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Practical PKM

by Mike Schmitz

A weekly newsletter where I help people apply values-based productivity principles and systems for personal growth, primarily using Obsidian. Subscribe if you want to make more of your notes and ideas.

Featured Post

🏕 The Perfect Location for a Personal Retreat

In this edition of Practical PKM: 💡 The Big Idea: Nature + Solitude = Clarity 😎 Something Cool: Pin frequently used notes to the ribbon in Obsidian 📚 My book notes from Rapt by Winifred Gallagher 💡 The Big Idea: Finding The Ideal Location for Your Next Personal Retreat It’s almost the end of June, making it the perfect time to schedule your next personal retreat. So in this newsletter, I want to share from my own personal retreat experience about what I consider to be the perfect place to...

5 days ago • 6 min read

In this edition of Practical PKM: 💡 The Big Idea: My 12 Favorite Problems 😎 Something Cool: My notes from Craft + Commerce 📚 My book notes from Super Thinking If you prefer to read this newsletter in your browser, click here. 💡 The Big Idea: If You Want to Better Answers, Ask Better Questions Richard Feynman was one seriously smart dude. He received a join Nobel Prize for “fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles,”...

12 days ago • 3 min read

In this edition of Practical PKM: 💡 The Big Idea: Define your fears to make hard things easier 😎 Something Cool: Funnel gets widgets and Shortcuts actions 📚 My book notes from The 4-Hour Workweek by Time Ferriss 💡 The Big Idea: Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals Almost exactly a year ago, I quit my day job at a digital marketing agency to become an independent creator. Making a decision like that is always scary. But there was one particular exercise helped me muster the courage to make...

19 days ago • 5 min read

In this edition of Practical PKM: 💡 The Big Idea: How to Beat Parkinson's Law 😎 Something Cool: Build Dataview queries without knowing code 😎 Something Else Cool: Macstock 8 is here! (+ a discount) 📚 My books notes from The Art of Procrastination by John Perry 💡 The Big Idea: Procrastination & Parkinson’s Law Over the years, I’ve noticed something strange about the way I’m wired: I tend to make work harder and longer than it has to be. Let’s say I have an article to write that needs to be...

26 days ago • 6 min read

In this edition of Practical PKM: 💡 The Big Idea: A deep dive into my Obsidian plugins & workflows 😎 Something Cool: A new Kanban ⇆ Tasks integration (🎉) 📚 My book notes from Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport 💡 The Big Idea: There’s an Obsidian Plugin for That One of the things I love about Obsidian is that you can make it do just about anything. Using community plugins, you can extend the functionality of the app and craft your own productivity and creativity workflows exactly the way you...

about 1 month ago • 12 min read

In this edition of Practical PKM: 💡 The Big Idea: Tips to help you sleep better 😎 Something Cool: An Obsidian web clipper that I actually like 📚 My notes from Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker 💡The Big Idea: Sleep is the Killer App The purpose of your PKM system is to help you make sense of the world. Unfortunately, that’s almost impossible when you don’t get enough sleep. So in this newsletter, I want to share a few tips for helping you think better by resting better. It’s a little bit of a...

about 1 month ago • 6 min read

In this edition of Practical PKM: 💡 The Big Idea: Unlock the Potential of Your PKM System with Atomic Notes 😎 Something Cool: Obsidian Tasks 7.1 FINALLY Cleans Up the Modal Window 📚 My notes from How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens 💡The Big Idea: The Smaller the Notes, the Bigger the Potential The promise of PKM is that you’ll be able to get additional insight from your connected notes. However, many (maybe most?) people fail to get the payoff because they just dump things into their...

about 2 months ago • 5 min read

In this edition of Practical PKM: 💡 The fundamental building blocks of motivation 😎 How to use multi-colored highligts in Obsidian 📚 My notes from Master Your Motivation by Susan Fowler 💡The Big Idea: Motivation is the Key to Progress Last week, I talked about how I use my LifeTheme to create motivation to take action on the things that are important and clarity to cut the things that aren’t. But where does that motivation come from? That’s what we’re going to talk about this week 🙂...

about 2 months ago • 5 min read

In this edition of Practical PKM: 💡 The Big Idea: You need a direction, but not a completed plan 😎 Something Cool: Note Toolbar plugin 📖 Book Notes: Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt I’m a planner. I like to have everything figured out. No surprises please 😂 But when it comes to sensemaking (an important PKM skill), the path isn’t straightforward. Life often takes twists and turns you don’t expect or see coming. When that happens, you need to be able to reorient quickly. Which is why it’s...

2 months ago • 5 min read

Cartography (the study and practice of making and using maps) is somewhat of a lost art. On one hand, the rise and fall of cartography makes perfect sense as the exquisite handmade maps of ancient times have been replaced by readily available satellite imagery. The word cartography itself is antiquated, combining two Ancient Greek words that mean “write” and “sheet of papyrus.” It’s a bit difficult to translate that to modern times. A collection of map-making tools. But while you may not see...

2 months ago • 5 min read
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