3 wishes for open source productivity in 2021

There are plenty of ways the open source world can expand for 2021. Here are the three areas I'm particularly interested in.
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Looking at a map for career journey


In prior years, this annual series covered individual apps. This year, we are looking at all-in-one solutions in addition to strategies to help in 2021. Welcome to the final day of 21 Days of Productivity in 2021.

Here we are, at the end of another series. So let's talk about the things I want to see more of in 2021.


Large Lego set built by the author

I built this over the holidays

For many, many, many people, 2020 was a very difficult year. The pandemic, the various political events, the 24-hour news cycle, and so on took a toll on our mental well-being. And while I did talk about making time for self-care, I only touched on disconnecting—that is, turning off alerts, phones, tablets, etc., and just ignoring the world for a bit. One of the managers in my company actually told us to turn off all our work-related stuff if we had a holiday or a day off (unless we were on call). One of my favorite "disconnect" activities is just listening to music and building big, complex Lego sets.


While many of the techniques I talked about are something anyone can do, the software aspects all have some difficulty with accessibility. Linux and the open source world have come a long way when it comes to assistive technologies since the early days of the movement. However, there are still far too many applications and systems that do not consider that the user may not have the same abilities as the person who designed them. I am keeping an eye on developments in this area because everyone should be able to access things.

More all-in-one options

JPilot all in one organizer software interface


There are nowhere near as many all-in-one Personal Information Manager solutions in the FOSS world as there are in the commercial software world. The overall trend has been to use individual apps that must be configured to talk to each other or through an intermediary service (like a CalDAV server). The mobile market largely drives this trend, but I still yearn for the days when something like JPilot could do almost everything I needed without extra plugins or services.

Thank you all very much for reading the series year. Please comment with what you think I missed or need to look at for next year.

And as I say on Productivity Alchemy, do your best to Stay Productive!

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Kevin Sonney is a technology professional, media producer, and podcaster. A Linux Sysadmin and Open Source advocate, Kevin has over 25 years in the IT industry, with over 15 years in Open Source. He currently works as an SRE at elastic.

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