Productivity Tools: Why is it Important to Use Them?

Productivity Tools: Why is it Important to Use Them? | Project Management | Emeritus

According to a 2022 Zippia report, 46% of employees feel that digital tools make them more productive. This belief indicates an increasing demand for productivity tools in businesses because they help increase efficiency, streamline processes, and boost output. That is why organizations look for candidates well-versed in tools that help automate tasks, eliminate manual errors, reduce duplication of efforts, and free up time and resources to focus on higher-value activities.

Multiple productivity tools can help enhance business processes. Let’s look at the most commonly-used options and their pros and cons.

Productivity Tools

Productivity tools refer to software programs, applications, or services that quickly boost individual functionalities or machinery to generate better results. They aim to simplify processes and streamline workflows and include features that help access documents quickly, visualize projects through graphs and charts, and enhance collaborations among individuals. Productivity tools influence the efficiency and output of individuals and organizations to improve productivity and business growth. 

Why is it Important to Use Productivity Tools?

Productivity tools are considered necessary for individuals and organizations because of the following reasons:

Increased Efficiency

Productivity tools automate routine tasks, streamline processes, and eliminate manual errors, freeing up time and resources to focus on higher-value activities. They can increase the overall efficiency of individuals and organizations, helping them achieve their goals more effectively.

Improved Collaboration

Collaboration platform tools, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, enable individuals and organizations to work together in real-time, irrespective of location. The process can improve communication, increase transparency, and reduce duplication of effort, leading to better outcomes.

Better Time Management

Productivity tools allow individuals and organization time management to understanding how they spend their time. This can help identify areas where time gets wasted, prioritize tasks more effectively, and manage time more efficiently.

Enhanced Document Management

Document management tools, such as Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive, help organizations centralize information, reduce duplication of effort, and improve document security. The process can make accessing important information and collaborating on projects easy, leading to better business outcomes.

Increased Productivity

The best productivity tools can enhance overall productivity and output through routine task automation and regular streamlining of projects. They can help individuals and organizations achieve their goals more effectively and efficiently.

Improved Employee Satisfaction

Productivity tools can improve the overall work experience of employees, reducing stress and increasing job satisfaction. It can lead to increased employee engagement and better retention, which is essential for the success of all organizations. 

ALSO READ: How are Product Management and Project Management Different from Each Other?

Commonly Used Productivity Tools

Here is a breakdown of the most commonly used productivity tools.

Self-Productivity Tools

Evernote (Note-Taking)

Features

  • Sync and organize notes to keep them in handy
  • Web clipper feature to save web pages, articles, and screengrabs
  • Customized templates to create faster and more efficient notes
  • Additional to-do features to manage notes
  • Document scanner to keep essential documents in handy
  • Built-in calendar to connect different notes and schedules

Pros

  • One-stop platform for multiple tasks such as note-taking, document storage, task management
  • Available on multiple platforms such as Windows, iOS, Android
  • Flexible integration with other tools, such as Dropbox and Google Drive

Cons

  • Complex to use for new users
  • Search functionality may not be accurate at all times
  • Cluttered interface and slow performance

Pricing

Personal – $2.52
Professional – $3.73

Review 

According to PCMag, Evernote has made its name as an impressive note-taking app. However, it has a comparatively higher price that can prove a roadblock.

Google Calendar (Online Calendar)

Features

  • Helps send invitations to team members, colleagues, collaborators, stakeholders
  • Quickly schedules meetings and events
  • Allows creation of multiple calendars in one go
  • Enables event creation on multiple platforms

Pros

  • Users can access it from anywhere
  • It can be used by individuals, businesses, institutions
  • Easy navigational features
  • Enhanced organization of events

Cons

  • Not accessible without an internet connection
  • Needs mandatory Google signup
  • Difficult to read in case of multiple appointments
  • Allows outsiders to see all activities

Pricing

Free with a Google account
$6/user/month for business starters

Review

According to TechRadar, the Google Calendar is a complete application that streamlines all aspects of scheduling events. Apart from missing a couple of features, it is the perfect lightweight application for everyone. 

Productivity Tools for Work

Dropbox (File Hosting Service)

Features

  • File storage and synchronization across multiple devices
  • Online file sharing and collaboration
  • Automatic backup of files
  • File version history to track changes and restore previous versions
  • Access to files offline
  • Integration with other productivity tools, such as Microsoft Office
  • Secure file transfer with encryption
  • Customizable file access permissions for individuals and teams
  • Mobile app for iOS and Android

Pros

  • Convenient file access and sharing from anywhere 
  • Easy collaboration with team members on projects and documents
  • Automated backup of files for peace of mind
  • Secure file transfer with encryption
  • Integration with other productivity tools
  • Mobile app for on-the-go file access

Cons

  • Limited storage space for free accounts
  • Slow upload and download speeds for large files
  • Potential for system downtime and loss of access to files
  • File size limits for uploads
  • Higher pricing for larger storage plans compared to some competitors
  • Potential privacy concerns with storing sensitive data in the cloud

Pricing
Individuals – $9.99 / month
Family – $16.99 / month
Professionals – $16.58 / month
Standard – $15 / user / month
Advanced – $24 / user / month

Review

According to PCMag, Dropbox is a convenient platform for cloud storage and file sharing, but it falls behind the competition on parameters such as price. 

