The New PolyInnovation Operating System #PIOS

TL:DR | Taking a new polymathic approach to how to organize your life. Whether you are a specialist or generalist, there are a lot of things you can learn from the PIOS or PolyInnovation Operating System!

12 min read

Here is a video relation to this post, as well as the PolyCast!

Do note that the video and polycast versions are different than the blog post portion. I share different details or thoughts that I didn't think about in the blog post usually!

Constant Innovation in life takes into account: progression, tracking, disciplines, and much more. Your life can, and should, be organized like an operating system for a computer. Systematically bringing you even better results.

I'm not going to sit here and talk about second brains, or even what a Life Operating system is. In fact if you're here, then it is safe to assume you are comparing the PIOS to other quality systems out there. I.e. August Bradley's.

The PIOS is meant to change how we manage our multidisciplinary lives at every level.

This PolyInContent episode is meant to show you the holistic Notion system I created for myself, and now am releasing to the world. While the system itself is vast, there are bits that are familiar, such as the INPUT - Modular Degree framework. Not to mention my proprietary OUTPUT - PolyInContent Production Ecosystem.

My categories for life in the PIOS.

What is a Personal Knowledge System?

Just like with a second brain (coined by Tiago Forte), the ability to have a system that can take care of the more arduous things. Such as remembering, or making connections. Sure you can still do that, and I encourage you to. However once you're able to brain dump the stuff rattling about in your head, then you'll see just how much better it feels to be productive.

No more having to keep that idea on the tip of your tongue, and instead being able to put it in a database knowing you'll actually get to it.

A PKS isn't useful if you don't USE it, and that is why I created the PIOS. I felt that it was a much more USEABLE system.

Life OS

"An operating system to organize and structure your life."

While August Bradley may not be the only one who uses the term Life OS, I even do a lot, however he is the person that comes to mind first for me when I say. Besides obviously the PIOS, so even though technically he is a competitor in this space. A damn good one at that, there are distinct differences in the way we approach our life OS goal.

In fact my system is made for everyone too, but with polymathic people in mind. If you're more of a specialist, then maybe it would be good to compare both systems. His channel is phenomenal.

Second Brain

While the Life OS is a bit more holistic, then the Second Brain is used more for productivity.

Think input and output, just like the Nano layer of the PIOS, and that is what it is focused on.

The S.B. system really was made outside of Notion, and had to be adapted for the new tool.

Building a Second Brain: An Overview - Forte Labs
This is a summary of Building a Second Brain, our online course on capturing, organizing, and sharing your knowledge using digital notes.


Once called the PERSONAL PolyInnovation System, there was a disconnect I felt in the naming convention. I felt that the personal part was redundant, when in most content I refer to life os's or something similar. Poly - Innovation talking about much/many changes or innovations, and then the system need the Operating before it for a better mental picture.

An operating system for your life, and to keep track of each facet of it. Not only for specialists, but even the polymaths of the world. I've always had a hard time managing my multidisciplinary life, and this has helped me in so many ways.

Even now I have a tab open for keeping track of all content I put out, or managing the information for my PolyCast guest list. I keep track of finances, habits (as best I can), and more.

Anytime I have an idea I put it down in the system, even sometimes outside of the designated spot, and I know it will eventually get around to. Either moved to where it is supposed to be, or creating something from it.

What is PolyInnovation? Think of it has many ongoing innovations in your life. Your habits, systems, tasks, and goals; They all are there to create subtle improvements in your life. The poly part is just "many", and so you have many ongoing changes to improve your life as a whole.

Related Post:

It would be wise to dig into the pages surrounding the PIOS, and the sub-stages. I will be modifying them a LOT in the year to come too.

PolyInnovator | Personal PolyInnovation System
The PIOS, or PolyInnovation Operating System, is a multi-faceted approach to life and lifelong learning. Creating a plan on all the layers of abstraction to your life, and cultivating INPUT as well as OUTPUT.

