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Last Updated on December 1, 2020

10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

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10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

Productivity is the ability to perform tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In today’s busy and competitive business world, productivity is paramount for any business, organization or corporation.

Productivity is more than just performing tasks successfully. It is about investing and allocating resources, so the company or business can perform to meet its core goals.

As part of 2019, it is important to commit to new goals. When shopping around for new productivity software keep in mind the following things: cost, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, on the go, technical support, etc.

In the subsequent sections, we will examine the most recommended productivity software in the marketplace. In addition, we will look at what makes them tick and what separates them from the rest of the pack.

Projects and Tasks Management

1. Monday dot com

    Monday dot com was founded to create a team management solution so people connect to workplace processes across any industry. The productivity tool is used in more than 140 countries.

    The user interface is intuitive and impressive. It makes collaboration productive and fun because of its simplicity.

    The tool is deemed to have one of the best user experiences across the mobile and online project and task management platform.

    The product includes usability, customization, admin control, group management and control, private or public control, in-group messaging and more.

    Check out the software here!

    2. Asana

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      The mantra behind Asana’s product is to enable teams from across different organizations to work together effortlessly.

      The software comes with lots of customizations. When you create a project as a user, you can choose between a traditional task view and the kanban-style board view. The dashboard allows you to see the progress on a project, and it includes an excellent advanced set of search tools.

      Also, Asana’s Android and iOS apps do retain the web interface’s clean look and feel.

      Check out the software here!

      3. Trello

        Trello was founded in the summer of 2010 and two years later the platform added 500,000 members. Anyone within sales, marketing, HR and operations can collaborate successfully with this product.

        Moreover, the tool has over 100 plus integrations with Google Drive, Slack, Jira and others. The product works flawlessly across various platforms.

        Some of the well-known features includes is speed, easy-to-use, and set up. The interface includes due dates, assignments, file storage, checklists and more.

        Check out the software here!

        4. Jira

          The Jira software is flexible and heralded as the next-generation project.

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          The software allows teams to design and adapt the software to an organization’s needs. This includes having visibility into long term goals, project roadmaps, status of work, real-time release information and more. In addition, the interface is customizable.

          The Atlassian Cloud does not support multiple separate domains, subdomains or domain aliases in Google Apps.

          Check out the software here!

          5. Evernote Business

            Evernote was founded in 2008 and reached 11 million users by 2011. The company was founded on the premise that their product should address the ever-increasing volume and speed of information.

            The product helps bring together groups of teams because of versatility and functionality. It creates documents, collaboration on projects, store information all a single location.

            Moreover, you can find information quickly and includes effective search capabilities and integrations with existing tools you may already use.

            Check out the software here!

            Communication

            6. Slack

              Slack was founded in 2013 and the tool is heralded as a collaboration hub. Slack is where productivity happens. When you start a new project, hire new staff, deploy a code, review a sales contract, finalize on a budget, Slack covers all of these. Some of the major highlights include highly customizable notifications and seamless integrations with other collaboration and office tools. The free version of the software comes loaded with features, but does not archive old message. So, you have to review what are the best options for your organization or business.

              Check out the software here!

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              7. Spike

                Newcomer Spike makes emails more conversational by helping teams maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. All of these are achieved from within their inbox.

                Spike works on top of any existing email (O365, G suite, and IMAP) turning it into a real-time messenger and making your communication much more functional and efficient.

                Spike’s features include built-in groups and channels, voice and video calls, email encryption, instant access to all your files, and much more.

                Check out the software here!

                Creation

                8. Office 365

                  Microsoft’s Office 365 could not be excluded from the conversation and especially as it pertains to productivity software.

                  Of course we are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But there is more capabilities that come with it.

                  You have business-class email, online storage space, and teamwork solutions. These services can be accessed from just about anywhere.

                  Within this suite is Microsoft Sway, which is a presentation software and a step above PowerPoint.

                  Check out the software here!

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                  9. Grammarly

                    Grammarly helps to cut down time on editing. Professionals in several industries like law, healthcare, academia, marketing, engineering and journalism use it to provide instant feedback on the accuracy of writing in English.

                    Once you install the extension from Google Chrome, you can get corrections when you are drafting an email, using social media and other apps.

                    Grammarly is AI powered and it’s a wonderful tool to have to check spelling and grammar before a presentation.

                    Check out the software here!

                    Team Analytics

                    10. ActivTrak

                      ActivTrak is a business intelligence tool that allows you to access team behavior analytics. In other words, it is data-driven.

                      The pros include two-factor authentication with active directory integration. You can also automate your alerts and it has an intuitive interface with easy-to-use admin controls.

                      Furthermore, it comes with Google sign-in, iOS app, productivity track, and more. The bottomline is the product offers employee productivity metrics along with team behavior analytics.

                      Check out the software here!

                      The Bottom Line

                      Depending on the size, budget, resources, and immediate needs of your company, not all productivity software will exactly solve your problem. You will have to contact any of the providers above and probe extensively to find the right product that is made for your business.

