19 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2022
    1. For everything there is a season, and atime for every matter under heaven:² a time to be born, and a time to die;a time to plant, and a time to pluck upwhat is planted;³ a time to kill, and a time to heal;a time to break down, and a time to buildup;⁴ a time to weep, and a time to laugh;a time to mourn, and a time to dance;⁵ a time to throw away stones, and a timeto gather stones together;

      The writers of the Bible were ostensibly as interested as modern day productivity gurus, bloggers, and influencers in some of the basic principles of productivity.

      (Originally scribbled on 2022-10-23)

    1. If you're trying out @tana_inc and are not on the slack... why not?? There are so many talented people coming up with awesome workflows

      https://twitter.com/syncretizm/status/1581264527336669184

      So many in the tools for thought space either have shiny object syndrome or are focusing on "workflows". Eventually you have to quit looking at and building workflows to actually get some work done.

    1. https://sashachapin.substack.com/p/notes-against-note-taking-systems

      The writer rails against note taking systems, and then suggests a note taking system (commonplace books)?!? What a sad circular argument.

      Of course, far too many get stuck in the idea of productivity porn and that is a problem... rail against that...

  2. Sep 2022
    1. Andy 10:31AM Flag Thanks for sharing all this. In a Twitter response, @taurusnoises said: "we are all participating in an evolving dynamic history of zettelkasten methods (plural)". I imagine the plurality of methods is even more diverse than indicated by @chrisaldrich, who seems to be keen to trace everything through a single historical tradition back to commonplace books. But if you consider that every scholar who ever worked must have had some kind of note-taking method, and that many of them probably used paper slips or cards, and that they may have invented methods relatively independently and tailored those methods to diverse needs, then we are looking at a much more interesting plurality of methods indeed.

      Andy, I take that much broader view you're describing. I definitely wouldn't say I'm keen to trace things through one (or even more) historical traditions, and to be sure there have been very many. I'm curious about a broad variety of traditions and variations on them; giving broad categorization to them can be helpful. I study both the written instructions through time, but also look at specific examples people have left behind of how they actually practiced those instructions. The vast majority of people are not likely to invent and evolve a practice alone, but are more likely likely to imitate the broad instructions read from a manual or taught by teachers and then pick and choose what they feel works for them and their particular needs. It's ultimately here that general laziness is likely to fall down to a least common denominator.

      Between the 8th and 13th Centuries florilegium flouished, likely passed from user to user through a religious network, primarily facilitated by the Catholic Church and mendicant orders of the time period. In the late 1400s to 1500s, there were incredibly popular handbooks outlining the commonplace book by Erasmus, Agricola, and Melancthon that influenced generations of both teachers and students to come. These traditions ebbed and flowed over time and bent to the technologies of their times (index cards, card catalogs, carbon copy paper, computers, internet, desktop/mobile/browser applications, and others.) Naturally now we see a new crop of writers and "influencers" like Kuehn, Ahrens, Allosso, Holiday, Forte, Milo, and even zettelkasten.de prescribing methods which are variously followed (or not), understood, misunderstood, modified, and changed by readers looking for something they can easily follow, maintain, and which hopefully has both short term and long term value to them.

      Everyone is taking what they want from what they read on these techniques, but often they're not presented with the broadest array of methods or told what the benefits and affordances of each of the methods may be. Most manuals on these topics are pretty prescriptive and few offer or suggest flexibility. If you read Tiago Forte but don't need a system for work or project-based productivity but rather need a more Luhmann-like system for academic writing, you'll have missed something or will only have a tool that gets you part of what you may have needed. Similarly if you don't need the affordances of a Luhmannesque system, but you've only read Ahrens, you might not find the value of simplified but similar systems and may get lost in terminology you don't understand or may not use. The worst sin, in my opinion, is when these writers offer their advice, based only on their own experiences which are contingent on their own work processes, and say this is "the way" or I've developed "this method" over the past decade of grueling, hard-fought experience and it's the "secret" to the "magic of note taking". These ideas have a long and deep history with lots of exploration and (usually very little) innovation, but an average person isn't able to take advantage of this because they're only seeing a tiny slice of these broader practices. They're being given a hammer instead of a whole toolbox of useful tools from which they might choose. Almost none are asking the user "What is the problem you're trying to solve?" and then making suggestions about what may or may not have worked for similar problems in the past as a means of arriving at a solution. More often they're being thrown in the deep end and covered in four letter acronyms, jargon, and theory which ultimately have no value to them. In other cases they're being sold on the magic of productivity and creativity while the work involved is downplayed and they don't get far enough into the work to see any of the promised productivity and creativity.

  3. Aug 2022
    1. In the world of productivity porn, it sounds edgy to say “I use pen and paper.”

      I'm not the only one talking about "productivity porn"....

  4. Jul 2022
    1. https://developassion.gumroad.com/l/obsidian-starter-kit

      Sébastien Dubois selling an Obsidian Starter Kit for €19.99 on Gumroad.

