My favorite 8 Productivity Apps & Tools – Part 1

Productivity Apps:

Productivity Apps were invented to make life easier for us. Yet, many people don’t know which Apps to use or how to use them productively. Personally, I am always on the look out for any App that can make me more productive in any aspect of my life, and so my list of productivity Apps is constantly changing and evolving.

At the time of writing this however, these are my 7 most important Apps and tools for staying productive:

1. Everything Google (gmail, calendar, drive, books)

Productivity Apps

To pick one Google App that keeps me productive is really difficult, so I decided to start the list with everything Google, while some of these may appear again later in the list. I use Gmail over other mail servers as the spam-filter, division into Primary, Social, and Promotions sections, and ease of synchronization with my phone and PC make it one of the best and most productive email applications out there. Any other email application that I tried feels like a dinosaur comparatively.

Add to that, Gmail is sync to the other Apps that assist in my productivity like my Calendar, Google Drive, Hangout and Maps, making it an all in one system that every productive person should use.

2. To-Dos/S-Note


In 2010, I started using the Samsung Galaxy Note brand of phablets and have stuck with it ever since. The Note series is aimed at productivity junkies and contains many features that are great. The S-Note however stands out as something I use every day. It contains templates for daily and weekly To-Do lists which I use daily to make my To-Do lists and have them available wherever I go. Crossing off each completed task with my S-pen is also more fun that clicking a button.

Recently, after upgrading to Windows 10 on my PC, I was looking for a good App to use for To-Do lists on my PC so that I do not have to check my phone every hour to see what needs to be done next.

I ended up downloading the To-Dos App and it has saved me a lot of time as it is very easy and quick to use, both in adding tasks and crossing them off. Its a simple App, nothing fancy but serves as a nice yellow reminder on my screen of what still needs to be done.

The S-Note serves as a portable To-Do List, while the To-Dos App serves as its equivalent on my PC, making both Apps very important for my daily productivity.

3. iTunes


As someone who is generally known to be anti-Apple, it probably comes as surprise to see iTunes on this list. The truth is that I only started using iTunes a month ago and I must admit it is the best audio player I was used.

I was searching for audio player in which I can access all my favorite Podcast series and iTunes gave me that and more. It downloads the latest episodes, keeps track of which episodes I have downloaded and not listened to yet, and will pick up from the exact spot I stopped, even after days. All of this saves me a lot of time that usually goes in browsing each podcast’s webpage, searching for the latest episodes and trying to remember where I stopped.

Perhaps its time I tried out an actual Apple product, perhaps an iPod?

4. Windows 10 Start Menu

Windows 10 menu

I know this isn’t an App but the way it is designed for Windows 10, it is an awesome productivity tool. For many people, the menu was something they missed in Windows 8, but something they just use as is. However, the Windows 10 menu can be customized in so many ways, it serves me as a very efficient productivity tools.

You can choose which tiles to display in the menu, choose their order and arrange by groups. I have taken advantage of that to set up a menu that as all my most important Apps together at the top, all social media tiles together underneath, and likewise arranged all tiles in order of priority. This has saved me a lot of time in searching for programs or scrolling through long menus to get to them.

That’s the end of Part 1, folks. Click here to read part two and learn about more productivity apps. Although the start menu screen-grab I shared does give some clues about what might be on it. 🙂 

Posted by Ismail Kamdar

Ismail Kamdar is the Founder of Islamic Self Help, author of over a dozen books, faculty manager of IOU, and a freelance writer.


Excellent article, Ismail. ‘Staying organized’ has certainly been made easier by such tools. Thanks, Niraj (Founder at

Tabassum Mosleh

Salam ‘Alaykum ustadh, nice article ma sSha Allah. If I may, I would like to add some productivity apps I use myself.

1. Feedly – this is an Android app where you can put all the online stuff you read – newspapers, articles, blogs, etc. – at one place and arrange each website according to priority and topic. Then it keeps updating itself every time you open it. I get regular updates from both of your blogs as soon as I open it..
2. Grammarly – this is an awesome PC app that checks your spelling, grammar and sentence structure errors with the free app, and you get more with the premium app. It’s not like the Windows spell-checker- it’s very smart, and it saves a lot of your work in proofreading. In fact, it’s checking this comment as I’m writing.
3. Happify (Android)- this isn’t exactly a productivity app per say, but it’s quite effective in giving you really smart counseling whenever you need it.
4. Elmohafez – it’s a Quran memorization App in android. You can select sections that you want to memorize, listen to the correct recitation of that section, and check your own hifz. It records your voice while covering the ayat you’re memorizing, repeats your recording to you and gives you the option of marking the section “right” or “wrong”. It also tells you how much you have memorized of which para.
5. Memrise – This is available in the website and also as Android app. You can learn vocabularies of any language and create your own vocabulary lists. I have used it in my IOU Arabic courses, and it has worked wonders ma sha Allah.

Jazak Allah shaykh, an outstanding article indeed.
I also use iTunes. Can you please suggest me some beneficial podcasts which you have subscribed for yourself.

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