These notes are inspired by personal knowledge management systems, techniques such as zettelkasten, software such as Obsidian, TiddlyWiki, and Foam,I’ve been using Foam at work for several months, and it’s kind of great. and specific instances such as Andy Matuschak’s Working Notes.
Blog posts are fixed in a point of time. They’re read through linear feed readers, shared on timelines or through instant messaging, and any updates are often made through followup posts or awkward paragraphs labeled “UPDATE,” offset from the original content. This is not a bad thing; this temporality is a defining characteristic and strength.
But I found myself holding back posts, continuously revising, editing, and polishing drafts. I felt like I had one chance to get a blog post right. I realized I was spending more time editing the non-blog pages on this site, such as the Typefaces and Typography page. What if this site was largely organized around those sorts of pages, that I could keep adding to over time? So: these notes.
I’m starting with these guidelines:
- Notes are always drafts, and can change in the future. They can be messy, incomplete, imperfect.
- Develop and write in the open; don’t hold a note back until it’s “done.” (You can also see my Todo list.)
- Try creating a note about a thing; it might not go anywhere for a while, and that’s okay. A placeholder is better than a void.
- Write notes for me first, and maybe someone else will find them interesting.
The first goal is meta: these goals may change over time as well. Or maybe notes won’t work out, and I’ll scrap them, and that’s okay too.
Notes are built around just a couple of implementation ideas: links between notes, and backlinks in the reverse direction. They inherit all of the formatting and publishing support from journal posts as well: text, images, video, citations and bibliographic listings, math, code and embeddable markup, styles, and scripts designed for a wide range of device sizes and types.