A realisation...

A realisation...

As I plunge into yet another notes app (UpNote this time, which is excellent), I am hit with the sudden realisation that this is the purest of pure procrastination. 

When I have an idea that actually needs to be noted down, I will grab whatever is to hand - a scrap of paper, a notebook, an app, whatever - and I will make the note. But when I lack for ideas, I find myself questing for the app that will do the perfect job of recording my non-existent notion, and will then link it to other non-existing notions in a way that I imagine will make my life better when, or if, I ever have another idea in my head.

It's a fool's errand. And I think this is how I view all of those PKM (Personal Knowledge Management) articles that crop up on Medium all the time. I'm not sure most of these people have a lot of personal knowledge to manage. If they did, I think they would be managing it, not writing about it. And so I increasingly find myself, as a non-academic, questioning the need for a "knowledge graph" and backlinks etc etc.

Maybe all we need is a place we can easily note things down and a method of retrieving them that is no more complicated than files and folders, or something alphabetical?

Maybe notes don't want to be indexed and Zettelkastened and back-linked. Maybe they want to just be filled out and worked on until they go from a spark to something actionable? Or they want to be left alone in the dark, to grow on their own, until someone stumbles over them again? Write the idea down and walk away. Maybe that is the key. Maybe serendipity is just flicking through those notes until something catches your eye?

Perhaps it is possible to be addicted to the idea of note-taking, while forgetting that the practice is supposed to serve a purpose and, absent that purpose, it is just busy work.

These are my thoughts on a grey Saturday morning, without an idea in my head but with a plethora of conflicting ways to record the absence.