I curate a lot of digital documentation for myself and my family. It is important to remove as much friction from the system. There are so many demands on our time, that the smallest resistance can easily provide an excuse to switch on Australian Idol or Survivor and do nothing.
At the moment I’m in one of those rare golden-ages where the tools I have at my disposal are working for me.
|Drafts (iPhone, Mac, Apple Watch)||Quick note/idea/link capture|
|Zotero (Windows, Mac, iPhone)||PDF document management (receipts, manuals, contracts etc.)|
|Obsidian (Windows, Mac)||Blogging, all other note storage, including my journal, with links to Zotero documents/collections or blog posts direct.|
Usually I capture notes or ideas directly into Drafts as an inbox for later processing. I don’t use any of the Drafts functions for punching the information to another application. It’s purely a capture device. I can type or dictate text into my iPhone, Mac or my Apple Watch (ideal for when walking listing to podcasts).
There are never many notes here and none so time-critical that I need to process this inbox every day.
Recently I’ve also started dropping some ideas into a Ulysses inbox folder. I do this particularly with blog ideas that I know I want to expand on later.
In terms of blogging, I have used just about everything from pure text editors, to the Wordpress editor, and at present I’m using Obsidian. There are several competing goals.
So, I have my original text written in a nice tool that is properly formatted when published.
I also use Obsidianfor my journalling and all my personal note making. If I reference a blog post from a journal entry or personal note, it will link to the Obsidian source of that note. No longer do I need to refer to the external web page for reference. In other words, my notes are my notes. My blog posts are also my notes, and are shared publicly without me needing to do anything more than sync to my Quartz 4 Github repository.
Zotero is my filing cabinet. I make use of its folder structure, searching and tagging to organise the PDF documents in my life. I was doing this in Obsidian until I spent the time to get both working together.
My files are stored on a self-hosted webdav server meaning I can access them via Zotero on Windows, Mac or iPhone1. I use a plugin that lets me copy the link to an individual document, or a collection of documents and paste that in Obsidian. There is a big advantage in linking to a collection eg. Insurance for my car, because as I add documents, I can quickly get to all of them.
Zotero documents can also be synced via it’s own sharing platform. ↩