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This article participates in the Digital Stationery Box Call for Papers .
Since high school, I have had the idea of arranging my wrong questions on the cloud, which can be viewed anytime, anywhere on my mobile phone for easy review. However, limited by the environment at the time and the inability to use digital tools conveniently, this idea came to an end. However, the idea of ”digitizing notes” has sprung up since then.
After I went to college, I came into contact with OneNote. “Transport” valuable “articles”, class notes, and PPT to OneNote, like a hard-working little hamster, constantly hoarding “knowledge”. Watching the growing “occupancy size” of software is full of sense of accomplishment. But after work, I gradually found that the accumulated “knowledge” cannot be applied to production practice, and many notes may never be opened since they were “moved” into OneNote.
By chance, I heard Mr. Shao Nan, the founder of flomo, give a lecture on “knowledge management” , in which he mentioned a sentence that I am all too familiar with:
Handling is a waste.
As a graduate of industrial engineering, “handling waste” as one of the “eight major wastes” is the focus of study and the entry point of work. But I only applied it to the production process of work before, ignoring my own “knowledge processing” process. I suddenly realized that in my original knowledge management process, “moving” accounted for a large part, and it was a huge waste to ignore it. This kind of transportation does not generate any added value, nor does it deepen the impression of knowledge in one’s brain, and it is impossible to easily invoke it later when needed. Apart from wasting time and energy, and by the way satisfying my little inner sense of accomplishment and vanity, there is little benefit. Because from the perspective of production, the knowledge of “handling” is only moved from the gate of the factory to the processing workshop, and stacked in the corner, it is almost impossible to carry production equipment, and it is even less likely to become a valuable “product”.
At the recommendation of Mr. Shaonan, I started to contact the book “Card Notes Writing Method” and tried to use the double-chain note-taking tool to recreate my “knowledge processing factory”.
my knowledge factory
The production of products basically includes three processes: input of raw materials, processing of in-process products, and output of products. The same is true of knowledge, including input, processing and output. Combining the flash notes, literature notes, and permanent notes mentioned in the “Card Notes Writing Method”, among the many “digital stationery”, I chose TheBrain, flomo, Logseq and Siyuan as my “knowledge processing factory”.
The basic structure and processing flow of my knowledge processing factory are shown in the following figure:
Figure 1 Basic architecture and processing flow chart
Why call TheBrain the workshop director? First, let’s take a look at TheBrain software. The following is an introduction from the official website.
TheBrain is a unique mind mapping software, where all the information is connected through one node after another, eventually forming a complex but not chaotic network structure. Compared with the traditional tree-shaped mind map, TheBrain is more helpful to integrate scattered resources, stimulate creativity and exercise thinking.
I don’t think it’s enough to call it a “mind map”, it represents an advanced production method. The traditional mind map is more of a parent-child hierarchical relationship. A “father” has multiple “sons”, but with the extension of children, the relationship between children of different parents will become farther and farther. TheBrain can implement multiple “fathers”, multiple “sons” and multiple “friends” links, which means that even two nodes that are far apart can be associated. As shown in Figure 1, this picture is drawn using TheBrain. We can find that there are no clear parent nodes and child nodes in the graph. Some nodes can be either parent nodes or child nodes, and child nodes under the same parent node can also be connected. For example, “Logseq” is both a child node of “Workshop” and a parent node of “Input” and “Output”, and “Logseq” can also be a child node of “Input” and “Output”. Secondly, “Logseq” can also establish a connection between the two nodes “flomo” and “Siyuan”. In this way, the basic structure and processing flow of my “knowledge processing factory” are very clear.
TheBrain first helped me build the framework of the “knowledge processing factory”, but of course it does more than that. TheBrain fits the way our brain thinks, full of jumps. In particular, the knowledge point of “moving is a waste”, in the traditional mind map, or in my traditional thinking mode, its position in my knowledge system, as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2 “Transportation waste” under the traditional thinking mode
But Mr. Shao Nan’s lecture touched me. The knowledge point of “handling is a waste” is not only applicable to the traditional production industry, it can be related to the production and processing of knowledge. This leap of thought, the transfer of knowledge, is something I have never experienced before. It is also difficult for traditional mind mapping tools to visualize this relationship. TheBrain solves this pain point. As shown in Figure 3, there is a relationship between “handling waste” and “knowledge processing”.
