As the planning and productivity geek that I am, I couldn’t not write a post about the best productivity tools.
I have used many in my personal life and whilst running my small business, and they’ve made my life incredibly easier.
But I’ve also discovered some new ones that I’m really looking forward to try for myself. So let’s dive right in and discover the 20 top productivity tools you should try this year.
Best free productivity tools to try in 2022
I think Asana literally became my best friend a few years ago. I was researching it for a client, and then I fell in love with it.
This is a project management software that helps you stay on track with all your tasks, see what projects you’re working on, manage your calendar effectively, and get things done.
It’s perfect whether you work in a team or on your own, and the best news is that the free version is everything you need to get started!
If you want to read my full review of Asana, check this out!
This app is so cool! I used it for the first time years ago when I was volunteering in a team at church, but things have been upgraded since then!
Evernote allows you to take notes for whatever you might be working on in all different areas of work and life. You can write specific tasks for each note, put a deadline when they’re due, and also get reminders.
Another great feature is that it can sync to your calendar so you can see what’s going on in multiple places and avoid overbooking yourself.
If you use the browser extension on the desktop, you can also clip articles that you find useful so you don’t have to search for them again but you’ll have them right there when you need them.
Another great productivity tool is Todoist. This seems to be a mix between Asana and Evernote, but basically, it’s another platform that allows you to work on your to-do lists, organise them efficiently, set deadlines, and get reminders.
You can also sync the app to your calendar so you have everything in one place, you can add tasks to the app via email, and also see productivity trends based on your performance.
Another project management software, Notion helps you stay on top of your tasks, share and collaborate with others, and organise your work in board style.
You can also upload files to help you in your work, and even choose from different templates so you can organise your workspace based on your preference.
You can choose to have a gallery view if you want to upload images to go with your tasks and make it more visually appealing too!
RescueTime is a really cool time management tool that helps you stay focused and get work done.
You set a daily focus goal, and based on that, the software will track your performance as you work on your computer.
RescueTime helps you avoid getting distracted, and then you also get a cool view of your overall performance based on what the software tracked.
It will even notify you when you’re getting distracted or start multitasking; basically, you’ll have accountability at your finger tips!
Another project management tool, but this is better suited for individuals rather than teams.
If you’re a fan of the Kanban method, then this might be the best tool for you, as it works primarily with that system.
The free version is quite good as well, and they have a really cool thing called ‘power-ups’ where you can basically add plugins to personalise your experience and make it work for your preferences.
If you think of the word automation, Zapier should come to your mind!
This mindblowing tool allows you to sync over 5,000 apps so that you can automate your workflows and save yourself precious time, it can’t get more productive than this!
With Zapier, you’ll be able to save email attachments straight to your Google Drive, or add a new contact to your mailing list based on their interest in one of your social media platforms.
Basically, you can either create your own workflow or use the ones already made, personalise them with your needs, and let Zapier do its magic! All that you’d be manually doing in your team or small business, gets automatically done by the platform.
Have you ever come across an article online that you found interesting but didn’t have time to read it then? Maybe you had to copy the link somewhere or you forgot where you found the article?
Pocket has the solution to this! This really cool productivity tool helps you save (or basically bookmark) articles you like, and keeps them on the app so it’s a space free from distractions that you can come back to when you’re free.
If you’re on the move, you can even listen to the articles you saved through the Pocket app.
Strides is likely going to become your best friend, because it helps you set SMART goals and track your habits every day.
You know I’m always raving about setting goals the right way, so I love this tool!
You can use Strides to create your daily routine, track your progress, and see your performance over time. The interface is so straightforward and easy to use, that I have no doubt you’ll immediately love it!
This is possibly one of the simplest designs you’ll find online, to help you boost your productivity for free!
The E.gg Timer is literally just it; you go on the website, set the timer you need (it provides some good suggestions for you) and then work until the timer goes off!
One of the recommendations is the Pomodoro technique, which I definitely recommend you try!
I tell you one thing; I wouldn’t have been as efficient in my small business without my good old Calendly.
