18 Best Business Apps for Productivity in 2016 🎯

With plethora of business apps promising to boost productivity to dizzying heights, it is easy to get confused and lost in the chaos. We help you jump the queue by cherry-picking the best business apps to boost productivity at workplace

Any entrepreneur or business owner would agree to the fact that on many occasions people and organizational energies are spent on unnecessary and trivial tasks that eat up on the productive time.

Worry not!

There is always a ray of hope with nifty and helpful tech tools that put your business in turbocharge mode.

We bring you the best business apps for productivity that will help you stay organized and in-charge without spending a bomb.

Best Business Apps in HR 👫

The market for HR apps has picked up steam as they reduce the drudgery of every day HR management, allowing people practitioners to be of strategic importance without worrying about chaotic spreadsheets and bludgeoning data. Here are our top picks for best business apps in HR.

> When I Work

Best Business Apps in HR WhenIWork best business apps for productivity

When I Work app lets you spend more time in growing your business rather than worrying about employee scheduling and attendance for hourly jobs.

You can communicate with employees in real-time and send instant updates (Emails/SMS) to avoid employee no-shows. It easily accommodates random time-off; shift change and schedule swap requests from employees with quick approvals.

The employees can clock in/out time and schedules can be copied from one week to the next. The set up takes minutes and the interface is highly intuitive giving you readily available data for payroll processing.

It operates conveniently on desktop and phone with pricing of $29/monthly for up to 20 users.

> BambooHR

Best Business Apps in HR bamboohr

Suited for the small and mid-sized organizations (with 50-1000 employees), BambooHR has created quite a name in the US market.

The app allows for maintaining centralized employee database with accurate reporting, smart reminders, and custom permissions. The Employee self-service lets users view and update info whenever they wish.

The app can generate custom reports using various filters, sorting, and grouping options. Charged at $99.00/month, the areas that can be addressed through BambooHR include recruitment and application tracking, salary history, time off requests, staff calendar, tracking training and benefits and many more.

It is available in multiple languages with compatibility for 3rd party integrations.

> CakeHR

Best Business Apps in HR cakehr

CakeHR is one of the coolest apps to manage employee time-off requests, eliminating the endless scheduling and tracking using papers and spreadsheets.

It makes visual dashboards and reports available in a jiffy for the entire organization with just few clicks. The org chart feature lets everyone visualize who fits where in the company, working as a great onboarding tool. Plus the work efforts get synergized with an option to create teams and assign time zones.

The self-service feature makes it irresistible as employees can access the authorized records from anywhere, anytime, from any device.

The interface is extremely customizable to suit organization needs with central repository of employee leave data.

This online leave management wonder works across Android, iOS and web based devices at very affordable $4/employee per month.

Best Business Apps in Communication 📡

With paradigm of work going a 360-degree shift, entrepreneurs are always on the look out to unify their global teams and enable real time data sharing. The following assortment of best business apps in communication is targeted to turbocharge the way you connect by chucking out the waste and keeping it sleekly fast.

> HipChat

Best Business Apps in Communication hipchat

The instant messaging app scores higher than its competitors thanks to many tech-savvy features that include group chatting, searchable chat rooms, video calling, screen sharing, mid-way looping colleagues (through @mentions) and drag and drop file sharing.

The uniqueness of the app is its multi-client integration facility with native apps for Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS, desktop and mobile, which makes it device independent.

Basic Plan is free and the Plus version comes at $2/user, per month with 30 days free trial.

> Slack

Best Business Apps in Communication slack

Very useful for freelance groups, small and mid size businesses, Slack allows for 1:1 as well as multi channel exchange of messages including file sharing.

The high point about Slack is it’s contextual search and filtering capabilities that throws information you need in a jiffy.

Basic plan comes free with no cap on users or time.

> Azendoo

Best Business Apps in Communication azendoo

Pitched as a collaborative task manager, the app makes real time work sharing convenient, especially for geographically scattered teams.

The star functionality of this app is its syncing capability, whereby changes made to your Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, Evernote account reflects instantly on Azendoo and vice versa.