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                      More Productivity Tools

                      Featured photo credit: Domenico Loia via unsplash.com

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                      Anthony Carranza

                      Multilingual writer and journalist covering all things technology and productivity.

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                      Last Updated on September 9, 2021

                      10 Best Productivity Planners To Get More Done in 2021

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                      10 Best Productivity Planners To Get More Done in 2021

                      Productivity planners and journals are tools of a trade. There’s an art to productivity. Just like art is very personal to the artist, productivity is very personal to the person. What works for you may not work for me. This is an important distinction if you really want get more done in less time.

                      Too many of us dabble in productivity hacks only to move on to the next tool or trend when it didn’t workout for us, missing the lesson of what worked and didn’t work about that tool or trend.

                      We put the tool on a pedestal and miss the art. It’s worshipping the paint brush rather than the process and act of painting. We miss the art of our own productivity when the tool overshadows the treasure.

                      As an artist, you have many brushes to choose from. You’re looking for a brush that feels best in your hand. You want a brush that doesn’t distract you from your art but partners with you to create the many things you see in your mind to create. Finding a brush like this may take some experimenting, but when you understand that the role of the brush is to bring life to your vision, it’s easier to find the right brush.

                      Planners are the same way. You want a productivity journal that supports you in the creation of your vision, not one that bogs you down or steals your energy.

                      Let’s dive into the 10 best productivity planners and journals to help you get more done in less time.

                      1. The One Thing Planner

                      The NY Times best selling book, The One Thing, just released their new planner. If you loved this book, you’ll love this planner.

                      As the founder of the world’s largest real estate company Keller Williams Realty, Gary Keller, has mastered the art of focus. The One Thing planner has its roots in industry changing productivity. If you’re out to put a dent in the universe, this may be the planner for you.

                      Get the planner here!

                      2. The Full Life Planner

                      The Full Life Planner is Lifehacks’ ultimate planning system to get results across all your core life aspects including work, health and relationships. This smart planner is 15 years of Lifehack’s best practices and proven success formulas by top performers.

                      With the Full Life Planner, you can align your actions to long term milestones every day, week, and month consistently. This will help you to get more done and achieve your goals.

                      Get the planner here!

                      3. The Freedom Journal

                      Creator of one of the most prolific podcasts ever, Entrepreneur on Fire, John Lee Dumas released his productivity journal in 2016. This hard-cover journal focuses on accomplishing SMART goals in 100 days.

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                      From their site:

                      “The Freedom Journal is an accountability partner that won’t let you fail. John Lee Dumas has interviewed over 2000 successful Entrepreneurs and has created a unique step-by-step process that will guide you in SETTING and ACCOMPLISHING your #1 goal in 100 days.”

                      Get the planner here!

                      4. Full Focus Planner

                      Michael Hyatt, author of Platform and host of the podcast “This is Your Life”, also has his own planner called the Full Focus Planner.

                      From the site:

                      “Built for a 90-day achievement cycle, the Full Focus Planner® gives you a quarter of a year’s content so you aren’t overwhelmed by planning (and tracking) 12 months at a time.”

                      This productivity planner includes a place for annual goals, a monthly calendar, quarterly planning, the ideal week, daily pages, a place for rituals, weekly preview and quarterly previews. It also comes with a Quickstart lessons to help you master the use of the planner.

                      Get the planner here!

                      5. Passion Planner

                      They call themselves the #pashfam and think of their planner as a “paper life coach”. Their formats include dated, academic and undated in hardbound journals with assorted colors. With over 600,000 users they have a track record for effective planners.

                      From the site:

                      “An appointment calendar, goal setting guide, journal, sketchbook, gratitude log & personal and work to-do lists all in one notebook.”

                      They have a get-one give-one program. For every Passion Planner that is bought they will donate one to a student or someone in need.

                      They also provide free PDF downloads of their planners. This is a great way to test drive if their planner is right for you.

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                      Get the planner here!

                      6. Desire Map Planners

                      If you’re looking for a more spiritually oriented planner, Danielle LaPorte, author of The Desire Map, created the Desire Map Planners. With Daily planners, Weekly planners and Undated planners you can find the right fit for you.

                      Behind this planner is the Desire Map Planner Program including 3 workbooks that not only support you in using the planners but guide you in your thought process about your life and intentions you’re using the planner to help you fulfill.

                      Get the planner here!

                      7. Franklin Covey Planners

                      The grandfather of all planners, Franklin Covey, has the most options when it comes to layouts, binders, and accessories. With over 30 years in the productivity planner business, they not only provide a ton of planner layouts, they also have been teaching productivity and planning from the beginning.

                      From the site:

                      “Achieve what matters most with innovative, high quality planners and binders tailored to your personal style. Our paper planning system guides you to identify values, create successful habits, and track and achieve your goals.”

                      Get the planner here!

