Building a startup can be an exhilarating yet challenging experience. In the midst of wearing multiple hats and juggling various tasks, it’s not uncommon to find ourselves wondering where all the time went.
And let’s face it; productivity can take a hit when we’re struggling to keep up with the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship. Between countless distractions, endless to-do lists, and the ever-looming pressure of deadlines, it’s no wonder we sometimes find ourselves struggling to maintain focus and efficiency.
In today’s dynamic business environment, staying ahead of the curve is essential. Productivity tools can help you do just that. They can automate repetitive tasks, facilitate team collaboration, and manage your resources effectively so that you can focus on what truly matters: growing your startup.
And guess what? We’ve made it our mission to share the absolute best productivity tools with you.
AI & Productivity Tools – An Analysis
Since AI tools are getting popular among users, they want tools to automate tasks optimally. Even for productivity tools, an AI assistant can improve the workflow even more by doing most of your job without making it feel robotic.
Here is a small analysis of which of the following tools have AI capabilities and how good they are.
ClickUp has AI features allowing you to write better and faster by instantly creating a first draft, improving it, or brainstorming about anything. AI can transform your work by generating instant drafts for your blog posts, emails, and advertising copy while suggesting writing improvements to improve your content.
Furthermore, it also helps summarize critical points from Docs, tasks, and comments and create a checklist of action items from meeting notes. With this, you can create detailed proposals and plans in seconds and improve communication with customers.
HubSpot’s AI content assistant uses the power of OpenAI’s GPT model to help anyone on your team ideate, create, and share content in a flash. You can easily switch between manual and AI content writing with only a single click for blog posts, landing pages, marketing emails, and more.
This AI assistant can help remove writer’s block, switch between different tools, or learn new ones.
Asana recently launched prediction-based AI tools to help improve decision-making, by adding a universal workload tool that uses predictive AI, helping team leaders to make better resourcing decisions.
Best Productivity Tools
1. ClickUp – One App To Speed Up Your Tasks
Bio: ClickUp was founded in 2016 as an internal tool for its owner and his team to manage everything in one place to speed up their work. They quickly changed it to a full-scale platform in 2017 and made it available to the public.
Within five years, ClickUp managed to get over six million users, making it one of the most popular project management tools of the last decade.
Customization At Its Peak
ClickUp’s customization feature is one of its biggest USPs, allowing users to customize their projects based on their workflow, personal preferences, and business model. This also makes ClickUp a flexible option, allowing teams across industries to choose the most suitable structure for their work.
Whether you can want to send and receive emails, chat with other people on the projects, or edit documents with other members, all of this is possible in real-time on Clickup. With this one tool, you can stay connected and up-to-date with the entire organization from anywhere.
ClickUp has a built-in chat option; you can invite any teammate and start a live chat with them, sharing information about projects or notifying them about upcoming tasks. This saves tons of time as you don’t have to install other business chatting apps to stay connected with your employees.
With ClickUp, it is extremely easy to create, pull detailed reports, and customize them, allowing you to get insight into individual and team performance. You have more than 50 options to customize the dashboard, which allows you to check even the minor details about projects, inducing the missed deadlines and the progress of the task.
ClickUp offers more than 15 views allowing you to check your projects, teams, and timeline how you want them. In addition to the standard views like Calendar, Board, and Gantt, you can also choose Mind Map View, Workload View, and Activity View.
Easy Time Tracking
With ClickUp’s time tracking feature, you can easily manage your time, making a smooth workflow by setting estimates, adding notes, and viewing reports to have more control over your work hours. In addition, you can also add billable time to check the hours expensed on invoices.
Free-$29/mo per user
- Customization without code or add-ons
- 50+ native integrations
- Easy task management
- Kanban boards for linear task view
- Agile project management features
- Unlimited storage in its premium plans
- Report performance could be improved
- Limited time tracking
ClickUp has a slightly steep learning curve, but the website has all the information you need to set it and find your way through. Once it is all setup, ClickUp’s versatility and flexibility allow you to track, identify, and remove the bottlenecks to speed up tasks and improve productivity.
Product Rating Summary
ClickUp has an extensive list of features, making it an all-in-one tool for startups to improve their productivity. The free plan will be enough unless you want to manage resources and send emails from Clickup. Regardless of your chosen plan, 24/7 support ensures you never run into any problems.
Overall ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.5)
Ease of use ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.5)
Features ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.5)
Bio: ProofHub has been around since 2011, a time when the market already had tons of productivity tools; ProofHub carved a niche of its own and managed to get success in only five years. In 2016, Proofhub was used by many small and big companies, including Netflix, Google, NASA, Disney, and more.
These happy customers are enough to tell that this is one of the best project management tools.
With ProofHub, you can track when your employees logged into their accounts and what they started working on. In addition, you can keep track of their work and how long they have been working on a project or a task.
If you don’t want others to access the time tracking sheet, you can create a private timesheet and allow specific users to access and interact with it.
Everything Is On The Dashboard
You won’t be needing move around a lot to look for options as you can add all of them on the front dashboard page. Furthermore, every user can customize the dashboard as they like to access all the critical tasks and announcements quickly.
You can create project templates and save them so that you won’t have to start from scratch whenever you want to create a similar project. In those templates, you can add overviews, discussions, tasks, calendars, notes, and other tabs.
ProofHub allows you to create and share reports of individual and all projects to anyone in the team. If you have been tracking the resources used on every project, the reporting option allows you to craft a resource report for every team member.
There is no need to update the agenda every day, as you can schedule them, and the team working on the projects will automatically receive updates about their tasks and reporting. You can even add deadlines for each project to keep your employees and management updated about the delivery time.
You don’t have to rely on business chatting tools like Slack to communicate with your team member or employees, as ProofHub has a built-in chat feature. From there, you can chat with anyone and let them know about the changes required in the project or anything else.
- Collaborative project planning
- Task creation and assignment
- Direct integration with popular apps like Freshbooks, Dropbox, Slack, and Google Drive.
- Native mobile apps for iOS and Android
- Excellent time-tracking software
- Organize tasks and projects according to priorities
- Limited integrations
- No budgeting function
- No option for recurring tasks
ProofHub is a straightforward tool to increase productivity with a simple and fixed monthly price for the entire team. There is no limit on the number of users you can add to ProofHub.
The interface speed is slightly low to load everything, especially when you have lots of projects to manage, but overall, it is a solid option to speed up and optimize your tasks.
Product Rating Summary
ProofHub is quick and easy to set up; almost everything is laid on the dashboard, giving you quick access. It is competitively priced, where you get to pay a fixed amount for all the features.
However, some features still need to be included, like the budgeting tools, which can help speed up maintaining resources for each project. For any queries, you can contact them via live chat on the website or fill out the form on the “Contact Support” page.
Overall ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.4)
Ease of use ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.5)
Features ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4)
3. HubSpot – Best Marketing Tool
Bio: The idea of HubSpot was laid back in 2004 when outbound marketing was on top but expensive for startups. In 2011, Hubspot gradually targeted businesses with over 1000 employees, and in 2016, HubSpot had over 23,226 customers.
HubSpot is your one-stop to improving your customer relationship by handling marketing, sales, and customer service teams. Since it does most of the work automatically, allowing you to save time and improve productivity.
Building long-term customer relationships are critical for a startup, as these customers can help promote products and increase sales. This is where HubSpot shines by offering a free CRM, allowing startups to create or connect their website to manage marketing and sales.
Landing pages are critical for any marketing strategy, and with HubSpot, you can create landing pages within minutes, saving a lot of time for your designers. You can choose from different templates and customize them using the drag-and-drop editor. However, in the free version, the HubSpot logo is visible on every landing page.
Furthermore, with the landing page, you can also spin up a form and follow-up email, saving lots of time and maximizing efficiency for marketers.
HubSpot allows you to add contacts, leads, and company information into the system to manage them, resulting in improved customer relationships, conversion, and delivery. While managing contacts, your sales team can also micro-manage each contact by keeping notes of every conversation, recording phone calls, and completing deals.
Since HubSpot does all this automatically, notifying you about all customers on one page speeds up the process of updating customers with new products and services.
Knowing why your potential customer didn’t purchase a product is critical for startups, as they can remove those hurdles to smoothen customers’ journey, leading to more sales. HubSpot Deals section allows you to track how each transaction progresses through multiple stages before customers finalize a purchase.
Once you know why a potential transaction was lost, you can improve those areas to avoid losing more deals.
Automation is an essential feature that every marketer loves – it makes daily tasks simple, quick, and intuitive. HubSpot workflow can automate property filling, list building, and email sending tasks.
However, you need to select certain rules to trigger this action. You can set these rules when creating a workflow for the required tasks.
Social Media Integration
HubSpot removes the hassle of posting content on social media accounts manually. Instead, you can integrate Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms to draft, edit, and schedule posts.
