Even though I haven’t been a product manager in my professional career, all my knowledge from literature tells me that it is not a walk in the park.
A product manager has to wear many hats to identify customer needs, define the product’s vision, analyze competitive conditions, and handle many other tasks.
Amidst switching between these various roles to optimize different aspects of the business, being sustainably productive becomes not just an option but a necessity.
If you are a product manager, you may want to read this article where we present the 12 best productivity apps to help you stay insanely productive, without coffee.
Project Management and Collaboration
Trello is an excellent tool for product managers. With its famous Kanban boards, lists, and card format, you can ensure that everything from task management to collaboration is in sync.
Trello comes with pre-built workflows for different project types (such as project management, meetings, onboarding, etc.). These workflows allow you to get started without starting from scratch.
Task and project management is seamless in Trello. As a product manager, Trello enables you to assign tasks to team members, set due dates, and track their progress.
You can easily invite people to join your boards, assign tasks to individuals, and create a clear accountability loop using comments.
Trello lets you prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance.
Additionally, what makes Trello amazing, among other features, is its ability to effortlessly connect with third-party productivity tools and automate different parts of your projects.
Trello has a built-in automation tool called Butler, enabling you to automate repetitive tasks and save time.
- Kanban boards, lists, and cards format
- Pre-built workflows for different project types
- Task assignment and tracking with due dates
- Collaboration through inviting people and assigning tasks
- Automate & Integration with third-party productivity tools
Trello has a free plan that allows adding unlimited cards and up to 10 boards per workspace. There are three paid plan options:
- Standard ($5/month)
- Premium ($10/month)
- Enterprise ($17.5/month/user)
Jira is a powerful project management tool widely used by agile teams, including product managers. As a product manager, Jira can help you effectively plan, track, and release your products.
One of Jira Software’s most useful features is its agile boards, which offer both Scrum and Kanban options. These boards enable teams to break down large projects into manageable tasks.
By using these boards, teams can work in sprints, prioritize tasks, and expedite product delivery.
Another valuable feature is the timeline view, which allows you to plan ahead and track the progress of your work. Managing dependencies also becomes easier with this view.
Jira Software provides a variety of reports and dashboards that offer crucial insights into your team’s progress and performance. These reports help you stay updated and make data-driven decisions.
Furthermore, Jira Software offers over 3000 apps and integrations, allowing for seamless integration with other tools and systems.
Lastly, Jira Software includes a drag-and-drop automation feature that simplifies repetitive tasks.
- Agile boards for Scrum and Kanban
- Timeline view for planning and tracking progress
- Dependency management
- Reports and dashboards for progress and performance tracking
- Over 3000 apps and integrations are available
- Drag and drop automation for repetitive tasks
Jira has a completely free plan for up to 10 users. The Standard plan costs $7.75/month/user and the Premium plan costs $15.25/month/user.
Slack is like a digital hub for your team, providing a centralized space to streamline productivity and foster effective teamwork.
To keep conversations organized, Slack offers channels.
You can create channels for different topics, projects, or teams, ensuring that discussions are focused and accessible.
Need to have a quick audio chat with your team?
With just a few clicks, the Huddles feature helps you engage in audio conversations with your colleagues, making it convenient for quick discussions or brainstorming sessions.
In addition to text and audio, Slack also supports video communication through its Clips feature.
When it comes to collaborating on documents, images, and files, Slack’s Canvas feature is a game-changer. You can work on files together in real-time, add comments, and make edits without the need for external tools.
For automating routine tasks and communication, Slack’s Workflow Builder is a valuable asset.
With Slack’s robust search functionality, finding messages, files, and other content is a breeze.
- Channels for organized conversations
- Huddles for quick audio chats
- Clips for video communication
- Canvas for collaborative work on documents, images, and files
- Workflow Builder for automating tasks and communication
- Robust search functionality for easy content retrieval
Slack offers a free plan, while its Pro plan starts at around $2.6 per month, and its Business+ plan starts at around $4.6 per month.
Motion is a productivity app designed to help professionals, particularly product managers, effectively manage their calendars, meetings, projects, and tasks all in one convenient place.
One of Motion’s key features is its Intelligent Calendar, which provides a unique and user-friendly interface to view your daily schedule with just a single click.
Another standout feature of Motion is its Automatic Task Manager, which streamlines the process of viewing and creating tasks in just 10 seconds.
For product managers handling large and complex projects, Motion offers an Automatic Project Manager.
This feature provides a comprehensive view of tasks and projects, allowing you to choose between a Kanban or list view for better project management.
When it comes to meeting management, Motion has a Meeting Scheduler that enables you to run meetings efficiently.
It provides tools to share availability and create custom meeting templates, ensuring that meetings are well-organized.
