Web 2.0

My PKM Stack, 4

Having covered Capture, Manage, and Connect – it’s time to tackle Enhance!


In the Enhance category, I have some repeats. Feel free to run back to the Capture verb where I talk about the basics of Roam and Obsidian. This section will be taking those apps a bit farther to help not only store our notes, but make them useful and “enhance” our ability to see connections between our ideas.

One of the biggest draws, for me, to Roam/Obsidian’s linked data tech was the ability to not only store notes in a single space, but to store them in a way that they will be useful over time. Part of the draw of linking notes together and navigating through them using the web/graph interface is that older notes that you may have forgotten you’ve even taken are brought back to mind as you explore. When I do a search for a concept now, I check the “linked pages” section of my Roam results, because those are the pages that I’ve seen some kind of connection between the ideas. Even more powerful, though, is that I check the “unlinked pages” section, where the word(s) I am using in my search are found in notes that have not been explicitly linked to my concept. Those are the gold that I’m mining when I do a search in my linked-data-capable note taking applications.

Those ideas that are maybe tangentially linked are the ones that are going to spark some creativity and maybe even some questions that I’ll need to answer. Either way, those are the engines of content creation in my system!

This section of my PKM tech stack includes a concept that I use, rather than an app – that’s the concept of networked thought. I’d touched on it in the Connect section – when I discussed the collaborative abilities of some of the mind map tools – but it’s also a big part of how Roam/Obsidian work to enhance your ideas in those note taking apps. Networked thinking describes thinking done across networks – whether those networks are your personal notes in your tech stack, a collection of blogs and other sources you read and respond to online or a group of people you work with (mediated by the Internet or in person) collaboratively, the idea is that you are making use of external resources in a way that extends your own brain and resources exponentially. Either you are using the linked data info in the note-taking apps to connect disparate ideas or you are working with others in a mind-mapping app to brainstorm and collaborate on a bit of content or you are joining in on a wide-ranging conversation between people on the Internet – however it works, the networked aspect of thinking can really, exponentially, extend our own resources in new ways.

Next we move on to Find – how do we keep track and organize all this information? Stay tuned to find out!

Part 1 – Capture | Part 2 – Manage | Part 3 – Connect | Part 4 – Enhance | Part 5 – Find | Part 6 – Create

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