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Can you suggest me Free productivity tools?

developertharun profile image Tharun Shiv ・1 min read

Hi,
Currently I use Trello for everything, right from noting down my tasks to ideas, tracking progress everything.

Just wondered if y'all could help me out with other Free tools that you've come across or used.

Thank you

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[Deleted User]

Discussion

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It really depends on what you exactly need.
Personally, for my tasks and habits I like to use Habitica. It is powerful made geek-proof haha.

Otherwise, I use Notion for everything (because you can do everything with it). I recently move my tasks and habits to notion. So I have notes, researches, contacts, habits, tasks, recipes... You got it pretty much all my life is in notion. And I can access everything from every devices. Pretty great.
I had used a ton of other tools, just let me know what you are exactly looking for.

 

Notion looks really cool.. gunna check it out

 

Yes it is ! It really was a gamechanger for me when I began to use it.

what do you think about Notion vs Basecamp?

Well If I'm not mistaken, Basecamp is more team-oriented right ??

As I dig into it more it seems like it. I had just remembered they released a free personal version.

For team purposes (for my developer job in a company), I haven't used a lot of tools. I have used Asana, Taïga, ToDo.
But since I am an entrepreneur I like to keep things simple (which, for me, is the key to productivity).
Now, I only use cross-platform tools because I have to work on my MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, Ipad, and phone. So I like to keep it simple and to be able to access anything from anywhere.
I wasn't wanted to have my personal stuff on an app and Professional on another. The good thing with Notion is that you can separate everything in sub-pages and spaces.
So I have both on the same app which is cross-platform (that's dope).

 
 

Great will check them out.

Personally, something which helps me

  1. Add & Prioritise my works
  2. Remind me of my works
  3. Assists me in recording what I've been spending my time on
  4. And where I can look at a report of what consumed my time

I don't expect these to be automatic or like an AI assistant 😂, i am ready to enter these manually.

 

The cool thing about notion is that you create your own templates. So basically you can do everything you want.
As a scrum guy I use Kanban to prioritize and track my workflow. And for that I will highly recommend :

  • Asana
  • Trello
  • Notion

Notion is (I think) the best one for personal use. But If you want to have your team on it (you can share your notion page) you can go with Asana.

For Time tracking (in general) you can put it manually in notion or even in a simple text doc or you can use a really cool tool called toggl. I use it when it comes to tracking the time I spend on client's projects and I highly recommend it ! You can track the time spent on each tasks and even set your project in it. You also have some analysis dashboards for an overview of the time you spent on tasks and projects.

I almost forgot, there is a tool called kanboard which is Amazing for project management qnd it has built-in Time tracking for every tasks you enter.
The only inconvenient is that it has to be self-hosted.

Thanks a lot for your time and suggestions, it definitely helps. 🙂

 

For time tracking I've using Clockify for the past month and it has been great. It has a mobile app and a browser extension which integrates with a lot of other tools (like Redmine/Jira/Asana and even Github issues and emails), so if you go to, say, a Github issue, a "start timer" button will appear and when you click it it will take the name of the issue and will start counting.

You can also create several workspaces, with several projects, mark tasks as billable (or non-billable), get reports, export them as pdf, etc. Pretty complete.

Ah that's nice.. will check it out. Thanks🙂

 

Seems like you mentioned Org mode just now.

 

What about your privacy? Don't you worry about your data given to a third party? Why are/aren't you?

 

Hi,
May I know which services you're referring to?

 

I recently moved from Trello to todo.txt and until now it's been a breeze. If this sounds boring, well that's exactly the point, because it actually makes you focus on getting things done 😆

 

Hell yeah ! Also on Android I use SimpleTask wich is perfect !

 

Oh that's cool! I was planning on trying it, so it's great to hear positive feedback beforehand 😉

I'd like to keep a single task list in sync between my desktop and my phone using a cloud storage but I'm not sure how I can do that on Android (I currently use Google Drive). Did you run into the same problem?

For my side I use Syncthing wich allow you to implement your own cloud storage system. Also I plan to sync using Git with Mgit but it require manual commit, push, etc..

I see.. thank you for your suggestion, will check them out 🙂🙌

Thanks a lot! I will definitely look into it 😀

 

Great! Will check it out 🙂

 

Will check it out🙂

 

I'm full on with the plain text productivity movement. Everything is stored as plain text in a git repo. Folder Structure is:

notes
    Archive
        2019
        2020
    Blogposts
    Journal
    Lists
    Notes
    Projects
        project1
        project2

Tasks use the .taskpaper file format in to files, daily.taskpaper and today.taskpaper. Daily is for repeating tasks while today is my main list of tasks. I manage the files in Vim with vim-taskpaper, but there are extensions for Sublime Text and VS Code. Other projects and tasks may get a .taskpaper list, depending on the project.

At midnight I have a script that goes through the today.taskpaper file and collects the tasks that are marked @today or switch @due() on the current day to @today and then messages me the list of tasks over Telegram. This script also collects all the tasks that were completed the previous day and appends them to my journal.

Journal is %Y.markdown in a Journal folder.

The key is keeping everything in plain text, and write little bash scripts to notify me or add to them.

 

Just to be curious : why taskpaper fornat over todo.txt?

 

I found taskpaper first, so it had first mover advantage. 😄 I looked at todo.txt because it has the mindshare, but I don't like the format. Taskpaper makes better sense to me than todo.txt.

