HipChat is hosted group chat and video chat built for teams. Supercharge real-time collaboration with persistent chat rooms, file sharing, and screen sharing. Pricing starts at $2 per month per user for the premium version.
- Campfire (Premium) — Campfire is like instant messaging, but designed exclusively for groups. Invite a client, colleague, or vendor to chat, collaborate, and make decisions. Or share text, files, and code in real-time. Pricing starts at $12/month.
- Convo (Freemium) — Convo is a private enterprise social network for real-time collaboration. Stay connected to your team and projects via this social business tool. Pricing starts at $9 per month per user for the premium version.
You know you can automate a lot of repetitive (or even random) tasks that you do on a daily basis and it can really save a lot of time.
- IFTTT — Connect all your web 2.0 apps (including social networks and productivity apps) and put the internet
to work for you. For example, you can turn your Gmail into an RSS reader, or automate WordPress tasks, and much more. Also try, Zapier.
- Postach — Collect and share content from your favourite apps — Evernote, Dropbox, and Pocket.
- Sitedrop — Sitedrop is a visual way to collaborate using Dropbox.
- Manything (Freemium) — Turn your iPhone, iPod or iPad into a sophisticated monitoring camera with Manything. Pricing starts at $4.99/month.
- Google Alerts — Monitor the web for interesting new content as-it-happens.
Your time is as precious as anyone else’s. So get the most out of it.
- Toggl (Freemium) — Toggl is an online time tracking tool. It features 1-click time tracking and helps you see where your time goes. Costs $5 per month per user for the premium version. Also try, Harvest (Freemium).
- RescueTime (Freemium – for Windows & OS X) — A personal analytics service that shows you how you spend your time and provides tools to help you be more productive. Costs $9/month with a 14-day free trial.
- Freedom (Premium – for Windows, OS X & Android) — Locks you away from the Internet so you can be more productive. Costs $10 with 60-day money-back guarantee.
- SelfControl (Free – for OS X) — SelfControl is a free and open-source application for Mac OS X that lets you block your own access to distracting websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the Internet.
- Focus (Free – for OS X) — Focus is a tiny app that sits in your menu bar. It allows you to quickly and easily block out any website or service you want.
- Time Out (Free – for OS X) — The human body isn’t built to sit in one position for endless hours, gripping a mouse or typing on the keyboard. Time Out will gently remind you to take a break on a regular basis.
No, it’s not all about Microsoft Word or Excel.
- Office 365 (Premium) — Office 365 Home is a subscription service built to help you and your household get things done from virtually anywhere and on all your devices. Costs $9.99/month or $99.99/year with 1-month free trial. Also try, Office desktop, Office 365 Business, & Office Mobile (Free).
- Google Apps (Premium) — Get email, cloud storage, collaboration tools and other business apps with Google Apps for Work. Pricing starts at $5 per month per user with a 30-day free trial.
- Office Online (Free) — Collaborate for free with online versions of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote. Save documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online and share them with others and work together at the same time.
- — Extend your Office experience with mobile apps to stay productive.
- Apple iWork (Premium) — iWork is a productivity suite that lets you create and share Pages documents, Numbers spreadsheets and Keynote presentations on OS X or iOS. Costs a one-time $9.99 per app for iOS and $19.99 per app for Mac. Also try, iWork for iCloud.
- Quip (Freemium) — With Quip, everyone can edit the same version of the document at the same time — from any device. Chat is built right into the Quip product experience. And you can even add a checklist to any Quip document with the click of a button or add a few collaborators. Pricing starts at $12 per month per user with a 30-day free trial for the premium version.
- Zoho — Zoho offers a suite of online web applications geared towards increasing your productivity and offering easy collaboration.
Store everything in the cloud and access your files from anywhere.
- Dropbox — 2 GB free storage with no file size limit.
- Microsoft OneDrive — 15 GB free storage with 2 GB file size limit.
- Google Drive — 15 GB free storage with 1 TB file size limit.
- Amazon Cloud Drive — 5 GB free storage with 2 GB file size limit.
- Box — 10 GB free storage with 250 MB file size limit.
- Mega — 50 GB free storage with no file size limit.
- iCloud Drive — With 5 GB free storage.
Create beautiful presentations online (or offline) and share it with anyone.
- SlideShare — SlideShare is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations and other professional content. It allows users to easily upload and share presentations, infographics, documents, videos, PDFs, and webinars. Also try, Speaker Deck.
- Microsoft PowerPoint (Premium – Windows & OS X) — Collaborate for free with an online version of Microsoft PowerPoint. Share presentations with others and work together at the same time. Costs a one-time — $139.99 for Student version, $219.99 for Home version, and $399.99 for Professional version. Also try PowerPoint Online.
- Apple Keynote (Premium – OS X & iOS) — Keynote makes it simple to create and deliver beautiful presentations. You can work seamlessly between Mac and iOS devices. And it even works effortlessly with people who use Microsoft PowerPoint. Costs a one-time $9.99 for the iOS App and $19.99 for the Mac App. Also try, Keynote for iCloud (Free).
- SlideRocket — With a full set of professional design tools SlideRocket helps you create breathtaking presentations. Supports themes & layouts, shapes, charts, tables, pictures, audio, HD video, and flash to tell your story without compromise. It also offers you the ability to measure results and provides detailed insights into the effectiveness of each and every online presentation you create. Also try, Prezi, Haiku Deck, & Present.me.
- Swipe — Swipe is the easiest way to create beautiful presentations on the web. Use any device to present, and share to anyone on any device — live. So when you change the slide, everyone sees it change too. And it’s completely free! Also try, Lucidpress & Lucidchart.
