DeveloPassion's Newsletter #152 - Obsidian Starter Kit 2.0

Edition 152 of my newsletter, discussing Knowledge Management, Knowledge Work, Zen Productivity, Personal Organization, and more!

DeveloPassion's Newsletter #152 - Obsidian Starter Kit 2.0


Another week, another newsletter! I hope that you all had a great one 🤩

This week, after a long and refreshing winter break, I've resumed working on my projects. It feels so good to be able to come back to motivating work.

During the break, I've played a lot of VR games on the PlayStation 5. I've received a PS VR 2 for Christmas, and it's quite epic. It's fun to dive into the actual game environment, and to notice how my 30+ years of gaming experience help me beat the shit out of virtual enemies 😂.

Appreciating Beauty

The beauty of those virtual environments also got me thinking again about what Dr Feynman said about beauty and the ability to appreciate it "fully". Some people play those games, and while they're amazed by the immersion, they fail to appreciate the graphical details, the complexity of the whole, the beauty of the artists creations, of the 3D models, of the music, of the sound effects, of the maths behind it all, etc. One thing I love about life is that the more you live, the more you experience, and the more you learn, the more forms and facets of beauty you become able to appreciate ❤️

Alright, let's gooooo 🚀

The lab 🧪

This week, I've reached inbox zero again, which has contributed to even more backlog for the Knowledge Worker Kit, as I'm regularly collecting useful resources to take inspiration from as I work on the guide. I'm still diving into the Personal Knowledge Management part.

Knowledge Worker Kit and community (BETA)
Who is this for?You are a Knowledge Worker or Lifelong LearnerYou feel disorganized, unproductive, or overwhelmedYou don’t know how to go to the next levelYou want to learn from someone who’s always on top of thingsI have a proven track record of delivering at work and with my side projects. I have worked as a software developer, team leader, project manager, IT architect, information management specialist, CTO, founder, coach, and solopreneur. I have also written and published 3 books, 300+ articles, courses, YouTube videos, digital products, manage communities, and more! And I did it all with a busy life and kids. My personal system works and helps me achieve my goals consistently.You want a solid system that scalesBeing a Knowledge Worker today is much more challenging than it ever was. Getting started ain’t easy, and there are many traps to fall into. Spare yourself some time and benefit from my experience and battle-tested system. I’ll share everything I know with you: my approach, my systems, my routines, templates, guidance, and more! My mission is to help you avoid the pitfalls of Knowledge Work and empower you through technology.After you finish exploring the guide, you’ll have:Clarity in your life and an obvious path forwardSolid habits, routines, and systemsClear ideas about how to “manage” your careerAn effective approach to learning new thingsSolid knowledge management and personal organization systemsKnowledge about how to organize, plan, control, and manage projects (large and small!)A toolkit to prioritize workA system to manage your tasks at scaleEffective means to focus your attention and manage your timeWork methods that will propel your career forwardWhat is this?I’ve been passionate about information, knowledge management, learning, personal organization, PKM, and productivity for more than 20 years. As an author, blogger, knowledge worker, entrepreneur, coach, and father of 3 kids, I needed effective solutions to be and stay organized, focused, and productive. The Knowledge Worker Kit includes everything I know about these topics, and more!What’s included?WARNING: The Knowledge Worker Kit is in BETA. The content will be added and expanded over time. If you buy access now, you’ll benefit from a lower price. The product is already available so that I can find early adopters and get as much feedback as possible in order to make it great for everyone.If you buy access to the Knowledge Worker Kit, you’ll get:The user guideAll the templates and guidanceLifetime access to the private community for support and knowledge sharingLifetime access to all community events (meetups, workshops, knowledge-sharing sessions, invited talks, etc)Ask Me Anything (AMA) Q&As with meIn addition, you’ll also get free access to all future updates. Over time, I’ll continue expanding the kit with new ideas, techniques, systems, templates, and more!What’s in the user guide?The user guide is a growing and evergreen knowledge base. It includes detailed explanations covering a wide range of topics that all Knowledge workers should explore:01. Clarity: values, behaviors, goals, non-goals, priorities, and intentions02. Habits, routines, systems, processes and methods03. Career Management and Anticipation04. Learning05. Projects Knowledge Management and Journaling06. Projects Organization07. Planning and Prioritization08. Task Management09. Focus, Attention, Time Management and Action10. Personal Development11. Control: periodic reviews, progress tracking, course-adjustment12. Personal Organization13. WorkThe user guide is a Notion space including tons of articles, how-to guides, guidance, and links to useful templates and resources.You will get to explore the content at your own pace, and to focus on what is useful to you right now, as each section is actionable on its own.Evergreen ContentThe Knowledge Worker Toolkit is going to expand over time. Day after day, week after week. Buy it once, and you will have access to all future updates.Overview of the main topics01. ClarityThis part explores key elements that help bring clarity to one’s life:NeedsValuesPrinciplesGoalsPrioritiesEach of those is important to know what matters, what has value, and what to focus on.02. Habits, routines, systems, processes and methodsThis part explores the base elements of productivity systems:Habits and routinesSystems, processes, and methodsThose are key to building an “effortless” life, requiring as little willpower/motivation as possible to make things happen.03. Career Management and AnticipationThis part focuses on career management: its importance, your responsibility, the mindset you need to acquire, and all the related ideas.04. LearningThis part shares ideas about how to…Learn how you best learnLearn more effectivelyExplore new topicsResearchFilter informationLeverage AI and LLMs…05. Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) and JournalingThis part explores how to collect, organize, and link all your knowledge and information. It explores the main concepts of PKM, note-taking, note-making, tools of the trade, and structures/tips to help you keep everything useful, manageable, and maintainable as your knowledge base grows.It also introduces journaling and how to approach it to support your whole life.06. Projects OrganizationThis part focuses on how to organize projects and their information in a way that enables you and your teams to make focused progress.It shares ideas about how to organize project information, how to document projects, how to organize backlogs, etc.07. Planning and PrioritizationThis part focuses on how to plan projects and tasks, how to deal with deadlines, and how to prioritize work using various methods.08. Task ManagementThis part focuses on task management for personal and professional projects. It explores ways to keep tasks under control, how to organize personal work, and how to make the link between your different backlogs and your day-to-day life.09. Focus, Attention, Time Management and ActionThis part focuses on how to make things happen every single day, regardless of whatever is going on in your life. It’s all about techniques, tips & tricks, and tools to help you better manage your time, focus, and attention in order to ACT.10. Personal DevelopmentThis part explores important aspects of Personal Development that can make a big difference in a Knowledge Worker’s life. A sane mind in a sane body.11. ControlThis part is dedicated to control. How to control your progress, your trajectory, your projects, etc. And also, how to adjust course when things don’t go as expected.12. Personal OrganizationThis part helps better organize yourself and your information. It shares “zen” techniques you can use to remain organized, independently of how much information you have to juggle with.13. WorkThis part is all about WORK. How to do the work, how to improve your attitude, your results, and your recognition. It also dives into how to better collaborate with others to achieve your goals and those of your company/group.

