Many of us need specific tools to get our jobs done. You might use QuickBooks for accounting and invoicing, Microsoft Visual Studio for developing computer programs, Scrivener for writing a book, or AutoCAD for creating 2D or 3D designs.

But beyond specialized software, there's a vast ocean of Windows apps that can help almost anyone be more productive at work. Calendar apps and to-do apps, for example, will keep you on task. Utilities like a clipboard tool take some of the hassle out of working on your computer all day. And automation tools make your PC do more work for you in the background.

Here are the 20 Windows productivity apps and software we think everyone should have—or at least try. Whatever your role, they'll save you time and effort. Let's get to boosting your PC productivity! The Best Windows Productivity Apps and Software: How We Chose

For this roundup, Geeks Softtech Solutions have focused on categories of apps that would help mostpeople work faster and more efficiently, rather than tools someone might use primarily to do their work. We looked at the most popular options in various productivity categories and tested them for both ease of use and how well they worked on Windows 10 (whether traditional desktop software or apps from the Windows App Store). The majority of programs on this list are free or at least ones we'd invest in ourselves.

Note: we didn't include built-in Windows programs, like OneDrive or Snipping Tool, since you already have them. And while this list focuses specifically on Windows software and Windows 10 apps, many of the apps on this list are cross-platform and appear on our list of best productivity apps for Mac, Android, iPhone, and/or iPad as well (along with other recommended productivity apps for those OSes).
Windows and PC Management

Customize your desktop the way you prefer to work, enhance Windows with simple tweaks, and teach your computer to play nicely with other devices. This section of our roundup contains the most recommendations, because, often, the easiest way to work more productively is to fix the annoyances you face daily. Seer

Quickly preview files of different types, like Quick Look on macOS

MacOS has one awesome feature that's sorely missing in Windows: Quick Look, which lets you peek at the contents of photos, PDFs, other file types, and folders without opening them. All you have to do is press the Spacebar. That means you can instantly grab copy from a text file, watch a video, and more without waiting for it to load in another program. Windows doesn't come with this feature by default, but, thankfully, Seer fills that void. It works like the Mac version but has more options. You can customize settings like which key triggers the preview or add plugins to support additional file types. (Note that in our tests, some of the plugins didn't work, including the Microsoft Office plugin. The core program still supports hundreds of common file types, though.)

Seer Price: Free; $12.18 for a lifetime license per PC, which supports the developer and keeps the program up-to-date

Seer works for Windows Vista and newer, but if you want a more modern alternative, check out QuickLook (also free). It's not as customizable as Seer, but it is fast and fits in seamlessly with Windows 10's sleek window design.

Automatically adjust the color of your computer so you sleep better and reduce eyestrain

A growing body of research shows that blue light–the kind thrown off by our screens–interrupts the quality of our sleep. If you tend to work into the evenings or late at night on your computer, this is an issue that can affect your productivity the next day and your overall health. F.lux to the rescue. Enter your location and the kind of lighting in your workspace, and the small utility will automatically adjust the color of your monitor to the time of day. Your screen will be bright during the day and take on a warm, dimmer light when the sun sets. You can also adjust the color settings for different scenarios, such as "reduce eyestrain" (tints your display both day and night) or "color fidelity" (smaller adjustments, for more color accuracy). One of my favorite, less talked about features of the app: It will gently nudge you to stop working when you're waking up in, say, six hours. F.lux is also available for Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.

F.lux Price: Free for personal use; corporate license for company-wide use DisplayFusion

Manage multiple monitors precisely

Having more than one monitor saves you the time and hassle of switching back and forth between your open windows. However, Windows' display settings don't let you do much beyond choosing whether to mirror your primary display or extend the desktop to all screens. DisplayFusion is the most feature-rich multi-monitor utility for Windows. Create profiles for window sizes and positions to organize your windows just the way you like every time you start your computer. Use screensavers and set your desktop wallpaper to span all your displays. Add a taskbar to each of your monitors. Build custom scripts to automate your windows management. You'd be hard pressed to find what you can't customize in your multi-monitor setup with DisplayFusion. That power comes with a learning curve, but it's worth the effort if you want to get the most out of your screens. Note: Most of the advanced and most popular uses for DisplayFusion require a license.