Ever since I re-joined Medium (after a hiatus of about a year), I have been inundated with articles on productivity apps and apps for “PKM”. For the longest time, I had no idea what this PKM thing was, but these articles were about Trello, Notion, Obsidian, Capacities, and others.
It turns out, PKM stands for Personal Knowledge Management — one kind blogger actually slipped that into their article for ignorant people like me. PKM is an author’s nightmare — or dream. We are inundated with information: writing craft, research for our books, marketing information, and more.
I have notebooks and random pads of paper all over my office filled with such information. I’ve got folders of it in my Gmail account. And I can tell you, if I needed to find some bit of information I remembered reading — or was it something I heard in a seminar at some conference? — and needed to find it… well, good luck! The odds are I’d spend about an hour searching for it and then eventually give up and either search for the information online once again (maybe I would find it, maybe not) or just give up.
So, uh, yeah, PKM sounds like a pipedream. But, strangely enough, there seems to be a rather large industry devoted to it based on the number of apps I’m learning about. Oh, and AI is only making these programs work better and faster (so far the only good thing I’ve heard about AI).
So, what apps have I been playing with? I have to admit too many!
I’ve used Trello off and on for many years. I’ve always liked the bulletin board aspect of it. It’s like an organized bulletin board or a card file where you can create lists or stacks of cards. You can also create “boards” for each different project you are working on or type of information you are collecting (one for your current book, another for marketing advice, etc).
Notion is similar, only it has a lot more complexity to it. There are a lot of different things you can add to your Notion boards. To be honest, the learning curve was pretty high, and I quickly became tired of setting it up and trying to figure out all I could do. A lot of people swear by it, however. So, if you have the time and desire, you might love it too.