Getting things done as a Multidisciplinarian

When you have a lot things going on, it can certainly be overwhelming at times. I know myself I get excited when there a pressure like that, but it can quickly shift to anxiety or panic even.

What we need is a way to keep track of our progress in multiple domains, while at the same time not slowing us down by adding logistics. That last bit is for my multidisciplinarians out there, but probably more so the neurodivergent portion. As you can certainly be multidisciplinary while being a neurotypical person, there does seem to be a pattern I've noticed with neurodivergents too.

Point is a system that will ACCELERATE, rather than SLOWING us down.

Managing multiple skills as Phases

The way I like to think of it is as phases, this is because interests wane and fade. Sometimes they stay with you for your entire life, and because of that huge dichotomy of how long it can last. We want a way to give a path to both angles. A phase is just a subject or interest, or endeavor, that you are focusing on currently.

It also accounts for future and past phases too!

I like to take a bit of a Pareto principle approach, where 80% of my focus is on my MAIN phase I'm currently working on or fixated on. Then the remaining 20% goes to future or past phases, or both. You can split it further to 10% each. At one point I found myself doing a 70/30 split, but this isn't the time to discuss that.

Grab a Notion doc, and list out the interests you want to pursue. Not to mention ones you have already done in the past too. Then narrow it down to your NEXT target. Not more than one at this time!

How the PIOS is Different

Where most systems take a specialist mindset approach, where the system can handle maybe 1-2 main targets. I.e. Business and personal life. The PIOS is more holistic, again I keep saying that, but that is because it is agnostic to your classifications. If you want to keep your work, home, hobbies, etc all separate; Then you can, but conversely if they intersect (like a lot of people's lives are) you can do that too.

We do our jobs to fulfill our dreams, pay our bills, enhance our success, feel like we are contributing, and more. That doesn't mean that it can't embody our Ikigai, and that we can look upon our lives with then lens.

From the yearly preview/review, to the daily tasks to focus on, and everything in between. They all synergize to what you would perceive as your day, month, year, and life.

Related Post:

The Principles of the PolyInnovation System
After going on many shows and talking about it, I wanted a way to share the distilled ideas in a quick way, and share more than is what on the page.

The Holistic System:

Scaling each part of our lives from the hourly all the way to the yearly. Who knows maybe you'll want to add a "decadely" down the line too.

Phases encompass the entirety of a focus in a time frame, usually 1-3 years perhaps, but also could be based on your decade focus as well. I.e. for the last decade I was focused on my pool job world, and now I am moving on. In that decade I had smaller phases make up that time.

While some templates at different levels are isolated, there are some cool ideas I can try in the future to link them all to a grand scale. Not to mention if you have any ideas you can experiment too!

📅Supra/Yearly - Planning and Review

It is really important to review all that you've done within the year, and keep track of your accomplishments. In this template I put the quarterly checks on this level as well. To keep track in one place, and you can link that to the Macro level if you desire.

Alternatively, you also need to plan out the next year ahead. We shouldn't be freethrowing our lives each year, and we should try to make a concrete plan.

🏛️Macro/Quarterly - Four Pillars + Ikigai Alignment

I took a dual approach here, as the Four Pillars Philosophy I created wasn't fully enough. For those who aren't aware, those pertain to the four major aspects of life: The body, mind, spirit, and emotions.

Additionally, it seemed right to incorporate the concept of Ikigai into your workspace operating system. To keep track of where you are going, and making sure it is aligned with who you are meant to be.

🚧Meso/Monthly - Goals + Projects + Phases

Another fascinating unique portion of the OS. Now while other systems will focus on tasks, or perhaps tasks and goals, all under 1-3 projects. They are limited from the get go.

Projects come and go, and they can start out of nowhere. Sure you should have some self control when it comes to starting them "willie nillie", but I literally post-poned this post because of a spontaneous new project.

They all fall under what is known as phases. Which are certain topics or endeavors, that are too grand to fall under the diminutive scale of projects or goals. Such as me wanting to be a music artist. That entails multiple goals and milestones to reach.

