From simple task management and smooth team communication to efficient knowledge management, the cloud offers valuable productivity tools that can help companies be more productive in their day-to-day lives, all for free.
Productivity Tools for Every Need
Productivity tools are on the rise. And not only in the private sector for some time now, but increasingly in the corporate environment as well. That is why today you can find in the cloud market a wide range of modern and lightweight productivity tools for task management, team communication, time recording, knowledge management and more, which are easy to implement and often offered free of charge. This is because more and more cloud providers rely on the freemium model.
The standard versions of the solutions are offered completely free of charge. Certainly, there are often restrictions regarding the number of users, available storage capacity, or the like. Other providers offer core functions for free, while customers who do not want to do without pro features have to pay. The only deciding factor in the freemium model is that the free versions are not limited in time and that users can productively exploit them in the long term. For many companies, the free versions are often sufficient.
Below you will find a range of lightweight cloud productivity tools designed for business use and offered in the freemium model.
Lightweight Cloud Productivity Tools
Todoist is a particularly simple and intuitive task manager with a minimalist user interface and a well-thought-out feature set. The main features of the software include the usual task management tools, which should not be lacking in any to-do app, as well as extra features that can make a difference. For example, the ability to create projects and subprojects, as well as hierarchical tasks. Additionally, you can share files, set priorities, add tags and manage appointments. An interesting “Nice-to-Have”: With “Karma”, Todoist provides interesting reports with which users can evaluate their productivity and identify performance trends. Another advantage of Todoist is its great platform independence. In addition to web, desktop and mobile apps, numerous add-ons are available for Outlook, Gmail and other email clients.
Those expecting a little more from task management should take a look at the visual project management tool Trello. The service is offered by New York-based software company Fog Creek Software, which has made a name for itself in the industry with popular development tools. Trello features an innovative UI design that is based on “map views” and displays information in a particularly clear way. You can group related tasks into lists, and categorize entire projects or workgroups into “boards”. Trello displays each task as an index card. There you can create checklists, post comments and attach files. Trello cuts a fine figure in the browser, as well as on smartphones and tablets.
TrackingTime is a simple and free app that companies can use to professionally manage their projects, tasks, and working hours. Both on the desktop and on the go. In addition to a standard web browser app and a native Mac OS X app, TrackingTime also offers mobile apps for iOS and Android. The tool is primarily aimed at companies that work by project or order and depend on accurate timesheets. If you want to get a better grip on your projects, conveniently record working hours, and periodically measure your productivity, TrackingTime is exactly what you’re looking for.
In addition to project and task management, chat services are becoming increasingly popular with companies like Slack in the field of collaboration. Slack is a modern business productivity solution from San Francisco, behind which is Stewart Butterfield, one of the co-founders of the popular photo sharing platform Flickr. In terms of core functionality, the software does not differ much from Skype and Co. Slack allows users to communicate with each other in private or public chat rooms, and share documents easily. What makes Slack so special is that you can seamlessly integrate it with many online services. Slack can display all notifications from applications used in the company in predefined chat rooms. That means that you can carry out all team discussions around tasks, documents, bugs, clients, projects, etc. centrally in one place.
With RingCentral there is an interesting alternative to Slack that supports text chats as well as video conferences. And can convince with numerous features in the area of collaboration and productivity. The software enables joint management of projects, tasks, work teams, documents, appointments and notes on a uniform work surface. In terms of design and usability, the tool makes a very good impression. Which is a decisive success factor for an application that you use every day. It also received good grades in terms of integrability and is compatible with numerous popular business apps such as GitHub, Dropbox, Jira, and many more.
Unison is a New York cloud service that launched in 2011. It aims to streamline communication and collaboration between business teams. With a rich feature set including group and 1:1 chats, simple file sharing, push notifications, as well as audio and video calls, the service not only rivals Slack and RingCentral, but also classic collaboration solutions such as Planio or Projectplace. Unison wants to set itself apart from these widespread products with advanced features for data encryption and user management that IT departments often expect, including Active Directory support and SSO (single sign-on).
When it comes to productivity, knowledge management solutions are increasingly important in times of information overload like today. In addition to classic products in this area, such as Evernote or Microsoft’s OneNote, lightweight mind mapping tools can provide valuable services here. One of the most popular solutions in this category is MindMeister. Teams that want to work together on mind maps can benefit from the application. It marks all changes to a document with different color effects, so each team member can easily see who is doing what. With the integrated chat module, they can also communicate with each other without leaving the app. Convenient: You can easily integrate links, images, notes and documents into a map.
Memonic is offered by Nektoon, a software company from Zurich. It serves as a collaborative notebook hosted in the cloud. This enables companies to create multimedia notes online, research topics, and store all content in one place. All authorized employees can then work together on the collected files and documents. With the help of tags and folders,the notes can be classified according to individual criteria. A feature-rich web clipper helps bring web content to Memonic directly from the browser. The manufacturer also provides native clients for Mac OS X and Windows, apps for iOS and Android, and many other extras. Content is automatically synced across all devices and is available anytime, anywhere. If you want to share your notes with friends and colleagues, you can do so by email, via a link, or on Twitter and Facebook.
With the innovative online service Zapier, tasks and workflows can be easily automated across different online services. This makes the tool an interesting alternative to the popular IFTTT consumer service, which is designed for corporate use and focuses on business productivity. The program supports more than 300 popular SaaS services from every area imaginable. These include the project management tools Basecamp and Trello, the CRM solutions Capsule CRM, Base CRM, Nimble and SugarCRM, as well as help desk systems like Uservoice, Zendesk and Help Scout, to name just a few examples.
Productivity Tools for your Business
As you can see from our selection, there is a wide range of simple and free productivity tools that you can start using in your business to boost the productivity of your team and achieve your goals, take your pick and get started!
Simple and free Productivity Tools for Business Teams
Particularly simple and intuitive task manager with a minimalist user interface and a well-thought-out feature set.
Trello features an innovative UI design that is based on “map views” and displays information in a particularly clear way.
Simple and free app that companies can use to professionally manage their projects, tasks, and working hours.
Modern business productivity solution that allows users to communicate with each other in private or public chat rooms, and share documents easily.
Interesting alternative to Slack that supports text chats as well as video conferences.
Cloud service that aims to streamline communication and collaboration between business teams.
Teams that want to work together on mind maps can benefit from the application.
Enables companies to create multimedia notes online, research topics, and store all content in one place.
With the innovative online service Zapier, tasks and workflows can be easily automated across different online services.