Best Apps for Businesses to Increase Productivity

Whether you have a small company or a large company, running a business is never easy. It takes good communication, organization, and teamwork. Luckily for business owners in today’s technology driven world, there are a variety of tools that can be used to help keep your team on track to meet company goals. Below is a list of applications that have been proven to increase productivity for businesses of all sizes. Read through to figure out which applications would meet your specific needs as a business.


Project Management/Team Communication Apps

Wunderlist

Wunderlist allows you to communicate and collaborate with all of your coworkers from your own device(s). Reminders and notifications ensure that no one is out of the loop. Available to download from the App Store.

productivity appsPricing:

  • Basic: Free
  • Pro: $4.99/month or $49.99/year
  • Business: $4.99/user/month or $49.99/user/year

Pros:

  • Most features can be used with a free account
  • Has a clean and clear interface
  • Good for individuals and groups

Cons:

  • Weak searching and sorting capabilities
  • Premium accounts are more expensive than competitors

User Feedback:

“Wunderlist is a more simplified tool and it’s free. It’s perfect for creating short-term projects that a small group of people need to track. This list-oriented app is free. It recently introduced a Folders feature that organizes project lists for easier reference. Its real value lies in eliminating all those sticky notes from your desk!” – Elizabeth Gibson, ezLandlordForms

 


EverNote

Evernote is the digital alternative to the “sticky note”. Once you’ve entered a note or idea on one device, it will automatically sync to all of your other devices. Available to download from the App Store.

productivity apps

Pricing:

  • Basic: Free
  • Plus: $3.99/month or $34.99/year
  • Premium: $7.99/month or $69.99/year
  • Business: $12 per user/month

Pros:

  • Syncs to all of your devices
  • Search toolbar allows you to easily find things you save
  • Passcode lock on mobile apps for security

Cons:

  • Free version limits capabilities
  • Monthly or yearly subscription costs

User Feedback:

“My favorite productivity app is EverNote. I really like it because I can create to-do lists for projects, write down reminders, take pictures, brainstorm ideas, create timelines, and so much more. I can save things from the Internet, and everything gets synced to all of my devices. It’s really cool because I can draw, write, type,  record audio, take videos and create PDF’s. Then everything is organized into notebooks. I’ve found it really useful when collaborating with team members, especially when feedback is needed on projects.” – Marisa South, General Manager at Vet & Pet Jobs

 


Todoist

Todoist is a great productivity app for both personal and professional use. It works on multiple platforms and can even be accessed without internet connection. Available to download from the App Store.

productivity apps

Pricing:

  • Basic: Free
  • Premium: $28.99/year
  • Business: $28.99 per user/year

Pros:

  • Free to use basic plan
  • Premium version is affordable
  • Available on multiple platforms and devices
  • Works offline (without internet connection)

Cons:

  • Free version limits capabilities beyond personal use
  • Some premium features are free in other apps

User Feedback:

“Todoist is my favorite productivity app. Todoist provides a simple interface that allows you to organize and share to-do items. By implementing a unified todo list, in Todoist, tasks are done on time and not lost in the shuffle of running a small business. It offers many important features, such as priority flags, task assignments, due dates, recurring tasks, and projects. More importantly, it doesn’t have any useless or infrequently used features that can make productivity apps cumbersome or difficult to learn. I can give a new employee access and they just know how it works instinctively.” – Sal Sodano, President of SkyToaster

 


IFTTT

This free business app allows you to customize integrations with many different apps. Once you have created an integration you can share with whoever you want. You can also pick and choose from integrations that have been created by others. Available to download from the App Store.

productivity appsPricing:

 

  • Free

Pros:

  • Can integrate with many apps including Evernote and Google Drive
  • Create your own integrations, or Recipes as they call them, and share them with others
  • Absolutely no costs involved, as of now

Cons:

  • Making specific Recipes can be difficult
  • Recipes don’t immediately take effect
  • Can only connect two services per Recipe

User Feedback:

“I’ve used the productivity app IFTTT early on in my business to hit goals and stay on top of my workload. IFTTT is an if/then based platform that allows you to create “recipes” which will perform a task in accordance to the “if” statement. I love IFTTT because it allows me to create recipes that contribute to all aspects of my business. I can create a list of people who follow me on Twitter, log work in a spreadsheet, create follow up reminders, and so much more. IFTTT is like a personal assistant that gets me through the day, and my business wouldn’t function the same without it.” – Donahvan Robello, Owner of Variant SEO

