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Could your computer help you get more work done? It certainly can, but only the most effective software will streamline your workflow and let you get to the task at hand.

Used correctly, great organization software can make you more productive How To Stay Productive Whether You're A Morning Person Or A Night Owl How To Stay Productive Whether You're A Morning Person Or A Night Owl Don't strive to wake up early or stay late. Instead, optimise systems so that you can tackle the phase where your productivity is low. Here are some smart strategies. Read More . It’s a matter of working smarter rather than harder; if you can entrust a well-designed program with matters of scheduling or communication, it leaves you more time to get the actual work done.

However, sub-par tools will yield sub-par results. It’s important to be sure that the applications you’re using are up to the job. Here are some of the best modern apps The Best Windows 10 Apps The Best Windows 10 Apps Windows 10 Store apps have come a long way. Meanwhile, you can choose from a considerable selection, free and paid. We have picked out the ones worth your while. Read More available to simplify your working life and allow you to concentrate on the important things.

Calendar

A straightforward scheduling app that aims for simplicity rather than a wealth of features.

Microsoft’s own attempt at a calendar app is very easy to use, but suffers from a distinct lack of functionality. What it does have going for it is a sleek, clean interface that will be familiar to anyone who has experience with modern Windows apps What Are Your Favourite Windows 8 Metro/Modern Apps? What Are Your Favourite Windows 8 Metro/Modern Apps? With Windows 8 comes a whole host of new apps for Microsoft's veteran operating system, but which of these new, tile-based "Metro-or-Modern" apps would you like to see on our list of the best? One... Read More — but that comes at the cost of features that advanced users will expect.

calendar

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It’s easy enough to sync your events if you’re entrenched into the Windows product line, but if you’re not then you’ll have more difficulty. For example, a workaround does exist to export your Google Calendar events How to Sync Your Google Calendar Appointments With Windows 8 How to Sync Your Google Calendar Appointments With Windows 8 Microsoft encourages you to use the Windows 8 default calendar app. We show you how to access Google Calendar in Windows 8 the easy way. Read More to the Microsoft app, but it’s extra work for a tool that seems entirely focused on being user-friendly. The lack of a way to easily categorize and color-coordinate events also seems like a major omission.

That said, if you only need the most basic calendar functions, this app will do the job. It seems that advanced features have been removed to streamline the overall experience, and that comes through in the finished product. Anyone could use this app quite happily, no matter their experience, and that’s crucial for this kind of software.

Mail

Sturdy email client that gets straight to the point.

Microsoft’s own email app carves out its own niche alongside the ever-popular Outlook. It rids users of much of the chaff of a traditional email client and leaves them with something much closer to the simplified email apps you might find on mobile devices — as seems to be the trend with Microsoft’s modern app offerings.

mail

The mileage you’ll get out of this app depends on whether that philosophy resonates with you. Power users who have grown accustomed to feature-heavy clients will likely be put off — but it’s perfect for someone who simply wants to read their emails and respond to them if necessary.

The UI is the star here; it’s completely distraction-free, and there’s plenty of people who will be sold on that alone. However, that same uncluttered interface means that tools you might find essential aren’t at hand when you need them, and that might just be enough to send you back to your usual email client.

People

Limited contacts app that falls flat in the face of superior competition.

While Calendar and Mail serve their purposes well while keeping things simple, the third part of Microsoft’s productivity app trifecta is something of a disappointment. Like those apps, it boasts a clean UI — but unlike those apps, it turns out to be a complicated, awkward experience without actually offering all that much functionality.

people

Once your contacts are imported from various services like Twitter, Skype and your email client, you can either find them via search or view a feed of their recent activity. Looking at individual profiles presents information relatively well — but you’ll likely have to input much of it manually. The feed is almost completely redundant, doing a far worse job than dedicated social media trawlers OneFeed Lets You Manage Social Networks, Cloud Drives & News Feeds Under One Roof OneFeed Lets You Manage Social Networks, Cloud Drives & News Feeds Under One Roof Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, news, favorite websites, Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail…. are you out of breath yet? This is just a fraction of the services an average user deals with on a daily basis. How... Read More .

All in all, this seems undercooked; a halfway house between an address book and a social media feed that doesn’t quite satisfy in either case. Better options are definitely out there.

Taskify

Simplistic to-do list tracker to keep your eye on the task at hand.

Opening up Taskify for the first time can be a little bit daunting; its tutorial takes the form of a fully-stocked list of tasks Why Procrastination Can't Be Cured By Task Management Apps [Opinion] Why Procrastination Can't Be Cured By Task Management Apps [Opinion] For the longest time I’ve struggled with time management, and in some aspects I still do. One of my many methods in “overcoming” my lack of time management was to use task management applications. I... Read More that bring you up to speed with the app. It turns out to be a smart way of teaching you the ropes, but for a moment it might seem like the app simply too complex for its own good.

taskify

Happily, once you’re up and running it’s a distraction-free experience. The UI isn’t quite as nice as Microsoft’s own offerings, but everything works just as you would expect. You can set up any number of lists to house your tasks, and from there you’re free to add new items with optional info like notes or a reminder ahead of their due date. Then, it’s a simple click of a check-box to mark them as complete.

If it sounds simple, that’s because it is — but it’s a nicely refined experience. Taskify takes full advantage of the screen space available, presenting plenty of information to you without being overbearing. Chalk this one up as a case of simple things done very well.

Wunderlist

In-depth task management tool with useful multi-user functionality.

Many Windows apps sacrifice features for ease of use, and it’s a strategy that can work quite effectively — Wunderlist, on the other hand, offers the best of both worlds. It’s intuitive enough to start using it without any prior knowledge of how it works, but it goes above and beyond what you might expect from a basic to-do list manager 5 Reasons Your To-Do App Is Making You Less Productive 5 Reasons Your To-Do App Is Making You Less Productive Giving up on your to-do lists? Your problem isn't your ambition or the task planning app you use. The problem is in how you are using your to-do list in general. Read More .

wunderlist

Like Taskify, different tasks can be put in different lists to separate them into home and work, or any other distinction you might want to make. However, there are all sorts of little details — that are quite easily ignored, if you like — but can come in very useful. For example, you can assign subtasks to any task, or star particular jobs to add them to a priority folder that spans all your lists. Little touches like this demonstrate that this is an app that’s built upon a foundation of experience using this sort of tool, and that’s of great benefit to the user.

However, the real reason that Wunderlist is such a great task manager Wunderlist: Easy-To-Use, Versatile & Cross-Platform To-Do List Manager Wunderlist: Easy-To-Use, Versatile & Cross-Platform To-Do List Manager Read More is its multi-user support. Web-based project management tools like Slack are becoming all the more popular, and Wunderlist does a great job of integrating this sort of activity with your own personal use. Some collaborative features are locked behind a paywall, but it’s well worth trying out the free version of Wunderlist to see just what it can do.

flow.timer

Comprehensive project management app for expert users.

For anyone who has to keep track of various projects with a host of different people working together, flow.timer has a lot to offer. Time is of the essence, here — each task carries with it the amount of time allotted to it, constantly forcing users to think practically about how to organize their schedule. This may seem simple, but it’s a very effective way of reinforcing why we use tools like this: to make sure work gets done on time, and gets done on time How to Create the Last Perfect Time Management System You'll Ever Use How to Create the Last Perfect Time Management System You'll Ever Use Productivity is a constant search for more organization with less work. A way to accomplish everything you dream to accomplish, without losing out on sleep. Can this automated time management system do it all? Read More .

flowtimer

Another great thing about flow.timer is the way that it uses the familiar clean UI of modern apps, but still offers up a huge amount of information. Normally, this would seem dead set against the Metro design aesthetic Microsoft Goes Metro(ish) With Windows 8 [News] Microsoft Goes Metro(ish) With Windows 8 [News] Microsoft’s recent demo of Windows 8 unveiled a big change – an entirely new interface. Clearly inspired by the Metro UI currently used by Windows Phone 7, the demo of Windows 8 featured colored tiles... Read More , but somehow extra data like percentage-based project overview figures is integrated into the interface very smoothly. The app is constantly delivering you information, but it always seems manageable.

This carries over to the reports that flow.timer automatically produces. The app is constantly crunching the numbers on your performance, and you can dip in at any time and see just how much any user or group has managed to get done over a particular period of time or on a particular project. It’s a well thought out step beyond the functionality of many similar tools, and it’s one that will likely put flow.timer a nose ahead of much of its competition.

Do you know of a great productivity app for Windows that we’ve missed? Let us know about it in the comments section below.

  1. Anastasiia
    December 2, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Thanks a lot for this article .I know one programme ,which has an integration with most of those programmes.We are using this programme on my work and it's pretty comfortable.You can control your time there and also ur budget.It's really important.So if you are interesting in this app,check in Google,It's call TimeCamp.

  2. Kevin Peter
    February 10, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Being productive is necessary to manage work, run the business, collaberate with people. A simple To-Do List, Diary, calendar & Checklist Organizer will definitely handle the task.
    But moving ahead with technology, we have meaner softwares aiming to do the job faster for us which is a solution to a specific problem.

  3. fff
    February 6, 2015 at 4:14 am

    i like the idea behind apps like peploe i think that windows can sandbox your information better. i really don't see the use of an email client in the web-mail era i wish Microsoft would just make one and distribute it for free then only charge for exchange p.s make use of really needs to improve Spam checks for the comment section

    • Tina
      March 8, 2015 at 8:30 pm

      Thanks for the heads-up regarding the spam comments. We do try to keep comments as clean as possible. Mihir is super dedicated to this task and all authors can keep their articles clean. Did you see spam comment on here or anywhere else?

  4. Saikat
    February 5, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Todo App is also a useful one. Simple and free.

  5. antman
    February 4, 2015 at 1:46 am

    I use Calender and Outlook on my Windows tablet and the new Outlook app for Android. For TO DO lists on my devices at once I use Laverna on my own web host.

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