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10 Productivity Apps for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

App stores are brimming with apps that promise more enlightened and productive lives. We identified the 10 best ones for small business owners.
Photo credit: Canva

Picture this: you wake up and start your day with the intention of getting meaningful work done.

But somewhere between checking your email and getting a cup of coffee, issues and distractions pile up.

Unexpected client requests flood your inbox. Meetings come up. Fires need to be put out. 

Before you know it, it’s lunchtime and you haven’t made a dent on your to-do list. 

If this sounds familiar, don’t fret. There are numerous productivity apps in the market that can help streamline your day, improve your focus and empower you to get more things done.

Todoist

Todoist is a digital to-do list that helps you stay on track on all your tasks.

You can add tasks in seconds, and even create subtasks—a feature that’s helpful for breaking down large initiatives into smaller chunks. It also sends reminders, ensuring that no to-do slips through the cracks.

The app is very user-friendly, which means you’ll spend less time tinkering with the app and more time getting things done. 

Todist is “Extremely easy to use for all levels of technological understanding,” wrote Georgie H. on G2. “We’ve experienced far less chance of tasks being lost or forgotten and people stay accountable because of the notifications received upon completion.”

Fantastical

Fantastical is a calendar app that keeps all of your calendars in one place, so you can easily see what you have coming up and avoid scheduling conflicts. It allows you to create events and tasks using natural language, allowing you to quickly schedule events so you can get on with your day. 

Additionally, Fantastical has several smart features that enable you to save time and be more efficient. For instance, it suggests times for meetings based on your availability and the availability of other attendees. It can also automatically create tasks from emails and other messages.

Users of the app appreciate Fantastical’s intuitive UI and integrations. Michael K, a verified user on Capterra remarked

“Very easy to use. Perfect integration with Microsoft Exchange/Outlook. All sync, calendar viewing, Zoom integration functions work well.”

Monday.com

Ideal for those looking after projects and teams, Monday.com allows you to create custom boards to visualize your work in the way that works best for you. Whether you need to view tasks using a table format, a calendar, or a kanban board, Monday.com has you covered. 

Plus, it offers automation features. You can create automations to move tasks between boards, send notifications when tasks are due and create new tasks when certain criteria are met.

At the time of writing this, Monday.com has over 8,000 positive reviews on G2, with many users commenting on the software’s team collaboration features and ease of use. 

“By using the system in our work routine, we were able to reduce meeting time, in addition to automating tasks. This way, we can focus our energy on the work that really matters,” commented Ulisses S.

Fellow

Rated the #1 meeting management software on G2, Fellow helps you have more productive meetings, thanks to features like AI-powered agendas and automated meeting transcriptions.

Best of all? It keeps all things meeting-related in a central platform.

“I love the fact that I have all my notes for all my meetings in one single place,” wrote Judit L. “It is extremely easy to have everything organized.”

Fellow also ensures you stay productive after your meetings. Automatically send meeting minutes and action times, so no task slips through the cracks. 

Inbox When Ready

Let’s face it: email can be a huge distraction. How many times have you navigated to your inbox to retrieve a specific email, only to be sidetracked by another message?

Inbox When Ready, a browser extension available on Chrome, Firefox and Edge solves this issue by hiding your inbox from view, so you’re not tempted by incoming emails and can stay focused on your original task.

As Inbox When Ready user Alex Warbasse said in her review, “I love that I can easily search for what I need without getting sidetracked by reading new messages that pop up.”

Notion

Notion is an all-in-one workspace that helps you and your team access information faster, collaborate better and ultimately get things done more efficiently.

Notion’s “Wikis” feature gives you a place to store and organize documentation, so everyone has a single source of truth. It also offers project management capabilities and AI-powered tools for managing tasks, timelines and bandwidth.  

One notable review comes from Andrew M., a self-employed entrepreneur in the marketing and advertising industry:

“Notion keeps me on track. I generate a lot of content and documentation for my client projects and keeping up with the dozens of pieces that I need to produce and share each week would never succeed without Notion.”

