The 8 Best Tools for Productivity in 2017

It’s no secret that it’s hard to be productive these days–whether it’s an ad playing loudly on Spotify, or logging onto your Facebook app every five minutes, there are an infinite number of distractions to keep you from being productive at work. Instead of spending half an hour on a work task, it ends up taking an hour, and you lose not only time but the momentum that makes you excel at your responsibilities. Whether your job’s in at a remote cyber security company or as an architect, it’s easy to get distracted.

Luckily for you, there are plenty of new, exciting tools that can help you be more productive. Read on to learn about the many ways you can improve not only at work, but in your personal tasks, too!

1 Evernote

Evernote is all about making you more productive by helping you organize everything you’re working on. This means files, notepads, and any other information you need. Because it’s on the cloud, you can access any of your work materials from anywhere–and allow access to other people on your team, as well. According to PC Mag, ‘In terms of functionality, Evernote remains one of the best note-taking and syncing services.’ You can try out a free trial if it works for you, before committing to paying monthly fees.

2 Momentum

Love your Apple gadgets? Whether it’s your iPhone, AppleWatch, or Mac, the Momentum app is a habit tracker that helps you check off your goal habits every single day. By sending you reminders, app badges (which show you what’s left on your to-do list for the day), and allowing you to personalize your scheduling preferences to weekly targets or specific days, you’ll be able to keep track–and feel motivated to complete–everything on your list. Free and paid versions are available.

3 Toggl

Just because Toggl is a simple app doesn’t mean that it isn’t an effective one. By simply keeping track of how long tasks take you, you’ll be able to better plan when to do them and when to take necessary breaks. Toggl also works on almost any device, which means that it can be used by almost anyone. If you’re a freelancer, you’ll definitely want to use Toggl, as it’ll simplify your invoicing processes significantly.

4 Moleskine’s smart writing set

Are you always taking extensive notes in every staff meeting? Then you should consider investing in Moleskine’s smart writing set. While you’re drawing, writing, and sketching with your Moleskine pen into this smart notebook, this product will automatically and digitally convert everything for you–which means that you can later download, email, and print them as necessary.

This is an especially useful tool if you don’t want to seem rude staring at a screen while meeting one-on-one with your boss–but you’ll still be able to access all that information on your computer later.

5 Zapier

Zapier is a product that simplifies and automates many of the complex tasks that usually take you a long time to complete. It’s astounding how much time this can save not only for an individual but also for an entire business. There’s a reason why reviews are so good: a technology manager even called Zapier “a lifesaver!”

6 PDF Expert

If you’re in the kind of business that’s always using PDFs–you’re in publishing, for example–and you often find yourself needing to extract pages, combine documents, edit texts, and annotate and sign them, you should consider investing in PDF Expert. The fact that you can use this app on the iPhone or iPad is definitely an added plus.

7 Google Drive

Google Drive–not only is it free, but it’s one of the most useful tools that any company, especially a remote team, can use. Google Drive makes it easy to organize your files and share them–and this means all kinds of files, including pictures, videos, Word files, Excel files, and PDFs. In addition to being free, because Google Drive is on the cloud, it automatically backs up all your work and makes it accessible from anywhere.

8 1Focus

If you’re one of those people who finds yourself constantly distracted by social media platforms like Facebook anytime you open the browser on your computer–well, 1Focus is the app for you. Basically, you’re able to block websites of your choosing for a chosen amount of time, which means that you’ll be able to focus all of your energies on the task at hand. 1Focus is especially useful for freelancers and remote workers.

Bonus: SurveyAnyplace

The quiz or survey you just created is chameleon-like: it adapts to every device and environment you put it in. iOS or Android, phone or tablet. Embed in your native app, on a tab on your Facebook page, in your web app. These days, if it’s not all about the data, it’s at least going to be affected by it! They make it easy to collect timely, relevant data, quickly and efficiently. And, they make it easy to access and analyze that data. With instant respondent uploads you can keep to yourself or share with a wider audience. Graphically or via text, by question or by respondent.

As you can see, there are many ways that you can make yourself productive at work–even in 2017, when there are so many distractions out there to keep us from focusing on the task at hand. Whether you’re working on a remote team, at an office, or as a freelancer, finding the right productivity tool will help you become more successful at work–and happier, too.

Melissa Thompson
Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.