5 Free Tools To Make You More Productive
In a connected, online world the humble ‘to do’ list feels like a relic of a bygone era. Nowadays there is a host of workflow and productivity apps available, all designed to make you more efficient, organised and ultimately productive.
Whilst productivity solutions come in all forms, including iPhone/Android apps, websites and other programs, we’ll be focusing mainly on desktop solutions. Furthermore, we’re only interested in tools which are free and their free versions are enough to fulfil most of your needs without the need to upgrade.
So let's get cracking.
Free and or Business class for 8.33USD
Trello is one of the main tools we use here at Techloop to organise our tasks. Essentially it is a series of cards which describe tasks or issues and they can pass through a series of stages until they are completed. You can add colleagues, upload images/screenshots etc and add a priority rating.
Trello is a simple and easy to use tool which provides a clear visual representation of your due tasks and works perfectly when collaborating with others.
Upgrading to Business Class allows you to integrate other applications, such as GitHub, Google Hangouts, Mailchimp. Clearly for some teams these integrations could prove invaluable and constitute a worthwhile investment.
Free for teams of up to 15, 8.33USD for Premium.
Asana is more of a comprehensive teamwork tool, when compared with Trello for example. It facilitates most aspects of managing projects across multiple team with schedules, tasks, projects and dashboards.
For a small team, the free version is absolutely fine. You can have up 15 members with all of the basic functionality included. Integration is possible with most popular tools, such as Slack, HipChat, DropBox etc. Asana is available for desktop or as an Android/iOS application.
Free and 2.99USD per month premium
Any.do is a multi-platform task organiser which allows you to keep on top of your daily tasks whether you’re out and about or sat at your desk.
You can set reminders, take notes, add comments, delegate tasks and upload files, all of which are instantly synced across your devices. One of the selling points of Any.do is ‘Cal’, a visually intuitive calendar which helps you keep track of your tasks, birthdays and social engagements.
Any.do feels more like a personal task organiser than a tool designed to improve collaboration across team, although is does also have that capability.
Upgrading to the Premium version allows larger file uploads, unlimited collaboration and customisable themes amongst other additions.
Free or 4.99USD a month for Pro.
The big news with Wunderlist is that it was recently acquired by Microsoft and unsurprisingly integration with Outlook is one of the first noticeable changes to have emerged since the acquisition.
Wunderlist is very to similar Any.do, a cross platform solution for managing your daily tasks and collaborating with colleagues. It’s perhaps fair to say however, that Wunderlist gives you a little more with its free version that its competitor.
Free and then 6.67 USD for standard plan with lots of features you might not need
As a chat app, Slack is clearly different for the four other tools we’ve spoken about in this post but it seems crazy to leave out such an important tool. Although there are a host of instant messaging applications out there, Slack is quickly establishing itself as the leader of the pack, due to its easy to use UI, the ability to integrate multiple teams and a range of other functions which makes collaboration easier than ever before.
At Techloop we rely heavily on Slack to communicate with each other and with our developers.
The free version is more than good enough for small teams such as ours, but if you want to add more than 10 app integrations or be able to archive all of your messages then you might consider the Standard Plan.