5 must-know productivity apps for an organised start to 2021

A new year brings about a new chapter and with it, a fresh start. 2020 might have brought about a couple of setbacks and a whole lot of stress — but it’s time to clear out all the post-its currently hogging precious desk space, for these productivity applications will help streamline and supercharge your workflow.

Whether you’re struggling with communicating with your team, facing problems with time management, or frantically trying to keep all your notes in line, these work productivity saviours have got your back. Ahead, all the productivity apps you could possibly need to make 2021 your most organised year yet.

Asana

Asana is a project management tool that’s designed to help teams manage and organise workflow and deadlines. Each step of a project can be mapped out and organised within the application itself, saving the need to open several files and email threads, which often causes much confusion.

With several templates, calendars, in-app messaging and customisable workflow management, Asana is one of the best tools on the market for project organisation.

Best for: Collaborative work  

Cost: Free to US$24.99, depending on the plan chosen

Available on: iOS, Android, Online

Notion

This all-in-one application creates a comprehensive workspace where you can store notes, tasks, data and more. Relatively new to the market, Notion has been expanding rapidly amongst users due to its clean and minimalistic interface.

Notes and tasks can be created and displayed in a variety of ways, from listicles to Kanban boards to a timeline view. You can take advantage of the templates provided, which ranges from tasks lists to habit trackers, so as to best streamline your work management.

The only major drawback of Notion is the steep learning hill, as the platform can get slightly confusing for beginners. Nevertheless, the application does provide a sea of video and in-app tutorials, which should help clarify some doubts and questions.

Best for: Acting as a planner and keeping all your notes and lists in one place  

Cost: Ranges from free personal plan to $8 per member, per month; depending on the plan chosen

Available on: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Online

RescueTime

Having trouble with managing your time and staying on tasks? This software can help. RescueTime, as its namesake suggests, is designed to help you save time through its time-management platform.

The time-management application works in the background by tracking all your online activities and recording the amount of time you typically spend on each task. This includes social media usage, time spent on e-mails, drafting up a document, and more. It then compiles its findings in a detailed daily report where you’ll be able to discover how you can make changes to your workflow and better improve your time.

The premium version of the platform allows you to block distracting applications and websites for a certain amount of time. It also allows you to track offline activity, so you can take back control of your time both physically and virtually.  

Best for: Increasing productivity and time-management

Cost: Free to $12 per month; depending on plan chosen  

Available on: Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome, iOS, Android

Evernote

Known by many as the ‘best possible note-taking app’, Evernote is for you if you find yourself running out of post-its often. The platform aims to allow one to capture and jot down ideas quickly, which translates to their easy-to-use tools.

One of the best features of Evernote is the ability to sync your notes and memos across all platforms seamlessly. This allows you to access them wherever and whenever you need. Other plus points include a web clipper to archive certain web page; offline note-taking to record ideas, images, and even audio; as well as the ability to search and find any text — even handwritten notes.

Best for: Keeping all your notes and ideas  

Cost: Ranges from free personal plan to a business plan at $17 per user, per month; depending on the plan chosen

Available on: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Online

Zapier

Zapier helps to automate tedious tasks that can often unknowingly take up a large chunk of your time. The intuitive tool helps to integrate and connecting elements from one application to another, thereby increasing productivity.

You can start a workflow from more than 2,000 applications – including Dropbox, Google, Asana, and more – within Zapier, and the software will finish all your routine tasks automatically once you’ve designated it to do so. It’s simple and easy to use – the platform will ask you several questions and prompts, and it’ll set up the tasks for you as you answer them. In short, this useful software will help you save time and brain space that you can use to focus on other tasks instead.

Best for: Decreasing workload and increasing work-productivity

Cost: Free for 100 tasks per month to US$599 per month for companies; depending on plan chosen  

Available on: Click for the full list of applications supported by Zapier  

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