- Reel — Get your design ideas online and start reeling in the feedback. The app lets you cast your ideas, poll your friends, and reel in the feedback.
- GoAnimate (Premium) — Make your own animation quickly and economically with GoAnimate. Reach prospects and customers with animated videos online about your business and products. Pricing starts at $58/year for personal plan and $299/year for business plan.
- Animoto (Freemium) — Turn ordinary photos and video clips into HD videos with Animoto’s online video maker. Pricing starts at $4.99/month for the premium version.
For Internet calls, messaging, video conferencing, or remote control.
- Join.me (Freemium) — Instant screen sharing with powerful meeting tools and unlimited audio. Pricing starts at $13 per month per user for the premium version.
- Skype — With Skype, you can call, message, group video call, share screens and share whatever you want for free. You can also mobiles and landlines worldwide at low rates. Also try, Google Hangouts.
- TeamViewer — Remote control any PC or Mac over the internet within seconds or use TeamViewer for online meetings.
- GoToMeeting (Premium) — GoToMeeting with HD video conferencing is a simple yet powerful way to collaborate in real time. Pricing starts at $39/month for up to 25 attendees (comes with a 30 day free trial — no credit card required).
- GoToWebinar (Premium) — GoToWebinar makes it easy to set up and deliver an online conference. Conduct do-it-yourself webinars with up to 1000 people — all for one flat rate. Pricing starts at $79/month for up to 1,000 attendees (comes with a 30 day free trial — no credit card required).
- Microsoft Lync (Part Of Microsoft Office Suite) — Lync is a platform for unified communications including online meetings, instant messaging, audio and video calls, availability info, and sharing capabilities. Lync standalone version pricing starts at $2 per month per user.
Don’t you want to keep track of your finances?
“A penny saved is a penny earned.” — Benjamin Franklin
- Mint (Free) — Get a handle on your finances the free and fast way. Mint does all the work of organizing and categorizing your spending for you. See where every dime goes and make money decisions you feel good about.
- Microsoft Money (Free) — It’s still my favorite personal finance management software.
- Quicken (Premium) — An alternative to Microsoft Money. Pricing starts at $39.99 with 60-day money-back guarantee. Also try, Moneydance, MoneyWell.
- Expensify (Freemium) — Import expenses directly from a credit card to create free expense reports quickly. Approve reports online and reimburse directly to a checking account with one click. Pricing starts at $5 per month per user for the premium version.
If you’re unable to find something online or is looking for an expert opinion then you can ask at the following Question and Answer websites.
- Quora — Quora is the Wikipedia of expert opinion.
- AskReddit — An amazing place to get advice, suggestion and help. Also try, Hacker News.
- Stack Exchange — Stack Exchange is a network of 129 communities that are created and run by experts and enthusiasts like you who are passionate about a specific topic.
- Yahoo Answers — Yahoo Answers is a community-driven question-and-answer (Q&A) website by Yahoo.
Just in case if you want to outsource a task to someone else then look no further.
- Fiverr — It’s the world’s largest marketplace for services, starting at $5. People who love what they do help you get everything done at an unbeatable value. Also try, Fiverr Alternatives
- Elance — It’s a freelance marketplace that gives access to over 2 million skilled freelancers from around the world. Also try, oDesk, Freelancer.
…to boost your productivity further. ;)
- Alfred App (Freemium – for OS X) — Alfred saves you time when you search for files online or on your Mac. Be more productive with hotkeys, keywords and file actions at your fingertips. Costs a one-time £17 for the premium powerpack version.
- Keyboard Maestro (Premium – for OS X) — Keyboard Maestro is an automation tool for Mac OS X. It will increase business productivity by using macros (or short cuts) with simple keystrokes. Costs a one-time $36.
- TextExpander (Premium – for OS X & iOS) — Saves your fingers and your keyboard, expanding custom keyboard shortcuts into frequently used text and pictures. Costs a one-time $4.99 for the iOS version and $34.95 for the Mac App (comes with a free trial).
- Launch Center Pro (for iOS) — It’s like speed dial for everyday tasks. Launch Center Pro saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap. Costs a one-time $4.99 for both iPhone and iPad versions.
- 7+ Taskbar Tweaker (for Windows) — Allows you to configure various aspects of the Windows taskbar.
- Fingertips (for Windows) — Fingertips is a tiny (but powerful) application for Windows that makes it easy to start applications, open documents, surf to your favorite websites or add information to Microsoft Outlook. It also helps you to type faster by providing acronyms for commonly typed phrases throughout Windows.
- PhraseExpress (for Windows & Android) — Allows you to create many different types of macros to automate various tasks on your computer.
- Down For Everyone Or Just Me — Stop reloading that web page again and again. Instead check if it’s down or up.
- LastPass (Freemium) — Remembers all your passwords so that you can focus on the more important things in life. Costs $12/year for the premium version. Also try, 1Password
- Pomodoro Technique — Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that helps you to transform time into a valuable ally by helping you accomplish what you want to do and charting continuous improvement in the way you do it.
- Awesome Screenshot — Capture the whole page or any portion, annotate it with rectangles, circles, arrows, lines and text, one-click upload to share.
- SoundGecko (Freemium) — Turn your favorites websites, blogs and documents into audio. Pricing starts at $2.95/month.
- InstaCalc — It’s the awesomest calculator that I’ve ever used.
I understand that the description of each tool was not enough for you. But it was a massive list and my idea was to cherry-pick some of the best productivity tools so that it can act as your starting point.
So which set of productivity tools do you use to get things done?
P.S. As always let me know as a comment below if your favorite tool is missing here and I’ll be glad to feature it.
Image Credit: Flickr