The Definitive Guide for Practicing Freeletics After 40

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In October 2014, four months after turning 40 years old, I started practicing Freeletics two to four times a week. Up until today, I have done 118 workouts.

Freeletics is a method of high-intensity calisthenics promoted by a startup of the same name that started its operations in Munich in 2013.

It is based exclusively on aerobic and anaerobic bodyweight exercises. The only equipment required is a pull-up bar, so you can train virtually anywhere.

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Although Freeletics’ website offers a variety of free exercises and routines, its real added value is a virtual coach that costs 70 Euros for 15 weeks and which creates a weekly, taylor-made series of workouts based on variables such as your bodyweight, age, and fitness level.

I am sure that a large part of Freeletics’ success is due to its strategy of promoting videos shot by users showing their progress with the method.

There’s nothing better for grasping what the method is all about than watching one of these videos, such as Levent’s, who has become nothing short of a celebrity among Freeletics enthusiasts worldwide:

But stop right there you little grasshopper!

After watching Levent’s video you are probably so excited you can’t resist the urge to jump off your desk and start your first workout once and for all.

But trust me, things are not that simple — especially if, like me, you have already blown 40 candles on a single birthday cake.

All the comments below are based on my experience with the method during the past six months.

Looks-wise, the results are very good but not spectacular

Although when I started training I was much fitter than Levent (in fact, I have never in my life reached the level of obesity with which he started), I managed to lose almost 20 pounds of bodyfat while gaining a considerable amount of muscle.

But nevertheless, after six months of work I couldn’t get the muscle tone that Levent achieved in 15 weeks. The reason is obvious: he’s 25 years old, and I’m not.

As obvious as it may seem, it’s good to remember the inescapable reality of the metabolic advantage of most of the twentysomethings who upload Freeletics videos to YouTube.

At least in my case, even if this issue was clear to me at a conscious level, I’m sure the videos had enough of a subliminal effect on me to cause more than a few momentos of childlike frustration with my progress.

In the Beginning, There Will be Suffering

The first minutes of Levent’s video show him in a state of deep suffering during his initial workouts.

And while part of his initial difficulty may have been due to his excess weight, almost all YouTube videos show faces of pain and suffering during the early stages.

There’s even a video out there of a guy who is less than 30 years old and a semi-professional soccer player saying Freeletics was the hardest training he had ever been through in his life.

Moral: if starting out with Freeletics in your 20’s is hard, starting in your 40’s is hellish.

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The flames of hell burn through most of the first two months. From there they begin to fade, and by the fourth month one is swimming in endorphins throughout the session.

That, to me, is the main reward of this type of training: the level of physical exertion is such that the mind focuses 100% in the here and now.

It is almost impossible not to maintain a state of total mindfulness while carrying out such an effort for the 45 minutes that a workout lasts on average.

It is almost impossible to finish a workout and not feel renovated physically, mentally, and even spiritually.

Start Slow, Progress Gradually

On the other hand, you need to be careful with the just-do-it philosophy that permeates the website and encourages users to continue training against rain, wind and tide.

In my opinion, the fortysomething freeathlete has to take thigs a bit slower.

First of all, I do not recommend anyone to start with Freeletics cold-turkey after 40, especially if you are not minimally fit in the first place.

In my case, despite having always maintained a decent level of physical activity, before starting Freeletics I did a full month of lighter training: I went jogging for 20 minutes and made several low-rep sets of pushups, situps and crunches almost every day.

Then I did another full month of Tapout XT. Maybe you’re laughing at this point, but I assure you that the company’s extremely cheesy infomercials notwithstanding, the method is very hard and super effective.

Stop When Necessary

It is important to stop training and rest whenever you feel any pain that you minimally suspect could be anything other than the normal muscle soreness that arises after intense physical exercise (which during the early stages is wrenching in its own right).

In my case, I reckon I must have been about four weeks at rest or semi-rest due to various disomforts that emerged at some point or another: back pain, lower-back pain, and now a sore right knee that has all the earmarks of being a meniscus problem and which made me spend almost two weeks at less than half speed already.

Forget Timings

A key part of Freeletics consists in striving to complete the workouts in progressively less time. But if you’re over 40, I recommend forgetting about that aspect at least during the first two months of training.

At first it’s important to simply finish each workout regardless of how long it takes. The times will improve gradually without you noticing: today I’m finishing some workouts in 40 minutes for which I needed 90 minutes several months ago.

