What are your knowledge-mapping habits?

I’m perpetually adding to it and looking up specific things I need, but I much less often have time to read through much of it, let alone organize. A day ago I spent an hour reading and organizing my (org-roam) knowledge graph. It felt both wonderfully productive and yet at the same time such a small drop in the bucket. I wish I could do that every day.

It makes me wonder what others’ habits are. How much time do you put into it? Is it random or methodical?


Just got notified about this, my own thread, in the weekly summary. I wonder whether that will bring in any more eyeballs …

1 reduce the number of a sub-children for a header

  • less than 7
  • possible to run [crontab] to suggest user about some nodes to deal

2 focus to think deeper about one note

  • did I do something to improve it?
  • what’s good/bad?
  • Any principle I learn in the pass that can be applied here?

3 relax mode

  • carry a small index notes in the pocket
  • go for a long hike/run
  • voice down anything popup mind

4 talk to other people on Internet

  • try to regroup
  • try to rethinking
  • try to improve previous

5 re-read a book

  • write down why you want to read this book again
    • how’s difference from previous one
    • what’s improve/ nothing change?

6 rebuild a habit

  • previous one too hard
  • make it simple?

7 any elisp function writen to improve anything above?

no? time to switch to scrach and M-x emacs-lisp-mode. Actualy,

[Try to visit this node for next 7 days to see how it works. ]

For the last week, it’s quite a failure in terms of building this habit,
so I can vaguely remember that I just opened this note to check
things, let alone to reconnecting anything. The main issue or the main
cause I feel is the stress from the outside world that kind of forcing
me to respond in a way that I forgot this habit. Put it simply, this
habit isn’t ready into my system.

But I do want say one positive thing that I still come here to post
some observations for myself. And I also change the default reaction
when I prepare my next week’s template. So I consider it as a win for
this point, for myself.

I find that whenever I’m creating a new node, I only need to answer a single question: “In what context do I want to re-discover this stuff?” I connect it to whatever I think it relates to. I don’t concern myself with the total number of nodes in my system, or with the idea that at some point I will be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information I’ve accumulated. I’m not worried about that at all; my database is already home to almost 2,000 records. Context can be anything: your colleague’s name, a place, or a project. I also liberally make use of aliases to prevent accidentally re-creating the same topic under a different name. With proper context association duplicate nodes are not a big problem. I had to merge conflicting nodes a few times, it takes just a few seconds to wgrep and replace the IDs.

I think you are on a good point. The essential part of this system is to answer the question, in what context do I want to rediscover this note again? If I reflect myself, it’s probably only a very small percentage of the time I tend to think that way. What I do find something that is useful to make something non-trivial is to create those sort of index files.

I have to confess myself that a lot of time when I think of a topic, when I think about what’s the context I’m going to think about, I always think, okay, this is probably going to be a small structure of a bigger system, and that’s it. So I tend to create lots of MOC, but really that’s not the case here.

Also, most of the notes I’ve written are in response to a document that I’m supposed to write. I was just checking something interesting I found online, and I think about that in the future I might use it. Then I create that note. But that’s not how it’s supposed to be. Well, I do write manuscripts, but I would say it’s more confined to a narrow topic. So basically, the content of that manuscript is well-defined, so it’s rare for me to go to a far distance to write something that is not strongly connected to the current work I’m doing.

And I often ask myself, okay, what can I get out of those notes? Maybe I can create something real, physical real, I mean. Or I can write a piece of code that is workable, or even better, I can share with other people that might find it works. Other than that, the most thing I can think about right now is kind of management of the concept that I encounter on a day-to-day basis. Another thing is definitely about log, so if I’m working on a non-trivial ellipse function, it’s really helpful to keep a log file to go through some paper solutions to a certain question or even just to interact with LLM, it’s really helpful in that way.

I do want to improve this habit, maybe it’s about building that habit of reviewing the past notes or past things that is already in the system but is not fully developed. It’s not an easy thing, so every time I revisit old notes, there’s not too much of an attraction there for me to expand on ideas. I’m not sure if it’s human nature or it’s just me being too greedy of writing things down. The thing I can think about to attack is to build that consistency to act in a certain way. I think it’s more manageable than to just have all those type of things that I can choose to look back on those notes.