Overall, Motion is a versatile productivity app that caters to the needs of product managers and other professionals, offering a range of features to enhance productivity and organization.
- Intelligent Calendar with a single-click schedule view
- Automatic Task Manager for quick task viewing and creation
- Automatic Project Manager with Kanban or list view options
- Meeting Scheduler for efficient meeting management
- Availability sharing and custom meeting templates
Motion offers a 7-day free trial. The Individual plan costs $34 per month ($19 per month when billed annually), and the Team plan costs $20 per month per member ($12 per month when billed annually).
Product Roadmapping and Planning
ProductPlan helps you create and share product roadmaps, prioritize initiatives, collaborate with your team, and integrate with other tools.
ProductPlan makes it super easy to build and share visually appealing roadmaps.
You can switch between different layouts such as timelines, lists, and tables with just a click. Plus, you can filter and share custom views of your roadmaps with different audiences, ensuring that everyone sees the relevant information.
Prioritizing initiatives becomes a breeze with ProductPlan. It provides data-driven insights to help you make informed decisions.
Another great aspect of ProductPlan is its integrations.
It works seamlessly with popular tools like Slack and Jira, making your life easier. You can push live updates of your roadmap to Slack or pull in project details from Jira.
ProductPlan also allows teams to align their product strategies and work together seamlessly. You can share your roadmaps with specific audiences, thanks to flexible permission options.
- Create and share visually appealing roadmaps
- Switch between different layouts (timelines, lists, tables) with a click
- Filter and share custom views of roadmaps
- Data-driven insights for prioritizing initiatives
- Integrations with popular tools like Slack and Jira
ProductPlan offers a 14-day free trial. The Basic plan costs $39/month and the Professional plan costs $69/month.
Aha! is a product development software that offers a range of tools designed to guide you through every step of the product development lifecycle, from planning and ideation to building and launching your creations.
The Aha! suite includes several key tools that make the life of a product manager much easier.
Aha! Roadmaps: It allows you to create and visualize product roadmaps effortlessly. You can define goals, prioritize features, and track progress, all in one place.
Aha! Ideas: With Aha! Ideas, you can capture and manage ideas from your team, customers, and stakeholders. It facilitates collaboration and encourages innovation by providing a platform for everyone to contribute their thoughts and suggestions.
Aha! Notebooks: Aha! Notebooks is a versatile tool that allows you to create and share notes, meeting agendas, and specifications. You can keep all your important product-related information in one place, making it easily accessible to your team.
Aha! Develop: This tool is designed to streamline the development process by integrating with popular project management and development tools.
In summary, Aha! is a versatile product development software that streamlines various aspects of product management.
- Create a visual roadmap
- Drive product innovation
- Showcase your best thinking
- Connect product and engineering
- Suite of tools: Aha! Roadmaps, Ideas, Notebooks, Develop, etc
Aha! offers a 30-day free trial. Aha! has different pricing plans for a different suite of tools:
- Aha! Roadmaps: $59/month
- Aha! Ideas: $39/month
- Aha! Notebooks: $9/month
- Aha! Develop: $9/month
Craft.io is a tool designed for product managers, offering a comprehensive platform to effectively plan and manage products. It serves as an all-in-one solution with built-in best practices to guide you throughout the process.
One notable feature of Craft.io is its ability to prioritize the most important features for your company. You can easily track how these features align with your objectives using customizable views.
Capacity planning is made effortless with Craft.io. The tool automatically visualizes and presents the tasks each team can work on, streamlining the process and optimizing resource allocation.
If you’re already using Jira for project management, you’ll appreciate the seamless collaboration and execution facilitated by Craft.io’s integration with Jira.
Furthermore, Craft.io offers integrations with a variety of development tools. This allows you to track progress and ensure the successful execution of your plans.
- Ability to prioritize features
- Customizable views to track feature alignment with objectives
- Capacity planning and resource allocation visualization
- Seamless collaboration and execution through Jira integration
Craft.io offers a 14-day free trial. The Essential plan costs $49/month ($39 on annual billing) while the Pro plan costs $109/month ($89 on annual billing).
User Feedback and Research
Smartlook is a powerful tool designed to provide insightful analytics and visual user insights for websites and native mobile apps.
It’s a great tool for product managers who want to understand user behavior and optimize their products for better performance and conversion rates.
One of the standout features of Smartlook is its Session Recordings. With this feature, you can actually watch recordings of user sessions to see exactly what they’re doing on your website or app.
Another useful feature is Events. You can track specific actions that users take on your website or app, such as signing up or making a purchase.
Funnels are another powerful tool provided by Smartlook. They allow you to identify where users drop off within your website or app.
Heatmaps are a handy feature that gives you an instant visual overview of where users click and how far they scroll on your web pages or within your app.
