Need help with personal knowledge management!
December 28, 2008 10:04 PM Subscribe
How are people organizing their information (professional and personal) in this day and age? What kind of system is flexible enough to cope with multiple data types (PDFs, DOCs, short text notes, hyperlinks, ...), efficient during collection (when browsing the Web, when reading documents, ...) and won't get in my way when I try to use it?
posted by fsmontenegro to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 63 users marked this as a favorite
(I looked into existing posts - good start, but I'd like suggestions that also incorporate whole files and not just bookmarks and snippets)
I'm trying to find a coherent system using multiple tools - mindmaps, note taking tools, file search tools and others - so that I can be more productive in storing and finding the right information. A personal Memex if you will, similar to Vannevar Bush's original idea but with proper search.
I'm an IT/Network Security Architect/Engineer. I deal with information on a daily basis - from configuration snippets and links to product documentation to written reports and form documents. Sometimes the entire document is relevant and sometimes a simple summary or just a snippet may do.
I've used mind maps (with MindManager) since 2001 and I love the concept and the tool. I've used it to take notes when studying, to create document structure and then exporting to Word, to capture notes in meetings, etc...
I've recently been introduced to Microsoft OneNote. It also seems very, very powerful in organizing information - notebooks, sections, pages, etc... all searchable and nicely integrated into Windows. I've come to rely on OneNote for screen captures, print outputs and the integration of short notes to my PDA.
I find desktop search tools (initially Yahoo's Desktop - an OEM of X1 - and now Google Desktop, with its' capability to search MindMaps...) to be also very, very good at helping find information, especially when it is in a structured document (Word, PDF, ...)
Finally I know there's other tools out there:
- Wikis (web-based and local storage) TiddlyWiki as a good example
- Scrapbook firefox extension (excellent for local storage of pages!)
- Google Notebook
- Stars and tags in Google Reader and other RSS
- others… heck, I've heard of people using iTunes to manage their PDFs!
I read Lifehacker, I do GTD (I use it in a slightly modified fashion) and I live the inbox zero concept. My issue is not so much task management as information management.
So, what kind of systems are people using for managing their information? What's the best way of keeping track of some configuration details for firewalls I work with? How can I easily store (and retrieve) interesting RSS posts? Suggestions for storing (or not) a PDF whitepaper on something?