- Schedule meetings within seconds
- All-in-one platform for marketing, sales, and customer service
- An intuitive and easy-to-use interface, even for newbies
- Offers a range of automation tools
- Robust reporting and analytics features
- Real-time lead behaviors notification
- The templates are hard to modify
- Only one email per contact
HubSpot is a great CRM application to help automate your marketing and sales to save time and improve productivity. Since this tool covers a lot of areas, you’ll need to spend some time learning it before you can utilize its full potential.
The good thing is that its free version provides all the features you need to close deals rather than organize them, making it a suitable option for startups who don’t want to spend lots of money on productivity tools.
Product Rating Summary
Features size, HubSpot is rich; there is nothing you can’t find in this tool to improve your marketing and sales. In most cases, startups won’t need to purchase HubSpot because the free version offers many necessary features.
It won’t cost them much, even if they want additional features like social media handling. In case of any problems, you can contact support via live chat and get an instant response.
Overall ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.25)
Ease of use ⭐⭐⭐⭐(4)
Features ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.5)
4. Clean Email – Best Email Productivity Tool
Bio: One of the biggest productivity roadblocks is a cluttered inbox, which we all might have faced or will face somewhere in our lives. Clean Email is a simple solution for those who like to send tons of emails daily to retain their customers.
This tool was found in 2016, and within three years, it helped thousands of customers worldwide to clean and manage their inboxes.
If your inbox is already clustered, finding which emails to keep and which to delete is hard. This is where Clean Email smart suggestions come into play, allowing you to review and delete all unnecessary emails in a single click. This helps clean up your inbox faster than manually checking and deleting all emails.
Quick Unsubscribe Options
It’s not only you sending mail to customers, but the mailbox contains mail from other brands. If you have received emails from many brands, it will take a lot of time to unsubscribe from them manually.
Using Clean Email Unsubscriber, you can instantly filter out all the emails you never responded to, review them, and unsubscribe within minutes. Once that is over, there will be no more annoying popups in your mailbox containing company newsletters.
Block Or Mute
If you keep getting pesky emails from a particular sender, you can easily block or mute them using Clean Email. Similarly, you can block or mute multiple senders simultaneously to save time.
Your traditional email client gives you separate emails from each sender, making it hard to delete or filter them. Clean Email combines them with their names to provide a smart view, allowing you to check all the emails from one brand in one window.
Every year, hackers manage to get the email addresses and sensitive data of millions of users from large websites, banks, and other platforms. Privacy Guard in Clean Email ensures that your data stays safe by conducting regular security checkups. With this tool, you don’t have to worry about any security incidents.
Supports All Email Providers
It doesn’t matter which email service you use; Clean Email supports all platforms, including Gmail, Live, Yahoo, AOL, Outlook, and more. You can switch between accounts within seconds, and it also checks the security of each email and will notify you if some improvements are required.
$9.99 (one account) -$29.99 (10 accounts)/mo
- Amazingly clean interface
- Archiving and retention
- Filters and sorting
- Easily see mail from people, mailing lists, or both
- Unsubscribe from unwanted emails and senders
- Pause, read later, and keep the newest
- Online support is not very helpful
- Sometimes it considers every email spam and blocks them
Although it gets buggy sometimes, and you have to contact support to solve such issues, Clean Email is an excellent tool to sort your emails and improve your productivity. With a clean interface, it keeps every email accessible, removing the cluster that makes things complicated when filtering and sorting.
Product Rating Summary
You get all the necessary features in the free version, but you must upgrade the plan to remove the 1000 mail limit. While it’s not expensive, paying per member gets a bit expensive if you have multiple people handling mail in your team. Their customer support is great, but sometimes they take days to respond.
Ease of use ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐(4.5)
Features ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4)
5. Monday– Best Tool For Team Collaboration
Bio: When it comes to improving the team’s productivity, Monday is the best collaboration tool to streamline projects, to-do lists, workflow, and more. In 2021, Monday officially became a publicly traded company on Nasdaq.
In 2022, Monday was listed in the top 100 companies to work for, which alone shows their progress, and the same year, they expanded their business by opening offices in Tokyo and Singapore.
Project Data Visualizations
Monday allows you to visualize the data using graphics and charts to show your team members the progress and the problems related to a project. You can add a dashboard in your workspace and choose from the available widgets to display the charts and graphs.
Monday will automatically sort out the data and transfer your data inputs into different formats, saving you a lot of time.
If you have recurring tasks on a project, the built-in when/if/then statements can help automate them, so you won’t have to do them manually. These automation “recipes” are sorted by type, easily finding what you are looking for.
