The name of the game in the modern world is productivity and efficiency. The more you can do in a single day, the more you’re rewarded. It’s an obvious relationship for most. Because of this newfound emphasis on doing more with less. There is a slew of free productivity tools on the market for different uses. You have the ones for document management, design, note-taking, and everything in between.
In this guide, you’ll learn about the best free productivity tools in multiple categories.
UsefulPDF is a document management and electronic signature management application. It makes it simple to edit your PDF files, convert them to different formats, and manipulate them in various ways. Additionally, it has an electronic signature solution and even offers a free online signature creator.
If you work in an environment that processes a lot of paperwork then you’re well aware that it can become time-consuming to manage it all. You have to chase up person X for a signature, store document Y, or even convert from one format to another. UsefulPDF makes these activities easier and faster.
Asana is a free project management and to-do list application that allows individuals and teams to collaborate seamlessly. It combines multiple types of project management tools like Kanban boards, list views, group calendars, and more.
One of the best features of Asana is the ability to assign tasks to others in your workspace, assign deadlines, and track progress. You can even chat within the application so you can give feedback on tasks that are behind or off track. Taken together, it’s a powerful tool for keeping teams in alignment
Workflowy is a mix between note-taking and a mind mapping application. It works using infinitely nested lists. For example, if you were writing a book, the top bullet point would be the title, the nested ones under that would be the chapters, the next nested list would be sections, and then you’d have paragraphs.
It’s elegant in its simplicity. You can do everything from creating grocery lists to business plans. It also has a robust search function and tagging system. Using ‘#’ you can organize specific types of content and find them in an instant.
RescueTime is a productivity tracking application. It’s similar to a time tracking tool in that it will record how long you’ve used your computer and what you’ve done while there. That’s where the similarities end.
The application will categorize the websites you visit and the applications you use as productive and unproductive. At the end of the day, you can analyze the results and see where you spent your time, and look at your overall productivity score or percentage.
It’s also possible to overwrite the basic categorizations and set productivity goals. For example, if you’re a social media manager and spend time on Facebook, that would be considered unproductive time by default but it works for you and should be accounted as such. The goal could be three hours of productivity time a day or a specific type of time like design and composition or administrative work.
Canva is a design application that gives non-designers superpowers. It’s considered a free productivity tool because it cuts downtime that would otherwise be spent creating designs. There are hundreds of templates for everything from ads to social media posts that you can edit to your heart’s content.
If you follow the template, you can be confident in the final design because professional designers made it. In addition to the design features, you can create style guides for your organization. So it’s easy for contributors to match the aesthetic of your brand further saving time.
If you have ever tried to schedule a meeting, you know how time-consuming it can be. The endless email chains, lack of availability, and rescheduling are all a pain. Calendly tackles this problem and does it well by giving you an invite link you can send to people.
When someone clicks on the link, they’re sent to your booking page and can choose from all the available times you’ve set up. It’s elegant, simple, and effective.
In modern organizations, dozens of software applications are used to achieve business outcomes. Email marketing tools, lead generation tools, survey software, etc. are in play. Oftentimes, these tools don’t play nicely together which results in a lot of manual work.
Zapier is a free application with over a thousand prebuilt integrations that allow you to connect one software application to another. For example, if you have a survey application. Then you can use Zapier to connect it to your email marketing service. Depending on how respondents answered, they’ll be added to different lists in your email marketing service. Or maybe you want to use it with Google Assistant to automate tasks.
This collection of tools is just the starting point of improving your productivity. Choose the free productivity tools that look the most appealing to you and start becoming more efficient.