This is a public Zettelkasten overview (see FAQ) of the concepts surrounding "thinking tools", aka "second brain".
I first came across the interrelated concepts overviewed here after launching myhub, and realised I'd been developing similar ideas as far back as 2013, when I first piloted this Hub on Tumblr (see Why you need a Personal Content Strategy). My ideas for MyHub evolved as a result - I now see:
As far as I know this hasn't yet been done: creators are currently supposed to do their thinking in Obsidian, Roam or some other "thinking tool" software, and then publish their content using Wordpress, and then share it via Twitter. Why not make your public website - and the writing on it - a seamless extension of your second brain? And why not network it with other second brains via the Fediverse?
Why not make your public website - and the writing on it - a seamless extension of your second brain?
To turn these ideas into reality, however, I need to do a deep dive into thinking tools. I'm using my current personal content strategy - ie:
This Overview is therefore a crucial part of this process: it provides both a summary of what I have discovered in this space so far, and (below) a search result of the content I read when developing this Overview (stuff I Like), and the content I wrote and built as a result (stuff I Think and Do). In other words:
(Last update: 31/10/2021): When I created this overview I identified 10 pre-existing tags to use as a baseline: inbox zero, spaced repetition, 2ndbrain, fedwiki (for federated wiki), mindfulness, mindhack, (information) overload, roamresearch, weekly review and zettelkasten. That pulled in 44 resources, each with at least one of those tags. Of course, each had other tags as well, so I took them all and created a tag cloud to get a first picture:
(Feature idea: AI & visualisation tools integrated into my backoffice to help better surface concept clusters and the explore links between them).
Some notes on the major concept (bundles):
Different tools have different elements, but here are some of the most important and/or common ones.
The 80/20 question (aka the Pareto principle) is central to productivity, and applies to many software tools - do you design it:
The flexible/difficult approach is IMHO best illustrated by roamresearch: it's enormously powerful and flexible, but to take advantage of that you need to dive deep and geek out on templates and other plug-in code developed by 3rd parties. If you don't - like me - you end up with a lot of notes, but you're not harvesting the true power of your second brain. For me it fails the 80/20 rule: too much effort to get something useful out of it.
Extremely powerful feature. In essence, it means that linking from page A to page B adds a link from B back to A, but there's a lot more to it than that. I'm currently most familiar with Bidirectional links from roamresearch, where every page is designed like a Zettelkasten overview, and there's a page for every tag.
To be continued.
Does the tool use pages to manage knowledge? Or is a page simply a collection of blocks, each with its own unique identity, allowing you to find and manipulate it separately from the page in which it was first created?
Again, I understand this question principally through the optic of roamresearch, which takes the latter approach. To be continued.
See: resources tagged ~2ndbrain and #tool. In no particular order:
Automated links to recent, relevant Highlighted Resources follow. All resources here.
Here are the latest 9 resources I've Highlighted about Thinking tools (Overview). There's more reading over here.
I've been invited to write a chapter for an upcoming book on Personal Knowledge Graphs (PKG). My chapter will encompass each user’s PKG, the Social Knowledge Graph created by networking them together via the Fediverse, Solid hosting, AI writing tools and Decentralised Autonomous Organisations.This post provides a first draft of its Introducti…
Covers "a new class of apps called “Integrated Thinking Environments (ITEs)”... [and] NOTE framework, used to describe the specific feature sets ITEs provide... examples and some future directions".The term ITE riffs off "Integrated Development Environments... provide developers a comprehensive set of tools ... a kind of augmented c…
"the underlying problem is stubbornly intractable"Great piece, although I'm unsure that "a great proportion of the variance in “knowledge management” effectiveness across individuals is genetic", it is true that:productivity geeks exist, develop their system and then try to sell it.speaking from experience, it is really, r…
Wikis are like Minecraft for thought — very simple, very open-ended... can generate complex living systems, from personal notes, to collaborative fansites, to Wikipedia.While open-ended, there's scarcity: there can be only one page for each name, forcing "negotiation, communal norms, communal goals, communal meanings... Open-ended meanin…
Having fun using Andy Matuschak's wonderful site to explore his innovative ideas on note-taking, zettelkasten, writing, etc. This link opens a number of his interrelated notes, displayed horizontally using his innovative 'stacked notes' information architecture.Key ideas from this stack:the importance of 'task division' in…
Andy Matuschak's working notes "are mostly written for myself: they’re roughly my thinking environment... But I’m sharing them publicly as an experiment ... [see] Work with the garage door up... Write notes for yourself by default, disregarding audience)... there’s no index or navigational aids: you’ll need to follow a link to some start…
I suspect this will be a canonical text for me moving forward with myhub.ai.Mike Caulfield in 2015, when my first hub was only about 2 years old, had also "been experimenting with another form of social media called federated wiki... instead of blogging and tweeting your experience you wiki’d it. And over time the wiki became a representation…
One of my favourite writers (offline and online) on his personal content strategy, first taking aim at the "tawdry and mercenary" version of "“why writers should blog”... the story goes, “and build a brand ... to promote your work.” Virtually every sentence that contains the word “brand” is bullshit, and that one is no exception.&qu;…
Watched the entirety over the last week of 2020. Highly recommended series for getting to grips with Roam, covering everything from the basic of how Roam works through to detailed HowTos on project & goal management, zettelkasten, etc. Having said that, I won't be migrating my tasks out of a dedicated task mgt tool, or pasting bibliograph…