DeveloPassion's Newsletter #168 - Last Hopes

Edition 168 of my newsletter, discussing Knowledge Management, Knowledge Work, Zen Productivity, Personal Organization, and more!

DeveloPassion's Newsletter #168 - Last Hopes


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

Welcome to all the new subscribers. Many of you are customers of mine that I have imported from Gumroad. If you weren't following my newsletter yet, then I hope that you will enjoy it ❤️

This week, I've continued preparing and recording my Knowledge Management course. I'll tell you more in The Lab section.

I've got many great and less great news to share, so let's dive into it!

Alright, let's gooooo 🚀

The lab 🧪

I focus most of the time I have on the Knowledge Management course. I hope to deliver it by the end of this month. I've recorded two more modules. Recording videos remains a big challenge for me. I prepared slides and scripts, but realized that I'm struggling to sound natural while reading a script. I also forget to switch from slide to slide at the right time. I ended up condensing the scripts into simple outlines that I now use as a guide to remind me of important things to mention. The energy is just not the same when I can express myself freely. Editing is going to be another big challenge. But one thing at a time ;-)

Apart from that, I have improved the Dataview Serializer plugin for Obsidian, adding support for more queries. There was a limitation with queries referencing the current note. I love being able to serialize queries to Markdown. It really enriches the Knowledge Graph and takes it one step further. Once it's been approved in the list of community plugins, I will also add it to the Obsidian Starter Kit.

Next week, I will continue working on the course, but I also want to update the Obsidian Starter Kit. I have a long list of improvements waiting to be added.


I've decided to create this new section to share news about my business, and keep the focus of the lab on everything I create for you all.

First of all, I'm super happy about the progress of this newsletter:

Progress of this newsletter

Thanks to the 0.8% helping me to keep this project alive. I really hope that we can bring that percentage above 2% in the coming weeks. To achieve that, we need 17 more subscribers. Will you be one of those? Please do consider it, it’s the best way to support my work.

I've updated my homepage. It's not what I'm aiming for, but it's an improvement. The articles now appear on a separate page, and past newsletter editions as well. I wanted the homepage to help people quickly understand what I do. The next step will consist in building my own template for Ghost. I also imported my customers list from Gumroad (you may be one of those ❤️), so that I can share product updates and ideas with more friends. From a business perspective, it's important for me, because I want to better understand my customers in order to better serve them in the future.

I sent a mail to all my past customers, asking for ratings/reviews/testimonials on Gumroad. And I wasn't disappointed. I received 18 5-star ratings and 14 wonderful testimonials. This is motivating, because it shows that what I have created so far has value and is actually useful 🎉. Here are the new stats:

  • Knowledge Worker Kit: 4 ratings, 5 stars
  • Obsidian Starter Kit: 38 ratings, 4.9 stars
  • Obsidian Starter Course: 3 ratings, 5 stars
  • PKM Library: 16 ratings, 4.9 stars
  • PKM Coaching: 1 rating, 5 stars

By the way, if you bought one of those, and haven't done so already, please take a minute to add your rating/review on Gumroad. This is invaluable for me ❤️

This week, I've also created my first "lead magnet", in the form of a free database of note-taking and Knowledge Management tools. I have extracted it from the PKM Library, thinking that it might be useful to many. This has already helped me get discovered by ~10 people. Hopefully, they will enjoy my content and products 🎉. This is encouraging, so I'm going to create a few more, sharing useful "freebies".

Now, the sad and more worrying news (hence the title of this edition). My business is in "CODE RED" right now. I have < 10K left in the bank, ~1.5K of charges per month, and I made a whopping $15 during the last two weeks. At this rhythm, my business will be dead soon. I've kept trying and trying, but success still eludes me for some reason. Slowly, my hopes are fainting. I've created this company five years ago, and I've had a wonderful time so far. I don't want this journey to stop.

I have very little time left, and I'm going to do everything I can to keep going. Once I'm done with the Knowledge Management course, I'm going to work on a SaaS product related to CIS security benchmarks, trying to help bigger organizations ensure that they are compliant. We'll see how that goes, but if it can help me keep going, then it'll be worth the effort.

New articles

No new articles this week.

Note of the week

This is a note I wrote while working on the Knowledge Management course. These are useful questions for choosing the right tool for you.

Want to explore more of those? Check out my notes:

Recently added - DeveloPassion
Recently added - DeveloPassion

Quotes of the week

  • You're only as good as how you perform on your worst day. When everything is going well, it's easy to be successful. But when things start crashing all around you, that's when it matters most to keep your head and think long-term — Shane Parrish
  • Learn from people above you, and teach people below you
  • Always pay it forward. And don't keep count — Naval Ravikant

Want to discover more like these?

Quotes - DeveloPassion
Quotes - DeveloPassion

Thinking and learning

My new favorite way to convert notes from analog to digital:

How to convert notes from analog to digital - DeveloPassion
How to convert notes from analog to digital - DeveloPassion

Tom MacWright has created an Obsidian plugin called "Freeform". It's one of the most powerful I've seen so far. It has huge potential to help us do wonderful things with Obsidian:

Obsidian Freeform
A tiny useful Obsidian plugin

In the future, we may see the features of the most popular community plugins being integrated and supported natively in Obsidian:

The roadmap of Capacities has been updated. I love the fact that they're going offline-first. I believe that Tools for Thought have to work that way. Our second brains need to be available all the time, everywhere:

What’s next?
A preview of what to expect in the next months.

A video that I enjoyed this week:

Apparently, giving a role to GPT4-o actually lowers the output quality:

GPT has become financially literate: Insights from financial literacy tests of GPT and a preliminary test of how people use it as a source of advice
We assess the ability of GPT -- a large language model -- to serve as a financial robo-advisor for the masses, by using a financial literacy test. Davinci and ChatGPT based on GPT-3.5 score 66% and 65% on the financial literacy test, respectively, compared to a baseline of 33%. However, ChatGPT based on GPT-4 achieves a near-perfect 99% score, pointing to financial literacy becoming an emergent ability of state-of-the-art models. We use the Judge-Advisor System and a savings dilemma to illustrate how researchers might assess advice-utilization from large language models. We also present a number of directions for future research.

An interesting thread on education:

A solid review of Reflect:

Unleashing the Mind: Reflect
Exploring the Tools for Thought Universe

Useful resources to explore the Zettelkasten method:

Best Sources to Learn about Zettelkasten???
by u/CuriousBilal in Zettelkasten

A nice introduction to Obsidian vaults:

Ready to get to the next level?

If so, then check out the Knowledge Worker Kit, the Obsidian Starter Kit, the Obsidian Starter Course, the Knowledge Management for Beginners course, the PKM Library, a PKM coaching session with me, my collection of books about software development and the IT Concepts Wall 🔥.

If you want to discuss, then don't hesitate to join the Personal Knowledge Management community or the Software Crafters community.

About Sébastien

Hello everyone! I'm Sébastien Dubois (you can follow me on Twitter 🐦).

I'm an author, founder, and CTO. I write books and articles about software development & IT, personal knowledge management, personal organization, and productivity. I also craft lovely digital products 🚀

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