The best way to stay sharp with your computer is to have the best tools available. Whether it’s a calendar, media player, or to-do list, your desktop can be filled with apps that suit your every need. Here are the best apps to have on your desktop in 2018.
With the ability to save a huge variety of notes, complete with powerful search tools and syncing capabilities, Evernote is a free indispensable tool for organizing your thoughts and ideas. You can add anything to your Evernote workspace – a quick to-do list, photos, screenshots, links, and segments of articles you find online. Your notebooks can be synced across all your devices as required, enabling you to view and work on them anywhere. Premium options gives you even more storage and collaboration abilities to enhance your note taking experience.
G Suite is a great free online productivity suite that offers simple and speedy document creation (Google Docs), spreadsheets (Google Sheets), scheduling (Google Calendar) and more. With easy sharing and collaborating features, G Suite allows you to manage everything you need to get the job done. You can even add files to your free 15GB Google Drive Storage, or upgrade to premium options that allow you hold even more data.
Another popular Google product, Google Chrome is a hugely customizable browser that allows you to sync bookmarks and preferences between different devices – including phones and tablets – simply by using your Google account. Other great alternatives include Firefox (whose recent revamp has made it similar to Chrome capabilities), Safari, Opera, Microsoft Edge for Windows 10, or Internet Explorer in Windows 7.
Cloud storage is a must-have for any computer savvy professional, and Dropbox’s platform allows you to easily store, search, share and sync files across platforms. A free account on Dropbox allows only 2GB of storage, but you can earn up to 18GB via referrals and a few other tricks. Other alternatives include Google Drive, Apple’s iCloud on Macs and other iDevices, and Microsoft’s own OneDrive, which is integrated into Windows 10.
VLC Player and Media Player Classic aka MPC-HC for Windows 7 and the built-in player for Windows 10 allows users to watch different media from a variety of formats. For Mac users, Quicktime Player and MPV are default alternatives that allow you to check out videos in other formats.
Trello is smart collaboration tool for managing, organizing and sharing everything from simple to-dos to major project management tasks. With Trello, you simply drag cards onto a Trello board to keep tabs on different things – such as single tasks with set priorities and deadlines attached or checklists, with attached files and pictures. You can even integrate a host of third-party services like GitHub, Hangouts, Mailchimp, Twitter and more.
Started in 2008, Asana is another popular collaboration tool used by companies like Intel and Uber as their core method of communication and management tracking. With the platform, you can create to-do lists for ongoing projects, and send requests and comments to others within the app.
Listening to music during some deep work periods is pretty helpful, and with Spotify‘s free app, you can enjoy a majority of their music services without paying anything. With the platform, you can create playlists, find your favorite artists, browse custom radios and more. With their premium subscription, you can even enjoy an ad-free and on-demand streaming experience.
With Pocket, you can keep track of everything cool you find on the web, and store content for offline viewing. You’re bound to mow through tons of interesting pieces of content in a day. Pocket allows you to save these items, and you can even save directly from Twitter, Flipboard, Pulse and 1,500 other apps. With the premium version, you can drop the ads and utilize a stack of advanced search tools to help you keep tabs on what you enjoy online.
Wunderlist is an easy to use to-do list app that has many features to get things organized. You can create actions directly from the web or by forwarding emails, arrange related items in folders, set notifications and more. Lists can also be shared for streamlined collaboration.
Todoist is another popular to-do list and organizer that can easily sync it with other devices and promotes better shareability with others. Used by over 10 million people worldwide, companies like Google and Apple have found it suitable for better collaboration and task management.
RescueTime is a free app that gives you back lost time, by allowing you to view the incredible insights from your daily computer habits. With both the desktop app and browser extension, you can track your time spent on other apps and websites. The reports you receive also help quantifies key metrics that can help you set specific productivity goals. Premium features also allow you to easily block any distracting apps and sites that may slow down your workflow.
Apps like Toggl and Harvest provide you with better online time tracking for remote work – such as hours spent on projects and tasks for various clients, or time spent on app usage. It also allows you to compare actual time spent with the return from that work. You can even generate invoices and easily integrate both apps with PayPal.