If you want to improve your productivity, you don’t have to do it alone. There are loads of productivity apps to help you manage tasks, organize your workflow, keep track of time, and automate repetitive work. We’ve compiled a list of the 11 best productivity apps for Windows to help you get more done in the day.
As you read through this list though, keep in mind that the right app or tool will only get you so far. You also need to conquer the mental aspects of productivity. For example, Microsoft founder Bill Gates says that the key to his productivity is meditation:
“I now see that meditation is simply exercise for the mind, similar to the way we exercise our muscles when we play sports. For me, it has nothing to do with faith or mysticism. It’s about taking a few minutes out of my day, learning how to pay attention to the thoughts in my head, and gaining a little bit of distance from them.”
Combine a healthy productivity mindset with any of these apps and you’ll be sure to check off more tasks on your to-do list by the end of the day. And yeah, Bill Gates would approve—these apps all work with Windows, and many of them include both mobile and desktop versions that run in the cloud.
The 11 best free productivity apps for Windows
These 11 apps are great for removing distractions, organizing projects, collaborating better, and saving time in general. You can download them directly from their respective websites, or via the Microsoft Windows Apps store.
For improving focus
Block out distractions and gamify your work sessions with these free apps.
Freedom is one of the best productivity apps for Windows for eliminating distractions and prioritizing focused work. The app lets users track time, block distracting websites, and even schedule dedicated sessions to work.
Freedom works across your devices, and it’s compatible with both Windows and major mobile operating systems, including Android and iOS. The app is really easy to use, and the seven-day free trial offers plenty of time to test it out. The premium plan lets users connect unlimited devices and schedule unlimited sessions (including recurring ones).
In addition to blocking out distracting websites, it comes with ambient noise, note-taking, and time-tracking features to help you be even more productive. (Because there’s nothing that says productivity like the background sound of rain on a tin roof.)
Forest’s Chrome extension is one of the best free productivity apps for Windows, with a unique approach for improving your focus. The app starts by running a personality test, which it uses to understand your focus needs and tailor your experience accordingly.
Then, during focused work sessions, Forest lets you plant a virtual tree. If you keep working, the tree grows. But if you become distracted, it starts dying. ☠️ By gamifying your experience with this life-and-death scenario, Forest encourages you to stay focused.
P.S. Forest has partnered with Trees for the Future to plant real trees, too!
For managing tasks
Manage and organize everyday tasks and take notes across devices.
Todoist is a great app for managing tasks and projects from any device. The app supports all major operating systems, including Windows, and syncs your workflow across different devices. Create tasks from your laptop and track their progress on the go with your phone.
Todoist has become a household name in the task management space, and it supports integrations with hundreds of apps, including calendars, social media apps, time-tracking tools, emails, and much more.
The free plan is enough for simple needs—it lets users collaborate with five people, create and manage up to five projects, and track work logs for a week. The paid plans start at just $5/user/month (or $4 if you pay annually).
4. Microsoft OneNote
Since OneNote comes with Windows, it’s easy to overlook. But, it’s actually a great note-taking app and one of the best free productivity apps for Windows. The free version only offers 5GB of storage, which is alright considering you’ll be storing plain text. However, if you or your company has an Office 365 subscription, you’ll get access to at least 1TB of storage.
OneNote lets you create and manage digital notebooks to manage and organize note taking. It also comes with iOS and Android functionality to support note taking across devices. Plus, the real-time collaboration features help teams share notes with ease.
For time tracking
Where are you spending most of your time? Find out with Toggl.
Toggl is a time-tracking app for Windows that helps users improve productivity by monitoring where—and how—they’re spending their time. The app lets you keep track of what projects are taking up most of your time, and the paid plans unlock billing features, including generating invoices.
Toggl integrates with over 100 popular apps, including many Windows apps, allowing users to track productivity across different platforms. For example, you can integrate Toggl with your project management solution to monitor the time spent on each project.
Some of Toggl’s more advanced features include custom tags, desktop activity tracking, idle-time detection, and setting triggers to automatically track time. The free plan gives you access to all the essential features, including reporting, and the paid plans start at just $8/user/month.
For project management
Manage and organize your projects with the best free productivity apps for Windows.
Trello rose to fame as the Kanban app, but it has since evolved into a fully fledged project management tool. The app supports all major browsers and devices, working on the cloud, across mobile devices, and yes, Windows too.
Trello does everything a project management tool needs to, and the free plan supports unlimited cards, integrations (Trello calls them “power-ups”), and access to Trello’s cloud, mobile, and Windows apps. You can comfortably sync your workflow across all devices, even with the free plan.
Trello’s Windows app is light and stable, and all Trello plans come with pre-made templates and built-in automations to help users create, manage, and streamline workflows.
