I am not making fair use of my Personal Knowledge Management system. I capture too much information. I organize it just superficially. I reflect on it too little. I am not leveraging on connections to have new ideas.
This very article, right now, I am writing it spontaneously. I could look into my Zettelkasten and see a list of drafts I have prepared. Or browsing the ideas to write about I’ve been collecting. Or even getting inspired by the open questions I’ve been accumulating.
Top-down and bottom-up: where’s the balance?
Going bottom-up allowed me to build a collection of notes that resemble a pile more than a system. The impetus of grabbing something interesting is always prevailing on the intention to research a topic. The top-down approach is suffering. I am subject to too much inertia leading me to fall into the Collector’s Fallacy. I am dedicating too little intention and planning to develop thoughts instead of collecting them.
Yes, I’ve expressed this annoying lack in my workflow two or three times already. I am using this space, again, to complain rather than react constructively.
Why is that so?
Because I’ve become too fluid in transcribing my thoughts, so the mental effort of researching, writing, drafting, and reviewing is something already far in my memory. What’s the most extended and researched essay that I wrote recently? I am suffering from the syndrome of checking the box: did I write and publish? Yes. And that’s it.
But, of course, I am not satisfied. While I am proud of keeping the consistency of writing daily, I feel the freshness and the relevancy of my posts to go lower and softer.
What to do, then?
I need to plan my writing time differently. There should be more reviewing of the information captured and identifying meaningful topics developed in useful threads.
Writing free-flowing daily is still essential, but it’s like playing scales to learn piano.
I need to prepare for a concert.