PRODUCTIVITY

Get shit done faster, with less friction.

TOOLS in THIS CATEGORY

Shift
Integrated Work-Applications Interface

ClickUp ♥︎
Integrated Work-Applications Interface

RescueTime
Cross-Platform Personal Time Tracking

Quick Drive ★
➕ Access and Create Drive Files on the Go

SmallPDF
➕ Quick File Modification and Conversion

Office Editing for Drive
➕ Google Docs/Microsoft Office File Compatibility

Save Emails to Google Drive ★
➕ Quick Saving and Sharing for Emails

Otter ♥︎
AI-Powered Transcription

Rev ★
Human-Powered Transcription (and More)

Shift

Integrated Work-Applications Interface

Your email, Slack, calendar, and Google Drive can’t help that they’re all separate inventions—but that’s four windows right there. And if you have multiple work accounts to juggle for each one, fuhgeddaboutit! In moments when you’re agitated about all the switching (and logging in and out), plus every other window clogging up your life, you’ve wanted Shift whether you knew it existed or not. Stay logged into all your apps and accounts all the time, organize them into sets (work stuff, personal, etc.), and thumb straight to the spot you want—all in one window. Shift helps you get shift done!

🌐 tryshift.com
🆓 Free access limited to 2 email accounts + 1 connected app
💰 $99.99 per year for Shift Advanced (Annual pay, no monthly option)
🔗 Direct connection/extension to thousands of apps; even works with Chrome extensions!

ClickUp ♥︎

Integrated Work-Applications Interface

Now here’s a tool that makes a pretty bold and heady claim: that it can replace virtually all of your work apps with just one. On their homepage, in the Features section, they directly call out competitors—a LOT of them, and some big ones—to say “oh yeah, ClickUp can replace this too.” If you’re not intrigued yet, they swear it’s Free Forever without a credit card. 😳 You should take a look even if you’re not interested in using their app, since they get a bunch of things right selling the product on their website. (And if nothing else, it’s kinda funny to see someone logo-drop a bunch of big companies while challenging all of those same people to a fight.)

🌐 clickup.com
🆓 Free Forever (they say)

RescueTime

Cross-Platform Personal Time Tracking

WHERE DID THE DAY GO? Now you can actually answer that question. With RescueTime, you’ll have a dashboard that breaks down how your (digital) time was spent—across all (synced) devices, and including specifics like which websites sucked up browser time—and then provides some insight-driven suggestions for buying back time. They also give you some built-in distraction-blocking options to stay in the background and spot you. RescueTime is certainly helpful for efficient work, an absolute must-have if you manage yourself and feel like you don’t have enough time in a day.

🌐 RescueTime.com
⏳ 14 days free (CC required, $0 up front, no charge if you cancel during trial)
💰 $78 for annual billing ($6.50/month on average), $18/mo for month-to-month billing
🔗 No integrations needed for time tracking; native integrations with Slack, Google Calendar, and Outlook/Office 365 Calendar; hundreds of third-party integrations via Zapier

Quick Drive ★

Access and Create Drive Files on the Go
➕ Chrome Extension

Finding and sharing files is one of the simplest tasks we have, and yet it’s usually a pain for equally simple reasons: we have to stop, change windows, go digging. But if you’re a frequent user of Drive, this Chrome extension is a great little way to shave some steps. It adds a button that pops open a mini version of your drive, where you can then browse via folders, or search, or create new docs (and sheets, and so on). Simple, but we like simple. 

🌐 Chrome Store
🆓 100% Free

SmallPDF

Quick File Modification and Conversion
➕ Chrome Extension

We all use this portable document format (hint: “PDF”) on a day-to-day basis, and in all sorts of contexts. So it’s a little funny that we’re stumped when we encounter any kind of PDF-editing needs (most of us don’t have Acrobat and never wanted to). You could find scattered sketchy tools on the Googles—or you could install this free Chrome extension. It can convert files to and from other common formats, compress PDF file sizes, and split PDFs into pieces (or merge PDFs together).

🌐 Chrome Store
🆓 100% Free
🔗 Converts between PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and JPG

Office Editing For Drive

Google Docs/Microsoft Office File Compatibility
➕ Chrome Extension

Both Microsoft Office (principally Word, Excel, Powerpoint) and Google’s counterpart software (Docs, Sheets, Slides) are near-ubiquitous. As the diehards of either suite will stubbornly assert, they are NOT the same thing and have different strengths—but a lot of people use both, and sometimes the crossover can create frustration. This simple Chrome extension smooths the transition by allowing you to edit Office files (.docx, .xlsx, .ppt, etc.) natively within your Google Drive suite of applications. Without the extension, you’ll have to convert any Office files in Drive to Google’s format before you can edit them… boooooo.

🌐 Chrome Store
🆓 100% Free

Save Emails to Google Drive ★

Quick Saving and Sharing for Emails
➕ Chrome Extension

This is the perfect little Chrome extension for anyone who shares Gmails regularly. It does do what its name says, but there’s a bunch more to it. First, you can deposit emails straight into Drive using your file format of choice. Second, you can set up some basic automations so that it (for instance) always saves emails with a certain label to a certain folder. Third and finally, you can make any email a link-shareable PDF with two clicks. Oh, and it’s free. Always a plus.

🌐 Chrome Store
🆓 100% Free
📝 Pro Tip: Ideal for Swipe Files

Otter ♥︎

AI-Powered Transcription

We’re all generally familiar with AI-powered transcription technology—for instance, being able to preview your voicemails on your iPhone—but Otter is considerably more powerful and useful. First of all, since transcription is Otter’s essential function and not just a feature, the transcription quality is better than you’d usually see. Secondly, it integrates with Zoom and your calendar so that you can automatically have Otter “listen in” and transcribe the call. Third and finally, it includes the hookups for processing that transcription data in useful ways (with or without Zoom)—for instance, by opening it up to team annotation or generating a word cloud from it. The free plan is capped at 600 minutes per month; paid plans start at $10/mo for 10x the minutes plus premium features.

🌐 otter.ai
🆓 Basic features + 600min/month for free
💰 Plans start at $13/mo billed monthly, save up to 36% on annual

Rev ★

Human-Powered Transcription (and More)

Check out Rev for transcription, captioning, and foreign-subtitling services, the beauty of which is their flat, super-straight pricing ($1.25/minute for the former two, $3-7/minute for subtitling depending on language). In our experience, you absolutely get what you’re paying for; the service is professional-grade (not run by bots) and turnaround is reliably quick. Bear in mind: transcriptions can be super-helpful in less conventional ways, like expediting content production after an interview or crystallizing the notes from that big ideation meeting.

🌐 rev.com
💰 Flat $1.25 for standard transcription or captioning; $3+ per minute for foreign subtitling and translation