Inventory the Best Way to Declutter Your Life

10 Minute Read


Games like RPG games use inventories to add limitations to the player and force them into making meaningful decisions and prioritize what they want to carry around and keep. Sometimes you get the choice of upgrading your inventory with in game currency or experience points. I find these mechanics quite translatable into real life. As a student you mostly have low income and little experience about your desires and needs, once you level up through society and get a job you gain the ability to buy more things. So like in games you should be limited in how much you can buy and posses in relation to your wealth and experience. Creating an inventory allowed me to reflect on how much stuff I have accumulated, and with that knowledge I was able to make plans for purchases or getting rid of things. Everyone needs to decide on their own boundaries but by filling in what I have, it raised my awareness and allowed me to access myself better. Additionally I found that some things need to get renewed, so I planed in the expiration date or decided that an upgrade can be done when I have the money. As an example lets take shoes. Shoes are something that has an expiration date due to the nature of its use case. One walks in them, therefor they break over time. This decay can be somewhat estimated. From that a plan to purchase a new pair can be made. Since one knows this degradation will happen, it makes sense to add this into my budget plan. Another example is a winter jacket. Jackets have a much longer lifespan depending on their material. Some may even last a lifetime. Lets say you have a fairly expensive winter jacket that you got as a present. You know it will last another 20-30 years, but you do not actually like it that much because it does not fit your style. In your inventory you could add a condition to your jacket. For example: If you reach a new milestone in your career you buy a new jacket as a reward and sell your old one. All these things could be added in your inventory to help you plan better, allowing for higher quality choices in purchasing items. The issue I had was finding a proper application that allows me to do this. So I resorted to Excel or Google Sheets for this.  

Examples from games


In the image below you see a very clean inventory design from the game CryoFall. As you can see there is a limit to the amount of spaces in that inventory. The bottom section is commonly for items in the backpack and the spaces next to the character are reserved for items that can be put on to the character. On the left you see two X in the slots under the pants. This space will most likely be unlocked later on during the game.

Lurler. “Screen Shot of Inventory in CryoFall.” Atomic Torch Story, 24 Aug. 2016, atomictorch.com/Post/Id1157/CryoFall-DevBlog-4-Inventory.

Pathfinder: Kingmaker

In this inventory the arrow points to a weight count. If you carry too much you will become slower in the game. Additionally at the top under Shared Stash you see that the inventory can be categorized for items. 

Arthur, Ty. “How to Toggle Run/Walk in Pathfinder: Kingmaker.” Game Skinny, GameSkinny, 4 Oct. 2018, www.gameskinny.com/y4wzg/how-to-toggle-runwalk-in-pathfinder-kingmaker.

How does it benifit my everyday life

In the image below you can see a snippet of the inventory that I designed in google sheets. As you can see there is a purchase date and a date for the next purchase with a budget for the item. This gives me a quick overview of what needs to be purchased as well as indicating how much was spend on these items. All together I would spend 46 € for all products together. I also know that all these products run out about every 3 months, so therefor an estimate can be created of around 200€ a year, on these products. This can then be added to my budget plan. So basically an inventory is just a really good way to manage your belongings. If you want to minimize your stuff this is probably the best way to do it. 

How i can implement this gamification idea

Using some data management software is gonna get you pretty far. I recommend using Notion.so or Google Sheets.

Skilltree help you plan your non linear path to aquiring any skill

2 Minute Read


If you think about how an educational career is set up it actually already is a rudimentary skill tree. Lets say you want to become a doctor. In Germany you would need to accomplish primary school to continue on to middle school, this would lead to high school. Here you will ideally get the best grades possible so that you get the highest chances to getting into a medical university. In the medical university you will then need to accomplish all the steps to become a doctor. This may take another 5-7 years of passing all kinds of exams so that you can begin with your doctorate thesis which will then finally make you an official doctor. All these steps could be displayed in a skill tree like in video games. Skill trees often start from one general starting point and then keep branching off, displaying gained abilities and thereby unlocking new paths to take. Each skill acquired on the way allows you to work on more complex steps down the line. 