Asana is one of the best-known project management software for Windows, and with good reason. The app balances a robust feature set while maintaining a user-friendly, intuitive interface that isn’t clunky. And, like Trello, Asana works on the cloud, and comes with both mobile and desktop apps (including a Windows app).
Asana’s free plan is great for teams, supporting collaboration with up to 15 members. The limits are generous, too—the free plan offers unlimited projects, messages, tasks, and file storage (with a 100MB/file limit).
Asana supports integrations with over 100 apps, including Windows apps, to help users organize and automate their workflow.
For improving collaboration
Looking to collaborate better with your team members and customers? Check these two gems out.
Loom’s tagline is “Loom on. Meetings off.”, which nicely covers the app’s advantage: Loom helps teams be more productive by recording sessions and sharing them with ease. The result? Less meetings and more clarity—you can clear up any confusion by sending team members a recording, instead of voice notes or long messages.
Loom offers a Chrome extension and downloadable screen recorders for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, so users can access it across devices. The free plan offers 50 creators (with some limitations on the accounts), up to 25 videos per person, and up to five videos per account.
Loom also offers loads of features beyond video recording, including transcription, viewer insights, video editing features, and more. The business plan ($8/creator/month for annual billing) even unlocks custom branding and password protection.
Given how popular Slack has become in recent years, it might not even need an introduction. It’s become the go-to tool for remote team collaboration, boasting lots of integrations, an intuitive UI, and all the communication features teams could possibly need (can we even live without threads at this point?). It comes with Windows, Android, and iOS apps, and it works on your browser, too.
Slack’s free plan is enough to get started—it limits users to one workspace, but you can add unlimited team members. It also supports 90-day access to messages and files, 1:1 huddles (live audio meetings), 10 integrations (with apps like GDrive and Office 365), and access to standard customer support.
If Slack’s going to be your team’s primary point of contact, then it’s worth checking the paid plans out. The pro plan costs $7.25 USD/active user/month and unlocks the full context of your message history, and audio and voice conversations with screen sharing for up to 50 people.
For automating repetitive tasks
These Windows apps will help you automate boring, repetitive tasks, right from your browser.
If you’re looking to save time on everyday tasks, Magical is a free Chrome extension for Windows for automating repetitive tasks. The productivity app helps sales pros, recruiters, and customer service teams save hours of time every week with text expansion and automated data entry.
With Magical, people can create text shortcuts and save whole email/message templates to speed up correspondence. Plus, the app’s Transfers feature is perfect for teleporting data across your open tabs—without the need for any integrations or coding. This makes Magical a popular choice for automating data entry tasks, like updating CRMs or migrating customer data.
Magical is really easy to use, and it doesn’t require any setup. Just add it to Chrome and start saving time straight away.
11. Microsoft Power Automate
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that another Microsoft app made our list . 😅 On a more serious note, Power Automate is a powerful robotic process automation (RPA) tool that comes free with Windows 10 and above.
Power Automate is a no-code automation tool that lets users outline workflows and automate repetitive tasks, without the need for integrations. This is super useful for companies that want to leverage automation without having the budget for hefty APIs.
Power Automate is easy enough to use—it automates repetitive, rules-based tasks. Users can create their own flows, or use the app’s recording feature to record a session. The app will then attempt to automate the activities in the session, provided they’re all rule-based.
There’s a lot of scope to automate tasks with Power Automate, and Microsoft has put tons of supporting documentation together. It’s definitely a tool worth checking out!
Ready to boost your productivity?
Productivity apps help you save loads of time in different ways. For example, they help you to:
- Take notes and create to-do lists
- Manage tasks and track where you’re spending the most time
- Collaborate better with team members
- Automate repetitive tasks
We hope you found our list of the best productivity apps for Windows helpful. And if you’d like to give no-code automation a shot, add Magical to Chrome today.
What are people asking about productivity apps?
Still have a few questions? Let’s get them answered.
1. What is the best productivity app PC?
There are lots of great PC apps for improving productivity. For example, Freedom is a solid choice for eliminating distractions, Toggl is great for tracking time, and Power Automate is ideal for automating tasks.
2. What is the #1 productivity app?
It depends on your needs. Asana, for instance, helps manage projects and tasks, Freedom is great for eliminating distractions, and Loom saves teams time by reducing meetings.
3. What are the big 3 productivity apps?
It depends on what your needs are. For example, Slack is great for collaboration, Todoist is perfect for task management, and Magical is excellent for automating everyday tasks.
4. What apps increase productivity?
Loads of apps do! We’ve covered some of the best ones—including Freedom, Loom, Magical, Asana, and more.