On the 24th of February 2021, I am writing my 100th daily posts in a row. I want to celebrate, but I also wish to reflect and try to write the best lessons learned.
This is my third achievement in writing after:
OK, I can write daily.
I know that I can write every day. So I can put a check on this skill. And I don’t think I have to question it anymore. It’s done. I can prove it. This is the evidence, and it’s online. It’s public. Next, please.
I and you. Too much of “me”, too little of “you.”
The other lesson is about how I relate to my audience. I tend to talk in the first person, as I’m doing right now. I justified that attitude by considering this blog as my private space. “I’m writing for myself and to myself.” That does not hold. This is my website, indeed, but it’s public, there’s a newsletter associated and, although in its infancy, it is visited by about 30’000 people per year.
Even if only a small fraction of the real persons coming to this website, for whatever reason, are reading what I am writing, I need to consider that. Carefully.
I would like to change this attitude by reconsidering the private thoughts and reformulating them to provide value to an audience continuously. I am searching for interactions with people, and I was limiting this possibility when I was publishing personal thoughts with personal conclusions without extra effort to make them relatable and applicable by other people.
I could change my writing style, too. I’m not talking about too radical changes or becoming somebody else. But trying to have less a tendency to say,” I do,” “I think,” “I am,” and more” you,” “you that are reading,” or even better, “we,” “me,” and “you” together.
Eclectic? Ok, fine, but let’s make things clear.
I’m eclectic, not a secret. I like to talk about many different things. And I’m deluding myself into thinking that just adding tags to the posts I’m publishing would be enough to distinguish the threads in my publishing flow clearly. If you pick a tag on my blog and read those articles, maybe you will find continuity, but the problem is with the daily cadence. The question is, what’s the continuity between my thoughts when I am writing every day?
books collective intelligence communication complexity creativity critical thinking design design thinking education educational games facilitation facilitation methods free-flowing future thinking game design how instructional design learning networked thinking networks newsletter note-taking notes online publishing personal development personal knowledge management planning podcasts poetry problem-solving professional development research reviews Ship 30 for 30 speculative design strategic design sustainability systemic design systems thinking thinking UX Design what why writing zettelkasten
This is my scrapbook. This is my diary. I have diverse ideas, several of them every day. And I can barely write down one of them when I find the time to do it. And that is the lucky moment in which I am publishing this post to update my streak. But that is not a reason to put the burden of making sense of lots of different pieces in a continuous flow on my readers’ shoulders.
There is fragmentation in my content. And it’s not helping clarity, consistency in the narrative. It’s challenging to follow a discourse.
I want to mitigate the content fragmentation issue by reorganizing the homepage. I will create thematic access points. I’d like to identify the common topics and threads and provide a clear entrance to a messy Digital Garden by doing information architecture work.
There could be a bottom-up approach in which I am clustering articles after making an inventory of things already published.
The top-down approach instead would aim at clarifying what my intentions are, what is that I want to write about so that I can also have more direction.
It’s crucial to clarify how you structure your thoughts that you’re publishing, even when they are diverse and fragmented.
My Digital Garden is starving.
My Notes section is a little bit neglected. I had the idea of providing a summary of topics in a more structured way. So you have top-level topics, sub-level topics, and an established hierarchy, and you can follow an index to the website, but it’s not very up-to-date. And so, again, a reader of my website could think that by going there, they would have something that I’m not providing, because it’s not a complete index, you don’t have all the access points to my published knowledge. That’s another task on my to-do list: tend to the Digital Garden.
The Writing practice vs. the Publishing practice
I want to distinguish between the free-flowing practice of improvising the content and downloading my brain vs. more profound and more structured writing.
Free-flowing writing is essential. It has many benefits for my fluency, creativity, and mental health because it’s an excellent form of relaxation and meditation.
There should be a second step of curating, editing, and revising to publish only well-shaped content, better structured, and convey a clear message. Action: practice free-flowing and curate, revised, and edit the best content to be published. Not only the thoughts In my head but also the ideas already published. Reorganization, synthesys, summarization, aggregation, clusterization is something that I need to do more.
Grow your Personal Knowledge Management System
I have quite a bit of content online: about 100,000 words published. It’s not a negligible amount. And this is an excellent motivation to develop my personal knowledge management system on which I’m working. It is one of the threads I am developing in my messy digital garden. And so I could apply it precisely to this content. There are a lot of questions arising from that, like:
- How do you integrate the public digital garden with the private one?
- How do you provide various access points to your fragmented knowledge?
- And then, finally, how do you develop creative ideas from all of this work? As creative ideas, I mean something new, useful, and meaningful.
