Artificial intelligence tools for productivity

In the past few years, AI, or Artificial Intelligence has gone from fiction to a spooky reality of whether it will replace us. Why even write this article if AI will take over journalism anyway?

Luckily, AI isn’t perfect. Its errors, like 7-fingered humans and poor grammar, prove that the human touch still can’t be replaced. Besides, you will still have to provide rather specific instructions for the AI to work, so it’s still a collaborative effort which you can control to some extent.

That’s not to say that you can’t keep AI handy when it comes to dreary tasks like paraphrasing and transcribing. On that note, we’ve compiled a list of artificial intelligence tools for productivity so AI can be your best buddy, not your nemesis.

What do I need to know before using AI tools?

AI tools can be a great resource, whether you’re asking for the basic things to do in Singapore or asking for a recipe. But sometimes, they’re not always the most reliable. This is because artificial intelligence trains itself on data that already exists. The existing data could be outdated, false, or made with ill intent.

There is also the issue that AI can’t tell human nuances apart such as sarcasm, parodies, and impersonations, so there are bound to be errors from that too.

Ethically, AI has also come under fire for where its training data comes from and whether it steals ideas and works from human artists.

What is a GPT?

Probably the buzzword of our time, GPT stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer, which is a type of advanced computer.

Generative means that the computer can create new items, like writing a story or poem, or even answer in its own words. Pre-trained comes from the way the computer does this by scanning and going through large amounts of data. Transformer refers to how the computer changes the inputted information into something different.

Think of GPT as your nerdy friend who has read every book in the world, and can answer any question you have at the drop of a hat.

– AI tools for school – 


An updated, more personable version of ChatGPT

Artificial intelligence tools for productivity - homescreen
Image credit: Ezekiel Sen

For those of you who have tried out GPTs before, you’ve likely rolled your eyes countless times encountering the error message that “as of my last update in [year], this information does not exist” when you seek information about current topics. Let that be a problem of the past with, a GPT that aims to be the most up-to-date out there.

Artificial intelligence tools for productivity - on mobile phone
Enter a prompt or get started with their suggested guides.
Image adapted from: Syarihan Sean can answer questions about the latest films, current affairs, or even find hidden places in Singapore with more clarity, as compared to a regular search engine. Unlike other GPTs, ends most answers with a question which prompts you to give more thought to what is said. These also serve as leading questions so you might find other related information.

Do keep in mind that answers in continuous prose most of the time, so you’d still have to organise the answers yourself. It also doesn’t have functions like creating bullet points or tables. Like with any other AI tool, you’ll still have to fact-check – don’t take everything that a GPT tells you to be true.



Get real sources & citations for your papers

Sometimes the easiest thing to do is to ask an AI for sources you can quote in your papers. However, these frequently lead to the dreaded 404 error code – or broken links. You won’t have to worry for long though because is an AI that will present you with legitimate sources for your papers.

Artificial intelligence tools for productivity - Perplexity AI

Aside from doing its regular job of working like a GPT, this AI’s superpower is its ability to provide you with real sources, and will even come up with in-text citations from them. Perplexity also comes up with image and video sources that complement the prompt.

Of course, like with most other GPTs, you should still double-check the sources. Even if they do exist, not all sources are trustworthy.


3. Adobe Firefly

A free ethical image generator

You may have seen wacky AI-generated images online, like ​​Singapore icons as Pop Mart characters, or some that you can’t believe aren’t real.

Some of these images, especially those created by free image generators, can be of low quality or stolen from other artists’ works. Adobe Firefly, however, trains itself on royalty-free stock photos or those that are in the public domain.

Artificial intelligence tools for productivity - Adobe FireflyImages that Firefly generated based on the prompt: Hawker centre with food stalls on a spaceship in the future with customers in the background.
Image adapted from: Adobe Firefly

Enter a prompt into Adobe Firefly, and it will generate 4 options for you to choose from. There are also other settings you can toggle to refine your search, including style, how realistic you want it to be, and coloured filters.

You can even scan and upload a 2D sketch into Firefly to turn your sketch into an image, or upload a style reference to personalise the generated images.

Try Adobe Firefly

4. SlidesGo

Create entire slideshow presentations with a single prompt

The only occasion when creating a slideshow presentation is worth your time is when you’re having a ‘Roast Your Ex’ night. Use SlidesGo’s AI presentation generator for everything else.

