As an aspiring productive developer, there is a never-ending list of things to learn and remember. Managing all of your “must get this done” actions can be tough and you can not be productive unless you have a system. Every productive developer has a system for getting sh*t done. Being dev productive is about understanding what you really want to do and then building processes and systems to make life work for you.

As we are developers we need tools. in 2021 there are a plethora of tools. In this guide, I’m laying out some of the most popular tools. Picking a good tool can be difficult. Just understanding the options is a hard-enough. This guide aims to give you an overview of the options as you can go and investigate which systems work for you.

2021 Guide To Productivity Systems

Productivity Methods

Having tools is great, but having an overarching system, will make everything glue together:

Mind Maps

A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. Mind maps are diagrams that you can use to organize! your thoughts. As shown by the diagram in this guide!

Note Taking / Knowledge Management

Life has moved forward since pen and paper. Keeping up with all the different options would be a full-time job itself! Below lists some of the best note-taking apps that are currently available.


Manually undertaking tasks is time-consuming and error-prone. Being able to automate workflows and connecting applications is very powerful!


Time is your most valuable resource. Having a good calendar will help ensure you manage your time as efficiently as possible. Below list a selection of the best tools:

Project Management

Project management tools can be used to organise more than just your work-life. Any hobbies and side-hustles can be made more productive by tracking your tasks:

Todo Lists

The Checklist Manifesto explains the importance of checklists and to-do lists. This section details the best tools in this space:

Misc Utilities

When your desktop is cluttered in files, screenshots, and random crap it will make it harder and slower for your work. Managing desktop clutter will make you more productive. A less decluttered computer will also mean a faster computer. These tools will help you manage this: