5 Linux productivity apps I depend on every day, and how to install them from Snap

In fact, some of these apps are only available via Snap, a great source for so much software that may not be available to install in your native package manager.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
Five penguins in a row
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Snap packages make it possible to install applications on Linux that might not be available otherwise. And although Snap isn't the Linux community's favorite universal package format (that title belongs to Flatpak), I've found Snaps to be incredibly handy. In fact, I've been using Snap packages for quite some time, primarily because I find some of the productivity applications I use aren't available in the .deb format.

Besides, I've always found the more the merrier on Linux. For a very long time, the Linux application landscape was rather limited in the productivity category. Thanks to universal packaging, that's a thing of the past.

Also: The best Linux laptops

But which Snap applications do I believe can help boost your productivity on Linux? Of course, the answer to that question is always personal, simply because everyone's idea of productivity differs. However, there are some needs we can all agree on.

I want to offer up five Snap apps that I've either been using for a very long time or have recently caught my attention. If you find this list doesn't include what you're looking for, you can always hop on over to the Snapcraft Store and search through the list of available apps.

With that said, let's get to the apps.

1. Bitwarden

You need a password manager. Now. If you're only just considering the idea of using a password manager, you're behind the curve. There are numerous password managers available for every operating system on the market, but for me, none of them match the feature set and ease of use found in Bitwarden

Also: The best password managers

Bitwarden is perfectly at home serving as your personal or business (or both) password manager and offers all of the features you need, including custom fields, folders, organizations, and more. With Bitwarden you can manage, store, and share your passwords, send secure notes, and even create or save secure notes and identities. Bitwarden can be installed with Snap using the following command:

sudo snap install bw
The Bitwarden main window.

Bitwarden allows you to save various types of items to your vault.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

2. Slack

I use Slack daily. Without this communication/collaboration tool, my work wouldn't be nearly as efficient as it is. The only downfall of Slack is that not all of my clients use it. For those clients who don't use Slack… it shows. When Slack isn't a part of the mix, working with those clients isn't nearly as efficient. 

Also: 7 fixes for missing Slack notifications on MacOS

I have to email them, wait for their replies, follow up when they don't respond, and pull out my hair all the while. Slack simplifies all of this to keep me informed, connected, and collaborative. I cannot imagine how much less productive my day would be without this tool. Thankfully, there's a Snap version of the app, which can be installed with the command:

sudo snap install slack
The Slack main window.

The Slack main window (with plenty blurred out) is very easy to use.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

3. ChatGPT-Desktop

I only use the likes of ChatGPT for research purposes (and then, only for my fiction). I typically use AI via the Opera web browser, but sometimes I like to have a straight-up desktop app. Thankfully, there's a very simple Snap application, called ChatGPT-Desktop, that makes this possible. 

Also: ChatGPT vs ChatGPT Plus: Is it worth the subscription fee?

The app is straightforward, with nothing more than a small window that allows you to sign in (with your OpenAI account) and post queries to ChatGPT. The app also allows you to copy and paste, print, view your history, rate, and more. If you like using ChatGPT, you'll want to consider this basic app that will serve you well. To install ChatGPT-Desktop, issue the command:

sudo snap install chatgpt-desktop
The ChatGPT Desktop app on Linux.

This app simplifies sending queries to ChatGPT.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

4. Trello Desktop

I have a few clients that depend on Trello for managing the copious amounts of content I create. With a handy Kanban board, any collaborator can easily see where a particular task is on the project timeline. Typically, I create boards that include columns like Ideas, To Do, Writing, Doing, Done, Published (or some variation on that theme). 

Also: How to create a Kanban board in Trello for a much more organized life

With the Trello Desktop Snap app, I have full access to all of my Trello boards and the features within my account. Anyone who needs to manage (or work within) projects should consider Trello a must-have for productivity. To install the Trello Desktop app with Snap, issue the command:

sudo snap install trello-desktop
The Trello Snap app on Linux.

As you can see, my Trello account is a busy one.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

5. Poe-writer

Typically speaking, I need a full-featured word processor that includes everything to allow me to get my work done. However, every so often, I like to pinpoint my focus on specific passages of a chapter or use an app that avails me of the usual distractions. When I need that, I turn to Poe and the poe-writer Snap app. Poe features rich text, autosave, focus mode, a built-in timer, word count goals, writing states, custom themes, and backups. 

Also: How to install software on Linux using Snap (and why you should)

It's a true writer's writing tool that sheds everything you don't need so you can focus on getting the job done and done right. Poe may not be for everyone, but for those who place a premium on their words (and writing productively), this Snap app might be all you need. To install poe-writer, issue the command:

sudo snap install poe-writer
The poe-writer Snap app on Linux

Distraction-free writing is easy with the poe-writer Snap app.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

And there you have it, five Snap apps that are sure to help you become more productive on the Linux desktop. Give these a try and see if you don't find yourself getting more done without having to put in more effort than needed.

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