16 Programming Productivity Tools You Can Use Even if You are Not a Programmer

07 January 2021

Simple hacks to help you get more done in less time.

As a remote-based employee that works with several clients to juggle at once, I must be using my time effectively for each of them.

To help me be as productive as possible, I use several different tools — some more often than others — that will help me get to where I want to be.

Here are some of my favorites, the reasons I love them, and how you can make the most of them:

1. Notion — One tool for your whole team. Write, plan, and get organized.

I like that Notion is dynamic for a business. It can be used for many purposes, a handbook, a project management tool, an intranet website, a collaborative document creation software, a process manual, among many other things.

I have tried numerous note-taking apps till now but felt Notion ticked all the problems. It has the best things you ever ask for. You can maintain a database, embed youtube videos, attach files up to 5MB if you are a free user, and many more. It’s easy to write essays in blocks and arrange them in order in a way you like.

Credit Notion.so

Main features:

  • Kanban board, calendar, and list views
  • Spreadsheets & Databases
  • #Markdown. /Slash commands
  • Collaborate in real-time

2. Flock — Your new home for collaboration.

I have been using it since January of 2020. While we were quarantined and all working from home remotely, I communicated with each other in shared groups and individual chats as well.

Credit: Flock.com

Main features:

  • Communication management
  • Discussion threads and Instant messaging
  • Reminders and Project notes
  • Productivity reporting
  • Collaboration tools
  • Drag & drop file sharing

3. Zoho Cliq — Collaborate when you’re on the move

I am using Cliq as part of Zoho One, so it’s included in the total package at no cost. There are probably fewer ready-made integrations than slack, but it is straightforward to use either Zapier or Zoho Flow to create your own integrations.

Credit: Zoho.com

Main features:

  • Use of emojis
  • Easy drag-and-drop file sharing
  • Audio and video conferencing
  • Polls, event invitations, and visual assignment tools
  • Screen sharing

4. Asana — Work on big ideas, without the busywork

I like Asana because it is an online project management solution that works directly in the browser, making it compatible with whatever operating system you prefer. Gantt charts allow me to visualize the planning of my projects and the dependencies between the tasks.

Credit: Asana.com

Main Features:

  • Mobile app in addition to the web app — both IOS and Android
  • Task management: Task assignees, Custom fields, Due dates, Due times, Milestones, Gantt style Timeline, Attachments (Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox), Engagement (likes), Approvals
  • Communication through comments and proofing (comments directly on images or PDFs)
  • Views: My Tasks, Workload, Calendars, Files View
  • Team management: Team, Followers, Guests
  • Integrations: Top ones — Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, Adobe Creative Cloud, Github, Salesforce

5. Trello — Collaboratively and get more done

I love how simple it is to create cards and make lists of important projects or tasks. When using on a desktop computer, click and begin typing. No manual saving or risk-off is losing your work. You can then go in and create reminders, due dates and add files. This is especially useful for someone who is forgetful and has a bunch of things going on.

Credit: Trello.com

Main Features:

  • Task management: Boards and Cards
  • Individual/Group Task Assignment
  • Drag-and-Drop Editing
  • Voting Options and Progress Meter Checklist
  • Integrations: Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and it works with public developer APIs
  • Communication through Comments

6. Monday — Work the way that works for you

I like the idea of painting mission classes or similar lines of items and functions in the dashboard. It allows me to keep the current workings of the projects updated. It gives me a Gantt diagram showing the success of each individual’s work in the team. It gives me an overview of the important tasks, their approximate amount, and the due date detail to reach the deadline.

Credit: Monday.com

7. Airtable — Get a head start with templates

I most enjoy the ability to bind and build links between tables, to swap between different formats if necessary, and last but not least, its user-friendly interface. I also like the different display color options for multiple entries, making it easy to read large amounts of data.

Credit: Airtable.com

Main features:

  • Customized Fields & Views
  • Forms Management
  • Snapshots
  • Link Records Between Tables
  • Upload Spreadsheet
  • Task management templates by industry
  • Integration: Top ones — GitHub, Slack, Trello, WordPress, Gmail, Zendesk

8. Clickup — One app to replace them all

I like the concept. The way tasks are organized, I love the idea of Inbox and Notifications. It’s a really well-thought system. I can easily keep track of potential sales. I am a scatterbrained person, and click up really takes away a lot of the leg work to keep track of all of my deals.

Credit: Clickup.com

Main features:

  • Process Management
  • Task Management
  • Time Management
  • Team Collaboration
  • Complete Customization
  • Reporting
  • Integration: public API, GitLab, Slack, GitHub, Google Drive, and many others

9. Bitrix24 — Free collaboration platform with CRM, tasks, projects, documents, messaging, etc.

I like the fact that Bitrix24 has everything to start working right away, from an internal social network with video chat, project management, desktop/mobile clients, and document collaboration.