Figure 3 “Transportation waste” under the new thinking mode
The concept conveyed by TheBrain coincides with the “Card Notes Writing Method”. The traditional mind map is more of a “top-down” model, while “TheBrain” and “Card Notes” provide “bottom-up” , the “natural growth” mode of thinking. Disciplines can intersect, especially between knowledge.
Going back to the question at the beginning, why is TheBrain a workshop director? In the traditional production industry, the task of the workshop director is to control the entire production process according to the input raw materials, product demand and workshop capacity, including the distribution and handling of raw materials, production processes and processes, and formulating reasonable production plans, etc. . For me, TheBrain also plays a similar role in my “knowledge processing factory”, which intuitively shows the relationship between different “information” and “knowledge”, which is also difficult for other double-chain note-taking tools. Do a little bit. It can help me macro-control the progress of the entire knowledge system construction, assign different information to the appropriate “processing workshop” for processing, and can also help me determine the information processing method and the construction of the double-chain relationship in the “processing workshop”. Of course, the mind map-like mode also determines that TheBrain is not suitable for deep processing of knowledge, which means that it is only suitable for the position of “workshop director”, and it is difficult to output in-depth knowledge products as a “processing workshop”. For example, after the knowledge point of “handling waste” is displayed in TheBrain, its specific usage in the fields of “industrial engineering” and “knowledge processing” will be processed in depth by the “processing workshop”, and a complete document will be output as the final product.
Combined with the areas of personal concern and recent projects, the Brain was used to build a preliminary knowledge system in the early stage, and then the knowledge that can be processed in depth in the “processing workshop”.
Let me introduce my three major “processing workshops”.
Minority readers should be familiar with this tool, and it is also the first note-taking software with two-way link function that I have come across.
As a lightweight note-taking tool, flomo does not have strong typesetting capabilities or simple double-chaining, so its functional characteristics also determine that it is suitable for handling flash notes.
Why Flash Notes? Like its name, flash thoughts are thoughts that flash through our minds. Whether it’s the sigh we made when we read the article on the official account, the knowledge we captured when we swiped Douyin videos, or the flash of inspiration when we were in a daze, they are all flash notes. We may not have paper and pen at hand, but we can easily open flomo on our mobile phone, or even the flomo public account of WeChat, to record these flashes of aura.
I think many people also have the habit of excerpting golden sentences, and flomo is also very suitable for collecting these contents. I’ve done the same before, copy-pasting memos from my phone that I see as sentences that I think are valuable, but this transport doesn’t give me any value, because unprocessed information can never be turned into knowledge. Therefore, the content of the input flomo should be written in your own words as much as possible, or make a connection with other existing knowledge.
How do I use flomo? flomo provides tags and annotation connections, which help me to make connections between different knowledge cards. Label function I draw on IARP principles and combine my own reality to design the label system shown in Figure 4. Labels help me aggregate knowledge content of the same type, and annotations help me build a bridge between any two pieces of knowledge.
Figure 4 flomo labeling system
For example, the knowledge point of “handling is a waste” can belong to both “project/knowledge management” and “field/IE” (IE is the abbreviation of industrial engineering) in the labeling system. At the same time, through the annotation function, the knowledge point is associated with other knowledge points under the two labels.
Figure 5 Flomo usage example
So how do we better recall the previously recorded memo? flomo designed the daily review function.
Method 1: Review via desktop widget (up to 24 per day)
Method 2: Review past content in the notification center through the app’s push message (up to 24 times a day, iOS does not currently support)
Method 3: Review daily push messages through WeChat service account (up to 3 times a day)
These reviews allow me to better explore the connections between knowledge points, and I can also discover some information that has lost its value, and discard it to reduce information noise.
flomo provides a simple sharing function, we can post short words to Moments, Weibo and other places we want to output. At the same time, the characteristics of flomo also determine that it is not suitable for deeper and more content knowledge processing, so how to make better use of the recorded knowledge? I use Logsseq to undertake further processing of flomo knowledge.
As shown in Figure 6, flomo and Logseq can perform one-way data transmission through the plug-in – flomo sync. There are three synchronization modes to choose from – tab mode, diary mode, and single page mode. You can also choose the range and format of synchronization, which is very convenient.
Figure 6 flomo sync plugin Figure 7 flomo sync plugin settings
Logseq is a powerful dual-link note-taking tool. After synchronizing the content of flomo, it can make better use of the dual-link function for knowledge processing. The flash notes stored in flomo are aggregated in Logseq and further processed into literature notes. For example, “Transportation is a waste.” In Logseq, the knowledge recorded in flomo everywhere can be aggregated using functions such as double chain, block reference, and block embedding to form a relatively complete article. Therefore, knowledge cannot simply be transferred from flomo to Logseq.
