Knowledge work processes should be accretive (rather than ephemeral or ad-hoc). For note-taking, adding new notes should make other notes more useful and the accumulated knowledge should lead to new connections and thereby new ideas.
I use a Zettelkasten-like system (org-roam) where notes are short and atomic, densely linked bi-directionally, and reviewed often to add more connections. Over time I hope this becomes a useful thought partner, helping me make new connections and formulate useful ideas.
Tags provide light organization without imposing a strict hierarchy e.g. index for how I might want to retrieve this note in the future not a taxonomy.
Certain tags have special meaning:
- (draft) indicates a note that isn’t complete and not ready to publish
- (private) should not be included in public notes
- (journal) my reactions and feelings which can provide more context to how I was thinking about certain notes
Notes are published (except when tagged as private or draft) to notes.alexkehayias.com. Care is put into making the notes pleasing for me to read and invite exploration of links and backlinks. It also adds a useful friction that forces me to understand what I’m writing better since it’s public.
As an interesting side-effect of using git for version control, when I publish new notes the git diff gives a good indication of how many new connections I’ve made with each new note added (untracked files to unstaged modified files).
Links to this note
In a note taking practice, the act of publishing and reviewing notes helps to visualize progress of growing your knowledge. It’s difficult to quantify your intelligence or thinking at any moment, but seeing the list of files added/modified when doing a git commit makes it more tangible.
A blog of working notes that others can read and follow along with to learn about interesting ideas and things you are coming across. I find it easier to keep up due to my note taking practice especially compared to writing full-length blog posts or tweets. It would be interesting to follow along notes of other people to learn about new things.
Right now my personal note taking practice is mostly structured text with a few conventions, published as a really long list. This makes it difficult to explore and uninviting.
My initial values and principles for developing Noteland helps to narrow down some guidelines for choosing a stack for the web app: