Looking for the best apps to level up your productivity this year?
We’re always looking for actionable ways to make this year more productive than the last. We search for new approaches to improve our time management, get more done with less effort, keep track of our to-do list, whittle down our inbox, and ultimately lead more accomplished lives.
We’ve compiled this list of apps from our personal experience and deemed these ten as must-try productivity tools for 2020. An investment in just a couple of these apps is sure to increase your efficiency and help you get more done. Let’s dive in!
Notion, the sleek and sophisticated note-taking app, is a comprehensive workspace where you can jot down thoughts, write, collaborate with teammates, plan, and get organized. It allows you to add tasks, manage products, take notes, and so much more.
To get an idea of its design, imagine a lego structure. Notion lets you create layouts made from a provided toolkit and building blocks to arrange projects and goals. Here are some practical uses for Notion:
- Create an internal team wiki with countless layers of content
- Capture workflows and record everything in spreadsheets or databases
- Plan using a kanban board, simple list view, or calendar view
- Write in an organized, beautiful, and clean space
Notions works across all platforms, including Web, Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. It can be used as a collaboration tool, offering team functionality and the ability to share, comment, and assign tasks and reminders. Just like individuals can use Notion, so can teams large and small.
Todoist is the ultimate to-do list app that will help you gain more control of your schedule, manage projects, and keep you focused on daily tasks. Use it for something as simple as creating a grocery shopping list, or something more advanced like collaborating with coworkers on a major project. Todoist can be used as a straightforward task manager or an impactful collaboration tool for teams of all sizes.
The flexibility of Todoist allows users to create simple setups or create more complex workflows. To start using the app, input your list of everything you need to get done. The app’s algorithm will decipher and organize the tasks for you based on your entries.
For example, if you create a task to “Have coffee with Dave at 10am tomorrow #meetings”, the app will automatically schedule a reminder for you and catalog the task into your “meetings” category.
Along with individual productivity use, Todoist can also be used to keep your entire team organized. Plan work projects, assign teammates to tasks, discuss details, and keep track of deadlines all inside the app.
Next up is CloudApp, a visual communication tool that helps you save time with functionalities such as taking screenshots, webcam recording, image annotation, GIF creation, and more. Show people what you mean and get your point across efficiently. This app makes sharing visual information with customers, clients, and colleagues quick and easy, which lets you get back to focusing on the task at hand.
You’re also able to upload large files of any type and convert them into shareable links with optional expiration dates and password protection. Once you upload files, they’ll be searchable and organized for you in one place. Add your logo and a link to your website to give clients or customers the full brand experience.
Automate any workflow you’d like with powerhouse productivity app Zapier. Zapier allows you to create automations and integrations between apps that wouldn’t normally connect with each other.
For example, these are popular zaps users create:
- Post approaching Google Calendar events to a Slack channel
- Add new Todoist tasks to Google Calendar as events
- Create Trello cards from new starred Gmail emails
- Save Gmail attachments to Dropbox as original file format
- Get a digest of completed Asana tasks sent to your email on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis
- Collect new Typeform responses as rows on Google Sheets
- When new blog posts are published, Buffer new items in an RSS feed
All of these automations and integrations can be made with just a few clicks of your mouse – no technical skill required. Just pick your software (this productivity app works with over 1,500 options) and start creating customized workflows. You’ll save time and energy every week by letting Zapier automate tedious tasks, which leaves you feeling more productive and focused.
Airtable takes the most useful aspects of databases and spreadsheets and combines them together. Airtable can store data in a spreadsheet that’s beautiful to look at and easy-to-use, but it’s also robust enough to act as a database that teams can use for customer-relationship management, project planning, task management, and tracking inventory.
Airtable is super simple to use, lives on the cloud so you don’t have to download anything, and is visually appealing. Anyone can use it to make shopping lists, keep tabs on work projects, plan a wedding, manage production schedules, or apartment hunt.
