- Software development
- How to Build Productivity Software?
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Are you wondering how to build productivity software?
Is your goal to launch digital productivity software to either improve your in-house processes or as a new software application to try to take advantage of this highly lucrative market segment?
If it is then you have come to the right place.
Read on, as we will now explain how to create productivity software.
The Soaring Demand for Productivity Tools
Organizations and startups continue to contend with increasingly complex business and work environments. Ensuring all workers remain productive requires considerable attention, and this is where software tools can really help.
Organizations of all shapes and sizes require tools for the following purposes:
- Communications including email, messaging, etc.;
- Documentation including a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, etc.;
- Team collaboration;
- Video conferencing;
- Time management and time tracking;
- Project management;
- Task management;
- Workflow management;
- Personal productivity;
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management).
The fact is that there’s a healthily growing demand for productivity tools. A Cision PR Newswire report projects that the global market for productivity software will reach $102.98 billion by 2027. The report estimates a CAGR of 13.4%.
Examples of leading productivity software
The following are a few leading office productivity tools. Many of these are very popular for personal use too.
Combining Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and other tools, Microsoft Office has long been a leader in the productivity software space.
Microsoft 365 is the cloud-based incarnation of the leading office suite. It is one of the leading sources of revenue for Microsoft even as its flagship product Windows is now slowly becoming obsolete.
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Governments, enterprises, medium-sized organizations, small businesses, educational institutions, and home users all find Microsoft 365 helpful.
This all-in-one productivity software suite combines cloud capabilities, additional online storage, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and email.
Microsoft 365 supports all key platforms and operating systems. Moreover, Microsoft offers attractive pricing.
Google Workspace (formerly G Suite)
Google Workspace, formerly known as G Suite is the chief competitor to Microsoft 365. You can get its core offerings free with a Gmail account. This free version includes Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, and 15 GB of storage space.
The popularity of Google Workspace is growing. Paid plans of Google Workspace include the following:
- Google Drive;
- Google Meet;
- Google Calendar;
- Google Chat;
- Google Currents;
- Google Jamboard;
- Google Docs;
- Google Sheets;
- Google Slides;
- Google Keep;
- Google Sites;
- Google Forms.
Google Workspace includes numerous popular cloud services. It can be used on all popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, etc. Android and iOS users can use mobile apps. Google offers attractive pricing plans including a free trial.
Slack is a leading business communication platform. It offers many features such as private chat rooms, private groups, direct messages, etc. The chat rooms are called channels.
You can organize Slack channels in your organization by topics. Slack offers valuable collaboration tools. The company offers competitive pricing plans and a free trial.
Trello is a popular work management app. You can create Kanban boards using Trello. These have columns, and you add cards to them.
These boards and cards help you to visualize the workflow. They help you to track assignments, allowing you to easily keep up with tasks and work efficiently with the task owners.
Trello makes both in-office and remote collaboration easy. The app offers a simple interface. You can use it on the web, Android, and iOS. Trello offers a free plan, and the paid plans are competitively priced.
Asana is a workplace collaboration and communication software tool. You can use it on the web, Android, and iOS. Teams can use Asana to organize, track, and manage their work.
You can create Kanban boards using Asana and assign tasks to team members. Asana offers useful collaborative features. The company offers a free plan, while its premium plans are attractively priced.
A note-taking app, Evernote also helps you to organize your tasks. It helps with task management and archiving.
You can take notes by writing, recording audio, taking photos, creating digital sketches, or even uploading PDFs.
This app is available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and the web. Evernote offers a free version and a paid plan that is competitively priced.
Todoist helps you to to-do lists, furthermore, you can use it for time management. It offers project management features too.
Todoist is easy to use. It helps you to embrace useful time management methods like the Pomodoro technique.
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You can use Todoist on the web, Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. The company offers a free plan as well as paid subscription plans with enhanced features.
Zapier is a web app that allows you to create connections between various business apps that you use. You can implement automation using Zapier.
Zapier allows integration between lots of apps, e.g., Gmail, Google Sheets, Slack, MailChimp, Dropbox, Google Calendar, etc.
Its wide range of integration capabilities helps to automate your workflow. E.g., you can automate the social media market efforts of your company using Zapier.
The company offers a free plan. Zapier offers attractively-priced paid plans, and it offers a free trial for them so you can try them out to see if Zapier is suitable for your company’s needs.
Which features and capabilities should the best productivity software offer?
The functionality of your proposed productivity software influences its features. The above examples should give you an idea of what kind of product you are planning to build and the features that it will require.
Here are a few examples:
- Office suites should have software for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and email. It should include trendy templates.
- A collaboration software should have real-time collaboration features, cloud storage, etc.
- A messaging software should allow text, audio, and video calls. Users should be able to set up private chat rooms.
- Project management tools should allow task planning, scheduling, etc. Users should be able to assign tasks, monitor them, and follow up with the assignees. Such software products should allow time tracking, collaboration, Kanban boards, and other relevant features.
Note: In some cases, you would need to embrace “intelligent automation” and not just rule-based automation. This requires you to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).
Focus on the following non-functional requirements (NFRs):
- Usability: Users should be able to complete their tasks in less time and without hassles.
- Security: Productivity software should secure users’ personal and other sensitive information.
- Performance: Productivity apps should be fast. Productivity software enhances performance of users.
- Scalability: You will need to plan for a growing user base, and scalability is important.
