Who this is for
Mainly geared towards software engineers, but I think the principles shared will be useful for all knowledge workers.
- Get a Cross Platform, Quick Capture App. I use Apple notes, Reminders, and Notion
- A way to persist & publish notes. Preferably somewhere with your own domain name. I use Hugo, Github, and Netlify
- Google Technical Writing course is a good first resource
- Iterate your process. Eliminate friction
- Immerse yourself in the world of writing for a few weeks, learn from podcasts, youtube, books, courses. That way you can start to build a system that works for you.
Overview of underlying concepts/ideas
Personal Knowledge Management (PKM). - the practice of capturing the ideas and insights we encounter in our daily life, whether from personal experience, from books and articles, or from our work, and cultivating them over time to produce more creative, higher quality work.
- My site is a digital Garden. This post is a great example of a riff, or Scott Hanselman’s scale yourself™️ idea
- Closely linked to second brain
- I strongly suggest writing in public. As a strategic move, and a means of learning via engagement & feedback from peers.
- Eliminate friction where possible. Try make it swift and painless to go from idea to something written down.
⚠️ The idea isn’t that you pick up all these habits at once, but rather expose you to a wide array of strategies and hacks that have worked for me. pick what works for you, modify it to suit your needs, and discard the rest
The most convenient place to quickly jot down something. Can be An app on your phone, physical notebook, tablet. This is where you go when an idea pops into your head, or writing meeting notes.
Fun fact - the structure of this article started as a braindump that I captured on Apple Notes (mobile) whilst taking a walk. it took me less than 20 seconds. here’s that note:
### braindump * no one process is guaranteed to work, the idea is to expose you to a whole bunch of tactics, and you can pick and choose what works for you * google technical writing course * BASB podcast, then book * David Perrel * publish your writing * how to build a blog by flavio * digital gardens to use as an example * reading habits. reading powers a lot of my writing * quick capture -> triage -> persist
It’s helpful to be able to access your all my notes from all spaces I spend a lot of time.
Those quickly captured notes also need to be available when it’s time to publish & share the notes.
Look at the Operating Systems you use, choose software that covers all of them.
Reading is a big part of my writing process. It’s sometimes hard to separate the two. I take notes & highlights when I’m reading, and read a whole bunch when I’m writing, for cross referencing & validating ideas etc.
Reading Life Hack
- readwise reader is a game changer - it takes care of RSS, email newsletters, allows you to save read-later links. You can highlight and annotate, those highlights are regularly shown to you via (spaced repetition) which resurfaces stuff, sparks connection between old ideas and new perspectives, love it.
Books about writing
- Flavio Copes - How to start a blog
- Effective Dev portfolio by Josh Comeau
- Google’s Technical Writing course
- Building A Second Brain
You made it this far, here’s a meme about external cognition
- Building A Second Brain - By Tiago Forte and David Perell. I’ve learnt a ton about writing from these gentlemen.
- Write of Passage
- My process hasn’t changed much over the years. Here’s what it looked like in 2020.
- And in December 2021. The set up hasn’t changed much since, I’ve gone back to Notion for private notes that need a URL.