Headspace

Headspace is a meditation app used by millions of people—including Sheryl Shandberg, Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Alba—for good reason: mindfulness practices are proven to promote numerous physical and mental health benefits, which then helps you be more productive. 

This is why apps like Headspace are so helpful. They make mindfulness and meditation more accessible, so you can reduce stress, keep a clear head and accomplish more things.

“Headspace allows me to constantly be mindful and focus on my work especially during a stressful day. It helps me unwind after work and relax to be more present at work and outside of work,” wrote Headspace user Zarina B.

Harvest

Harvest improves productivity by removing manual work from tasks like logging your (or your team’s) hours.

Harvest also has robust reporting and analytics tools that let you analyze how time is spent. That way, you can track billable and non-billable hours and find opportunities to save time—and money! 

People like the fact that Harvest “just works” and they appreciate its user-friendly interface

As Shannon O., a user on GetApp put it, “This software is part of my everyday use, and it just works 100% of the time. When you are managing various clients and tasks, the interface makes it dead simple to task-switch and start logging hours in a different or for a different client.”

Forest

Forest (available on iOS and Android), encourages focused work by letting you plant virtual trees. You specify the amount of time you want to stay focused (e.g., 30 minutes, 1 hour, etc.), and your tree grows as long as Forest is active on your phone. If you leave the app before your timer expires, your tree dies. This gamifies the process of staying focused and can help you be more productive.

Forest user Vanessa Ivey says on Product Hunt: “It helps me to stay focused. Every time I lift my phone and want to open Facebook or something, I stop [be]cause I don’t want to kill my tree.”

Habitica

Speaking of which, if you like games and challenges, then Habitica is the productivity app for you. Available on iOS and Android, Habitica helps you build healthy work and life habits by gamifying your life. 

You level up and earn gold when you check tasks off your list, and you can purchase in-game or custom rewards as you progress.

In a review for TechRader, Stefan Ionescu wrote that, “Most task management apps feel pretty bland and boring, but not Habitica. The app differentiates itself by making task management an interactive process. It’s a tool that gives great utility and fun to the user.”

We couldn’t agree more. 

 

10 Productivity Apps for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

by | Nov 17, 2023

App stores are brimming with apps that promise more enlightened and productive lives. We identified the 10 best ones for small business owners.

Picture this: you wake up and start your day with the intention of getting meaningful work done.

But somewhere between checking your email and getting a cup of coffee, issues and distractions pile up.

Unexpected client requests flood your inbox. Meetings come up. Fires need to be put out. 

Before you know it, it’s lunchtime and you haven’t made a dent on your to-do list. 

If this sounds familiar, don’t fret. There are numerous productivity apps in the market that can help streamline your day, improve your focus and empower you to get more things done.

Todoist

Todoist is a digital to-do list that helps you stay on track on all your tasks.

You can add tasks in seconds, and even create subtasks—a feature that’s helpful for breaking down large initiatives into smaller chunks. It also sends reminders, ensuring that no to-do slips through the cracks.

The app is very user-friendly, which means you’ll spend less time tinkering with the app and more time getting things done. 

Todist is “Extremely easy to use for all levels of technological understanding,” wrote Georgie H. on G2. “We’ve experienced far less chance of tasks being lost or forgotten and people stay accountable because of the notifications received upon completion.”

Fantastical

Fantastical is a calendar app that keeps all of your calendars in one place, so you can easily see what you have coming up and avoid scheduling conflicts. It allows you to create events and tasks using natural language, allowing you to quickly schedule events so you can get on with your day. 

Additionally, Fantastical has several smart features that enable you to save time and be more efficient. For instance, it suggests times for meetings based on your availability and the availability of other attendees. It can also automatically create tasks from emails and other messages.

Users of the app appreciate Fantastical’s intuitive UI and integrations. Michael K, a verified user on Capterra remarked

“Very easy to use. Perfect integration with Microsoft Exchange/Outlook. All sync, calendar viewing, Zoom integration functions work well.”

Monday.com

Ideal for those looking after projects and teams, Monday.com allows you to create custom boards to visualize your work in the way that works best for you. Whether you need to view tasks using a table format, a calendar, or a kanban board, Monday.com has you covered. 