Examples from games

Borderlands 2
Below you can see a skill tree from the game Borderlands 2, the character has three main skill trees to follow reaching full points on one of the skills on each row unlocks the next row until you get to the last skill. Eventually if you play continue playing the game excessively long  you will be able to unlock all skills. This skill progression requires you to make choices along the way, making you chose one path over another. This is similar to choosing a specialization in an educational degree.

BEAMER3K. (2015). BL2 Gaige SkillTree. deviantart.com. Sep 16, 2015. https://www.deviantart.com/beamer3k/art/BL2-Gaige-SkillTree-560533041.

Path of Exile
The game Path of Exile has one of the most complex interwoven skill trees that exists in games. As complex as it looks, one must note that each character class starts from a different point. But comparing this to real life one could think of each character class as a personality type in real life. Each personality type has certain strengths. That doesn’t mean that anything is off limits for an extrovert for example. With some skills an introvert might have an easier time acquiring, but an extrovert can still go down that path it might just take longer and harder to reach. Either way this is just another example of a skill tree which applied to human life, is and will always be an abstraction or simplification of the complexity we all deal with in our lives. But taking that into account we could learn a lot from the simplified format of skill acquisition in games. 

Path of Exile Skilltree. photograph.

How does it benifit my everyday life

Skill trees are like a planning tool. A good skill tree will allow you to visualize what steps are necessary to get better at your desired skill and ideally you will have created a tree that allows for alternative paths leading to the same end result. (Or different specialized end results) Skill trees are basically the visualization of goal setting. 

How i can implement this gamification idea

Basically any mind map tool works for this purpose. I suggest using Miro this mind mapping app is free for up to three mind maps, its intuitive and can be linked to many other applications. 

Here is an Example of a skill tree I developed for my drivers license.


Achievements Must be Individualized

5 Minute Read


Maybe you heard the phrase before “the path is the goal” or “the prize is the process” and for the most part I agree but lets be honest, if you know there is going to be a reward your more willing to do the tasks, especially the tedious tasks. Achievements are mostly social, they are rewards that can be used to show off that you have accomplished something.
Games are full of little tricks, and teasers to keep you playing. Rewards and achievements are one of the most powerful tools at their disposal. Rewards tend to be tailored towards your intrinsic motivation and achievements towards extrinsic motivation. Achievements are also often used to signal that you have reached a milestone and rewards sometimes get sprinkled in to keep you motivated. 

Achievements represent that you have accomplished something.

Rewards are something you get additionally for accomplishing something.

Achievement Examples from games

Minecraft uses achievements to show the player that they have done something for the first time

Apex Legends
Apex allows people to display they achievements as badges on a player card, to show off to other players. 
    4000 Damage Badge (Super hard to get)
    Win Two Rounds in a Row


Reward Examples from games

World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft is famous for requiring the players to grind out days to get some equipment. Below is just one example.
What are the requirements to get the Vulpera Heritage Armor

One of the main requirements to obtain the Vulpera Heritage Armor transmog set is to raise your Vulpera race character to the maximum level. In this case, depending on when you have done it, from the Shadowlands launch event to the future it will be level 50, in contrast if you did it before the change of the leveling mechanics, it would be level 120.

Once you have obtained the maximum level of your character, a quest with the name of Heritage of the Vulpera will appear. To turn in this quest you will have to travel to the Vol’dun area. Once there, you will have to find the Vulpera Hideaway in the eastern area, in the center of the map. There, you must speak to Hagashi to receive the quest.

Find the complete article here.
“World of Warcraft – How to Get The Vulpera Heritage Armor.”
Digital Masta, 16 July 2021, digitalmasta.com/world-of-warcraft-how-to-get-the-vulpera-heritage-armor/.

How does it benifit my everyday life

Achievements are a prestige thing. Honestly I think this gamification method is really focused on showing off to the world what you have accomplished. So how could this benefit your life? Well in the case that people care about your achievements and you have proper proof that it is legit you can always use it to show that you are a capable human being. The issue with giving yourself an achievement is that it is not really validated by society. So I suggest documenting very well what you have done so that you can prove it somehow incase someone asks. 

How i can implement this gamification idea


Creating meaningful achievements for myself seems somewhat silly, but I found that if there is something I have accomplished that can be shown to other people my motivation would rise. While working on this website I a gained the skill of designing a website over WordPress, so I thought about how I could create a meaningful achievement or badge for this newly acquired skill. My conclusion was that I can now add this to my CV and additionally on to my LinkedIn Account for the world to see. 

Why Tracking is a Core Concept for Gamification


After starting by setting your goal the next most important pillar is tracking. How to gamify anything comes down to how you will be able to track your behavior and actions. This is because games always have boundaries or rules that hold  the player within a frame allowing for the measurement towards a goal or sub goal. Translating this concept into our lives sets the requirement for tracking. The tracking allows you to distinguish specific actions from the rest of your daily actions and placing them within the framework you have designed, this process is essential for gamification to take place. You will notice that when you are gamifying something in real life that there is always a form of simplification taking place. This effect is amplified by the limited options we have to track, some things are just not easily measurable like an emotional state. One reason gamification is gaining in popularity today is that smart devices are giving us more options to track our behavior and actions. For example a smart watch is allowing us to keep track of our heartrate all day, and a browser app can tell you what website you spent the most time on. Tracking your heartrate without a goal is not gamification yet. Once you put your data within the context of your goal and sub goals, you will want to add some rewards for achieving each milestone and the final goal. 

Examples from games

= Checkmate
= In chess the board is the framework that is responsible for all the tracking that takes place. Basically as a player you must keep track of all your figures on the board, as well as the opponents. With every move you will reassess the figures in relation to your end-goal of putting the king in checkmate or stopping it from going into checkmate. Some people have the ability to play chess blindfolded, they keep track of the figures on the board in their heads. 

End Goal 
= Finish the off the final boss battle, or self created goal
Even in a game like Minecraft which is extremely open about how to play it, game developers have implemented tracking to help the player understand their progression through the game. The world itself is the framework, achievements are used to show the player that they have discovered something new in the game. Additionally you can craft a map to track your position or craft signs so that you can place your own type of tracking. The UI (user interface) or HUD is another tool that the game developers use to track the players most relevant information while they play, often displaying their health, location and abilities.


How does it benifit my everyday life

Lets get into some examples by listing some different types of tracking; say your goal is to become better at drawing. The framework relates to your goal and therefor requires you to track something that is connected to your drawing. There are multiple approaches on how you can track yourself on your journey to get better at drawing. The simplest way is to note down every time you sat down to draw. This might be documented on a sheet of paper, through checks or over an app to your phone like habithub (Although habithub merely notes if you did something on that day and does not document how often). Another approach would be timing yourself which is one of my favorite methods because it requires you to pay attention to your distractions and really gives you an overview on how much you are actively working on your goal. This method is more difficult to track since you need to remember to write down these times. The 10000 hour tracking app could be a useful app for this type of tracking. There are many more ways to track your progress and essentially it depends on what you would like to accomplish. If you just want to make sure you do something every day it would be easiest to use something like habit hub, but if you are trying to finish a complex goal that has multiple little aspects that need to be accomplished, then it might be best to chunk down that goal in smaller goals and track the achievement of each individually sub-goal. What I am trying to make clear here is that tracking needs to be tailored to your goals that you are aiming to achieve. It also might not be very practical to track every detail and in most cases it is not necessary. We all know getting started is often the hardest part, therefor having a simple checklist for doing something can be motivating to at least start every day. Say you want to get more fit and stronger. You could write down all the workouts you do and the weights you use, tracking the time it took to accomplish the training, but the effort alone of writing all this down might demotivate you completely. (This is me majorly speaking out of experience btw, during this project I have been haunted by the overwhelming possibilities of gamifying my life. Taking a step back and simplifying it has been a major lesson for me. If I am not following through, its usually because I made it too hard on myself.) Back to the fitness example: A better approach would be to simply write down that you worked out that day so that you can keep an eye out for the days you missed. Seeing that you worked out 5 days in a row no matter how big the workout, can be very motivating to keep that streak going. (Small disclaimer here, you should take breaks from working out too. Muscle growth happens when you sleep.)