📇Micro/Weekly - Tracking Habits + Organizing Systems

You are nothing without your habits, but your habits are barely anything without your systems.

We do not rise to the level of our habits, but rather fall to the level of our systems.

This layer is the more data collection/analytics portion of the OS.

Nano/Daily - Input + Output Flow

Honestly this layer is far bigger than it should be, but it is the one I often spend a lot of my time in. Hence the "Daily" part of the moniker.

Not only does it entail your learning input experience with the Modular Degree, but it also keeps track of your output as well.

From the personal private bullet journals, to the vastly public content creation. Yes, I do think EVERYONE should be a content creator, at least to some degree. Even if it is just for your family, or future generations.

Pico/Hourly - Tasks + Timeblocking

While my weakest skillset out of all of the layers, and so I openly suggest you find other templates to put into this layer. I do provide some semblance of a system that you can feel free to copy (it comes with the template anyways).

Keeping track of what you do the day to day is a hard task, but it certainly makes a difference over time.

Why six sections instead of three?

The human brain likes patterns of 3, 6, or 9, and if you were to do 2 or 5 it would feel weird. Something would have felt off, and I almost did actually until I managed to find the scientific scaling system that I did.

Most of the other systems out there have three layers, such as Second Brain or GetThingsDone. An input, slow burn, and output, or input + output and archive/resources. That kind of thing.

However our lives are MORE than just input and output, there are processes that need to be taken into account. Something on the more grand scheme of things, at the scale of your life. This may be the Stoicism talking, but you don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. You want to have a record of your life somewhere, and that is the philosophy behind the yearly for example. Each layer to the system has it's own philosophy origin.

Why it matters to have a System

We live in an intricate system of events, that happen on a scale we cannot even fathom. That is life as we know it, and while it is a bit Taoist of me to say; However we can only go with the path that is set in front of us.

What we can control is how effectively we follow that path, and by having a system in hand it allows us to follow the path better.

Even if you think you don't "need" one, then you probably do more than most.

Related Post:

Setting a New System for Goals, Projects, Phases #MESO #PIOS
Incorporating phases into your life, with the idea of phases being your bigger endeavors in life. Whether they are professional or personal, finding a way to manage your projects and goals within them is the key.

How it all comes together

Finding your way through life doesn't have to be a random chance sort of thing. Having a life operating system allows you to sail through life with the steering that you decide.

Living a polymathic life is not easy, but now with a life system that can keep up with it we can push forward even stronger.

This concept is unique, and while other systems may be similar. They do not contain the indepth templates that the PIOS have.

Go ahead and try it out!

Where can you download the template?

I have it as a downloadable on my Pensight page, which links to the Notion page where you can duplicate to your workspace. Note this template assumes you know how to actually USE Notion. It isn't a super complicated tool when it comes to basic stuff, but there are a lot of cool advanced things you can do. I have taken the liberty and compiled a list of great videos I think will help someone learn Notion from the ground up!

Just to make sure I'm clear again this is all in beta, and is subject to change. Although the cool thing about Notion, is that you are able to take what I have, and then change it for the better FOR YOU. This is a private link, please don't share it unless you absolutely know that the person is into this level of life organization!

Dustin Miller - PolyInnovator - The PolyInnovation Operating System - PIOS Notion Template
Omnichannel Content Creator; Podcaster; and Fitness Coach!.
One thing to keep in mind is that the PIOS is in beta. Some of the templates WITHIN the various categories | i.e. Nano, Yearly, etc | They have not been as refined as the main system. With each new version there will be updates to the sub-templates, that I'll try to release separately so that you don't have to reduplicate the whole system.

Now why am I charging for the template? For one I think that it is well worth the investment because of the literal YEARS it took for me to funnel all of these ideas into a workable system. Not only that, but you'll get access to the newer versions too when they come out. I might even make a course dedicated purely to those who pay for it.


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