Hi from Silicon Valley

Hi from Silicon Valley

Hi, everyone. My name is Brian. My wife and I have moved around a bit (Italy, New York,…), but we have been living in Bay Area for the past seven years.

We have always been very organized people. We have followed a GTD-lite mentality for many years, tidy our house using Marie Kondo’s ideas, and are lifelong learners (foreign languages and philosophy are favorite topics). Last April we bought a new house and in June we welcomed our first child. During the months of baby bonding leave, after the initial period of mind-shattering sleep deprivation, we started updating our systems to match our updated reality.

In October, we looked at BuJo, but the physical aspect didn’t work for us. We then decided to try one more swing at OmniFocus. We had tried it a few times in the past, but it never really clicked.
This time we read Kourosh’s book, Rosemary’s book, and watched the MacSparky Field Guide. And…everything clicked. We’ve been making minor tweaks for the past few months as we get some empirical experience, but it would not be an exaggeration to say that it has changed our lives.

We mixed in a few other books like Deep Work, Essentialism, Atomic Habits, and Make Time as we wanted to focus on attention, distraction, sessions, and the doing of the meaningful work. I have been dissatisfied for some time about the one-dimensionality of todo lists, where everything looks the same and we just get faster at checking things off. I didn’t want my tombstone to read, “Checked off a bunch of todo lists.” By focusing much more on reviews (morning and night, weekly, monthly,…) and working without distraction from curated lists and working towards things which have meaning, our lives have been transformed.

We’re wrapping up the project with “Automation February”, where we look at ways to automate and free our minds and attention for more deep work.

I was thrilled to find The Guild to exchange ideas with others who have similar passions are are striving to live life a little bit better, a little bit more reflectively.

Anyway, I’m glad to be here. :smile:


yes, this was big for me as well. Updating our workflows and systems to match the new reality has been important. Taking a step back to review and rejigger our lives around a new change has been a great way to adjust to a new situation. Congratulations on your child and new house!

I also had questions about BuJo and scoffed at it in the beginning. But I think it took some time to see if and how it would fit into my life. The BuJo writer, Ryder Caroll, admits that he has a mix of analog and digital in his life. I’m sure you’ll find a place for it. If you can’t find a place for it, put it away. You might revisit it later on.

when you’re ready for it, you’ll know… :slight_smile:

I hope to hear about your experiments and what you’ve found to help you!


I’d love to hear more about how you’ve needed to update your systems for this. My wife and I have two little ones and have honestly been struggling to figure out how to manage household life.

How are the two of you using OF together? I’d like to hear this as well!

I love this idea of having a month theme

We’re glad to have you here too! Welcome @BrianP!

Thanks for the welcome. :grinning:

Yeah, the BuJo book was very well done. Even though we stopped using the handwritten methodology after a few months, we are still incorporating some of the ideas that Ryder discussed.

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Hey, Justin.

Thanks for the warm welcome.

To be clear, my wife and I are doing this project together (we are playing life in co-op mode), but are each using our own instance of OF.

As for how we have updated for the baby and the new house: well, for one thing we do a lot of theming. Each day of the week has a theme (floors and dusting are Wednesday, for example). Not any specific room or task list, just to take some actions on that day’s theme. That keeps the house tidy by making it a habit.

We also often have a monthly theme (like Automation February, or deep cleaning month, writing month, getting out of the house on little adventures month,…).

The other main thing we are doing is a digital cleanse. Email only twice a day, notifications mostly off, that sort of thing. Trying to put attention where it matters most. Which is sometimes on the baby, sometimes on work, sometimes on each other, and sometimes on relaxing.
This is nothing new to you or the other experts here, I’m sure.

I’ve found so far that focusing on what is meaningful makes it easier to be interrupted by a schedule-devouring baby, because I can quickly recalibrate and see that giving him attention is the most meaningful action I could take in that moment.

It’s a work in progress and nothing compared to having two more mobile little muppets running around like you have.


Hey Brian,
In a very similar position as you. Bought a house a year back and have a toddler at home.

Would like to hear more about this. The biggest roadblock for me is planning. When I am up early to work, the toddler gets up early too. And the days I stay up late, she decides she doesnt want to sleep either.

Love this idea. My wife has a long commute (South bay to SF) so it’s easier to have monthly goals rather than daily/weekly. “Automation February” seems like the perfect theme to start off on.


Hi Brian!

Do you have links for these resources? I’d love to check them out to see if they help things click for me, too.

Here you go @paulfank!

Here’s another one too: @timstringer’s Learn OmniFocus site. Another fantastic resource for OmniFocus (@rosemary contributes there as well).


@justindirose, you beat me to it. :grinning:

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