 


Slack

Used by the team behind the Mars Curiosity Rover, Slack is one of the most popular productivity apps for businesses. The ease of use and well designed interface make organizing team projects super easy. Available to download from the App Store.

productivity appsPricing:

  • Basic: Free
  • Standard: $6.67 per user/month (billed annually) or $8 per user/month (billed monthly)
  • Plus: $12.50 per user/month (billed annually) or $15 per user/month (billed monthly)

Pros:

  • Well designed interface
  • Free subscriptions available
  • Easy to organize employees into teams
  • Per-room notification settings: ability to mute channels with too many notifications
  • Fast file sharing

Cons:

  • No Calendar within the app
  • Can be difficult to reference old messages
  • Mobile app is not the fastest

User Feedback:

“My favorite productivity app would definitely be Slack. The app allows me to easily communicate with my team, share files, reduce the number of emails and set up daily reminders —  all immensely helpful in managing a fast-growing startup. But actually, one of my favorite aspects is that it gives me the ability to easily integrate other apps I use for work, and view everything in one management dashboard, so I can easily monitor and make progress on-the-go.” – Amit Bareket, CEO and Co-founder of SaferVPN

 


Trello

Trello allows you to collaborate with your team to organize and prioritize projects to ensure quality and efficient work. The best part is, it’s completely free! Available to download from the App Store.

productivity appsPricing:

  • Free

Pros:

  • Free to use
  • Can be used on all devices
  • Real time updates happen almost instantly
  • SMS notifications

Cons:

  • Unable to create Gantt charts
  • Unable to allow the management of a product backlog

User Feedback:

“I use Trello to monitor my podcast production for The Successful Pitch.  From keeping track of the introduction, the headshot, the tweets and show note links for each episode to where it is in the production cue. It helps me and my team make sure everything needed is done way ahead of the air date.” – John Livesay, author of the book “The Successful Pitch”

 


Asana

Asana is a great way for small businesses to stay organized and keep on track to meet their goals. For businesses with 15 or fewer employees, Asana’s basic services are free. Available to download from the App Store.

productivity apps Pricing:

  • Basic: Free (For teams of up to 15 people)
  • Premium: $8.33 per user/month (billed annually, price per user is automatically reduced for small teams)

Pros:

  • Free for smaller businesses
  • Can view progress reports
  • Ability to color code/highlight tasks for organization
  • Mobile apps for iPhone and Android
  • Great email integration with Google Calendar and iCalendar

Cons:

  • Large amount of features can make it difficult to learn
  • Messages encrypted for security but there is no two-factor authentication

User Feedback:

“This app runs on multiple platforms including iPhone/iPad/Windows/Mac seamless, but most importantly my entire team knows EXACTLY what their responsibilities are, in real-time and I can, at a glance, check on the status of any project where ever I am. It does take some THOUGHT/PLANNING to setup and it is definitely a “living” process, but it has allowed me to systemize my entire business.  More importantly, with a minimum of training, we can insert new hires into the process immediately, greatly compressing the time it takes to make them productive.” – Michael Bremmer, CEO of Telecomquotes.com

 


Dropbox

Dropbox is one of the best ways to organize and share company documents. Easily share files with your entire team across all of your devices. Available to download from the App Store.

productivity appsPricing:

  • Basic: Free for up to 2GB of storage
  • Pro: $8.25/month (billed annually) or $9.99/month (billed monthly)
  • Business: Free 30 day trial, $12.50 per user/month (billed annually) or $15 per user/month (billed monthly)
  • Enterprise: Contact Dropbox for pricing

Pros:

  • Files are always available on all devices
  • File-sharing and group file-sharing features are very easy
  • Easy to synchronize all your files
  • A history feature allows you to access earlier versions of your files

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to locate old files or deleted copies
  • Service is only free for the first 2GB of storage
  • Unable to edit documents in real time

User Feedback:

“Dropbox for Business provides maximum flexibility for storage of any file type. It allows the management of permissions internally and externally, so you can share only what is needed with clients, employees and contractors. An essential tool for any SBO.” – Judi Jacobs, Founder of The Tech Wizard

