The best method of knowledge capture is the laziest option

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I keep a habit of writing most things down. It takes thoughts and plans off my working memory and stops it from unnecessarily popping up in my head.

In the post I linked above, I noted how I used Standard Notes with Obsidian to host my thoughts and memories digitally.

I stopped using Obsidian a while ago due to the amount of friction necessary to use Obsidian in my workflow, especially for capturing thoughts when I'm away from my desktop:

  1. First capture a thought, memory, or resource in Standard Notes when I'm on the go (on mobile).
  2. At home, on desktop, open Standard Notes and Obsidian, and copy the noteworthy item from Standard Notes into Obsidian.
  3. Set up the note in Obsidian (fixing up a title, adding links, etc).

(This was before Obsidian had their Sync service and a fully fledged mobile app.)

This required “ongoing maintenance” as otherwise my present self does not remember whether past self moved all noteworthy items into Obsidian or not. Notes that are not “urgent” get buried quickly in my Standard Notes database. This ongoing maintenance requires extra time and energy. Being unable to access any expanded notes on Obsidian while away from my desktop (without fussing with third-party sync and individual markdown files without a proper note-linked UI) is also a significant barrier to my use of the system. These factors actively discouraged me from capturing everything that resonates with me.

Alternatively, I could just capture my thoughts in Standard Notes on any device, only open Standard Notes instead of Obsidian as well when I need the note, and only work on the note when I need it, without ongoing maintenance. This is what I do now.

Only the laziest, fastest option of capture stands the test of time. The lazier and the method, the better, and the more consistent I am with the practice. I find consistency to be more important than getting the perfect, optimal system that I don't consistently use.


The lack of note linking in Standard Notes does hurt, though.


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