As an aspiring productive developer, there is a never-ending list of things to learn and remember. It can feel like a chore to just keep all the plates spinning. Keeping up with all of your daily expanding to-do lists can be tough. You will never be able to get serious shit done unless you have a system. Being productive is about understanding what you want to do and then building processes and systems to help you do those things. Systems help us to get our shit done as efficiently as possible. As we are developers we need tools to help us conquer this challenge!

In 2021 there are a plethora of tools that we can use to skyrocket our productivity. Picking a good tool can be a difficult and time-consuming task in itself. Often the time researching tools can offset the amount of time you think the tool can save you! In this guide, I will try to save you time. In this productivity system 2021 edition, I have taken care of the research phase for you. In one diagram you have a simple overview of all of the best systems on the market that promise to save you some time. Forget doing your own research, start here. This mind-map will save you many hours of doing your own Google researching!

2021 Guide To Productivity Systems

NOTE: This mindmap is available to download from this repo, ILoveProductivity.

Productivity Methods

Knowing about a few tools is great, but having an overarching system is essential. The system is the glue that hangs everything together. In terms of productivity, below lists the most popular systems in use today:

Mind Maps

A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. Mind maps are diagrams that can help you organize your thoughts, as shown by the diagram in this guide! These tools are the best mind mapping tools I have come across:

Note Taking / Knowledge Management

Life has moved forward since pen and paper. There are hundreds of note-taking apps. It also seems like a new one is released daily. Keeping up with all of these tools would be a full-time job itself! Instead, below lists some of the best note-taking apps that are currently available. Limit your research of this list and you will not be disappointed!


Manually undertaking tasks is time-consuming and error-prone. Being able to automate workflows and connecting applications is very powerful! These tools will allow you to automate your life easily:


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

Project Management

Picking a good project management tool will allow you to get bigger projects done. 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. The best programs that will allow you to manage projects are:

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 with random files and random crap it will make it harder for you to work quickly. Managing desktop clutter will make you more productive. A less decluttered computer will also mean a faster computer. These tools will help you manage your machine to help you become a productivity ninja!:

Productivity Hacks

These life-hacks will help reduce distractions from your life: