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Don’t Lists and Project Folders for a Simple System for Everything

“David, your Simple System for Everything works for everything!”

That was the crowd’s undulating chant at the colosseum right before I hushed them for the grand finale— something about online dating as I recall. It was the Great Year Workshop of 2014, and everything was just dandy until a bold voice called from the dusty masses. The sheer audacity was stunning. This is what she asked.

“What if your ambitions don’t fit on a 3 x 5 card?”

Gasps of incredulity rippled across the field of bodies and souls.

I let them ripple.

And then, just before dismay turned into despair, I gave the one word answer that had been passed down to me from my mentors and to them by theirs for what must be several months now.

“Folders.”

The crowd roared with glee and relief. Chaos was averted.


In this video I explain how to touch your dreams every day and execute a perfect escape from the distraction of exciting new things that keep you for focusing on the task at hand. It involves folders.

In the video I refer to:

  • Roles
  • Goals
  • Week’s Plan
  • Days Plan

All of which are available through the Pilot Fire Starter Kit.

I also mention the tool: 5 Questions that Tell You What to Do Next

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Leave a comment8 comments on "Don’t Lists and Project Folders for a Simple System for Everything"

  1. David – good video (Dear Lord you have a lot of talent).

    I’d love to see a real life, play by play, account of you walking someone through this process. Well edited i.e. short-ish, but showing the good and bad. A video case study of your method. That’d be super neat.

    • Thank you Avrum, but shucks, you don’t need to call me Lord! ;-)

  2. I love to see people’s framework for bringing dreams down into daily tasks. This is such a great video, David. Thank you for sharing!

  3. The part that made me go “Oh! Great idea!” was the Don’t (Yet) List. I’ve heard of and used a “to-don’t list,” where you list out the things you do that are counterproductive to the things you actually want to accomplish. Your list is like a variation where the things that are counterproductive to getting the thing you’re working on RIGHT NOW will eventually get done, just not yet. I like that a lot. I am forever diving down detours and rabbit holes that take me sideways or around in loops but not always forward :)

  4. I have no idea how I ended up on your site tonight – but am so glad I did. This is incredibly helpful for the way my ENTJ mind processes ideas. I have so many that flood my thoughts that I’m quickly off track from goals that are most meaningful.
    Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to browsing and learning more!

  5. By folders, do you suggest creating actual folders in a computer or something or in a paper notebook?
    Also, when we create a new weekly plan, what happens to the previous week one? Do you suggest disposing it or saving it to track what tasks we completed last week? Thanks.

    • Hi Punit,
      By folders, I suggest both. For virtual documents drop them into a folder with that project name. For Do Lists, I always lean towards the physical, and use a paper folder with a piece of paper stapled to it for my Do List, as shown in the video above.

      The old week’s plan gets filed or discarded after you assess it (pause and reflect). I have all my 3×5 card week’s plans over the years. I never look at them. The week’s plans are not an extensive list of tasks, just the handful of items that give you the best chance of having a great week. Here’s the method. http://pilotfire.com/plan-a-great-week-in-20-minutes/

      • Thanks David.

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