Funnels are the core system that enable me to go about my life in great detail. Fundamentally, they takes a wide and mixed stream of inputs and directs them into a container. Retrieving this information from containers ultimately enables you to take more directed and informed actions in your day-to-day life.
How I use funnels
I have funnels for where my money goes, for where information in my life is stored, and funnels for ideas, even. All of these work to capture information from the outside world, and direct it into a container which works to fulfill a goal that I have.
This is a diagram of my funnels for information. They make sure that all of the information that I need to keep track of enters a trackable, searchable collection and doesn’t end up being either forgotten or lost.
This diagram also massively simplifies my search for productivity apps and internet tools, as I can directly see which of my core needs remain unaddressed.
There are many more types of information-based inputs that I don’t have listed here, but these are the few that drive the most results in my life.
You have funnels, so what?
The information that I direct into containers through funnels are useless unless they are directed into a task, outcome or reminder. I don’t have a strategy explicitly outlined for when I take action on the information that I’ve streamlined, but I am always glad to have the system in place when I need to call upon some information.
Multipurpose funnels can be great ways to consolidate inputs (apps like Notion, Coda, Obsidian) but in my experience they have diluted each collection of ideas with irrelevant information that destabilizes the system.
For the reader
If you feel like you are suffering from information overload in your own life, take inventory of where the majority of information is coming from.
After you’ve identified those sources, create detailed plans for how you find the ideas, direct them into a reliable system, and recover them to inform your actions.
I strongly encourage having multiple apps for vastly different kinds of information (separate work from school from home, and handwritten from audio from typed).
This might not reduce the amount of information or the overwhelm you feel, but clearly shows what the source of the overload is and the system that is not effectively addressing it.