 


 

BaseCamp 3

Basecamp does everything. Team communication, client communication, project lists and to-do’s are a few examples of what Basecamp offers. Available to download from the App Store.

productivity appsPricing:

  • Free 30 day trial for all
  • Free for students and teachers
  • $99/month or $1000/year (no per user limits)
  • 50% off for charities and non-profits

Pros:

  • Message board eliminates the need for internal emails
  • Ability to comment on pretty much everything
  • Create similar projects from templates you create
  • Mobile version for smartphones

Cons:

  • Must pay for services after 30 day trial (with the exception of students and teachers)
  • Must sign up for CampFire plans to use chatting feature, which is another cost

User Feedback:

Here at Creative Click Media, we use Basecamp 3 for just about everything. Pings allow for quick and easy communication between team members, eliminating the need for emails between coworkers. Basecamp also allows us to easily communicate with clients about certain projects that pertain to them. One the best parts about Basecamp 3 is that it allows you to create a seemingly endless amount of to-do lists. This helps us stay organized and prioritize our tasks so that we know what we have to do and when we have to do it.

 


Quip

Quip makes it easy for teams to work together. Chats are built into all documents and spreadsheets so that team members can communicate and edit in real time. Available to download from the App Store.

productivity appsPricing:

  • Free trial (length of free trial based on activity, not time)
  • $30/month for a team of 5 + $12/month for each additional person (monthly commitment)
  • $30/month for a team of 5 + $10/month for each additional person (yearly commitment)

Pros:

  • Free trial available
  • Easy to create documents
  • Great for checklists
  • Easy to add images or charts
  • Real-time updates

Cons:

  • Limited number of fonts
  • No templates to choose from

User Feedback:

“Working remotely from my team, an app called Quip comes in extremely handy. Quip is a project management and task collaboration tool that help users work together and communicate without emails. Users can create and edit spreadsheets, documents and checklists in the system, and team members can chat and comment on files in real time. It helps us, as they say at Quip, ‘work smarter, better, faster.’.” – Lori Cheek, Founder and CEO of Cheekd

 


Accounting and Finance Apps

Quickbooks

Quickbooks is accounting made easy. With simple to use automations and integrations, you’ll save valuable time each month. Available to download from the App Store.

productivity appsPricing:

  • Free 30 day trial for all plans
  • Self-employed: $10/month (temporary sale: $5/month for 6 months)
  • Simple Start: $15/month (temporary sale: $10/month for 6 months)
  • Essentials: $30/month (temporary sale: $21/month for 6 months)
  • Plus: $40/month (temporary sale: $28/month)

Pros:

  • Easy accounting with automations and integrations
  • Mobile apps available for iOS and Android
  • 30 day free trial plus
  • 60 day money back guarantee after the purchase of a plan

Cons:

  • Most advanced features only come with the most expensive plan
  • Some users have difficulty mastering the functionality of Quickbooks

User Feedback:

“The Quickbooks app allow me to pull financial data immediately, at any time, which saves me a ton of time each month.” – Nick Braun, PetInsuranceQuotes.com

 


Expensify

Expensify is one of the easiest ways to keep track of your expenses. One of its best features, Smart Scanning, allows you to quickly match your receipts with recorded transactions. Available to download from the App Store.

productivity appsPricing:

  • Individual: Free
  • Team: $5 per user/month
  • Corporate: $9 per user/month

Pros:

  • Mobile apps available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Blackberry
  • Smart Scanning feature matches pictures of your receipts with recorded transactions
  • Administrative functions allow you to process hundreds of reports with one click

Cons:

  • Minor errors of functionality have been reported by some users (not major problems, just inconvenient)
  • Customer support does not have a good reputation

User Feedback:

“One of the easiest ways I’ve found to keep track of expenses is an app called Expensify.  Record expenses with minimal fuss, snap a picture of the receipt, and then automatically create an expense report with one click.  It’s available for all smartphone platforms.” – Maura Thomas, Founder of RegainYourTime.com

 


Zoho Books

Zoho is a cloud software suite with a large variety of apps that can help to increase productivity in your business. Zoho Books is one of those apps. It helps run your business by assisting you in making smart decisions with its wide variety of tools and features. Available to download from the App Store.

