Streamline your workflow and organize your tasks with these apps that can help you create the perfect system for you and your team.

/ 18 September 2020

The process of searching for apps and tools to help us work more efficiently is a slippery slope where we “accidentally” take more time than necessary to put in the research, instead of actually getting any work done. Only to justify it to ourselves with the label of “progress” and “productivity” to soften the blow of the harsh truth we’re trying way too hard to deny: it’s another excuse for us to procrastinate.

Anyone who is highly dependent on their gadgets, from laptops and smartphones, when it comes to productivity knows that feeling all too well, especially since there’s so many apps and platforms to choose from online.

To help you get started, here’s some of our favorite productivity tools available to use on your browsers and phones, and how you can best utilize them to maximize your group or individual work. The best part? It’s all free.


Trello Boards are a great way to divide and organize tasks, especially for those who enjoy making lists. Think of it as the traditional exercise of putting sticky notes on makeshift calendars or tables, or brainstorming activities where you visually put items under certain categories and labels. It can really be transformed to fit any purpose, depending on what works best for you.

Each card under each list can also be fully customizable with an individual checklist, due date, label, tagged members, file attachment, and more. Essentially, Trello is a visual collaboration tool that is perfect for teams working together remotely, but it’s also a very powerful personal organizer just for you.

Available on: web, desktop (Mac and Windows), and mobile (App Store and Google Play Store)


Dropbox Paper

We’re all familiar with the storage capabilities of Dropbox, but not a lot of people know that the tech company also has its own document-centered platform, Paper. Marketed to also be a collaborative workspace for teams, this particular platform has a very smooth and clean interface designed with everything you need to get started, without the visual distractions.

Make to-do lists, tag team members, set deadlines, create tables and timelines with just a few clicks. This one is particularly handy when you just want to kickstart your project without the need to set up categories, or the like. Items under headlines are also collapsible for a more organized experience, and to help you zero in on the task you need to accomplish.

Available on: web, desktop (Mac and Windows), and mobile (App Store and Google Play Store)

Google Keep / Apple Notes

These two are perfect for those who just really want to get into it with the tools they already have. If you’re an Android or Apple user, the Google Keep or Notes apps should automatically be installed in your devices, respectively. You might already be using these platforms to jot down random reminders or notes throughout the day, but there’s so much you can now do on these apps that can help you streamline your work.

Similar to other major productivity apps, Google Keep and Apple Notes now allow users to create checklists, attach files, organize folders, and other more distinct features. The best thing, though, is that you can also access these files on your other devices so long as your e-mail addresses are synced. Google Keep can be accessed through your Gmail, and the Notes app should also be automatically installed on any Apple device.

Available on: web, desktop (Mac and Windows), and mobile (App Store and Google Play Store)


To be completely honest, Notion is pretty overwhelming at first — which is why it’s the last entry to this list. But once you get the hang of it, it’s truly an all-in-one platform that effectively combines everything we love about all the platforms mentioned above. The flexibility and customizability on Notion are so widely stretched, that people have used it to set up digital galleries, archive systems, journals, portfolios, reading logs, and even personal websites that are accessible to the public, but can be locked to avoid unwanted edits.

The first thing you need to do is to create a “page”, and then start from there. You can go ahead and type whatever, or insert a table, gallery, list, calendar, or board wherever you want — in-line, or linked to a separate page — and organize further by color coordinating the text and background.

You can also switch between work and personal accounts depending on what you need, and although there are added and unlimited features on the paid versions, the free access is already very much packed with several powerful tools. (Notion has its own YouTube account that has guides for each feature and how best it can be used for your needs, so feel free to check that out after this article!)

Available on: web, desktop (Mac and Windows), and mobile (App Store and Google Play Store)

Honorable mentions: Everyday apps you can actually use to be productive:


The best way to integrate these apps in your life is to sync them in your device calendar for notifications and reminders on what deadlines you have coming up. Of course, this can get pretty hectic if your phone keeps vibrating to nudge you on your progress, especially when you just want to shut it out. So be responsible, but not to the extent of stressing yourself out.


Put in time blocks throughout your schedule to allot the amount of time you need to focus on a task. Set an alarm for when you need to take a break, or when you need to get back to work, and be more efficient in time management.

Music apps

This depends on your productivity when listening to music. If you’re someone who can’t work in complete silence, try creating a playlist of instrumental or lo-fi tracks to play in the background. Streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music also have playlists created by the community perfect for any situation.

Remember, there’s no “one size fits all” system in productivity. Find the platform and workflow that suits your preferences and needs the best, and get those projects started (and finished)!