Nutrition is Crucial

Apart from the electrocnic coach service, Freeletics offers an interesting nutritional guide full of healthy and delicious recepies.

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There’s no doubt that eating well is essential to take full advantage of the method in every way, but in my case I have to confess that Freeletics has rather allowed me to eat a lot more carbs than I used to.

Nowadays I eat much more pasta, potatoes, bread, and rice, especially immediately after any of the 3-4 Freeletics workouts I do per week.

But the fact is that the level of physical activity is so intense that even eating those kinds of carbohydrates during rest days I managed to lose more body fat than with any other workout method I have ever practiced.

Being a Creature of the Night

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Never read the Wikipedia entry about your favorite 80’s rock band.

You might become aware of terrible things.

For instance, you might realize that Kiss’s Creatures of the Night, one of my childhood’s favorite albums, was basically a fiasco.

I remember the chill going down my spine when, at the tender age of nine, I saw the album’s cover for the first time.

Peter Criss, the “Catman,” had changed his makeup: now it was more aerodinamic, more modern.

You see, painting your face like Sylvester the Cat might have been adequate for the 70’s. But of course, the greatest rock band in history had enough visionary muscle as to adapt to the new trends of a 20th century that was just about to end.

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And the ominous change in makeup was definitely consistent with the music in the album.

I remember my trembling hand posing the turntable’s needle over the vinyl.

I remember the thunderous thriff of the first track.

It was a very heavy album. It was obsucre. Dense.

Another chill made me realize the real meaning of the change in the Catman’s makeup: Kiss was adapting to the new era by going back to its roots.

They were heavy again.

They returned to real rock and roll.

Yeah.

But damn Wikipedia is hellbent on contradicting what back then seemed to me to be one of the most convincing musical revelations that a second grader could ever have.

Apparently, even if it was true that the album went back to the hard rock that characterized the band in its beginings, the move was mainly a desperate attempt to gain back part of the fans that it had lost with the previous three albums.

Three albums that were commercially susccesful but were infused with a pop style that completely alienated the hardcore rockers that supported the band in its early years.

They had prostituted themselves so badly that the band’s guitarrist, Ace Frehley, the legendary “Space Ace,”
simply couldn’t handle it.

He fell into alcoholism to the point that even if he appeared on the cover of Creatures of the Night, he didn’t play in any of the album’s songs.

His state was so pathetic that he started screwing up in a truly epic way. During promotional apperances for the album in which the band was lip synching to recorded tracks, it became obvious he didn’t know the material.

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He didn’t last much longer in the band.

Neither did the Catman, despite the ominous look of his visionary change of makeup.

(Criss came back to the band many years later during one of those morbid relanuches that so many rock bands have tried, but he left again in 200 when, again according to ruthless Wikipedia, he unleashed his existential frustration and destroyed his drumkit during a concert in front of a crowd of already quite grown up fans who, to top it all off, thought the psychotic attack was part of the show.)

Despite all this, Kiss is still a source of inspiration for me.

Today I woke up at 3:30 in the morning with my baby’s cry, just like I have been doing during the month and a half since she was born.

And while I was soothing her and her mother was getting ready to breastfeed her, for some reason I remembered the cover of Creatures of the Night.

And that thought somehow reminded me that now that my daughter basically requires me to do it, this is the best time to experiment with poliphasic sleep, which I have wanted to do for a long time.

(I also thought that the day will arrive in which I will have to explain to her that at some point in the history of the world, nine yearold boys –and many quite older people as well– used to reach an euphoric climax when the bass player of a band composed of hairy-chest, painted-face gentlemen, started spitting blood as if he was suffering from a bleeding ulcer.)

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Poliphasic sleep is the practice of sleeping multiple times in a 24-hour period, rather than twice a day (biphasic sleep), or once a day (monophasic sleep).

Many practitioners of poliphasic sleep claim to have achieved, after a more or less uncomfortable adaptation period, a considerable reduction in the total time they spend sleeping every day without loosing physical or mental energy.

My first reference on the subject was Steve Pavlina’s experiment around 2006, during which he slept 20 minutes every four hours for five and a half months, apparently with very good results.

On the other hand, Wikipedia’s entry for poliphasic sleep (better read Wikipedia for this sort of thing rather than for destroying our rock-and-roll childhood dreams) tells us that although it has been said that Leonardo Da Vinci, Napoleon, and Nikola Tesla practiced it, apparently there is more myth than reality in that story.

