Productivity tools help your employees manage their work, collaborate on tasks, and get more done. We review the 8 best productivity tools for small businesses to use in 2023.

Productivity software can help your business accomplish more using the resources you already have. This type of software enables employees to better manage their work and automate time-consuming routine tasks.

Productivity software also promotes collaboration that can lead to higher-quality work and faster turnarounds.

There are many different types of productivity platforms available, so it’s important to choose one that meets your business’s unique needs.

In this guide, we highlight the 8 best productivity tools for small businesses to use in 2023 and explain how to choose the right one.

If you don’t have the time to read through our research, jump down to our quick comparison table.

Our Top Picks

  1. Best all-in-one productivity software

  2. Good for video conferencing

  3. Good for chat integrations

What To Look For In Productivity Software

Productivity platforms have a lot of different features to help your employees accomplish tasks more efficiently. Here are some of the key features to look for:

  • Communication tools like a chat app or company newsfeed help managers and their employees stay in touch throughout the day. Some platforms also support voice and video calling to enhance collaboration.
  • Scheduling tools make it easy for managers to assign employees to shifts. With Connecteam, employees receive alerts whenever their schedule changes so they never miss a shift.
  • Workflow automations reduce the time managers and employees spend on repetitive tasks. For example, they can be used to pass a project from one employee to another as project stages are completed or to manage approvals for things like time off requests.
  • Task management tools enable managers to assign work to employees and help employees ‌prioritize their assignments. In addition, they help employees collaborate on large projects by breaking work into sub-tasks.
  • Time tracking tools enable workers to log their hours easily and accurately. These tools also allow managers to track productivity levels and address any issues. Plus, they cut down the time it takes to create timesheets for payroll and billing.
  • Integrations with all of the other software tools your business relies on. For instance, Connecteam integrates with QuickBooks Online for quick, straightforward payroll processing.

💡 Pro Tip:

Choose a productivity tool that combines as many of the features mentioned above into one. Not only will this save you money but also keeps all your most valuable information in one central place where you and your staff can easily access everything you need to run your business successfully.

Check out Connecteam’s all-in-one employee management solution for free today!

The 8 Best Productivity Tools of 2023

  1. Connecteam — Best all-in-one productivity software

    Connecteam is an all-in-one work management software that includes tons of features to help your business achieve more. It offers tools for everything from communication and collaboration to scheduling and task management.

    Let’s take a closer look at what Connecteam can do for your business.

    Task management tools help your team tackle large projects

    Connecteam offers powerful task management tools to help you break large projects into smaller tasks and assign those tasks to employees. It takes only a few seconds to create a new task, assign it to one or more employees, add a tag, and set a due date. 

    You can also create recurring tasks, which saves you time and helps prevent your team from forgetting about tasks like routine maintenance. 

    Each task can have its own chat channel, making it easy to communicate about assignments. In addition, you can attach forms, checklists, PDFs, photos, videos, and more to each task. Employees will have all of the information they need to hit the ground running when they open up a task.

    Moreover, workers receive a push notification whenever a new task is assigned to them. You can also send push notifications to remind employees about an upcoming deadline or to request an update on how a task is progressing.

    You can view all tasks in a central admin dashboard, filtering by assignee, due date, completion status, and more. This makes it easy to keep large projects on track and ensure you’re balancing workloads across your team members.

    Finally, you can use flexible permissions to control who can create tasks and who can mark them as finished.

    Drag-and-drop scheduler to build employee schedules in minutes

    Connecteam’s drag-and-drop employee scheduling tool makes it easy to create schedules for your employees. You can plan out a whole week of work in minutes. There are user-friendly templates you can build schedules with, and you can copy previous schedules to use during current planning.

    Assign shifts based on employee qualifications, availability, preferences, and locations, or create open schedules. Connecteam will alert you of scheduling conflicts and overtime as you build schedules. 

