This is my current knowledge workflow as of beginning of 2021. I write these both to document my current practice, and also to clearly set what guidelines I’m working with.
- Articles / videos / links can come through RSS (Feedly), via newsletters or any other way (social media, discussions, Slack to mention a few). If I don’t have time to read (scan) them on the spot, I add them to Pocket.
- In Pocket if I’m really bored I start reading from the top, but more commonly search for specific topics as a sort of extended research library. Since I already spent like 10 seconds on each article, it’s already better curated than Google.
- Once I’ve read an article and found it good enough, I clip it to Evernote - this way if an article gets removed in the future I still have access to the text. I have an extensive and messy organic tagging set up, possibly need to organize it at one point of the future.
- Watched videos / courses / talks I’m taking notes to Evernote.
- Books I’m keeping track of through Goodreads, both as to read lists and things I’ve finished.
- Reading books happens on my Kindle, so I can easily annotate them, clipping relevant parts. From the Kindle I use KindleMate to copy clips to Evernote. I usually review and format all clipped notes before setting a book to “read”.
- The articles clipped is already curation, that can be already shared (externally: link + tags, so why people should care and not only “nice”, internally: summarizing interesting points, possibly a sketch to show how it works in our own context). I’m setting up my Twitter feed for external sharing.
- From the clippings and other sources (like discussions) I think through topics by adding or updating notes in my Garden. Setup is based broadly on the garden idea and the Zettelkasten method. Here I can collect and refine ideas.
- Titles of notes should be specific, look for as much specificity as to clearly designate the contents.
- Each note should contain one piece of knowledge. I can easily recognize when a note contains more pieces of knowledge, if title of the note is getting less specific. This would be the right time to add a split the note.
- If the content of a note is based on an external source, the note should be rewritten in my own words. Otherwise I’m not working with my knowledge, but with somebody else’s.
- As internal links are key in a garden, each note should have Backlinks sections. Whenever I link to another note, the backlink should be added to that note. Adding links should be intentional, so some context should be always provided why the link exists.
- External sources should be added with a clear link and enough contextual information that the note can be understood and used without following the link.
- New notes should be always created in relation to other notes, so a new note should be always linked to an existing note. Especially for new ideas this might reveal the need for additional topic notes. This helps in the overall organization of knowledge contained in the garden.
- As the number of notes in the garden grow, I’ll also need to have topic notes that help to get started for a given topic, the entry points carrying the high level topics. I imagine that over long term I’d be able to create a mind map of all topics I cover with these topic notes on the first two level. Except the garden might not be a clear tree structure, rather a web.
- Based mostly on work already done, I publish blog posts and essays, either:
- Deeper topics emerging from working with the garden. I’m aiming at these as a primary focus.
- Strong ideas that started out as a garden note, but growing to an essay length while writing.
- Good enough book / video / talk / course summaries for later reference.
- Blog posts can be reshared to Medium (through using canonical URLs) and by link to Twitter and LinkedIn.