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Design the Life You Love: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Meaningful Future

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  351 ratings  ·  46 reviews
A joyful, inspirational guide to building the life you've always dreamed of, using the principles and creative process of an award-winning product designer.

Life, just like a design problem, is full of constraints-time, money, age, location, and circumstances. You can’t have everything, so you have to be creative to make what you want and what you need co-exist. Design the
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Ten Speed Press
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3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  351 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Stephanie (Reading is Better With Cupcakes)
I have to admit, when I first got this book I was a little disappointed. For whatever reason I thought it was going to be different than what it actually is. I thought that it would be a bit more on the artsy/craftsy side of things to help me figure out how to build a meaningful future. And while it is this to a certain extent, I had wanted it to be more so.

However, once I got to looking at it closer, I do really like the concept of the book. The purpose of Design the Life You Love is to help yo
Vicky Griffith
This is a good little book for a thought exercise or two about your life. Not enough substance to be a life-changer though.
Ibrahim Niftiyev
According to the Goodreads reviews, people had huge expectations from this book. I didn't. Some parts are very interesting and engaging, some are not. Having dot points about the design of life is a nice technique but graphic designer and her philosophical approaches to the world is a bit unsalty. Of course, there are no any innovations about self-help or personal development context. Nevertheless, if you are on the eve of changes, the book can be useful. Various interesting exercises can be fou ...more
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a deep love for “fill in” books. You know—the kind where you fill out lists, or answer questions about yourself, or answer writing prompts? Those kind. Like the geek I am, it feels like homework…and I dig it.

So, when I saw this as an option on Blogging for Books, I was like, hell yeah. A fill in book. And not just any fill in book—a fill in book about my second favorite topic—goals and self improvement.

I had a few qualms when I initially flipped through th
Jan 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
As a designer, it discouraged me. Of course I'm more of a promotional (aspiring book cover) designer, so totally different thing.

It's a great way to look at life in a different or new life; but at the end most everything it's telling you isn't very new. This is not the self-help that will change your life.
Or at least it didn't change mine.

I will say that's because I don't think this book was meant for someone at my point in life. I do hope that one day it might help change my life if I need it.
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
A lovely technique for the more visual, artistic, or creative among us. Kind of trendy with the cooking "deconstruct-reconstruct" theme and spoke mapping.
Apr 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Quick, light. Some good exercises...
Resch Reads
Nov 13, 2015 rated it liked it
*3.5 Stars*

*Book Received in Exchange for Honest Opinion/Review*

I internally squealed...okay, and maybe a bit out-loud when this arrived in the mail and I was awarded a coveted spot on this blog tour. What a lot of you don't know is I am obsessed with planning and organizing, to the point where I will shamelessly admit my closet is color coated and sorted by sleeve length. I just love organizing and this workbook provided me with a way to re-think how I feel about things in my life. It was reall
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A self-help book disguised as a design book. Not really a life changing one. I had bigger expectations.
I finished reading it - but now I have to DO it.
I think Goodread’s description for the 2 star rating puts it best, “it was ok”.

Doesn’t contain much in the way of concrete, actionationable advice or steps. Does contain a bunch of soft exercises for thinking about your future in different ways.

If you’re a person who needs to know why you’re doing each exercise, and whether it’s leading to something, probably stay away from this book as it’s just going to frustrate you. There are a lot of exercises like, “Create a vision map of the Life You Love
May 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting exercises, if not particularly original. Essentially, this is a book about developing a personal vision and planning how to make it happen. If you like thinking about your life and planning how to make it better, you will probably enjoy this book. That said, if you are the type of person who likes planning and self-improvement, most of the exercises the author suggests are things you can probably come up with by yourself or on the Internet somewhere. I enjoyed it, but not all of the ...more
Adrian Burlacu
I liked the book. It gives plenty of tips on how to use your strengths for your own benefit, how to determine what are the most important things in your life, which aspects of your life you should focus on and how to find out what you value most.

I didn't find the book mindblowing, though. And I would have preferred the book to have some success stories: for example, how did a painter manage to use the pieces of advice in this book and realized he needs to paint horses or something which he truly
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great workbook and exercises

This is definitely more of a workbook than a reading book, if that makes sense. Pick it up ready to think about your life. Some of the exercises I found more effective than others but they all helped bring a little perspective until by the end, almost like magic, I had a new understanding of what was important to me in life. Simple and fun too, only took an hour or two to do it all, though I recommend spacing things out over a few days so you have time to think deeply
Nov 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun book to look at. There is not much to "read". It's actually a little too simple to be a book about "designing your life".

The author unfortunately boasts about her accomplishments and how she used the principles (not really principles either, rather ideas) she presents in the book to design her life.