How i can implement this gamification idea

Tracking types I have encountered so far:

1- Checklist Tracking: if I did or did not do it today

2- Counting Tracking: how often I did something

3- Time Tracking: how long have I been doing something

4- GPS Tracking: where have I done something

5- Emotional Tracking: how did I feel doing something

6- Subgoal Tracking – achieving the different milestones towards a bigger goal (this one might involve you using different tracking for each subgoal)

In my attempts to track, I found that every goal needs a different approach and so far I have not found an applications that allows for the flexibility to track in all kinds of different ways. If you found one please let me know! Currently I am tracking in google sheets and Notion.so. These both use charts like excel and with the use of formulas I can individualize my tracking to different goals.

There are apps that do allow you to track specific things very well like any running app is great at noting your running path, as long as you have a good GPS connection. Some will even track you heart rate and oxygen levels, given you have a smart watch or other device with those sensors. Any task done on a computer tends to be easier to track than otherwise. 

Gamification Starts by Setting Goals

10 Minute Read


“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”
― Albert Einstein

Games, if obvious or not, are structured around goals. I would go so far as to say that every game has at least one goal. Game designers use these to guide the player and present an end-state, often teasing the player with a reward of some kind. This guiding effect seems to work quite well in real life as well. 

Gamification seems to always start by setting a goal. This is mostly because a goal determines the parameters by which you will measure your progression. It additionally requires you to reflect on a starting point and decide on a win-condition for the completion of that goal. In other words the goal will guide the player to think about how to complete it, as well as indicating the beginning, the end and all the steps in-between.

Examples from games

= Check Mate
= Position your figures so that they put the enemy king into check mate 
= Take out figures to help you reach check mate 
= Position your figures so that your king is safe
= Cover your figures to secure they are not taken out of the game 
= Win by driving the other players into bankruptcy 
= Buy properties
= Buy Houses and Hotels to increase the value of your properties
= Trade properties to either stop opponents from getting a complete color or complete your colors to get an advantage
= Deastroy the Nexus
= Deastroy turrets to get closer to the Inhibitors and Nexus
= Destroy Inhibitors to get stronger minion and get closer to the Nexus
= Gain gold for items
= Build your items to counter the other team and gain strength
= Kill the dragon, herold and baron to gain buffs for your team
= Kill the enemy team for gold and objective control

How does it benifit my everyday life

Psychological studies have shown how priming effects our brain impacting our decisions. Goals are psychological hack to prime yourself into achieving them more effectively. “How does goal priming work? What are some of the mechanisms by which a simple external cue, for example words or images representing a certain concept, can affect a person’s behavior without the need for conscious reflection and intention? Through their repeated pursuit, often in similar situations, goals are associated both with situational cues, and with effective means for pursuing them. As a result, a situational cue can serve as a prime to activate goal representations, which in turn can lead to goal-directed behaviours, without the need for conscious intentions or awareness. This can happen to the degree that the representation of an outcome or behavior is indeed desirable and thus associated with a reward. Additional cognitive resources are recruited to support its pursuit, for example to keep the goal active in mind until a suitable opportunity for goal pursuit arises, and to inhibit temptations that would interfere with goal pursuit. In addition, nonconscious goals are supported by seeing the world in ways that facilitate reaching them, for example by perceiving relevant external stimuli as bigger in size, allocating more attention to them, and evaluating them more positively when they serve an active goal. Thus, fundamental processes of learning and information processing are involved in facilitating the effective pursuit of those things that individuals value, without requiring conscious intentions and awareness.” (Papies, 2016) Okay that was dense, if you are interested in this topic, check out the full article here, or do your own research on “Priming” I promise you it is worth it. To make this just a bit more clear, lets take the goal of losing weight as an example. By setting this goal you are priming your mind to unconsciously raise its awareness towards anything relating to that goal. By looking at this goal repeatedly you will teach your mind to keep an eye out for things that could help you achieve this goal and additionally stop you from doing something that might jeopardies your pursuit of this goal. Gamification aims to use the goalsetting techniques found in games to improve this priming effect in our lives.

