June 2, 2021

Reach Your Goals with These Top Productivity Tools

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There is no secret that pulling together a collaborative and productive team can be a challenging mission. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s becoming harder and harder to improve employee performance. But, low productivity negatively impacts companies in terms of revenue, engagement, work quality, and more, making overall performance management a more important goal than ever.

The good news is that businesses can influence and revamp their productivity in many ways, and there are more tools available than ever to help improve workplace performance. These tools can include application software, artificial intelligence, and plug-ins, which help to meet the productivity needs of businesses all around the world.

1. Get employees involved with employee engagement software

Do you ever celebrate employees outside the constructive feedback of performance review sessions and professional development check-ins? If your kudos usually come alongside a performance improvement plan, then consider investing in employee engagement software, which gives you an outlet to recognize employees who go above and beyond.

And it’s not just limited to employee recognition from management or human resources: Coworkers can also use the software to thank their colleagues for helping them out with a project or facilitating their own jobs. This promotes a stronger culture of teamwork and motivates employees to give their best in order to reach milestones. Some employee engagement software even lets employees redeem their rewards for gift cards or other perks for even more incentives.

Here are some of the best employee engagement platforms.

1 Bucketlist Rewards

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Bucketlist Rewards is a leading employee rewards and recognition platform that makes it easy for employees and managers to recognize one another for milestones and achievements. Bucketlist transforms company culture as well as helps with employee retention and productivity.

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2 Motivosity

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We are a modern employee engagement software with the mission to make people happier at work. Our platform focuses on three of the top drivers of employee satisfaction: feeling appreciated for your work, being part of a community, and having a meaningful relationship with your manager. Let us help you connect, recognize and listen to your employees. We are changing the game of employee engagement–ask us about our new ThanksMatters Card.

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3 SurveySparrow

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SurveySparrow’s employee engagement tool lets you roll out employee engagement surveys, find employee pulse & sentiments, and help you keep your employee engagement programs intact.
SurveySparrow offers a truly conversational experience to survey takers, making it very appealing to the mobile-first audience who favor the chat-like experience over conventional surveys.
And to HR folks, that means 40% more responses than otherwise, so you don’t miss out on valuable feedback.

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4 intelliHR - Intelligent People Management

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Our employee engagement surveys are an essential building block in your team's cultural development and performance alignment. Our listening tools capture achievements, feelings, roadblocks, and any training, support or clarification they require. Team-wide analytics provide real-time insights into team culture and wellbeing with feedback available to all levels of management. eNPS measures your team's buy-in and loyalty so you can identify your ambassadors as well as areas for improvement.

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5 Empuls

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Celebrate Milestones, Recognise and Reward Peers, and Build a winning culture. Empuls is an employee engagement tool that makes it easy to reward and recognize all of your employees to improve retention and productivity at your organization. You can also set up surveys on Slack, measure and track feedback, and gather eNPS scores.

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6 Trakstar

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Employee engagement software built for modern individuals, teams and their leaders.
Trakstar's employee engagement software is built right into their performance management software to pair the two together and tie employee performance to engagement, happiness, and experience.
Remove your manual processes with their innovative software and world-class support. Make smarter decisions to attract, retain, and engage your workforce with their solution.

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7 Trivie

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Trivie is a learning and engagement platform to measure, manage, and enhance knowledge. We do this by merging brain science, gamification, AI-based reinforcement learning, and robust analytics. This results in improved business outcomes and powerful analytics! With gamification techniques like leaderboards, badging, social feed, and trivia-style quizzes, we keep your employees engaged and important information top-of-mind.

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8 Jenz

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Jenz is an intuitive all-around employee engagement tool. It promotes transparency with two-way communication, anonymous feedback, and employee appreciation while strengthening organizational culture. It works like a closed social network, making Jenz accessible and adoptable.

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9 Leapsome

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CEOs and HR teams at forward-thinking companies (including Spotify, Northvolt, and Babbel) use Leapsome to create a continuous cycle of performance management and personalized learning that powers employee engagement and the success of their businesses.

As a people management platform, Leapsome combines tools for Goals & OKRs Management, Performance Reviews and 360s, Employee Learning & Onboarding, Employee Engagement Surveys, Feedback & Praise, and Meetings.

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10 Workstars

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Make work rewarding and deliver a sustainable boost to your employee engagement strategy with Workstars' integrated social employee recognition and reward platform.

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2. Bring teammates near and far closer together with communication software

Effective communication is crucial for improved work performance and better results. At the same time, some companies are often on the fence about investing their time and efforts into software that improves team communication. That’s resulted in huge losses for business owners — companies with 100 employees waste an average of $420,000 per year because of miscommunication.

Luckily, the market offers many advanced technological solutions for businesses of all sizes: team messengers, video conferencing apps, and everything in between that can dramatically boost internal communication and workplace productivity. Here are a few.

