For many professionals, having the option to work from home has brought significant benefits, like cutting commuting costs or working in a more comfortable setting. However, it can be even easier to lose time at work when sharing that space with responsibilities in the home, whether it’s the laundry sitting in the corner of the room, the kids’ homework or the dog needing to go outside.
No matter if you’re improving your own time management or your whole team’s, it’s important to make sure that your working hours are spent productively, and there are many apps and software solutions for that. Below, 10 Young Entrepreneur Council members share their top recommendations for apps that help boost your productivity and your company’s overall efficiency.
RescueTime is a tool I recommend executives set up for themselves. It’s not a traditional time tracking app; Instead, it measures your active time across devices and tracks the current screen of focus. My annual report came in last month, and I realized I have over 1,000 hours in Slack for the past year compared with 390 hours in my inbox, plus additional metrics for Zoom, messengers, calendar and lots of unproductive and nonwork items. RescueTime is the fair (oftentimes painfully true) way to understand where your time goes—both before and after hours—and you’re able to calibrate if you wish to do so. It may come as a burden to employees, but any executives determined to increase their productivity can certainly benefit from this exercise. – Mario Peshev, DevriX
When getting a new laptop, the first thing I do (besides download Chrome) is download Superhuman. It is a must and has become essential for me to keep my email conversations moving. We all know it’s hard to keep track of emails and remember to follow up when someone else has forgotten to respond. Superhuman does all the heavy lifting for you so you never have to worry about an email getting buried or you forgetting to respond again. It’s also well-designed and performs extremely well. – Ryan D Matzner, Fueled
The biggest distraction today for many of us is social media. We are often tempted to scroll through our feeds for a quick break, but we end up spending hours on them. I feel like doing so can be the biggest waste of time while we are at work—and our productivity declines too. That’s why I like using Freedom. It lets you block apps and websites that you think can distract you, helping you stay focused on your work. You can set the time for when you want to stay focused, and select the sites and apps you want to block during this time. It’s like selecting the time in which you want to set yourself free from the world of distraction and focus on what matters to you the most. – Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite
Without a doubt, the best app is Trello. There is something so satisfying about seeing everything that everyone is up to, at exactly the stage they are at, in such a simple interface. If you aren’t already familiar, Trello basically works like one big whiteboard, with everyone posting their job roles as “sticky notes.” These notes get moved from left to right as various tasks are completed, so you can see the entire step-by-step process of a job from conception to completion. If you’re a manager who likes to know how things are proceeding, it’s the ideal format. It’s also totally easy to use, so you don’t need to worry too much about an excessive training period for your staff. It just makes projects feel simple. – Nick Venditi, StitchGolf
The ClickUp app is something I find extremely helpful for business owners looking to organize their business. A lot of the problems in business are caused by poor organization and communication. You can’t live on Slack or email—everything gets lost in the feed. What ClickUp does really well is organize your company into departments, as well as time-based task management within those groups. Each and every task has the ability to leave a stream of content, comments and other attachments associated with a specific task. This way everything is in one place and accessible to all relevant team members. – Andy Karuza, Base64.ai
If you’re looking for a way to skyrocket productivity and boost efficiency across all your teams, I suggest using the project management software Asana. Asana allows you to make groups and tasks for individual teams. Then, each team member can set their own color-coded schedule with due dates, reminders and an option to add multiple people to one task. We use Asana for planning blog content, brainstorming projects for our developers and much more. They also have a free version that you can try first. I highly recommend Asana if you’re looking to take your team’s productivity to the next level. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
As a small business owner, I use WhatsApp to improve the productivity and communication of my company. We have created three different groups on WhatsApp to communicate, sometimes assign tasks and also exchange information. We also share fun pictures and media to keep everyone motivated. WhatsApp can help small businesses really increase their communication and productivity. – Piyush Jain, Simpalm
8. The Pomodoro Timer
The Pomodoro timer has helped me boost my productivity and efficiency by a landslide. It sets a timer for 25 minutes and then you get a break afterward to step away from your work. I used to spend hour after hour at the computer without moving my body, eating, stretching or doing anything—just staring at the screen and working without realizing how much time was passing. But now, I’m more mindful about how much time I spend in one position so I can move around and feel better physically at the end of the day. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
9. Microsoft To Do
Basically, Microsoft To Do is a cloud-based to-do list with several great features that help boost productivity and efficiency. First, and perhaps best of all, the app is free. For small businesses, a free app might be a small thing, but it helps. You just need a Microsoft account. To Do allows you to group lists, such as personal lists, work tasks, shopping lists and more. It has options to create sublists and other details, such as due dates, reminders, attachments and comments. You can create recurring tasks and prioritize important goals. I also like it because it’s a cloud-based software, so it’s up to date on both my phone and computer. If you want an excellent to-do app that helps keep your company on track, Microsoft To Do is definitely worth checking out. – Shu Saito, Fact Retriever
10. Google Workspace
I strongly recommend that business owners use Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) for their company’s content creation and file storage needs, and to set up their work email and other basic online functions. It’s great for security, and you can share documents, files and other content easily with your team. We use it in our business for everything, starting from onboarding to tracking marketing goals and more. Collaboration and communication are critical to helping businesses run efficiency, and Google Workspace can enable these factors easily. – Blair Williams, MemberPress