Personal knowledge management (or nerding out over notes)

Someone asks you a question and a neuron fires. You have the answer in your notes… from six months ago. To make matters worse, you have three separate notepads at work, five at home, one in your bag — and that’s not counting the ones you’ve filled and retired to the drawer. Or did you take the notes digitally? Are they in Box? OneNote? Nozby? Evernote? Keep? Did you type them into the 132nd tab of Notepad++ you have open? Time to start digging.

At some point last year, I hit a breaking point. I’m a designer, front-end web developer, cloud application and network administrator, database engineer and supervisor. The quantity, quality and type of notes I take on a daily basis vary greatly. And like many people, notes that should have been evergreen, or at the very least impactful, are instead ephemeral. So I decided to find a better way. As a process and workflow nerd, I thought it would be easy, but it ended up being a long process of trial, error and discovery. It was HARD.

In this session, I want to take you through my process of discovering what I thought was important, what was actually important and what I ultimately landed on. This won’t really be a presentation on which software to use (although I have strong opinions and can talk endlessly about them) but instead a roadmap to discovering a better, more sustainable way of personal knowledge management for myself.


Sean Henderson — Auburn University

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