    Employees receive a notification when a new schedule is published or when you make a change to their existing schedule. You can also set up shift reminders, enable employees to trade shifts among themselves, and quickly review any shift changes or requests.

    Time tracking software enables you to monitor time spent on work

    Connecteam offers a user-friendly time clock that enables employees to punch in and out with just a touch of their device. Workers can track time spent on specific clients, tasks, jobs, and more. This way, you can see how much time employees are spending on each task or project. 

    The time clock is GPS-enabled, too, so you can ensure employees are always where they need to be while working.

    In addition, Connecteam automatically generates timesheets from employees’ time entries. You can export these for payroll in seconds. 

    Streamlined work chat enables collaboration on every project

    Connecteam offers a powerful and secure in-app chat to keep you and your employees connected throughout the workday. The chat feature supports both one-on-one and group conversations. You can share not only text messages, but also photos, videos, PDFs, voice notes, and more.

    It’s easy to organize chats into channels, which is useful for centering conversations around specific projects or tasks. Conversations are fully searchable, so no information is ever lost. You can also tag specific employees in a group chat to send them a push notification. This is helpful if you need a response quickly.


    In addition, you can manage employee permissions within each channel as well as moderate posts, removing anything inappropriate. Plus, messages never leave the chat and employees can’t export conversations, so your company’s information is always secure.

    Announcement feed to share key information quickly

    Another way Connecteam enables you to communicate with employees is through the updates feed. This is a social media-style feed where you can share important updates with your team, a whole department, or even the whole organization. 


    The updates feed is flexible to meet your needs. You can allow or disallow likes and comments on posts and schedule posts ahead of time. After posting, you can see who’s viewed your announcement and send a push notification to employees who haven’t seen it yet.

    Online knowledge base ensures employees have the information they need

    Connecteam makes it easy to build an online knowledge base that your employees can access from anywhere, at any time. This is a great place to put your employee handbook, instructions for common tasks, operation protocols, and any other important information.

    Employees can find all the information they need with just a few touches of their device, so they can instantly get up to speed and stay on track with tasks.

    Surveys and polls boost collaboration

    Connecteam offers a surveys and polls feature as well. Polls make it easy to schedule a meeting time, for example, which reduces time spent coordinating employees’ schedules. You can receive results as they come in, accessible right from your mobile device, to make quick decisions.

    Meanwhile, surveys help you know what matters most to employees. Use one of Connecteam’s survey templates or customize them with your own yes/no, multiple-choice, or open-ended questions. Surveys can be anonymous too, encouraging total honesty from your workers on important business matters.

    Free for small businesses

    Connecteam is completely free for small businesses with up to 10 employees. For larger businesses, paid plans start at only $29 per month for up to 30 employees, plus $0.50 per month for each additional employee.

    Connecteam also offers a 14-day free trial, so you can try it out today to see how it can improve your business’s productivity.

    Connecteam also offers a free for life plan – Get Started Now!


    • Communicate seamlessly with employees throughout the day

    • Break up large projects into tasks to facilitate collaboration

    • Checklists and files enable employees to get to work quickly

    • User-friendly mobile app supports work from anywhere


    • Doesn’t offer video conferencing yet


    Free-for-life plan availablePremium plans start at $29/month for 30 users

    14-day free trial, no credit card required

    Start your free trial
  2. Zoom — Good for video conferencing

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Windows
    • Mac
    Screenshot of the Zoom webpage

    Zoom is a scalable video calling platform. Users can host up to 1,000 participants in a single video conference. In addition, every employee gets their own personal Zoom room they can invite others into for collaboration. This makes it a useful platform for remote teams.

    Zoom’s productivity app also supports virtual whiteboards for collaboration. Employees can simultaneously add ideas or notes to the whiteboard. Managers can also take charge of the whiteboard and add notes based on a live discussion with employees.

    Although Zoom’s communication tools are powerful, the software doesn’t offer many other productivity tools for work. There are no task management or scheduling features, for example. There’s also no announcement feed to share major updates.

