What Is Productivity Software? App Types & Suite Examples

Last Updated:Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Everybody needs a productivity boost when it comes to effectively carrying out tasks, and there are a lot of productivity software tools that help us get this boost, but what is productivity software? Are there suites that have productivity tools for more effectiveness?

Gone are the days of doing manual calculations and plotting graphs independently. Productivity tools of varying kinds have taken up such complex tasks, aiming to help you focus on the overall project rather than focusing on details that can bug you.

Want to learn more about these tools? Let's get to it!


What is productivity software? Our productivity software definition

There’s no single definition of productivity software that properly captures everything about productivity software, but we’ll attempt to provide something coherent for you here.

Productivity software is a tool or suite of tools that helps you or your employees carry out simple and complex tasks more easily. They often refer to tools for creating documents, slideshows, statistic tables, and organizing data, among other simple tasks. They can be extended to include tools that improve collaboration and communication. 

productivity software

Productivity software suites are available as web-based software or download them on your computer, as they often have desktop versions. Many productivity tools also have mobile options compatible with smartphones and tablets.

One thing to be mindful of with productivity tools is that without care, you can become a productivity junkie and suffer from productivity guilt. While this is more often a psychological state, it is aided in no small way by the overwhelming nature of productivity tools.

And extreme productivity can lead to burnout. If you experience burnout or want to prevent it from happening in the first place, consider using the Ivy Lee Method. It’s an app that can help you remain productive without draining your energy and passion for working.

What is productivity software used for?

Options are not limited to the use of productivity tools or software. They have a lot of uses, including but not limited to creating documents, graphs, presentations, audio, videos, databases, worksheets, and more. This isn’t exhaustive, but it covers the essentials of how to use productivity tools.

Types of productivity software applications

There are various types of productivity software applications available for the typical person. And as we’ve mentioned, they help in effectively carrying out basic tasks within the company. Often, these productivity tools come in suites that house various types of tools. 

Productivity software suites typically include:

  • Word Processing applications,

  • Spreadsheet applications,

  • Note-taking applications

  • Database Management applications 

  • Presentation applications

  • Time tracking applications

  • Calendar and Scheduling applications

  • Task and Project Management applications

  • Graphics Design applications

 types of productivity software

1. Word Processing applications

An example of software most commonly associated with productivity software is word processing software. They are the most famous types of productivity software available online. Word processing applications are essential for creating, editing, and formatting textual documents. 

They offer many features, including font formatting, paragraph alignment, and styles. Users can create professional reports, letters, essays, and other written content. These applications are invaluable for individuals, students, writers, businesses, and virtually anybody online seeking to produce polished documents.

Some notable examples of these programs include Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and Apple Pages.

2. Spreadsheet applications

A spreadsheet app is a type of productivity software that enables you to manage and analyze data through tables and formulas. 

Spreadsheet programs are quite helpful for business analysts, accountants, marketers, and researchers. This is because of the computational abilities of spreadsheet programs, being able to carry out complex mathematical and analytical tasks, generate graphical and pictorial representations, and visualize data trends through charts and other helpful indices. 

Spreadsheet software creates an organized environment for working with numerical data, making it simpler to keep track of money, create budgets, and do difficult computations. Spreadsheet program examples include Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and Apple Numbers.

3. Note-taking applications

Note-taking apps share some similarities with word-processing applications, but they differ in that they are often more minimal. They are built to take notes on the go rather than create organized textual documents. They are often enabled with multimedia capabilities, allowing you to attach pictures, gifs, and videos to your notes. 

Nowadays, the features enabled on note-taking apps have greatly increased, as some of the best note taking software now allow users to record audio and do minimal design and art projects in them. 

If you are a creative, a student, or someone who just needs a not-so-formal space to note down information on the go, then Note-taking apps are your productivity tools. Now, you can take down inspirational productivity quotes without stress. Notable examples of these apps include Evernote, Notability, Microsoft OneNote, and Google Keep.

4. Database Management applications 

Not everyone uses this category of productivity tools, but they are quite important. Database management software provides an organized method for storing, retrieving, and manipulating data. They are critical for corporations, organizations, and individuals dealing with enormous structured data volumes. 

These apps offer tools for designing, creating, and managing databases, making arranging inventories, customer data, and other essential data simpler for easy retrieval and analysis. Some notable database management applications include Microsoft Access, Oracle Database, and MySQL.

5. Presentation Applications

Presentation applications are one of the easiest software applications used to get information across at a meeting or conference. They are used to make visually appealing presentations that deliver information. These technologies allow users to express thoughts and concepts efficiently by combining text, graphics, animations, and multimedia components. 

Presentation software is frequently used in education, corporate presentations, and public speaking because it provides a visually appealing means to engage and enlighten audiences. Some key presentation software examples include Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Keynote.

6. Time tracking applications

Time-tracking applications help users monitor and manage their time spent on tasks and activities. These tools often offer automated tracking, manual time entry, and reporting features. Time-tracking apps are helpful for people who want to increase their productivity, assess their work patterns, and find areas for development in time management.

They are also useful for contractors and freelancers who want to prepare invoices on time-based projects properly. Good examples include Toggl, RescueTime, and Clockify.

7. Calendar and Scheduling applications

Do you often miss appointments? Are there times you have had meetings clash without knowing? Then you understand the importance of Calendar and scheduling applications. Calendar and scheduling tools are necessary to track appointments, activities, and tasks. They offer users a visual depiction of their time, allowing them to plan and manage their activities properly. 

These programs frequently include features such as reminders, repeating events, and device synchronization, making them important for professionals, students, and anybody with a hectic schedule. Some widely used examples of calendar and scheduling apps include Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, and Apple Calendar. 

8. Task and Project Management applications

A bit more advanced and ideally company slash business-oriented, task and project management software assists people and teams in planning, tracking, and collaborating on tasks and projects. These tools allow you to create work lists, establish deadlines, allocate tasks, and track progress. 

Task and project management software improves team collaboration and communication, resulting in projects that are finished quickly and on schedule. Great examples of popular Task and project management applications include Trello, Asana, and ClickUp.

9. Graphics Design applications

Graphics design applications are used to create visual content, including illustrations, graphics, and digital artwork. These software programs give designers and artists tools for sketching, editing, and modifying images, allowing them to express their creativity. 

Graphics design software is critical for professionals in sectors such as advertising, marketing, and digital art because it allows them to create aesthetically appealing and effective graphics. CorelDRAW, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator are great examples of graphics design applications.


Productivity software examples: 6 popular productivity software suites

We have curated great examples of productivity software suites just for you; our top picks include Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, WPS Office, Zoho Workplace, and more. These suites have some of the best free productivity apps available online, and they come in wonderful ecosystems that enhance their efficiency.

productivity software examples

As a business owner, you know that having a suite that has most of the relevant productivity products is a huge boost to your business. You save cost, ensure that these products can easily work together, and you can easily invest more time in more fulfilling personal productivity exercises. 

While it is almost impossible to get every tool you need for your business or personal use in one suite, some suites do quite well in curating efficient and effective productivity software programs for you and your business. Let's list some popular productivity software programs in use today and take a quick look at each one.

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is, without doubt, the foremost office suite on the planet. It is incredibly popular and offers stellar services through its product. A large percentage of its users consider it the best office suite on the market, with good reason, too. Leading apps like Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are just a few of its programs that make it an asset to businesses and individuals. We have a full Microsoft 365 review for you to get more information on this suite.

Google Workspace

Google Workspace is, without a doubt, one of the best office suites available. It is known for being a cloud-based solution for those looking for a productivity solution that emphasizes communication and collaboration. Key products in this suite include Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Drive. 

Our more Comprehensive Google Workspace review does justice to this suite. Google Workspace is quite good for business use as it allows your team to work remotely and easily organize workflow. Google Workspace is not just a desktop it is also available on Android devices and iPhones. 

