DeveloPassion's Newsletter #169 - Change is in the air

Edition 169 of my newsletter, discussing Knowledge Management, Knowledge Work, Zen Productivity, Personal Organization, and more!

DeveloPassion's Newsletter #169 - Change is in the air


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

This week, I've continued preparing and recording my Knowledge Management course. I love how working on a course crystallizes ideas and highlights gaps.

I've also started making progress on a new side project. I'll tell you more in the "Business" section.

Oh, and I've got cool news to share around Personal Knowledge Management.

Alright, let's gooooo 🚀

The lab 🧪

The lab is running like crazy. I've been experimenting with different things, trying to see what can help me gain more traction with existing products.

One thing that seems to be working is creating free and useful resources (i.e., lead magnets). I've created two so far:

My goal with those is two-fold:

  • Genuinely help people for free
  • Help people discover me, my work, and my products

These have already helped 20+ people:

People in my new lists

I've set up an automated workflow to add those subscribers to this newsletter. Over time, I'll add sequences of e-mails to further help them. What I find interesting is that it helps me segment my audience. Anyone who is added via the Beginner's Guide to Obsidian is obviously interested in Obsidian, so I can send them very specific content.

We'll see how that evolves, but for now I feel like it's worth investing more time into providing more value that way. I have tons of notes and resources I can share to help newcomers. I want to create PKM Cheat Sheets, Workflows, Free template packs, tutorials, and more. Don't hesitate to share your ideas with me 🚀

Aside from that, I've fixed the invite link to the PKM community

On the Website, I've limited access to the previous editions of this newsletter to subscribers. I hesitated to also limit access to my articles (actually did for a few days), but realized it would just prevent people from discovering what I can do for them.

I've also reworked the tiers:

It's not final, but I hope it will be more compelling. Free subscribers will continue to receive this weekly newsletter, but paid members will get more value.

I've also decided to increase the price of the Knowledge Management for Beginners as soon as I release it. I want to give a better deal to anyone who pre-orders it.

Knowledge Management for Beginners
Your ultimate video course to mastering Personal Knowledge Management (PKM)

Last but not least, I've updated the PKM Library. I've added many resources related to Tana, new courses, YouTube channels, etc. I think that, to this day, it remains the biggest list of PKM resources:

Personal Knowledge Management Library
IntroWho is this for?You want to learn how to organize your personal knowledgeYou wonder how to take smart notesYou want to remember more of what you readYou want to improve your knowledge management skillsIf concepts/acronyms such as PKM, SecondBrain, Zettelkasten, Evergreen notes, and Digital Garden make you curious, then you’ve come to the right place!It is well-known that our memories are not reliable. To store and organize knowledge bases, we need digital solutions to help us. But that’s not enough. To keep things manageable over time as our knowledge base scales, we need clear techniques and methodologies.What is this?I’ve been passionate about information, knowledge management, and PKM for more than 20 years. As a knowledge worker, author, blogger, and entrepreneur, I needed solutions to store and organize an enormous amount of information.Over the years, I’ve explored, used, and advocated many different tools: old-school wikis (e.g., MediaWiki, TiddlyWiki, DokuWiki, Confluence), note-taking solutions such as Evernote, Google Keep, Microsoft OneNote, Okular, Zim, and many more.Recently, the Personal Knowledge Management space has evolved a lot with the rise of tools such as Notion, Obsidian, Roam Research, LogSeq, and others. Those have drastically changed the knowledge management landscape and brought us the opportunity to manage knowledge much more efficiently, and to truly create ourselves a second brain, or digital garden.During most of 2021, I’ve done extensive research and curated a ton of information and links about the Personal Knowledge Management space. I’ve now regrouped all of this inside of a Notion space.It is now a solid database of the best resources you can find on the subject around the InternetEach and every week I add new resources to this Notion space: articles, blogs, books, courses, tools, videos, etc. This includes the content that I publish myself on the subject and my weekly newsletter.What you will getHere, you can buy lifetime access to my Notion space, and get regular updates; either for you personally, or for your team.What’s included?A list of 290+ toolsLinks to 350+ articlesLinks to 145+ videosA list of 90+ books about learning, thinking, writing, note-taking, journaling, neuroscience, psychology, stoicism, etcLinks to 225+ sites & blogsA list of 75+ Youtube channelsA list of 90+ coursesA list of 90+ newslettersA list of 40+ podcastsA list of podcast episodesA list of 70+ communities and forumsA list of ~2K PKM leaders, influencers, and enthusiastsA list of 50+ starter kits and templatesA list of 100+ Twitter hashtags to followA list of 80+ topics and links to relevant articles, books, videos, etcAnd more!I will keep adding to the Notion space, and I’ll continue contributing information for the whole community.You’ll also get lifetime access to the Personal Knowledge Management community for support and knowledge sharing.RefundsIf you’re not 100% satisfied, then just let me know, and I’ll issue a full refund. I’ll only ask one question: what can I do to improve the product.If you think about asking for a refund, then consider reaching out to me with your issues, questions, and remarks. I’m always available and happy to help. My goal is to help you succeed.


