Advice on Roam workflow, how do you separate private and public part of your garden?

tldr; How do you manage private and public imbrication in your PKM, especially for publication ?

With org-mode and org-roam (thanks a lot @jethro for this !) i finally found a way to create a beautiful and savage digital garden from all that chaotic mess in my brain / bookmarks …

I’m organize my idea using a mix between the P.A.R.A method (an index file with Idea/Projects/Area/Resources ) and Zettelkasten. The post of @ftrx on Reddit ( ) also convinced me to transform/migrate all my classic org file into org-roam files as the only way to follow :slight_smile:

P.A.R.A method to build a 2nbrain (i prefer digital garden) insist on the intrication between personnal and private life, if it’s not a problem in general, it becomes a serious problem if you plan to publish part of your org-roam file online…

For exemple, i’m interested to publish part of my garden for anyone (like jethro garden for example), but i’m also interested to publish another part as an anonymous on the net (like permits for example) Also, like yours, some part of my professional garden need probably a gpg/encryption and no publication at all, for example meeting report or secret project to dominate the world.

In résumé, we need a system to build (smart) fences to separate part of digital garden before publication ?

I suppose one way to do that is to use ROAM_TAGS with some PRIVATE / PERSONAL / PUBLIC tags combo. I suppose we also do that using org-ql query ? But i’m curious, any of you had an existing pipeline to publish different part of your garden on different platform (PRIVATE on website a, PUBLIC on website b, etc.) ?

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I’ve also been thinking about this, but was stumped at the thought of interlinking between the public/private parts being broken. I think they would have to be in separate zettelkastens.

I think there are different ways of doing this. There are some conversations in the #workflows channels in the Org Roam Slack if you search for “private” e.g.

I’ve seen pre-pending files with “private” if you want to keep all files in one directory or saving private files to a private directory if don’t mind using subdirectories.

I needed to make this distinction in order to only publish a subset of files anf chose to save save private files to their own directory.

I remember reading somewhere about why some people preferred to put everything in one directory, but I don’t recall the reasons and it was more complicated to set up for me at the time.

I create a diagam to better represent my thought on these workflows


I also publish an enhancement issue on github to discuss the possibility to define more graphically some workflow to develop using org-roam. I’m ready to help on that @jethro @zaeph this summer if you want.

This sounds @reyman can you link the “jethro garden” example that you mentions! that sounds amazing!

If you do post your digital garden I’d love to check it out! I’ve been referring to my system as a second mind since I admire Luhmann’s Zettelkasten, but I love the way you describe it.

If anyone has more tips on how to divide public and private I’d love to know more about it!

Hi !

Thanks for your interest, we start a discussion on publishing workflow here, @jethro and @tees already share some tips : Package dedicated to workflows publishing digital garden on web

We dig to see what’s already possible and how we could progress in the future

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