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.
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Senior Experience Designer. 25 years designing, developing, writing, speaking, facilitating and teaching.

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