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20 Expert-Recommended Tech Tools To Boost Professional And Personal Productivity

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The right tech tool can make all the difference when it comes to productivity, and nobody knows that better than tech industry leaders. We’ve all heard the phrase, “There’s an app for that,” but it’s still surprising how many daily tasks and needs can be addressed with technology (often for free or at minimal cost).

From managing daily to-do lists to powering lifetime learning to staying in touch with colleagues—and much more—a variety of apps can help us more easily navigate our personal and work lives. Here, 20 members of Forbes Technology Council share the tech tools they’d recommend to help anyone boost their productivity.

1. Apple Notes

I am a big fan of Apple Notes. They’re very handy, especially the way they are shared and available on my iPad (which I use with Apple Pencil), iPhone and Mac all at the same time. This enables me to jot down my thoughts whenever I want. – Syed Talha Masood,

2. Audible

My favorite productivity hack is listening to books at 1.5 times speed. I use Audible to listen to all sorts of business and professional growth books as well as content on other interesting topics. My daily regimen includes getting up early, exercising and feeding my brain with Audible goodness (all of which I learned from a book, The 5AM Club). – Darren Guarnaccia, Uniform DXCP

3. ChatGPT

ChatGPT is a versatile tech tool that can help boost productivity in a multitude of ways. It can assist users with ideation, aid them in comprehending complex texts, and provide translations and explanations for non-native English speakers. With ChatGPT, the possibilities are endless. – Ashmeet Singh Rekhi, Luminai

4. Clockify

Clockify is a great tool for tracking how you spend your time. People are often pulled in many directions at work. Using Clockify can paint a helpful picture of when you’re most productive and where you’ve overspent your time. After a few weeks, analyze where and how you spend your time so you can make improvements. – Syed Ahmed, Act-On Software

5. Evernote

One tech tool I’d recommend to help consumers and professionals boost their productivity is Evernote. It’s a versatile note-taking and organization app that allows users to capture, store and access their ideas, to-do lists and important information across multiple devices. – Mehmet Akcin, EdgeUno

6. Fireflies

I’ve been trialing a number of AI tools in my daily life, and have found Fireflies to be the most useful. It records all my calls, makes all the content searchable and creates minutes of meetings. It lists all the follow-up tasks and creates follow-up tasks in Asana. You just need to be careful you aren’t discussing anything too commercially sensitive (kick it out of the call if you are). – David Francis, Virtual Method

7. Focus@Will

Focus@Will is incredible. Based on science, the site has a collection of music you can choose from that helps block unproductive and distracting thoughts from your mind, allowing your brain to focus on a desired task. I’m not sure how it all works, but when I need to get something done, it helps every time! – Katherine Manuel, House of Blueberry

8. Grammarly

Grammarly has been an absolute game-changer. As a service agency, mastering client communication is key for us. We need to be mindful of tone and ensure the documentation we write is error-free. We also create a lot of educational and promotional content, all of which requires proofreading and editing. With Grammarly, it’s done in a couple of clicks with no prompting skills. – Konstantin Klyagin, Redwerk

9. Headspace

The Headspace app is invaluable for individuals looking to boost their productivity, emotional awareness and overall well-being. The app offers meditation and mindful listening exercises through which users can develop enhanced focus, open monitoring, active listening and self-compassion. Additionally, it provides visualization techniques and leadership skills activities to boost creativity. – Kiran Bhujle, SVAM International Inc.

10. Microsoft Excel

When it comes to versatility, no tool comes near Microsoft Excel. Non-tech professionals in accounting, HR, sales and marketing can do wonders with Excel. You can get started within minutes, and there is no end to how much you can learn—there’s a whole lot of highly useful stuff that you will discover even after years of using Excel. – Vinayak Joglekar, Rezoomex

11. Monday

As a busy co-founder, I love using Monday for project management. It’s simple, powerful and customizable. It integrates with other apps we use, including Slack and Google Drive. I highly recommend Monday to boost productivity. – Kevin Lehtiniitty, Fortress Financial Technologies

12. OneNote

OneNote is a fantastic way to organize your thoughts and formulate a plan. Planning your day is crucial in order to achieve desired outcomes. Each day, think about what you are trying to accomplish and create a plan in your Microsoft Outlook. Allocate time for each task to get closer to the goal, and have fun with it! – Lana Vernovsky, Synoptek LLC

13. RescueTime

I’d recommend RescueTime, a time-management tool that helps you understand and optimize how you spend your time. It runs unobtrusively in the background, tracking the time you spend on different applications and websites. It provides detailed reports and insights, helping you identify distractions, set goals and develop better time-management habits. – Margarita Simonova, ILoveMyQA

14. Slack

As a remote-first company, we find Slack essential for collaboration and staying connected. It’s not just the tool, but how the organization uses it. We’ve established norms for purposes of channels, use of threads and reply time expectations. We also use Slack to foster community through channels covering pets, kids and even #dadjokes. Slack has become an essential tool for getting our workdays aligned. – Kate Eberle Walker, Presence

15. Spark Mail

A good email platform is invaluable. I have four different email addresses, and I need to have all my calendars and emails synced so I don’t lose track of important messages (I wanted to try to be superhuman). In addition to a Mac and an iPhone, I also use a Windows PC, and I have found that Spark Mail serves my needs extremely well. I can sync everything between my Mac, PC and iPhone, and it has many features that help me get to inbox zero. – Sergio Tang, Vivela

16. Structured

Structured is one of the best productivity tools I’ve used in recent years. Basically, this program allows you to create tasks and build a visual representation of your day ahead. I love this tool because it helps me stay focused and plan my day based on how long each task will take. I highly recommend trying the free version of Structured if you use iOS. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

17. YouTube

I’m constantly amazed at how much great content is available for free on platforms such as YouTube. Almost any topic you can think of—home repair, financial advice, smart ways to do almost anything better—has dozens of videos from all types of sources. Professionals and amateurs, entertainers and lecturers, technical and non-technical—there are thousands of personal coaches, so you’re sure to find one who meets your needs. – Luke Wallace, Bottle Rocket

18. Calendar App (Google Calendar; Calendly)

Google Calendar and Calendly are user-friendly tools that can boost productivity. Google Calendar makes it easy to manage events, set reminders and share availability, while Calendly simplifies appointment scheduling. These tools help users effortlessly organize their personal and work lives, leading to increased efficiency and better time management. – Anton Abyzov, Softgreat

19. Password Manager (BitWarden; 1Password)

I’d recommend a password manager such as BitWarden or 1Password. Password managers securely store and autofill your login credentials, eliminating the need to remember multiple passwords for different accounts. This can save you time and reduce the risk of security breaches caused by weak passwords. – Nicolas Vidal, Global Task

20. Task Management App (Trello; Asana; Todoist)

One tech tool that I would recommend to help boost productivity is a task management app. There are many options available, but some of the popular ones include Trello, Asana and Todoist. These apps allow users to create and manage to-do lists, set reminders, assign tasks to others and track progress. They can help users stay organized, prioritize tasks and ensure deadlines are met. – Vamsi Gosu, TechForce Services

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