For example, you can send notifications, assign due dates, build out subitems, and more, with only a click.
A Huge List Of Integration
Monday offers many integrations, so you can connect the company apps like Slack, Trello, Gmail, Github, Google Drive, and more. After connecting the apps, you don’t have to open them and update the teams; instead, you can do all that from Monday’s dashboard and even automate the tasks to save time.
Monday has a built-in marketplace with free and paid apps, allowing you to customize your experience by improving integrations, workflow, automation, and more.
All these features are available in Monday’s dashboard, but with apps from the market, you can make extreme customization to suit your work’s needs, making it easy to implement, monitor, update, and improve tasks.
Monday is not limited to work management, but it also has a CRM for sales pipeline, lead management, capture, email sync, performance tracking, and reporting. The sales dashboard checks all your previous sales and expenses and forecasts the revenue you can get with your current strategies and leads.
Any customer leaving their email on your website will automatically be added to the CRM contact list, where you can send them emails and newsletters. Furthermore, you can manually add contacts of your partners, directors, or company personnel, giving them tags to avoid sending automated emails to them.
For example, you can tag “Customers” for all the visitors, and in the automated email option, you can choose to send emails to “customers” only.
$0 – $20 per seat/mo (Work Management)
$12 – $30 per seat/mo (Sales CRM)
- Easy to use interface and it is colorful
- Simple drag-and-drop charting mechanics and timeline
- Collaboration tools for social media (send likes, GIFs, mentions, and more)
- Guided automation are included in pro plan
- Online training and self-help resources
- Integrate your tasks into your calendar
- Steep learning curve for beginners
- Comparably convoluted pricing structure
As long as you have money to opt for a high-tier plan, Monday has all the features you need to streamline your projects and save lots of time. The free version has some benefits but is limited to only two seats. Ultimately, you’ll need to move to a premium plan as your team grows.
Don’t worry if you find it a bit complicated to use, as customer support and articles available on the website with videos and demos can help you learn it fast.
Product Rating Summary
Monday is a feature-rich tool to help automate your tasks, keep an eye on the projects, notify teammates and employees about deadlines, and even provide them with suggestions to improve their work. Their customer support is excellent, helping everyone with articles, demos, and videos.
The only downside is the price structure, but considering that they have a separate tool for management, sales, and devs, Monday.com can be the only tool you need to manage multiple departments in your company.
Ease of use ⭐⭐⭐⭐(4)
Features ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.5)
Bio: Asana was founded in 2008 and was commercially launched in 2012. In 2020, this company was valued at $5.5 billion. Asana is a simple management tool that saves time, speeds up tasks, and improves productivity, making it a strong option for organizations.
With its user-friendly interface and powerful features, Asana is a must-have tool for any team looking to boost productivity and achieve their goal.
For every team and every task, you can create a different dashboard on Asana to monitor everything perfectly. You can choose from the templates available or create a custom dashboard from scratch for extra freedom.
With the Asana reporting option, you can get details of all the completed and in-progress tasks, including real-time insights into your team’s work, so you can take recommended actions without waiting. You can even share the reports with team members or invite them on the same page for collaboration.
Agile And Scrum Support
Asana is great whether you prefer a Kanban, Agile, Scrum methodology, or something in between. There is no need to use another tool to apply and monitor the Agile project management approach.
With Asana, you can divide your project into smaller and simple tasks and slowly reach your way to success. Asana also offers a robust guide to setting up your Agile projects on their platform.
Dozen Of Templates
Asana offers a huge list of templates for all sorts of tasks like team planning, ticket tracking, meeting agenda, products, sales, marketing, HR, IT, design, and more. You can create a new project, choose the desired template, and start working with your team without wasting a second.
Despite offering so many features and templates, Asana has a simple interface, allowing users to get used to it quickly. Even if you are stuck somewhere, customer support and guides on the website can help remove the issues and make your journey smooth.
Asana is a tool for all business sizes, whether small or big, making it a good choice for marketing, sales, operations, HR, and more. Even if you want to start multi-departmental collaboration, Asana has features to simplify this process with built-in templates and improve productivity.
$0-$30.49 per user/mo
- Expansive integration
- Collaboration focused
- Organized and efficient task management
- Thoughtfully designed for a better user experience
- Monitor every action for each team member and project from one dashboard
- Asana’s security is top-notch to keep your company’s information safe
- Limited reporting option
- No time tracking
Asana is ideal for managing teams remotely and fostering collaboration between multiple departments in simple ways. This tool has some downsides, like the limited functionality of Android and iOS apps and a lack of time tracking options. Also, you get the best security only on the Enterprise plan.
