9 (Lesser-Known) Best Productivity Apps for Executives

Life can get crazy busy.

Most of us are constantly searching for ways to better juggle personal and professional responsibilities. We want to be more productive and effective at work and life…and we crave work life balance.

Oh…the happy medium. Finding it for ourselves amidst the important tasks and duties of life is difficult. Add in obligations to colleagues, clients, potential clients, kids, relationship partners, family, friends, hobbies and the like, and it’s no wonder so many of us feel like we’re treading water.

Yet, though finding work life balance can be difficult, it isn’t impossible.

Below you’ll find the best productivity apps to promote business efficiency, personal effectiveness, and an overall peace of mind to help you be the best version of yourself.

Whether you need to manage your expenses, create to do lists on the fly, collaborate digitally with colleagues, clean up your inbox, control your apps, or keep your passwords in one place…this list of the best productivity apps has you covered!

Some are free. Others require a fee. All of them will increase your productivity exponentially.

Expense Management

1 Expensify I don’t know about you, but keeping track of my expenses is a real pain. Or…I should say expense reporting used to be a total pain. Because now I use Expensify, which allows me to snap photos of my receipts and fill out the details right then or later. Expense reports are generated in seconds, and the app provides both Automatic Approval and Automatic Reimbursement. How cool is that!

Notes and To Do Lists

2 Wunderlist To be fair, this app enables you to do more than to do lists (see what I did there?!). With incredible UX design and intuitive functionality, this app helps you organize your personal and professional tasks in one place. You can also share your lists! Available for free on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, Windows, Kindle Fire and the Web.

3 Drafts This app provides you with simple note taking (and making) capabilities. You don’t have to sort through or define titles, files, or folders. Beyond the ability to take notes, the Drafts app can be configured to work with more well-known productivity apps like Box and Evernote. It also supports a variety of email clients and social media sites.

Task Management

4Things Want ease of use and powerful features? Try Things, which is a hybrid to do list app and task management app. I love their description: “You shouldn’t have to read a manual to become more productive, or try to understand complex inspector windows. After all, isn’t the whole point of a task manager to make your life easier?” I couldn’t agree more.

Want to know how this translates to productivity? Let’s say you’re reading an email from a friend who includes a to do list of things she wants you to buy for an upcoming party. Just select the relevant portion of the email and press the Autofill shortcut in the Things app. The Quick Entry window appears with the selected text already added to the notes, together with a link to the original email. Boom! Magic. You can also select text portions from applications such as Safari, Messages, Pages, Finder and more.

5 Doit.im Fans of the Getting Things Done® (GTD®) model of productivity love this app. First, it’s free. What’s not to love about that? Second, it’s available to download on iPhone, Android, Windows, Mac, or iPad and can be used online through various browsers. Do you use several different devices? No problem! Everything syncs using doit.im servers, so you can conjure up projects, tasks, subtasks, goals, actions, tags, due dates, notes, and more from virtually anywhere. You can also forward what you’ve done to others.

Remote Collaboration

6 HipChat Many remote collaboration tools have sprung up to compete with Slack, the most widely used of cloud-based team communication tools. HipChat is one such competitor, providing a robust alternative to Slack through its screen sharing and native video chat capabilities. Unlike Slack, which is solely cloud-based, HipChat can be hosted onsite. This is a huge bonus for companies concerned about privacy and data security.

Password Management

71Password With 1Password you only ever need to remember… one password. All your other passwords and important information are protected behind your Master Password, which only you know. Nuff said.


8 Headspace You can’t be productive if your head is always swimming with every little task and tidbit and piece of minutiae in your personal and professional life. You must take a break to be most effective and productive, because…science. And what better way to get some head space than with a meditation app called Headspace. You don’t have to say “Namaste,” turn yourself into a human pretzel, or get your Ohm on to be more productive, creative, and healthy. You just have to quiet your mind for 5 to 15 minutes a day. The Headspace app helps you learn how.

Inbox Management

9Unroll.me is my “wow” app. It’s a complete and total sanity saver, because who actually likes a crowded, spam-filled inbox? We all strive to get rid of such clutter, but trying to manage your email inbox on your own is like trying to kill Jason Voorhees. It just ain’t gonna happen without some serious, consistent, exhausting effort.

Unless…you get the Unroll.me app. In just 24 hours, this app will declutter your inbox with mindblowing efficiency. How? First, it consolidates your various (a.k.a. way too many) email newsletters into one single email. How’s that for email management productivity?! Second, it provides you with the ability to unsubscribe from every single unwanted email list you’ve been suckered into subscribing to.

Want to reach inbox zero? This is the first step.


Now that you’re well steeped in the best productivity apps, what will you do with all of that extra time you’ve earned back?!