PKM in the Wild Newsletter #1

Hi all,

Thanks so much for signing up to my newsletter, I really hope it’s worthy of a place in your inboxes!

Content Roundup

I’ve got no content to roundup from the last newsletter, as this is the first! So perhaps some thoughts on things I’ve already published.

  1. It’s not just about productivity

    Now I’m doing PKM Beth full time, I have realised that nothing I was previously doing was about productivity. I didn’t need to think about how to be a good content creator or businesswoman until this month, and nothing I was doing with my PKM system had anything to do with being good or productive in my previous job either. It was my escape from it.

    Now I don’t feel the need to escape the PKM Beth life, I love it. But regardless, I thought my existing systems managed everything: life, home, knowledge and business. But that’s not true. So that’s been a learning curve, but a fun one. It’s showed me that I truly have a PKM hobby, and that is different to productivity, and I actually like that distinction.

  2. The Hookmark Realisation

    I have said multiple times that apps need to meet your needs. That’s true. But what if you don’t know what your needs are? What if an app shows you needs you didn’t know you had?

    2 months ago if you had asked me if I could live without Hookmark, I’d have said “I’d prefer not to, but yes”. Today? Absolutely not. It met needs I didn’t know I had, because I didn’t have the words to explain what I needed. The Hookmark docs inspired me, my hours of testing showed me, and now I’ve tried to articulate what needs it could meet for others.

PKM Content I’ve enjoyed

Do open this tweet, the important bit is hidden!

This touches on how PKM, and especially Zettlekasten, is not all about new output. Finding the puzzle pieces and then doing a puzzle can be seen as distinct processes. I don’t think they necessarily need to go together and seeing big creators talk about this makes me more confident in this stance that I’ve had for years, as the productive-output led mindset has always been so alien to me.

I just want to have fun and develop ideas just as far as I want to, when I want to, rather than ticking off each status marker like a task. Some notes stay fleeting, some are permanent, some are ever evolving. I have a collage of thoughts, all at various levels of development, but that fits my real life more than a strict zettlekasten system does.

A PKM in the Wild example: How I manage fiction reading

I’m online all the time, so I wanted to do something offline, so I went back to reading. Naturally, I felt I needed a Notion dashboard for that so I bought a reading tracker from Etsy to save some time, then integrated it with BethOS to make it mine.

I track genre and page count primarily so I read a range of work (in theory, in practice right now I just want historical fiction thank you!), and I have lots of gallery views which are essentially bookshelves that are far easier to reorganise than my physical ones…

Then when I finish a book, I have an automation that adds it to my stats page. If I want to take notes though, I of course go to Capacities via Hookmark. I “Hook to New Capacities” and write notes there.

Using Capacities for knowledge and Notion for visual management of my reading (which is tied in with the rest of BethOS) feels like the best of both worlds. I now love being unplugged, love the stories I’m reading and I love updating Notion and Capacities after. The whole process is fun, and my screen time is down, so it’s a win-win!

Here’s an example of notes taken after reading in Capacities

A problem I’m facing

I use Day One to journal and Capacities for permanent notes, but this time last year both notes and my journal were in Logseq. I love looking back and seeing my thoughts interspersed with what I was researching/writing/thinking about from a PKM point of view, because of course as a PKM nerd, seeing what I’m obsessing over day to day is an important layer to my journal (I’m quite obsessed with journal layers, got some fun content planned about that)

However, Day One offers a better journalling experience overall than the Logseq daily note, and Capacities offers a far better note-taking approach for me compared to Logseq. But I can’t connect Capacities’ daily note to Day one, and me missing Logseq for this reason suggests to me this would be a worthwhile quest if it’s ever possible.

That’s everything for this newsletter. This should probably be a lot shorter but I’ve really enjoyed writing this!

Would love to know what PKM things have piqued your interest recently? It can be absolutely anything!

Thanks for the early support for my newsletter. Means the world 🙂 See you in two weeks!

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