For years I’ve been looking for a system which would augment my own thinking with the help of the computer. One of the main promises of a digital life is things could more efficient. Or easily shareable and more resilient (Once you have backups..). For a meriad of reasons the switch should be obvious but for the most of us, that’s not what we experience. Why is that?
I started of with just Word documents in folders. This failed within weeks due to the fact that sometimes information would belong to two or more different files. How could I keep those in order when updating the content? Thus I started looking for alternatives.
I discovered Evernote and liked the way they sorted notes with notebooks & tags, both physical and digital concepts could fit in this! And even before I knew Johnny Decimal existed applied it’s thinking and kept around 10 notebooks at most, with subnotebooks (numbered!) and useful tags. However after collecting more than 10.000 notes in Evernote it started to slow down and I was stuck with a system that worked, albeit slowly. I kept it at it for years looking for improvement…
At this moment my Evernote database is mostly kept as an archive, allowing me to search through the digital history I’ve kept over 10 years. But it feels like it’s time for another try at figuring out a knowledge system that works for me instead of being an archive.
Thus I’ve started exploring the space of possible replacements/additionals for Evernote. Please bear in mind that I’m interested in more than just managing my knowledge, as such PKM (personal knowledge management) tools are diversified in many ways.
What I’m mostly looking for is what I call a knowledge system which encompasses more than just organizing it in a way. In a nutshell I want a system to work with me (instead of against me, which is often the case). I’m looking for a application which is easily extendable and moldable to different flows of working, whether that be accumulation knowledge or exploring relationships between things.
So far I’ve looked at Workflowy, RoamResearch, MyMind and I’m currently using Obsidian. For now that is simply one reason why Obsidian is standing out: its just local markdown files. The unix philosophy that everything is a file is something that triggers me and with that Obsidian kind of clicks for me.