When searching for the best productivity software, you come across 3 types. The first is timers and time management software, the second is to-do list or checklist software, and the third is brainstorming/planning and note organizing software.
Let’s take a look at the first category; the timers software. We tried several products in this category. Here’s a breakdown of the best ones:
- Compact Timer: A very Â useful timer tool, includes timer and countdown stopwatch, you can add several timed tasks and save their settings, for example you need to time 1 hour of work then 10 minutes of break, you can add them and then switch between them. The design and UI is simple and straight to the point. You can download Compact Timer here.
- Xnote Timer: Includes a timer and a stopwatch, and the best thing about it is that you can select “always on top” so you can constantly see it and see your time progress. It’s very tiny and unobtrusive, and it looks good too. Simple and straight to the point. You can download Xnote Timer here.
- Cook Timer: A simple and easy to use timer. You can select 1 of the preset time intervals or specify your own, and it gives you an alarm when your specified time’s up. You can download Cook Timer here.
The best productivity software in this category would be Compact Timer and Xnote Timer because they have both timer and countdown functionalities.
Let’s now take a look at the second category; the to-do list software. We also tried several products in this category. Here’s a breakdown of the best ones:
- Veedid Desktop To-Do List: The simplest to-do list tool. Create your to-do list, check out your done tasks. You have the ability to color code your tasks. Very simple interface.Â You can download Veedid Desktop To-Do List here.
- ToDoList: Similar to Veedid above, but has more functionalities. You have the option to set priorities to your tasks, as well as time each task. It also has filters that help you filter out your tasks by type and status. ToDoList can be used in a simple way by regular users, or in a complex way by complex users who need more customization. Â You can download ToDoList here.
- Grindstone 2: It’s the to-do list that has the best task timing functionalities. Although you can’t set task priority, you can time tasks, and it has a very handy timer similar to Xnote Timer that we mentioned earlier. The timer can stay on top, and you click on it to change what task you are currently doing. Very handy to keep track of every minute of your day. Furthermore, if you leave your computer and return to it later, it asks you what you were doing so you can track the lost time. Has several reporting functionalities. This tool makes you not want to waste time. Finally, Grindstone gives you the ability to set rates for tasks, so it’s a great tool for freelancers who charge by the hour. They can know exactly how much to charge. You can download Grindstone 2 here.
- Project Manager .NET: This software is more of a full project management software than a to-do list tool. It can be a bit too complex for the average user. It’s most useful for project managers who are working with teams and need to assign different tasks to different users. They can monitor and track everything they need with the multi-functionalities. Everything is customizable. There are several reporting functionalities. You can download Project Manager .NET here.
The best productivity software in this category would be ToDoList and Grindstone 2 because they have to-do list functionalities as well as timing functionalities. You can use these tools simultaneously instead of using the timer software we mentioned earlier, unless you need a countdown timer tool.
Finally, in the brainstorming and note organizing software category, we tried the 2 biggest names: OneNote and Evernote. Here’s a breakdown of each:
- OneNote: If you usually write down ideas in notepad txt files or sticky notes and scatter them all over your desktop, this program will rid you of all those scattered notes. OneNoteÂ let’s you store all your ideas and notes in one place. It’s the perfect organizer. It’s very easy to learn and very intuitive to use. It also has clipping functionalities useful for research, and has checklist functionalities to create to-do lists, and has many other powerful functionalities. A definite must-have. OneNote usually comes with Microsoft Office, click here to visit their official website.
- Evernote: Has a steeper learning curve than OneNote. It looks more complicated. The UI could be simpler. It does have real good sharing functionalities. Its advantage over OneNote is that Evernote is free! You can download Evernote here.
The best productivity software in this category would definitely be OneNote. After trying OneNote and experiencing its simplicity and power, I honestly didn’t feel like I needed to bother looking for other notes software since OneNote already provided me with all the functionalities I needed. It was intuitive, easy to learn and use, looked good, and was very useful.
Conclusion: The best productivity software are ToDoList, Grindstone 2, and OneNote. Using them simultaneously would definitely help you become more productive at work, and will definitely make your work easier.
Let us know what you think; what are the best productivity software?