At the time of this post, there are 169,100 total apps in the Windows Store worldwide. Of those apps, we are going to highlight the top five free and paid productivity apps available in the Windows Store for your Windows 8.1 or Windows RT device. If you recently purchased a brand new Surface Pro 3, this post is a must-read!
The top free productivity apps in the Windows Store (United States) are Dropbox, Microsoft’s own Mail/Calendar/People app, Gmail Calendar, Adobe Reader Touch, and OneNote. The top five paid productivity apps are Drawboard PDF, GDrive Pro, Task Manager Professional, XLS Editor, and Note Anytime.
The top free and top paid apps typically change and new apps are listed as the top apps on a weekly basis. Let’s take a look at some of these apps that have made it to the top of the list for this week and perhaps we can find you your new favorite productivity app.
Dropbox – With the official Dropbox app for Windows 8.1, you can easily browse all your files, view your pictures, and watch your videos with a tap. The app lets you upload, download, browse, rename, move and preview all of your files and photos on Dropbox. You can also open, edit and save files from other Windows 8 apps. The app also allows you to share any photo, file or folder with the Share Charm, and find your files with the Search Charm.
We would have selected OneDrive instead of Dropbox, but there is no official OneDrive app available in the Windows Store (since the functionality is already built into the operating system). And unfortunately, the official Dropbox app is the top Productivity app in the Windows Store. Microsoft does have a OneDrive for Business app, which was formerly known as SkyDrive Pro, but it is a part of the Office 365 or SharePoint Online business subscription.
Regardless, the official Dropbox app is the top Productivity app in the Store. The app comes packed with features and is very easy to use.
Adobe Reader Touch – “Adobe Reader is the free, trusted leader for reliably viewing and interacting with PDF documents across platforms and devices. Adobe Reader Touch has been specially designed for the new Windows 8 Touch user interface to give you a great experience working with PDF documents on your Windows 8 Tablet. Adobe Reader Touch works with a keyboard and mouse, but desktop users with keyboard and mouse may prefer to install and use Adobe Reader XI,” the app description reads.
Adobe Reader Touch is an essential productivity tool for any Windows 8.1 or Windows RT user. If you plan on getting any work done on your device, you must have this app installed. Here are the key features of the app:
- Quickly open PDF documents from email, the web, or anywhere on your device
- Easily find your most recently read documents
- View password-protected PDFs, annotations, and drawing markups
- View and Add Notes to your document
- Highlight, Strikeout, and Underline text
- Search text to find specific information
- Select single page or continuous scroll modes
- Easily zoom in on text or images for a closer view
- Go to any page quickly by tapping on the Page Number indicator
- Use bookmarks to jump directly to a section in your PDF document
- Quickly navigate through large documents using the Semantic Zoom thumbnail view
- Tap on links in a PDF to open linked web pages
- Share PDFs with other applications using “Share”
- Email PDFs as attachments
- Print your PDFs from within Reader
- Fill and Save PDF forms
OneNote – “Microsoft OneNote is your digital notebook for keeping track of what’s important in your life. Jot down your ideas, keep track of classroom and meeting notes, clip from the web, make a to-do list as well as draw and sketch your ideas. OneNote is your one place to capture and organize everything. Whether you’re at home, in the office or on the go, your notes travel with you. They are automatically saved and synced in the cloud, so you always have the latest on all your devices. Share notes with friends and colleagues. Plan vacations, share meeting minutes or lecture notes with people around you,” the app description reads.
What can be said about Microsoft’s OneNote app that hasn’t already been said over and over again? This app is an absolute must-have for your Windows 8.1 or Windows RT device. In fact, this app is highly recommended for your Surface Pro 3.
Drawboard PDF – “The best PDF app to annotate, view and manage your PDFs. Ideal for replacing the pen and paper, avoid printing documents again by using our features that make annotating a PDF a breeze. Either upload or create a new PDF, annotate using our extensive array of tools, then save it back as a compatible PDF,” the app description reads.
This app is a fantastic alternative to the Adobe Reader Touch app, however, it will cost you $9.99 (free trial available). Drawboard PDF distinguishes itself by its intuitive user interface and experience, stylus and touch input separation, smooth and natural pen, and array of tools. This is a must-have app.
Remote Desktop – “With the Remote Desktop app, you can connect to a remote PC and your work resources from almost anywhere. Experience rich interactivity with RemoteFX in a Remote Desktop client designed to help you get your work done wherever you are,” the app description reads.
Although Remote Desktop wasn’t in the top-five free or paid app category, we felt it was necessary to bring this app to your attention. If you want to remotely access another PC, you can do so with this fantastic app from Microsoft. In fact, this app is awesome on your Windows RT device, as it allows you to remote into a full-fledged Windows 8.1 PC to continue your work.
Bonus app: Task Manager Professional – “Whether you need a simple to-do list, or a professional-strength task and project management app, Task Manager Professional fits the bill. Simple, Powerful, Reliable and laden with rich easy to use features, this app will not disappoint. Task Manager Professional has rich integration features that allow you to use it collaboratively with other apps – to save time and effort with the greatest reliability – simply a ‘must-have’ app for any Windows 8 PC, laptop or tablet,” the app description reads.
This app is fantastic as it allows you to keep tabs of projects or tasks with ease. Perfect for the worker who has to keep track of their team’s progress on various tasks. This app runs for $13.99.
These are just a few productivity apps available in the Windows Store. Share your favorite productivity app in the comment section below.