Figure 8 Logseq example
However, as an outline-type double-chain tool, Logseq has obvious shortcomings. It is not conducive to outputting long texts. It is always used to write a few sentences and then press Enter. It is difficult to construct an article with semantic logic, and it is not suitable for public sharing, and the reading experience of readers is not good. For this, we need another “processing workshop” – Siyuan to deal with it.
Siyuan ‘s note-taking tool may not appear many times in the minority. It is a local dual-chain note-taking tool that combines outline type and document type. The introduction on the official website is as follows:
Siyuan Notes is a local-first personal knowledge management system that supports complete offline use, as well as end-to-end encrypted synchronization. Blend blocks, outlines and two-way links to build your timeless digital garden.
It has the following properties:
- Block Editing – Notion-like editing mode.
- Privacy and security – data is completely stored locally, and synchronization supports end-to-end encryption, so there is no need to worry about the risk of cloud privacy leakage and loss.
- Double-chain block quotation – all content is based on block editing, which can be easily cited and linked.
- List outline – supports outline editing, with clear levels.
Of course, Siyuan can easily import files in markdown format, which means that Logseq data can be easily migrated to Siyuan.
In Siyuan, I also use the IPRA principle to organize notes, but instead of labels, I use double chains. Siyuan provides the function of documenting trees, but notes under the principle of IPRA need to flow so that knowledge can adapt to its own changing needs. Therefore, referring to the organization method of MOC , we combined the “top-down” method of traditional catalogues and the “bottom-up” method of card notes as much as possible. At the same time, we also borrowed the note-taking method of Daily Note to form “Siyuan”. Workshop equipment and processes.
In the document tree, I set up 4 directories, which are:
- MOC – As shown in Figure 10, the MOC uses the PARA principle to build four modules: project, field, resource, and archive, which echoes the labeling system in flomo. Double chains can also save the trouble of moving notes in the document tree, making it more flexible and efficient. At the bottom is a plug-in, which can easily jump to the Daily Note of the corresponding date, and it is very convenient to combine with the diary.
- Diary—Organize notes by means of Daily Note, process knowledge, reduce input pressure, and it is also convenient to use double-chain links to other notes in Siyuan. This article is written in the diary, which also reduces the pressure of direct output of long texts.
- Inbox——Siyuan also provides the clipping function of WeChat and browsers, and these articles that need to be processed later will be temporarily stored in this directory.
- Main – The main directory stores all other note contents except Daily Note, and the contents here are pre-processed in-depth knowledge products with output value.
Figure 9 Siyuan document block tree directory Figure 10 Siyuan PARA principle MOC design
How to avoid Inbox articles from becoming digital garbage? I applied the method of progressive summarization , processed the obtained information, built a five-layer note-taking system, and advanced it layer by layer, which perfectly solved the problem of “how to avoid waste of handling”. A very important part of this principle is to have a sales mindset and sell your current knowledge to your future self.
- The first layer: the original text, the basis of the summary, can be in any way you are comfortable with, I like to cut the original text.
- Layer 2: The first round of information compression. Bold the parts that you think are important and key after reading.
- The third layer: On the basis of the second layer, review the bolded parts, find out the more critical essence, and highlight them.
- Level 4: Summarize in your own words, for the most important part, reorganize the language in your own words.
- The fifth layer: For those parts that are useful to you now, on the basis of 1 to 4, add other ideas, and output, it can be text, video, or any way that can be displayed.
Progressive summary is to reinforce the future self. I think friends who have read “The Three-Body Problem” must be familiar with this term. It is also a good example of the application of the same concept in different fields, which has strengthened my understanding of the transfer, intersection, and connection between knowledge.
Since then, my “knowledge processing factory” has formed a full-process operation mode from input to processing to output, which also avoids “waste of handling”.
This is the first time I have written and published it on the Internet. Thanks to the “Card Note Writing Method” for teaching me the way, it reduces the pressure of writing and improves my self-confidence in writing. At the same time, I think that the use of the software is based on the underlying thinking mode. If I still use the previous learning method, the dual-chain note-taking tool will not be able to play its maximum role.
The above is the work flow and experience that I have explored after coming into contact with these digital stationery recently. The writing is very shallow. I hope to communicate with you, and hope to get your advice.
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