With all of the apps screaming at us for attention, the demand to Increase your productivity! might as well be the soundtrack of 21st century working life. But when you cut through the jargon, what about “productivity” speaks to us? For some, it’s as simple as finding more free time for downtime. And for others—especially in the work-from-home world—it’s about the desperate need to plow through ever-mounting family and job responsibilities. Whichever camp you’re in, here are 5 of the best productivity apps for getting work done more easily.
Once, long ago, working on spreadsheets with others was a game of ping pong. Create a sheet, send it over, wait for their edits to come back—back and forth until you got to a confoundingly titled file like “Johnson_contract_06-05_rev_GS_v5.xlsx.” And then came online editors like Google Sheets that let you and others work on a spreadsheet at the same exact time. For anyone spending their days in budget planners or project trackers, Google Sheets is a breath of fresh air, making co-editing as simple and natural as typing in cells.
Chatting online should be as straightforward as hallway conversations in the real world. It’s the deceptively simple premise that Slack has pulled off masterfully. Whether you need to spin up project- or team-based channels on the fly or have one-on-one chats, Slack makes it dead simple. And let’s face it—the ease with which you can drop GIFs into a chat makes Slack a productivity app must-have.
There’s so much good info out there, but who gets through it all? With Evernote, saving articles from the web is as easy as clicking a browser button to “clip” it. All the articles and reference material you want to read later gets tossed into your account, where Evernote automatically organizes everything. Clipping articles for later can help you stay focused and productive in the now. Add on Evernote’s note-taking tools and to-do lists, and you’ve got one killer work companion.
Have you heard of Zoom? Maybe seen it every single time you turn your head during the pandemic? As with the other tools on this list, Zoom is all about simplicity. Click a few buttons, send people a meeting number, and you’re ready to have a video chat with one person or dozens. Beyond becoming the de facto standard for video conferencing, it’s also become a lifeline to millions seeking some contact with others trapped inside their homes.
The only drawback to having so many truly useful productivity apps is that, well, we’ve got so many apps to deal with. Zapier, an automation tool, helps bridge the gaps. Just connect any of over 2,000 apps—including all of the ones we’ve mentioned here—and Zapier will shuttle info between them. For instance, it can automatically post a message to a Slack channel when someone updates a row in Google Sheets. It’s just the kind of helper you need to keep the “productive” in productivity apps.
And of course, there’s Burner, the perfect way to stay productive by keeping a second, work-only phone number—and getting robocallers off your back. We’ve even got Burner Connections with most of the productivity apps mentioned above to help make your life a little bit easier. You can start today by using Burner to create a clean break between work and home with a second number for business!