Information Flow Methodology

Note-Making Nomenclature


All information reaches my consciousness in one of these ways:

  • reading books, articles, news reports etc
  • visiting websites
  • receiving emails
  • listening to podcasts, radio, music
  • watching TV, opera, movies etc
  • other apps e.g. DailyArt

A Process

This process describes how an Item of Knowledge that has potential Lasting Value is identified, captured and processed in accordance with the criteria described in Information Flow Purpose.

The Information Flow Purpose is to devise a way of tuning into the items I value and segregating these from those I don’t. The concept of potential Lasting Value is important here, as it helps section off Item of Knowledge from knowledge that is interesting but does not have Lasting Value.

The concept of potential Lasting Value is used to help prevent Collectors Fallacy, which has been the downfall of my previous attempts to garner information. Simply capturing an Item of Knowledge is not enough. For an Item of Knowledge to become useful it must be commented on, interpreted so that I can consider how it adds to the sum of Actionable Information I have about my Areas of Interest.

Following the principle that Knowledge work should accrete, it is vital that once I’ve coned down which items enter my consciousness, I have a way to build this into information that not only accumulates, but also sparks creativity. This is the Creativity Activation phase.


Most of the knowledge that reaches my consciousness, arrives digitally. Consequently, an Item of Knowledge is amenable to processing using a defined set of digital tools (apps) which enable the Item of Knowledge to be curated into my Note-Making System.

It is not always immediately clear whether an Item of Knowledge has potential Lasting Value, so in order to prevent an unnecessary accumulation of junk or ephemera, each Item of Knowledge is held in an Intermediate Store. A regular review of this store ensures that only items which appear to have Lasting Value pass through into the Note-Making System.

Instapaper as ‘middle-ware’

The simplest way to provide an Intermediate Store is through an app. My choice is Instapaper but it could equally have been Pocket, DEVONthink, or many other apps.

I use the share sheet to clip anything that may have Lasting Value to Instapaper.

After a day or so, I clear out the Instapaper in box. Anything that strikes me as having Lasting Value is moved via the share sheet to Keep It. Everything else is trashed.

Managing Keep It*

I want the knowledge that I accumulate to become Actionable Information . I certainly want to avoid Collectors Fallacy.

To help ensure all of my saved Items of Knowledge help me build an increased store of Actionable Information , I have a set procedure for managing my Keep It in box.

  1. Visit the Keep It in box each day.
  2. All items have passed through the Intermediate Store, so are already quite likely to be items which have Lasting Value.
  3. I have the opportunity to consider this again, and weed out any items that on reflection don’t make the grade.
  4. I then copy the link to the Keep It item and paste that into a new  note in Obsidian.

*Having used Keep It for a while I have now gone back to using DEVONthink.

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