      Looks like it's got lots of support and description of many of the big buzz words in the personal knowledge management space. Not sure how it would work with everything and the kitchen sink thrown in.

      found via https://www.reddit.com/r/PersonalKnowledgeMgmt/comments/w8dw94/obsidian_starter_kit/

    1. The excitement over PKM has spilled over into blogs,YouTube channels, online courses, and books. Like otherproductivity hacks of the past (The One Minute Manager,Getting Things Done, etc.), techniques such as “LinkingYour Thinking”, “Writing Smart Notes”, or “Building aSecond Brain” contain a lot of useful ideas and havesometimes launched careers for their authors.

      a.k.a. productivity porn

  5. Jun 2022
    1. Tiago's book follows the general method of the commonplace book, but relies more heavily on a folder-based method and places far less emphasis and value on having a solid index. There isn't any real focus on linking ideas other than putting some things together in the same folder. His experience with the history of the space in feels like it only goes back to some early Ryan Holiday blog posts. He erroneously credits Luhmann with inventing the zettelkasten and Anne-Laure Le Cunff created digital gardens. He's already retracted these in sketch errata here: https://www.buildingasecondbrain.com/endnotes.

      I'll give him at least some credit that there is some reasonable evidence that he actually used his system to write his own book, but the number and depth of his references and experience is exceptionally shallow given the number of years he's been in the space, particularly professionally. He also has some interesting anecdotes and examples of various people including and array of artists and writers which aren't frequently mentioned in the note taking space, so I'll give him points for some diversity of players as well. I'm mostly left with the feeling that he wrote the book because of the general adage that "thought leaders in their space should have a published book in their area to have credibility". Whether or not one can call him a thought leader for "re-inventing" something that Rudolphus Agricola and Desiderius Erasmus firmly ensconced into Western culture about 500 years ago is debatable.

      Stylistically, I'd call his prose a bit florid and too often self-help-y. The four letter acronyms become a bit much after a while. It wavers dangerously close to those who are prone to the sirens' call of the #ProductivityPorn space.

      If you've read a handful of the big articles in the note taking, tools for thought, digital gardens, zettelkasten space, Ahren's book, or regularly keep up with r/antinet or r/Zettelkasten, chances are that you'll be sorely disappointed and not find much insight. If you have friends that don't need the horsepower of Ahrens or zettelkasten, then it might be a reasonable substitute, but then it could have been half the length for the reader.

  6. Mar 2022
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x22OB55bysc

      Hilarious clickbait title for someone who makes productivity videos on YouTube, but she talks about finding some balance.

      She's definitely selling something though...

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnFHwl2Dbr0

      • System should be as frictionless as possible.
      • Capture in one location. (She says as few as possible, but this is too wishy-washy: she's got a "Readwise page" and a "Links page".)
      • There needs to be levels of processing.
        • Split out based on future value.
      • Everything has resources. How to capture metadata and be able to cite it?

      Everything needs to have a "Why"? What is the context for capturing? What is the reason? How will it be used in the future? Why was it interesting?

      She also describes how she collects notes in various formats (books, online articles, Kindle, Twitter, etc.) It primarily involves using Notion along with a variety of other sub-applications including Instapaper for sharing to Notion.

      Dramatically missing from this presentation is the answer to the question "why" collect all this stuff? How is she using it in the future? What is the overall value? She touches on writing the why for herself as she's taking notes, but I get the impression that she's not actively practicing what she preaches, and I suspect that many don't. This leaves me with the impression that she's collecting with no end goal, which for many may be fine.

      She's got a gaping hole in the processing section which likely needs a video unto itself and which would probably go a long way toward answer the "why" question above.

      In looking at her other videos, I see she's using the phrase "second brain" and words like productivity. There seems to be a high level of disconnect between those using "second brain" and the "why do this?" question other than the simple idea of "productivity" which seems to be a false trap that gets people into the mindset of being a collector for collections' sake.


      Almost hilariously she's got videos with titles like: - "I'm a productivity guru and I hate it." - "Productivity YouTube is brainwashing you"


      She's titled the final portion of the video "Outro" which is actually displayed on the video UI. This might be useful for production purposes but should be changed or omitted for actual consumption.


      The title "How I Remember Everything I Read" is pure clickbait here. It's more aptly titled, "How I Take and Save Notes". Where's the how I use this after? or how I review over it all to actually remember it/memorize it? There's nothing here to support this end of things which is the promise given in the title.

  7. Oct 2021
  8. Sep 2021
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oX-rpV5PPQ4

      Reasons people quit:

      • Time 29.9%
      • Overwhelm 28.7%
      • Performance 14.9%
      • Perfectionism 13.8%
      • Comparison 12.6%

      Most of the reasons relate to social media and pressure of perfectionism related to it. Definitely fits into my productivity porn thesis.

      These are all things for people in the digital garden space to watch out for in the future. Presenting one's learning in public can eventually evolve into something negative if not done for the correct reasons. Bullet Journal's rise to popularity in coordination with the rise of social media can be a means for forcing people to quit it all.

  9. Oct 2020
    1. I adhere precisely to The Bullet Journal System with no creative variations. No habit tracking, no elaborate designs or meticulously designed spreads. Does this make me a minimalist? No, I just use the system as it was intended. While social media loves artfully laid out spreads I use the system exactly as described in the website. Pencil to paper, usually in a basic notebook.

      What?! No productivity porn!!?!