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16 Best Productivity Apps for Ambitious People


Staying productive can be a real challenge in today’s world of phone buzzes, notifications, pop-ups, and distractions. It’s especially difficult in the winter when temperatures drop and the days get shorter. Fortunately, technology has given us tools to help keep our productivity up — and they come in the form of productivity apps. This article lists the 16 best productivity apps to help you stay focused this winter season.

Key points :

  • Productivity apps are a simple, straightforward way to stay on top of your efficiency inside and outside work.

  • Many productivity apps in today’s market focus on time organization and to-do list functionalities.

  • Some productivity apps are built for work-specific purposes, while others are for general use.

  • While there is an official App Store category for productivity, not all apps need to be marked as such to help you grow.

  • Headway is the #1 app to download for personal development and productivity in 2023.

The 16 Best Productivity Apps

1. Headway


While it’s not officially labeled a productivity tool, Headway is the best app you can download to improve personal development and growth.

It offers bite-sized learning experiences that help you explore, discover and comprehend key ideas from the world’s bestselling books in a fun and engaging way. Read or listen to 15-minute book summaries, play games, take quizzes, and watch videos to quickly absorb the best ideas from influential authors in a fraction of the time.

Headway is perfect for those who want to continue learning and growing while still being productive in their day-to-day life.

2. Noisli


Not all productivity apps need to be complicated. Sometimes, all you need is a soothing background noise to help you focus on your task.

Noisli offers a curated collection of sounds that can help you relax and focus. Choose from various ambient noises, like rain, thunder, and even singing birds. Mix and match these sounds to create your own personalized background noise.

3. Freedom


Have you ever had difficulty closing that one website or app that always seems to derail your productivity? Freedom can help.

This tool blocks websites and apps for a set amount of time, so users can stay focused and avoid the distraction of their favorite sites. You can create custom blocklists and recurring schedules and even use the app to block all internet access on your device.

It’s like having personal productivity police to keep an eye on your online activity.

4. HabitShare


HabitShare is a productivity app designed for the modern smartphone user. With a social media twist, it makes staying on track with your habits feel like less of a chore.

The app helps users set up their habits and goals and then allows them to share their progress with friends. This creates a sense of accountability, as users will be less likely to skip their goals if they know their friends are keeping tabs.

5. Habitica


For some people, getting things done isn’t enough of a reason to be productive. They want more — they want to have fun while getting things done. This is where Habitica comes in.

Habitica gamifies the task of staying productive by turning it into a role-playing game. Users are presented with a personalized avatar, which they can customize with items and accessories. They then set up tasks on their to-do list and earn points for completing them. The more points they win, the stronger their avatar becomes and the more in-game features and rewards they unlock.

6. Spark 


Spark helps you break free from the tyranny of your inbox by automatically organizing and sorting emails according to priority. It allows users to filter out unimportant emails and prioritize the most important messages.

It also offers a range of features that make managing your email easier, such as snoozing emails, scheduling messages for later, and setting up reminders. Team members can even collaborate in creating and editing emails together, which helps ensure that everyone is on the same page.

7. Notion


Google Docs and Evernote may be the most popular note-taking and document-editing apps. Still, Notion is quickly becoming a favorite of teams who want both functionalities in one place.

Notion is a powerful all-in-one workspace to create, edit, and organize notes, documents, spreadsheets, and more. It also offers a variety of tools for collaboration, such as task management, document version control, and comment threads, so that teams can stay organized and productive.

8. Forest


Forest is an incredibly simple yet powerful app designed to make sticking to your personal goals feel more rewarding. The app uses the concept of gamification to motivate users to stay away from phones and focus on their work. Users can set a timer for how long they want to focus. Every time the timer runs out, a tree is planted in their virtual forest.

The cool thing about Forest is that it tracks your progress and allows you to plant real trees. The app has partnered with a real tree-planting organization, ‘Trees for the Future,’ to coordinate the planting of real trees when users spend virtual coins they earn in Forest. In other words, when you stay focused with Forest, you’re helping yourself and contributing to our planet’s wellbeing. If that’s not productive, we don’t know what is.

9. Airtable


Airtable gives users the power to create databases containing information relevant to their work — then organize, visualize, and share it easily. The tool blends the functions of a spreadsheet and database to make it easy to store and manipulate data. It’s incredibly simple to use and can be used for project management, data analysis, customer relationship management (CRM), or any other task that requires the organization of data.

Airtable’s interface looks like Excel but is far more intuitive. It has various helpful features that make doing everything from assigning tasks and setting statuses to sharing attachments and writing notes a breeze. It also supports custom forms and fields, allowing users to create custom views for specific projects or tasks. With Airtable, teams can easily keep track of their projects and tasks while staying organized. It’s a powerful tool that makes life easier for teams who need to manage large amounts of data and collaborate on projects.

