DeveloPassion's Newsletter #157 - Knowledge Management for Beginners

Edition 157 of my newsletter, discussing Knowledge Management, Knowledge Work, Zen Productivity, Personal Organization, and more!

DeveloPassion's Newsletter #157 - Knowledge Management for Beginners


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

Whew! Yes, I'm alive!!

The Carnival of Binche is over. Actually it's been a week already, but it left me truly exhausted 😂

You can find a few pictures over there, but if you want to have an idea about what it's like, you should look at the following videos. The first one shows what it looks like on Sunday, and the other one on the Tuesday (which is the most important day). But those can barely make you feel how it's like to be there. So if you ever have the opportunity, come and enjoy it for real 🎉

After the Carnival, I needed some rest, but ended up with Covid. It's been over a week, and I'm still feeling super weak.

Anyway, I've missed you all, so here I am!

Alright, let's gooooo 🚀

The lab 🧪

I've received some bad news recently. I've lost my last consulting client. This means that my business is now default dead. If I don't manage to increase the revenue of my side projects (including this newsletter), my business will die within the next few months. This means that the pressure is on.

Here's a quick back-of-the-napkin calculation:

  • My projects currently generate between 1K and 1.5K per month
  • My business has fixed/variables costs of ~1K per month
  • I need to pay myself at least 500 per month to be able to pay for everything, knowing that I still work half-time as an employee, have 3 kids and a mortgage to repay
  • My business has ~10K in the bank

This just cannot work for long. And I'm quite scared/sad when I think about it. I've been working hard since 2019 to build useful things, but after my startup has failed, I haven't managed to build sustainable revenue. My dream remains to quit my job as an employee, but I'm far from being able to.

Unfortunately, the IT job market is more complicated these days. It's pretty tough to find part-time clients here in Belgium, and even more so to find clients that accept remote workers. So I'm not betting on that. Instead, I want to double down on creating digital products and serving customers around the world. I feel like I can have much more impact this way, and this is work that I really see myself doing for years to come.

This means that I need to accelerate the pace, produce more, and convince more people to support me. That's why I've launched a promotion for my paid newsletter yesterday. I'll be honest, I need all the support I can get 🙏

Moving forward, I've decided to work on a new product: Knowledge Management for Beginners.

This will be a video course teaching the basics about Knowledge Management in general, and Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) in particular. I feel like there's a gap in the market. Many people currently stumble upon PKM and feel puzzled or lost. They don't know why it's useful, how it works, how to approach it, and how they can benefit. And I intend to fix that! I want many more people to grasp the ideas, see the benefits more clearly, and to know how to get started, armed with the right knowledge.

I've prepared the course outline, the sales copy, and have started working on the content. To give a good example, I've decided to build the whole course within my own Personal Knowledge Management system in Obsidian, combining notes, slides, and the power of my Knowledge Graph.

I hope to start recording the course next week.

In my humble opinion, Personal Knowledge Management has tons of potential to help people across the world grow and thrive. And I want to be one of the few voices that make it clear and obvious to everyone.

Here's a rundown of the main benefits for my future customers:

  • Comprehensive understanding of Knowledge Management (KM) and Personal Knowledge Management (PKM)
  • Mastery of core PKM Practices
  • Hands-On Knowledge of PKM systems and tools
  • Enhanced Clarity and Focus
  • Overcoming Information Overload
  • Strategies for Deep and Critical Thinking
  • Building a Valuable Knowledge Base
  • Improved Knowledge Retention
  • Minimized Reliance on Memory
  • Utilizing Journaling for Growth
  • Efficient Information Organization
  • Integration of Learning into Daily Life

I'll tell you all about this course in the next editions of this newsletter ❤️

Next to that, I'm of course going to continue expanding the Knowledge Worker Kit. We are already 50 in the community, and the content keeps growing. There's a lot of work to be done, and I'm going to make sure to deliver as much value as I can to that community ❤️

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.

We'll see how things go, but I'm not ready to give up. I'll do my best to keep going, no matter how hard it may be 🚀

If you want to support my work, then the best way is to become paid subscribers of this newsletter, as this generates recurring (i.e., stable) revenue for me, enabling me to continue working on this newsletter, to continue writing, and to continue adding value to the community:

New articles

I've published an article in which I defend the idea of using and relying on fewer tools. IMHO, fewer is better:

In defense of using fewer tools
How Fewer Tools Can Enhance Personal Organization, Productivity, and Knowledge Management

I have also published a deep dive into how to split long notes into atomic notes, as a means to enable creating more valuable Personal Knowledge Graphs:

How to Split Long Notes into Atomic Notes: A Comprehensive Guide
A comprehensive guide on splitting long notes into atomic notes within a Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) system, highlighting the benefits, and practical steps

These pieces are also going to join the Knowledge Worker Kit.

Quotes of the week

  • Fear is only the beginning of courage
  • Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
  • It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan
  • Study not to know more, but to know better — Seneca

Thinking and learning

How to Use the Knowledge Graph (Or Why The Graph Ain’t Just Eye Candy) -
Used appropriately, the graph is a powerful creative tool.
Complete Second Brain: COC Productivity Method
Capture. Organize. Check. Achieve Peace of Mind
Customize your “New tab” screen in Obsidian with Beautilab
Beautilab is a simple Obsidian community plugin that allows you to customize your “New tab” screen.
PKM Summit
5 Simple Methods For Growing Your Concept Notes In Obsidian
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