Let’s be honest: 2020 left many of us grappling with new ways of working, learning to balance home and work life in ways we never imagined.

As we start a new year, how we work has shifted. For small businesses, every employee counts. You need to have each member of your team set up with the productivity and organization tools to foster collaboration, keep the team on track, and move your business forward.

Here’s our round-up of the best productivity tools for small businesses in 2021, whether your team is in the office, working from home, or on the move.

Organization Tools

These tools will help you and your team stay on top of the never-ending flow of information and documents that make up any small business.

1. Google Workspace

It can be tempting to always be on the hunt for the perfect new tool, but don’t overlook the functionality of what you already have at your fingertips. Workspace includes apps you know and love (including Google Docs and Sheets, Gmail, and Drive) but also has features you may not have tried before such as Currents (a tool for fostering collaboration) and Keep (a note taking app that is part of your Google account)

2. Charli 

Ready to get your digital clutter under control? Meet Charli, your new “Chief of Stuff”. Charli is a powerful AI assistant that will help you organize, find, and share your files. Simply send Charli your important documents and get auto-generated folder structures, easy retrieval and even easier sharing. It’s part workflow automation, organization wizard and search engine.

3. Shift

Do you get tired of switching between accounts on your desktops and constantly logging in and out? Shift will solve that. A workstation for productive people, Shift is a desktop app for streamlining your accounts, apps and workflows. It lets you access multiple Google and Microsoft accounts from one place, connect your apps and extensions, find anything across your accounts and more.

4. Dashlane

Ever find yourself wasting valuable time searching for passwords? Dashlane is a password manager that will automatically sync your passwords across devices and automatically log you in. Added bonus: it can keep on top of your password health and help you generate stronger passwords.

Collaboration Tools

Sure you’ve got Zoom or Slack but when your team is working remotely, sometimes you need more help to manage projects or share information. These productivity apps will help you streamline collaboration no matter where you, your team, or your clients are.

5. Drag

Create a shared workspace for your team right from Gmail. With a range of use cases — from project management tool, to CRM, to shared inbox — Drag can create ease for a wide range of small businesses.

6. Screencastify

As work-from-home has become our new normal, you may have struggled with how to show colleagues or clients a process, workflow, or product. With Screencastify you can quickly make a video of your screen and create easy walkthroughs to share with the people you work with.

Task Tracking Tools

In our State of Productivity report we found that the majority of professionals don’t feel completely in control of their tasks. Multitasking, distractions, and juggling competing priorities can all make for a fractured sense of time. These productivity tools can empower you and your team to identify how you’re using your time and to form more productive habits.

7. Toggl

Want to find out where your time really goes? Toggl is a time tracker available via web, app, and through Chrome and Firefox extensions. Set up projects, set your timer, and track your hours. You can also use Toggl to track billable hours and quickly generate reports for your clients.

8. RescueTime

Similar to Toggl, Rescue Time will reveal how you spend your time… but unlike Toggl it will track your activity automatically. Once you’ve gained insight you can also use RescueTime to block your biggest distractions.

Goal Setting Tools

You probably already know the important link between goal setting and motivation. If you’re looking for a way to add some gamification to your goal tracking, read on.

9. Beeminder

Want to take your goal tracking to the next level? Beeminder lets you track all kinds of goals. Challenge your sales team to meet targets. Start a staff fitness challenge. Encourage your team to meet their own personal goals. Beeminder helps you and your team log progress and stay on the “yellow brick road” towards success.