Apps may not seem significant enough to make a major impact on your day-to-day operations, but when you find that one app that just solves all the pain points you didn’t even know you had, you can then 10x your productivity and work smarter, not harder, while powering through your day. This article rounds up 10 of the best productivity apps that are essential for entrepreneurs and business owners. If you’re looking for that app that’s going to help you work smarter, you’ve come to the right place.
10 Best Productivity Apps for Entrepreneurs
In our 20 Smartphone Apps to Manage Your Business on the Go article we discussed the best productivity apps to have on your smartphone, but these are the 10 best productivity apps you can download straight to your desktop. Some of these are web apps you can also use from your browser, but we recommend downloading their native Mac or PC apps for full productivity and capabilities.
There is no other app like CloudApp that works so efficiently and effectively in all aspects of screen capturing and recording. This is one of the best productivity apps you can use for your business because it will maximize the effectiveness of your team’s communication (or any communication you do with any person you touch base with throughout the day) by tenfold.
CloudApp simplifies visual communication which is essential for teams that need to communicate clearly and quickly with one another. Capture screenshots and make annotations, create screen recordings to share with your team, add notes and comments onto other captures your team has created and download and share straight from the cloud.
This app will boost your productivity by saving you the time and effort of typing out emails or scheduling calls to explain any edits you need done to a project by powering you with the tools and sharing capabilities to communicate with videos, recordings and screenshots. Their pricing models are very accessible, so we suggest trying this app out to see what it can do to optimize your business communication.
The importance of using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) cannot be overstated, and as we discussed in our How to Bulletproof Your Online Business article, it becomes even more imperative when you’re not only dealing with your own information, but your customers’ as well.
Using a VPN is essential, and ProtonVPN is the best VPN service we’ve used thus far. As VPN services should, they route your internet traffic through an encrypted VPN tunnel so your confidential information stays safe, but what makes them stand out from other VPN providers is that they’re based in Switzerland which has some of the world’s strongest privacy laws which help protect your data even further and they also offer a free version of their VPN service which is subsidized by the paid users. Their free plan still safeguards your information the exact same way it does for the premium plans, it just lacks some of the premium features.
ProtonVPN is one of the best productivity apps you can use for your ecommerce business because it’s a simple and cost-effective way to take action on protecting sensitive information and data that’s not only your own but your customers’ as well.
Taking notes, writing documents, creating captions and jotting to-do lists are still very much a part of entrepreneurs’ day-to-day tasks, and although many of us may not physically be writing every note down with a pen and paper, we continue to make notes digitally. Bear is a note-taking app for iPhone, iPad and Mac, and although it does take notes, it does so much more than just that and it does it very well.
Bear is a sophisticated note-taking app that gives you the tools to write beautifully on your devices, and it lets you manage your notes your way. Its service is flexible, which makes it ideal for almost every person no matter how, when, where and why you like to make and take notes.
Use hashtags in Bear to organize your notes, link bodies of work to one another for easy reference, use focus-mode for a no-distractions way to concentrate while you write and create everything from a simple to-do list to full-blown essays. Not only are the writing capabilities top notch, but Bear offers beautiful themes and typography options so your notes can match your vision.
Bear is one of the best productivity apps you can use for your business because no matter how you write or how your writing needs to be presented, Bear gives you the tools to make it happen and they make it easy to achieve. They offer a huge list of features that blow other writing tools out of the water, and their pricing model is extremely accessible for entrepreneurs at any price point.
Product Hunt Toolbar Widget
As an entrepreneur or ecommerce business owner, part of maximizing your own productivity comes from staying up-to-date with new innovations in the industry, especially when it comes to new products, tools, apps and services that can help you run your business better. Product Hunt is a service that highlights the best new products, apps and resources every day, and so their Product Hunt Toolbar Widget is a top recommendation on this list of best productivity apps.
The Product Hunt Toolbar Widget makes it even easier to stay in the know with what the latest products and resources are, and as a business owner who needs to maximize their time, using this toolbar can help you find the best new products every day without taking up too much of your time.
Install the Product Hunt App into your toolbar and start checking out what they curate every day. If you’re anything like us, you’ll find at least one cool new product or resource every day that you want to try out for your business.
If you’ve read our Content Strategy: The Ultimate Guide to Preparation, Production, Publication & Promotion article, then you’ve already seen us gush about AirTable and why it’s one of the best productivity apps. Essentially, AirTable creates smart spreadsheets, and although that may not sound fun nor interesting, it’s completely changed our business, and our productivity, for the better.
AirTable is the ultimate planning, sharing, scheduling and collaboration tool and it takes everything that makes spreadsheets boring and inefficient and turns them into works of art.
AirTable spreadsheets include smart features like checkboxes, single and multiple selection options, date and time optimizations, currency functions, URL linking, attachment dropboxes, image storing and so much more. Plus, create multiple tabs in each AirTable base and inter-connect tabs to one another for easy access to information while you navigate.
AirTable also offers calendar views and kanban view functions, plus users can share AirTable bases with others and embed AirTable bases into web pages. The capabilities of AirTable are astonishing, and it’s truly one of the most powerful tools we’ve used and one of those game-changing tools that we don’t know how we worked without.
