Workshop2-3 hours

Introduction to networked note-taking

The workshop introduces basic concepts for personal knowledge management followed by a practical application using a networked note-taking application Obsidian.

Ever-present information anxiety and chronic doomscrolling have become the default way we experience the life on the Internet. This workshop will provide you with tools and methods to reclaim your thinking and create a lasting personal knowledge base. You will finally be at peace with the endless streams of information pouring at you from every corner of the world wide web.

We’ve all been there. You got hundreds of notes that you’ve been piling up for years in a disjointed array of apps and tools. This approach breaks as your collection grows. Sooner or later you inevitably loose sense of where is what. Not no mention that it doesn’t allow you to see the connection between all those great ideas you had over the years.

Digital tools conditioned us to perceive a folder-based top-down hierarchical model as the only way to organize information in our virtual workspaces.

You know that feeling when you want to create a new note and you get stuck trying to figure out where to put it? This breaks our flow and creates unnecessary friction in our thinking.

In this workshop we will learn to use a more organic approach to capturing and managing your endless stream of ideas. A method that is more aligned with how our minds work.

I’ve been successfully applying the method presented here for over a year and I have never felt more comfortable “forgetting” things because I rest assured that I will find the right note when needed.


A must-have

  • A laptop with internet connection
  • Obsidian installed
  • A non-fiction book you read (ideally with a few highlights)

Optional (but highly recommended)

  • A few notes on the book (they can be messy and unstructured)
  • A few direct quotes from the book
  • A reference to other books related to the topic of the book
  • Links to a few articles related to the topic in the book

Workshop outline

Personal introduction (~ 5 min)

Introduction to the core concepts (~ 20 min)

  • Personal knowledge management
  • Zettelkasten
  • Second brain
  • Networked note-taking
  • Writing for output
  • People to follow in the space
  • (Markdown format)

Overview of the tools (~ 10 min)

  • An overview of the most popular tools and services
  • Explain the different approaches
  • Hint on auxiliary services and tools

Setting up Obsidian (~ 20 min)

  • (Install Obsidian)
  • Explain main features and panels
  • Enable various settings
  • Customize the appearance
  • Customize keyboard shortcuts
  • Set up Daily page template
  • Set up folder structure

Live note-taking session (~ 45 min)

  • Introduce the concept of a Daily note and use it to:
    • explain formatting using markdown syntax
    • explain tags and backlinks
    • document keyboard shortcuts
  • Present the mock scenario (taking notes from a non-fiction book)
  • Write book notes that showcase the core concepts
  • Attendees are expected to take their notes alongside the facilitator

QA (~ 30 min)

  • Space for “big” questions and clarifications

Parting words (~ 5 min)

  • Provide links to:
    • additional learning resources
    • community platform
    • feedback form
    • contact information

Why do a workshop with me?

Over the past ten years, I’ve tried hundreds of tools, services, methods, hacks and workflows for knowledge management and better productivity. Bullet Journal, Evernote, Bear, Ulysses, Notion, Pocket, Goodreads, Trello, Things, Airtable, Basecamp, Zapier, Readwise, Roam Research, Feedbin — you name it, I’ve probably tried it.

I follow dozens of newsletters, RSS feeds and curated sources. I test out new tools on daily basis (which I usually abandon after a few minutes). Heck, I even have a degree in Information Management. This gives me a good understanding of different ways people approach and deal with information.

I’m excited to share the years of know-how with anyone interested in taming their scattered attention and creating a more meaningful relationship with technologies.

Written, designed and developed by Ilja Panić