Calendly (Appointment Scheduling Software)

Features

  • Automated scheduling for meetings and appointments
  • Customizable availability and appointment types
  • Integration with email, calendar, and other productivity tools
  • Email and calendar invite generation for confirmed appointments
  • Option to set up time zones and buffer time for scheduling
  • Customizable reminders for appointments and events
  • Ability to set up recurring events and appointments
  • Ability to add custom fields and questions for scheduling

Pros

  • The streamlined scheduling process for meetings and appointments
  • Increased efficiency by reducing back-and-forth email and phone call scheduling
  • Customizable availability and appointment types
  • Integration with other productivity tools
  • Customizable reminders for appointments and events
  • Ability to set up recurring events and appointments
  • Mobile app for on-the-go scheduling

Cons

  • Limited customization options for the scheduling interface
  • Possible difficulties with time zone management 
  • No option for group scheduling or resource scheduling
  • Additional costs for advanced features and increased usage
  • Potential privacy concerns with shared information

Pricing

Basic – Free
Essentials – $8 / month
Professional – $12 / month
Teams – $16 / month

Review

According to Forbes, Calendly is leading scheduling software that is the best solution for businesses that want to accept appointments easily and reduce administrative scheduling tasks. 

Productivity Tools for Students

Google Drive 

Features

  • Online file storage and synchronization across multiple devices
  • Real-time collaboration and co-editing of documents
  • Integration with Google’s suite of productivity tools
  • Automatic backup of files
  • File version history to track changes and restore previous versions
  • Access to offline files
  • Secure file transfer with encryption
  • Customizable file access permissions for everyone

Pros

  • A large amount of free storage
  • Convenient file access and sharing from anywhere 
  • Easy collaboration with team members on projects and documents
  • Integration with Google’s suite of productivity tools
  • Automated backup of files for peace of mind
  • Secure file transfer with encryption
  • Customizable file access permissions for everyone

Cons

  • Limited file size for uploads
  • Slow upload and download speeds for large files
  • Privacy concerns with storing sensitive data in the cloud
  • Difficulties with data ownership and control when using a third-party service
  • Potential for system downtime and loss of access to files

Pricing
Free

Review

According to PCMag, Google Drive is the fullest-featured cloud storage and sync services with an excellent storage plan. 

Zoom 

Features

  • Video conferencing and screen sharing with multiple participants
  • Audio conferencing with the option to dial in via phone
  • Virtual background options
  • Integration with other productivity tools
  • Option to record meetings and save them to the cloud or local computer
  • Breakout rooms for smaller group discussions
  • Virtual waiting rooms for attendees
  • In-meeting chat and screen-sharing options

Pros

  • In-meeting chat and screen-sharing options
  • Option to host webinars with interactive video panelists
  • Mobile app for on-the-go meetings
  • End-to-end encryption for added security
  • High-quality video and audio conferencing with 1000+ participants

Cons

  • Potential security and privacy concerns
  • Issues with reliability and stability, such as dropped audio or frozen screens
  • Limited functionality for free accounts
  • Complaints related to user interface and navigation
  • Possible difficulties with network and bandwidth requirements

Pricing 

Basic – Free
Pro – $149.90 / user / year
Business – $199.90 / user / year
Business Plus – $250 / user / year

Review

According to Forbes, Zoom works best for small and large businesses and is a competitively-priced platform for everyone. 

Improve Productivity and Skills with Emeritus’ Online Courses and Certification Programs

Productivity tools are essential for individuals and organizations because they help increase efficiency, streamline workflows, and enhance business growth.The significance of these tools lies in their ability to save time and resources, improve communication and teamwork, enhance decision-making and goal-setting, and increase overall productivity.

To help you make the best choice, you must be aware of the various productivity tools to help your team or company use their functionalities. These are particularly helpful in project management and for people who work towards clear goals. You can enroll in Emeritus’ online project management courses to enhance your knowledge of this field. The courses will equip you with the latest tools and technological skills to excel in your career. 

Write to us at content@emeritus.org

Productivity Tools

About the Author

Senior Content Contributor, Emeritus Blog
Iha is the grammar guru turned content wizard who's mastered the delicate dance of correcting bad grammar and teaching people how to correctly pronounce her name. With a filmmaker's flair for marketing and digital media, she's the project ninja, flawlessly coordinating remote and in-person teams for 6+ years. When not conjuring captivating copy, she's delightfully torn between diving into 5 books or diving into endless series—decisions, decisions. Beware of her mischievous dog, who is always ready for a great escape!
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