Staying productive is essential when you’re trying to manage a growing business. The business owner and manager are constantly pulling you in a thousand different directions. Between answering customer emails, updating the store, and promoting products, it’s hard to know what to focus on to move forward with the right pace, energy and time on the tasks that move the needle.
Motivational quotes can be a great way to inspire action and get you through the day, but they are not an effective way to help you get things done in the long run. On the other hand, the best productivity apps will help you spend time on the right tasks, get rid of things you don’t need, and automate work that isn’t worth anyone’s time. To help you get started, we’ve picked up four best free productivity apps.
It is the best free productivity app to block distractions.
If you find yourself spending too much time on social media, news sites, or other distractions, you can use StayFocusd, a Chrome extension, to completely block access to those sites. StayFocusd allows you to specify how much time you are willing to spend on certain types of sites. So, if you want to limit your Twitter scrolling to 10 minutes a day, you can set it to StayFocusd. When the 10 minutes are up, StayFocusd will block your access to Twitter for the time you specify.
StayFocusd also has a nuclear option that allows you to block access to all websites, or all but the ones you need (like Google Docs) when you should be focusing on a specific task. It is truly a very handy tool you need to minimize distractions but lack the willpower to do it yourself.
It is the best free task management app.
If you need an app to keep track of all your to-dos, Todoist is a great option. You can use the free plan to create up to 80 projects, making it easy to split pending tasks into a variety of different bullet points and lists that you find necessary to have. For example, you can create separate to-do lists for work and home and manage both lists from the same app.
Or you can make an even more granular list by creating lists for work, home, errands, email, specific projects, long-term goals, and anything else you need to separate into separate groups.
The advantage of Todoist lies in its simplicity. Type a short description of the things that need to be done, then put the tick mark when the goal is achieved. It’s essentially a copy of a handwritten to-do list but works anywhere and on any device you’re using the moment a task pops up in your head.
It is the best free note-taking app.
Each program you use has its own way of storing information. All your files are located on your hard drive. Google Docs are saved to Google Drive. You bookmark the web pages you want to save in your browser and put the emails you might need to revisit in folders in your Mail app.
Sometimes, some would say often, it may be arduous to remember where to look when you must find a saved file. Evernote solves this problem by giving you a central source for all the notes and documents you need to keep. Evernote lets you take text or voice notes on any device and save them to your account.
But you can also integrate it with Google Drive, Gmail, and Outlook to save documents and emails you might need later, or use the web clipper to save full copies of web pages to your Evernote account. Then, when you need to find something you know you have, you don’t have to guess where you saved it. You can simply search your Evernote account.
It is the best free productivity app for pipelined workflows.
If you’re managing projects that must be passed from one person or team to another before they’re completed, Trello is the perfect project management productivity app. With a Trello board, you can create different tracks for each step in your process, move tasks from track to track as you complete each one, assign tasks to the people who need to complete them and see the progress of each task at a glance. Trello is ideal for workflows such as content marketing, which involves writers, editors, and graphic designers, or hiring and recruiting, where HR and hiring managers need to perform specific tasks at different stages of the process.