How i can implement this gamification idea

Implementation of gamification always requires testing out different methods for yourself to find the best way that suits your needs. But I am not gonna let you hanging here. There are many tools out there that can help you with goal setting and priming. The easiest and most reliable is simply a piece of paper and a pen. Write down your goal, think about the sub goals, and then put it next to your bed. Read it when you go to bed and when you wake up. If you want to take this further I suggest getting an app for habitualization. You want to remind yourself of the goal as often as possible, so that your brain understands that it is important to you. Then all you need to do is let your brain do what it does best, create connections. Go to the tools page to find inspiration and suggestions on what could help you achieve your goals.

As an example I will present some of my goals that I wish to gamify, with a small description on where I think the beginning is and what the win-condition should be, as well as how I might track the progression. In the future a visual representation of these goals in context with my progress will be found on the page “Player Profile”.

1- Live intentionally: Goal oriented behavior

  • The beginning of this goal started before writing it down and relates to my personal struggle to stay focused on big projects that require long term commitment.
  • The win-condition is that I am spending my time intentionally working on predetermined goals like building this website, learning webdesign, game-design and more. I would consider this goal achieved when most of my day is oriented around goal oriented behavior.
  • Tracking the progression here will be done by writing down goals and sub-goals, noting down when they are completed in a goal diary. (This will be offered in the tool section of the website soon)

2- Essentialize: Reduce my lifestyle to the essentials, less distractions, less choices, more clarity

  • The beginning of this goal starts by finding out what is not essential. For this purpose an inventory will be made to get an overview of what I posses.
  • The win-condition is when I have reduced my belongings to the lifestyle I wish to live, hopefully resulting in a less cluttered mind.
  • Tracking the progression will take place over an inventory (This inventory will be offered in the tool section of the website soon)

3- Master Tracker: Become a professional

  • The beginning of this goal started once this goal has been written down.
  • The win-condition is being able to track my behavior good enough to create valuable data for gamification and to create tools that other people deem useful.
  • Tracking this progress will be reflected on the different forms used to gamify. The publishing of these tools for others and getting feedback on their usability will show how professional I am at tracking.

4- Start an influences career: Podcast, YouTube, Blog, Twitch…

  • The beginning of this goal started in April 2020 when I conjured up the idea to start a website on gamification.
  • The win-condition is finishing the dailygamification.com website and gaining a substantial following on either platforms. (1000 + visitors/users)
  • Tracking this progress will be done by keeping a schedule on the publishing of content

5- Finish iArts Bachelor

  • The beginning of this goal started September 2020.
  • The win-condition is getting my bachelor in 2021.
  • Tracking this progress is being accomplished by my university.

While writing this I noticed that most of my goals are tied to values I hold and therefor are fairly open ended. Never the less, writing my goals down and thinking about the end result inspired thoughts on sub-goals that could be relevant. Honestly there is also something daunting about writing down goals, especially when they are big and with a lot of unknown components. Writing down my goals left me mixed with excitement and fear of failure. Keeping your goals to yourself is probably advisable, unless you are asking someone to keep you accountable. Here is a quick article on psychological tricks to reach your goals. (5 minute read)


FOOD FOR THOUGHT: I would argue that outside of games humans depend on goals for progressing through life. We set unintentional goals all the time without thinking about it. For example picking up the clothing from the bedroom is a goal that might pop into your mind right before you clean your room. Its hard to imagine doing anything without first deciding to do it. This may be a little philosophical, but goal setting seems to be part of the human condition. As a being that is stuck in the dimensions of space and time, we are organisms that have been born in a moment and time, never to return to that exact constellation again. We live in an ever progressing environment that is like an existential one way street and our brains must have evolved mechanisms that keep us going, ideally in a positive direction. That is why I think goals are so beneficial to motivation and our mental health.

Papies, E. K. (2016, April 20). Goal priming as a situated intervention tool. Retrieved March 30, 2021, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352250X1630032

Wu, J. (2020, January 14). 4 psychological tricks to reach your goals. Retrieved March 30, 2021, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-savvy-psychologist/202001/4-psychological-tricks-reach-your-goals