The cross-platform task-sharing app is available starting at $9.00/month with free trial

Best Business Apps in Project Management 💾

Project Management is complicated affair with tasks, deadlines, reports, resource mapping and several other variables. We bring you the best business apps in project management that will help you manage teams with few simple clicks and track tasks without any lapses.

> Microsoft Planner

Best Business Apps in Communication microsoft planner

The pin board like interface makes Microsoft planner a very easy to use and collaborative task planning solution where each plan has its own board on which tasks appear as individual cards.

The drag and drop feature allows to form quick task buckets, assign team members, add comments and attachments.

Color-coded progress status, dependencies, time constraints make the app visually efficient and automated notifications keep task members updated.

Integrates with Microsoft Office Suite and supports Mac, Windows and Web based devices.

> Asana

Best Business Apps in Communication microsoft asana

This app takes task sharing to a very flexible platform with its chic features and uses.

Apart from creating and assigning tasks, Asana allows to track projects with “Project Followers” and “Tag” features that helps to group similar tasks and include necessary people through @mentions. It has a real time activity feed that reflects complete history of projects.

For increased emphasis on individual task management it has room to create “My tasks”, “Focus Mode” and “Sub-tasks” that help reach the goal with less distractions.

Task related updates and status are all collated in the Asana Inbox.

Highly suitable for small and mid-size business, the app subscription comes in multiple variants to choose from based on the total number of users, with the basic plan offered totally free.

> InVision

Best Business Apps in Communication microsoft invision

If design-driven project management is your need, then InVision is an extremely handy app that allows creating and sharing interactive prototypes and mock-ups for your designs.

It is welcome change for those who are tired struggling with .PDF files and screenshots. It mimics actual web browsing experience, so that clients and team members get better idea of the deal as compared to static pages and pictures.

The app seamlessly transitions to work on mobile or desktop interface depending on the need with real time syncing capability with other apps.

It simplifies the entire process of feedback by having clients, teammates and stakeholders comment directly on designs at one convenient place.

Best Business Apps in Marketing 💰

In todays’ times marketers need to up their game constantly in the wake of changing customer demands and business landscape. Consider our take on the best business apps in marketing that will boost your online marketing efforts to new heights.

> Crowdfire

Best Business Apps in Marketing crowdfire

A boon for the social media and community managers/marketers, Crowdfire app lets you ace Twitter and Instagram by connecting you to the most relevant user base for your product/service.

The free version allows you to configure up to 2 accounts and boasts of very smart features that guarantee growth of social media.

It lets you clean the stream by letting you un-follow the inactive followers or those who un-followed you. This makes way for establishing meaningful connections by searching prospective customers by location/ keyword/ copying followers of your competitors and similar accounts.

This slick app is available on web, iOS and Android.

> Canva


With digital marketing and social media ruling the roost in managing the brand image and connecting with customers, graphic design has come to the center stage.

You might not like to be dependent on Graphic Designer all the time. Canva gives you the creative freedom to conjure up highly engaging images, optimized for various social media channels.

Canva is a simple, drag-and-drop, design software that’s completely online and free to use. It’s been a very exciting adventure: we’ve been around for just over 28 months and already have 10 million users across 179 countries and you can also say that 4 designs are created every second.

> Audiense

Best Business Apps in Marketing audiense

Wondering what is the best time to market your product on Twitter? Well, this is an app specifically tailored to this requirement.

Audiense helps marketers to analyze and engage with their Twitter audience by generating in-depth info about the target community.

You can compare your Twitter strategy to your competitors and similar accounts by tracking the behavior reports. It also tells you if your marketing campaign or content was effective enough on Twitter.

With mine of insights on your followers and key influencers, it is a neat tool to acquire and engage customers.

Particularly suited for mid to large level organizations, the basic plan starts at $13.95 a month with plan upgrades available as Professional, Business, and Enterprise subscriptions.

Best Business Apps in Mail 📫

An integral part of working, you cannot separate mails from a professional. Also, the transition from desktop to mobile mail apps has been quite impactful. The most practical way to deal with the daily dose of overwhelming mails is to find an app that lets you focus on issues that matter and smartly eliminates the waste. Here is our preference of best business apps in mail.

