As a COO, I'm responsible for my company's day-to-day operations. What does that mean exactly? Simply put, I help Okta's employees, partners and customers securely connect to any technology, ultimately making them more productive. Because of that, I think a lot about productivity and the tools of choice for our customers. That's why I dug through our data--compiled by looking at the application usage of our thousands of customers--to see the most popular productivity apps of 2015. Here's what I found:

1) Box: Box has always been one of the top apps in our network, coming in third overall behind Microsoft Office 365 and Salesforce. It gives companies a way to securely store, share and manage their files, making it easy for employees to access the content they need to be productive.

2) Dropbox: An alternative to Box, Dropbox started off as a consumer file sharing service, but has recently set its sights on the enterprise, boasting 150,000 businesses on Dropbox Business and gaining a top spot among the productivity tools in our network.

3) Slack: Relative newcomer Slack has taken the business world by storm and was the fastest growing app in our network in 2015, and one of the top three productivity tools. It's on a mission to replace email--which, I should note, is a category I didn't include here, as "email" isn't exactly synonymous with "productivity"--with its slick messaging platform and integrations. It's certainly making team communication more fun (just play with its giphy integration for a few minutes and you'll know what I mean) if not more productive.

4) Confluence: The tagline for Atlassian's Wiki product, Confluence, is "where work becomes teamwork." That's certainly the case at Okta, where we use Confluence to share essential information with everyone in the company. We upload presentations, how-to's, team breakdowns and more to Confluence, giving us a repository of information to help everyone get their work done.

5) Hipchat: HipChat, another Atlassian product, brings the ease of a consumer messaging platform to the enterprise with its group chat functionality. It's advertised as a "communication solution optimized for the workplace," and one of the productivity tools in our network.

6) Yammer: Microsoft acquired its answer to HipChat, Yammer, in 2012 and the private social network is another popular choice among our customers. It's no wonder when you see how easy Yammer makes it to start a conversation, organize projects and share files.

7) Asana: Asana's a popular work tracking app, helping teams to get more done and achieve results. It integrates with other apps--including files (Box, Dropbox) and messaging (Slack, HipChat)--to help teams track their work, from tasks and projects to meeting agendas and action items. The company says that 10,000 teams get started on Asana every month.

8) Basecamp: Basecamp, formerly 37signals, combines project management with the chat capabilities of your favorite collaboration tools. Teams can easily track messages, files, to-dos, schedules and major milestones, making productivity easy.

9) Smartsheet: Smartsheet was another one of our fastest growing apps earlier this year, which is really something considering how much employees typically love spreadsheets (cue sarcastic laugh). But Smartsheet's intuitive spreadsheet-like app makes it easy to collaborate, share files and manage projects, giving teams one place to track tasks, projects, event schedules, business processes and even customer information and sales pipelines.

10) Trello: Another productivity tool our customers love is Trello, which takes a visual approach to project management. Trello lets you easily organize projects by owner, category or schedule.

11) Evernote: I'm an avid Evernote user myself, so I can vouch for its inclusion in our top productivity tools. As I recently shared with Inc., I've taken over 700 Evernote notes since co-founding Okta and I spend time every Friday typing up all my notes and organizing them as actions and to-dos. Over 100 million users depend on Evernote for note-taking and it's a popular choice among our customers as well.

Published on: Dec 4, 2015