Artificial intelligence tools for productivity - Slides Go
We asked SlidesGo to create a presentation on easy recipes for college students, with a futuristic template.
Image credit: Syarihan Sean

This tool can create an entire slideshow based on your prompt and choice of template. It can even generate some text and AI images for you.

We did find, on testing, that the images are based on the template rather than the prompt, so you’d have to add relevant pictures yourself. You would also need to fill in more specific content, graphs and numbers for your presentation to be complete. At the very least, it gets you more than halfway there.

Try SlidesGo

5. ChatGPT

Create tables & get feedback for your papers

Even if you’re not the most well-versed with AI, you’ve probably heard of ChatGPT, the OG AI tool. Recently, though, the free version has been losing points – whether it’s because its data is only updated till 2022, or because its writing can easily be identified as “AI writing”.

Don’t toss it just yet, as there are still some cool things you can do with ChatGPT that are hard to find in other software. It can convert long trails of data into tables or multiple-choice questions for easy revision. You can also ask ChatGPT to grade and give feedback on papers based on a given rubric so that you have some idea of where you’re headed.

Try ChatGPT

– AI tools for writing –

6. Quillbot

Paraphrase complicated research papers

If you’re pulling your hair out over what lengthy research papers mean, Quillbot has got you covered. This tool focuses on paraphrasing complex works and quotes to allow you to focus on the most important parts of a paper.

There is also a synonym slider that uses AI to give you suggestions on alternative words that may fit into the context of what you’re writing about, and add variety to your vocabulary. An advanced subscription of USD19.95/month (~S$26.70) or USD99.95/year (~S$134) will get you features like plagiarism detection and customisable summaries of entire papers.

This is the paragraph we gave Quillbot to paraphrase:

A Pontianak, from Malay folklore, is a vengeful female spirit. Legend tells of a woman who dies in childbirth, becoming a Pontianak, haunting forests near cotton trees. She lures victims with a sweet fragrance before revealing her ghostly form with fangs and claws. Seeking vengeance on men, especially those resembling her past lover, she preys on unsuspecting travellers at night. The Pontianak remains an enduring symbol of Southeast Asian horror, chilling audiences with tales of lost love and spectral revenge.

This is how Quillbot paraphrased the paragraph:

According to Malay tradition, a Pontianak is a resentful female spirit. There is a legend about a woman who gives birth and dies, turning into a Pontianak who haunts forests with cotton trees nearby. She uses a pleasant scent to entice people, and then her spectral form with claws and teeth is revealed. She preys on gullible tourists at night in an attempt to exact revenge on men, particularly those who resemble her former sweetheart. With ghostly retaliation and stories of lost love, the Pontianak continues to be a terrifying icon of Southeast Asian horror.

Do keep a heads-up that even though Quillbot provides you with a paraphrase, you should still rewrite it in your own words, as claiming the bot’s work as your own is still plagiarism.

Try Quillbot

7. Grammarly

Fend off writer’s block with text generation

We all know Grammarly as our digital grammar cop who won’t stop until we change our “your”s into “you’re”s. Aside from that handy tool, it has its own AI feature that aims to get you through any writer’s block with impeccable grammar.

Artificial intelligence tools for productivity - Grammarly text generationWe asked Grammarly to come up with the framework for a review of a French cafe that sells croissants and cheese.

You can put in up to 100 prompts for free with Grammarly, seeking help for anything from writing ideas and formal frameworks to rewriting paragraphs for clarity.

Artificial intelligence tools for productivity - Grammarly voice adjustment
You can also ask Grammerly to write in a specific voice.

Grammarly may not have the same amount of data knowledge as other GPTs, but what it lacks on that front is made up for with its focus on grammar and clarity.

Try Grammarly

– AI tools for work –


Get on top of all of your daily tasks

If you’re drowning in confusing spreadsheets and calendars, try It’s a free software that uses AI to connect your calendar and tasks, then helps break down your schedule and send reminders.

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Image credit:

It goes beyond just creating to-do lists and sending you the occasional reminder, as’s software helps to separate tasks by priority. You can even break them down into more manageable parts. Now you’ll be able to plan your day even more efficiently when you have a better idea of how to prioritise your tasks.


9. Otter AI

Turn 30-minute meetings into a 30-second summary

You’re secretly watching your favourite show while in a virtual meeting. You then sit through the recorded meeting, only to find out that the entire session was full of small talk and tangents. Well, now you can get to the point of your meetings with Otter AI, a transcribing and meeting summarisation tool.

