by orpheus

System to organize and manage my thoughts and ideas with the goal of being able to track the change of my ideas, focuses, goals, projects, feelings, and priorities over time and analyze their patterns.

The Idea

In what way are my goals and feelings the same? I can list them. The idea is that most of our internal processes can be described and organized into groups of lists. Doing this allows me to prioritize, organize, and manage the various areas of my life. Some lists like, goals, are actionable. Some lists like, feelings, contain strings that are active [in my life]. By categorizing different thoughts and ideas by the nature of what they are (an actionable item or an active force), powerful organization and prioritization methods are made accessible that will allow me to easily manage a dynamic and growing internal life.

The Original Problem

There was too much I wanted to do and too much I needed to do; I felt like I was being pulled apart. It felt like each aspect of my life was a String that was pulling in one direction and all of a sudden I had too many strings pulling in too many ways. I took to my journal to organize all my thoughts and then prioritize them to have a clear view of all that there was [in my life at that time] and what needed to be focused on first. I did this visually, drawing a large circle to symbolize my life, then for each area of my life I drew a string (a wavy line) from the perimeter so that I ended up with a sun like figure where the extent of each string was something like: Technology, Philosophy, Work, Music, Reading, etc. Under each string I wrote down the minor strings that I wanted or needed to do. I was then easily able to visualize all the things dwelling in me consciously or unconsciously and from there it was easy to prioritize and focus.

From then, I’ve used Google Docs, apple notes/reminders, and whimsical to diagram, visualize, document, and list my focuses, priorities, and goals in different ways. They are all great for many reasons, but one problem I consistently ran into was that, while I changed, they didn’t: at least not easily. And the biggest problem: they couldn’t track how I changed. Reflection is the most important psychic-process for growth alongside meditation, and setting a system up that will allow me to visually and programmatically see patterns in my psyche is invaluable.

So after a mid-year, cross-state move, I decided the first thing I needed was to get my goals and focuses back into order, but do so, so that I can get the benefits described above. So I started, Strings.


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