PKM and dealing with 'ooh, shiny'

I’ve written before about how I worry I’m beginning to over-complicate my notetaking set-up just because I see something shiny.

It’s still a worry of mine and one I battle with constantly – dramatic as that sounds.

I see this question as a grid, with pros and cons in each box.


From this, I think the best place to sit is somewhere between simple/fluidity and complex/fluidity – now and then dipping into simple/friction. (I’ve written about good friction before.)

Before I add something new to my system, or change a workflow, I ask myself a few questions:

  1. What am I going to get rid of, to create space for this?
  2. How future-proofed is this?
  3. What will I do if these programs stop talking to each other, or a plugin becomes defunct?

(There are obviously also the questions such as ‘can I afford this’, ‘will it run on my operating system’ etc.)

Avoid the question of ‘will this add value?’ – in that initial shiny phase, you’ll convince yourself it will.

Similarly, if you ask ‘what problem does this solve?’ you may find yourself inventing problems, because shiny.

Instead, ask yourself whether it complicates or simplifies your workflow, and then whether it adds friction or fluidity – then look at what box that falls into.

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