Airtable documents look and interact like a typical spreadsheet, but come with added features such as:
- Linking records and Blocks
- Add photos to cells, add star ratings, and input checkboxes
- View all data programmatically, which is valuable to developers
Airtable has desktop apps as well as Android and iOS apps so you can seamlessly jump between platforms.
When you’re on the go and want to save articles or websites to view later, Pocket comes in handy. Pocket’s simple, clutter-free interface lets you tag and organize any of your articles, so you can sift through saved items easily when you’re ready.
Install Pocket anywhere you want to save content – on your desktop, your phone, or even on Twitter. On your computer, simply add the extension to your browser or use the Pocket bookmarklet. Their suggested reading list is great, too. From the Pocket Recommended Feed in a browser, tap Save on a story to add it to your reading list.
If you’re an avid follower of the Pomodoro Technique to manage your time, you’ll love FocusList. This app allows you to plan out all of your daily tasks and assign specific time blocks to them.
The Pomodoro method usually works like this: 25 minutes of work, then a 5-minute break for each 20-minute block. FocusList comes with a stats feature that lets you revisit your day to track your progress and see how accurate you were with your time estimates, and then helps you adjust accordingly from there. While there are many timers based on the Pomodoro Technique out there, this one is our favorite because of ease of use and visual appearance.
Grammarly is like autocorrect, but way better. This spell-checking app will keep tabs on your writing so you can present your thoughts in the most thoughtful and professional way.
Grammarly will offer suggestions for your sentence structure, grammar, and more on emails, documents, and more, so you can send written projects to colleagues and clients without fear. Their tips and recommendations are easy to include within the text that you’re writing, and is simpler to implement than searching for corrections around the internet. Grammarly does the hard work for you within your document, so you’ll never be slowed down while searching for the right words to say.
1Password is a simple, user-friendly, password manager that keeps your data safe online. Instead of writing down passwords or confidential information, 1Password will store it in their super-secure app that offers two-factor authentication and a “secret key” to gain access to anything particularly sensitive.
There are many other useful features beyond password storage that come with 1Password, too. Implement travel mode to remove vaults from devices while you’re on the road, and use version history to view previously used passwords and restore previous versions of items. The app comes with a super simple browser extension so you can log in to websites easily and quickly generate strong passwords for new accounts.
ClickUp acts as “one app to replace them all.” The app offers docs, reminders, goals, calendars, and even an inbox. Fully customizable, ClickUp works for every type of team, so all teams can use the same app to plan, organize, and collaborate.
ClickUp’s core mission is to make the world more productive by removing friction caused by using so many different applications. ClickUp is trusted by millions of users and over 100,000 teams at the world’s best companies like Google, Airbnb, Uber, and Nike.
Built for teams of all sizes and industries, ClickUp’s fully customizable and proprietary features make it a must-have for any teams that wants to keep everything from design to development in one place. The platform allows deep modularity in the form of add-ons called ‘ClickApps’, allowing rich customization for each team individually. Read more about productivity apps here.
Dealing with email is one of the biggest productivity killers out there. SaneBox uses AI technology and an intelligent algorithm to filter emails based on your customization and training preferences, so you can focus on the important messages first.
With comprehensive filtering options such as auto-reply tracking, snoozing, one-click unsubscribing, do-not-disturb mode, and more, SaneBox works wherever you check your email across clients and devices. The average user saves 3-4 hours per week on email time, and don’t fret about security issues – the app only reads headers and never an email’s body content.
Here are some of the extra features that come with the SaneBox email management system:
- Safer and easier 1-click unsubscribe
- Reply tracking to remember to follow up
- Snooze function to save emails until a later time
- Send reminders to your future self
- Keep focus during crunch time
- Do-Not-Disturb mode to help you focus and get things done
- Spam control
Have a favorite productivity app that’s not on this list? Tweet us at @SaneBox and let us know your picks for 2020!