With Smartlook, you can even watch session recordings leading up to a crash, allowing you to pinpoint the cause of the crash without needing to reproduce it.
- Session recordings
- Heatmaps and behavior flow
- Crash reports
- Integration with 50+ tech stack
- Conversion rate improvement
- Comprehensive product analytics and visual user insights
Smartlook offers a free plan and a paid plan that starts at $55/month.
Dovetail helps you quickly and easily transform data into valuable insights, regardless of the research method you use.
Dovetail is a centralized platform for all your customer research, feedback, and insights, eliminating the need to scatter your data across different platforms.
With Dovetail, you can explore insights derived from various research methods. Whether you’re conducting customer interviews, analyzing extensive feedback, researching mobile apps, or conducting market research.
Additionally, Dovetail provides powerful analysis tools and templates. It offers templates for customer interviews, product feedback, usability testing, survey responses, and market research, among others.
Dovetail seamlessly integrates with popular tools like Slack, Atlassian, Notion, and Zapier.
Furthermore, Dovetail allows you to customize your insights hub to align with your organization’s branding. You have the ability to add custom branding, create a personalized landing page, and more.
- Centralized storage for customer research, feedback, and insights
- Support for various research methods
- Powerful analysis tools and templates
- Seamless integration with popular tools
- Customizable branding and personalized landing page
Dovetail offers a 30-day free trial. After that, you can choose to upgrade to a paid plan starting at $30/month.
Maze is a continuous product discovery platform that can help you make better decisions for your product and grow your business.
Maze is intuitive and user-friendly, with an easy-to-use interface.
One of the key features of Maze is its ability to collect customer insights through various research tools.
You can conduct prototype testing, card sorting, website testing, and feedback surveys all in one place.
With Maze, you can recruit participants from their Panel, which is a group of pre-screened users, or from your own custom database.
It provides visually-rich and customizable reports that offer actionable insights. You can use these reports to collaborate with stakeholders and make informed decisions about your product.
Furthermore, Maze offers a template library for research studies. You can recycle, reuse, and share these templates, saving you time and effort in setting up new studies.
- Collect customer insights through various research tools
- Conduct prototype testing, card sorting, website testing, and more
- Visually-rich and customizable reports for actionable insights
- Collaborate with stakeholders and make informed decisions
- Template library for research studies
Maze has a free plan to get started with. The Professional plan costs $99/month ($75/month when billed annually).
Design and Prototyping
Figma is an all-in-one platform that helps you design, prototype, develop, and gather feedback for your meaningful products.
One of the great things about Figma is its ability to enable co-creation and real-time collaboration.
This means that multiple team members can work together in the same space, making it easy to share ideas, provide feedback, and iterate on designs in real-time.
With Figma, you can create realistic prototypes and iterate quickly on flows and states.
For developers, Figma introduces Dev Mode, a dedicated space where they can gain clarity on designs and easily translate them into code.
In addition to its core features, Figma offers FigJam, an online whiteboard for collaborative teamwork.
It is perfect for activities like project kickoffs, brainstorming sessions, and retrospectives, allowing team members to work together seamlessly.
Figma also seamlessly integrates with other tools and platforms, making it easy to connect your design workflow with other essential tools you may be using.
- Shared workspace for multiple team members
- Real-time iteration of designs
- Creation of realistic prototypes
- Dev Mode for developers to translate designs into code
- FigJam, an online whiteboard for collaborative teamwork
Figma offers a Forever Free plan. Figma Professional is priced at $12/month per user. The cost for Figma Organization is $45/month per user, while Figma Enterprise starts at $75/month per user.
Balsamiq Wireframes is a tool that enables you to quickly and easily create user interface wireframes.
Wireframes serve as blueprints or sketches of a user interface, helping you visualize the structure and content of your product without getting entangled in discussions about colors and intricate details.
One of the remarkable aspects of Balsamiq is its ability to facilitate rapid idea generation and prompt the discarding of unfavorable ones.
Equipped with a diverse range of UI components, you can effortlessly drag and drop elements onto your canvas, enabling you to experiment and iterate on your designs seamlessly.
It is designed to foster collaboration among software teams, consultants, and business owners, ensuring a seamless working environment where everyone involved in the project can collaborate, share ideas, and provide feedback.
- Quick and easy creation of user interface wireframes
- Visualization of structure and content
- Drag-and-drop simplicity
- A diverse range of UI components
- Seamless experimentation and iteration of designs
Balsamiq Cloud offers a 30-day free trial and starts at $9/month. The desktop app license (Windows & Mac) for an individual costs $129.
Being a product manager is a challenging role that requires juggling multiple responsibilities and optimizing various aspects of the business.
That’s why we have productivity tools to help!
By leveraging these apps, you can optimize your workflows, enhance collaboration, and make data-driven decisions to drive the success of your products.