I've also released version 2.0 of the Obsidian Starter Kit. It includes multiple new plugins and cool features. I have included the possibility to list tasks due today, display GitHub-like heat maps to track progress on different things, etc. The new plugins also contribute to improving the overall user experience.

Obsidian Starter Kit
Jump straight to stress-free note-making with Obsidian

Here's a short overview of the plugins I have decided to add:

It's hard to find the right balance between adding useful features and slowing everything down. In the next release, I'm going to focus on boosting the startup performance to counterbalance the impact of this release.

I've also updated the user guide to cover the new plugins and explain how to create/customize heat maps:

And there's a ton more coming. The more people become interested in the starter kit, the more energy I can pour into it without feeling like I'm just procrastinating. It adds value to my own knowledge base and serves spares time for my customers. Win-win! 🎉

I'm also thinking about launching a bundle with some of my Knowledge Management products, now that Gumroad has added support for those. Shoot me a mail if you want me to notify on launch!

New articles

I've published an article discussing the relationship between knowledge and time, as well as the implications for learning and knowledge management:

Knowledge Through Time
Knowledge and time are closely related. What is the relationship between those and what does it imply for lifelong learners and knowledge management? Let’s find out!

Quotes of the week

  • The most courageous decision that you can make each day is to be in a good mood — Voltaire
  • People should think things out fresh and not just accept conventional terms and the conventional way of doing things — Buckminster Fuller