    Learn more about Zoom

    Key Features

    • Video conferencing for up to 1,000 participants
    • Virtual whiteboards
    • Team chat app
    • VoIP phone system


    • Employees receive their own personal video rooms
    • Enables breakout groups within large video meetings


    • No task management tools
    • No announcement feed


    Starts at at $14.99/host/month Trial: No Free Plan: Yes

  3. Slack — Good for chat integrations

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the Slack webpage

    Slack is a team chat platform that supports one-on-one and group messaging as well as VoIP phone and video conferencing for up to 50 participants at a time. Employees can share files, photos, videos, and voice notes using Slack. Managers can create custom channels around projects or themes.

    Slack supports more than 2,400 integrations. It works with most major cloud storage platforms and project management platforms. However, these integrations aren’t always as seamless as using all-in-one productivity software.

    Slack offers only limited ways for managers to moderate conversations. Managers can limit which employees can post in which chat channels, but there’s no way to restrict data exports from the platform.

    Learn more about Slack

    Key Features

    • Organize chats into channels
    • Audio and video conferencing for up to 50 participants
    • Searchable chat history
    • 2,400+ integrations


    • Supports unlimited channels
    • Enables guest accounts for clients and freelancers


    • Requires navigating a lot of integrations
    • Doesn’t enable managers to restrict data exports


    Starts at $7.25/user/month Trial: Yes Free Plan: Yes

  4. Chanty — Good for software development teams

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the Chanty webpage

    Chanty is a productivity software solution designed with the needs of software development teams in mind. With Chanty’s chat platform, employees can share clean code alongside chat messages. Other employees can comment and collaborate on the code. Chanty supports code snippets in more than 25 popular programming languages. 

    It also offers video conferencing for up to 1,000 participants in 4K resolution. However, Chanty doesn’t support breakout rooms or virtual whiteboards. So, large meetings aren’t as collaborative as some managers might prefer.

    The platform integrates task management features, including Kanban boards for task visualization. The layout is clean and managers can search for tasks by keyword. However, there are no Gantt charts in Chanty, which makes it challenging to visualize task dependencies.

    Learn more about Chanty

    Key Features

    • Can share code snippets in team chat conversations
    • Video conferencing for up to 1,000 participants
    • Kanban boards
    • 13 integrations (more in development)


    • Combines team chat and video conferencing
    • Each task receives its own discussion channel for collaboration


    • Doesn’t support breakout rooms in video conferencing
    • No Gantt charts


    Starts at $2.55/user/month Trial: No Free Plan: Yes — Up to 10 team members

  5. Clean Email — Good for decluttering email

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Mac
    Screenshot of the webpage

    Clean Email is an email organizing tool that automatically categorizes emails and eliminates spam. Employees can choose to unsubscribe from mailing lists with a click or automatically shunt newsletters into a Read Later folder. It also has a Quick Clean feature to leave only the most important messages in a user’s inbox.

    Clean Email works with any email service, including email that’s self-hosted by small businesses. However, the software isn’t capable of sending emails. So, employees will need to use it alongside a traditional email client like Gmail or Outlook. Some employees might find that this creates more work than it eliminates since they need to manage two email clients instead of one.

    Learn more about Clean Email

    Key Features

    • One-click unsubscribe
    • Read Later folder
    • Quick Clean to bulk-delete unwanted emails
    • Mobile apps for iOS and Android


    • Works with any email service
    • Most employees will only need to run a Quick Clean weekly


    • Can’t be used to send emails
    • Can accidentally send important emails to Read Later


    Starts at $9.99/month Trial: No Free Plan: No

  6. Microsoft Teams — Good for businesses that use Microsoft Office

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the Microsoft Teams webpage

    Microsoft Teams is a set of productivity and collaboration tools that includes team chat, video conferencing, and virtual workspaces. The conferencing platform supports up to 300 participants in meetings up to 30 hours long. Teams can automatically transcribe a meeting in more than 30 languages.

