pfm: .plan, site map, about


Notes, blogs, knowledge–bases

As already mentioned, I like keeping notes and organising information. I do it all the time, so it’s quite important for me how I do it.

Over the years, I’ve tried several approaches to collecting notes. Org-mode was one of those I used for a longer period of time and was rather fond of, but I was never 100% sure how to set it up. Using it on several machines, I never configured it the same twice. It’s just so complex…

Not long ago, I’ve tried using Acme and plan9port in general. When opening my Org-mode notes, I’ve noticed that they’re unreadable without Org-mode, even useless. But keeping all that complexity just to have an outline of stuff I do and record time spent on tasks seems to be an overkill. So my journey has started and I’ve found that Markdown-mode is unbelievably useful, while still quite simple.

Since I already use Markdown to edit my blog, I decided I could also use it to keep notes. It’s perfectly readable without any editor support, it’s plain text, making it easy to search or even process, and the Markdown-mode has a few very nice features making it even more convenient to use.

Right now I record time spent on tasks manually: I just have journal–like files with names like 20201214.md and each of them starts with a bullet list of major activities. Besides, each of these files contains a list of urgent things I should do that day and possible findings, meetings notes and the likes. So far it’s been working nicely.

Another Emacs add–on I’ve started using recenlty is Deft, a tool to browse and search a directory full of plain text files. It displays their names, lets me search them and visit them.

And with all these ideas about storing knowledge in plain text, having read about different plain text tools and methods used with it, I’ve also decided to change the structure of my own website. It started as a blog, but I’d like it to become an old–fashioned collection of pages. Digital garden is just a fancy name coined rather recently, but the approach is by no means new. All websites used to be like that some time ago. And when we think about it, that was much more natural. But not all websites have to be organised around a time–line. For many websites, the only use for a chronological list of entries would be a Change Log.


This work by Piotr Mieszkowski is licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0