FA17S1 Productivity Software (Office Software)

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Productivity software is a category of software people use to produce information, such as documents, presentations, worksheets, databases, graphs, and much more. Productivity software is designed to help users work more efficiently. Traditional productivity applications include Microsoft Office and other business apps. Productivity apps are usually broken into two groups: productivity apps for people and productivity apps for businesses. If there is a certain task that needs to be done, there is more than likely a productivity app that can be used to help complete the task in a more efficient manner.

  • Categories and Characteristics
    • Subcategories and Variations
  • Acquisition Models - Subscription or One-time Purchase


Productivity Apps for Individuals

Productivity apps are being used more and more by individuals to help them increase their efficiency as they work on tasks such as typing up documents, communicating with others, and managing vast amounts of data. Many of these applications are free, and they are increasing with popularity each and every day.

Personal Information Management

  • Time Management
    • Time management apps for individuals are useful for organizing tasks, creating events, and setting deadlines, all of which help to increase productivity.
      • Remember the Milk - With this app, you can create tasks and receive email notifications when a deadline is approaching. Available on web, Mac, Windows, Linux, iPhone, iPad, Android phones & tablets, BlackBerry 10, and Fire platforms, Remember the Milk is available as a free download. However, a "Pro" version is also available for $39.99 per year.
      • Google Calendar - free online Google Calendar.
      • Outlook Calendar - Calendar and scheduling component of outlook that is fully integrated with email, contacts, and other features.
  • Communication Services
    • Email services increase productivity by bridging communication gaps between individuals. Like time management applications, it is one type of productivity software that has many providers and platforms.
      • Microsoft Outlook - email capabilities that are to be expected from an email application, Outlook also provides productivity-enhancing features such as calendars, tasks, and notes. Available on Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac platforms, it is included with a Microsoft Office 365 subscription/purchase.
      • Gmail - free email developed by Google sponsored by ads.
      • Yahoo Mail - free email developed by Yahoo with 1TB of free storage, powerful spam and security features.
      • Hotmail - branch off of Outlook that is free, personal email address from Microsoft.
      • GroupMe - Mobile group messaging owned by Microsoft that brings group text messaging to every phone.

Word Processing

  • Word processing software is any software that enables you to create documents and manipulate text. Invaluable for creating flyers, typing up resumes,
    Logos for each application within the Microsoft Office suite.
    and writing papers, word processing software has become a staple for virtually every individual.
    • Word - This is included in all Microsoft Office suites. Microsoft Office 365 Personal includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, ​Outlook, Publisher (PC only), and Access (PC only), all of which are productivity software applications. Available on PC, Mac, tablet, and smartphone platforms. Subscription or one-time purchase; for a subscription, choose between Yearly Auto Renewal ($69.99) or Monthly Auto Renewal ($6.99)
    • Pages - Mac version of free word processing with collaboration feature.
    • Google Docs - free word processing website that allows the creation of word documents as well as the storage and collaboration.


  • Databases are a structured set of data held in a computer, especially one that is accessible in various ways. This could help organize and analyze data.
    • Access - This is an information management system that allows you to reference, reporting, and analyze documents.
    • Excel - Microsoft version of an information management system. Available through Microsoft packages yearly or versions available for download.
    • Sheets - Mac version of an information management system.


  • Presentations are visual ways to communicate information and display data.
    • Prezi - presentation platform which uses a map interface to connect text, pictures, video, and other media located around the project area. This is a free website but can be upgraded through purchase.
    • Google Slides - free presentation system through Google accounts.
    • PowerPoint - Microsoft Office visual presentation through slides of data through text, pictures, and other media.

Productivity Apps for Businesses

Productivity apps are the various types of apps and software used by various businesses to help them work and promote their business more efficiently and effectively. Because they are being used on a wider scale, they are more expensive to purchase. Although office productivity apps were very costly at a certain point in time, there is now free, open source software available for businesses to use. The same example categories previously shown for "Productivity Apps for Individuals" also apply to "Productivity Apps for Businesses". However, there are notable differences.

Business Information Management

  • Time Management
    • Much like time management apps for individuals, time management apps for business are also useful for organizing tasks, creating events, and setting deadlines, but on a much larger scale. Often team-oriented, these apps focus on cohesive, collaborative scheduling. Another aspect of this particular category is that it includes time clock capabilities for businesses.
    • Homebase - Online employee scheduling software. Bosses can create shifts and schedule employees, and employees can clock in and clock out via the app. There are four subscriptions available, with pricing that applies per month per location. Plans include "Basic" (Free), "Essentials" ($10), "Plus" ($30), and "Enterprise" (must call for pricing).
    • QuickBooks - Time Management software used by businesses that allows businesses to track estimates, sales, sales tax, manage bills, report income and expenses, track miles, invoice payments, tax deductions, and reporting. Quickbooks is often used by Certified Public Accountants in order to be able to have everything in a neat software for easy access. It is downloadable online and offers multiple versions.
  • Communication Services
    • Businesses rely on shared communication. Therefore, apps such as Polymail can come in handy. Polymail is a collaborative email service that includes features such as email template sharing and time tracking. Although it is currently only available on iOS and Mac, it is going to be available on Windows and Android soon. The Team version of Polymail is available in the form of a $16 per month subscription. Other email services for businesses include:
    • Outlook for Business
    • GoToMeeting - Online Professional Meeting service that offers Screen Sharing, Video Conferencing, Conference Calls, and Free Meeting Software.
    • Gmail Business Email - Business emails for your domain (yourname@yourcompany.com), unlimited group email addresses, twice the storage as personal Gmail.
With services and programs such as Gmail, Docs, and Slides, Google is an integral part of the productivity software world.

Word Processing

  • Word processing software for businesses requires team work. Enter Microsoft Office 365 for Business, featuring real-time co-authoring. Employees can work together on the same platform at the same time, which streamlines the process. Available on PC, Mac, tablet, and smartphone platforms. Pricing varies from $5.00-$12.50 per user per month, depending on which subscription is picked (Business Essentials, Business, or Business Premium.)
    • Word
    • Pages
    • Google Docs


  • Access
  • Spreadsheets
  • Excel
  • Sheets


  • Prezi
  • Google Slides
  • PowerPoint


  1. GMAIL (2017). Google. Retrieved from Gmail
  2. GoToMeeting (2017). Easy Online Meetings. Retrieved from GoToMeeting
  3. GroupMe (2017). GroupMe Inc. Retrieved from GroupMe
  4. G Suite (2017). Business Email. Retrieved from G Suite - Gmail for Business
  5. Homebase (2017). Homebase online employee scheduling software description and pricing. Retrieved from Homebase
  6. Microsoft (2017). Microsoft Office product descriptions and pricing. Retrieved from Microsoft Office
  7. Performance monitoring (2017). Application performance management. Retrieved from Performance Management
  8. Quickbooks (2017). Pursue your passion. We'll handle your books.Retrieved from Quickbooks
  9. Remember the Milk (2017). Time management software application. Retrieved from Remember the Milk
  10. Yahoo (2017). Yahoo Mail. Retrieved from Yahoo Mail
  11. Zapier (May 25, 2017). "The 15 Best Email Apps to Manage Your Inbox". Retrieved from Zapier

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