How to get started with tools like Obsidian

How to get started with tools like Obsidian

As the year has rolled along and the days are starting to get a little longer up here in the north, I've been enjoying my use of Obsidian more and more. As I mentioned in the past about Roam, these tools are additive. The more you use them, the more valuable they feel. This isn't by accident — you have to make meaningful connections between your notes (as I mentioned here). But as you make those connections,you experience the feeling of building. Your base of knowledge matures a little more. Obsidian illustrates this in lovely fashion with its graph view.…

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The discipline

William Van Hecke has an interesting idea for how to use his time. Based on a concept he read in a Neal Stephenson novel, he organizes his time in ten day periods: Time is divided into ten-day decades. (We commonly use the word “decade” to mean ten years, nowadays, but prior to the 16th century, it could mean any collection of ten things, including days.) I love my desynchronized rhythms; the 10-day decade and the 7-day week create a healthy polymeter that drifts in and out of sync over time. At the start of each decade, I choose a template…

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Re-reading goals

For the last several years, I've taken part in the Goodreads reading challenge. I tend to come up 3–5 books short each year, but I'm happy overall with how much I've been reading. However, I'm not crazy about what I've done with the books I've read. Often, I've done very little beyond reading the words on the page. I made highlights and perhaps a short blurb somewhere in my notes. But as this was all before I had delved into the world of smart note-taking and making the most of what I read, so most of the books I…

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Writing more

Joel Hooks shared this post about writing more and worrying less about the polish. He mentions how shifting from thinking about his writing and site as a blog to a digital garden helped him to write more: Seriously. The idea of a "blog" needs to get over itself. Everybody is treating writing as a "content marketing strategy" and using it to "build a personal brand" which leads to the fundamental flawed idea that everything you post has to be polished to perfection and ready to be consumed.I agree with his sentiment, but feel like these digital garden folks are…

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Roam vs. Obsidian

Roam vs. Obsidian

In a recent post, I made an offhand mention that Obsidian might be a better fit for some people than Roam Research. What was that all about? Well, for one, I believe both are good tools. If you're looking to use Roam as a Zettelkasten tool, Obsidian offers many of the same benefits. I've been keeping my eye on its development all the months that I've cautiously used Roam. It's super easy to try out with these few steps: Export your Roam content (I did that regularly and added it to a Git repo on my computer)I would open…

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Matter

I signed up for the beta of this app because there have been a few instances where I wanted to listen to a blog post I had saved. My first thought was that iOS must have some kind of functionality for this (it does). But then some people in the Roam community mentioned Matter. On a recent run, I gave it a try and listened to two blog posts that were around 2,000 and 4,000 words each. And it was a fairly pleasant experience. It's still an AI voice reading text, so it is a little flat. But…

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Making sense of Roam Research

Just over a month ago, I gave an intro tour of Roam Research to the Wildbit team. We have a call of this type on the first Friday of each month, and I'd wanted to do this for a while as a few people on the team started to use it. But each person seems to come away from the first few log-ins to Roam with this same question: How do I use this thing? The truth is, after months of using it, I still didn't have a firm sense of how I wanted to use Roam myself. Ever since…

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Deep listening

I've been focused on enhancing my reading over the past couple of years (not to as much success as I would like). It's a desire to ensure what I read truly impacts me, to put effort into my reading. Or, as Adler puts it: And that is why there is all the difference in the world between the demanding and the undemanding reader. The latter asks no questions — and gets no answers.But of late, I've rediscovered another area this is of great benefit: deep listening. One recent evening, an evening designated as "free night" where everyone in our family…

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