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18 Best Productivity Tools that I recommend you should try

I've hand-selected the best productivity tools for founders and entrepreneurs who strive to get more done in less time. Many of these are free, and for the tools which are paid, they are totally worth the investment. :)

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Harvest

About: 
This is one of the top time tracking tools on the market which does a lot more than just simple time tracking.

Top Features:

Measure the performance of your time tracking with detailed and customised reports.
You can send invoices through Harvest based on the time you tracked. Making it a seamless workflow.
There are plenty of integrations such as finance tools, other productivity apps and other automation tools/workflows.
Time Tracking
Integrations
Analytics
Pricing: 
Pricing is affordable for what the tool can provide. There's a free version for 1 user to have 2 projects, or If you want to unlock the other amazing features, the paid plan starts from $12 p/m per seat.
Web/App + Chrome extension
Freemium
$-$$
Favourite

Toggl Track

About: 
Toggl is another amazing time tracking tool available on the market. One of the nicely designed tools. Make sure to also check out there 'Hire' and 'Plan' products.

Top Features:

Easily time track through 1 click timers, as well as the ability to integrate with your calendars.
See detailed reports and even have scheduled reports emailed to you.
Awesome features they have with project and revenue tracking.
Billing/invoicing
Easy setup
cross-platform
Pricing: 
They have a free plan which is very generous for up to 5 users and has great features already. The first paid plan kicks off at $10 per month, and then $20 per month for their premium plan. They also have an enterprise plan on offer.
Web/App + Chrome extension
Freemium
$-$$$$
Favourite

ActiTIME

About: 
ActiTime is a time tracking and work management tool for any team size. They also have a mobile app available.

Top Features:

Find detailed reports which you can analyse where your time is being spent across projects.
There's some awesome project tracking capabilities - even by sharing your time on projects with clients.
Over 2000+ integrations to improvde your workflows.
Mobile app
Workflows
Billing/invoicing
Pricing: 
Monthly plans start at $7 per month per user. You can go cheaper per user if you choose the annual plan.
Web/App
Paid
$-$$
Favourite

Hubstaff

About: 
Hubstaff is a top-rated time tracking, productivity and automated payroll solution which you can be used by many larger organisations based across distant locations.

Top Features:

Easily do time tracking for multiple teams and employees in clean dashboards.
Track employee productivity through monitoring check-ins of their work.
You can setup timesheets and approve payments in just clicks.
Time Tracking
Monitoring
Payroll
Pricing: 
You can as a single user use Hubstaff with their free version. For teams, plans starts at $7 per user p/m, with then a pro plan with more features from $10 p/m per user. There's also a customised enterprise plan available.
Web/App + Chrome extension
Freemium
$-$$$$
Favourite

ToDoist

About: 
ToDoist is a very popular application used by many startup founders and entrepreneurs to write down their daily, weekly and priority "To-do's" and tasks.

Top Features:

You can easily add tasks into various categories, and setup follow-up reminders.
You can setup 'priority levels' which makes it easy within your list what needs to be done as a priority.
If you're using teams, you can delegate tasks to other users and notify them you have.
Tasks
Daily
reminders
Pricing: 
You can use Todoist for free, but the premium plan is where it gets exciting. The pro version starts at $4 p/m for users, then teams pricing is at $7 p/m per user.
Web/App
Freemium
$-$$
Favourite

Marinaratimer

About: 
Ever heard of the Pomodoro method? Well this software is awesome for writers wanting to timebox and become more productive.

Top Features:

Setup your timer easily when you sign up and start using.
You can use the pre-set Pomodoro timer or setup your own custom timer.
Share a link to your own timer with someone.
Timer
Pomodoro
Pricing: 
It's completely free :)
Web/App
Free
$
Favourite

Rize

About: 
A time tracking tool I just came across not long ago that's been getting some attention in the Twittersphere is Rize.

Top Features:

The UX and UI of the interface is super slick. I really love the 'dark mode' design look. From the testimonials, a lot of founders and developers love using this tool for time tracking to improve productivity.
You can sync your Google Calendar (helps with categorisation of time in reporting automatically), get notifications of when certain tasks may be taking too long, setup automatic scheudling for daily tasks, and more.
You can also get a daily report, as well as see a deeper analysis of your time within the interface. You can also see thanks to auto tracking which apps you switch between that can disrupt your flow/work. All of this to help you become more efficient with your time.
Automation
notifications
Reporting
Pricing: 
There are two main plans available, monthly or annual pricing. Monthly pricing, billed annually is $9.99 per month, with monthly pricing (billed monthly) is $14.99 per month.
Web/App
Paid
$-$$
Favourite

Loom

About: 
One of my favourite tools I use pretty much daily that saves meeting time and writing instructions is Loom.

