What Is Productivity Tools

Productivity tools are technological devices, softwares and strategies that helps us to increase our productivity. It helps us to perform our task better than before. There are three types of productivity tools for us to use in office or at home. These tools are physical productivity tools, free productivity tools and office productivity tools. There are certain circumstances when productivity becomes necessary where we need to improve the efficiency of our work. Productivity tools helps us to reduce costs by providing online services which makes it possible for us to work in a flexible manner in any part of the world.

In this review, I will share with you what productive tools are and give you examples of productive tools as well.

A Billion Dollar Question

What is a productivity tool?

Productivity tools refer to programs and applications that make daily office life easier. Think about project management tools, time management systems, presentation programs, and communication software. The kind of tools that have revolutionized the way we conduct tasks and day-to-day business operations.

You’re probably using several right now, and you probably can’t imagine how things would get done if you didn’t have them.

What started out as an attempt to make office processes more efficient has turned into a lucrative business. The worldwide collaboration software market alone was valued at 8.45 billion US dollars in 2017.

If you do a search for any type of productivity tool, you will find a plethora of products that cater towards any industry, any team size, any budget, and any goal. Each vying for your subscription with the promise that their product will be the one that changes your life and transforms you into the productivity superstar that you are aspiring to be.

So, if there’s a clear demand for these tools, surely it means they’re delivering on their promises?

Productivity tools are useless on their own

Having a tool without the knowledge or expertise to use it is futile. It won’t make you more productive. If anything, it’ll make you frustrated and you’ll become unmotivated.

Being productive requires a mixture of tools and skills. On top of quality resources, you need the proficiency to know how to use them. Any tool worth having will come with tutorials, as well as a customer service team to help out. And on top of that, there are blogs, books, videos, and podcasts that provide information on processes, methodologies, and best practices.

Being informed about any product you use can ensure that you use it to its full potential. It can also help you to decide whether it’s a suitable tool for you.

“We all have a personal recipe for productivity. One person may need six cups of autonomy and just a pinch of collaboration. Another person may require heaps of sociability and noise, with just a teaspoon of occasional privacy.” – Neil Blumenthal

Every team has different goals, priorities, and ways to measure productivity. Where one tool works incredibly well for one team, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll do the same for another. You need something that will be suited to your habits and objectives.

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Consider the ongoing Slack debate for example. By becoming a billion dollar company within two years, you can’t deny the communication platform’s success and the amount of users who love it. But that doesn’t mean it works for everyone. Amir Salihefendic, the founder and CEO of Doist, explains why the tool didn’t work for his team:

“This style of communication was especially problematic for a remote-first company like ours. How do you stay in the loop when earlier topics have already been discussed and are buried by the time you even wake up? It wasn’t healthy for our team, and it wasn’t helping us focus on the hard work that really moves projects forward.”

The pros and cons of productivity tools

Whether it’s a digital to-do list, time tracking software, or an online database, using productivity tools offers both benefits and disadvantages. Here are some of the more common ones:

Pros

  1. Makes collaboration easier

Using a productivity tool that centralizes all your files and documents in one place offers a more practical approach to collaboration. You’ll no longer have to email and back and forth with your colleagues and upload files to collaborate on the same task or project.

  1. Streamlines communication

Communication software are designed to make internal communication a more simple experience. Their instantaneous nature of sending and receiving messages makes them ideal for sharing information, ideas, and general discussion quickly. More efficient than calling and sending emails, these communication tools create immediacy between colleagues and are especially great for connecting with remote employees.

  1. Simplifies progress tracking

Monitoring your project’s progress is made easier with a productivity tool such as task management or project management software. Details such as budget, resources, and deadline will be highlighted, allowing you to ensure you meet your deadline.

  1. Data unlikely to fall into the wrong hands

Most, if not all, productivity tools require a username and password to access it. These protection features reduce security risk and ensures your data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

  1. Enables remote work

Without productivity tools, remote work wouldn’t be possible. Online software has made it possible for employees to work from anywhere in the world. Video conferencing tools, team chat apps, and task management software means you no longer have to be in the office to get the job done.

Cons

  1. They can be very distracting

Popular communication software such as team chat apps are notorious for being distracting. While the ease of communication has made collaborating on tasks and projects better, it’s provided a hotbed for non-work related conversations as well.

  1. Minimize interpersonal skills

If you’re constantly using tools to communicate, it can reduce your inclination to talk to people face-to-face. As Ulrich Kellerer stated in a Forbes interview with Carol Kinsey Goman, “When it comes to effective business communication, over reliance on technology at work can be a hindrance, especially when it ends up replacing face-to-face, human interaction.”

