13 Best Productivity Apps: Tools to Make 2022 Your Most Productive Year Yet

13 Best Productivity Apps: Tools to Make 2022 Your Most Productive Year Yet

Nobody has trouble filling their time with things to do. We’re all busy and, frankly, a little overwhelmed. Roughly 38 percent of Americans said they felt too busy to enjoy their lives most of the time, according to a 2018 survey from Pew Research Center. 

The pandemic might have provided a brief respite from the workplace whirlwind many of us face, but as the world begins to return to work, we’re likely to face that old familiar problem: too many things to do, too little time to do them and no time for the things that make life enjoyable.

If wholesale removal of items from our to-do lists isn’t possible, we’re left with the next best solution: to be more productive. In other words, we need to get more done—and done well—in less time. 

There’s an app for that. 

In fact, there are dozens of apps for that. Here are 13 of the best productivity apps to help you make 2022 your most productive and enjoyable year yet.

1. Ayoa

Ever feel like your mind is so cluttered that you need a map just to find your way? Ayoa can help. This app combines mind mapping and task management. Divide big tasks into smaller ones and plot them along a custom, AI-powered mind map. Suited for busy individuals and small teams, Ayoa also comes with all the features you’d expect in a project management platform: sharing, deadlines, task prioritization, chat and more.

Ayoa offers a one-week free trial that includes all features. From there, plans start at $10 per user per month and come with discounts as you add more users.

  • Trustpilot: 4.3
  • Apple: 4.4
  • Google Play: 4.7
  • Aggregate: 4.5

2. Todoist

In a world of Google Docs and learning Zoom etiquette, pen-and-paper to-do lists leave a lot to be desired. Todoist aims to give users everything they’re missing when they’re looking for a napkin to write their tasks on. Recurring tasks, delegation, comments, calendar integration, kanban-style productivity visualizations and subtasks are some of the most notable features of Todoist. 

Todoist’s basic features are free for everyone, but more advanced users will pay $3 per month. For teams, Todoist is $5 per month.

  • Trustpilot: 4.1
  • Apple: 4.5
  • Google Play: 4.8
  • Aggregate: 4.5

3. Trello

Deceptively simple and infinitely customizable, Trello has redefined kanban project management. Each user or project gets its own board; columns on the board define the stages of a task’s completion; and tasks are put into “cards,” which look a lot like sticky notes. The boards, columns and cards can contain whatever you like, but the process remains the same: The cards flow from column to column until they are complete and leave the board. 

Trello’s free plan offers a large number of features. For larger teams or those who need additional features, paid plans start at $5 per user per month.

  • Trustpilot: 4.3
  • Apple: 4.5
  • Google Play: 4.5
  • Aggregate: 4.4

4. ClickUp

ClickUp has taken the world of productivity apps by storm, boasting enterprise users as large as Google and IBM. The app has designs on being “One app to replace them all,” and by the look of it, they’re getting there. Diverse integrations with other workflow apps, task management, internal documents, real-time chat and around-the-clock live support make ClickUp a contender in any battle for best productivity app.

The app is free for personal use, and prices for teams start at $5 a month per user. More advanced, and more expensive, plans come with more advanced features.

  • Trustpilot: 3.9
  • Apple: 4.5
  • Google Play: 4.7
  • Aggregate: 4.4

5. Basecamp

Basecamp is an oldie but a goodie in the project management sphere. Thanks to regular updates and an intuitive user interface, Basecamp has staying power. The app caters to remote teams with features such as shared scheduling, doc and file sharing, project boards with activity timelines and automated daily check-ins.

The free version of Basecamp is meant for personal use, but teams of any size can get Basecamp for $99 per month.

  • Trustpilot: 3.9
  • Apple: 4.2
  • Google Play: 4.7
  • Aggregate: 4.3

6. Pocket

The biggest threat to deep focus is distraction. All those articles you read and videos you watch every day wreck your ability to get things done. Pocket has an answer for that. This app allows you to save any article, video or other piece of content from any app in one central place to read or watch later. In other words, you put all that great content in your pocket for later while you focus on the tasks at hand.

The save-for-later functionality of Pocket is free, but if you want to create a permanent content library, the ability to highlight parts of articles and tag-based content suggestions, you’ll want to opt for a paid account at $4.99 per month.