Grow your network of communities (i.e., People!)
Another implication of this “Write-the-hell-out-of-you” project is that I met a lot of great people. I received a lot of suggestions. I gave a lot of directions. There was a lot of exchanging and trading of knowledge and support. It’s one of the most precious things that I’ve got with my daily online writing habit. I also improved my participation in various communities. I am thinking about Ness Labs, the newly started Knowledge Entrepreneurs, Inner Circle, and the Zettelkasten Forum.
Together with those communities’ best users, my journey became a collective journey along many intertwining paths.
100 of these days
There are no fireworks to celebrate something articulated and somehow intangible as the achievement of having written and published 100 posts in a row. There are no badges nor rewards.
I gained a lot of things, and the best one is that I still feel I have just started.
The 100 Daily Posts in a Row:
- The Journey is the Purpose
- Writing is Thinking
- Write a Lot to Write Well
- Creative Loneliness
- Be Less Ambitious, Be More Consistent
- Writing builds your networks
- Connect ideas now
- Writing improves your memory
- Writing makes you a better observer
- Writing sets the focus on yourself
- Dissolve your distractions
- Writing reduces your jargon and slang
- Walking generates ideas
- Writing is like drinking coffee
- Creativity makes you happy
- Be smart, let it go
- Writing is a process
- Automate repetitive tasks
- Publish text as digital text, not images
- Why asking questions?
- Facilitate growth by tracking habits
- Type more, type faster, type better
- Transcribe your thoughts to become an effective communicator
- Write daily to become a better manager
- Do it small to do it better
- Don’t lose your mind. Back it up
- Write daily to enhance your reality
- If only I could be ten, again
- Writing compounds despite everything
- The habit of building habits
- Be prepared for anything
- Expert? Show up, provide value and we’ll see.
- What to write when you don’t know what to write
- Writing about writing about writing
- Test your solutions before your users
- Going beyond Atomic achievement
- Constrain your creativity to make it easy
- Design methods, how to avoid reinventing everything
- Stop. And reflect.
- Solve problems better: bottom-up and top-down
- Creative technique: list ideas following a prompt
- Creative technique: 1-2-3
- Usability Heuristics as collective design experience
- Choose your own stories, wisely
- Communication without context is meaningless
- A Crazy year. Of growth and fear. 2020 retrospective.
- Grow exponentially by compounding incrementally
- Go walk yourself
- Planning revisions to prepare for reflection
- Question time
- A Zettelkasten as a tool for thinking
- Keep on writing
- Minimize unintended consequences by thinking in systems
- Celebratory rituals define yourself
- How to be a Systems Thinker: simple steps
- Rebranding the obvious
- Find and give meaning
- Creativity preparation rituals: infallible!
- Artificial Intelligences are children to be educated
- The Note-Taking Nouvelle Vague
- 60 Times 60. Refining my daily publishing strategy
- Like sand piling up on the shore
- The 1-2-3 Feynman Technique of learning
- Networked Thinking: an update on my Second Brain / Zettelkasten / Mental Garden
- Acknowledging illusory defeat
- Seed your knowledge to grow relationships
- Meeting strangers like they were good old friends
- The Most Basic Form of Mind Control is Repetition
- Reflecting on my current Personal Knowledge Management Workflow
- More connections with people. Less with ideas.
- There are no problems
- Is your idea new?
- Gardens of Knowledge and Gardens of Expertise
- Writing is combining
- Systems Thinking offers the most effective and efficient mental model of reality
- Instructions for living a creative life
- Life, Complexity, Creativity, Knowledge
- Questions. About the present. About the future.
- What is Personal Knowledge Management (PKM)?
- Share your content wisely
- Something small, every day
- George Orwell wrote for selfishness, aesthetics, history, and politics
- A Personal Knowledge Management workflow
- Manage your knowledge or be managed
- Learning Out Loud: Data, Information, Knowledge, and Wisdom
- What is data, information, knowledge, and wisdom?
- Why capturing knowledge?
- What am I capturing: data, information, or knowledge?
- A systems thinker thinks in systems about systems
- Capturing diagram images in your PKM System
- Learning Out Loud about Personal Knowledge Management
- Capture information, extract prompts and curate a collection of ideas in your PKM
- Experiential Education webinar with Jake Fee
- Knowledge Entrepreneurs Salon 11: Start With Community
- The Seeker
- Describe your knowledge capturing process to improve it
- Knowledge Entrepreneurs: Brain Trust Day 1
- Knowledge Entrepreneurs seeking Experiential Education
- Brain Trust Pioneers. The Report.
- Of Course!
- What I’ve learned by publishing 100 articles in a row