After is never.

PKM, When? Always.

When do you need a PKM system?

You might need it on several occasions.

When I encounter something resonating with me, which interests me, I need to capture it. I want to keep the memory of it. I want to know more. I’m curious about it because I like it, it makes me feel good. Or because it reminds me of something else that I want to make connections with. I don’t always have my phone or my notebook available. So, at that moment, I need to capture effectively that piece of information that I want to store in my note archive.

If I go into the detail, I would say, when I’m reading something, and I discover a sentence or a concept, or a word, that is interesting to me, I want to capture it. The same happens with all the other media, when I’m watching a TV show or watching a video on the internet. Or I’m listening to a podcast or on radio, or to a song, and I want to extract a soundbite, a fragment that I want to study or store or connect. And of course, this also happens when I am listening to somebody talking, either a public talk or a conversation with somebody on the phone or the internet or real life. There are moments when I feel the need to capture a sentence, of capturing your thought.

Speaking of thoughts, I frequently have ideas while I am walking or while I am sleeping with dreams or while I’m having a shower or reading a boring book. Something happens in my mind. And I have ideas, connections. I have insights and intuition. I have questions, and I want to capture those. I don’t want to forget them. So I need my PKM, especially the capture approach and tools, the capturing system when I want to store something, and I want to forget it.

I need a PKM system when I need to organize information. I have too much knowledge sparse around: clips, fragments, video segments, quotes, thoughts, ideas. So I make an effort to have a unique inbox to collect all of it. And it’s complicated, but then I need to organize things with criteria that would allow me to find back what I need when I need it.

And this ties to searching for something.  When I need a piece of information, and I go to Google it. Sometimes it is something I already searched for, or I have written about. So I need to search for it in my notes archive. That is when the power of the searching system and the organization system is beneficial to provide back what I need when I need it.

And I need my PKM system to be efficient and effective when I want to share when I need to perform a presentation, sometimes improvised, sometimes I need to prepare the material for a presentation or a design project or write an article. That is when I need to have ideas or find references and to support my creativity. My PKM system has to be efficient, effective, and powerful.

And I discovered by experimenting with a PKM system that I need a PKM system when I need to have new ideas because writing in my note archive is thinking. So, when I write, I am doing all of the stages of a PKM system because I am capturing what I am observing, I am reflecting upon it, making connections, and organizing my thoughts. I am also preparing a draft so that I can share it. So, even if it is not within the chosen tool of a PKM system, I am still working in my note archive when I am creating a draft to be revised and published. Because that same draft will be feeding my note archive, and it will become a building block, a part of it.

If you understand the power of PKM, and if you have a flexible and powerful system, you always need it. You need it in every phase of your creative process.

After is never.
After is never.
Senior Experience Designer. 25 years designing, developing, writing, speaking, facilitating and teaching.

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