Top Features:

The experience of using Loom is really simple. Either use the chrome extension, app or even the browser, to start recording whatever is on the screen. You have the options to show your face or not your face, your whole screen or just certain web pages.
I absolutely love it in particular due to the fact it's helped me become more efficient as a growth marketer. Less meetings, more action. The less meeting time as a principle is something I beloeve in. When it comes to instructions for using certian tools, to telling contractors/outsourced workers how to do certain tasks or anything really, this is my go-to tool.
The use cases for a product like this are endless. You can use it for recording videos for educational courses, YouTube videos, onboarding videos for new employees and lots more. It's also really easy to edit your videos and get people who watch them to leave comments and reactions for certain timeframes.
Video
Screen recording
time saving
Pricing: 
You can use Loom for free which is epic in itself which gives you the ability to record up to 5 mins per video, which you can have up to 25 of. Then the business plan (well worth it) costs $8 per month, per user billed annually, where you can have unlimited creators, unlimited videos and endless recording time.
Web/App + Chrome extension
Freemium
$-$$$
Favourite

Awesome Screenshot (ext as well)

About: 
Another alternative on the market for screen recording with ease is Awesome Screenshot.

Top Features:

The software is really nice and simple to use where you can screen record instantly, take screenshots and share them, annotate screenshots, and more.
You can integrate with some of your favourite tools such as Asana, Slack and Trello to ensure effective workflows.
It's really easy to install via the chrome store. Lots of positive ratings and reviews.
Video recording
screenshots
Pricing: 
It's free to install and start using for up to 5 mins of recording and 50 screenshots. Then for more storage and more recording time, you will need to upgrade with pricing starting at $4 per user, per month.
Chrome extension (only)
Freemium
$-$$
Favourite

Clockify

About: 
An awesome time tracking tool which you can use for free (yep for free seriously) is Clockify.

Top Features:

As I write this over 100,000 signed up just last month, and there's a good reason why it's used by so many people around the world, including household brands such as Sony, Disney and Amazon.
There are a plethora of features available from timesheet tracking, dashboards to view breakdowns of time as well as detailed reports, schedule tasks and projects with allocated time slots for team members, add expenses to certain tasks (great for clients, consultants and agencies), invoicing and loads more.
There are a few integrations available for more customised workflows, whether project management tools like Asana, Monday or Jira, or other productivity/cloud tools.
Analytics
great value
Easy setup
Pricing: 
You can signup and use Clockify for free. Or if you want to upgrade to get more advanced features, you can pick a plan which the cheapest starts from $4.99 per month, per user (billed monthly). Annual options are available.
Web/App + Chrome extension
Freemium
$-$$
Favourite

1password

About: 
My favourite password manager tool that I've used for years is 1password.

Top Features:

Out of all the password managers, 1password has the best UX I've found for both personal management, and especially when it comes to teams.
Easily add logins and generate randomised passwords which you don't need to write on paper or on a document somewhere. Use the chrome extension (which is awesome) or access/login into any software or sites you use in a click of a button. The mobile and tablet apps are really good to.
A good feature is called watchtower, which essentially highlights any passwords that may be at risk with any associated website. You recieve notifications when this does happen, so you can generate a new unique password.
Passwords
Extension
Pricing: 
There are two primary plans available for both individuals and teams. Personal plans start from $2.99 per month, billed annually and team plans start from $19.95 per month for up to 10 users.
Web/App + Chrome extension
Paid
$-$$
Favourite

Agenda

About: 
A really nice note taking tool with a great UI is Agenda.

Top Features:

There's quite a few note taking apps on the market as we all know, but I really love the layout of Agenda for desktop note taking, as well as how it looks on mobile.
Take notes by each day, and even reflect back on notes for past days. You can write in any style you want, such as dot points, etc. - The styling looks awesome. You can also convert notes into HTML and markdown. Easily organise notes as well with folders/projects.
You can also set reminders for important meetings so you can get notified, or even be notified minutes before the meeting so you're prepared. If tasks get pushed back, there are commands for you to tell Agenda to push tasks to the next day and setup a reminder. Pretty cool.
note taking
Calendars
notifications
Pricing: 
You can use the tool for free which is awesome. There are more premium features available from $14.99 per year.
Web/App
Freemium
$-$$
Favourite

Stayfocusd

About: 
If you're like me, I have a habit of context-switching between tasks which interrupts my flow, but with this chrome extension I can focus more on current tasks. Meet Stayfocusd.

Top Features:

The chrome extension itself is really simple to use. Just add to your chrome and you're off and running.
Choose which sites you want to block, as well as set up a timer/countdown for when you're ready to access the websites. Really beneficial if you work at home and can easily get distracted by checking social media, Reddit, or other sites you like visiting.
You can block either specific pages or entire websites. There's also the option to choose specific in-page content for certain sites you visit.
Site blocker
Extension
Timer
Pricing: 
It's free to add to your chrome. You can make a donation to support the extension.
Chrome extension (only)
Free
$
Favourite

Magical

About: 
One of the best productivity tools you can add to your arsenal is Auto Text Expander.

