There are a lot of fantastic productivity apps out there that cost a decent chunk of change like OmniFocus, Things, Microsoft Office Suite, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t free alternatives that are just as good or even better.
You can essentially become a productivity machine without spending a penny (except for an internet connection that is). Here are 26 free productivity apps to help you get things done.
- Remember the Milk
Remember the Milk has been around for quite some time and with the revamp of there iPhone and Android app after the iPad app design, RTM offers the user a simple yet powerful toolset for managing to-dos online.
I have been a Toodledo user on and off for about three years and it’s still one of the best to-do apps online. The iOS apps aren’t free, but the web app is and it’s top notch, especially after the redesign.
Catch is a cool free app that lets you collect your ideas fast and then share them with others. Catch also has a cool clipper button that you can put on your own site to clip an article inside a user’s catch account.
Springpad has turned into a something that you can store notes, web clips, video, links, pretty much everything with and create notebooks for yourself or to share with others.
- Todo.txt (CLI)
If you are a geeky type and have a file named todo.txt (like the good man, Randy Pausch), then you might be geeky enough for Todo.txt. Todo.txt is a free command line tool that allows you to interact with a todo.txt text file to get stuff done.
If you can’t stand the though of giving Microsoft more money, but want a full bore office suite, then OpenOffice may work for you. Documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and even databases await.
- Google Docs (Drive)
One of the best tools for collaborating on writing projects while in school. Almost everyone has a Gmail account, it’s free, and the collaboration features are awesome. Make documents, presentations, and spread sheets.
Once again, if we need to tell you why you need an Evernote account (again), then maybe it’s just not for you. If you want notes, pictures, documents, voice memos, links, etc. synced across the web and multiple operating systems, then please check it out.
Still the best free email account and web app around. Tons of storage and great integration with other Google services.
If you need to work in a team on tasks and projects, we here at Lifehack highly recommend Asana for that. The web interface is clean, fast, and easy to use with a team.
Orchestra is another great project and to-do list manager that is made for teams and can even be used for personal use.
These teamwork apps are all the rage right now and do is another beautiful and highly functional free team based to-do list app. According to do’s site you get free unlimited tasks, projects, and users forever.
Doit.im is a little know gem of a to-do and project manager. There is a free web, iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac, and Windows app that syncs your to-dos everywhere.
It’s pretty (I never thought I would say that about a Microsoft product), it’s fresh, and it’s a great way to use email online. Outlook.com is Microsoft’s newest web email client and I highly recommend it.
- Office Web Apps
The new Office Web Apps Preview from Microsoft is great. You can create Word, Excel, PowerPoints, or even OneNote notebooks that you can sync with the OneNote app on iOS.
Need 5GB of free backup storage for pictures, video, or any other file? Box.net has you covered. Also you can get iPhone, iPad, and even an Android client to view files on the go.
Crashplan is a free and paid backup service that will work on all major platforms. The free service can be used to backup locally and even offsite.
Dropbox is the glue that holds my life together and is the base of my entire productivity system. Get 2GB for free and start using Dropbox to keep your files everywhere you are.
I’ve used FileZilla for years on Mac, Linux, and Windows. It’s a dependable way to shuck and jive your files around via FTP.
Not necessarily an app, Markdown is the only way that I write for the web anymore. There are so many apps that support Markdown, but if you want to simply convert a plain text file to HTML, you can use John Gruber’s script.
I remember when I got my first Android phone on Verizon (The Motorola Droid) and Astrid was the only passable to-do list application. It’s changed a lot since them as it now supports teams, but it’s still a fun to-do app to use.
One more to-do and project management application. I like Producteev’s idea of “workspaces” and I feel that there tagging systems is pretty good too.
If you don’t have a password manager yet, go download Lastpass right now and start using it. Password managers are a necessity if you are doing any type of anything on the web, and Lastpass does password management well.
Mindmapping is one of the best ways to get your ideas down fast and then start to connect them together. The interface isn’t the nicest, but FreeMind is a powerful and full featured mindmapping app for Windows or Mac.
- Google Calendar
You have to keep your day in order. The best web calendar is Google calendar, hands down. Keep your day there.
Your time is precious, but it’s hard to know what to change in your day when you don’t know where your time has gone. Use RescueTime for Mac or Windows to help identify where and when you are slacking.
Do you have any other free productivity apps that you use that didn’t make it to the list? Let us know in the comments.
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