Plus, it offers automation features. You can create automations to move tasks between boards, send notifications when tasks are due and create new tasks when certain criteria are met.

At the time of writing this, Monday.com has over 8,000 positive reviews on G2, with many users commenting on the software’s team collaboration features and ease of use. 

“By using the system in our work routine, we were able to reduce meeting time, in addition to automating tasks. This way, we can focus our energy on the work that really matters,” commented Ulisses S.

Fellow

Rated the #1 meeting management software on G2, Fellow helps you have more productive meetings, thanks to features like AI-powered agendas and automated meeting transcriptions.

Best of all? It keeps all things meeting-related in a central platform.

“I love the fact that I have all my notes for all my meetings in one single place,” wrote Judit L. “It is extremely easy to have everything organized.”

Fellow also ensures you stay productive after your meetings. Automatically send meeting minutes and action times, so no task slips through the cracks. 

Inbox When Ready

Let’s face it: email can be a huge distraction. How many times have you navigated to your inbox to retrieve a specific email, only to be sidetracked by another message?

Inbox When Ready, a browser extension available on Chrome, Firefox and Edge solves this issue by hiding your inbox from view, so you’re not tempted by incoming emails and can stay focused on your original task.

As Inbox When Ready user Alex Warbasse said in her review, “I love that I can easily search for what I need without getting sidetracked by reading new messages that pop up.”

Notion

Notion is an all-in-one workspace that helps you and your team access information faster, collaborate better and ultimately get things done more efficiently.

Notion’s “Wikis” feature gives you a place to store and organize documentation, so everyone has a single source of truth. It also offers project management capabilities and AI-powered tools for managing tasks, timelines and bandwidth.  

One notable review comes from Andrew M., a self-employed entrepreneur in the marketing and advertising industry:

“Notion keeps me on track. I generate a lot of content and documentation for my client projects and keeping up with the dozens of pieces that I need to produce and share each week would never succeed without Notion.”

Headspace

Headspace is a meditation app used by millions of people—including Sheryl Shandberg, Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Alba—for good reason: mindfulness practices are proven to promote numerous physical and mental health benefits, which then helps you be more productive. 

This is why apps like Headspace are so helpful. They make mindfulness and meditation more accessible, so you can reduce stress, keep a clear head and accomplish more things.

“Headspace allows me to constantly be mindful and focus on my work especially during a stressful day. It helps me unwind after work and relax to be more present at work and outside of work,” wrote Headspace user Zarina B.

Harvest

Harvest improves productivity by removing manual work from tasks like logging your (or your team’s) hours.

Harvest also has robust reporting and analytics tools that let you analyze how time is spent. That way, you can track billable and non-billable hours and find opportunities to save time—and money! 

People like the fact that Harvest “just works” and they appreciate its user-friendly interface

As Shannon O., a user on GetApp put it, “This software is part of my everyday use, and it just works 100% of the time. When you are managing various clients and tasks, the interface makes it dead simple to task-switch and start logging hours in a different or for a different client.”

Forest

Forest (available on iOS and Android), encourages focused work by letting you plant virtual trees. You specify the amount of time you want to stay focused (e.g., 30 minutes, 1 hour, etc.), and your tree grows as long as Forest is active on your phone. If you leave the app before your timer expires, your tree dies. This gamifies the process of staying focused and can help you be more productive.

Forest user Vanessa Ivey says on Product Hunt: “It helps me to stay focused. Every time I lift my phone and want to open Facebook or something, I stop [be]cause I don’t want to kill my tree.”

Habitica

Speaking of which, if you like games and challenges, then Habitica is the productivity app for you. Available on iOS and Android, Habitica helps you build healthy work and life habits by gamifying your life. 

You level up and earn gold when you check tasks off your list, and you can purchase in-game or custom rewards as you progress.

In a review for TechRader, Stefan Ionescu wrote that, “Most task management apps feel pretty bland and boring, but not Habitica. The app differentiates itself by making task management an interactive process. It’s a tool that gives great utility and fun to the user.”

We couldn’t agree more.