Artificial intelligence tools for productivity - Otter AI
Image credit:

It can summarise 30-minute meeting clips into 30-second summaries so you don’t have to waste any time. You can also transcribe interviews and even video clips with time stamps which can help you navigate to the information you need.

However, Otter AI is trained to recognise Western language conventions, and might therefore mess up transcriptions of Asian-inflected English.

Try Otter AI

10. Teal

Ace your job applications with this resume builder

Some of us are too lazy to jot down our achievements. But now we can’t make any more excuses with Teal, an AI that was developed to make job applications a breeze.

Artificial intelligence tools for productivity - Teal sample resumes
Example resumes by Teal.

Teal has features including resume grading and building based on the input of all your work experience, personal details, and other achievements. It also generates cover letters using the provided job description and your resume.

Artificial intelligence tools for productivity - Teal sample cover letter
Cover letter generated by Teal.

The downside of Teal is that its AI isn’t as powerful as other GPTs. This could lead to their software misunderstanding any information you might provide. Their generations might also contain grammatical errors and descriptions that are too generalised. Despite all this, it can still keep you well-prepared for being retrenched in Singapore should you need a starting point.

Try Teal

– AI tools for wellness & travel –

11. Breathhh

AI-generated wellness routines based on digital use

Artificial intelligence tools for productivity - Breathhh breathing exercise
Image adapted from: Syarihan Sean

It’s always important to take breaks to stay productive and avoid burnout, especially when you’re at the height of the grind. It turns out that there’s an AI for that too: Breathhh is an app and extension that suggests personal breathing and wellness exercises based on your digital activity.

Artificial intelligence tools for productivity - Breathhh focus function
Its focus tools function can block out distracting websites like shopping and social media, as well as turn on soothing background music.
Image credit: Breathhh

The Breathhh app monitors your browsing and mobile activity to come up with personalised schedules reminding you to take a break from work to breathe, drink water, take a stroll and so on. There is also a diary function so it can track your mood for the day, teaching the AI how to customise the experience further for you.

Try Breathhh.

12. Wysa

Get free advice from a chatbot

Seeking counselling doesn’t always have to be hindered by obstacles such as cost or difficulty of booking appointments. All you’ll need is Wysa, a free chatbot that dispenses free advice –  anytime and anywhere. Powered by AI, Wysa can provide personalised advice and a listening ear for any troubles you may have.

Understand What You're Feeling Today  |
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Understand What You're Feeling Today |

The Ministry of Health has even collaborated with Wysa to provide a free 1-year use of the chatbot through the website. Though Wysa has been criticised for being too robotic and lacking a human touch, it can still be a place to vent your woes before you seek out a professional.

That being said, for more serious mental health issues, it is recommended to seek professional help through counselling or mental health hotlines.

Try Wysa on the website

13. Hopper

Get the best times & prices to book flights

Sometimes the best thing you can do for your productivity is to take a break – be it on a beach with a pina colada in hand, or on a snowy mountain with a mug of steaming hot chocolate. Well, Hopper, an AI travel planning website, will get you on that next vacation, pronto.

Artificial intelligence tools for productivity - Hopper
Image credit: Hopper

Hopper uses historical flight data, user behaviour, and feedback from its users to forecast the best time to book hotels and flights. You’ll be provided with the best options and price alerts for your planned trip, which you can book through their website and be on your way.

Even so, it’s still a good idea to check other travel sites, as Hopper may not have data for more obscure destinations, or newer airlines and hotels.

Try Hopper

Other apps & sites that have useful AI functions

It’s not just standalone websites and apps that have AI tools – some digital software you might already be using have started incorporating AI tools as well.

Canva has photo-generating functions as one of its premium features, which you can test with a free trial. Adobe Photoshop has AI editing features allowing you to change backgrounds or smoothen specific parts of a photo.

LinkedIn helps employers generate job descriptions based on provided information, with professional suggestions for users who are writing posts. Some bank apps use AI to analyse your spending and give you personalised suggestions on saving your money.

Boost your productivity with these AI tools

See, AI isn’t a big, scary monster, and is likely to help cut the all-nighters and maybe allow you to fit in a power nap or two. You can also try combining the tools, so that you can play to the strengths and weaknesses of each, maximising their efficacy.

As long as you remember to take the information provided with a grain of salt, you’ll be on your way to navigating this new GPT wave like a pro. Don’t forget to thank your GPTs and ask them how their day has been, because it’s been said that they work better for those who are nice to them.

For more ways to stay productive:

Cover image adapted from: Syarihan Sean and Adobe Firefly

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