- Maintainability: Build an app that’s easy to maintain and enhance.
How to develop best productivity apps?
Take the following steps to build productivity software:
Decide on the functional and non-functional requirements of productivity software
Form a small team with a project manager (PM), a software architect, and a few business analysts (BAs) first. This team needs to define the project scope first.
The product owner needs to interview potential users or gain as much market insights as possible, furthermore, they need to conduct post-launch marketing research too.
This team needs to document the following:
- Functional requirements;
- Non-functional requirements;
- Target platforms, e.g., Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, etc.
The team needs to write requirements effectively and manage them.
Prioritize the features for your MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
We recommend you use the Agile methodology. You might need to frequently enhance a productivity app, which calls for iterative development. Agile supports this excellently.
Launch an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) first. An MVP is a functional product with fewer features. An MVP allows you to get market feedback by launching an MVP. You can then alter the course or enhance the product further.
Prioritize features for the MVP. As we explained in our MVP guide, you can use the following tools for this:
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- Pain and gain map;
- Prioritization matrix.
Plan your productivity software development project
Cover the following while planning the project:
- Identifying the entry and exit criteria for the different software development lifecycle (SDLC) phases;
- Finding the right cloud platform and technology stack;
- Planning for the appropriate application security solutions;
- Estimating the project;
- Scheduling different iterations and phases;
- Hiring developers and forming a team;
- Identifying the required processes, methods, and tools (PM&T) for project execution and tracking.
Find the right cloud computing platform
The PM and architect should evaluate various cloud computing platforms and choose a suitable one. Evaluate the following types of cloud platforms:
- IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service): The cloud provider manages the IT infrastructure, and you manage the rest. Amazon EC2 is an example of IaaS.
- PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service): Cloud providers manage the IT infrastructure, operating system, middleware, and runtime environments.
- Cloud providers also offer services like database management system and DevOps tools. You bring code and data. AWS Elastic Beanstalk is a PaaS.
- MBaaS (Mobile-Backend-as-a-Service): Cloud providers manage the IT infrastructure and persistent storage.
- This helps to build and manage the mobile backend, therefore, you can focus on the front end. AWS Amplify is an example of MBaaS.
- Evaluate MCSPs (Managed Cloud Services Providers) like AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, etc., before you choose one.
Choose the right technology stack
Choose a technology stack that suits your project requirement, e.g.:
- Mobile Development: We recommend you develop native Android and iOS apps. Productivity apps require great user experience, performance, and security.
- Desktop app development: You can use Java, Python, or C for desktop app development.
- Databases: MySQL and PostgreSQL are robust open-source relational databases. Use MongoDB or Apache Cassandra if you need a NoSQL database.
- API development: You can either build RESTful APIs or use GraphQL for API development. REST (Representational State Transfer) is the de-facto standard for API development.
- Note: Use Python if you need to code AI/ML algorithms.
Secure your proposed productivity software
Include the following in your security solution for the proposed productivity tool:
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA);
- Digital signature and data encryption;
- Firewalls and antivirus solutions;
- Mitigating key application security risks, e.g., injection, broken authentication, etc.;
- Advanced threat analysis solutions using AI/ML;
- Securing APIs using encryption, throttling, quotas, and gateways.
Hire a development team to undertake productivity software development project
You now need to hire your software development team. Hire competent people for the following roles:
- UI designers;
- Web developers;
- Mobile developers;
- DevOps engineers.
You might wonder whether to hire freelancers. While freelance platforms help you to hire freelancers with a low hourly rate, there are risks.
You might find it hard to manage the work of part-time freelancers. Freelancers might leave your project mid-way, and you need to hire replacement developers.
We recommend you hire developers from reputed software development companies like DevTeam.Space.
We provide full-time developers, management support, and provide a replacement in the case of any turnover. Since all of our developer’s work is guaranteed, there is zero risk.
Execute, track, and control the software development project
We recommend you use the Scrum method to manage this project. It caters well to Agile projects. Form Scrum teams, which are led by Scrum Masters. Scrum terms work as follows:
- They plan iterations called “Sprints” in “Sprint planning meetings”.
- Scrum teams are empowered. They conduct “Daily stand-up meetings” to resolve project issues.
- Scrum teams demonstrate the functioning product to business stakeholders in “Sprint review meetings”. They obtain approval in these meetings.
- These teams conduct “Sprint retrospective meetings” after sprints to learn lessons.
Scrum teams focus on delivering sustained value to clients, and Scrum Masters foster a climate of teamwork.
Final thoughts on Developing Productivity Software
We talked about a few examples of popular productivity software products. Subsequently, we discussed how to build software to enhance employee productivity.
Contact DevTeam.Space if you lack the right developer skills or experience and need help with your project.
FAQs on Productivity Software
While there are many options, we recommend you use Java. You can create desktop apps for Windows, macOS, and Linux using Java. Java is performant, feature-rich, and secure. The language is great for enterprise software development, and many developers know Java.
You have multiple choices, e.g., AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. They have considerable cloud capabilities, and they offer a wide range of services. Leading cloud computing providers invest significantly in security. Choose a cloud platform based on your requirements.
DevTeam.Space has competent developers with significant experience in a wide range of projects. We consistently motivate our programmers to upgrade their skills, furthermore, we have robust development processes. We can provide a development team to meet any requirements.