Chanty

When choosing a team messenger application, give Chanty a try. Chanty is an easy-to-use team chat focused on improving work performance for small and medium teams through artificial intelligence (AI). It helps your teammates become more productive through a variety of features.

Why you should choose Chanty:

  • Real-time messaging with an unlimited searchable history
  • AI that identifies and gathers important information and key takeaways from chats
  • Centralizes notifications from multiple software services in a single place

Slack

Slack offers a huge number of handy features for team collaboration and performance improvement, including group channels and direct messages, file sharing, integrating third-party platforms (like Salesforce, Dropbox, and Stripe), video/audio calls, and other workflow improvers.

If you’re looking for an affordable team chat, Slack can be used for as long as you like at no charge. Keep in mind that the free version comes with some limitations in terms of message history, integrations, file storage, and other capabilities.

Why you should choose Slack:

  • Easy-to-navigate interface that makes it a breeze to chat with individuals and groups
  • Large number of integrations for third-party business software
  • Free-in-perpetuity option (with limited features) for teams on a budget

Flock

Flock is a team messenger that combines project collaboration and team communication into one. The platform allows you to schedule multiple tasks while chatting with team members; invite business partners, freelancers, and vendors to chat; and hold video meetings with up to eight teammates.

Why you should choose Flock:

  • Create multiple groups, each focused around a current project or important task
  • Get unlimited integrations with third-party apps even with the free plan

Zoom

Having a reliable video conferencing tool will save you time and headaches. Zoom is a high-performance video conferencing service with screen sharing and recording features available on desktop and mobile. Zoom makes remote/in-office team communication and collaboration easier by simply sending a link that takes everyone from all around the world to a meeting. You can conference with individuals without a Zoom account.

Why you should choose Zoom:

  • Host up to 100 people on a single video call with the standard plan
  • Use a single platform for video calls, webinars, cloud phone calls, and chat
  • Connect to Zoom via web browsers as well as desktop and mobile apps

GoToMeeting

Video conferencing software has come a long way since before the pandemic, and GoToMeeting has stayed at the front of the pack with encrypted sessions and plenty of marketing features to expand your team events to include webinars and virtual events.

Why you should choose GoToMeeting:

  • Host meetings of up to 250 participants at once
  • Get unlimited cloud storage for your meeting recordings

Whereby

Formerly known as appear.in, Whereby lets you create online meeting rooms via video calls without downloads, installs, or logins for guests. While Whereby is a newer player in the video conferencing space, users love its intuitive, good-looking interface and meaningful feature list.

Why you should choose Whereby:

  • Personalize the meeting room with custom URLs and branding
  • Brainstorm with a virtual whiteboard integration from Miro
  • Add video calls to websites and apps with the Embedded feature

3. Stay organized across workflows with cloud-based project or task management software

Have you ever had a project delayed while you desperately searched for a needed document? Had a laptop crashed with all the important files? Needed some assets sent but had a teammate stuck working offline?

Having all your projects, assets, and milestones in sync and easily accessible can significantly improve work performance and be a bold competitive advantage. Therefore, there is no surprise that today companies run 79% of their workloads in the cloud.

So, no matter what size or industry your business is related to, the project management tools listed below will greatly enhance your team productivity and job performance.

Wrike

Wrike is a powerful tool for managing and collaborating on projects. This software combines simple design with efficient project management features. With Wrike, it’s easy to share and assign tasks, project, and folders with team members.

It’s also a great tool while working with clients who want transparency into your company’s process. You can permit them to see what you’re working on without allowing to make changes or interrupt your process. To sum up, Wrike is the successful medium of great collaborative features and easy-to-use interface.

Asana

How often have you heard the phrases like “I completely forgot about that” or “Sorry, I missed that email” at the office? If that happens too often, it’s time to reconsider your workflow. And Asana, one of the most well-known project management tools, allows you to refine the team collaboration and productivity.

You can assign tasks to other members, add stakeholders to projects, manage ongoing tasks and monitor deadlines here. Asana may be also very useful as a to-do list or a calendar for strategic planning. This app puts everything in context of a task or conversation, gives complete transparency to who is doing what, but allows some privacy when necessary.

Basecamp

Someone who has no knowledge of project management software may feel overwhelmed about starting to use it. That is until they try Basecamp. Basecamp is a powerful and intuitive platform for bringing a team together to get things done. Moreover, it takes only 10 minutes to set up the app. Featuring a full stack of collaborative features including to-do lists, wiki-style documents, file sharing, and messaging, Basecamp includes just about everything you need to keep any project running smoothly.

4. Make every second count using time tracking tools

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. To set goals and surpass them, you must first understand your work hours and employee performance patterns.