But we will discuss the theory and case studies in later posts.

For the moment, I only wanted to convey my inspiration to you.

What I find interesting is being able to take advantage of the silence and mental freshness of the night and dedicate it to writing, to meditatation, to those things that, for the moment, the chaos of my days doesn’t allow me to do in the sunlight.

For me, the whole thing is about learning to be a creature of the night.

Death is in the air, and all is well

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Boris: Nothingness… non-existence… black emptiness…

Sonja: What did you say?

Boris: Oh, I was just planning my future.

Woody Allen, Love and Death

Just when I thought I was done with reflecting upon the impact of my mother’s passing last year, Oliver Burkeman’s “The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking” gave me a ton of material on the life-infusing properties of death to mull over.

And while death is always present in the news all over the world, the book arrived to me at a moment when two particular news stories about death felt particularly close:

Last week, here in Buenos Aires, prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s body was found in his apartment, triggering a political crisis of gigantic proportions.

Two days later, AK Canserbero, a rapper from Venezuela whose work I had just discovered and encouraged me to look further into the emerging hip-hop wave of my native country, jumped from the 10th floor of a building after stabbing his friend and manager, Carlos Molnar, to death.

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The book draws from cognitive psychology to classical philosophy and literature to demolish the foundations of the positive-thinking cult that underpins the modern self-help industry. And to top it all off, Burkeman does this with great storytelling and generous doses of stark British humor.

To illustrate the futility of positive thinking, Burkeman reminds us of the perennial challenge proposed by Fyodor Dostoevsky in Winter Notes on Summer Impressions:

“Try to pose for yourself this task: not to think of a polar bear, and you will see that the cursed thing will come to mind every minute.”

After several years reporting on the field of psychology as a journalist, it dawned on Burkeman that what united the psychologists, philosophers, and even the occasional self-help guru whose ideas seemed to hold water, was the realization that the Dostoevskian polar-bear challenge was a great metaphor for what’s wrong with most of the popular recepies for happiness.

For example, the work carried out in the field of ironic process theory shows that our uniquely human capacity for “metacognition,” for thinking about thinking, if abused, short-circuits in peculiar ways:

When you try not think of a white bear, you may experience some success in forcing alternative thoughts into your mind. At the same time, though, a metacognitive monitoring process will crank into action, to scan your mind for evidence of whether you are succeeding or failing at the task. And this is where things get perilous, because if you try too hard… [t]he monitoring process will start to occupy more than its fair share of limelight on the cognitive stage… suddenly, all you will be able to think about is white bears, and how badly you’re doing at not thinking about them.

There is a good deal of evidence that this is very similar to the process that frustrates most of our efforts to feel positive:

[Havard University’s Daniel] Wegner’s research, and that of others, has turned up more and more evidence to support that notion. One example: when experimental subjects are told of an unhappy event, but then instructed to try not to feel sad about it, they end up feeling worse than people who are informed of the event, but given no instructions about how to feel. In another study, when patients who were suffering from panic dissorders listened to relaxation tapes, their hearts ran faster than patients who listened to audiobooks with no explicitly “relaxing” content… people instructed not to think about sex exhibit greater arousal, as measured by the electrical conductivity of their skin, than those not instructed to supress those thoughts.

From this perspective, most of the self-help industry’s favorite techniques for achieving happiness and success, like positive thinking or visualizing goals, suffer from an irremediable flaw. And Burkeman proposes instead to embrace the work of thinkers who promote an alternative, “negative path” to happiness that encourages us to be willing to experience more negative emotions, or at least to stop running so hard from them.

Besides recent work in cognitive psychology,

You’ll find [this view] in the works of the Stoic philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome, who emphasised the benefits of always contemplating how badly things might go. It lies deep near the core of Buddhism, which counsels that true security lies in the unrestrained embrace of insecurity… the same “negative” approach to happiness also helps explain why so many people find mindfulness meditation so beneficial, why a new generation of business thinkers are advising companies to drop their obsession with goalsetting and embrace uncertainty instead…

The word “negative” here doesn’t necessarily refer to unpleasant experiences and emotions: “…some philosophies of happiness are best described as ‘negative’ because they involve developing skills of ‘not doing‘ — of learning not to chase positive feelings so aggressively.”

Via Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/b2ozz6
Via Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/b2ozz6

But there is a thought that our minds are exceptionally successful at suppressing: that of our own mortality.

