Trying to write a blog post, and reminded how simple it is to make a scrapbook of notes, and how the harder part is moving from a collector to being the creator of some new synthesis. I think partly because I havenโ€™t really been documenting my own notions along the way; not so as to make them easily reusable, at least. Theyโ€™re there, but need some excavation.


Fedwiki as a home for this kind of thing, I wonder?

Are you up for self-hosting? Or would you need a hosting service?

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Thanks I guess this seems a little too 'programmed' to me. Explicit links, posts, mappings. Fedwiki has more tacitness in it.

It's possible to stay in touch with what a friend/collaborator is up to, once you nominate some common space (page names). And the wiki wizards, this past year, have been developing powerful techniques for applying mappings to scraped material, or scrapbook pages (your own, or another's). This is the rationale of fedwiki, and currently actively developing.


@mike_hales @neil my own approach to taking notes is very simplistic and are the equivalent of a private notebook:

These notes are sometimes the raw material for fedi or blog post, articles, etc. But not always. It always takes work to transform them.

I have been looking at fedwiki more recently, to see if I might start to fit my notes in with what other people are doing, which is definitely appealing.

@mike_hales @neil I have seen people using in really generative ways. I'm generally in awe of people that use it effectively and read it, but It hasn't stuck w/ me in my practice because I'm a addict.

@edsu @mike_hales My notes are also this, really - just a bunch of plain text files I keep in a zettelkasten-ish fashion. I then publish them to my own site, and then also to to combine them with others'.

@edsu @mike_hales I should add my problem is more an issue of process / habit rather than tool I would say - I have a tendency to 'collect' tidbits of information, and am working on nudging myself to synthesise more.

@neil @mike_hales yes, I think having note taking tools you actually enjoy using regularly helps, but it's always work to assemble rough thoughts into something more polished and meaningfully connected with other people's work.

Although I'm sure someone somewhere is shoving their rough notes into GPT-3 and publishing the results.

@neil @edsu @mike_hales i try to take an hour each day, pick one thing I already collected or wrote, and think about it, write , connect it to other notes etc. It usually branches out easily from whatever starting point I pick. I pick a starting point scrolling through my collection and choosing one that ignites a bit of interest with me that day

@ton @edsu @mike_hales

Being conscious that notes should eventually become notions is helping me a lot. (notions aka evergreen notes, but I prefer the former term - which I got from your article Ton!

And just some simple rules of thumb about the naming of these notions is surprisingly effective.

@neil @ton @edsu @mike_hales I've noticed this Obsidian Obsession lately: an enourmous amount of people discussing linking and note-taking in depth, but barely a few that actually do something with them. Collectors gotta keep collectin'!

I just use a pen and a plain notebook and jot down thoughts, summaries, ideas, anything, usually accompanied with clippings, stickers and photos. I re-read it at semi-regular intervals. Sometimes. I used to adhere to the silly GTD methods, but in the end, I just do whatever I feel like.
Some chapters of my research come to me at night. Have a pencil ready in the vicinity.
As Ton said, while re-reading, I annotate and link (mostly implicitly), and then write something new that will become the "original" work.
Most of the times, it's just a simple schematic with a few arrows.

I wrote about how to keep a journal in

@wouter @mike_hales @neil @edsu @ton Here is screenshot of a nice related message from the notion subreddit that I promised myself I'll come back to if I'm about to shake my head at other users doing things that I think don't make sense:

@despens I see the comment is attached to this:

I have to use Notion at $work and would never actively choose to use it for anything.

@edsu At Rhizome we modeled our own workflows and knowledge management and are pretty happy with both in notion.

(That still makes notion slow, having a pretty poor mobile app, and lacking in the calendar areaโ€”but we evaluated 19 different tools and notion was the best for our case.)

@edsu To be fair, some of the 19 reviews did not go that deep, on example was "cringy aesthetics, unusable ๐Ÿ‘Ž๏ธ"

@despens stinky business model, had to hold nose while typing

@neil @mike_hales TIL about Zettelkasten - thank you for giving me a name for that pattern!

I do sprinkle some tags in my notes, which I grep for later. But it's very loose, because I'm usually writing them on my phone.

@edsu @neil @mike_hales that reminds me I've been looking for an good opportunity to move my inner brain work to and the one just might have appeared over the last weeks...

@nilsreichert I'm happy with my editors, but it's always good to know about new shiny ones to recommend when trying to win people over to markdown!

@edsu @mike_hales @neil Ed: nice little script. I am starting to use for note-taking and participating in a new project aimed at shared, versioned, markdown files:

@band looks interesting, thanks for sharing. You may also be interested in Agora (, massive seems similar in concept i.e. aggregating individual collections of markdown in to something bigger.

@neil gracias. will check it out. there are a number of decentralized projects afoot these days.

@mike_hales @edsu FedWiki is great. I guess one thing that niggled me is it feels something of a monoculture. This comes from a position of ignorance of it though - is it not? How does it interoperate beyond FedWiki? I like the idea of a plurality of ways of making wikis, and then thinking how to conjoin them all.

> something of a monoculture

This year, the fedwiki wizards have been doing a lot of work on the edges of 'traditional' fedwiki, interworking with other media. Part of their focus on 'edge computing'.

It's necessary to be in the chats (regular, weekly video hangouts, or continuous matrix) to pick up the vibes. It's not obvious on the face of wiki 'straight out of the can'. Fedwiki is about being willing to do a certain amount of work to connect with others? Or with oneself!

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