Being productive at the office is a great feeling. Not only does getting more done help you earn more money, but it also increases your sense of self-worth and pushes you to get even more done, making your biggest goals more possible than ever.
However, while we all know how great it feels to be productive, the reality is that it’s much easier said than done. Staying on task and knowing what we need to do can be a real chore, and when we’re not productive, it’s really easy to get down on ourselves.
Fortunately, the world of apps is here to help. With so many people trying to be more productive, app developers have gotten busy designing tools we can use to get more done. But with so many to choose from, it can be hard to know which ones are worth it.
To help save you time (and give you more chances to be productive!) here is a list of the best office productivity apps in 2023:
Before we dive into the best office productivity apps of 2022, it’s important to remember what these apps are even supposed to do. Identifying these criteria helped us determine which apps to include on the list and which ones weren’t worth our, or your, time.
While no app can do everything, here are some of the features and functions we looked for while creating this list of the best office productivity apps:
Now that we’re clear on what office productivity apps can and should do, let’s dive into our list of the best in 2022. As we mentioned, no app can do it all. But a combination of the ones on this list should have you getting more done in no time.
When it comes to office productivity apps and software, it’s still really hard to beat Microsoft, the long-standing leader in this area.
Continuously updated, the Microsoft Office Suite still stands out as the best. Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel still provide the most amount of features of any app of their kind, and when you keep everything in the Microsoft ecosystem, the integration possibilities are endless.
For example, you can easily share and collaborate on documents, and because everything is also integrated into Microsoft Outlook, the company’s signature email client, you can also communicate with colleagues about what you’re working on, schedule meetings, provide updates, and much, much more.
You’d think that by now someone would have stepped up and replaced Microsoft as the leader in office productivity software, but the reality is that they remain at or near the top.
A close competitor to Microsoft is the G Suite, Google’s family of productivity apps.
When it comes to collaboration, Google takes the cake. Files are super easy to share with colleagues and can be quickly and easily added to emails. Plus, with all of Google’s editing tools, multiple people can easily be working on something at the same time, reducing lag time and improving users’ ability to work together.
Everything on the G Suite integrates through your Google account and Gmail, which makes it super easy for those already operating in the Google ecosystem. And Google has also put a lot of effort into its Google Meet software, making a video chat easier, more intuitive, and less invasive on your network, all of which make for a more streamlined and enjoyable experience.
If you’re managing a large group of people or a big project, Asana is one of the best apps you can use. With this app, you can easily create several different boards and add all the relevant people to them.
From there, you can assign tasks, set due dates, and monitor the progress of the work being done. It integrates well with Microsoft Office and G Suite programs, so you can quickly and easily share files and collaborate on them.
What’s also nice about Asana is that it lets you plan things out in advance. You can assign multiple tasks, but they won’t become available until something else is done first, which makes it much easier for teammates to organize their workflows and know what needs to be done next as they finish their assigned work.
If you’re looking for something a little leaner than Asana, Trello is a great option. This app works using “columns,” which you can customize for your needs. In each column, you can add “cards,” which are usually used to detail tasks.
As work gets completed, colleagues can drag cards from one column to the next, tagging people and adding them to the cards as needed.
This is really great for teams doing things such as content creation. As each member does their part, they can move the project along, keeping all the relevant information in one place and making it super easy for the next person to know when it’s their turn to get something done.
Trello also integrates really well with several other apps, such as Google Docs, Slack, and even time tracking and billing apps such as Toggle or Clockify. This way, if you have contractors, they can easily record their time, and you can also quickly and easily figure out how much time each part of your project is taking.
Calendly is an unbelievably simple app, but it’s super useful and effective at helping people manage time. Think of it as a virtual secretary. You set up your calendar how you want, and then you can send people who need to meet with you a link. They will be able to see what time you are available and then can schedule something with you directly.
It saves so much of the “when works for you” stuff that can take ages to get through, especially when one or more parties aren’t able to be immediately responsive. There’s nothing worse than waiting several days to figure out what time you’re meeting with someone. Calendly solves that in a super simple way.
One of the biggest obstacles to our productivity is staying on task. Between our phones, our emails, the view outside, and everything else, it’s so easy to get pulled off task.
RescueTime tries to help you improve on this by keeping track of how you spend your time. You install it on your web browser and it’s able to track when you’re working uninterruptedly. It also keeps track of what you’re working on and alerts you when you start to get distracted.
All of this provides really valuable data. After some time, you can go back and look at how you spent your time. You’ll often be surprised at how easily you got distracted. But don’t get distracted. Just use this as information and change up your alerts so that you can get back on track.
Before you know it, you’ll be able to switch up your habits and get way more out of your time.
Although we like to think we have the self-discipline to stay focused on what we need to do, the reality is that we often don’t. StayFocused helps combat this by limiting the amount of time you spend on time-wasting and distracting apps, such as social media.
Of course, you get to decide what these apps are, and you also get to set your own time limits. But if you take this seriously and use the app the way you’re supposed to, you can start to get a handle on your distractions and can get into a flow state more often, helping you get so much more done.
How much time do you think you spend sorting through and reading emails? If you’re an average American worker, then the answer is around five hours per day. That’s an astronomical number, and one that points to just how much time is wasted in our working lives.
Of course, some emails are necessary and important, but a lot aren't. SaneBox tries to help with this by checking your email for you. It will use its AI reader to identify important messages, block annoying senders, and remind you to respond to things you may have forgotten about.
Furthermore, you can set up a “Do Not Disturb” mode that will mute your inbox for a time, which is super useful when you need to get something done and want to get rid of any distractions.
As we said earlier, there’s nothing quite like an old-fashioned to-do list. Todoist is essentially this old-school productivity hack but on steroids.
It allows you to set reminders, track progress, include team members, and much more. Plus, it integrates with some other productivity apps, such as G Suite and Microsoft Office so that you can put everything in one place and make it super easy to know what you need to get done and when.
Time tracking is a super helpful way to manage your productivity. It helps you get a better idea of how much time you are spending on any particular project, and information you can later use to try and identify how you can improve.
What’s nice about Clockify is how you can organize your projects. You can filter them out by project type, client, due date, and more. Because of this, it’s super helpful for freelancers and contract workers.
Everhour is another really useful time tracking app. But one thing it does differently is that it integrates with billing software, such as PayPal and Quickbooks. This allows freelancers and contractors to quickly and easily invoice for their work, which can be a huge time saver, especially for those managing multiple gigs at once.
When you're focused and working hard, your brain begins emitting what are known as gamma waves. These are the fastest and shortest frequency brain waves out there, and they’re what we’re all after.
However, while your brain emits these waves when you’re focused and concentrating, you can reverse engineer this by exposing your brain to sounds, rhythms, and beats meant to stimulate these gamma waves.
If you need to get something done and are having trouble focusing, skip Spotify and try Brain.fm. It uses all the latest research in neuroscience to produce sounds specifically designed to help you get and stay focused so that you can get done what you need to get done.
In today’s digital world, we all have about a million different accounts. And because it’s the smart and safe thing to do, we usually have different passwords for all of these accounts.
But what we gain in security we lose in convenience. How many times have you gone to log into an account only to find you don’t remember the password? A lot, we’re guessing. And then you have to waste 5-10 minutes trying to remember it before finally deciding to reset it, only to forget it again and run into the same problem the next time you want to use that account.
LastPass solves this problem by saving all of your passwords for you. Google and Mozilla will do this for you, but LastPass is extra secure as it's double encrypted. All you have to do is set a master password and install the browser extension on your computer, and you’re good to go.
Another nice feature is that LastPass lets you share passwords with other people safely and securely. So if you need to give someone access to one of your accounts, you don’t have to provide them with your password, which keeps you even more protected from the many cyber threats that are out there.
Gamification, or the process of turning things into a game, is a super effective way to train yourself in new behaviors. Forest takes that concept and simplifies it so much it doesn’t seem like it would work. But it does.
With this app, all you have to do is “plant” a tree when you want to start getting something done. Then, leave the app open. As time goes on, the tree will begin to grow. But if you exit the app before it’s had the chance to reach a certain height, the tree will die.
The goal is to try and make a forest, which means you’ve managed to stay away from your phone for long enough for multiple trees to grow. Since our phones are such major sources of distraction, this can be an incredibly effective tool.
Smartphones are getting smarter every day. One super helpful thing they can do now is capture text from images. With ABBYY Finereader, you can do this with astonishing speed. Have a printed document you want to edit? Just take a picture and it will soon be available to you on a .doc file that you can easily edit.
ABBYY Finereader can also easily convert PDFs into docs without messing up the formatting, and it can also easily convert files into JPEGs. It’s a super simple concept, but it takes a challenge many of us have when working across multiple file formats and solves it rather effectively.
So there you have it: the best office productivity apps of 2022. While these apps stand out from the sea of options available, we’re sure new ones will soon appear. And when they do, we’ll be here to review them for you and find the most effective ones. Until then, let’s get to work!