Eight productivity apps your business should be using

Colm Larkin

September 14, 2015

We all want to use the hours of our working day more effectively. But who has time to try out the myriad of productivity apps that could help make you more efficient? To help narrow down your options, we’ve selected eight of the best ways to solve common workplace challenges.

1. Managing projects
Asana is designed to take teamwork out of email and into a shared tool that keeps to-do lists, project workflows and communication in one place. Jennifer Diamond, of news site Mashable, used Asana when working on the company’s digital marketing awards program, The Mashies:

“With Asana, I was easily able to see the big picture, while still managing all of the moving parts, deadlines and deliverables. We couldn’t have executed the first-ever Mashies Awards as well as we did without Asana.”

Asana project management tool

2. Staying in touch
Contactually is a mobile app that helps you get more from your contacts by collecting previous conversations in one place and prompting you to maintain contact at regular intervals. President of educational software startup Edusight, Garros Li used the service to build his company’s sales pipeline:

“Before a meeting, I’d pull up all the context of any previous conversations. In the past, I would have to go in email and try to remember everything about the deal. Contactually brings that all in one spot.”

3. Organizing your time
Rescue Time is a desktop and mobile app that tracks the programs and websites where you spend the most time and provides detailed activity reports. Buster Benson, a Product Manager at Twitter, used Rescue Time to better understand how he worked:

“I’ve become a lot smarter about using my time well, and getting the most meaningful work done that I can.”

4. Collaborating on files
Hightail is a creative collaboration service for sharing illustration, photography, design and video files and collecting precise feedback in a single place. Here’s why Martin Pelham, Manager of Media Services at Oscar-nominated stop-motion animation studio, LAIKA, likes it:

“Hightail lets us stream videos and comment inline so all the feedback is contextual. It solves one of the biggest challenges we face: creative collaboration.”

Hightail Spaces all-comments view

5. Remembering passwords
LastPass remembers all the passwords to your different services and will generate strong new ones. Social media service, Hootsuite uses LastPass to manage passwords for everything from internal servers and devices to SaaS applications. Director of IT, Tanya Miller, describes the effect:

“I sleep better knowing that when an employee is granted access to a device or service via LastPass we are not disclosing login credentials.”

6. Communicating with your team
Slack takes team communication out of individual email siloes and puts it on a single messaging platform that’s searchable and synced with mobile apps. Matt Taylor, a production editor at UK newspaper, The Times of London said:

“Slack has totally removed the need for internal email inside the team. It’s a much more effective way to catch up and keep up.”

7. Creating presentations
Prezi is an online presentation software that allows you to create more interesting, dynamic decks and access them from anywhere. Chris Anderson, CEO of thought leadership conference organizers, TED, sums up the service:

“Prezi is helping reinvent the art of the presentation.”

Infogram sample infographic8. Visualizing data
Infogr.am is a data visualization tool that lets you quickly and easily create infographics for presentations or social media posts. Martin Bryant, Editor-in-Chief at tech news publication The Next Web, is a fan:

“When we need to explain data in a visually appealing way, Infogr.am lets us quickly create a custom, branded chart or infographic.”

Those are eight digital tools that can change how you work and make your business more productive. We’d love to hear your productivity app suggestions in the comments below.