Thinking and learning

Become More Comfortable Making Bold Decisions
Leaps of faith make great scenes in a movie, but in real life they fill us with stress and uncertainty, two emotions that are not comfortable for the human brain. To face down our discomfort, we can take advantage of a revealing data set that we often ignore: our past decisions. Looking back at our decision-making history allows us to see patterns that we might not otherwise notice, thus providing a crucial perspective for understanding (and solving!) complex and unique current and future problems.
Use Strategic Thinking to Create the Life You Want
In corporate strategy projects, executive leadership teams work through a series of questions to determine how their businesses can succeed. Individuals can use a similar process to figure out how to live a meaningful life. It starts with defining what makes a great life for you and then outlining your purpose and vision. You must also look at your current “portfolio” — the areas in which you spend your time and energy — to see if you’re investing the best of yourself in the activities most important to you. You should consider what research says about how people tend to find meaning and joy in life. Finally, you’ll want to identify areas where you need to make changes, and then ensure you follow through with objectives and key results. This program, Strategize Your Life, has been tested with more than 500 people around the world. With a few hours of work, you can develop a personal life strategy and summarize it on a single page.
You Need “Beautiful Tortures” to Be Successful in Life — And Escape the Hell of Normalcy
We associate torture with pain and darkness. We think it’s a bad thing that should be avoided at all costs. But when I discovered the sanctuary of the gym more than a decade ago, it changed me in…
The Johnny.Decimal Workbook [D41.00.00]
A guide to setting up a single-project system and working the Decimal way.In this step-by-step workbook, I’ll guide you through the entire process of setting up your own Johnny.Decimal system.This 130+ page PDF has been distilled from more than a decade’s experience developing Johnny.Decimal: organising my home life since 2011, and at a variety of jobs; from independent dance productions, through small consultancy firms, to large government departments.Lucy and I have spent hundreds of hours putting it together. We’re really proud of it.Each workbook area contains the following sections:Overview: I explain what we’re about to do.Before you start: any background that you need so that you understand what you’re about to do, and why.The process: the steps that you need to take.As you complete this process: any other tips ‘n tricks that I’ve learned over the years that will help you succeed.Area complete: each area is accompanied by a video where I recap the area’s tasks and demonstrate any of the tricker concepts.Testimonial“It’s amazing and transformative. I’m very thankful for having found this.”osau, on the forumIt walks you through the process of capturing all of the information you need, and then building your system.Lucy and I have spent hundreds of hours putting it together. We’re really proud of it.I guarantee your success using this workbook: if you get stuck, every section has a dedicated help post on the forum. You can contact me directly. And if your system still isn’t working, you can have your money back.Testimonial“The document is so precise, so content focused. Absolutely brilliant work!”Zsolt, by emailFAQWhy isn’t the workbook free?Because neither is my rent. :-)I quit my job to focus on Johnny.Decimal. If I hadn’t done that, this document wouldn’t exist.Johnny.Decimal is just me and my parter Lucy. We’re not some giant corporation. Your purchase of this workbook literally pays our rent and allows me to keep developing this system. Thank you.What do I get?The PDF is 130+ pages, 20,000+ words, a bunch of images, and blank worksheets for you to track your progress.It contains links to YouTube summaries of each of the areas, which is over two and a half hours of video.Each area has a link to a dedicated post on the forum where you can get help if you’re stuck.Is it meant for home, or work?Both. The concept is the same whatever you’re organising, and we’ve included a range of examples from home and work.Testimonial“I can only advise you to purchase the Johnny.Decimal Workbook ... and to respect its approach. You won’t regret it.”Mentat, on the forumIs there a coupon code? Holiday discount?I hate the lies that are told in order to persuade you to buy a thing.The pretence that this PDF is worth $199! but is somehow reduced to $37!It’s all bullshit, and we all know it.So you’ll find no ‘coupon codes’ here, no made-up ‘value’ propositions: just a package that I believe is worth $37 that I’m selling for $37.I can’t afford $37Click here.Is it accessible?Yes. Your purchase includes a text-only (Markdown) version. This version references the workbook images, which are included as a separate PDF: each image on its own page, with descriptive text.All of the review videos are subtitled, and have been meticulously checked and corrected by Lucy.johnnydecimal.comImportantThis PDF will be updated from time to time. If you think you’ll be sad if you miss the news that there’s a new version to download:Use a valid email during check out And/or follow this Gumroad pageAnd/or join the mailing listAnd/or join the forumAnd keep your receipt (it has your unique download link):-)
Embeddings: What they are and why they matter
Embeddings are a really neat trick that often come wrapped in a pile of intimidating jargon. If you can make it through that jargon, they unlock powerful and exciting techniques …
The Little Book of Deep Learning
The Little Book of Deep Learning
Demystifying Obsidian’s Outlining Superpowers
An Obsidian Guide for the Outliner
TfT #13 / The Power of Structures in Tana
In this article we’ll explore one of the most important elements of Tana: the custom structures. Let’s go! Why structures are important? Key dialectics in knowledge work (and probably in the Universe): Entropy vs Information If we try to simplify these concepts: * Information defines order * Entropy defines disorder You locally