> Polymail

Best Business Apps in Mail polymail

Aimed at simplifying the workflow via mails, Polymail app is available both for desktop and Mobile.

It helps you master the inbox with powerful email productivity tools like Email Tracking (when was it read and how many times by multiple readers), Read Later, send later, one-click unsubscribe and more.

This app declutters your inbox from add-ons and extensions and keeps it beautifully clean with just the important stuff.

It splits your messages into professional, social, subscriptions, and press releases so that you can prioritize your mail experience.

> Boxy

Best Business Apps in Mail boxy

Boxy is an absolute best client for “Inbox by Gmail”. It gives all the powerful features of Inbox with the convenience of a native client for Mac desktops.

It supports multiple accounts with clean and modern interface. It is way faster than website/browser based inbox application with awesome looking themes, avatars and dock badge.

The reader mode is worth a try for amazing reading experience.

It super lightweight with all of the “Inbox” features intact like snooze emails, automatic smart replies, reminders, bundles for organizing emails, pin emails and smart queries for archive search.

It can be purchased at $5.99 from Mac App Store.

> CloudMagic

Best Business Apps in Mail cloudmagic

Your search for unified email box that covers wide number of email services ends with CloudMagic.

It supports Gmail, iCloud, Exchange, Yahoo, and IMAP. The winning feature of this mobile email app is its “contextual cards” system that lets you send the contents of your mail to a variety of popular tools such as Salesforce, OneNote and ZenDesk making it nimble and real time.

Refined features like support for Apple Watch and Android Wear or culling out helpful info about the correspondent/sender’s profile including job title, organization details and social media handles, makes it a wonderful companion for mobile users.

And yes it’s FREE.

Best Business Apps in Growth Hacking 🚀

Growing a business is no easy feat. Investments in terms of money still dictate most of the marketing efforts. Breeze through our chosen best business apps in growthhacking to make most of the opportunity with minimal cash blocks.

> GrowSumo

Best Business Apps in Growth Hacking growsumo

Partner programs and channel sales account for big source of revenue, especially if you are a startup and looking to expand your territory.

With GrowSumo, a company can create a page or a single dashboard from where they can manage multiple things like accepting new partners applications, train them, track their progress and manage their rewards.

It is more of B2B model with focus on other businesses rather than directly on consumers.

If your software/hardware business needs to empanel resale partners like independent consultants, accountants, web developers, HR representatives and other resellers then this app hold lot of meaning.

It is a shortcut where you find partners who recommend your service directly to their clients.

> Lead Forensics

Best Business Apps in Growth Hacking lead forensics

It’s a great choice for businesses looking to identify and transform anonymous website visitors into profitable sales.

It gives upper hand by offering real-time visitor information and wide range of filters that can be used to segment these visitors. You can flag “dream” customers and gain insights with easy to grasp and sleek analytics.

Lead Forensics aims to maximize sales and marketing ROI by providing region wise consumer behavior from first click to sale.

The portal is customizable and can trigger instant alerts/notifications. The app comes with one-week free trial and customer success manager is assigned to each business for continued support.

Lead generation was never so easy and effective.

> Pipedrive

Best Business Apps in Growth Hacking pipedrive

If you are a small sales team and are looking to manage sales in a competitive way, then Pipedrive can be your go-to solution.

It gives clear picture of how close or away you are from closing the deal by organizing prospects in categories and making confident forecasts without guesswork or surprises.

It is quite good for a simple $12/month subscription with a free trial of 30 days.

It is convenient and customizable to accommodate varied needs and syncs with Google Calendar, Dropbox, Mailchimp and other software.

It allows for superb reporting for team and individual targets, measuring real-time results. It focuses the sales efforts by useful filters (by people, product and timeline), drag and drop of deals across sales stages with timeline view for ongoing month/quarter.

What is your pick of the lot? Have you used any of the above listed apps? We would love to read your experiences in the comments section.


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CakeHR is determined to make workplace simple and smart with its continued efforts to make leave management a literal cakewalk. Know more about us @ cake.hr

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Written By

Mitalee Chhatre

Mitalee, a true professional with over 5 years of corporate experience in Human Resources and Health Sector. Contributor on CakeHR where tracks the newest trends and practices of the work-life world.