These past weeks, I’ve spent a ton of time doing research. I’ve explored different products in the note-taking and knowledge management spaces. It’s been fascinating. Many products have a very narrow focus (e.g., highlighting content, taking notes, storing bookmarks, etc), but I couldn’t find a single one supporting personal knowledge management from end to end. Because of that, people that are really serious about building their personal knowledge management system have to combine different tools (e.g., Pocket, Readwise, Obisian, Roam, Notion, etc). It’s kind of sad, really. Luckily, it’s possible to integrate various tools together (e.g., Pocket & Readwise, Readwise & Obsidian), but it’s still quite complex. First, it means having to discover all those tools, understand their features, their specific user interfaces, and when to use them. Second, it means understanding how to integrate them together and why. More importantly, all of those tools are isolated knowledge silos, which limits the ways in which the information can be linked, reused, and exploited. Of course, some people are tech-savvy and manage to find their way. But I’m sure that many others don’t, and suffer from this situation. That’s why I look at this situation as a problem, and thus as an opportunity to improve the status quo. This week I’ve discussed with Martine Ellis
, who’s really serious about productivity and personal knowledge management. She has recently published an article describing her current PKM system
. I found it really interesting and wanted to have a chat with her in order to understand her current pain points. After all, the only way to build great products is to uncover real-world problems and confront our ideas with the reality that others face. The discussion was very fruitful and confirmed some of my conclusions: there’s definitely
room for improvement! One thing that Martine told me is that hoarding content needs to be avoided. Capturing interesting articles, videos, and book highlights is great, but it’s only the first step. The real benefits can only be reaped if we regularly go through the captured content in order to learn from it! In the coming weeks, I’ll continue interviewing people interested in learning and building their own personal knowledge management system. If you’re interested in discussing this subject with me, then simply reply to this e-mail
, I can’t wait to have a chat with you!