PKM in the Wild Newsletter #5

Figuring things out...

Good afternoon from England!

I have the usual sections today but also a survey if you have a few more minutes to spare. It will allow me to plan my 2024 content and to potentially offer an exciting exclusive tier to my work :)

Content Roundup

I finally posted a Youtube Video! I did a Notion homepage tour. Not to be dramatic, but I believe this homepage has helped change my life, so I was super excited to share why that is, so others might be able to do the same.

I wrote it up too (Medium, free version (on my new website!)).

Capacities content was actually the most requested via the poll in the last newsletter, but there is some super exciting new content coming soon (across a few different channels👀) and it makes more sense for those to go out before my Capacities ideas. I will be sure to link to them when they’re out.

I also wrote about journalling about eras (free version here), which is my current PKM obsession. I’m really proud of this one. Essentially I think journalling only about the day to day is a bit short-sighted; we need a way to talk about life eras which are indeed the context for the every day.

Thinking about this and realising how it’s changing my entire world view has got me like this even mid-sentence.

It’s so fun and I’m only just at the beginning of articulating this. Writing is the best way to figure things out, whether you’re doing it for yourself in a journal or to an audience online.

Inspirational Content

Loved this post from Mike.

I way prefer looking at the structured list which is interesting given I left the outliner life for a reason. I prefer how block-based editors let you use the whole page if you want to (see Notion screenshot above) but I find things easier to read when split into multiple lines. Mike’s combined the two!

In our PKM practices we should be leaning heavy on the ‘P’ part and making information look how it works for us, so I’m grateful for this new suggestion. Super easy to put into practice but definitely not something I’d have thought of myself.

I also really liked this tweet.

I consciously separate states of mind across apps throughout my system to a) get the best out of lots of tools and b) reduce distractions and lack of focus. I never consciously connected the browser vs desktop app experience to this, but this makes a lot of sense.

I love learning about myself and my brain by reading other people’s content.

Real life Example & PKM puzzle

Let’s combine two sections today and show you some ways I work out the PKM puzzles I discuss.

There are three ways:

  1. Paper

  2. iPad (hand-drawn infinite canvas on Concepts)

  3. Obsidian Canvas (free, text, can move things around easily)

All of these are used for their mindmap-esque solutions. When I’m figuring things out, I need mess, I need space and I need to be able to link things together. I cannot type out my thinking.

So there’s a few ways I do this depending on mood and how fast I need to get the ideas out.

  1. By hand.

    I have a A4 sketchbook that I call my brain book. I only put things I’m trying to work out in there.

    If I scroll back through it, it’s a mess of unfinished thoughts, because as soon as the eureka moment hits, I can then write it up and it’ll turn into a post which helps me figure out the rest of it.

    I’m currently trying to work out how all my different opinions about information, PKM and journalling come together in practice. No small task but fun!

    this is what’s making me look confused and make calculations like the lady in the meme above!

  2. iPad with Concepts/potentially Milanote

    Ok this is also kinda by hand but with an infinite canvas, which paper can’t be. I’ve used Concepts for this forever but Milanote is my next one to try because you can combine text and sketch and use it on desktop, which is something I’ve wanted for a while. I hadn’t heard of Milanote previously!

  3. Obsidian Canvas

    I don’t use Obsidian for anything else, so like my brain book, it’s sort of become this digital, purposefully messy place to use the Canvas feature. I might stop using it if Milanote works out, as text and sketch is the best of both worlds and Obsidian doesn’t have that.

It has been helping me map out this interconnected system I keep referencing, in order to find the missing links (either my oversights or app limitations).

Here’s what it looks like so far.

It’s got my project management at the top and then my permanent-note process on the right, and the mess in the middle is the capture/reading element of my life.

You can see they’re not connected yet, so I’ve got a way to go. If I ever finish it, I will share!

However, it’s not necessarily about the finished product, it’s the process of thinking this through which is where I find suggestions, improvements and new ideas. That then solves the puzzle which I write about after!

Some questions from me…

I want to be a useful person to follow and interact with. I am thinking ahead to 2024 and I’d love your help answering some questions via this survey if you have a few minutes to spare:

That’s all from me today. Looking forward to December’s content. It will be a whole month of roundups, reflection and other nice things, and then January will be looking to 2024.

Thanks for reading!


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