This platform allows you to schedule calls and appointments with your clients; so you mark your availability on there and they can book a call, based on that when it suits them best.
I initially started with the free version but I saw it as a no-brainer to upgrade as I got more features with it. I was able to schedule automatic reminders to my clients before our calls, schedule more than one meeting to book (for example, I had my discovery calls and my 1:1 coaching calls), and I could add more details to make things even more streamlined.
However, if you’re just getting started, the free version will be great already!
If you’re a small business owner and work with clients, or you work in a team, or you just want to see how efficiently you work, Toggl is the productivity tool for you!
This software allows you to track the time you spend on each activity, so that you can have a clear picture of how you spend your days, as well as bill your clients the fee you deserve instead of overworking and being underpaid.
You can integrate over 100 apps so you can track the time you spend working directly on each different platform.
How much time do you spend trying to remember a new tricky process, or perhaps training new team members or an assistant?
With Loom, this problem is solved! You can record yourself as you explain a process, so you can skip the meetings and save your time.
Not only that, but you can also have transcriptions created to make it as inclusive as possible; the best way to track your SOPs and increase your productivity!
If you’re into gaming, then this productivity tool is for you! Habitica helps you to stay productive and get things done, by turning your tasks into games.
It helps you to track your habits and, based on your performance, you can win rewards or get punishments.
Whenever you tick off a task as complete, Habitica will reward you with gold, which will allow your avatar to buy tools, equipment, and other items you’ll need to play the game.
Google Keep is part of Google’s free tools, and it’s a very user friendly app that allows you to keep track of what you need to do in your day.
You can write down notes, lists, upload photos and also record your voice if you aren’t able to type something.
You can also share your lists and notes with certain people if you want to work on something together so that everyone is on the same page.
Otter is a voice recording tool that allows you to have real time transcriptions so you never miss out on anything important.
Especially when having meetings, Otter can prove to be really helpful so you can fully focus on the meeting, without the need to take notes but also not worrying about missing something.
If you’re interested to pay the Premium version, you can also integrate Otter with other apps you might use for work such as Zoom or Teams, to always keep track of every meeting.
I still can’t believe this incredible tool is 100% free! Clockify is a time management software that allows you to track the time you spend on projects, fill out timesheets if you need to, block your calendar so you can be focused and productive, and keep track of the apps you use.
Not only that, but if you are a small business owner, you can even invoice your clients through the tool, as well as track the expenses and bills.
And if you work in a team, then it’s also a great software to manage your team; what a win!
Ever gone through the pain of forgetting your passwords, resetting them, only to forget them again? Have you ever thought about how much time you waste doing that?
I have, and it’s not fun!
But that’s when a dear friend of mine introduced me to LastPass, and my life was changed forever!
This tool allows you to safely store all your passwords and automatically fills in the login details for you, so you don’t have to remember them or reset your details every time.
You can have a browser extension so it automatically fills in the details, or you can just go on LastPass itself and copy and paste your details every time. Still can’t believe a tool like this is completely free!
I know everyone knows Google Drive, but do you know Google Drive?
As in, do you use it productively or is it just a storage space where you dump everything in no particular order?
I spent a lot of time organising my Google Drive so that things could be in the right place and everything was as streamlined as possible, and I do no regret it!
I save so much time now because everything is in order and I can find what I need quickly without having to search for it.
Trust me, it will be worth the time investment now if it means that it will save you tonnes of time down the line.
Freedom will become the enemy of your distractions! It’s a desktop tool and app that helps you to stay focused on your tasks so you can boost your productivity.
This tool will literally block websites and apps that distract you, so you can focus on the tasks you need to complete and get things done.
You can set up your focus time, select the apps you want to block, and Freedom will do the rest.
Related productivity articles
Final thoughts on the best free productivity tools
I don’t know about you, but talking about productivity tools really excites me and makes me want to use them all!
Now, obviously, I don’t recommend you do that but you should totally try them out and see what works best for you.
As it may have come across from this post, I have a few favourites but I also want to start using a few more.
The most important thing is that you find what works for you, so enjoy experimenting with different productivity tools to become the most productive version of yourself and get things done!