No big breakthrough last week, but progress is progress ❤️

Progress for this newsletter

I've cut some expenses to try and keep the business alive longer. All I want right now is for my business to be "default-alive". It would help me sleep better at night!

Revenue of the last 30 days

In the last 30 days, I've made $850:

  • Obsidian Starter Kit: ~$600
  • Knowledge Management course pre-orders: ~$200
  • Obsidian Starter Course: ~$50

The Obsidian Starter Kit remains my biggest source of revenue. And it's no wonder, because I keep using it myself every day 😄.

I've also started actual work on a software product dedicated to IT Security. My goal is to create a small, but valuable product for big companies, which I should be able to sell at a much higher price point than my PKM products. I hate the idea of spending time elsewhere, but if it's the key to enable me to keep sharing knowledge about PKM, then so be it. I will tell you more about that initiative in a few weeks!

Last but not least, please consider becoming a paid subscriber. I hate saying it again and again, but it's really the best way to support my work and to let me focus on helping you make progress and solve your problems.

New articles

No new articles this week.

Note of the week

While preparing the Knowledge Management course, I documented and shared my vision of the PKM process. In the course, I go over each "step" in detail, with concrete examples and recommendations:

What does your process look like?

Quotes of the week

  • L'angoisse est le vertige de la liberté. Anguish is the vertigo of freedom
  • If you compete with people who only think short-term, you don't have to worry much. Eventually the weight of their actions anchors them — Shane Parrish
  • Humility is having a good grasp on what we're good at and what we're not. And having confidence in both

Thinking and learning

Obsidian 1.6.3 is out:

Obsidian Changelog
Follow the latest updates to Obsidian apps for desktop and mobile.

Tana is now in beta and now has calendar sync and AI meeting support with notes and automatic transcriptions. Pretty neat!

I'm a Tana believer. I think it's one of the most innovative Tools for Thought out there. Although, I prefer to keep using Obsidian, which is perfect for my needs.

Good reminder that it's best to keep using what you have instead of tweaking your systems all the time:

When You See a New Obsidian Productivity System — Taste, Don’t Swallow
And I’ll want 500+ words on why you want to change things up, on my desk by Monday

Another interesting article by Ev Chapman:

Unlock the Power of Hybrid Note-Taking: Integrating GoodNotes with Tana
Ever felt like your ideas are trapped within the confines of text apps? Apps like Tana and other note-taking app are fantastic for written…

Hacking your brain with Obsidian? For sure, I do it every day.

What you consume becomes what you think:

The Quality of Information You Consume Can Determine the Quality of Your Life
6 websites that can make you a smarter person.

Fis Fraga's research has been published. Very interesting read:

I stumbled upon an alternative to Obsidian Publish:

Welcome to Quartz 4
Quartz is a fast, batteries-included static-site generator that transforms Markdown content into fully functional websites. Thousands of students, developers, and teachers are already using Quartz to publish personal notes, websites, and digital gardens to the web.

A Pattern Language transformed into a wonderful Knowledge Graph:

GitHub - zenodotus280/apl-md
Contribute to zenodotus280/apl-md development by creating an account on GitHub.

Tools for better thinking:

Tools for better thinking
Collection of thinking tools and frameworks to help you solve problems, make decisions and understand systems.

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 🚀

If you've enjoyed this article and want to read more like this, then become a member.