productivity appsPricing:

  • 14 day free trial
  • Basic: $9 per organization/month or $90 per organization/year
  • Standard: $19 per organization/month or $190 per organization/year
  • Professional: $29 per organization/month or $290per organization/year

Pros:

  • Simple user interface making it easy to learn the functionality
  • Good prices compared to competitors
  • Mobile app available for iOS, Android and Windows devices

Cons:

  • Third-party integrations are limited
  • Lacks payroll features
  • Free trial is half as long as most competitors

User Feedback:

“Early this year I moved off of 3-4 separate products and onto the Zoho suite of products. I have one single sign on for all products and each product also has a robust mobile app as well. I can now assign a support desk ticket, chat with my team, reset a team members email password or receipt in a payment all from my cell phone. Making the change was not nearly as complicated as I anticipated. Having one invoice and one username and password for all of my email, support desk, chat, social media manager and bookkeeping software makes my life less complicated.” – Emily LaRusch, CEO of Back Office Betties

 


Time Tracking Apps

Hubstaff

With a easy to use interface, Hubstaff allows your entire team to easily track its activities. It offers screenshots and freelancer time limits as well was URL tracking and location monitoring. Available to download from the App Store.

hubstaffPricing:

  • 14 day free trial
  • Solo Lite (1 user): Free
  • Basic: Starting at $5/month (Increases as the number of team members increases)
  • Premium: Starting at $9/month (Increases as the number of team members increases)

Pros:

  • Clean, easy to use interface
  • Personalize budget/hour limits to your needs
  • Ability to see each team member’s activity levels
  • Ability to integrate with many third-party apps

Cons:

  • Only offers Fixed plans for specific numbers of team members
  • Unable to manually enter time ranges

User Feedback:

Hubstaff tracks our time so we don’t have to use timesheets anymore and we can separate out different projects by time, people, dates, and locations.” – Benjamin Walker, Founder and CEO of Transcription Outsourcing, LLC

 


Toggl

Toggl offers personal and professional time tracking. All your employees have to do when they come in to work and click start, then their time tracking begins. Available to download from the App Store.

productivity appsPricing:

  • 30 day free trial for all plans
  • Basic plan for teams of 5 or fewer: free
  • Pro: $10 per user/month
  • Pro Plus: $20 per user/month
  • Business: $59 per user/month

Pros:

  • Create an unlimited number of projects
  • Color code your dashboard
  • Create detailed reports
  • Set goals for employees with reminders
  • Option to set billable rates

Cons:

  • Unable to verify workers time logs
  • Pricing setup for static teams (not cost-efficient for freelancers)

User Feedback:

“Toggl lets me log my time based on client, project, and tag it with “marketing,” “design,” “research,” etc. Visual reports let me see if I spend too much time searching for stock images, for instance, across all of my projects.” – Megan Jordan, Cofounder and Business Lead at Wonder and Company

 


Tick

Tick is an easy to use time tracker for team projects. It will help you stay on track while adhering to the time budget allocated to specific projects. One of the best features of Tick is that it directly integrates with Basecamp 3, making time tracking and project management simple. Available to download from the App Store.

productivity appsPricing:

  • 30 day free trial
  • 1 open project: free
  • 10 open projects: $19/month
  • 30 open projects: $49/month
  • 60 open projects: $79/month
  • Unlimited open projects: $149/month

Pros:

  • Easily track time spent on specific tasks and projects
  • Desktop timers and iPhone app
  • RSS project tracking with all plans
  • Full reporting will all plans

Cons:

  • Limited number of projects for certain plans

User Feedback:

As a growing company, we’re learning what services are the most profitable to us. Tick has been a key player in better understanding this information. It allows us to track time on every project and set time budgets so we know when we’re spending too much time on something. When we started using Tick, 30% of our projects were over budget every month. Tick has helped us cut that number in half.” – Amanda Erdmann, Director of Client Services at Creative Click Media

 


Increase Productivity in Your Business

If you find that your business is struggling to get ahead, it may be time to consider using some of these productivity apps. They can be incredibly helpful when it comes to project management, team communication, and even keeping track of financial records. A number of these apps function in similar ways, so test out a few of them to decide which ones would be best for your business. It’ll be obvious which applications work best for your team when your productivity goes through the roof.

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