The more you reflect on this, the stranger it seems. We are perfectly capable of feeling acute self-pitty about more minor predicaments, at home or at work, on a daily basis. Yet the biggest predicament of all goes by, for the most part, not consciously worried about. ‘At bottom,’ wrote Freud — sweepengly, as usual, but in this case persuasively — ‘no one believes his own death.’

Burkeman cites Ernest Becker’s magnum opus, The Denial of Death (definitely on my list of books to read in 2015) as containing one of the most persuasive explanations of this remarkable capacity of our minds:

The lack of serious thought we give to mortality, for Becker, is no accident or oversight: it is precisely because death is so terrifying and significant, he argues, that we don’t think about it… but the consequence is that we dedicate our lives to suppressing that fear, erecting vast psychological fortifications so that we can avoid confronting it.

In Becker’s view, a huge amount of human activity is “designed largely to avoid the fatality of death, to overcome it by denying in some way that it is the final destiny of man.”

The main reason we manage to deny our mortality to such an extent, Becker explains, is our capacity for constructing a symbolic self that coexists in our minds with the perception of ourselves as physical beings:

And while it is inevitable that the physical self will perish, the symbolic self — the one that exists in our minds — is quite capable of convincing itself that it is immortal… in Becker’s view, all religions, all political movements and national identities, all business ventures, all charitable activity and all artistic pursuits are nothing but ‘immortality projects.’

Deep down, we see ourselves as immortal heroes. From this perspective, even the most recalcitrant atheist depends on a notion of the afterlife. For Becker, failing do so results in mental illness: the main cause of depression is some people’s failure to shield themselves from the truth that they are not cosmically significant heroes.

Furthermore, immortality projects are a great creative force that allows for “great architecture, great literature, great acts of philanthropy, great civilisations,”

…but in Becker’s view they are simultaneously the cause of the worst things, too… War represents the ultimate clashing of rival immortality projects: if my sense of immortality relies on my nation’s triumph, and yours upon yours, we’ll fight longer and harder than if we were seeking only territory or power… philosopher Sam Keen, paraphrasing Becker, [says that human conflicts] “are life-and-death struggles — my gods against your gods, my immortality project against your immortality project.” In other words, we will fight so hard to preserve our symbolic immortality that we will sacrifice our physical lives.

Luckily, there is a way to exorcize ourselves from our deep-rooted death-denial mechanisms without falling into an abyss of depressive existential despair.

According to Burkeman, the very first step in this direction is embracing the teachings of Epicurus and realizing that there there is no need to fantasize that life continues beyond death:

“Death is nothing to us,” [Epicurus] says, “since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.”… Death spells the end of the experiencing subject, and thus the end of any capacity for experiencing the state we fear. Or as Einstein put it: “The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there’s no risk of accident to one who’s dead.”

However, necessary as it is, Burkeman thinks the Epicurean maxim is not sufficient:

No matter how persuasive you find Epicurus’s arguments against fearing death, it doesn’t follow that death is not bad… coming to understand death as something that there is no reason to fear, yet which is still bad because of what it brings to and end, might be the ideal middle path. The argument is a thoroughly down-to-earth, pragmatic, and Stoic one: the more that you remain aware of life’s finitude, the more you will cherish it, and the less likely you will be to fritter it away on distractions.

For building the habit of remembering our mortality and thus strengthening our capacity to focus on meaning, Burkeman recommends a simple exercise suggested by psychologist Russ Harris:

[I]magine you are eighty years old — assuming you are not eighty already, that is; if you are, you’ll have to pick an older age — and then complete the sentences “I wish I’d spent more time on … “, and “I wish I’d spend less time on … “. This turns out to be a surprisingly effective way to achieve mortality awareness in short order… it is precisely through such mundane and unassuming rituals that we can best hope to enfold an awareness of death into the daily rhythms of life, and achieve something of Epicurus’s calm rationality in the face of mortality.

Burkeman also reminds us that the relationship of the Western world to the concept of mortality wasn’t always as unhealthy as it is nowadays:

[In ancient Rome], according to legend, generals who had been victorious in battles would instruct a slave to follow behind as they paraded through the streets; the slave’s task was to keep repeating, for the general’s benefit, a warning against hubris: memento mori, “remember you shall die.” … The specific motivation for contempalting mortality differed from era to era, and culture to culture. In the ancient world, it had much to do with remembering to savour life as if it were a delicious meal… for later Christians it was often more a case of remembering to behave well in anticipation of the final judgement.

