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Interesting PKM content I found & thoughts on getting started

bit of a rambley one..

This past weekend, I decided to scroll through all the bookmarks I saved from 2021-2023. I opened anything that interested me and came across some gems.

I have collected the best bits below, and added some comments about why they were helpful to me. I hope you go on some inspiring rabbit holes from here, so that these pieces of content can help you too!

By the way, part one of inspirational content is here:

Working out that I hate folders…

I think this tweet explains why of all apps I’ve tested, Capacities and Logseq were the ones that worked long term. There is not a folder in sight in either app! I found this a much more intuitive way of working and now I really cannot imagine doing anything else. I remember this graphic making me feel better about how I’ve never got on with folders. Maybe it’ll help you too 🙂 

Why I take notes

I struggle to explain why I do what I do. Really, it just makes sense to me to do things digitally in as connected a way as I can.

Once I started writing things down and engaging with what I was interested in, the more I wanted to learn, the more I wanted to write things down and the more interested in the world I became. I stopped asking questions about it really and just followed my curiosity. Now it’s my life practice.

But, I think it’s still a good exercise to think about the why. I really enjoyed Kara’s article here. It covers everything in a beautifully clear way (I don’t want to post spoilers, go read it!)

Notion Fun & Organisation

Whilst I don’t really use Notion anymore, the version of my Notion set up that worked exquisitely well was with my database of databases, which I must assume was inspired by this tweet!

I also used formulas a lot, and this one by Jill was possibly the flavour of formula I used the most!

Finding Workflows and Thought-out systems

I find graphs and workflows so so interesting because I’ve never managed to complete one myself. I’m pretty happy with my practices except for task and project management. It feels non-existent. I get things done because it’s not like I sit doing nothing all day, but I do not feel in control or empowered and I want to change that.

In light of this, I really enjoyed resurfacing these bookmarks:

Looking through other people’s beautifully created diagrams is a good way to…

  1. get inspiration

  2. have some guided reflection of your practices.

So, I’ll be going through each of these bookmarks in depth, learning from others about how they do things, and seeing what inspiration I can take for my own practices.

Some Reflections on all this

I noticed that the amount of PKM related things I was saving dropped off massively after I started using Capacities. One reason is because I found my home in Capacities, and Capacities is the sort of app where I don’t really think about organisation (I’m currently drafting a post about how I think object based note-taking x networked note-taking is possibly the key to this). I can just get on with my learning in my happy environment.

Now, am I, a Capacities employee, trying to tell you that all your problems will be solved with Capacities? No. Am I saying that now I’ve found my app that I can never be inspired by others again? Absolutely not.

The point is I found the solution to most of my digital problems, but it took time. It took hundreds of bookmarks and hours spent thinking about systems and, honestly, thinking about myself. Reviewing these bookmarks is literally reviewing the journey I’ve been on.

So my advice for getting started on your journey?

  1. follow anyone whose opinions you like

  2. bookmark anything you find interesting (knowing a resonance filter can help you find the gems)

  3. have an attitude of experimentation with your systems/apps

  4. write down your experiments and what you learn about yourself. I promise it’ll help you figure things out

  5. and make sure you’re testing an app with easy exports (or don’t put so much in there that exporting become impossible)

Now when I make these sorts of statements, I always expect a response showing me the bell curve meme. Just use apple notes!

No, engage on the journey to find what works for you.

If that journey starts and ends with apple notes, great, you’ve found what works. But if you’re at the peak of the curve whilst you’re trying to work things out, it’s also ok. It’s probably temporary but you’ll learn things from it. Starting simple remains good advice, but if that isn’t working for you, I give you permission to play, to experiment and to go on your own journeys.

I wish I’d seen a tweet along these lines when I believed everything must live in one place. After all, what we’re looking for is no small task. It’s digital life management, PKM, journalling, planning, thinking, doing, being. It’s a lot. It’s ok if it takes some time to find a good set up for you right now.

I wish to emphasise this last point: our systems are a work in progress because they’re extensions of us, and we are works in progress too. Our systems change because we change, and apps change. It’s inevitable.

But consuming content can be really helpful to help you work out these changes. I still bookmark loads of things, because I’m always learning and evolving, as are my systems. So I look forward to bringing you part 3 of inspirational PKM content in a few months 🙂 

What content has helped you recently? I’d love to know!

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