View Full Version : What systems do you use for creating purpose & fulfilment in your life?

07-15-12, 06:33 AM

What systems do you use for creating purpose & fulfilment in your life, meaning I'd like to understand what you consider the most beneficial system to organising/decluttering your thoughts/tasks/goals/projects into results, and into 'actualilty'?

My systems are as follows:-

Thinking Systems:-

PMI Method (from Edward Debono's Thinking Course Book):-

I find this decision making method beneficial as, it helps you when you are placed in a situation when you have to think through a situation, you would analyse te 'POSITIVE POINTS', 'MINUS POINTS', and 'INTERESTING POINTS' in that situation.


A young professional is deciding where to live. Her question is 'Should she move to the big city?'


A young professional is deciding where to live. Her question is 'Should she move to the big city?'
She draws up the PMI table below:
<table class="quiztable"> <tbody><tr> <th height="30" width="35%">Plus</th> <th height="30" width="32%">Minus</th> <th height="30" width="33%">Interesting</th> </tr> <tr> <td height="30" width="35%">More going on (+5)</td> <td height="30" width="32%">Have to sell house (-6)</td> <td height="30" width="33%">Easier to find new job? (+1)</td> </tr> <tr bgcolor="#f0f0f0"> <td height="30" width="35%">Easier to see friends (+5)</td> <td height="30" width="32%">More pollution (-3)</td> <td height="30" width="33%">Meet more people? (+2)</td> </tr> <tr> <td height="30" width="35%">Easier to get places (+3)</td> <td height="30" width="32%">Less space (-3)</td> <td height="30" width="33%">More difficult to get own work done? (-4)</td> </tr> <tr bgcolor="#f0f0f0"> <td height="30" width="35%">
</td> <td height="30" width="32%">No countryside (-2)</td> <td height="30" width="33%">
</td> </tr> <tr> <td height="30" width="35%">
</td> <td height="30" width="32%">More difficult to get to work? (-4)</td> <td height="30" width="33%">
</td> </tr> <tr bgcolor="#f0f0f0"> <td height="30" width="35%"> +13
</td> <td height="30" width="32%"> -18
</td> <td height="30" width="33%"> -1
</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> She scores the table as 13 (Plus) 18 (Minus) 1 (Interesting) = 6
For her, the comforts of a settled rural existence outweigh the call of the 'bright lights' it would be much better for her to live outside the city, but close enough to travel in if necessary.


Paper Based Systems:-

Notebook for Tasks/Projects:-

I have a notebook and I record all the tasks in one section (starting from the front), and all of my projects in another section (starting from the back.

The way that I record tasks/projects, is that I will list each one seperately on its own line, with a little gap in the front of the item, if it has to be done straight away, then I will place a circle in the gap, and place a tick in the circle when it's done, or else I will just tick it, when it's done, and cross out the entire line. If it's a task/project which isn't going to take place, then I will place a cross, in the gap, and then cross out the line.

The main thing I find with this system, is that although it clears my head, it doesn't provide an overview with where I'm heading with everything.

Paper-based Mind Mapping for Goals in my life:-

I find mindmapping useful when trying to figure out how to get to a certain goal, by seeing everything that's required with creating a mind map of my brainstorming session.

You basically draw a central idea/goal/theme on a page (either by writing the word, or drawing a picture if you can draw and are very artistic), and then think about all of the things that would link to that idea/goal/theme

The best way to draw a mind map is with using a few different colour pens on paper.


My main idea/goal/theme is FITNESS, and then I would thinking about everything that would be linked to it i.e. NUTRITION, GYM, HOME GYM, TIME, FITNESS PLAN, FITNESS PARTNER, HEALTH, etc


Paper Journal:-

I used to write a journal of my personal thoughts, to try and understand and unlock deep hidden thoughts, but now I've stopped that, even though I did find it very beneficial.

Project Management Systems:-

I still haven't found a project management system, that I can use which works with the way I think and plan for tasks and/or projects. I researched PMI, PMBOK, PRINCE2, and other methodologies, but I still can't find a creative way, and an 'outside the box' method to planning for anything from buying something, to building a house.

I thought whether if I could use mindmapping for that purpose, so I'm still researching this way.

Organisational Systems:-

GTD (Getting Things Done) System:-

I did enjoy this system in principal, but in action it was a different beast alltogether, as I way trying to organise everything to the minute detail, and look at all these different kinds of lists, where I prefer working off one or two lists at most.

