Best Small Business Apps to Increase Productivity in 2017

Staying productive is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do. Inspiration and creativity can only be leveraged into something magnificent if somebody takes the time to turn their ideas into reality.

As with any other problem, there’s an app for that.

Developers and entrepreneurs have come up with small business apps and business management apps that allow thinkers and doers to stay on task and maintain productivity.

The best productivity apps range in their functionality. Some small business apps offer ways to organize the random thoughts that come to you throughout the day. Other apps for business productivity have features that ensure you stay on task and use your time wisely.

With so many options, it can be difficult to pinpoint the best apps for small business productivity. This article will provide a list of the best productivity apps out there. After reading this, you should have ample information to choose the best business apps that suit your particular enterprise’s needs.

The best apps for business address common productivity and task management problems in ways that either compel or trick you into getting the job done. We’ve saved you a little time by gathering together the details on a number of small business apps built for productivity which are currently on the market.   

AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Apps for Small Business Productivity

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the app names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that productivity software):

Click here for 2016’s Ranking of Top 6 Small Business Apps

Top 6 Best Apps for Small Business | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Best Small Business Apps


Free Trial?



per person

Free version 

Organizing group projects & facilitating conversation


month for
10 projects

 30-day  trial

Team communication and  collaboration on documents & projects


 $0- $34.99/

Free version  for 2 devices

Saving images & documents, recording meetings, & note-keeping



 Free version 

Saving passwords for unlimited accounts


 $0- $12.50/

 Free version 

Widespread communication through channels, phone calls, and file-sharing



 Free version 

Organizing & prioritizing ideas, details, and project goals  

Table: Top 6 Best Apps for Small Business | Above list is sorted alphabetically

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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Productivity Apps

Below, please find a detailed review of each app on our list of best productivity apps. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these top productivity apps to score so high in our selection ranking.

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Asana Review

Asana is one of the best apps for small business that continues to receive rave reviews. Its popularity comes from an enhanced focus on organization and convenience, two key components of all best apps for productivity. 

This app combines tasks, conversations, projects, and dashboards into one simple location. Rather than getting lost in countless email threads, Asana combines messaging and email, making it one of the best  apps for productivity and organization.

Part of why Asana is one of the best apps for small business productivity is because it allows for  groups of people to focus on individual aspects of a project. Teamwork is encouraged and facilitated through a simple interface for communication and completion of projects.

For teams that often have multiple projects, or need fluid communication and quick updates, Asana is one of the best apps for small business to consider. The design is clean, colorful, and puts organization and communication as integral values.

Small business apps often need to be affordable apps for business, too. Asana does offer a basic, free version, making it one of the best small business apps on a budget.

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Basecamp Review

Basecamp is amongst top productivity apps geared towards team organization. Among small business apps, it is the darling of the project management world.

It is one of the best productivity apps for managing small teams and projects that are not too complicated – but as everyone knows, without the proper organization, even the simplest project can become complicated.

There are several useful features. Basecamp combines the functions of many other small business apps without becoming a disorganized app itself. Different projects and tasks can be categorized separately, and users can comment directly within a task, upload relevant files, and message participating members.

It is one of the best productivity apps, and it is also available through the user’s browser. In addition to communicating directly within a task, users are also able to view a general discussion area where questions can be asked and answered by anyone participating. This allows you to work with people in groups, individually, and as an organizational whole.

Other apps for business help team members collaborate on documents in real-time, like Google Docs or Quip, which allow you to add to or edit text as a group.

Basecamp also provides this functionality by allowing users to simultaneously make changes to documents which are then saved by the program. It combines the most useful features of some of the best productivity apps – on an organizational, communication, and collaborative level.

While many of these apps for business are meant to supplement email or replace it altogether, the best apps for business (like Basecamp) allow you to incorporate email into its usage. Users can make changes within Basecamp – like replying to comments or creating new tasks – by sending an email to Basecamp.

Additionally, Basecamp sends an email each day recapping all of the updates made to certain projects, allowing you to stay up to date with any changes even if you have not logged in. It is one of those small business apps that meets the needs of its users in as many ways as possible.

Basecamp also allows you to easily search for files and view all of the files uploaded to a specific project or by a specific user, making it one of the best productivity apps for organization and project management.

Locating an important file or document is painless within the Basecamp application. And, like many small business apps, Basecamp allows you to manage permissions as an administrator to ensure that only the people you want on certain tasks have access to specific projects and files.

Similar to other apps for small business needs, like Dropbox, users can recover deleted files in certain circumstances, providing for additional peace of mind.

Evernote Review 

Evernote takes notetaking to a whole new level.  You can record meetings, keep a diary, make notes, and more with this productivity software. The downside is that Evernote is only fully effective when using it for all of your note and recordkeeping needs.

This means exploiting all of its features, and most of these features come at a price – unlike other contenders for the best small business apps.

Recently, the company changed its free service to limit users to sharing across two devices – the free account allowed for unlimited access across all of a user’s devices. The change is not surprising since Evernote is considered one of the most popular small business apps or apps for business notetaking.

It has business applications, personal applications for projects or online browsing, and academic applications for notetaking and researching, setting it apart form other best small business apps.

Evernote suffers from that “love it or don’t know what to do with it” problem among users of the best productivity apps.

It has a lot of versatility and functionality – you can save notes, web pages, photos, videos, audio, and more, and if you dive right in and use this productivity software, it can save you a lot of time and energy.

New users may find it difficult to figure out just where to start, how to use the app most efficiently, and what exactly differentiates it from other apps for business that manage notes.

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LastPass Review

This is one of those unique small business apps that keeps you organized in a clever way.

How many times have you gone to log into one of your many accounts only to have to hit “Forgot password”? Probably many times. If you are a professional in the twenty-first century, chances are you have several email addresses and multiple online accounts for your banking, shopping, and more.

Best Productivity Apps

Photo courtesy of: Pixabay

Among the business management apps, this next app tackles a very modern problem: keeping track of all our complicated passwords.

Oftentimes, when you make an account, you are prompted to come up with a password that has a capital letter, a lowercase letter, a symbol, and a number.

For most, each time a new password is created, the possibility that it will be forgotten in the near future is a common problem. LastPass is another one of those unique apps for business or personal use that helps tackle both of the problems mentioned here.

Users can sync their passwords and then have their login information automatically filled in when they are browsing around online using Safari, Google Chrome or the browser available within the LastPass app.

That is an interesting feature which differentiates LastPass from other apps for small business management: it comes with an in-app browser, which makes a lot of sense considering its functionality.

While there are many business management apps that tackle password management, LastPass provides additional features that make it one of the best apps for small business owners.

When you download this app, it recommends the best plugins for your computer and browser. Furthermore, while taking stock of your username and passwords, it alerts you to any passwords that are not strong enough and may pose a security threat. These features distinguish it from other password apps for business.

While LastPass alerts you to the presence of weak passwords, it does not replicate the frustrating process of coming up with a strong but memorable password when you are filling out online signup forms.

LastPass strives to be one of the best productivity apps by making stronger suggestions and possible substitutions for characters within your existing passwords.

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Slack Review

Slack is one of the better-known apps for small business management and productivity. You can think of it as a messaging app for teams. It is one of the best small business apps for collaboration, and it has made a name for itself in this niche.

Think of it as an instant messaging platform that categorizes conversations based on projects or purpose.

Email can be a very unhelpful way of staying productive and working efficiently. It can be difficult to filter out the irrelevant messages when you are trying to focus your energy on one particular project. The best productivity apps allow you to categorize various elements of working (e.g., note taking and conversations) that can easily become disorganized or thrown off track.

Correspondence is one of those features of the workplace that can quickly become overwhelming, and this is one of those apps for business management that addresses this issue.

Slack users can create different channels based on teams or products. They can also set channels to private if only certain people can be privy to specific information. Slack users also have the option of traditional messaging, where you can message people individually instead of as a group.

Small business apps that provide a twist on a traditional function while also allowing users to still use that traditional option (like Slack’s instant messaging options) provide convenience and innovation to customers.

The best productivity apps also address the annoying problems of traditional project management. Slack allows users to fine-tune their notifications so that they are not inundated with unnecessary alerts.

Users can also search for important information. Oftentimes, people need to find an important detail in a conversation but are forced to scroll through numerous messages.

As one of the most popular small business apps, Slack addresses this problem by allowing users to run a search on conversations for specific terms. Users can upload files on Slack as well, making it one of the best apps for small business correspondence.

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Trello Review

While we are on the topic of the best apps for productivity and idea management, we should discuss Trello. The neat thing about these apps for small business owners is their ability to mimic real-life objects that people have grown used to using for organization and brainstorming.

Trello does this with a classic office item: the bulletin board. On Trello, users have access to a bulletin board with cards that serve as different categories or projects.

With each card, you can create checklists, upload files or set due dates. This is one of those apps for business management that allows you to follow up and follow through with different projects and ideas.

Your mind is a hot mess of to-do lists, reminders, ideas, notes, and more. Bulletin boards have served as a catch-all area to quickly pin up all of these miscellaneous things related to work. The best apps for small business owners find a digital way to organize that creative chaos.

What makes Trello one of the top productivity apps is that it is highly customizable and has an extremely user-friendly interface that makes it easy for individuals to navigate the app.

While it is not useful for extremely complicated project management activities, Trello is one of the best productivity apps for ensuring a small team is on the same page or has access to each other’s ideas.

Staff and team members can quickly adapt to the intuitive interface, making it one of the best small business apps for centralizing a project and sharing ideas among team members.

The terrific thing about Trello – and something that all the best productivity apps share – is that it is not limited to workplace management.

The best apps for small business management can be applicable in several different contexts, both professional and personal. If you have a passion project, like a renovation, or a book idea, Trello can help you categorize and organize your personal endeavors, ranking it among the best apps for business and pleasure.

Conclusion- Top 6 Best Apps for Small Business Productivity

Some may argue that the best productivity apps choose one area of project management and provide a perfect solution. Others may prefer apps for business that include all their project management and organizational needs in one. There are pros and cons for all productivity software.

Small business apps that tackle one area perfectly may make a business owner completely happy, but that user may grow frustrated that an intuitive feature, like a message system, is not included.

At the same time, the best business apps may be those that incorporate the features of several best apps for productivity (e.g., communication, scheduling, and document sharing) into one app so that users can have a one-stop shop solution for all of their project management needs.

Then again, these all-in-one apps for business owners may prove to be overwhelming and difficult to navigate, especially for those who are new to such tools.

The good news is that there are many different apps for business needs available on the market, and finding the best apps for small business requirements may simply be a matter of experimenting with different small business apps and finding the best business apps for you.

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