Daily Notes Pages

Credit to @johnknowles#1154 for sharing the link for this week's Dendron Reading Series

Where do you capture your random thoughts? Some carry around a journal, others jot it down on their phone, or the nearest writable surface (“napkin sketch”). For all, the problem of storing passing thoughts into permanent forms is a repetitive one.

For all of these permanent forms, the next problem is where to put them. A journal offers a protected place, offering a set of pages to fill. Using a post-it or loose-leaf paper risks being lost, so we might choose a location to store them, introducing another risk that we might forget the location.

Storing notes digitally requires placement decisions as well: which app? which folder? what title? How will we locate this thought again? We gain a tool though: the ability to search these notes by keyword. This gives us a “Get Out of Jail Free” card-we don’t have to remember where we put something, if we remember what we put in it. If we can remember some of the words we wrote, we can locate the thought.

Still, we might forget exactly what we wrote down. When we maintain knowledge bases, we can take additional steps to minimize the risk of losing the thought by choosing the right location, links, tags or title. But have you ever fumbled through what to call a note? Or struggled to think of a place to put it? Me too. All of this extra “metadata” that surrounds our data-our thoughts-is an extra cost to us.

Because of this cost, we each develop our own strategies to balance letting ideas flow and taking steps to file them correctly. We choose the breadcrumbs we will leave (links, folders, tags, titles, keywords, etc). This to me is the most exciting component of PKM at the moment: that we are actively strategizing how to best go about organizing our stored units of thought.

And we’re doing so together. There is discussion in communities like Discord and Twitter, courses being developed, books being written—knowledge about knowledge management is being generated and shared, at an unprecedented rate and tools are being developed targeting knowledge management at an accelerating rate as well. You could say that we are compounding thought about how to compound thought. Pretty cool, if you ask me.