Illustration: Aidar Murzabayev/iStock Illustration: Aidar Murzabayev/iStock

Work smarter, not harder—that’s one of my resolutions for 2015.

To help you do the same, here are some of the tools and apps my team at and I use to boost productivity and save time:


IFTTT (short for “If This Then That”) streamlines productivity using “recipes” created by the user or selected from a collection the tool provides. Users define a trigger (IF) and what the desired output is (THAT), which includes tasks like posting on social media, sending you an email or automatically adding a note on a different app. For example, a lot of businesses are using a recipe that automatically creates a social media post whenever a blog gets published. (Web, iOS, Android)


Founded by Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield, Slack bills itself as “team communication for the 21st century.” Slack allows you to collect all team communication in a single service that can be searched at any time from anywhere. Aside from the chat and collaboration aspect of the app, Slack really shines when you combine it with Asana (see bellow). The integration lets organizations communicate faster, discuss project and quickly assign tasks. And once you add in Google Drive or Dropbox, Slack eliminates the need to send edited documents to individual recipients by enabling file-sharing in-app. Slack is also mobile compatible, and automatically pushes messages to your device so that you can respond in-channel instead of cluttering your inbox with one-line emails. (Web, iOS, Android)


Asana is a project and task management app designed, like Slack, to cut down on internal emails. It allows teams to share, plan, organize and track the progress of tasks and projects. Once you’ve launched a project, you can use Asana to organize and create subtasks and assign them to the appropriate team members or departments. The app also gives you a daily snapshot of the project timeline and identifies when certain deadlines are in danger of being missed. (Web, iOS, Android)


A highly effective task and light project management tool for desktop and mobile, Todoist integrates into mail clients such as Outlook, and Gmail.  Tasks can be categorized, tagged and given due dates, and a karma system rewards you for completing tasks on time. (Web, iOS, Android)


A strictly mobile app, Any.Do is a to-do list manager that pushes you into action. The Any.Do Moment feature pops up in the morning and shows you what appointments are on their calendar. If you’re lucky enough to have an empty calendar, it prompts you to start planning your day. (iOS, Android)


Another to-do list manager, Wunderlist lets you quickly sort and organize important events, tasks and appointments that are coming up. Wunderlist shines over its competitors because of its simple interface and no-frills approach. (Web, iOS, Android, Windows Phone)

Google Keep

This handy addition to the tech giant’s app stable enables to-do lists and note taking wherever you have access to Google. (Web, iOS, Android)


Although Evernote has been on the market for some time, it’s simplicity ensures continued popularity. The APP allows you to quickly take down notes, store information you find online, and create task lists among other features. Evernote has the added benefit of integrating with other services online. For example, linking it with IFTTT allows you to automatically create a list of emails that you need to read. (iOS, Android)


Sunrise is a powerful calendar app that pulls in a wide variety of information to facilitate a smoother workday. The service can sync with Facebook to create entries on upcoming birthdays and events or with LinkedIn to provide information on whom you are meeting, forecast the weather, provide directions to your next appointment and even send an email to people invited to a meeting. (Web, iOS, Android)

Yahoo! News Digest

For business owners and professionals on the go who don’t have a lot of time to read the news or catch up on global events, Yahoo! News Digest is the perfect app. The service displays six headlines when you open it, giving you just the key information you need to stay in touch with the news. (iOS, Android)


Pocket allows you to quickly save important articles to a read-later list. The service saves a carbon copy of the article, which you can access through your Pocket account on any of your devices. It also supports video and social media services, allowing you to stash a friend’s status update or cat video until you’re out of the workplace. (Web, iOS, Android)

Cybele Negris is president and co-founder of Vancouver-based Inc., Canada’s original .ca registrar and one of the country’s leading providers of web hosting and other Internet solutions. She is a veteran of the PROFIT/Chatelaine W100 ranking of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs.


What apps and services do you use to stay on schedule and boost your productivity? Let us know using the comments section below.

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