WPS Office

WPS Office, at first instance, is a solid desktop productivity suite, working seamlessly on Windows 10 and 11. Still, it also has a functional mobile version that is easy to use and can easily be incorporated into your everyday life. If you have been intrigued by the link between the name WPS and what it does, look no further. WPS stands for writer, presentation, and spreadsheets, a clever way to summarize the three essential programs in every office suite. We have more helpful information on this suite in our WPS Office review.

Zoho Workplace

Zoho Workplace is an office suite ideal for startups and small enterprises on a budget. They offer an ever-expanding collection of apps that serve as productivity and business tools. Our Zoho Workplace review can help you better understand its ecosystem and how to harness its resources for your benefit. If you are looking for productivity with extensive in-suite integration abilities, Zoho WOrkplace is what you need.

Apple iWork

If you are within the Apple ecosystem and are looking for a familiar productivity suite, then Apple iWork is the alternative you need. Apple iWork is famed for its minimalistic app design, and we delve more into its inner workings in our Apple iWork review. It is also easily amongst the best free productivity apps suites available.  

Corel WordPerfect Office

While Corel is better known for its design tool than its entire suite, we can promise that Corel WordPerfect is a competent office productivity suite. Corel is all you need, from WordPerfect ILightning, its note-taking app, to Paradox, its database management solution. it is a very extensive tool, and our Corel WordPerfect Office review delves deeper into this suite. 


What to look for in a productivity software suite

Let’s say you have gone through the office productivity software options we have curated above; furthermore, you went a step further to ensure you got the required knowledge by visiting our blog for more information on each product you are now at a fix since all these options are top tier. 

What do you do? How do you select an option you can try before you think about making a purchase?

productivity software suite

Stick with us as we outline some helpful pointers you should look out for when you want to select a productivity software suite.

1. Accessibility

When selecting an office productivity tool, consider one that has a mobile version. Choose corporate productivity software that can be used over the web in addition to iOS and Android devices. This allows you to effortlessly access your business's data from any location at any time.

2. Compatibility and Integration

Your devices and operating systems should be compatible with the suite. Check if it connects effectively with your existing products and services, allowing for smooth data transfer and process automation.

3. Comprehensive Tools

The suite should include a variety of tools for various aspects of productivity, such as word processing, spreadsheet analysis, presentations, task management, and so on.

4. Usability and User Interface

The software's interface should be simple and easy to use. Complex or cluttered interfaces may stifle productivity, so search for apps with simple navigation and well-organized functionality.

5. Storage Options

Since you will be working with data, knowing the available storage options is a must. Are you restricted to local storage, or do you have access to cloud storage? 

6. Learning Resources

Look for suites that include tutorials, guides, and training materials to assist you in learning how to use the tools efficiently and maximize their benefits. Most productivity software tools provide a wizard to help guide users, especially if you are using the tool for the first time. 

7. Customer Support

Check whether the suite provides dependable customer service by email, chat, or phone. This is critical if you run into technical difficulties or want assistance.

8. Security

 To secure sensitive information, ensure the suite has powerful security features such as data encryption, two-factor authentication, and privacy settings.


Conclusion: Our final takeaways 

Productivity Software makes life easier, and there is no fuss about that. Whether you are a developer, a writer, a senior manager, or the CEO of a big company, as long as you desire a solution to make tasks a lot easier, you cannot do without capable productivity software. 

Picking the right tool is essential and could determine how seamless your day-to-day activities will be. With the right tool, you can achieve more than you thought possible. 



How can software applications increase your productivity at home or at the office?

Software applications can increase your personal productivity and help you accomplish more success either at home or in the office by handling task automation, organizing your schedules effectively, helping you work across multiple channels without losing a beat, and overall streamlining your processes to best fit you. 

How is business software different from productivity software?

Generally, business software focuses on a more specific area of expertise addressing business-oriented functionalities. In contrast, productivity software is not business-specific as they are more holistic in the problems they solve. Note that there are times when some tools work well as both business software and productivity software.