    Teams is part of Microsoft’s Office 365 suite, which includes apps like Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. These apps are designed to work seamlessly with Teams, enabling employees to share files within chat channels. Employees can also edit a document simultaneously while discussing changes in a Teams video conference.

    The chat app within Teams supports one-on-one and group conversations. Managers can create channels, but the layout of Teams makes them difficult to find because they’re hidden in a sub-menu. So, it can be slightly challenging to organize conversations within Teams around specific projects.

    Learn more about Microsoft Teams

    Key Features

    • Video conferencing for up to 300 participants
    • Automatic meeting transcription in 30+ languages
    • Chat app for one-on-one and group messaging
    • Scheduled messages


    • Integrates with other Microsoft Office 365 apps
    • 24/7 customer support


    • Difficult to organize chat conversations around projects
    • Chat platform is limited to 300 users per workspace


    Starts at $4/user/month Trial: Yes — Up to 25 users Free Plan: No

  7. Todoist — Good for managing tasks

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the Todoist webpage

    Todoist is a task management platform designed to help employees stay focused on their work. Employees can create lists of tasks they need to complete and organize them by due date, priority level, or project. The software supports recurring tasks and reminders as well.

    Managers can use Todoist to break larger projects into pieces and assign tasks to employees. Each task has its own discussion board, and users can upload files to tasks.

    Todoist offers Kanban boards and an activity log to track task progress. However, there’s no chat functionality beyond the task-specific discussion boards. So, it can be difficult for managers and employees to have a larger conversation about projects and workloads.

    Learn more about Todoist

    Key Features

    • Task lists organized by due date, priority, or project
    • Share files with each task
    • Discussion board on each task
    • Kanban boards and activity log for managers


    • Employees can build and manage their own to-do lists
    • Promotes collaboration through task-specific chat boards


    • Doesn’t offer a general-use team chat
    • No employee scheduling tools


    Starts at $150/month, for 50 users Trial: Yes Free Plan: Yes

  8. 1Password — Good for digital security

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Windows
    • Mac
    Screenshot of the 1Password webpage

    1Password is a password management software solution that stores multiple passwords in a single, secure location. It eliminates the need to remember passwords and encourages users to create stronger passwords for their online accounts. 1Password also has a Chrome extension managers and employees can use in-browser.

    IT administrators can set minimum requirements for password strength. 1Password can also generate strong passwords for employees automatically. Administrators can set permissions for shared passwords to control which employees have access to which company accounts.

    In addition, 1Password enables businesses to store sensitive documents. Employees can share them securely with each other using a link. However, 1Password doesn’t offer a way for employees to work collaboratively on documents stored in the cloud or to chat with one another.

    Learn more about 1Password

    Key Features

    • Automatic password generation
    • Customizable shared passwords permissions
    • Administrators can monitor password security
    • Store and share documents securely


    • Supports custom alerts for suspicious activity
    • Integrates with single sign-on systems


    • No employee communication features
    • Doesn’t enable employees to collaborate on shared documents


    Starts at $2.99/month, for personal plan Trial: Yes — 14-day Free Plan: No

Compare the Best Productivity Softwares

Topic Start for free
Starts at just $29/month for the first 30 users
Starts at at $14.99/host/month
Starts at $7.25/user/month
Starts at $2.55/user/month
Starts at $9.99/month
Starts at $4/user/month
Starts at $150/month, for 50 users
Starts at $2.99/month, for personal plan
Free Trial
Up to 25 users
Free Plan
Free Up to 10 users
Up to 10 team members

What Is Productivity Software for Small Businesses?

The broader term “productivity software” describes digital tools that can be used by business professionals and individuals in their personal lives alike. The software helps them be more organized and accomplish more in less time, with fewer interruptions.