I believe it's a more flexible than todo.txt. Soon I'll release my CLI tool. 😉

Oh great!! 🙂🙂 All the best..! 🙂🙌

 

ForestApp forestapp.cc/. Android version is free, but iOS is paid ($1.99 I think). It's similar to a Pomodoro timer. You can use it in conjunction with other tools to help your focus. The funny thing about the app is the more time you stay without touching your phone, the more your tree grows. If you touch your phone and go somewhere else instead of the app, the tree starts to die. The "lock time" is up to you. You can see all of your trees over time :)

 

Yeah I've used this.. It helped me a lot! But there are moments where I would have to use the phone for work purposes or can also go unproductive on laptop. So I uninstalled. 🙂

Thanks for the suggestions 🙂

 

Use Rescue Time... It tracks pc, mac, phone, tablet... Everything rescuetime.com/

Oh that's great! Thanks🙂

 

PS: I have made this tool so if this shameless plug is not allowed let me know

I use PageMarker for bookmarks. I can add markdown notes to my links (good for code snippets too!), organize in folders and tags and setup a personal email newsletter so that I don't forget the links I save for later. It also helps me see what's read and unread so I know where I am with my reading list

 

Wow! I got an amazing impression from the UI and features of the website. All the very best! 🙂🙌

 
 

I feel like productivity tools are a really personal thing. There are an absolute plethora out there, so it might help to define some constraints or preferences.

For myself, I knew I mostly just wanted a note taking and Todo system, with the following constraints:

  • Something that lets me manage my own data (I just don't want to rely on a single cloud provider)
  • Android compatible (I have my phone everywhere, so I can always check on things and dump new notes in)
  • Allows hierarchical note taking
  • Stores data in an open format (so I'm not locked into a single tool)
  • Supports recurring Todo items, to help with habit building
  • Notifications and customizable quick-views that let me build and update high-level overviews quickly
  • A UI that is lightning fast (e.g., not an SPA)

For me, that turned out to be Orgzly. I will note that this is android-only, and you'll need to set up your own synchronization if you want that data on other machines, as well as learn emacs + org-mode if you want to edit on a computer. It's powerful, stable, customizable and fast, but definitely has a learning curve if you want to do anything advanced with it.

That said, I've also used the following in various combinations, so if you have questions about them, feel free to ask:

  • Evernote
  • Asana
  • Notion
  • Workflowy
  • Trello
  • Pen + Paper
 

Thanks a lot! 🙂 Will surely try

 

I have been experimenting with many productivity tools for many years now. Some of them have worked great for me. There was a time when I was into To Doist. I have always used Evernote to take notes from my phone. But these are apps from the previous generation. If you have a Mac, I would recommend the following

  1. Day One for Journaling (writing blog posts/drafts/chronicling).
  2. Noted (for taking meeting notes, it has an audio recording feature). Great UX!
  3. MindNode for brainstorming ideas and representing them on a graph. Another competitor is Plectica, which is a browser-based tool.
  4. Raindrop.io for bookmarking is really great.
  5. Notion - I'm relatively new to this but like it very much.

There are several great apps out there but I think it comes down to what is right for you. I don't think there's one clear winner of all.

 

Amazing answer! Thanks a lot for writing this valuable answer. I see many of them mention Notion. Will check it out first. Thanks 🙂

 

If you like an app which can track your time, you should try RescueTime at rescuetime.com

 

Thank you🙂 will download it now.

 

I really liked the combination of Toggl Tracker and Toggl Plan, until I unfortunately had to switch to different tools.

Back when I tried toggl plan, it didn't have a nice integration with it's own time-tracker.
Maybe they fixed that now, which would make it a powerhouse for small teams.

 

I am currently writing an article about productivity and moreover how to increase productivity. If you want you can subscribe to my medium feed or my newsletter to be noticed once it will be out.

Medium: medium.com/@tsflorus
Website: tsflorus.me

 

That would be helpful 🙂

 

The best productivity is silent mode in your mobile :)

 

And a social media blocker for the browser

 
 

Hahaha, true in a way😂

 

Just curious, but were there any paid products you considered? Which ones? Or why not? Productivity is valuable.

 

Hi Eddy, thanks for asking.

I came across tools that had a monthly/annual subscription.

As Im just a student now and doens't have a stable income, I don't prefer spending on someone now. That's the reason.
Yes productivity is valuable, but I believe it can be inculcated with both free and paid ones. 🙂 What is your opinion?

 

Makes sense of course!

Free tools can get you most of the way there for sure. I'd only pay for more advanced tools myself too. You wouldn't pay for a simple todo app of course.

 
 

Hey Fayaz,
Yeah I've already visited this from your profile a while back. Great job!

By the way, you're doing amazingly well on dev.to! Keep going! All the very best!! 🙂🔥

 

Thank you for your kind words.

 

I'm surprised to see that no one here mentioned OneNote. I believe there is a free version of it (although I use the one from office360). I like it because it has a good integration with outlook, has an app and the markup is really easy. I just /love/ the way OneNote lets you create tables. Todo lists, search across pages, hierarchies, different workbooks, automatic OCR for images , all you can wish

 

any markdown editor, such as vs code, is good enough for me.

 

Ah I see.. great! You mean, to write code?

 

I use ora.pm for project management, which has also time tracking feature, and evernote for almost everything else.

 

Ah great! Will check it out🙂

 

If you need a pomodoro timer I can recommend pomofocus.io/

 
 

I can honestly say that Todoist is one that has fundamentally changed my life.

todoist.com/app/

 

Glad to hear that. Will check it out. Thank you 🙂

 

Notion is an amazing product. I use it regularly.

 
 

I can recommend ClickUp, it has helped me organize and prioritize tasks.

 

Super! Okay, will check it out. Thank you 🙂