What were your favorite productivity apps of 2021? Who will take home awards in 6 different categories? In this video, Scott Friesen is your host as we count down the best productivity apps of the year as chosen by Simpletivity subscribers.
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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, productivity enthusiasts from around the world, welcome to the 2021 Simpletivity Subscribers Choice Awards. My name is Scott Friesen, helping you to get more done and enjoy less stress, and I'm excited to dive into this year's award show, so let's don't waste any time. We have six different categories, ranging from the best browser extensions to project management apps, to the coveted best to-do list app of the year and many others in between, all selected by you, both the nominations for these different categories, but also, you had an opportunity to vote for your favorites. So yes, this is very much like a People's Choice Awards. None of these are necessarily my favorites or necessarily my personal picks. I wanted to leave it up to you. So let's dive in to category number one, which is your favorite browser extension. Now, this is a difficult one, because there are so many different browser extensions, and many of the extensions that are nominated are based on what you're already using, the tools and the apps that you're already using. But let's take a look at the nominees. The nominees for best browser extension are Bitwarden, Pocket, and Todoist, and the winner of best browser extension for 2021 is Bitwarden. Now, this was a bit of a surprise to me. For those of you who are not familiar with Bitwarden, it is a password security app very similar to things such as LastPass or 1Password, but many of you spoke in droves, saying how much you enjoyed the usability, the ease of use, of installing, and making use of Bitwarden. Now, as it comes to all of these categories, what I would encourage you to do is take note of the apps that you were unaware of, and maybe try them out for yourself, or at least do a little bit of research. Although this is very much a popularity award show, I think it's very important to listen to what other people are using, what other people are installing, and seeing if you can't find something that is maybe better suited for you in the coming year. Let's jump into category number two, and our second category has to do with our favorite video conferencing app. Of course, in 2020, video conferencing absolutely exploded because of the pandemic, and in 2021, more and more of us, it was just the norm to meet with others using video conferencing technology. Let's take a look at the nominees. Your nominees for best video conferencing app are Google Meet, Teams, and Zoom. And this was a much tighter race this year than last year, but your winner for favorite video conferencing app is Zoom. Yeah, Zoom retains its title as the most popular, or your favorite video conferencing tool. I want to take just a very brief pause here, and let you know of something that is coming up in 2022, one of my favorite ways to kick off a new year, and that is, I am running the Reset Productivity Masterclass to help you get the most out of your technology, help you to simplify your workday, and you get to learn these techniques, including getting the most out of some of the apps that we're talking about today, in a live, four-week class. Yes, the Reset Productivity Masterclass is where I teach you and a small group cohort in a live webinar environment. You get to interact with me and ask me questions directly, and I give you small homework assignments along the way so that you can change the way you work, feel more in control of what you do day in and day out, and get the most out of your software and apps. If you'd like to learn more and enroll in the January cohort, be sure to click the link in the description below, or go to simpletivity.com/reset. Okay, let's jump into our third category for our award show this evening, this afternoon, or this morning, depending on where you are, and the category is cloud storage. Now, again there's going to be some biases here, depending on what other tools that you're using. If you're an Outlook user versus a Gmail or a Google Workspace user, you know, this might be foretold in terms of what you're using day in and day out, but if you had the choice, what was your favorite? Let's take a look at our nominees. The nominees for favorite cloud storage app are Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive. Well, the winner here, not a terrible surprise, especially since I talk so much about Google tools and Google apps, but your favorite cloud storage app was Google Drive, a very flexible tool, which, again, allows us to not only create and store a variety of different files and share them with others, of course, but if you're already using that Google infrastructure, might be the best selection for you. Well, we've now come to our top three, maybe the most coveted awards of this show, best project management, best note taking app, and best to-do list app. And let's kick things off with best project management app. The nominees are Notion, Todoist, and Trello. Now, this was one of the tightest races this year. In fact, historically, this has been one of the tightest races when it comes to the Subscribers Choice Awards. Your winner for favorite project management app is Notion, Notion, by a little bit of a hair, maybe a few hairs, beyond Trello. Now, I think this speaks to