For small businesses in particular, productivity software helps employees and managers work more efficiently. The goal of this type of software is to enable businesses to get more done with the resources and workers they already have.

Work productivity tools can range from simple software that keeps track of tasks to more complex project management platforms with built-in workflow automations. Many software productivity tools offer chat and video conferencing features to help managers and employees work collaboratively on projects.

How Do Productivity Tools for Small Businesses Work?

These tools work by providing employees and managers with either a productivity website, app, or both that have features to help them be more efficient. Users can access them in a web browser, through their mobile devices, and/or on their desktop computers.

Firstly, these tools promote collaboration through built-in messaging features. Employees and managers can communicate about ongoing projects and tasks in real time. Many software productivity tools also offer phone and video conferencing to support meetings.

In addition, they help employees keep track of the work they need to do. Some platforms offer to-do lists, while others enable managers to break projects into smaller tasks and assign them to individual employees. Managers can remind employees of upcoming deadlines to ensure work is completed on time.

Managers can also use productivity software to schedule employees to work. Some platforms even enable managers to see where employees are throughout the day. This allows them to quickly redeploy employees when new work comes in.

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Importantly, productivity platforms are built to integrate with other software tools a business relies on. This ensures that employees don’t lose time moving data between multiple software systems. Many of the best productivity tools also support workflow automations, which can allow employees to share data between platforms automatically.

The Benefits of Productivity Tools for Work

Streamlined work management and decreased frustration

Productivity tools enable managers to assign work to employees and manage each employee’s workload. This ensures that no worker is unfairly burdened, helping to reduce frustration and burnout. Managers can also see how employees are handling assignments and address slowdowns before they impact the business’s output.

Improved team collaboration and communication

When employees work collaboratively, it takes less time to complete tasks, and the finished product is often higher in quality. Tools for productivity enable employees to chat or meet virtually to discuss work and find creative solutions to problems. Chat platforms also help keep project discussions organized, so employees can quickly find information when they need it.

Increased efficiency and time savings

Productivity software supports workflow automations that eliminate time-consuming manual tasks. For example, a productivity website might notify an employee when they have a new task assigned to them in their project management software. This saves the employee time that they would otherwise have to spend checking for new tasks.

How Much Does Productivity Software Cost?

Businesses typically pay for work productivity tools on a per-user basis. For example, Slack starts at $7.25 per user, per month and Chanty starts at $3 per user, per month. This means that a small business with 50 employees will pay $362.50 per month for Slack and $150 per month for Chanty.

At Connecteam, we offer a free-forever plan for businesses with up to 10 employees. Our premium plans start at $29 per month for up to 30 users, plus only $0.50 for each additional user. So, if your company has 50 employees, you’ll pay just $39 per month for all of the productivity features your business needs.


What is the best free productivity tool?

Connecteam is the best productivity tool, and it’s completely free for small businesses with up to 10 employees. Our productivity software offers an employee chat, task management features, a time clock, and much more to help your business be more efficient.

Is Excel a productivity tool?

Excel could be considered a productivity tool since it helps employees automate calculations and find information quickly. However, it doesn’t offer collaboration features that can help your employees efficiently tackle large projects. For that, consider a productivity platform like Connecteam.

How do you measure work productivity?

There are multiple ways to measure employee productivity. Some businesses use key performance indicators (KPIs), which track output or other deliverables for each employee. Businesses can also track their gross output or revenue compared to the total number of hours employees work.

The Bottom Line on Productivity Tools

Productivity tools can help your business achieve more without overburdening your employees or spending a ton of money on new resources. This type of software can enable collaboration, make it easier to manage projects, and overall ensure your business runs smoothly with little to no obstacles to overcome.

The best productivity tool for small businesses is Connecteam. Our software offers features like a work chat, task management dashboard, drag-and-drop scheduler, and more. It’s free for life for teams of up to 10, and there are affordable plans for larger businesses as well.

Get started with Connecteam for free today!