  • Trustpilot: 3.3
  • Apple: 4.7
  • Google Play: 4.8
  • Aggregate: 4.3

7. Toggl Track

If you can’t measure your productivity, how will you know when you’ve improved it? Measurement is key, and Toggl Track can help you do that quickly and easily. It’s a time tracking app that can automatically track your usage of every app and browser window or track specific periods of time via manual tracking. A handy reporting feature and integrations with more than 100 workflow apps make Toggl a versatile productivity tool for busy professionals.

Up to five users can use most of Toggl Track’s features for free, but larger teams and those who want more advanced features like native integrations will need to go premium. Paid accounts start at $9 per month.

  • Trustpilot: 4.5
  • Apple: 4.7
  • Google Play: 3.3
  • Aggregate: 4.2

8. Stay Focused

You may start your day with great intentions: Stay focused, get everything done and go home to relax. But when it comes down to it, you find yourself scrolling, swiping and tapping on apps and websites that have next to nothing to do with your work. Stay Focused may be just the self-control boost you need. This app lets you block websites and apps during particular times of the day, set limits for daily usage and track your time in particular apps. 

Stay Focused is a free app, although it does offer some in-app purchases.

  • Trustpilot: 4.4
  • Apple: 3.5
  • Google Play: 4.5
  • Aggregate: 4.1

9. Brain.fm

How many apps hold patents on science-based methods of creating music that improves focus? At least one. It’s called Brain.fm. It’s not just for focus—the app also plays music tuned for sleep, meditation and relaxation—but focus music will be the draw for productivity hounds. 

Brain.fm costs $6.99 per month or $49.99 per year.

  • Trustpilot: 3.8
  • Apple: 4.0
  • Google Play: 4.4
  • Aggregate: 4.1

10. Slack

Quick, effective communication has a lot of benefits, but perhaps the biggest benefit it provides in the modern workplace is that it can eliminate time-wasting meetings. If solving problems via quick messaging was at war with endless, pointless meetings, Slack would be leading the charge. That’s because Slack sets the standard for collaborative messaging with a slick and simple interface and a wide variety of integrations that help teams communicate better.

A Slack workspace for a small team will run you around $7 per month, depending on whether you pay annually or monthly. 

  • Trustpilot: 4.2
  • Apple: 43.9
  • Google Play: 3.9
  • Aggregate: 4.0

11. Asana

Even world-changing achievements are the result of hundreds or even thousands of small tasks. Asana understands that and has created an app that puts all your tasks where you can see them, grouped under their larger goals and broken down by deadline dates, priority levels and a variety of other metrics. It’s fast and simple, and when used right, it sends team productivity through the roof.

Basic Asana features are free for small teams and individuals, but larger teams and those that want advanced features like automated workflows will need to upgrade. Upgraded accounts start at $10.99 per user per month.

  • Trustpilot: 2.7
  • Apple: 4.4
  • Google Play: 4.7
  • Aggregate: 3.9

12. Podio

In a sea of project management apps, Podio stands out because it’s customizable. It’s not just customizable with different skins or what you can name each section of the app—it’s truly customizable. That means you can make Podio what you need it to be: the perfect productivity app for your unique needs. It comes with a ton of premade apps you can put to work right away, but if there’s something else you need, you can build it with new Podio apps and custom integrations.

Workspaces, apps and task management are free for up to five people, but Podio packs more features into its paid plans, which start at $7.20 per month.

  • Trustpilot: 2.6
  • Apple: 3.4
  • Google Play: 4.6
  • Aggregate: 3.5

13. If This Then That

If you didn’t have to do so many little, repetitive tasks every day, you could probably be a lot more productive. That’s what If This Then That (IFTTT) is betting on. Using what IFTTT calls “Applets,” you can link two or more apps together to make them work with each other automatically. The formula follows the name: If X happens in one app, then X happens in another. A real-world example might be something like, “If I get an email with an attachment, upload the attachment to Google Drive.” The time-saving possibilities are virtually limitless.

You can create up to five Applets for free, but after that, IFTTT charges $5 per month for 20 Applets and $10 per month for an unlimited number.

  • Trustpilot: 2.4
  • Apple: 3.5
  • Google Play: 4.7
  • Aggregate: 3.5
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Alex Lindley is a freelance writer and editor based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he lives with his wife, son, dog and cat. He loves working with words, whether that happens in print journalism, SEO, poetry manuscripts or pretty much anywhere else. Find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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