10. Pocket 


Pocket, originally named Read It Later, is another unique productivity app on this list. Unlike Trello, Todoist, and Toggle, this tool isn’t designed for time management or tracking. Instead, it’s for bookmarking various pages you find on the web. With Pocket, users can easily save content to their account and return to read it later from any logged-in device. They can organize and view web pages by category and age in either a grid or list-style format, essentially building their own feed with the most interesting pages.

But aside from just bookmarking content, Pocket also allows users to customize their reading experience with various font sizing, style, and viewing options. Its app even comes with an audio playback option, which can be invaluable if you have dyslexia or other reading disabilities. Pocket is a great tool for teams or individuals who frequently come across useful web pages that they may want to save and return to later.

11. Toggl 


Toggl is slightly different from the apps we’ve covered in this list so far, as it focuses primarily on time tracking. Teams and individuals can use it to keep tabs on their time spent working on specific tasks and measure their overall productivity. The app is designed so users can easily clock in and out of tasks and projects, track time estimates for projects, and generate reports for team members or clients. Toggl also offers external integration, billable rates, time rounding for reports, favorite time entries, creating saved reports, and project time estimates and alerts. Its intuitive interface makes it a great choice for those who need a basic iPad or Mac productivity app free of complex charts and settings.

12. Taskade


Taskade is a project management and collaboration tool for small teams. Using a simple, modern layout, it works to simplify shared projects into manageable tasks with an eye toward progress tracking. Teams can use the app to brainstorm ideas, monitor work pace, follow projects, chat, organize responsibilities, and more. Taskade goes beyond the single Kanban board approach of platforms like Trello to offer multiple ways of viewing your tasks. Create a List, Board, Calendar, or Mind Map and customize it to your liking while collaborating with other team members in real time. With Taskade, teams have the power to take on any project with confidence and clarity.

13. Monday


While Trello is incredibly popular among teams, not everyone finds the app fills all their needs. Busier workplaces with more demanding project management requirements may find themselves looking for something else. Monday is a great option for those cases, as it offers the same core functionalities of Trello but with more advanced features like automation-assisted workflow automation and project progress tracking. Monday’s intuitive interface makes managing even the most complex projects easy. It also integrates with Miro, DocuGen, Easyform, Figma, Tracket, and other popular professional apps for an even more comprehensive experience.

14. Slack 


A well-known tool in many workplaces, Slack has become the gold standard for teams that need to stay connected near and far. At its foundation, the app serves as a place for members of a network to communicate directly and in larger group chats. Users can create channels, subgroups, and topics, along with being able to message one another as they would over text. Individual profiles make learning important information about colleagues’ status and availability, time zone, pronouns, and notification preferences easy.

Slack notably offers a range of integrations with other work and productivity apps, including Google Drive, Dropbox, Asana, Zoom, and more. This makes it the perfect platform for teams that need to collaborate frequently on multiple projects.

15. Trello


Trello is a widely popular app in the world of productivity tools. Specifically designed for workplace teams, it enables users to collaborate on everything from projects and individual tasks to workflows, boards, and more. Trello’s interface is built with drag-and-drop capabilities, which makes it easy to move content between categories and prioritize tasks. It also has features like support for multiple users, project tracking timelines, and custom notifications. You can use Trello to manage any project, from small personal tasks to large-scale initiatives, as it is incredibly versatile. 

16. Todoist


Todoist is a task management app designed to make organizing life’s many commitments easier. It embodies the functions of a calendar and a to-do list, combining both in one simple interface. Todoist allows you to create, sort, prioritize, change, and remember important events and deadlines on the fly, categorize items by color, and set personal goals. The app also supports project sharing and comes with a handy reporting feature to measure your progress toward specific goals. Todoist stands out in that it’s mainly designed for individual use, not organizing professional work. You can use it for either purpose, but its simplicity makes it more suitable for the former.

Start your productivity journey with Headway

From tracking time and delegating tasks to goal setting and monitoring progress, productivity apps are a great way to ensure you’re staying on top of your efficiency inside and outside work. Even if the cold winter season is dragging you down, these apps can give you the motivational boost needed to remain productive and keep things progressing. So, find the right tool for you, get organized and make this winter your most productive season yet!

With its comprehensive collection of learning experiences, Headway is the perfect tool to jumpstart your winter productivity journey. Download it today!


What is the #1 productivity app?

The title of the number one productivity app can vary depending on what app store you’re on and what your individual needs are. However, a few popular productivity apps include Habitica, HabitShare, Freedom, and Noisli. 

Do productivity apps work?

Productivity apps can be extremely helpful in staying focused, but they will ultimately only ever be as effective as the user. To get the most out of a productivity app, you must be willing to invest in it and put in the effort to use its features.

Can I use work productivity apps for personal organization?

Yes, many productivity apps are used for both personal and work-related tasks. Some even allow you to create separate workspaces to organize your tasks and goals.

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