Other Systems:

I tried other simpler systems like 'Zen To Done', and they all approached things in a similar manner i.e. lists, etc, and I'm still waiting for a creative, 'outside the box' solution, for a simpler way of organising all of your tasks/goals/thoughts/projects.

Technology Systems:-

Microsoft OneNote:-

I'm still thinking how I can use this product, but I find with software; there are too many options, and I always find a paper based solution, and/or a simple program is better.


I find using the Google Priority Inbox is the best fit for me, as I can organise my emails in the following way:- Starred emails are things I have to action, Important Emails are emails that I specify as ones that I want to be filtered out the my enormous list of emails, and then everything else, so I keep track of my actionable items, and action them, then look at my important flagged emails, and then glace over Everything Else which is mostly spam emails.

Decluttering Systems:-

I find the best way, that I'm reducing declutter is by:-

- Stop buying items that are considered wants and live a more simplistic life.
- Go through the whole house (and think minimilism, and simplicity), and move everything that I don't need, or might need into the garage, as this will be my placeholder for my decluttering process. Remember, to only keep what you need in the house, i.e. bare essentials!!! Once I'm done, I will begin a long process of cleansing out the garage, and I know this will take time, but at least the whole house is clean. As I'm organinsing all the items in the garage, I will start bringing some items back into the house, and as I come across an item which I don't need, or might need in the future, then I place them in a box in the garage, and start organisng them in different boxes, like clothing, dvds, books, etc. If I don't ever go into the box within 3-6 months, then I get rid of them. I could sell the items, but if I think it will take too long, then I will just throw it out and/or donate it, as I think the psychological aspect will outway the montery aspect.
- I'm still trying to think about the best solution for decluttering my computer, but the best thing I could come up with is, buy an external flash drive (a large one such as a 1 terabye drive), and copy everything to it, then remove everything from your computer, except for critical business files, personal files like resume, music, and photos, and then place the hdd somewhere safe, and then try a create a new structure of folders on your computer for managing the new files coming into the computer.
- In essense, my method for decluttering is starting with a clean slate!!

07-15-12, 04:12 PM
Wow, must be a logic guy.

I'm just happy and grateful because I choose to be.

07-15-12, 04:18 PM
Whoa. I'm allergic to systems. ;)

07-15-12, 04:23 PM
Whoa. I'm allergic to systems. ;)

Yeah I think I just broke out in hives reading that chart. :lol:

07-15-12, 11:28 PM
I .... I like cookies.

Nah, but I really like languages and understanding stuff. Everything else aligns around that.

If I were to try such a system (oh well I did), the one with the points, I'd go crazy worrying if I somehow messed up the point values and ended up with a distorted result, but can't see that I don't want the same as the result because I trust the system too much. (Never trust a system.)

Also, doing stuff by myself doesn't change anything about the limit of the things I can consider by myself - if I can put it on paper, it's been in my mind already, has its set value etc. It's much better for me to ramble about stuff and have a patient and helpful person listen and sometimes add a new thought that changes the entire thing. Or not.

07-16-12, 07:16 AM
Thanks for your feedback, and helping me become less confused with myself!

All in all, how do you all make it through tasks, projects, creating goals, and the rest?

07-16-12, 09:35 PM
Some days it's the luck of the draw, it seems. :)

Structure and visuals (Dry erase board, sticky notes) are usually the most effective for me.

Thanks for sharing what works for you.

08-19-12, 02:30 AM
I love organization and order but I can't give a grade to each single action in my life: I don't want my life to be nothing more than a mathematical equation =)

Personally i only have a "tasks listing" system, that's already enough for me.

I currently use the web-based i-listit but I used to do it on pieces of paper.

08-19-12, 11:37 AM
I don't make too many goals but I need to do long term goals and short term goals at the same time. I find that my thinking used to be once I have this short term solved, I'll plan for long term, well, that doesn't work. Systems that are highly structured don't work for me at all.

I do have lists of short term goals, and I tend to do them one at a time, in a priority scheme.

My long term goals are pretty fixed and unchanging, new car fund, retirement, and vacation. (money for these comes out of my paycheque and goes into a separate account.

That is the extent of it. Anything most complex and I fail.

I will say tho, I don't find meaning and purpose for my life in this, it's just stuff that has to get done.

08-19-12, 08:56 PM
I recently started using Evernote, and I think it's really great. I included it in my post here: