The Best Free Productivity Apps to Use in 2022
Contrary to what you might think, productivity apps are not just there to help you do more. These apps also help you improve your time management skills and do tasks easier and better. The best productivity apps do not only help you become more efficient with the tasks at hand but make life more manageable so you can enjoy other things.
Whether you need a productivity tool for email reminders, daily goals, task management, or personal productivity, we also have a list of the best free productivity apps that will help you keep your professional and personal goals in check. These apps feature more than just a task list or a calendar app. Read below to find out how these popular productivity apps can help you become a more productive person.
What Is a Productivity App?
A productivity app is a software program that helps you become more efficient, letting you save time and energy. You can use it to create a to-do list and break down complicated tasks into daily or single tasks, then check them off when they’re done. Aside from helping individuals, personal productivity apps can help remote teams stay on track for projects.
Why Do People Use Productivity Apps?
Some people find that it is harder to focus when they are doing repetitive tasks. A study conducted by the National Library of Medicine shows that repetitive tasks can make people lose focus and lead to brain deterioration. This means that the longer you do your tasks without changing routines, the more your cognitive processes weaken.
Productivity apps can help manage daily tasks effectively so you can spend less time doing the recurrent tasks and doing the ones that matter to you, such as spending time with your family, practicing your hobbies, or developing a growth mindset. Manage your time, break bad habits, and stay on top of your game through the wide variety of productivity tools that are listed below.
How the Best Productivity Apps Can Help You Be Productive
The best productivity apps help you with breaking down a single task into smaller ones, so you can reach your goals more easily. Below are some of the ways how productivity apps help.
Helps You Plan
A productivity software program can become your digital personal assistant and help you plan out your day. The basic functionality of to-do list apps is meant to serve as a checklist of what you are supposed to accomplish so you don’t have to make a mental note of it every time. Meanwhile, a calendar app, such as Google Calendar, can help the entire team see each other’s schedules in real-time.
Helps You Decrease Clutter
With a project management app, gone are the days of sticky notes that end up in the trash bin or the endless pieces of paper that you write your to-do list on. These old-school methods just add to clutter, which can decrease your productivity and increase your stress levels, especially at the office. You can use these apps as desktop apps or mobile apps.
Google Keep is an example of a desktop app that will keep your digital sticky notes all in one place. When you use a task manager, just a few taps on your phone or clicks on your computer’s browser extension will help you stay on top of tasks daily without producing clutter.
Helps You Stay Organized
Google Drive is one of the best free productivity apps that can help you stay organized. It has a folder feature that helps you put your files and label them accordingly. It is also helpful for remote teams who need to access files instantly because files are neatly in one place and easy to access with cloud sync.
There is a wide range of habit tracking apps to use to see where you tend to waste time and help you see where you need to build a more productive habit. Below we’ve listed many more productivity apps to help you develop healthy habits and become more organized.
The 10 Best Productivity Apps: Overview
|Airtable||iOS and Android||Project management, spreadsheet-like interface||$0-$20|
|Dashlane||iOS and Android||Password storage and generation||$0-$5.99|
|Drag||Chrome Extension||Email management, email tracker||$0-$15|
|Google Calendar||iOS and Android||Calendar, reminders, to-do list||Free|
|Google Docs||iOS and Android||Collaboration, sharing and creating documents||Free|
|Google Drive||iOS and Android||Team collaboration, creating documents, uploading and sharing files||Free|
|Habitica||iOS and Android||Habit tracker, calendar, to-do list||Free|
|Slack||iOS and Android||Team collaboration, messaging||Free|
|Todoist||iOS and Android||Task management, project collaboration, location-based reminders, prioritization||$0-$5|
|Trello||iOS and Android||Collaboration, project management, to-do list||$0-$9.99|
The Best Productivity Apps to Make Your Life Easier
Productivity tools are here to make your life easier. From a task management app to a project management software program, the productivity app you use should make you more productive and organized. Thankfully, several of these apps are free. It’s just up to you to upgrade to a paid version. Here is a list of apps that could increase your productivity so you get more out of life.
Airtable | $0-$20
- Best Feature of Paid Version: Increased storage of attachments
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Charges each user per month instead of each organization
Airtable is a project management tool that uses an Excel spreadsheet interface. All users can see the tasks assigned and can comment on each task, avoiding duplicity. However, Airtable is not as user-friendly as other spreadsheet-like apps. This project management software is also more expensive as it charges per user and not per organization.
Dashlane | $0-$5.99
- Best Feature of Paid Version: Features a VPN and dark web monitoring
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: No family plan
No more wasted time trying to figure out forgotten passwords. If you have multiple accounts with different passwords, remembering each of them can be a hassle. Dashlane gives you the security to store your passwords and can also generate strong ones for your accounts. The free version lets you store up to 50 passwords in password vaults, while you can store unlimited passwords if you choose the premium version. If you’re a business owner, this app will increase your employees’ productivity through its secure groups with password sharing.
Drag | $0-$15
- Best Feature of Paid Version: Unlimited users, workspaces, automation, email sequences, and priority support
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Only works on Gmail
If you are receiving too many emails, you can choose to use email apps to help you sort through piles and piles of messages. Drag does just that. With Drag, you can organize your emails and keep track of what needs to be done ASAP. It helps prioritize projects and communication within teams, which lets you use your time to work towards your business plan, instead of remembering to answer emails.
Todoist | $0-$5
- Best Feature of Paid Version: More file uploads than free version
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Windows app is not as good as mobile or Mac app
Todoist is one of the top-rated task management apps because of its simple and light interface. Its key features include setting reminders, tracking your progress, and setting up to-do lists. You can also collaborate on projects with others. Additional features for the paid version include more file uploads and unlimited activity history.
Trello | $0-$10
- Best Feature of Paid Version: Allows bigger file uploads of up to 250 MB
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Does not have advanced features like other project management apps
Trello is one of the project management tools that has an easy-to-use layout. You can group projects into cards or groups that can be assigned to team members easily. To manage progress, you can also input a due date and time limit for each project. Plus, Trello is easy to learn. One of its best features is Butler, Trello’s automation bot, which configures everything for you just by answering a few questions.
The Best Free Productivity Apps
If you do not want to spend money on productivity apps, there are free alternatives that you can use. While these apps do not have the extra features that paid subscriptions or premium plans offer, they can still help with managing your professional and personal goals. Here are five of the best free productivity software programs that you can use and their key features.
- Best Feature: Easily schedule meetings and events
- Biggest Downside: No customer support for free customers
Google Calendar is a handy tool to see and mark dates and appointments. Remote teams can easily view each team member’s calendar and see one another’s availability times when setting up meetings. If you have scheduled Zoom or video calls or Google Meets, these automatically update in Google Calendar. You can set and edit reminders with this app as well.
- Best Feature: Create and edit documents right in your web browser
- Biggest Downside: Documents are not secure, anyone can edit unless made private
If you are trying to become a writer, or are already one, then Google Docs will make your life easier, especially if you need to send your manuscript to your editors. Google Docs is especially handy if you are doing a lot of research because you don’t need to switch between a text or document application and your web browser. This app also features offline editing.
- Best Feature: Big file storage
- Biggest Downside: Granting permissions can be confusing
Google Drive is one of the best cloud storage apps because it offers more storage than others. This cloud service is a great tool for collaborative teams because anyone can view and download files as long as they are granted permission to access them. However, granting permissions can be quite confusing, and files become unsecured once everyone is permitted access.
- Best Feature: Tracking habits using a role-playing game
- Biggest Downside: Takes a lot of time
Habitica is a fun role-playing game that tracks your habits and goals. Through the game, you foster good habits and unlock goals to upgrade your avatar and get cool perks such as armor or pets. When you finish a task, you get rewarded. You’re penalized when you skip tasks, which should motivate you to continue achieving goals.
- Best Feature: Seeing files and conversations in one place
- Biggest Downside: Can be distracting
Slack is a communication app that lets you access files and conversations in one place. It is used by many organizations because communications are organized and searchable according to channels. You can create different channels for different departments and different topics to make collaboration easier. In addition, you can also share documents, videos, and links.
Which of the Best Productivity Apps Should I Choose?
If you want to streamline and organize files and your professional life, you can download project management tools to make collaboration and communication on projects much easier. The best productivity app you should choose will largely depend on what and how you will need it. Ultimately, the best app for you is something that will cater to what you need at the moment.
Best Productivity Apps FAQ
Yes, productivity apps work if you have the intention to make them work. These apps are not there to make magic and make you do endless amounts of tasks in a short time. According to the University of California, Davis, research suggests that people who multitask are less productive than people who focus on one task at a time.
Yes. One of the main reasons why people download productivity apps is to avoid burnout and stress brought about by the many tasks and goals that they feel they need to accomplish. Productivity apps help you organize what you need to do and prioritize the most important or urgent tasks. They also lessen your stress because they are designed to make your life easier with their advanced features.
Yes, productivity apps will help you improve your work-life balance because they help you become more efficient with your tasks. This will lead to more time to enjoy the things you love doing outside of work.
Yes, productivity apps can help remote teams stay on top of their projects, despite the distance. These apps help to track project timelines and due dates so everyone is accountable for their tasks.