Productivity Hacks + Apps: The Apps

We've gotten clear on what it takes to be productive in Productivity Hacks and Apps: The Hacks. Now, we'll take a look at 5 productivity apps that can help you shape and execute your ideas. By the end of this post you'll know which is most suitable for the plans you have in mind.

Productivity Defined

As we learned in Part 1, productivity boils down to effectiveness. In short, The goal of an effective person is to get more done, in less time, while keeping everyone satisfied. If you would like to know more about the makings of a highly effective person you can go over the 7 habits by clicking here.

The Apps

The apps in this list were chosen based on criteria specific to the previously determined definition of productivity and effectiveness. I read each companies' copy (ad material) for each app before writing my first and lasting impressions. I reviewed these apps from the vantage point of a new customer with productivity in mind.

Value Your Time: All of the apps attempt to be user friendly. This is subject to opinion, but almost anyone can use them confidently within a few minutes to an hour of practice.

They are affordable: You can try most of them for free. As your team grows, you can easily upgrade to a paid service.

Project Management apps. We know that productivity at its best is a team effort. All of these apps have your basic to-do list functionality for daily tasks, but can be shared with a growing team. Combining Habits 3 (put things first/ prioritizing) and 4 (Think Win-Win).

With that said, lets review the top 5 apps for productivity and time management.

I may receive a commission when you purchase from select companies (apps) for my research, presentation, and recommendation.


First Impression:

Click up is branding itself as the Project Management app to replace them all. Their site showcases ten or more articles comparing their service to that of their competitors. When you sign up, it seems simple enough to use, and has an attractive and customizable design. These are the key features as advertised:

Task Templates- I have to admit I liked the look of these templates. I felt inspired to start a project.

Board View- Vertical columns allow you to see all of your tasks on one board unlike other apps. You can organize them with tags and filters, set priorities, and change due dates.

List view- Seems to have the exact same functionality as board view.

Calendar- It's a calendar with a touch of automation. If you add a time estimate to your tasks, Clickup will schedule it automatically when dropped onto the calendar. Your tasks can sync with Google Calendar, Outlook, and Apple Calendar to name a few.

Gannt charts- Once you assign teams to their tasks, you can monitor their progress in the Gannt Chart View. It's a visual timeline of the projects and tasks underway. You'll see who's responsible for what and by when.

Me Mode + Notepad- Review the projects you're responsible for. Use the notepad to keep all of your bright ideas in one place.

Chrome extension- Allows you to take screenshots, comment on them, take notes, and send them to team members via email.

Lasting Impression:

I'm not sure this app will replace other project management apps. Clickup would be best for businesses with employees and no contractors. Using this service is easy enough, but it takes a special set of needs to want to use its offerings to the fullest. If you invest in your team, and want to build a solid framework consider Clickup. If you work alone, consider Clickup. If you work alone, but require the help of others on occasion you should select one of the following options.


First Impression:

Unlike Clickup, Slack wasn't trying to woo me by appealing to my sense of vanity. The initial stages of setup were focusing on what I wanted to accomplish and how they could configure my dashboard for that purpose.

Learning your way around isn't difficult, but it isn't as obvious where things are when compared to the other apps.

Easily add members to your team by sending them an email

Projects are assigned channels. The channels are tucked neatly into the left sidebar. When you click a channel you gain access to your project. Including all progress made by your team and communications.

Communicate with your team effortlessly. DM team members within the app.

Plenty of app integrations including some of the apps on this list.

They take security seriously

Set up private groups. You can create a course.

Use the free version to start and upgrade as you grow

Lasting Impression:

It's a no-brainer. I simply thought, "I'm using this, I have to use this."


First impression:

Wrike bumped Asana off of the list. Which I have to say I found to be pretty impressive (I'm not easily swayed). When doing my research these companies were usually mentioned together. The decision on who to add came down to two things. My time, who made getting started easier, and which company provided the most value. Wrike is simple and powerful, and it gives the user a sense of absolute control.

Introduction Video- This 2 minute video tells you everything you need to know about the software.

Folders for organization and tagging

Manage Projects by adding start and end dates to begin

Tasks + Subtasks keep track of what needs to be done to reach goals in a timely fashion

Communicate with team members in one place, attach files, and leave comments.

Free to start and only $9.80/month to upgrade

Lasting impression:

If you have ever used a to-do list app like TickTick you can use this to manage a growing team. Although Wrike doesn't provide a unified experience like Slack, I was left convinced it wasn't necessary.

Here's what I mean, direct messages are a preference. Some of you may prefer a more controlled approach when growing a business. Wrike is perfect for that. This app is simple enough to use with contractors and employees at the same time. If that is something you would be interested in, then start using Wrike today by clicking here.


First impression:

CoSchedule has been around for a while now, and I found it interesting to learn they still have one of the best if not the best editorial calendar out there. Here's what they offer:

Content scheduling and publishing. This includes videos under 100mg

Social Media Campaigns associated with corresponding blog posts.

Templates for Social Media Campaigns

"Helpers" which are miniature templates containing captions that can be inserted across all social media channels while creating your campaign.

The calendar layout mimics a desktop calendar made with sticky notes. Everything in your template is lumped together. If you change the date of a particular post everything moves with it. This is the only app on the list to advertise this.

Manage a team. Essentially, you can manage a team of Virtual Assistants or guest bloggers. Set up deadlines, assign projects, and take advantage of the task templates.

14 day free trial

Chrome Extension Available

Lasting Impression:

I highly recommend using CoSchedule to manage and grow your blog.


First impression:

Everyone can fall in love with Trello! This is the simplest of all to understand, and its design makes you want to interact with it more and more. Hidden behind its good looks are some powerful features that simplify every area of your life.

Visual Platform - Cardboard Management System. Add anything, use drag and drop.

Extremely Flexible- You can easily add videos to your board discussions like Slack.

*Can be used as an editorial calendar

Easily manage and communicate with a small team.

Can be used for free and premium options are ridiculously affordable.

When you upgrade, you can use third party apps. Remember when I said everyone can fall in love with Trello? Well, it's true. Developers have made features like Gannt charts available for Trello. You get all of the functionality at a lower price point.

Lasting Impressions:

Once you start using Trello, it will be hard to pull yourself away. Trello is so simple to use and keep organized. You can manage your blog, business, assistants, house tasks, children, and honey-do lists in one place. To try Trello for free click here.

Final Thoughts

These apps are the best out there for anyone looking to be more effective. You can use more than one at a time for different purposes. For instance, I've decided I would use Clickup to organize my projects before inviting a team to join. I came to this decision because I'm confident in my own ability to learn it, but it can become confusing with more people.

Ultimately they all can help boost productivity, and save time by facilitating a streamlined approach to teamwork. When selecting which software to use I suggest you pay close attention to how easy or hard it is to get started.

*You have to be using it for it to work, so be especially picky there.

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