LifeOS: My personal management system

After entering the era of artificial intelligence, how to effectively manage personal knowledge, improve work efficiency, think innovatively, and enhance the quality of life has become a challenge for each of us. Therefore, in March of this year, I proposed the concept of LifeOS, which is a complete theory and practical method for personal knowledge management. In May, based on LifeOS 1.0, I proposed the methodology CETDE for building a personal knowledge management workflow.

By understanding and applying LifeOS and CETDE, we can help build a comprehensive personal knowledge management system and achieve comprehensive and effective self-management.

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What is LifeOS?

LifeOS is a comprehensive theory and practical method for personal knowledge management. It is a vivid practice of applying the concept of Zen life proposed by Master Jinghui to personal knowledge management. Its goal is to enable individuals to efficiently collect, organize, apply, and innovate various knowledge in the era of artificial intelligence, so as to achieve the state of "Zen" and enjoy its benefits. Its core idea is to manage our knowledge, life, and work in a systematic way to achieve maximum efficiency and innovation, and to keep our mind and body at a healthy level.

LifeOS 2.0

Compared with version 1.0, version 2.0 of LifeOS removes the second brain from the auxiliary system and places it between the output system and the life system, making it a completely independent subsystem. At this point, LifeOS 2.0 consists of five main subsystems and covers twenty-two sections. These subsystems and sections together form a panoramic view of personal knowledge management, learning, life, and work. Through systematic methods, it helps us better manage and utilize our knowledge and abilities to achieve higher quality of life and work efficiency.

The five subsystems and twenty-two sections of LifeOS 2.0 are as follows:

  1. Input System: Focuses on effectively acquiring and processing new information, knowledge, and perspectives.

    • Spark of Inspiration: Collects new knowledge and innovative ideas.
    • Information: Processes and analyzes new information.
    • Nutrition: Focuses on healthy lifestyle, diet, and mental nourishment.
  2. Second Brain: Serves as a knowledge repository and thinking center.

    • Spark of Creativity: Organizes and summarizes ideas.
    • Learning Management: Organizes and plans learning resources.
    • Document Management: Stores and retrieves document materials.
    • Content Management: Manages various types of content, such as blogs, videos, etc.
    • Database Management: Maintains personal databases.
    • Health Management: Focuses on physical and mental health and related information.
  3. Life System: Centrally manages various aspects of personal life.

    • Thoughts: Focuses on personal thinking and viewpoints.
    • Behavior: Plans and tracks daily behavioral habits.
    • Vision: Sets personal visions and long-term plans.
    • Goals: Sets and tracks personal goals.
    • Emotions: Focuses on emotional management and mental health.
    • Health: Focuses on physical and mental health through exercise, meditation, etc.
    • Environment: Focuses on living environment and atmosphere.
  4. Auxiliary System: Provides tools and strategies to optimize knowledge management, improve work efficiency, and expand interpersonal networks.

    • Review: Regularly reviews and summarizes knowledge, skills, etc.
    • Social Network: Establishes and maintains interpersonal networks.
    • Project: Deals with matters directly related to personal economic benefits.
  5. Output System: Focuses on the results, fulfillment, and income of work and learning.

    • Outputs: Measures personal learning and work achievements.
    • Fulfillment: Focuses on personal sense of achievement and fulfillment.
    • Incomes: Focuses on personal income and financial status.

What is CETDE?

CETDE provides us with a clear framework for dealing with the large amount of information we encounter in our daily lives, transforming this information into practical knowledge and applying it to our lives and work. If LifeOS leans more towards a worldview, then CETDE focuses more on methodology.

This framework is based on the DIKW pyramid and is based on CODE and ECTCS. CETDE represents Capture, Encode, Transfer, Distill, and Express, which is a continuous process from receiving information to generating knowledge output.

  • Capture: The goal of this stage is to capture data from our perception system (visual, auditory, taste, smell, touch, consciousness, etc.). This data can come from anywhere, whether it's from the internet or our surroundings.

  • Encode: The encoding stage is our perception stage of information and knowledge. In this stage, we rely on our knowledge and experience to transform captured data into useful information.

  • Transfer: Transfer is a process from perception to cognition. In this stage, we integrate, distribute, and arrange multiple pieces of information to form cognition and memory.

  • Distill: In the distillation stage, we deeply analyze and understand the information to make it our knowledge. This is a process of deep thinking that allows us to establish our own understanding and insights.

  • Express: Finally, we need to transform this knowledge into valuable outputs. This could be an article, a product design, a decision, or any form of innovation.

Application of Zen Life Philosophy

The Zen life philosophy of "enlightening life, dedicating life" provides a powerful philosophical and practical framework for integrating, applying, and innovating personal knowledge management processes from the perspective of LifeOS. It guides us on how to better understand, accept, and innovate our knowledge and experience.

In the various subsystems of LifeOS, we can see the vivid practice of the Zen life philosophy:

  1. Input System: When acquiring new knowledge and perspectives, the Zen life philosophy reminds us to not only focus on the accumulation of material knowledge but also on the improvement of spiritual and moral cultivation.

  2. Second Brain: When organizing, storing, and retrieving knowledge, the Zen life philosophy can gradually guide us to transform our knowledge repository from a state of confusion to enlightenment, from contamination to purification.

  3. Life System: When managing our daily lives, the Zen life philosophy reminds us to prioritize the correct cultivation of life and gradually transform ordinary life into the life of a sage.

  4. Auxiliary System: The Zen life philosophy helps us better utilize tools such as review, social networks, and project management to improve our knowledge management capabilities, enhance work efficiency, and expand interpersonal relationships.

  5. Output System: When evaluating our work and learning achievements, the Zen life philosophy requires us to not only focus on material output but also on our spiritual and moral growth.

Using CETDE in LifeOS

CETDE, as a personal knowledge management workflow model, can be directly used in LifeOS to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of personal knowledge management. For example:

  1. Capture: In the input system of LifeOS, we can apply Capture to sections such as Spark of Inspiration, Information, and Nutrition. We can record new knowledge, ideas, and information that we perceive in a timely manner.

  2. Encode: Encoding mainly occurs in the second brain subsystem of LifeOS. For example, in the Learning Management section, we can encode new learning materials into knowledge-based content that is easier for us to accept. In the Database Management section, we can encode the acquired information into a useful database.

  3. Transfer: Transfer plays a role in the life system and auxiliary system of LifeOS. These systems allow us to transform knowledge into actions or applications in daily life. For example, by setting goals and plans, we can transform knowledge into practical action steps.

  4. Distill: In LifeOS, distillation mainly occurs when reflecting on and summarizing our experiences. In sections such as Review and Project, we can reflect on our learning and actions, distill our experiences and lessons.

  5. Express: Output is the ultimate goal of LifeOS. In the output system, we can transform our knowledge into valuable outputs, such as creating new products or services, writing our thoughts and insights, or achieving self-realization and financial freedom through fulfillment and income.

The application of the CETDE model in LifeOS is very extensive, and we can flexibly apply it according to our needs.


The above is a brief introduction to LifeOS and CETDE. LifeOS 2.0 is a panoramic view of personal knowledge management, learning, life, and work, consisting of five main subsystems and twenty-two sections. CETDE is a personal knowledge management workflow model, including Capture, Encode, Transfer, Distill, and Express. Both are based on the Zen life philosophy, which provides a philosophical and practical framework for integrating, applying, and innovating the entire process of personal knowledge management.

If you want to learn more about LifeOS and CETDE, as well as how I apply LifeOS and CETDE, please subscribe to my paid column "Yi Wei Ke Hang" on Xiaobot.

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