I agree with one of the other reviewers that this is geared more towards high school kids or early college students as a introduction to pondering about your goals in life. It's definit
Jefferey Spivey
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a workbook, so you'll only get out what you put in. That being said, I think this is a helpful and creative way to explore your life, whether you think you have it all together or you're at rock bottom. It's a way to think critically about the state of your life without all the seriousness. I tend to naturally think about my life in lists, so I didn't have a lot of A-HA moments here, but overall, I found it very motivating and thought-provoking. I'm sure I'll revisit this book quite a bi ...more
Carmen Sisson
May 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you enjoy making mind maps or sketches when planning or problem-solving, you may like this.

But as a writer in the midst of a mid-life crisis, I found absolutely nothing of value in this book. I wanted information. Strategies. Thought-provoking questions. I am a chronic highlighter, and I did not highlight a single sentence in this.

It's especially worthless as an ebook, because it's mostly blank pages for you to draw upon and childlike drawings from her own journal and those of people in her w
Anna Romero
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Designed a life I love

When I bought this book, I thought to myself, ya okay, I'll give it a go. As I began to work through it, I began to realize that i was seeing my life from a positive place. Ayse Birsel's book challenges you, but you do things at your own pace. Whoa and behold!! The paradigms of your thinking begin to shift and change in a good way. This is a book that i will be able to use again and again!
Nick Woodall
I love this type of book, and I loved this book! Very well laid out, and it takes you through her process methodically and with flair. Lots of room for writing, drawing, and organizing your thoughts. I would take this book on a self-retreat and spend 3 days just absorbing it's contents, and doing the exercises in it. You will return, refreshed, organized, and ready for your newly planned life!
المهند السبيعي
Very simple... I enjoy reading it (reading experience) it is a good book to start with if you never thinked in redesigning your life... But you consider yourself as a master in life designing you will not like it.
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a treasure. I enjoyed the combination of sketching and writing. I especially loved the author's encouragement to be playful. This little journey of a book was an enjoyable and worthwhile process.
Degan Walters
I like the exercises and the concept of designing your life but there are too many pages that set up the exercises and waaaaayyy too many pages talking about the author and her projects. I ended up ripping out more than half the book.
Jun 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
Just another happy happy joy joy book

A nice look at how a designer operates. Unfortunately, if you don't already know what steps to take to better or change your life this book won't help--except to suggest you find our hire a mentor.
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I got stuck on step 1, and then the idea of the rest of the book exhausted me. A lot of blank space and filler here -- "Let's start!" doesn't show up until page 55.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book is helpful in starting brainstorming about what elements are present in your life. It is profoundly unhelpful in much else, including goal setting, figuring out what it takes to get from where you are to where you want to be, and most other concrete steps or thinking experiments. I'm disappointed and don't recommend this for anything other than brainstorming.
I enjoy planning and organizing, so the idea of this book appealed to me. Once I began reading it, I enjoyed the way it was presented. The process that the book will take you through is explained up front, and plenty of examples are given for each step along the way. Since the author is a designer, the approach she uses draws heavily on that background with lots of visual organizers like idea maps, graphs, and diagrams. There are also times when lists, charts, and poems are used to gather your t ...more
Kathy Moya
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A fun book to read and work with when thinking about your life goals.
Susan Barton
We all want certain things out of life. Most of us know what we want and need to be happy, but often those things can be difficult to attain. Assessing what we already have or need is the first step. "Design the Life You Love" promises to help us with this process. In fact, the synopsis claims that it “uses a simple but proven creative thinking and design process to give ordinary people new tools to think about life differently…”

I looked through the book from cover to cover and did not see anyt
Kristina Aziz
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the feel of this journal. The cover is sturdy and smooth to touch, plus the elastic bookmark is built into the back cover so it's easier to find your place than a ribbon is.

I also love how the author includes warm ups and examples of the activities, and takes time to explain how you can apply designing strategies to a life plan. On several activities where you write things down there are two templates so you can choose to revisit the activity later and redo it, or if you make a mistake or
Reading and Living
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Design the Life You Love is amazing and I was so happy to get a copy for review. It’s what you would expect from a self growth self help journal. I find it refreshing, after you get past the whole amazing cover you open the book and everything is wonderful.

The chapters are clear and concise, starting you out slow with doodles, diagrams, and her concept of the book. Theres a warm up, deconstruction, point of view, reconstruction, expression, living the life, and the end is only the beginning.

If y
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“This project is very close to my heart, a carte blanche to do what I want, with little compromise. Design can also be fun, personal, and very close to your heart. Your life is your design. Make it resemble you, reflect you, and be close to your heart.” 0 likes
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