PKM in the Wild newsletter #2

Lots to catch up on!

Hi all,

Hope you’re all well. It’s been a busy two weeks so let’s do a PKM in the Wild Roundup!

Content Roundup

It’s been a bit of a mix of content recently. After not publishing anything for ages, I wrote about the 5 features, tips and tricks I use daily in Capacities because they’re the things that make me say “I love this app” out loud multiple times a week because it’s just such a delightfully designed app.

Then, David and I finally launched the PKM in the Wild publication! It’s a purposefully use-case first approach to PKM content. We want a platform where lots of different voices can teach people how they do PKM so we can show lots of people how useful and fun PKM can be. It’s open to all writers, both new and established so if you’re interested in publishing please get in touch!

To launch it, I wrote an article about what I truly mean by the phrase “PKM in the Wild”, and I told my story about how I got into PKM. It was so fun going down memory lane and I’m so grateful that my job is now something I’m truly passionate about.

Then I published something really important to me but I think contextually important too, and that is the two biggest influences on my PKM systems/thinking. I’m glad I have this to reference in future posts now and it’s one of my favourite things I’ve written.

Content I’ve been enjoying

Réka has just started publishing content on Medium and it’s incredibly high quality, offering a genuinely enjoyable insight into a fellow PKM fan’s systems. She started by explaining her philosophy behind her system which had some excellent points. My key takeaway was the phrase “making space for tinkering”. This is a key part of my PKM process and something I really enjoy, and now I have a great phrase to refer to this practice as. I cannot wait to read everything she publishes!

I’ve also really been enjoying insights into how Dave from The Notion Coach sets up his system and how he works in Sprints. That is directly inspiring the 2024 edition of BethOS which has just turned 1 (yes that is something I celebrate), and is helping me work out why parts of V1 of BethOS haven’t worked perfectly yet. I thought sprints were just for those in tech start-ups, but turns out they’ve resonated with me a lot. I find projects difficult and scary, and the idea of sprints has been helping me a) get the projects done and b) feel confident and empowered in doing so.

And of course all of this is complemented by Julian Lehr’s Multi-layered calendar article too. I’ve put sprints into a calendar layer so I can schedule tasks from a more informed and focused perspective. Content on that is pending!

Real Life- Weekly Review

I’m a Monday Weekly Reviewer, so I thought I’d show you what I’m doing today. Right now, as I’m getting set up and into good working habits, my reviews are more essence based rather than work based, but that will change going forward.

For now, my review takes place mainly in Notion in my Week database. These are the key properties I track per week… just some general top level things, and then I link to my essence database.

The essence database entry is created with a button which automatically relates the week in question to that new entry, and I fill in some things about me so I can look back on it regularly.

Blank entry for demo purposes

Then I go into Day One and write in my Weekly Review Journal which is a very simple set up. I write about the good and the bad for the week, and I paste in my weekly laptop usage metrics from Rize to see what I was working on.

That’s it! I capture essence in a nice database form in Notion and track my private thoughts in Day One.

A PKM Puzzle Right Now

Being self-employed is great for a lot of reasons but obviously the scariest thing about it is I need to make money to pay my mortgage. So I need to be working on projects that will help me achieve this, and I need to be working efficiently.

I have never ever found a project/task management system that I feel actually works for my brain well enough, so after I close the work emails for the day I have been making space for tinkering with the tools I have now and some new ones, to think about how I build this system for me.

What do I (think I) need

  1. Simple project page with top-level, key info on including a deadline

  2. Sprints that break the project down, helping me feel empowered and focused when getting the project done

  3. Tasks attached to each sprint

  4. Scheduling the tasks in relation to my energy levels, my existing plans, and the sprints I’ve established.

Where have the sticking points been so far

  1. No app does all of this yet, so I need to connect apps that do (hello Zapier)

  2. Scheduling apps are pricey!!

  3. I want Routine and Akiflow to merge their features

  4. No one makes calendar/scheduling apps in a way that makes sense for my networked note-taking brain. Why can’t I reference any date/time/person/contact/meeting notes in an app that works on top of Google calendar and contacts. Why can’t my meeting notes just connect to the date they occurred. Routine gets closest here but it lets me down in other places (blog post coming) hence why I tried Akiflow.

I’m determined to make this work, and it’s the long game right? I’ll always need a way to manage tasks. I’m lucky to have the time and energy to sink into making this work, and I’m glad to have this writing habit so I can try to articulate what does/doesn’t work so I can get incrementally closer to a tangible system to manage my truly chaotic brain.

I’ve got some content coming about what I’ve been doing/realising/failing to do so of course keep an eye out if that’s of interest to you.

That’s all from me this time! Please let me know if you know of ways I can make this newsletter better or more interesting. I want to keep improving 🙂 See you in two weeks!

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