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But traditional rituals for reconciling life and death are still alive in the 21st century, and Burkeman sees the Mexican Day of the Dead as one of the most powerful ones. As part of his research for the book he visited the Mexican village of San Gregorio Atlapulco during the celebration of the holiday:

The Day of the Dead is not an effort to remake something horrifying as something unproblematic; it is, precisely, a rejection of such binary categories. What was happening in the cementery was memento mori at its most powerful – a ritual that neither repressed thoughts of death, nor sought, in the manner of American or British Hallowe’en, to render it saccharine and harmless. It was about letting death seep back into life.

And you can tell the Day of the Dead had a strong impact on Burkeman because his writing shines the most when he elaborates on his first-hand experience of it:

The strains of the mariachi band drifted over from the other side of the cemetery. I looked out over it, strewn with marigolds and crowded with huddled figures. Beyond its edges, no lights illuminated the blackness, but inside, the fires and the hundreds of clickering candles lent the night a kind of cosiness, despite the chill. The musicians carried on playing. Death was in the air, and all was well.

The Year of Energy

Via Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/8hfbmZ
Via Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/8hfbmZ

2014 was an intense year for me. My mother passed away in February and my wife became pregnant in May. Our baby daughter will be born a few days after the anniversary of the passing of her grandmother.

Going through the joy of the arrival of a cherished being and the pain of the departure of another are deeply transforming experiences in their own right. But I guess the transformational effect is substantially magnified when one lives them almost simultaneously.

Be it the consequence of embracing the cycle of life or not, the fact is that 2014 brought enough important and positive changes to make it a momentous year for me:

  • I became a full-time freelancer. I can now say that I live off my interpreting, translation and writing work. Wow. It is only now that I am writing this that I realize how big of an achievement this is for me, and that I have not celebrated it appropriately. I still don’t earn as much as I like, but it’s been enough to live comfortably throughout the year even after my wife stopped working to concentrate fully on having a healthy, relaxed pregnancy. That, of course, on top of all the little perks that come from working or yourself: no commuting, no boss, no dealing with the Dilbertian little problems of corporate life, and no fixed schedule.
  • I broke through the barrier of physical resistance and have finally installed the habit of regular, intense exercise in my life. As soon as I landed in Caracas to be with my mother during her last days, I felt a pressure in the back of my knee that refused to go away. When I arrived back to Buenos Aires, it had mutated to a nagging pain that my doctor diagnosed as a moderate meniscus tear. He said the cause were the pistol squats I did during my (restrospectively unwise) attempt to start a minimalist workout routine based on the rather extreme calisthenics regime of the fabulous Al Kavadlo. After three months of almost zero physical exercise and 15 kynesiology sessions, I started all over again, progressing slowly but surely, and when I felt strong enough, I spent some time researching for a calisthenics program that was challenging but not as extreme as Al’s. And that’s how I found Freeletics. I am about to finish my 15th week on the program and can fairly say the results have been nothing short of amazing: It had been years since I hadn’t felt physically so strong and energetic, all while loosing fat and gaining muscle at a fast and sustained rate.
  • I kept writing regularly. Certainly not on this blog, but mostly thanks to an enriching collaboration with my friends from Las Indias (in Spanish).
  • I started to meditate again. The habit is still not as ingrained as I would like: I want to reach the point of being able to sit every single day for a at least 10 minutes. But I’m getting there, averaging 4 times per week. In great part I owe the change to Sam Harris’s latest, awesome little book. This is perhaps the most important achievement of the year for me. I seriously doubt I would have been able to navigate the loss of my mother, the preganancy of my wife and the transition to full time freelancing without it. I can also feel its effect in my mood and in a connection to a spiritual sensitivity of sorts that I hadn’t felt since 2009. (Yes, I just used the word “spirituality” after years of struggling with it. Again, it was Harris’s little book that reconciled me with the term, as well as Alain de Botton’s “Atheism 2.0,” whose work I have been absorbing mainly through, again, my good friends from Las Indias).
  • I started reading voraciously again. My appetite for reading had waned somehow, but it came back with a vengeance a couple months ago and I think it is here to stay. It probably has to do with the energy boost provided by my renewed meditation/exercise routine and I look forward to start reviewing books in this blog every once in a while. Right now I am reading Dan Arieli’s “Predictably Irrational” and “Mindfulness in Plain English” by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. In the fiction department, I am re-reading George Orwell’s 1984, and Lexicon by Max Barry.
  • I went back to Facebook. This is of course not an achievement, but I felt like including it in this post as I was quite vehement about my reasons for leaving it. I still dislike many things about Facebook that I disliked back then and I don’t log in as often as I used to, not even close. But the fact is that Facebook is so tremendously huge that there is simply no other way to contact some people nowadays. Many of my dear old friends that are scattered around the globe have it as their main online presence, and I must admit that being able to see what they’re up to from time to time puts a big smile on my face that more than compensates the violations of privacy and annoyances that it subjects me to from time to time. And of course, there are also amazingly great people that publish most of their amazingly great content on Facebook. I remember several people warned me back then that I probably would end up going back to it for exactly these reasons, and I dismissed their warnings with a bit of an arrogant tone. If you are reading this, I apologize.