Product Rating Summary
Asana has many features to help startups improve their productivity by automating tasks, team collaboration, project management, and more.
For the features, its price is alright, plus they also offer a free account for individuals. Their customer support is also great, and they are always willing to help if you are stuck somewhere while using their tool.
Ease of use ⭐⭐⭐⭐(4)
Comparison Between Top Three Productivity Tools
|Deployment||Web, Desktop, Android, iOS||Web, Desktop, Android, iOS||Web, Add-in for Windows, Android, iOS|
|Pricing (per user per month)||$0-$29/mo||$50-$150/mo||$30-$5000/mo|
|Top Features||Powerful task management toolsCustomizable project workflows Automatic and manual trackingReal-time collaborationCustom fields and templates||Customizable task listsCustomizable project templatesTime tracking with timesheetsDiscussion boards and chatCustom branding and themes||Sales AutomationEmail MarketingCRMProject ManagementFile Sharing|
|Free Plan||Yes – Forever||14-day free trial||14-day free trial|
|Integrations||Over 1000 business systems and applications||Open API to virtually connect to any app||HubSpot has a marketplace to offer apps for integration|
|Ease of use||Simple but require a slight learning curve||Straightforward||Steep learning curve to utilize it fully.|
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Productivity Tool For Startups
While the market is filled with tons of productivity tools, that doesn’t mean you can choose anyone, and it will help improve your productivity. In order to get the best results, you must check for some factors in a productivity tool before choosing one.
First, the tool you choose must be easy to use and have a simple interface. In case it requires a learning curve, its website must contain relevant articles and FAQs to help you solve the problem.
Your productivity won’t increase if you have to spend hours teaching every new employee or user about the tool and its functionality. While it must have the option to customize dashboards, views, and reports, it must also have built-in templates to simplify operations.
Functionality And Integration
While these tools should be easy to use, they must have all the required functions, so you don’t have to rely on multiple tools. You don’t want multiple tools on your workstation where you waste a lot of time navigating between them.
So, it is best to choose a single tool to do all the work, which also allows app integrations, so you can connect all other productivity apps to monitor and use them from one platform. Another great option would be to choose a tool that has mobile apps to sync your progress and data on all your devices.
Collaboration is crucial in startups, so choose a productivity tool that enables easy collaboration and communication among team members. Look for real-time messaging, audio and video calls, file sharing, and project management features.
Choosing a tool with a built-in communication option can improve collaboration between remote teams as they don’t have to switch to another comm tool to send each other messages.
As a startup, you might have limited financial resources, so choosing a cost-effective productivity tool with room for expansion is better. For example, you can select a tool with a free plan offering limited features and an enterprise plan you can choose when your startup brings profit.
Choosing one tool in the initial stages and moving to a new one after months is time-consuming, which is a big reason for productivity decline. So find tools offering a trial version to check and see whether it suits your requirements.
Security is mandatory, especially when you handle sensitive information, and for a startup, choosing a secure productivity tool is critical. Since people visit your website and leave their emails, or for e-commerce sites, many share their credit card details, you don’t want any hacker to breach and steal this information.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What Is The Most Useful Productivity Tool For Startups?
There is no straightforward answer to this question, as every startup has different requirements; thus, they require different tools. In our opinion, Clickup is the best productivity tool offering solutions for engineering, marketing, designing, HR, operations, and more.
Q2. What Is The Best Productivity Hack For Startups?
One of the best productivity hacks is prioritizing your tasks and focusing on the most important ones first. This is known as the “Eat That Frog” method, based on the idea that if you tackle your most prominent and most challenging task first thing in the morning, the rest of your day will be more productive and less stressful.
Other productivity hacks include setting goals and deadlines, minimizing distractions, delegating tasks, and using productivity tools such as time-tracking apps or project management software.
Q3. What Is The Easiest Productivity System?
You can start by making a to-do list, prioritizing your tasks, and paying attention to one task at a time. The more you uncluster your work, the easier it is for you to handle operations. Furthermore, always review your performance with your project progress to check for the errors causing a downfall in your productivity and remove them.
Wrapping It Up
Choosing the right productivity tool for your startup can significantly impact your team’s efficiency and overall success. All the tools in this article greatly improve your productivity without costing you much money. You can choose a tool that fits your unique business needs by considering cost, user interface, compatibility, collaboration, customizability, security, integration, and customer support.