PKM in the Wild Newsletter #8

Happy Monday all!

In Today's Edition...

Content Roundup

I’ve had a quiet two weeks after not feeling very well. Plus I feel it’s been a faster two weeks than normal.. but anyway…

My PKM project for 2024- 12 Centuries in 12 Months - I’m having the most fun I’ve had with notes in years thanks to Stian’s project

Why Consuming Content Can Be Valuable- I still think of content I consumed years ago to help me with projects now, and I explored some of those things in this post.

Page layouts in Capacities- an underrated feature - these are newly free to all Capacities users and I think they’re fabulous (own opinion, decided long before I started working for them). I showed some of the ways I use page layouts in this post.

My attempts to film a day in the life of my digital systems have failed so far, but I’m still working on it! :)

Content I’ve enjoyed

This is the exact sort of content I wanted to see years ago when I started, and it’s an example of how everyone is doing PKM without even realising it (and by extension why we really need a better term than “PKM”).

I’ve always been fascinated with how a family unit can manage all the complexities of life, pets, cars, mortgages and all sorts. I’ve spent many an hour obsessing over family command centres on Pinterest for this reason. I will always be looking out for content on how PKM people manage their lives and families, and David’s insight into Standard Notes (which I’d never heard of) was fascinating. I will be checking that out very soon!

Kind of similarly, this tweet caught my attention. This is more about the maintenance side of being a homeowner, but I’m of course coming at it from an “information to manage” side. Fascinating…

Notion Calendar launched since the last newsletter too, I’m not too fussed about it and probably won’t use it, but in the flurry of Notion Calendar tweets, Amie got some attention.

I’ve tried and passed on it before, until I saw this tweet about the iOS app integrations.

I spent most of Sunday trying to turn Amie into a calendar extension of my very extra journalling practices in Day One and it’s been so fun! It’s all done automatically with integrations 🤩. How am I spending my days? Just look in the calendar… 😮

V1 below..

Sleep, workouts and Spotify are Amie integrations

and I’ve added timestamps for bookmarks I collect and content I post.

PKM Puzzle

Do I even need to highlight course books?

As part of the 12 centuries in 12 months project, I’ve been reading a lot. My focus so far has been on course books from Wondrium, which are amazing and chronically underrated.

I save them to Reader as pdfs, then highlight them. I should be importing them into Notion from where I’d summarise them in Capacities. But I think I’ve found something interesting…

Typically I read things I already have contextual knowledge of. So when the highlights are imported into Notion, even if it’s not a full quote, I can work it out and make my permanent notes from there. But I cannot do this with anything in the 9th century, which is January’s focus for this PKM project. I’m starting from nothing.

Instead, I’ve been highlighting the book anyway, but ignoring the middle man (Notion) and summarising in Capacities from the now highlighted course book in Reader. This made me question why I even bother highlighting- should I just read and take notes from the book like a lot of people do? Do I even need the Reader → Notion integration?

After some consideration, my thoughts are this:

  1. Keep highlighting- It’s providing a focus when reading and summarising information from this brand new context, so it is helping me. It’s not doing any harm, this is note-taking, not life or death!

  2. No need to stop the integration, just archive the course books Notion when done. The Integration serves more than just the course books, and it’s still useful for those other things where I do follow the workflow of summarising from highlights.

So basically I’m just carrying on taking notes in whatever way feels natural for the context I’m in.

The best way to develop your workflows is just to get working. I spent most of my free time towards the end of 2021 watching videos on how to take notes as if there is a secret note-taking curriculum and watching enough content would show me the way. There is no singular way. There are tips and tricks and cool ways of thinking that I wouldn’t organically think of for sure, but I don’t believe there is a right and wrong in such a binary sense here.

Workflows are best practices, they don’t need to be perfect, and this was a good reminder of that for me.

Real life PKM

#systemthoughts. This little hashtag helps me a lot in Capacities.

From New York, Edward Rutherford

Sometimes when taking notes, I come across a gap in my workflows or understanding of how to take notes that makes me ponder something.

These realisations almost always come to me mid-working, and I wanted a way to capture these so the pressing thought is out of my head, but so I could keep working too in case that inspired any developments in thinking. It’s almost like I don’t want to disturb the thought from its context.

My very simple resolution is to just write down whatever I’ve realised in a new block, tag it with #systemthoughts and carry on with what I’m doing. Once that inspirational thread runs out, then I’ll review the thought and develop it a bit, or I’ll think “this is too big for my brain right now, I’ll come back later”. If I click on the tag, I can see all my thoughts and I can dive back in whenever I want.

I find this really valuable, probably because I like developing systems as much as I do making notes. But it’s fun to have all these thoughts collected and to see what I’ve put into place as a result of them.

This is my current pressing thought….

Bonus: Two things I’ve realised this week

  1. My note-taking goal is not to remember what I take notes on. I’m not taking notes to become an all-knowing creature, my notes should be all knowing? I take notes because I like the learning process and finding connections. Finding connections helps me remember things sure. But it’s not everything, and I feel that putting pressure on myself to remember things is not necessary.

  2. I definitely work better with object/based notes, not outliners. Being able to search every single block and reference it elsewhere is simply not a function I need. It became very overwhelming in Logseq. In Capacities, I can still reference specific blocks but I need to navigate to the host object first, and that works really nicely for me.

That’s it from me, see you in February 😄 

Join the conversation

or to participate.