There’s been some positive feedback in the
#knowledge-management channel on Discord regarding my usage of a “Seedbox” to facilitate knowledge growth. The idea is incomplete, but I figured I’d share it here, so it can be refined by questioning and, hopefully, of use to someone.
In this post, I want to share:
- My methodology for capturing ideas.
- Why the seedbox is a valuable part of that methodology.
- Create a
/seedboxfolder in your Obsidian vault.
- In the settings, set
/seedboxas your location for new notes.
- In the settings, set “new link format” to “absolute path”.
My Methodology in Brief
- Every new idea goes into Drafts (https://getdrafts.com/).
- I have recently learned that this is also known as “ubiquitous capture”.
- Every day, I go through the notes I have made in Drafts, either deleting them, creating action steps from them, or adding them to a
/seedboxfolder in my Obsidian vault.
- If a note in the Seedbox is proven to be valuable via future usage, then I put a simple note at the bottom:
#useful, and a date stamp (for me, something like:
u:2020-08-01) and all notes with that hash will come to my attention in the future as candidates to be moved into my permanent notes.
- I will go through all notes with
#usefultagged about one a week or so. The time frame really doesn’t matter, much.
- For eace note, I will seek possible other ideas in the seedbox that might be related. I will re-consider the idea, and usually add to it.
- I will create links from a note in my main body of notes (often a MOC) to the note under curation.
- Once I am satisfied, I move the note out of the Seedbox, into my main body of notes.
- I remove the
#usefultag: all the note in my main body of notes have proven to be useful, so it’s unnecessary .
- I remove the
That’s really it. It’s an inbox with a nicer name and some methodology around it.
Every day, as a habit, I try to look at one note in my Seedbox, and see if it is of any relevance, or may be linked to other ideas.
- This is a good time/place to try out MOCs
- Feel free to create MOCs just to think with: I call these “probationary MOCs”, and they’ll help you curate a body of knowledge all at once.
Why the Seedbox is valuable to me, in brief
- It allows me to create a new note at any time with no fear of “muddling” my curated notes. There doesn’t need to be any analysis paralysis trying to decide how the note should be organized: it doesn’t matter, yet.
- It creates a natural separation between curated and uncurated knowledge and ideas: if an item is outside my Seedbox, I know it has received at least a baseline of consideration, and I know it has proven itself valuable at least once in the past.
- When seen in links (e.g.
seedbox/I bet I could fly if I really wanted to), I have immediate visual feedback that the idea has not been curated, and should be taken with even more of a grain of salt than my usual ideas.
Methodology Explained… A Bit
In this metaphor, “seeds” are captured ideas. When you put a seed into your seedbox, you are “planting” it, in the hopes that it will grow into an Understanding. The thing is, when you plant a seed, you don’t really know what kind of plant it might grow up to be. Will it bear fruit? Will it be toxic? Will it be pretty? Ugly? You really don’t know! What DO know, however, is that you can’t grow knowledge without these seeds.
So into the seedbox our ideas go. We put them there for all the reasons listed above, but I think the most valuable reason is that it warns us to be careful of our thinking when referencing these ideas.
Let’s say I have the note: “I hate coffee” in my seedbox. It just reads: “Because it’s the worst.”
This is not a good argument for hating coffee, but perhaps it made sense to me at the time, and I captured it. There is nothing wrong with that. Let’s say I am researching caffeine in the future and, after typing
[[coffee to start a link, I see my
[[seedbox/I hate coffee]] as an option. Seeing this note is prepended with “seedbox” tells me immediately that I should reconsider including this note in other places, without further review.
Perhaps it is years in the future, and I now love coffee! I check that note, and see the poorly-thought-through body. I can quickly tag this note as
#discard, noting its irrelevance. As an alternative, I could change the note to “I used to hate coffee” or something along those lines, and keep it around for a chuckle, or link it as empirical evidence to a note on how tastes change over time.
On the other hand, if I still hate coffee, perhaps I now have a stronger argument to add to the body (not that such an argument exists ), and I’m glad to be reminded that coffee is not an option for me in consumption of caffeine. In this case, I might tag the note with
#useful, make some quick alterations on why I dislike coffee, and continue with my research.
Either way, I have left my note(s) in a better state then they were when I started, have not gone far out of my way in doing so, and have left myself a clue (in the form of hashtags) to go back and take action on these notes in the future.
I hope this helps some of you!
I have really enjoyed this system for quick capture, and no anxiety over where to put stuff. Throw it in the seedbox, do some curation, and see what grows. Then share all your awsome new knowledge and Understandings with the rest of us!