Best productivity tools for 2021

17 Productivity Tools for 2021 (Free & Paid)

Posted by Joseph Schlegel
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Personal productivity is a huge talking point, one where people share their daily schedules, morning routines, time blocking habits, and more.

We believe it is possible and achievable to finish work faster. This list will provide you with a group of productivity tools that you can implement with individually or with your team.

1. Friday

Format: Online & mobile-friendly

Keep your everyday work in one place with the Friday Planner and have a clear purpose of what you need to accomplish each day.

You'll see your meetings, to-do list, and daily check-in routines in one central place, from tools you're already familiar with, like Google Calendar, Outlook, Zoom, Asana, Trello, and more. With integrations all these apps, you get a clear roadmap of your day and you can be your most productive self

How can you keep up with your remote team, even if you're not working in the same place or at the same time? Friday can help with workplace productivity, too.

Friday automates team updates, provides routines and check-ins that replace meetings, and helps teams feel connected while avoiding another meeting. Your team will have a solution that they love to use, while also integrating with your specific tech stack, including team communication, calendars and project management tools.

Best Features

  • Planner: Start your day knowing exactly what you need to do. Combine all of your calendars, integrate your project management software, add your must-do tasks, and know what your day looks like. Check off each task and feel accomplished!
  • Chrome Extension: Get your calendar and task list in each new tab. The Friday Chrome Extension syncs with your planner and has focus time--which also serves as a website blocker.
  • Automated Work Routines and Stand-Ups: Automate your daily stand-ups and team status updates with Friday. Ask questions to your teams, provide weekly CEO updates, and know what your team’s priorities are for the week.  

Pricing:

  • Free: Planner, Unlimited routines, Unlimited users, 21-day response history
  • Pro $6 per month/person : Planner, Unlimited response history, Reporting, Goals, Teams
  • Enterprise: Roles / permissions, API access, Unlimited teams

2. Todoist

Format: Online, iOS & Android mobile apps

Todoist creates productivity apps and tools that simplify and organize the workday. This simple to-do list app that lets you manage personal tasks and to collaborate with friends, family, and your coworkers. Features include subtasks, sub-projects, recurring tasks, notifications, different priorities, and more.

Integrate Todoist with Friday!

Best Features 

  • Easily organize and prioritize your tasks
  • Get a clear overview of everything on your plate
  • From business ventures to grocery lists, divide and conquer your daily tasks in shared projects.

Pricing

  • Basic: Free
  • Premium: $3/person /month
  • Business: $5/person /month

3. Asana

Formats: Online, Android & iOS mobile apps

Asana is a team collaboration tool for people who prefer to mix approaches to tasks and choose to implement their tasks in a list view.

With Asana, you can assign team members to cards (within a project board) or to-dos (within a project list). You can add attachments, labels, subtasks, descriptions, and comments. You can also mark certain tasks as milestones, define dependencies between tasks, and track your tasks' deadlines in a calendar view.

Integrate Asana with the Friday planner.

Best Features

  • Task management and project tracking
  • Share information with the concerned individuals/groups
  • Report on work, all in one central place

“With Asana, we’re moving 30-40% faster than last year and we’ve launched almost twice as many ads.” -- ClassPass

Pricing

  • Basic: Free
  • Starter: $13.49/person /m 
  • Premium: $30.49/person /m 
  • Enterprise: Tailored to your business needs.

4. Trello

Format: Online, iOS & Android mobile apps

Trello starts as a free project management solution that delivers a Kanban board approach. Use it with your agile or scrum project management methodologies or for personal use. Each task and set of tasks is then grouped on a board. Move your cards to different progress points, depending on the work that has been done and the tasks that still need to be done.

Integrate Friday with Trello.

Best Features

  • Built-in workflow automation
  • Team playbook
  • Syncs with all your devices 

Pricing

  • Basic: Free
  • Premium plan: $13.49 /month /per user
  • Business plan: $30.49 /month /per user
  • Enterprise plan: Available by quote

5. Slack 

Format: Online, desktop, iOS & Android mobile apps

Slack is a desktop and mobile communication app that lets you manage all team communication. Send direct messages, create locked and public channels covering various topics (from company culture to separate company projects and departments), and then communicate with your team in real-time. 

Connect Slack with Friday.

