BlogLeon Zucchini8 min read

8 Great Productivity Apps for Windows — which ones do you know?

8 Great Productivity Apps for Windows — which ones do you know?

Meet eight amazing Windows apps that will help you boost your productivity.

Here’s a productivity statistic you might not know: According to research by Zippia, office employees are productive for about 31% of their workday. By contrast, Freelancers clock up to seven productive hours a day — about 87%!

Now take a deep breath and consider your own productivity… 😉

No matter where you fall in those statistics, there’s always a way to boost your productivity, and the right app at the right time will do just that!

We put together a list of eight quality productivity apps for Windows that will help you squeeze the most out of those working hours you spend in front of a screen… so you can go back to walking the dog.

These are tried-and-trusted apps, so you’ve probably heard about some of them. Let’s jump right in!

  1. Notepad++

  2. Curiosity

  3. VLC

  4. 1Password

  5. Microsoft PowerToys

  6. f.lux

  7. ScreenToGif

  8. Start11

For more on productivity apps, also check out these articles: 👉 Ten fastest-growing apps in 2022 (including some you don’t know)👉 6 Best Note-Taking Apps in 2022 👉 6 B[est Wiki Tools for Your Company in 2022

1. Notepad++

Notepad++ is a free, powerful text editor.

It’s a handy tool that lets you write and store notes, snippets of code, and even larger documents that might otherwise consume a lot of space on your computer. It supports highlighting for programming languages and offers a bunch of other features as well.

Notepad++ image from Wikipedia

Where Notepad++ shines is speed and stability: It handles massive text files that would crash other editors with ease. It’s super-quick to open and super-reliable. Just an awesome app.

Why it’s amazing

  • Simple, fast, stable text editor

  • Handles large files beautifully

  • Supports highlighting for programming languages

  • Suitable for beginners but customizable for experts

What it costs

Notepad++ is free.

2. Curiosity

Note: We’re the makers of Curiosity

Too many files in too many places. Remember the last time you spent a frustrating half-hour trying to find a file? That’s why you need Curiosity.

As we work with multiple email accounts, calendars, and an assortment of apps, information gets spread around and difficult to find.

**Curiosity gives you one search across all your files and apps.** That lets you forget frustrating searches and focus on more important things.

Curiosity connects with the tools you already use, including your local folders and cloud apps like Google Drive or Slack. The shortcut-powered command bar lets you access things quickly and you can use the file browser for deeper searches with advanced filters.

Curiosity search

Unlike other search apps, Curiosity keeps your data safe on your computer and never sends it to the cloud.

Why it’s amazing

  • Find everything with one search across all your apps

  • Combine email accounts and calendars for easy access

  • Save time with shortcuts to quickly launch programs and meetings

What it costs

Curiosity is free with up to 5 connected apps. Curiosity Pro with unlimited app connections and search-inside-files costs €9.99 per month. Shared Workspaces are available for teams.

3. VLC

Honestly, you’re reading a blog about apps we’d be surprised if you’ve never come across VLC. It’s the granddaddy of video players that plays absolutely everything. If you have anything to do with video, VLC is an absolute must.

VLC also stands out from other media players through its the ability to extract and play video from some of the most popular streaming services, gaming consoles, and websites including Hulu, Netflix, PlayStation Live, Xbox Live, Disney+ and more.

Image from VLC

Why it’s amazing

  • Plays absolutely all video formats

  • Handles large video files smoothly with less buffering

  • Extensions to stream video from lots of popular websites and apps

  • Simple and fast to use

What it costs

VLC is free.

4. 1Password

Geetting a password manager is one of the biggest productivity hacks around… and it’s good peace of mind). If you’ve ever spent 10 or more minutes typing potential passwords, you’ll know what I mean. Of course you could just use the same password everywhere… but we all know that’s not responsible grown-up behavior, right?

Image from 1password

1Password is the solution here: It’s an efficient and way to generate crazy-complicated passwords and store them all in one convenient place. You can also share passwords with others and even use it to store notes, credit card numbers, and other data.

Why it’s amazing

  • Eliminates the frustration of forgotten passwords

  • Generates safe passwords

  • Provides a secure way to share passwords

  • Accessible from Windows app, browser extension, or mobile devices

What it costs

1Password costs $2.99 a month for individual use. The family plan for five people costs $4.99 a month.