just how diverse Notion is, just the multiple and various ways in which you can set up your Notion workspace, and whether you like a Kanban style of managing your project management, whether you want to create a simple database, whether you want to use it for note-taking and brainstorming, you can just do so much in Notion, whereas Trello, who was a close runner up, again, is going to keep you in that Kanban style of project management. Now, a quick note here, and the final nominee in this category, Todoist, I saw many comments saying that Todoist really isn't a project management app, but I would have to argue against that, that initially, Todoist was very much a to-do list app, a task manager. However, over the years, they have added much greater project management capability, collaboration capability, and it can be a very effective project management tool. So I think it was right to choose this, or to add this into the nominees list. You're the ones who put it there in terms of one of this top three categories, but there you have it, Notion, Todoist, and Trello the nominees, and Notion taking the win. Moving on to best note taking app in 2021, and of course, note taking apps are so vital to make sure that we keep and capture all of those ideas, those aha moments, all those things that we could be doing, should be doing, maybe we want to put on the back burner for a little while, having a tool ready so that we can both input information, but also grab that information at a later day. Your nominees for favorite note taking app are Google Keep, Notion, and Microsoft OneNote. Now, the winner for favorite note taking app is Google Keep. And again, not a huge surprise here, as well, but I think this speaks to the simplicity of Google Keep, its ease of use, how fast Google Keep is, not only just in the desktop or browser version, but especially when you're using it on your mobile device. You're probably taking your notes, grabbing your notes, and maybe also retrieving your notes on your phone, more than anywhere else, or maybe on a tablet or an iPad, and that's where speed really, really counts. You don't want to wait just a few seconds for that app to load, and then find the place or add a tag. Google Keep does an extremely good job of, yes, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but it gets you to where you want to be. So your choice for favorite note taking app this year is Google Keep. Last but not least, we've come to the final category in our award show, and that is the coveted favorite to-do list app of the year, and of course this is vital for being at your productive best, for getting the most out of your workday. Your nominees for favorite to-do list app are Google Tasks, Microsoft To Do, and Todoist. Now, an interesting collection here. Not a surprise that we have a Google in our top three. Microsoft To Do, this was the first time that it appeared in many of these different categories, showing just how not only important Outlook and Microsoft remains, but how well that they've done with the Microsoft To Do app, and really gained a a loyal following over the last few years. And then last but not least, Todoist, which is really the front-runner in many cases. I would say, you know, still, when people ask me to recommend what's the best all-around to-do list app, it's hard not to go with Todoist, because of all the features and functionality that is included here. But this isn't about my personal selection, this isn't about my preferences, this is about what you selected. So the winner for favorite to-do list app in 2021 is Google Tasks, Google Tasks. And this one, for me, I thought was a bit of a surprise, just because Google Tasks still does not have a standalone web version or desktop version. Of course, they do on your mobile app or on your tablet, but when it comes to using Google Tasks, you have to be firmly cemented in the Google ecosystem, because you're only going to be able to access it from the Google side panel when you're either in Gmail or Google Drive, or Google Calendar, or a few other Google products. So I think this also speaks to the small but important improvements that Google Tasks has made over the past two years. It's made it a lot more relevant of a task manager, but as I find so important, and you know this from experiencing, and hopefully, subscribing to the channel, is the simplicity of that tool. Yes, it cannot do all the complex things that Todoist can do, it can't do a number of the things that Microsoft To Do can do, as well, but it's not always about the features, and functionality, and bells, and whistles, it's what you need the application to do. So your votes spoke to that, and Google Tasks is your winner this year. Well, I want to take an opportunity to thank all of you for first, submitting your nominees this year, second, for participating in voting and adding your comments as the voting took place within the Simpletivity Community tab, and I also want to express my thanks as we draw to the end of 2021 for all of your support, for subscribing here to the Simpletivity channel, for adding your comments and your questions, and for really dictating, or at least contributing, to the types of videos and the types of content that I produce here. With that, I wish you a fantastic end to this year, and a happy new year to 2022. I look forward to seeing you in the new year. Remember, being productive does not need to be difficult. In fact, it's very simple.
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