Best Features

  • Release code fast by bringing developers, coders and resources together
  • Resolve urgent issues and automate your workflows
  • Coordinate with all internal teams

“Slack drastically reduces the time to overall resolution. It allows you to get closer and more connected to people across the company. In any situation that requires collaboration, ultimately, it levels up your game.” -- Zendesk

Pricing

  • Slack Standard: $6.67 per user per month (billed annually)
  • Slack Plus: $12.50 per user per month (billed annually)
  • Slack Enterprise: Available by quote

6. Microsoft Teams 

Format: Online, desktop, iOS & Android mobile apps

Microsoft Teams is a proprietary business communication platform developed by Microsoft as part of its Microsoft 365 family products. Teams also offers workspace chat and videoconferencing file storage, and application integration.

Connect Teams with Friday.

Best Features 

  • Send gifs, stickers, and emojis in a group chat or in one-to-one messages
  • Go from group chat to video conference with tone touch
  • Make and receive calls with internal and external groups using Microsoft Teams Calling, Phone System, Calling Plan, or Direct Routing

“Since we used Teams to build Technician Plus and created more than 77 apps to automate processes, we’ve returned 10 million minutes to the business and generated substantial financial benefits.” -- Telstra Field Digitalization Team

Pricing

  • Free
  • Basic: $5/person /month 
  • Pro: $12.50/person /month 
  • Office 365 E3: $20/person /month

7. Zoom

Zoom helps businesses and organizations bring their teams together to get more done. Their reliable cloud platform for video, phone, content sharing, and chat runs across mobile devices, desktops, telephones and room systems. 

Connect Zoom with Friday.

Best Features

  • Engineered and optimized to work reliably
  • One consistent enterprise experience for all use cases
  • Easy-to-use, deploy and scale

Pricing

  • Personal Meeting: Free
  • Pro: $149.90 /year/license
  • Business: $199.90 /year/license

8. Toggl 

Format: Online, Mac Desktop, mobile apps

Toggl is one of the leading online time tracking tools and productivity apps for freelancers, consultants, and small companies. This platform allows users to track the time spent on various projects and analyze productivity. It’s internet-based and can be up and running from scratch in less than a minute. Toggl has real-time sync with web tracker, desktop widgets and mobile apps.

Best Features

  • Real-time project and revenue tracking
  • Team scheduling and management
  • Schedule and send reports right to email

"Toggl runs our whole business in terms of how we bill clients and generate revenue." -- FullStack Labs

Pricing:

  • Basic: Free
  • Starter: $10/person /month 
  • Premium: $20/person /month 

9. Clockify

Format: Online & mobile apps

Clockify allows you to add unlimited users and create projects and tasks with a focus on timetracking. Assign users to the right projects and tasks, set project time estimates and let your team members track time as they work on their assignments. You can also manage your team’s hourly rates and billable time so that you get a clear overview of your earnings for payroll.

Best Features

  • Add tags to time entries
  • Define viability status
  • Add descriptions to time entries

"I have been using it for a week now and rolling it out to our 7 person team. Response has been very good. The software answers the 3 key questions we have about our team." -- Justin N.

Pricing

  • Enterprise: $9.99/per person

10. Hypercontext (Formerly Soapbox) 

Format: Online

Hypercontext is a team meeting agenda app that over 30,000 managers and their teams have trusted. This app provides a central place for teams to collaborate on shared agendas, take notes, assign next steps and collect feedback.

Best Features

  • Suggested conversation starters
  • Detailed meeting insights
  • Engaging post-meeting surveys 

Pricing

  • Basic: Free
  • Pro: $5.60/person /m (Billed annually or $7 monthly)
  • Business: $8.80/person /m (Billed annually or $11 monthly)

11. Harvest 

Format: Online and mobile apps

Harvest is an online business management tool. Businesses and individuals use this tool to track time, generate professional looking invoices, communicate with clients, and update time/data on the weekly timesheet.

Best Features 

  • Easy and professional invoicing services
  • Apps and integrations tailored to your workflow 
  • Intuitive team scheduling through their sister application Forecast 

"As a digital agency, time tracking plays a key role in Zehner’s business. In fact, when CEO Matthew Zehner founded the agency more than a decade ago, Harvest was one of the first systems he implemented. Today, they rely on the time tracking tool to bill projects, help employees manage their bandwidth, and gain understanding into their process." -- Zehner Digital Agency

Pricing

  • Free Plan: $0 for one person and two projects
  • Solo Plan:  $12 per month for one person and unlimited projects (annually billed)
  • Team Plan:  $12 per person per month for two+ people and unlimited projects (annually billed)

12. Flow  

Format: Online

Flow is an everyday task and project management software for teams. It brings together your tasks, projects, timelines, and conversations and integrates with your favorite tools to help you achieve more. Over 300,000 teams in more than 140 countries have relied on Flow. 

