As more companies embrace the new normal of working from anywhere but the office, staying efficient and productive has become extra challenging for teams. The need to stay on track is more obvious now than ever before, and the sales of productivity apps prove this shift.
According to research firm App Annie, mobile apps have seen a $2 billion surge in global sales across all sectors, with the biggest chunk going to business and communications, finance, and entertainment. The vast array of productivity tools that come up in searches shows a massive market for these software.
If you're a PC user and are looking for new productivity tools to help enhance your workflow, this guide is for you. Let's talk about some of the most popular software for Windows users in 2021 and highlight their key features and pricing information.
Best Productivity Software for Windows
The most downloaded productivity apps are focused on collaboration, efficiency, and security. With all eyes on the screen, even primarily entertainment-focused software like TikTok have been adopted as information-sharing channels to reach a wider audience. Windows users are fortunate to have a vast range of app options to make their work lives easier. Here are five of the best ones we've used.
Lightkey is a real-time text prediction and editing tool that helps you type faster and more efficiently by suggesting relevant words and phrases based on your typing patterns and content theme. This AI-powered software can predict as far as 12 words ahead, including punctuation marks, cutting your keyboard time significantly. Its machine learning capabilities allow Lightkey to develop the more you use it so that it can provide more accurate recommendations moving forward.
The software is designed for Windows users for now, but Mac users need not despair. If you have a virtual machine that runs Windows on your Apple computer, you can install Lightkey on the virtual machine to enjoy its features.
Real-time correction and text prediction
Integrates with MS Office, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge
Sound assistance for non-touch typists
Can import content and manage vocabulary
Access key productivity metrics and team analytics
Supports multiple languages
Supports Windows OS versions 7.8, 8.1, and 10
Lightkey is free for up to 1,000 predicted keystrokes per month
1-Year license: $39.95 per year (Pro) and $59.95 per year (Business)
1 Lifetime license: $169.95 (Pro) and $229.95 (Business)
Zoom is the fastest rising app as it is the communication tool of choice not just for most workplaces but also for schools offering distance learning. It is popular for meetings, phone calls, chat, webinars, and other types of online events.
Can host up to 500 participants; users can increase participants by up to 1,000 with the Large Meetings add-on
Can accommodate webinars and online events with over 10,000 attendees
Free plan lets you host meetings for up to 40 minutes and one-to-one meetings for up to 30 hours
One-click access to Zoom Rooms (virtual meeting rooms)
Integrates with Office 365, Google, Microsoft Exchange, RingCentral, and more
Works on Windows OS, Mac OS, Android, iOS, or a Zoom Rooms device
Free for personal meetings with up to 100 participants (max. 40 minutes)
Paid plans range from $14.99 to $19.99 per month, per license
Add ons: $79 per month, per license for Zoom Webinar, $99 per month, per license for Zoom Events (500 attendees max.*)
*Pricing goes up as the number of attendees increases. Visit the Zoom website for details.
RingCentral is a cloud-based communication and collaboration software with messaging, fax, phone calls, video conferencing, task management, and contact center capabilities. This all-in-one software is popular among companies with remote and international staff because its online meeting tools are free. Zoom also powers its video conferencing feature.
SMS/chat messaging and video conferencing
Business phone or toll-free numbers, hot desking, and advanced call handling
Document sharing and internet faxing
Integrates with Office 365, Slack, Google Workspace, Salesforce, Zendesk, and more
Ranges from $29.99 to $59.99 per user, per month
Add on rates include $4.99 per user, per month for additional toll-free or local numbers, $30 one-time fee for additional vanity numbers, and $5.99 per user, per month for additional international numbers
Slack is another collaboration tool that's popular among workplaces with remote staff. In addition to its signature chat features, users can organize themselves into virtual teams, set up public and private channels, and share files. Those who need to connect with different companies can also manage all their workspaces in one tool, making communications with various entities possible with just a few clicks.
Chat messaging, voice calling, and video calling
Channels, Slack Connect, and workflow builder
Animation settings with GIFs and emojis
Integrates with Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Zendesk, Salesforce, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and more
Compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices
Free version that allows up to 10,000 searchable messages, 10 integrations, and one-to-one video calling
Paid plans range from $8 to $15+ per person, per month.
For workplaces that deal with a multitude of software daily, remembering usernames and passwords to each account can be stressful. Forgotten passwords are mentally draining and can take up a huge chunk of a workday. LastPass solves this problem by letting users save their log in details in a secure location so that they can automatically enter all of their accounts without having to double-check anything.
Secure and seamless password saving and automatic log ins
Simplifies online shopping and form-filling by automatically filling in payment and shipping details
Store digital records
Dark web monitoring; get alerts if your information is at risk
Has Windows Desktop, macOS, iOS, and Android apps
Browser extensions for Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox, and Internet Explorer
Free version for one device type
Paid plans range from $3 to $4 per month for single users, and $4 to $6 per user, per month for business users (subscriptions are billed annually)
Simplify Typing With Lightkey
With all the productivity apps that are available to Windows users, deciding which ones to download can be confusing. Simplify your choices by starting with a tool that allows you to type seamlessly and fluidly. Lightkey’s AI capabilities enable you to continuously write with minimal stopping by providing word and phrase recommendations and correcting your spelling as you type — not after the fact. This predictive text software integrates with a wide range of office tools, allowing you to use it wherever you work.
Download the Lightkey Free edition to explore its features and experience the efficiency and productivity boost yourself.
Note: This page was last updated on September 28, 2021. Costs and other software product details are subject to change.