For teams, The Team Starter Pack is $19.95 a month (10 people). Business accounts are $7.99 per month per user.

5. Microsoft PowerToys

PowerToys is a collection of tools designed to increase productivity and expand the basic functionality of Windows. It includes over 10 tools, and each allows you to do a simple yet functional task by pressing two or three keys on your keyboard.

Microsoft PowerToys — image from XDA Developers

What can you do with PowerToys? Here are some things to get you started… and there are more to discover as you go!

  • Pin one window on top of another

  • Stop your screen from going to sleep

  • Quickly snap windows with custom snapping areas

  • Quickly resize images

  • Rename and replace file names in bulk

Why it’s amazing

  • Lets you customize Windows to your unique needs

  • Lets you speed up or automate a variety of small tasks

  • Boosts your productivity with shortcuts

What it costs

PowerToys is free with Windows 10 and 11.

6. F.lux

If you work long hours and find yourself at your computer as it gets dark, you should check out f.lux. It’s a simple application that automatically adjusts the tone of light coming from your computer screen to match the time of day.

When you work during daylight hours, your computer will display bright light to reflect the sunshine outside. Once the sun sets in your time zone, the app will warm the color to reflect the darkness outside.

Image from f.lux

Reducing strain on the eyes helps focus and can help you relax more quickly when you turn off the screen.

Why it’s amazing

  • Reduces eye strain from staring at a computer screen

  • Reduces sleep disruptions from screen exposure after dark

  • Easy to install and set up

What it costs

F.lux is free for use on your personal devices. You do need to register for a corporate license if you want to provide the app to all of your employees or manage the updates and default settings for a business.

7. ScreenToGif

Creating unique gifs for your social media or your website need not be painful and time-consuming. ScreenToGif lets you grab content from your computer screen, sketch board, or webcam, and quickly turn it into a gif. It also comes with a handy editor built-in out of the box.

Many open-source productivity software programs include ads and spam that clutter your computer and potentially sabotage your safety. You don’t have to worry about those intrusions from ScreenToGif: It’s safe and doesn’t show ads.

Image from ScreenToGif

Why it’s amazing

  • Fast, easy screen recorder

  • Lets you turn screen recordings into gifs

  • Good set of intuitive yet powerful editing features

What it costs

ScreenToGif is a free, open-source software… but do donate to support the developers!

8. Start11

Do you miss the old Windows Start menu? If so, you aren’t alone. There were so many complaints about the menu and taskbar layouts for Windows 11 that developers at Stardock created Start11.

It’s a simple app that allows you to change your Start menu and taskbar back to the arrangements seen in earlier Windows releases. It offers a variety of layouts, so you can customize your layout to your personal needs.

There are a variety of additional tools included in Start11. It allows you to change positions for the taskbar and even create a personalized Start menu that is uniquely yours. If you ever wished that you could move things around in Windows, there’s a good chance this app can help you do it.

Start11 — image from Stardock

Why it’s amazing

  • Return your Start menu to the layout you’re accustomed to seeing

  • Reposition your taskbar so it’s easier to reach as you work

  • Re-order your shortcuts for faster access

  • Customize Windows menus to meet your needs

What it costs

Start11 will cost you at least $5.99. There are some upgrades that may increase this one-time price a little.

Summary: Building up a Productivity Suite

A strong suite of productivity tools will save you many hours. Obviously it’s a work-in-progress as there are always new tools to try.

Did you find an app or two on this list that may help you get more done consistently? If you try something new, I encourage you to give it at least a couple of weeks of consistency before making a decision: Tools take some time to get used to and unfurl their full potential.

So pick an app and give it a try… or let us know about your favorite productivity apps for Windows that we missed. We look forward to hearing about your app setup!

For more content like this, follow Curiosity on Medium or Twitter, or sign up for our newsletter. To try Curiosity for free, download it from our website.

Try Curiosity today

Download for free

Keep in touch

Sign up for updates, productivity tips and new features, and offers.
Unsubscribe any time.

Privacy policy | Terms of Service | Blog | Docs