Best Features

  • Task management
  • Team collaboration and communication 
  • Productivity

“Dribbble uses Flow to keep 12 million users happy and fuel their continued growth.” --  Dribbble 

Pricing

  • Basic: $6/person /month
  • Plus: $8/person /month
  • Pro: $10/person /month

13. Loom

Format: Online & desktop apps

Loom has helped reinvent work communication tools by helping millions of people get their message across through instantly shareable videos. Their users work at companies like HubSpot, Square, Uber, GrubHub, and LinkedIn. Their mission is to empower everyone at work to communicate more effectively and get ahead wherever they are. 

Best Features

  • Video communication, video/audio management, video publishing, video streaming and online video
  • Enterprise and education tech
  • Remote work communication, remote tools, remote communication, and communication software

“Loom creates an ongoing visual and audible experience across our business and enables our employees to feel part of a unified culture and company.”--Tyson Quick, CEO, Postclick

Pricing

  • Starter: Free
  • Business: $8/person /m 
  • Enterprise: Curated based on your specific needs

14. IFTTT 

Format: Online

IFTTT is one of the world’s leading connectivity platforms. They help over 600 global enterprises accelerate their products' digital transformation into integrated services, dramatically reducing their development costs while extending compatibility and lifetime value. IFTTT is the connectivity standard and low-code alternative to building your integrations in-house. 

Best Features

  • Creative tools that let you customize the details of your data
  • Get the behavioral insights your product roadmap is missing
  • Continuously evolve your products with features powered by the integrations you choose

Pricing

  • IFTTT Standard: Free
  • IFTTT Pro: $3.99 /month
  • IFTTT Developer: $199 /month
  • IFTTT Team: Pay as you go
  • IFTTT Enterprise: Custom pricing

15. Zapier

Format: Online

Zapier is a web-based service that connects your various apps to automate workflows and elevate productivity levels. This powerful technology is designed to better automate your business tasks and help your teams accomplish more with 10x the impact.

"We're able to use Zapier for so many things...It has created this awesome culture internally for asking, 'how can we streamline that? Is there a Zap for that?' which is awesome!" -- Daryna Kulya, Co-Founder of OpenPhone

Pricing 

  • Zapier For Work: Starting at $20 per month
  • Zapier For Teams: Starting at $250 per month

16. Integromat 

Format: Online

Integromat is a tool for automating manual processes. Connect your favorite apps, services and devices without having any programming skills. With Integromat, you will be able to automate your workflow yourself.

Best Features

  • Direct support for the most popular apps and services
  • Create your own app through our Developer Platform
  • Develop malleable automations to suit your individual needs—both visually and functionally

Pricing

  • Free
  • Basic: $9 /month
  • Standard: $29 /
  • Business: $99 /month
  • Platinum: $299 /month
  • Custom package

17. Notion 

Format: Online, desktop, and mobile apps

Notion serves as a workspace for notes, docs, wikis, projects, and collaboration. Use it on your own, with your team, or as an entire company. Get started for free, then add your whole team

Best Features 

  • Create documents, checklists, organize notes
  • Task management
  • Answer questions at scale
  • Onboard new employees

“Now that we’re using Notion, everyone involved in a project has visibility into things like changes in scope and other status updates.”-- Kip Price, Director of Engineering at Code Academy.

Pricing

  • Basic: Free 
  • Standard: 4 /month
  • Team: $8 /month

17. Dropbox Paper

Format: Online, desktop, and mobil apps

Dropbox is one of the world’s first smart workspaces that helps people and teams focus on the work that matters. With more than 600 million registered users across 180 countries, they’re on a mission to design a more enlightened way of working. Dropbox is headquartered in San Francisco, CA, and has 12 offices around the world. 

Best Features 

  • Keep all your files securely stored, up to date, and accessible from any device
  • Send any file—big or small—to anyone, even if they don’t have a Dropbox account

“Slack is for instant communication, and then Paper is where all of our living, breathing documents go. And it’s amazing to have the two joined together." -- Christine Donaldson, Creator Marketing Manager at Patreon

Pricing

  • Standard: $15 /month per user
  • Advanced: $25 /month per user 

Conclusion: How to Pick The Right Productivity App

When choosing productivity tools, teams often leave the “productivity” part out. Tools are often selected based on the loudest voices, prior vendor relationships, or familiarity. But are they really the best tool for work or life? If productivity is your goal, use that as part of the framework for selecting the tools. Don’t think of productivity as an afterthought--put it front and center in your selection process. 

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