Before I dive in, let me give you a bit of context. I I write books, articles, radio scripts etc and I’m lucky enough to have a really broad brief. (It’s mainly about food… but the history, culture, philosophy etc.)
For years I’ve kept notes, on paper, sketchbooks, digital note apps on phones and computers. I’ve got a huge archive of completed work and I’m always generating new material through research.
I’m not an academic.
I came across Obsidian a while back and got really excited. I’ve dragged in loads of old material, from all sorts of diverse sources. My daily notetaking has become more professional and… well this is going to sound pretty non-technical… but the cross-connecting element is starting to look really incredible. It’s a whole new level of utility.
So my question is “what do I do next?”
Not in terms of technology… new plugins, tools or scripts. More on a kind of simplistic level?
People who have notebooks ‘go through them’ distill, and cross reference. People who run Zettelkasten must somehow obsessively shuffle their boxes and update their crosslinks.
I can see this stuff happening, almost automatically, as the body of materials gets bigger and bigger… it’s starting to take on a sort of life of its own.
I just don’t know how to harness it. How do people use their giant, self-interlinking mega-brain?
I guess I’ve spent a lot of time going through, improving links, approving link suggestions that Obsidian is making, checking back to sources (via Zotero) and making sure that they’re up-to-date so the info on a note is verified.
I make sure to precis and rewrite material in the body of the note so I can use it easily without mistakenly plagiarising.
I’ve done some tagging… which seems useful. Though I’m still working in one giant vault so Obsidian can do its linking magic in the broadest way.
I’m sure this thing is sitting on articles, books, scripts, talks… dozens of things…through connection of ideas, but how do I get to them?