For a full look into how we manage our content strategy with AirTable and to get a glimpse into the capabilities of AirTable spreadsheets, check out our Ultimate Guide to Content Strategy article.
Slack is another one of the best productivity apps we’ve ever used, not only for its communication functions which help our team connect across continents, but also for its integration capabilities which make it so much more useful to us than it just being a team member chat room. We discussed the 7 integrations we use with Slack in our 7 Ways to Use Slack to Manage Your Online Business article, so if you’re interested in learning more about how and why we use integrations in Slack, check out that article.
With Slack we can get an overview of our business at a glance and see information reported from our integrated apps such as when our content gets shared and mentioned across social platforms, when sales are made across our different businesses, our site status to monitor up and down time, the ability to view and respond to customer support requests from our help desk software without having to actually log into it, and so much more.
Slack helps us keep tabs on our business easily and in one place, which helps us efficiently recognize when tasks need to be attended to and when situations need to be handled if issues arise. It helps us keep a birds-eye view on our business at all times and, for that reason, it’s one of the best productivity apps on our roster.
We discussed the importance of optimizing images properly in our Optimizing Images for Web: A Practical Guide article because it directly impacts website speed which can majorly affect overall SEO. Images are one of the best ways you can whittle down your site speed because it’s easy to do and something you can stay on top of by using the right tools.
One of the best tools to use in this case is ImageOptim. It’s made our list of the best productivity apps because it’s one of those services that just works, and it makes reducing your image file sizes simple, even for those of us who aren’t experienced in this field.
To use ImageOptim to reduce your image file sizes, simply drag and drop your image files into the app and it’ll crunch them down into a more efficient file size without reducing any of the image’s actual quality. It’s free to use, so download it for yourself and try it! Your images will look the same but it can make major improvements to your site’s overall speed, so you have nothing to lose.
One of the best productivity apps any business owner can use is a digital expense tracking software, and one of the best in the industry is Neat. Your business’ finances are the heartbeat of the company, and keeping a close eye on them is important for the longevity of your business. To keep it from taking up too much of your time, Neat simplifies your bookkeeping so you can focus on other things.
Use Neat to organize receipts and invoices, manage expenses, reduce manual data entry, and get real-time visibility into your business’ spending, sales and expenses. With Neat’s suite of tools, you can oversee your business’ financial health more clearly and it makes filing and reporting income more efficient as well.
Every business needs some sort of accounting process, and Neat is a productivity app that takes the pressure off your day-to-day financial management systems.
To-do lists are one of those tried-and-true productivity methods that never go out of style, simply because they work and they help get the job done. Take your paper to-do lists to the next level with Todoist, and create a more advanced list-management system not only for you but for the people you work with.
Todoist can be used individually or in teams, and it’s designed exclusively to help users get more done. It’s one of the best productivity apps on the market, and one of the best digital to-do list apps around, because of its user-friendly interface and reliable features.
Manage to-do lists with teams, create individual lists for each member, assign reminders and due dates, track daily and weekly progress, manage project to-do lists separately, easily move around and toggle tasks, check tasks off as they’re completed, add notes and links, flag tasks by priority and so much more.
With Todoist you can make sure you never miss a thing and that you stay on top of everything you need to accomplish in the day, week or month without constantly having to keep everything on your mind. Create smart to-do lists for yourself in Todoist and watch your productivity improve.
Being more productive is easier when the space around you is clutter and junk-free, and that applies not only to your physical space but your digital space as well.
Many of us entrepreneurs and business owners use Apple computers to conduct our work online, and so to keep your computer optimized for productive work, we recommend using MacClean. MacClean is a service that helps Apple computer users organize their digital space by cleaning out all the extra files and functions that aren’t needed so you can do more with your Mac.
If you can’t locate files easily on your computer or have to dig through a few folders to find the items that you’re looking for, then this service is for you. This service is also important for business owners to use because it protects your personal data from malicious threats by cleaning up cookies, caches, sessions, history and saved passwords from your internet browser so your personal and professional details aren’t at risk.
You could take the effort to conduct Mac cleaning manually, but that’s not a productive use of your time. MacClean takes the tediousness out of the process by making it a one-click productivity app to clean, optimize, and protect your computer.
Since this article is all about apps, turn your own website, or your favorite website, into an app with Web2App. This service turns any website into a native Mac or PC app so you can access frequently used websites or URLs more easily.
Save time searching for and switching between different websites by creating native apps for your favorites. Not only can you turn your own site into an app, but you can do the same for other sites like social media platforms, messenger software, or even for the productivity apps we’ve mentioned in this article! The options are endless, and it’s super quick to do.
Turning your top-used websites into native apps on your desktop can take the hassle out of searching for them manually every time you want to use them, and it makes for a much more efficient experience overall. Check out the sample apps on their homepage to see what their service is capable of.
There you have our full roundup of the best productivity apps you can use for your online business. Take the time to browse through these apps and get a sense of how they can make your day-to-day operations more efficient. These apps have changed the way we work for the better, and we’re sure they’ll do the same for you.