Productivity apps have been a must-have tool for millions of students, freelancers, and entrepreneurs for about a decade. And now, with even more people working from their homes due to the pandemic and the global lockdown, their importance is higher than ever. These apps provide you with simple, flexible and effective ways to organize and coordinate your work, making you more productive and satisfied with the result. But there are thousands of them out there, so how do you pick the right one for you? That's why we've compiled this list of the most popular and functional apps you should be using in 2020. Let's check them out.
When it comes to working together with your colleagues, Trello is one of the best apps out there. It provides you with all kinds of instruments to track pending tasks, prioritize them, and choose people that are responsible for them. The app's toolbox includes all kinds of lists, boards, and cards that are fully customizable. A great way to keep all of your projects in one place, Trello doesn't limit you to work-related problems, and you can use it for almost every other aspect of your life. That means the app can be used as a daily planner: when the work is over, you just open another tab and look at any activity you have planned for the evening.
Another example of a catchall productivity app, Todoist can also be used as a daily planner for you and your family – or a digital whiteboard for your business. Adding new tasks is easy, and there are options to make tasks recurring, prioritize, and delegate them to others, and so on. With Todoist, you won't forget about an important meeting or a chore ever again – the app will remind you in advance by sending a notification. But what's really great about this app is that it makes your progress clear and tangible. You can earn Todoist Karma points for completing series of tasks, and there're graphs showing how close you are to completing your weekly goals. Nothing feels better than looking at an orderly list of completed tasks or getting another Karma level.
While CamScanner doesn't have that universal functionality, it's definitely a must-have app for just about every productivity enthusiast. What it does is provide you with a tool to create PDFs right on the run. You can scan and store pages on your mobile device, or you can share it with others or sync it across multiple devices to come back to a document later. The app is especially effective when it's important to gather and share information quickly, or there're lots of documents for you to scan. But if you need only the text, there's also an option to extract it from scanned images automatically, and you can always edit it afterward.
A gamified timer with a couple of adorable features, Forest aims to boost your work productivity by eliminating all possible distractions and curing your procrastination. The app lets you plant a virtual seed that will slowly grow into a tree – but only if you resist the temptation of checking your phone, or else the tree will die. As you become more focused, your personal forest grows bigger, unlocking new tree species and other little rewards. And with the Pro version of the app, you can start planting real trees with "Trees for the Future" to help the environment.
Taking that whole gamification thing even further, Habitica suggests that you treat your life as some sort of a video game. Just like in video games, you create your character and choose an avatar – and then you input your goals and small daily tasks. Checking them off will help your character level up and unlock new features, including various gear and pets. However, your reward for staying focused and productive isn't limited to some kind of in-game points – fighting monsters brings gold that can be exchanged for custom awards, like an episode of your favorite TV show. And the app is social, so your friends will be able to help you progress, motivating you to accomplish even more.
If you look for productivity apps on the iPhone, Fantastical is one of the most obvious choices. While it mostly serves as a calendar app, it has certain features that make it a really convenient planner. This app can provide you with a weather forecast, a sports or holidays calendar, and so on. You can make your own tasks and add them to custom lists, sync events across different calendars, coordinate your plans with other people and customize almost every aspect of the interface, including icons and alert sounds. All in all, it's a great calendar app for iOS that can be used with other productivity apps.
One of the best apps for taking notes, Evernote offers an amazing variety of features, allowing users to save and organize their tasks, ideas, and other information. Then you can create notebooks out of them, add images or voice messages, and share them with your friends or colleagues – almost instantly, with just a few taps. Evernote easily syncs your data across multiple devices, allowing you quick, smooth access to everything you've ever saved or sent to anyone. The app also allows you to create reminders for important events or tasks, organize team brainstorming sessions, and so on. And there is a premium version of Evernote that has even more useful features.
Having all of your notes neatly organized and readily available is important, but what about various files, such as photos or documents? That's where Dropbox comes in handy, providing you with nice uploading and sharing features. The app allows you to preview files of popular formats without any additional software, automatically recognize texts and turn photos into PDFs. Sharing files is also as simple as sending a link to the file you want to show other people, and they don't need a Dropbox to access it.
We aren't going to pretend that this list is complete. After all, there are still lots of other Android and Windows productivity apps. So if you know something equally useful, feel free to tell us about it in the comment section.