Get organized with these productivity apps

If you need help in getting organized and managing umpteen tasks, these apps can help

Given the need for constant connectivity and ever-tighter deadlines at work, many professionals are forced to wonder how they can manage everything without losing their sanity. And that is exactly why productivity apps are in great demand. The critical elements of a smart productivity app include ease of use, a clean interface, and quick sorting as well as search capabilities. Here are some of the best apps to replace the pen and diary with.


Free; $4.99, around 330 (Pro)

Windows 10, Windows Phone 10

You-Doo is a “universal" Windows app, which means it works on the PC and smartphone, and will be available on the Xbox gaming console soon. This app isn’t just any to-do app, but a task scheduler and reminder application that has a live timeline of your tasks, alerts for tasks triggered based on your location, calendar view, task history and multiple language options. The $4.99 one-time charge will get you access to the Pro version, which also offers task sharing with other users, Outlook mail integration, as well as cloud-based sync across all the devices.

Microsoft OneNote


Android, iOS, Windows, Windows Phone, Chrome OS

With OneNote, Microsoft has an app that power users will love simply because it makes getting organized easy. It syncs all the content across your PCs, phones and tablets. A user basically starts off by creating a notebook. Each notebook can have sections with individual pages of notes. This logical structure makes it easy to locate notes later. There are fairly comprehensive sharing and collaboration capabilities that allow you to give family members and colleagues access to a note or a checklist, and let them add notes and edit. You can type out a note, or even scribble using a variety of colours. There is also a “Convert to Shapes" option, for hand-drawn art.


Free; $4.99 per month (Pro)

Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows 7/8/10, Mac OS X, Web, Apple Watch, Chrome OS

People who like to make lists, and swear by them, will love the fact that Wunderlist makes it easy to rope in others too. The free version allows flexibility in making lists and ensures reminders for pending tasks. It allows users to assign up to 25 to-do’s to collaborators, add notes to tasks, share lists, sort folders and attach photos or PDFs, limited to 5 MB in size. The Pro version, which costs $4.99 a month, allows for the creation of sub-tasks, manages tags, shares to-do’s and files (videos, presentations and PDFs) and offers the flexibility of customized backgrounds. Wunderlist can even send notifications on email.


Free; $28.99 per year (Premium)

Android, iOS, Windows Phone 10 (preview app), Windows, Mac, Android Wear, Apple Watch, Chrome extension, Firefox extension, Microsoft Outlook extension, Safari extension, Gmail app, Web

This is a rather simple to-do list management app, which has collaboration and plug-ins for Gmail and Microsoft’s Outlook Mail. You basically start off by creating a project, and then add tasks to it. There can be individual colour coding for each project, sub-tasks, individual due dates, as well as urgency settings. The Premium version adds location-based reminders, a more flexible label system, a task search, tasks from email, and enables calendar synchronization and automatic cloud backups.

Drawboard PDF


Windows 8/10

This, as the name suggests, is a PDF viewer with the complete set of annotation capabilities. You can read, annotate and create free-form mark-ups. This has a rather intuitive user interface, which supports the stylus hardware (useful for devices such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 4) as well as touch screens (useful for tablets and newer-generation laptops). All annotations can be customized for colour, and width and transparency.