Welcome to Cyborganize
Are you sick of running around with too many things in your head? Do you want a way to automatically process information to find your next action?
Cyborganize does all that, plus more. It makes thinking and writing automatic. It breaks down complex problems into easy steps. It stimulates your creativity, narrows your focus, and makes work fun.
What is it?
Cyborganize is a personal info management and productivity system.
Cyborganize reduces mental resistance to zero. It is lossless AND frictionless. It’s agile enough to manage minute-to-minute task shifts, yet powerful enough to effortlessly accumulate and focus years of information into book form.
Cyborganize is the result of many years of experimentation with personal productivity systems. If you’ve heard of it, chances are I tried it. My requirements were especially high, because a chronic illness severely limited my available focus, energy, and working time. Maximizing the value of my very limited uptime was crucial. I had to get it right to survive.
Fortunately, Cyborganize allowed me to cure my chronic fatigue via self-experimentation. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have the time and energy to share this system with you… free of charge. It is my sincere hope that Cyborganize will bring relief, productivity and increased insight to the general public, just as it has done for me, personally.
Why it’s different
Cyborganize is a next-generation productivity system. Getting Things Done was the first generation – it is fundamentally designed for pencil and paper. Cyborganize is fundamentally designed for specific software tools, making it a truly digital productivity system.
Like GTD, Cyborganize manages your tasks and related info. But it is also a knowledge management system, a writing system, and a focus enhancer. It can handle much larger info volumes than GTD, and requires less maintenance and self-discipline.
Cyborganize is not a list of the “best” software. The best software is useless if you don’t put it together in a workflow that makes sense. It’s also not a description of the “best” productivity method. Generic productivity methods that operate across multiple software options inherently fail to take advantage of specific software features.
In my opinion, that’s what’s wrong with today’s personal productivity movement. You have productivity books like Getting Things Done, Zen to Done, The 4-Hour Workweek, Do It Tomorrow, Inbox Zero, The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, The Now Habit, The Power of Full Engagement, etc. These books teach you different working styles, but they don’t tell you which specific software tools to use. Then you have productivity software review sites and forums, which tell you the specific features of programs, but don’t give you overarching principles and comprehensive workflows.
Cyborganize does both. It’s a fully integrated package. It teaches you the principles, defines the workflow, selects the software, and provides step-by-step instructions on how to use each program as part of a comprehensive whole.
Why is it so specific? I’d like to say I had a true plan of genius guiding me, and that I arrived by supernatural insight at the perfect combination of tools. In truth, it was just years and years of trial and error, as I gradually learned how the brain works, and what was missing from each failed iteration.
By the way, you are not a unique special snowflake – your brain works just like everyone else’s. Did you know that the rate at which humans forget information can be refined to a precise algorithm? Yep, the creator of SuperMemo invented that algorithm. Unfortunately he focused solely on that mechanism when designing his productivity system, which is why it sucks. I highly recommend reading the book Refactor Your Wetware to understand the basic mechanics of your brain. While Cyborganize was designed completely through trial and error, in hindsight the concepts in that book should’ve made the solution obvious.
Cyborganize is not “done”. There is always more work to be done in the melding of mind and machine. Eventually, we will be jacked into the Matrix and the biological limitations of the brain will no longer matter. At that point, the fundamental design laws of Cyborganize, as described in Refactor Your Wetware, will no longer apply. But for right now, Cyborganize is the best fit with existing software capabilities.
(That said, I welcome productivity hackers who can show me how to do it better. I can’t possibly try all the tools and features that come out.)
Key concepts and tools
The real heart of Cyborganize is the workflow. The software implementation will shift over time. You don’t have to use the exact software tools I recommend, but you should try to get as close as possible to the ideal workflow.
Here’s a list of the major parts of the Cyborganize workflow:
I had to invent these names because nothing like them exists in productivity literature.
Here’s a list of the main software tools Cyborganize recommends:
- Emacs Org-Mode
The Software sections explains in detail how to install and use each of these tools.
If you would like to use different programs, here are your options:
- WordPress – preferred, but most journaling PIMs can fill this role, with varying success.
- Tiddlywiki – mildly preferred. If you find yourself switching back after a painful experience with another wiki… told ya so.
- BrainStormWFO – Required. The nearest replacement is MaxThink, and it’s not very close.
- Emacs Org-Mode – recommended, but too difficult for most. Feel free to substitute another text editor, like TextPad. A word processor like MS Word will be too slow.
How to get started
Using this site is easy. The top navigation bars display drop-down menus with links to every page. You can also see the site structure using the collapsible menus on the right.
The Why use it? section explains the benefits of using Cyborganize. Start there if you’re not sold yet.
You can learn basic Cyborganize concepts by reading the Fast start section. I’ve tried to make the section readable and engaging. You won’t pick up all the jargon immediately. Don’t worry, just keep reading. The goal is to expand your mind. You need to rethink your understanding of brain mechanics and the nature of work. It’s fascinating stuff, and very relevant to your life.
Next you should get familiar with the programs Cyborganize requires. Learning by doing is always easier than learning by reading. I provide step-by-step guides in the Software section to get you started.
When you’re ready to start Cyborganizing, you should begin with the Execution Loop. It doesn’t require the rest of Cyborganize to work. Re-read Fast Start‘s Execution Loop pages, and then read the Execution Loop section under Core Workflow. I highly recommend that you watch the case study video to see a live example.
Once your Execution Loop is working, there’s no rush. Gradually integrate the Cyborganize workflow into your current system. Begin reading the entire Core workflow section. It’s a bit dry and encyclopedic, but by this point you need precision, not inspiration.
If you have questions, feel free to ask them at the Cyborganize forum. Or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, be sure to sign up for the newsletter at the top right, to receive important updates.
Overcome your limitations
I developed Cyborganize because I needed to work and think effectively, yet I had very little energy or willpower. That’s why Cyborganize is so efficient at transforming your limited biological resources into intelligent productivity.
You probably don’t have chronic fatigue. Neither do I anymore. But I am still one person with limited time, energy, IQ, and memory. And so are you.
The principles are the same, whether your energy is low or high. Cyborganize will help you overcome your biological limitations.