free tools to increase productivity
Photo by Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash

Increase your productivity at work with these free tools

You cannot mandate productivity, you must provide the tools to let people become their best.

Steve Jobs

Getting things done with precision provides a feeling of great satisfaction. Tools that help you achieve your tasks faster and with accuracy can soon become indispensable for your work. In this blog post we would like to provide a list of tools we use on a daily basis and have come to depend on.

Trello

Trello in action

Want to manage a project and collaborate with multiple people or just want to simply keep track of your tasks and create a simple task list? Well look no further than Trello, its incredibly simple to use and has a generous free plan to get your started. It is based on the Kanban philosophy and its visual drag-n-drop style will get you organized in minutes. Create boards for your projects or even break down large projects into multiple boards. It is for you to decide how to go about organizing you work or project.

Slack

Slack in action

Still communicating with your team members using emails? Or using Whatsapp for business / work messaging? Its time you tried Slack. It provides you ability to create multiple groups (channels) as per the teams in your organization, send files, search messages and so much more. Their free plan stores 10,000 of your team’s most recent messages and allows 10 third-party or custom integrations as per you workflow. Slack allows access on possible channels web app, mobile app and desktop app.

Sharex

Sharex in action

Many a times you need to take screen shots of your desktop and send them to your team mates or clients. While operating systems come with their own short cuts to do so. ShareX enhances that by allowing you to capture a certain region, record a gif or video of your desktop, draw and add text on your screen shots and so much more. It also comes with a set of useful little utilities within it like a color picker, thumbnail creator, QR code and lots more. For all the functionality this swiss army knife of a tool is a fairly light on your systems resources.

Anydesk

Anydesk screen shot

Need to share your screen with a client or team mate? Look no further than Anydesk. It is desktop application and really a small download < 4MB in size. Anydesk has low latency and fast data transmissions even on low speed internet connections. Makes it really simple to share your screen and collaborate with one or multiple users.

OneNote

One note website

A notepad for your thoughts, ideas, to-dos, information with ability to sync between all your devices. This free tool by Microsoft has fast become the digital notebook of choice for users of all types. Using OneNote you can create multiple notebooks. Each notebook can contain multiple sections and each section can contain multiple pages. This structure allows you store and organize your information as per your preference. You can also store and share your OneNote notebooks on your OneDrive account which comes free with a Microsoft account.

Paint.net

Paint.net in action

Paint .net provides advanced features of image editing free of cost in their Classic release. This desktop application comes with features like layers, special effects, unlimited history and other powerful tools in a simple user interface.

Canva

Canva in action

Canva is a great tool to create stunning designs which come perfectly sized to share on your social handles. Canva provides great starter templates to create flyers, brochures, presentations or even business cards. The gallery within Canva has a host of free images which can added into your design. It also comes with a graph maker to create custom charts or diagrams in minutes.

Freemind

Freemind in action

A great alternative to writing long documents is to create a mindmap. Mindmaps can be as detailed as any document but significantly easier to read. Freemind is an easy to use, open source tool to create mindmaps. Want to learn how to create mindmaps? How to use Freemind to create mind maps

Stayfocused

Stayfocused browser plugin

Unable to keep focused on your work while using your computer? Do you find yourself browsing Facebook, catching up on Instagram, watching YouTube or reading your Twitter feed instead of working? StayFocusd is a productivity extension for Google Chrome that helps you stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the rest of the day.

Unsplash

Unsplash website

Need images for your designs or presentations for work or just need some plain old inspiration? Stunning photographs are available here for free usage. They request you to provide a link if you download an image but its not mandatory to do so.

Google keep

Google keep in action

While Google Keep does all the other things that most note taking apps do. Like making a to-do list, organizing your notes and adding reminders. What differentiates it from the rest, are cool features which Google has added like converting your speech to text, extracting text from handwritten notes and tagging photos for quick searching. These features give Google Keep an edge over most other note taking applications.

Docusign

Docusign website

Need an alternative from printing documents and then physically signing them? Docusign allows you digitally sign your documents. Docusign's free plan allows you to sign as many documents as you want digitally. You can easily access all of your signed document from their secure cloud storage as well. As long as your counter party agrees you can stop wasting paper and printer ink completely and helping the environment in turn by adopting Docusign.

Pocket

Pocket website

Find yourself getting distracted at work due to an interesting article that some one sent you? Pocket it and read it later. The pocket application allows you bookmark your articles, discover interesting articles and even read them offline. Works seamlessly between devices save an article via your desktop and read it on your phone later.

Launchy

Launchy website

Open a file or an application with a simple shortcut on your keyboard. Launchy creates an index of your installed programs, documents, folders and bookmarks. Once you have Launchy installed you might never need to open the start menu or look for icons on your desktop. Yes, you can finally delete the clutter from your desktop now 😊

Boomerang

Browser plugin for email productivity

Boomerang is like an assistant to help you manage your Gmail inbox. Using Boomerang you can schedule emails to be sent at a particular date and time. You can de-clutter your inbox but not lose track of important messages. Setup reminders for follow-ups that need to be done within a specific time frame. If you are a heavy Gmail user then using the Boomerang plugin is definitely worth your while to increase your productivity with emails.

Grammarly

Grammarly browser plugin

The Grammarly plugin for Chrome integrates with Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google docs and more. Basically, all the places where you need to write long for textual content. It's not just a spell check tool which is typically based on a dictionary, but also suggests updates to your grammar, writing style and tone.

Calendly

Organize your calendar using Calendly

Sending emails back-and-forth to setup a simple meeting? Try Calendly to schedule your next meeting. Setup your date and time preferences in Calendly, share your Calendly link via email or Whatsapp and let your attendee pick a date and time that works for them. Calendly can also be integrated with your existing calendar application. Their free tier lets you schedule unlimited events and create a personalized link for sharing.

Todoist

Todoist website screen shot

Organize your work with Todoist. Create task lists per project, include your team members, assign tasks and keep on top of progress or delays. Todoist comes built-in with a host of templates to provide a jump start with your project. It also allows lets you set a productivity goal and measures you against it. Their free tier is quite generous, it lets you manage up to 80 projects with upto 5 people per project.

Zoom

Video conferencing with zoom

Zoom's free tier provides unlimited 1 to 1 meetings and allows you to host up to 100 participants on a video conference but limits the meeting time to 40 minutes. It is one of the best video conferencing solutions available and is really easy to setup a video conference on Zoom. Get back the time wasted travelling for meetings for more productive work.

WeTransfer

Transfer large files with ease

Need to share large files with associates or team mates without cluttering your mailbox or theirs? Look no further than WeTransfer. Its a simple to use service which allows file transfers up to 2 GB in its free tier. As a bonus they also have a really cool collection of stories about creativity from around the world collated on their site too - Get inspired.