How much time do you waste during the workday and on what distractions? What are naturally your most productive hours? How substantial is your contribution to the company’s progress? Are you hitting your milestones and personal benchmarks when you should? Are you experiencing any performance issues?

All these questions can be precisely answered with the help of time tracking tools, which help to identify poor performance issues. By using these tools for time management, you and your team will be able to make the most of your time and, as a result, become more efficient and productive.

Toggl Track

Time tracking can solve issues of low employee productivity and procrastination. Toggl Track (formerly just called Toggl) is an easy-to-use tool that allows you to enter, start, and stop tracking tasks quickly. Every task can be tagged with a specific word that will help you sort by similar tasks and find time management information later.

Why you should choose Toggl:

  • Start and stop time tracking right in your web browser, or use the Toggl Track app
  • Get started right away with a super simple interface that requires minimal training
  • See employee performance insights for the entire team

Harvest

Harvest is one of the most popular time management apps on the market, and with good reason: It combines time tracking, reporting and analysis, and invoicing and payments all into one app. It also integrates with dozens of the most popular business software tools to further improve the functionality of the app.

Why you should choose Harvest:

  • Track time and tasks from a web browser, desktop apps, or mobile apps
  • Create custom automated reminders to encourage your team to stay on top of time tracking
  • Turn tracked time into invoices with the click of a button and collect integrated online payments

5. Declutter your digital workspaces (and mind)

Work environment directly impacts team and personal productivity. Chaos can significantly decrease the ability to focus on a job. Alternatively, a laptop screen, web browser, and work tool stack that are streamlined can help you feel organized and calm. If you can’t recall the last time when you felt that way, it’s time to put your digital environment in order with the following tools.

Toby

Many of us have dozens or even hundreds of website tabs open, some that have been sitting untouched for months or years. Digging through this mess to find the right information can be a difficult task, and even the most productive person may accidentally shut down a critical tab. Toby is designed to solve this problem by organizing your browser tabs into a single place that is easy to search.

Why you should choose Toby:

  • Share your tab collections with your teammates for convenient crowdsourcing
  • Assign tags to collections to keep them organized by task or project
  • Find what you need in seconds using the integrated search function

Magnet

If you find yourself wasting time by manually adjusting the size of your windows to make them all fit on your computer screen, then definitely consider downloading Magnet, a handy window manager for Mac computers. Magnet declutters your screen by automatically arranging windows into perfectly sized and organized tiles, making this annoying task a literal snap.

Why you should choose Magnet:

  • Automatically arrange your windows into perfectly sized tiles that don’t overlap
  • Trigger commands with keyboard shortcuts or drag-and-drop functionality

Station

Station is an open-source smart browser that centralizes all of your web apps in a single convenient place. Instead of wading through numerous app windows spread across your desktop, Station will keep it all in one place, making it a breeze to find what you need in the blink of an eye.

Why you should choose Station:

  • Find any information or page with the unified search function
  • Automatically group pages by app for streamlined browsing
  • Connect more than 600 apps using the prebuilt connectors to get all of your notifications in one place

6. Inject some fun stuff

Integrating fun into the workplace increases work productivity and reduces stress. Moreover, companies with “fun policies” indicate greater worker satisfaction and increased employee loyalty, all of which positively impacts work performance. So, don’t be afraid to inject some fun into your team workflow management.

Brain.fm

Can 10 minutes of listening to music make your team more productive? Actually, according to auditory neuroscientists, it can. Brain.fm is the only music composer that boosts attention, reduces mind-wandering, and empowers human minds to meet their goals faster.

Why you should choose Brain.fm:

  • Manage distractions while boosting concentration, so you can finish tasks faster
  • Choose from various playlists to suit your musical tastes

Cat Room

Japanese researchers found that watching cute cat videos boosts your productivity and improves attention. It’s not a joke, that’s a real study. Test it yourself with the help of the Cat Room Android app, which has more than one million downloads, where you can create your own personal room with cute cats. Just be sure to use your time tracking software too, so you don’t spend too much time with your digital furballs.

Why you should choose Cat Room:

  • It’s free to download and start playing as long as you have a Google device
  • You get the delight of owning virtual cats without having to change a litter box in real life

How to choose tools that improve productivity

These collaboration tools are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to software that boosts team productivity. The great thing about them is that an investment in these tools doesn’t necessarily require a huge upfront cost. 

Plenty of the above-mentioned collaboration systems offer a free plan, typically with some limitations. Nevertheless, these free versions let you test out whether the tool meets your team’s needs, so you can get buy-in before making a purchasing decision.

Technology Advice is able to offer our services for free because some vendors may pay us for web traffic or other sales opportunities. Our mission is to help technology buyers make better purchasing decisions, so we provide you with information for all vendors — even those that don't pay us.