Has anyone else spent lots of time invested in PKM systems before moving to Obsidian? Do you feel bad about it?

Before I switched to Obsidian a few months ago, I was really invested in Mediawiki. I had first set it up 3 years ago after having edited on Wikia (now Fandom) wikis years before that. I really liked how it worked, it seemed like a very comprehensive system for knowledge. Wiki pages with infoboxes, custom templates, page histories, and some other features. It’s also and maintained by Wikipedia devs since it runs the website.

However, Most of that is possible in Obsidian, and its much easier to use than Mediawiki, which isn’t even meant for PKM, its wiki software to run as a website like Wikipedia. It requires setting up a web server which is a very involved, technical process. It’s not feasible if you aren’t very tech savvy. Data is stored in a. SQL database, and I’ve actually had lots of issues with it. I had database errors a lot and kept fixing them. Every time it happened, I thought once I fixed them, that would be it and I wouldn’t have problems again, at least for a while. Eventually I had enough and just stopped using it. I didn’t want to find another wiki or PKM system since I invested so much time into it. Here’s a lesson: the worst PKM system is the one you don’t want to work or write on.

After spending lots of time away from it, I had been wanting a replacement and did lots of googling and research for note taking apps until I found Obsidian. It took some time to me to accept that I wasted lots of time trying to make Mediawiki work, but I got over it. I’ve spent very little of fixing issues, and almost all of it either writing or improving my vault with plugins or other management. I feel lots of satisfaction whenever I write in it. Needless to say, I’m very happy with my Obsidian vault.

I am thinking of doing the opposite, actually. An Obsidian vault can store your own Wikipedia and you can publish in Wiki-like environments.
A Wiki is also more trusted than a blog source, but that’s debatable.

The number one, top priority is to put in lots of time into your material. I converted my stuff from docx files. It was hardly ideal, looking back. Yes, you could say I was wasting time, but then again, there was no Obsidian when I first started out and I managed to convert everything to the new environment. I had the foresight to bold my prospective markdown links (strings corresponding to filenames that did not exist in MS Office, because I had 250-350 page chunks holding many entries).

The most important thing is to write. And probably even more important is what you’re writing. It’s 2023, everyone ought to know what is demagogy and propaganda. Don’t be a mindless zombie who recites the lesson they want to teach you – their worldview.

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I had a similar issue. When I was fresh and green, I thought that Notion was such a sexy tool with all its shiny features. However, as it turned out, it lacked the functionality and speed I needed.

I had been writing my PhD thesis in linguistics when my PKM in Notion began to lag. At first, I thought it was a bug, but over time it only worsened. So, I once again stepped on the path of exploration and tried out Logseq, Roam, Emacs (God forbid), and finally, Obsidian.

It took half a year to move all notes into the Obsidian, several time I’ve redesigned the whole system. Now it is a mix of wiki and atomic notes from the notes in the vault several manuscripts have been born and multiple scientific articles on pedagogy, science of reading and everyday logical thinking.

Now it’s my favorite tool for writing and thinking. The work on the book is in progress, canvas the best thing for visual organization various ideas and bits of thoughts. Zotero is also a great help in categorization of sources. At some point a desire to start digital garden sparked, but piblish doesn’t suit my needs in flexibility, so instead native publish I use Wordpress site. Which covers all my needs.

So, again, you are right. Obs is the best tool today, especially if a person has some experience with other tools.

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Most future points in time will rely on previous points in time in order to exist. Why feel bad because something stopped working for you and you moved on to something that, for now, works for you?