  1. Constant updates
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Many tools require regular updates in order to get the most out of them. And sometimes, these updates may come with a price tag. Then, you may run into the issue where the upgraded version is more cumbersome than the older version, leading to employee hesitation.

  1. Employee hesitation

Implementing software means everyone has to learn how to use it and not everyone has the same level of technological skills. Having to learn a new tool can be intimidating, especially if you think that the current one you use does the job just fine. If something’s not broken, then why should we attempt to fix it, right?

  1. It costs to maintain them

While many tools come with a free plan option, they are always limited in comparison to the paid plans. Whoever said that they best things in life came free was obviously not talking about productivity tools.

Here are examples

ProofHub

ProofHub

It is quite common to feel overwhelmed and disorganized when working on projects or managing projects. ProofHub is an all-in-one project management and task management software to keep things organized, increase accountability, communicate more efficiently, and keep everyone on the same page. It is one place for all your projects, teams, and work-related information.

Top features:

  • Assign tasks to specific people
  • Upload files and documents to organize the workflow
  • Better control over time collaboration
  • Check over time spent on every step

nTask

ntaskmanager as productivity tool

With so many elements of a project to keep track of, sometimes staying productive throughout the process can be overwhelming, but having a project management tool like nTask can help.

nTask is an all-inclusive project management and task management software that can help you keep all the elements of your project in a centralized platform to ensure you are on top of project tasks, visualize your progress, get status reports, and more.

Top Features:

  • Time tracking and employee timesheets
  • Meeting tools with the ability to create meeting agendas, discussion points, and follow up actions
  • To-Do Lists
  • Team Collaboration

GanttPro

GanttPRO as productivity tools

Being on the same page is one of the most crucial issues for any project. Once lost, you and your team will waste time trying to realize how the things are going what significantly decreases productivity.

With GanttPRO online Gantt chart software, you can be sure all of your team members keep track of tasks. A visually appealing Gantt chart timeline provides project participants with an immediate picture of how the plan is progressing. Thanks to collaboration opportunities, no detail will be lost.

Top features:

  • Task management and assignment
  • Team collaboration with comments, files, and notifications
  • Time log for personal tasks, personal calendars
  • Deadline management
  • Export and Sharing via Public URL
  • Resource workload
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Infinity

infinity

One of the most important things when it comes to productivity is for the team to be on the same page and in sync at all times. And that’s exactly what Infinity can help you with.

Infinity is an all-in-one work management software that can help you keep all of your projects, tasks, documents, contacts, leads, and everything else work-related in a single place, and ensure that you and your team stay on top of your tasks and be productive on a daily basis.

Top Features:

  • Task Management
  • Team Collaboration
  • Multiple Views, Including Gantt & Form
  • Document Management
  • Time Tracking with Clockify
  • Public Boards

Scheduling & Calendar

Calendar
calendar

While using a digital calendar or other time management tool to become more organized and better with your time, you may feel like you are actually spending too much time entering and revising information across your tools. Calendar has created an AI-enabled solution that learns your schedule and takes over organizing, booking, and updating meetings and events on your calendar. It also syncs across multiple calendar tools and devices, saving you time and letting you focus on high priority tasks.

Top features:

  • Share calendars and designate who sees what on your calendar
  • Analytics for your Calendar so you can see where you’re opening your time each day.
  • Automatically invite and schedule meeting attendees
  • Leverage analytics tools to assess calendar data and reveal how you spend your time with people and in meetings
  • Integrates multiple digital calendars like Google Calendar, Outlook, and iCal as well as other email, project management, and collaboration tools.

Communication & collaboration

Make your project management much easier. Switch to ProofHub

Slack

Slack as productivity tool

It is the perfect team collaboration software that unifies your entire team communications. It integrates with the apps you use every day such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box to name a few.

Top features:

  • Chat and team communication
  • Set up reminders
  • Highlight words to be notified as they appear in a conversation

Shift

Shift productivity tool

Shift is the desktop app for streamlining your accounts, apps, and workflows. Tired of switching between accounts, and logging in and out? Shift is a logical & beautiful solution for managing everything better. Toggle between multiple Gmail, Outlook & Office 365 accounts without the hassle. Connect all of your email accounts + your favorite web apps and tools to Shift. Then, customize your workstation so it’s just right.

Top Features:

  • Cross-platform support (MacOS, Windows, Linux)
  • Manage all of your apps and accounts in one place
  • Custom desktop notifications
  • Unified search across all your Google accounts to find exactly what you need
  • Focused browsing web tabs

Conclusion

Productivity tools are the needles in your productivity haystack. It’s ultimately you that has to do the work, but having the right tools available can really help you get things done.

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