It is quite evident that if there is a common thread to all these developments I experienced during last year it can be described quite well by the term “energy.” Focusing on the management of physical and mental energy made an important difference for me during 2014, and I look forward to sharing what I learn during 2015 as I keep on working and experimenting in that direction.

Getting Things Done with Evernote, an Update

This is a long due post about my Evernote-adapted GTD system.

Since I last wrote about it, my system has actually evolved to a point where I dont think it can be called a GTD system anymore: I no longer organize my pending tasks as “next actions” to be performed in specific contexts. And my tickler file has been completely substituted by properly programeed entries in my calendar.

GTDnotebooksSo nowadays my system consists of three notebooks, named according to basic GTD terminology: Projects, Reference and Support Materials, and Someday/Maybe.

(Haven’t read the book? Trust me, it’s still one of the very few personal productivity gems out there, so go for it, and then come back so that the terminology I use here makes sense to you.)

GTD TagsI also use an analogous tag structure: three groups of tags, one corresponding to each notebook, and thus named accordingly.

The Projects notebook

Each project I’m working on gets at least one “General” note where I keep track of all the pending tasks that need to get done for the project to move forward, and not much more than that. If one of the tasks is complex enough to be treated as a sub-project, I create a separate note for it.

All the notes in this notebook are numbered according to the priority of each particular project (which mainly reflects importance, but can also take into account urgency to a certain degree). Each sub-project note inherits the number of its parent project, with an additional digit to the right, e.g., sub-projects of project 02 would be numbered 021, 022, 023, etc.

Projectsfolder

I use the “Projects” group of tags to visualize all the notes related to a single project separately:

Projecttags

If a sub-project gets complex enough that it originates its own sub-projects, then I will create a tag for it so that I can visualize that sub-project with all its sub-sub-projects separetly, and so on.

The Reference and Support Materials notebook

In this notebook I file notes to be used as reference and support for current or future projects, but also any note that I take for whatever reason, about any subject that I might be interested in.

This reflects in the tag structure associated with this notebook, which is based on a simple alphabetical order in which each project represents a subtag, e.g., I might take a note about my reflections on the beauty of flowers during spring in Buenos Aires, which doesn’t have anything to do with any project whatsoever, so it simply gets tagged with an “F”.

On the other hand, whatever notes I take related to freelance writing in general get filed under the “Freelance Writing” tag. And if I create several notes related to a particular freelance writing project, e.g., an online course on how to write killer query letters, I would create a sub-tag under Freelance Writing named “Killer Query Letter Course” so that I can eventually visualize them separately if needs be.

Referenceandsupportmaterialsnotebook

I no longer use the Reference and Support Materials notebook as my default tool to archive interesting online materials, so in any case I only save material which is clearly related to a particular project in, tagging it with the name of the project or sub-project that it relates to.

For archiving all other kinds of interesting online materials I might come accross, I use a similar structure in my Mozilla Firefox bookmarks manager:

Bookmarksmanager

The Someday/Maybe notebook

In this notebook I keep notes on stuff that I might want to do some day. I also keep a tag structure for this, albeit a much more simple one. The idea is to have a place to write down thoughts about possible projects to take on in the future, books I might want to read, movies I might want to watch, etc.

Somedaymaybenotebook

And that’s pretty much it. I guess that when it comes to personal productivity systems, the trick is to be flexible and modify it as time goes by, so that by a process of trial and error we can keep what works for us, discard the rest, and end up with a unique and highly customized tool that fits our day-to-day needs like a glove.

the great scheme of the few things that matter