                      8. Productivity Planner

                      From the makers of the best selling journal backed by Tim Ferriss, “The Five Minute Journal”, comes the Productivity Planner.

                      Combining the Ivy Lee method which made Charles Schwab millions with the Pomodoro Technique to stay focused in the moment, the Productivity Planner is both intelligent and effective.

                      It allows for six months of planning, 5-day daily pages, weekly planning and weekly review, a prioritized task list, Pomodoro time tracking, and extra space for notes.

                      From the site:

                      “Do you often find yourself busy, while more important tasks get procrastinated on? The Productivity Planner helps you prioritize and accomplish the vital few tasks that make your day satisfying. Quality over quantity. Combined with the Pomodoro Technique to help you avoid distractions, the Productivity Planner assists you to get better work done in less time.”

                      Get the planner here!

                      9. Self Journal

                      Endorsed by Daymond John of Shark Tank, the Self Journal takes a 13 week approach and combines Monthly, Weekly and Daily planning to help you stay focused on the things that really matter.

                      Self Journal includes additional tools to help you produce with their Weekly Action Pad, Project Action Pad, the Sidekick pocket journal to capture your ideas on the go and their SmartMarks bookmarks that act as a notepad while you’re reading.

                      Get the planner here!

                      10. Google Calendar

                      You may already use Google Calendar for appointments, but with a couple tweaks you can use it as a productivity planner.

                      Productivity assumes we have time to do the work we intend to do. So blocking time on your Google Calendar and designating it as “busy” will prevent others from filling up those spaces on your calendar. Actually using those blocks of time as you intended is up to you.

                      If you use a booking tool like Schedule Once or Calendly, you can integrate it with your Google Calendar. For maximum productivity and rhythm, I recommend creating a consistent “available” block of time each day for these kinds of appointments.

                      Google Calendar is free, web based and to the point. If you’re a bottom line person and easily hold your priorities in your head, this may be a good solution for you.

                      Get the planner here!

                      Bonus Advice: Integrate the 4 Building Blocks of Productivity

                      Just as important to productivity planners as the tool are the principles that we create inside of. There are 4 building blocks of productivity, that when embraced, accelerate your energy and results.

                      The four building blocks of productivity are desire, strategy, focus and rhythm. When you get these right, having a productivity planner or journal provides the structure to keep you on track.

                      Block #1: Desire

                      Somehow in the pursuit of all our goals, we accumulate ideas and To-Do’s we’re not actually passionate about and don’t really want to pursue. They sneak their way in and steal our focus from the things that really matter.

                      Underneath powerful productivity is desire. Not many little desires, but the overarching mother of desires. The desire you feel in your gut, the desire that comes from your soul, not your logic, is what you need to tap into if you want to level up your productivity.

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                      A productivity planner is just a distraction if you’re not clear on what it’s all for. With desire, however, your productivity planner provides the guide rails to accomplish your intentions.

                      Block #2: Strategy

                      Once you’re clear on your overarching desire, you need to organize your steps to get there. Let’s call this “strategy”. Strategy is like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. You must first turn over all the pieces to see patterns, colors, connections and find borders.

                      In business and life, we often start trying to put our “puzzle” together without turning over all the pieces. We put many items on our To-Do lists and clog our planners with things that aren’t important to the bigger picture of our puzzle.

                      Strategy is about taking the time to brain dump all the things in your head related to your goal and then looking for patterns and priorities. As you turn over these puzzle pieces, you’ll begin to see the more important tasks that take care of the less important tasks or make the less important tasks irrelevant.

                      In the best selling book, The One Thing, the focusing question they teach is:

                      “What’s the One thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else is easier or unnecessary?”

                      This is the heart of strategy and organizing what hits your planner and what doesn’t.

                      Block #3: Focus

                      With your priorities identified, now you can focus on the One Thing that makes everything else easier or unnecessary. This is where your productivity planners and journals help you hold the line.

                      Because you’ve already turned over the puzzle pieces, you aren’t distracted by new shiny objects. If new ideas come along, and they will, you will better see how and where they fit in the big picture of your desire and strategy, allowing you to go back and focus on your One Thing.

                      Block #4: Rhythm

                      The final building block of productivity is rhythm. There is a rhythm in life and work that works best for you. When you find this rhythm, time stands still, productivity is easy and your experience of work is joyful.

                      Some call this flow. As you hone your self-awareness about your ideal rhythm you will find yourself riding flow more often and owning your productivity.

                      Without these four building blocks of productivity, you’re like a painter with a paintbrush and no idea how to use it to create what’s in your heart to create. But harness these four building blocks and find yourself getting more done in less time.

                      The Bottom Line

                      Your life is your art. Everyday you have a chance to create something amazing. By understanding and using the four building blocks of productivity, you will set yourself up for success no matter which planner, or “paintbrush”, you choose to use.

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                      As you experiment with different planners you will narrow which one is best for you and accelerate your path to putting a dent in the universe.

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                      Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

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