In previous posts, I’ve shared that I am an extensive note-taker. Since then people have curiously asked me about the sort of things on which I take notes.
Luckily for me, a few crucial things had already happened within my note-taking system leading up to this point thus allowing me to answer this question as follows.
Emergence of structure in the note-library
To begin with, I describe how I loosely organise my notes into clusters with links between related notes, considering that presently I have about 650 individual notes written over the period of about 2-3 years.
Ever since I decided to move to all-digital note-taking, over the past few years, I’ve used a number of note-taking apps to find what works best for me. During this pursuit for the ideal note-taking app, I realised that two features were essential for my purpose.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is an additional layer of access control beyond user ID and password credentials for your online accounts. MFA-enabled accounts require a unique authentication key in addition to your user ID and password to verify your identity.
Let’s face it. In modern life, as an integral part of the digital economy, we have to remember a bemusing number of user account IDs and passwords. With each passing year, more and more services that we avail go online and thus compound this problem.
It’s not easy and it’s certainly not efficient to tackle this manually. And so, to reduce this heavy load, we all come up with our own hacks for storing passwords. This invariably results in us picking up some terrible habits for both choosing passwords and storing them. Some of these include:
Reusing the same formula or password-ingredients across accounts over and over to the point where it becomes committed to our muscle memory and we could type them out even in our sleep;
Storing passwords in really worrying ways such as
writing them in our diary that we might leave at the coffee shop
scribbling it on post-it notes which may fly away out the window; or
using plain text files on your local drive which would leave us locked out of all our accounts if the disk fails
Today, I began writing a new note in my note-taking app of choice, Bear. This note is of a new kind. It Is metadata or context for existing information in my repository in order to adopt a new approach to organise the knowledge I have accumulated over the years. While my notes are already quite organised, filed under tags and nested sub-tags for convenient access, there is a need for improvement. As the number of notes increase over time, I realise that using tags as the sole form of organisation is neither efficient nor sufficient.
While I have come across the the concept of Personal Knowledge Management earlier, the real trigger for me today to revisit the existing structure was coming across a new note-taking app known as Obsidian. It is a thing of beauty.
Yesterday, I attended a webinar by Peter Akkies, a productivity consultant who I have been following for a few months now on various platforms. It was super nice and he even answered some of my questions. He published a blog post today — Flipping the script: you teach me! — asking a question to readers:
What’s the no. 1 thing you learned about outsourcing or delegating effectively?