What’s the best productivity software you can use in 2019?
If you’re a freelancer, entrepreneur or executive, you can pick from thousands of apps and software.
They’ll all help you get the job done, provided you use them consistently and collaborate effectively.
Too much choice can be a bad thing though.
So, let’s narrow that list.
I’ve used Slack for the past few years, and it’s a great way of reducing email.
You can manage group communications via channels, share draft documents and make video calls.
Slack contains a record of all your conversations, making it easy to find who said what and when.
Thanks to support for Giphy, Slack is fun to use. (Just don’t be the person who spends ten minutes hunting down a witty GIF).
And be careful not to let responding to instant messaging become your work.
In other words, treat Slack channels like any other inbox … with discipline.
If you’re a business of one or a freelancer, Evernote will help you manage your documents, notes, research and more.
Evernote is billed as a digital brain or elephant that never forgets because of the way it stores your information.
You can quickly find and search for information from weeks, months or even years ago.
An Iphone 5 showing the Evernote Icon. CREDIT: GETTY ROYALTY FREE
Evernote also contains support for other productivity features, including a basic to do list, dates, reminders and so on.
The mobile app is particularly useful for capturing information, thoughts and ideas on the go.
G Suite and Google Docs
With G Suite and Google Docs, you can create documents, presentations and spreadsheets using a browser.
You can share these with others and work on them from anywhere.
Thanks to G Suite, you can also manage business email using the Gmail interface.
Google Docs is particularly useful if you want to collaborate with other team members and get their comments about a document.
It’s fast and effective and rivals the Microsoft Office Suite.
It works best within your browser, a way of working that some might find distracting. (Twitter is just a click away.)
Activation card for MIcrosoft Office 365 Home Premium software CREDIT: GETTY ROYALTY FREE
Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint
If you work within a larger company, you probably already use the Microsoft Office suite.
That includes Word, PowerPoint and Excel. I’ve yet to use a spreadsheet application that’s as powerful as Microsoft Excel.
With Microsoft Office 365, you can work on your documents from anywhere and share with others.
With SharePoint, you can manage your documents in one place and set up folders for your teams too.
Now, Microsoft Teams is a decent alternative to Slack.
Sure it’s not sexy, but it’s effective.
Login screen. Username and password in Internet browser on computer screen CREDIT: GETTY ROYALTY FREE
Who likes managing their passwords and log-on details for multiple websites?
Creating secure yet novel passwords for favorite sites is a headache too.
It’s certainly not a good idea to write these on a piece of paper that you could lose or leave at the office.
1Password simplifies creating secure log-ons for your top sites.
It syncs across all of your devices securely and encrypts your information. You can also use 1Password to store secure documents.
I particularly like how the mobile app for iPhone unlocks only when I use my fingerprint.
Things is a personal productivity software built specifically for Mac users. It also works with your iPhone, iPad and Watch.
If you’re an advocate of David Allen’s Getting Things Done, Things is ideal.
Use it to set up projects, add tasks or labels and categorize your work. It can help you plan the week ahead too.
Unlike many of the other products in this round-up, you can pay a onetime fee rather than a subscription.
Women using a smartphone to create her to-do list for the day. CREDIT: GETTY ROYALTY FREE
If you’re not on Mac but still want to get things done, Todoist might be for you.
Like the personal productivity software Things, you can add projects, update their status and plan your week within Todoist.
It’ll connect to Google Calendar, and you can also use it to find and search for tasks and to set recurring items.
The Todoist inbox is useful for dumping ideas for projects that you are working on. You can also use Todoist to collaborate with other team members.
Realistic 3d Detailed Kanban Board with Color Sticky Notes for Business Project or Work in Office.CREDIT: GETTY ROYALTY FREE
Trello is based on the productivity system known as kanban.
That is, you visualize your work and limit it to several important tasks.
Simply add items or tasks to Trello in the form of cards.
As the workday rumbles toward five o’clock, drag completed tasks from the left to the right of your Trello board.
Trello enables you to visualize what you’re working on today and what you need to do next.
Getting to grips with kanban takes time, but you might never go back to a traditional to do list.
It works as productivity software for both individuals and teams.
Basecamp was conceived by Jason Fried and team as a tool for web designers back in 1999.
Originally built for freelancers, today Basecamp is ideal for entrepreneurs who work with others around the world on group projects.
Basecamp can help you eliminate many of the apps you probably use and pay for, including instant messaging, shared drives, multiple calendars and email.
Basecamp can help you eliminate many of the apps you probably use and pay for, including instant messaging, shared drives, multiple calendars and email. CREDIT: GETTY ROYALTY FREE
Use it for planning your next marketing campaign, launching a product, working with clients and more.
Like any tool, Basecamp works best if everyone in your team uses it rather than just you.
Asana is a popular type of productivity software for small and large teams.
It’ll help everyone in your business manage projects and their work.
As a manager or business owner, you can also use Asana to assign tasks to individuals and request updates.
Asana also supports other advanced productivity features that rival Trello including Gantt charts and a kanban board.
Like Basecamp and Slack, Asana should radically reduce the amount of email traffic inside of your business.
Pick a Productivity Tool and Get to Work
Good productivity software should help you or your teams accomplish more faster.
By all means, experiment with productivity software, but don’t let this experimentation turn into a form of procrastination.
After all, productivity software isn’t going to do the work for you.
So, pick software that suits how you and your team work and stick with it.