You can start a team with 12 users with all the tools for project management for free for the basic tier. For small businesses, that’s likely enough to let your whole team start using it and collaborate in a project.

Credit: Bitrix24.com

Main features:

  • Mobile app in addition to the web app — both IOS and Android
  • Time management and progress tracking
  • Task reports
  • Project calendars
  • Interactive printable Gantt charts
  • Group task management
  • Recurring tasks and tasks from email
  • Integrations: Top ones — Gmail, Google Drive, Dropbox, Mailchimp, Box

10. Jibble — Track time accurately

When I was introduced to Jibble, it eliminated using a punch card machine and manual calculation of all my part-time staff for my cafe. The application has a great user-friendly experience and allows the employees to register their working hours accurately from the touch of a button.

Credit: Jibble.io

Main features:

  • Mobile/Desktop App
  • Attendance Time Clock
  • Dashboard & notifications
  • Automated timesheets
  • Bot in Slack / Microsoft Teams

11. Clockify — 100% Free Time Tracking Software

I like some features of Clockify in the browser, like the new entry line automatically adjusting to mimic the duration of the most recent entry and the automatic suggestions based on past entries. I like how easy it is to keep track of the time I’ve spent on projects throughout the day. Clockify helps me stay on track and helps me manage my time wisely.

Credit: Clockify.me

Main features:

  • Mobile/Desktop App
  • Timekeeping using a timer, you can also mark time as billable
  • Reporting — visual time breakdown
  • Team collaboration — you can invite the whole team, set hourly rates, and see who worked on what

12. Rescuetime — Take back control of your time

I like how you can customize the software to align with your own definition of productive or not productive. Some defaults are helpful, but for example, if you work on social media, you can refactor it to be ‘productive’ time spent.

I also love how it is very hands-off in that once it is set up, it tracks all your time, so you don’t need to log anything manually. The insights are beneficial and often surprising.

Credit: Rescuetime.com

Main features:

  • Website Usage Categorization
  • Customization of Goals
  • Block Distracting Sites
  • Track Offline Time
  • Weekly Productivity Report

13. Toggl — Time tracking for better work, not overwork

I used to get paid hourly to do web work and need to keep track of my own hours and submit them in an attractive, simple format. It is great for that and allows me to adjust when I didn’t “clock on” when my real start time was.

I work on various projects, and finally, I found something that helps me manage all the madness in one easy location.

Credit: Toggl.com

Main Features:

  • Mobile/Desktop App
  • One-click Timers and Tracking Reminders
  • Over 100+ App Integrations
  • Reporting
  • Project Dashboard
  • Billable Rates

14. Slack — A better way to communicate

This is my favorite tool to communicate with my team and receive quick responses when we’re in a hurry. It covers the basic communication features and provides us with different channels that we can use for a better organization and elaborated planning. Integrations are also a big part of Slack, and it keeps the program very intuitive.

Credit: Medium.com

Main features:

  • Organized conversations — channels
  • Searchable history
  • Connected apps: Google Drive, Github, Gitlab, Dribble, Sketchboard, and a lot more
  • Voice or video calls

15. Chanty — All-in-one team collaboration tool

I think the ease of using Chanty is one of the major things I like about it. There are so many similar communications solutions out there, so working easily without the need for advanced technical expertise makes Chanty a favorite software choice for our workgroups.

Since being compatible with almost any operating system, my team has posited to use it without Helping us keep up with every task that I assign

Credit: Chanty.com

Main features:

  • Activity/News Feed
  • Real-time Chat
  • Discussion Threads
  • Task Management
  • Video Conferencing

16. Evernote — The best note-taking app

I tend to get distracted and forget if I don’t write my ideas. Still, it is as easy as pressing control + command + n to open the Evernote window, writing a few words, so I don’t forget. Control + Command + n to close it again and continue with whatever I was doing. I really like having the keyboard shortcut since I can write without moving my mouse. As soon as I’m done, I continue to wherever I was without disturbing my workflow.

Credit: Evernote.com

Main features:

  • Collaboration tools
  • AI-suggested content
  • Presentation mode
  • Mobile offline notes — access to your notes even with no internet connection
  • Versatile notetaking capability — audio, video, image, text
  • Set reminders

Using productivity tools helps me prioritized and keep things organized. With the help of technology, I can now better adapt to changes. And when unprecedented changes arise, I can shift my to-do list to figure out the priorities.

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