7 Innovative Productivity Tools You Probably Haven't Heard of

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By Christina DesMarais, Inc.

Getting into a zone of flow--a magical feeling of cranking out excellent work without distraction or losing momentum--often happens with the help of technology. Here are several interesting websites, apps or platforms to make work better.

It stands for "travel as a benefit." Employees set aside money from each paycheck with employers making a matching contribution to their Taab account. Employees are then issued debit cards tied to their Taab account. The debit cards are authorized on any travel related expense, such as flights, cars, hotels and cruises, but declined at non-travel merchants. The founders of this Orlando, Florida-based startup created the program last year with the idea that travel and vacation increases recruitment, retention and productivity.

Cost: $5 per employee a month



This web and mobile app lets you build your own custom business apps without having to know how to code. From inventory tracking, to staffing, to managing customers and global marketing campaigns, Airtable can be used to run an organization's back office. It combines the simplicity of a spreadsheet with the power of a database and lets you include photos and interactive lists inside cells. You can also select from a variety of interfaces and functionalities (called "blocks") that can be mixed-and-matched like an app-building Lego kit. Customers include Airbnb, WeWork and more than 40 percent of the Fortune 1,000. The San Francisco-based company grew revenue 500 percent in 2017 and received $52 million in funding in April. Competitors include Quick Base, Microsoft Access, FileMaker Pro, Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets.

Cost: Airtable has a free forever plan with limited capacity, and premium plan options that range from $12 to $24 per user, per month, with expanded functionality

This platform connects companies with popular influencers on Instagram. Consumer products brands create an online campaign brief explaining what it expects from influencers, select the type of influencers it would like to promote the campaign, review post proposals from influencers and pay for post proposals to go live. Analytics measure the campaign impact and companies review and rate influencers. The Geneva-based company is used by more than 4,000 brands and has more than 18,000 Instragram influencers on its platform. Competitors include Tapfluence, Revfluence and Tribe.

Cost: Brands can start a campaign beginning at $15


This software as a service platform offers a suite of marketing tools which help companies analyze engagement and ad performance across social media platforms. It also provides data regarding competitors and industry benchmarks as well as allows for the scheduling and publishing of content. The Prague-based company competes with Sprinklr and Sprout Social and has more than 2,500 customers in 100 countries, including Nestle, Lexus, ING Bank, Desigual and Toyota.

Cost: Plans start at $20 a month per page for five pages in a yearly package

This low-code mobile app development platform (MADP) lets you develop mobile apps for iOS and Android using a browser-based editor without having to manually write a line of code. In it, you use a visual drag-and-drop interface to design, style, add data connections, and create the UX logic for your app. Dropsource uses an automated code generator that writes clean, editable and native source code (Swift and Java) behind the scenes. Whenever a user clicks the Build button, Dropsource generates the source code for a fully functional and native mobile app and makes it available to either test in a browser, install on a mobile device over-the-air, download for manual editing or to deploy to app stores. The platform has tens of thousands of users and competitors include Configure.IT, Kinetise, Mendix and OutSystems.

Cost: A free plan offers limited features; paid plans begin at $39 a month with enterprise and professional services also available


Front is a shared inbox for teams to manage group emails like "team@" and "help@" with their customer communication channels and apps in one location. The collaborative platform gives teams more context and visibility into conversations, and allows them to assign and comment on emails, automate internal workflows, and group edit in real-time to respond faster to incoming messages so teams have more context and visibility into conversations. The San Francisco company launched in 2014 after Y Combinator and raised $66 million in Series B funding with Sequoia and DFJ in January 2018. More than 3,000 businesses in 88 countries use the platform and competitors include Gmail, Outlook and Zendesk.

Cost: Plans start at $15 per user a month


Sometimes described as "Unsplash for music," it lets you download free stock music for videos, games and other user interfaces. If you publish a video using music from the platform you can either credit the composition and link to Fugue or pay $20 a month for unlimited uncredited work. The New York City-based platform was created last year by the team behind Icons8, a library of 69,300 icons for use by designers and developers. Competitors include Bensound, Purple Planet, AudioJungle, PremiumBeat and Musicbed.

Cost: Free if you credit the composition and link to Fugue or $20 a month for unlimited uncredited work


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Business News: 7 Innovative Productivity Tools You Probably Haven't Heard of
7 Innovative Productivity Tools You Probably Haven't Heard of
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