Top Features:

If you write a lot of copy like me, whether it be ads, over emails, Slack or other forms of communication, there's a good chance you repeat sentences and paragraphs. Rather than writing them time and time again, use commands to save you time.
The tool has some really nice features, especially as it's free to use. You can use tags for certain shortcuts, and format them how you like. If you have teammates, colleagues or friends, you can also share shortcuts with them.
They've focused on making sure they follow good privacy and security guidelines, which you can read more on their website.
expands text
shortcuts
Templates
Pricing: 
It's free :)
Chrome extension (only)
Free
$
Favourite

Freedom to

About: 
Another website blocker to help you concentrate on your work is Freedom to.

Top Features:

With a few more advanced features compared to Stayfocusd the chrome extension, not only can you block websites on the browser, but you can also block apps on your phone.
In addition to blocking apps and websites, you can even block the internet, especially at times when you need a tech detox. You can setup advanced scheduling so you focus during your most optimal working periods.
A cool feature when using the tool when you block sites/apps, is that you can turn on ambient sounds which helps you concentrate on your tasks.
Site blocker
multi-apps
Scheduling
Pricing: 
You can test out Freedom with a free trial, then plans start from $8.99 per month.
Web/App + Chrome extension
Paid
$-$$
Favourite

StopThinkBreathe

About: 
For optimal productivity time, it's important to make sure your mind is fresh for the day ahead and an app I've tried is StopThinkBreathe.

Top Features:

Firstly, there are other similar apps in the market such as Headspace and Calm (which I mention on my mental health resources page), but StopThinkBreathe is another really good alternative.
Particuarly at times when your head may be racing with other thoughts, you can use this app to quickly jot down thoughts and ideas, to guided meditations, as well as complete daily checkins to see how you're doing.
You can also use the app to help you sleep and wind down your thoughts. Really good for leaders and entrepreneurs who find themselves always 'on' (guilty of this sometimes myself).
mindfulness
meditation
Pricing: 
It's free to download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play Store with in-app purchases available.
Web/App
Freemium
$
Favourite

DayOneApp

About: 
One of the top-rated apps in the market for daily journaling is DayOneApp.

Top Features:

The team have done a wondeful job building a feature-rich journal app whilst keeping the experience minimalistic. You can use DayOneApp across desktop, mobile and even Apple Watch.
Some awesome features include automatic backups of notes across your devices, add unlimited images and videos, add handwritten notes, do voice dictations for things you want to remember, bookmark websites in an instant, and loads more.
Keep track of your habits and continue the streak of your daily journaling by filling the boxes. You can do integrations with other apps to automate workflows with journaling, as well as templates to ensure consistency.
Privacy
multi-apps
journaling
Pricing: 
Download the app for free where you can have one journal and one device. For more devices, journals and other advanced features, you will need to upgrade which costs $2.92 per month, billed annually.
Web/App
Freemium
$
Favourite

Tmetric

About: 
For startups that are looking to invest in a feature-rich tool that scales as you grow, then you need to check out Tmetric.

Top Features:

This platform is your 'one-stop', effective tool for managing and planning task effectively, with everything from time tracking, project management, invoicing, integrations, and reporting.
A cool component of tracking your time is that you can automatically track which websites you visited and how long you've spent on them.
With the business plan, you can unlock a lot more power with the likes of payroll management, screenshot capturing, see activity levels of your team/employees, extra reporting, plus more.
Projects
Billing/invoicing
Reporting
Pricing: 
Tmetric has a good freemium plan which includes time tracking. To unlock more from the platform, you will need to upgrade to the 'Professional' ($5 per user, per month) or 'Business' Plans ($7 per user, per month).
Web/App + Chrome extension
Freemium
$-$$$
No results found.
Updated on:
May 22, 2022
Note: Pricing, plans, and homepage images change overtime. Pricing recorded as of 3rd April, 2022. If you see any changes required, please let me know. If you suggest any tools to add, get in touch. 😊

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⚡ Frequently Asked Questions ⚡

What are the best productivity apps for startups and creators?
I've tried and battle-tested all the tools in this article as well as many more. One tool alone can't help achieve all the objectives that you may be looking for across you and your team's productivity, but these are the 5 best productivity tools that I count on daily for optimal performance; Loom - quickly record videos. Save meeting times. Clockify - free time tracking software to see how long tasks take and better manage your time. Auto Text Expander - setup commands to save time writing similar copy for emails, general comms, etc. 1Password - manage all passwords easily. Agenda - really nice note-taking tool.
Any free productivity tools you recommend?
Yep, there are 3 in particular which I use all the time and cost nothing - Clockify, Loom and Agenda. Of course, with each of these tools, you can upgrade to get more features. Even the paid plans are affordable.
What are the best productivity chrome extensions?
My two favourite chrome extensions as part of my productivity stack are the Auto Text Expander (created by Get Magical) and 1Password. Both are absolutely amazing and rave about them to all my startup friends and clients.
😊 Sign up for updates when I release something on growth marketing 😊💪
I don't send emails often (few times per year) but when I do I ensure to send emails worth reading related to growth marketing. I also send emails when I make updates to my resources or release new content worth reading. :)
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