A PKM System using org-mode and EasyOrg
A PKM (Personal Knowledge Management) system is basically a tool which helps storing and organizing data or knowledge. Typically the base information of the knowledge is stored as words in plain text. The text can be enhanced with images, diagrams etc.
Other key features of a PKM system is that you can link between content as well as being able to search the content.
EasyOrg is first and foremost a tool for managing projects and tasks. However, it is also suitable for storing and organizing knowledge data.
While some apps focus on copy pasting data from different public sources creating some kind of second brain, EasyOrg is about organizing your own data. Create structure in your own work, ideas and projects. Public knowledge is out there in plentyful. It's also easily searchable with google. However, your own personal data and work is unique and thus much more important to keep organized.
Linking between data
By using EasyOrg's linking functionality you can link between information pieces. You can link within an org-file, link to specific text in another org-file, link to external files such as pdf-files, MD-files or images.
Linking withing an org-file to an item with a custom ID:
Linking withing an org-file to an item with a header containing the text 'How to grow cactus':
[[*How to grow cactus]]
Linking to a link target in another org-file:
Linking to websites:
If your task or item has an ID or CUSTOM_ID property then you can click the link called 'Backlink' and you can see all the items linking to it. So even if your item has no explicit link to the other item, if the other item links here, then we can still easily jump to the other item.
You can enhance your text by also embedding images. You might have done drawings or graphs in another program which you want to refer to in you org-files. These images can easily be embedded using a line like the following:
Using relative path:
Using absolute path:
How to organize your data
A good option to organize your data is to put related data in the same org-file. For example everything around cooking in one file named cooking.org, everything around gardening in another file called gardening.org and stuff around programming in a third called programming.org.
This way you can easily search for the file and you can directly see what is in these files. You can then link within and between those files if there are relations between pieces of information.
Typically you do not only need to organize common knowledge, but also personal information such as tax filings, invoices, letters sent to companies and organizations etc. It's good to set up a folder structure which makes it easy to find your stuff.
Having this folder structure in place also makes it easy to have your org-files as an index to point to other related files and information. You can mix org-files and other file types within this folder structure.
It's often a good idea to separate your work and personal related data already at the top of this folder structure.
At the bottom of this post we show you an example of a folder structure.
Searching text within files
One of the tools offered by EasyOrg is the Global File Search. In this dialog window you can search for text within files on your disk. You can search using text and regular expressions. Once you have found the file containing the text you are looking for, simply click the file name and the file is opened inside EasyOrg.
Searching using the org-mode specific Agenda search
EasyOrg also supports searching within the selected file by using org-mode targeted search expressions. By using these expressions it's easier to find data based on dates, tags, parent headers and other meta data. For more on this, refer to the search documentation.
Searching for files
Searching for files based on file names is easy on most operating systems. Most file managers allow for easy and quick searching. Nowadays there are search tools built into the OS which searches everything on the computer.
In addition, the Open File dialog in EasyOrg supports searching for file names.
Backup and Cloud
By using text-files and organizing them together with other related files in a folder structure similar to suggested here you get an easy way to backup all your important data.
You might already have a backup running every day on your user's home folder. If so, then your PKM folders will also be backed up the next time it is run if placed in your home folder.
If not, it's highly recommended to setup a backup of these folders.
You could also place these folders and files in the Cloud in the first place. This way your data is accessible from any device. By using Dropbox, pCloud, iCloud or any other similar service you also get file versioning for free.
Although EasyOrg's main focus is not knowledge management, it's a great tool to get organized and helping you to find and connect your personal data.
With the additional help of EasyOrg's task management features it helps you to become efficient and getting things done and also helps you keep your information in an organized way for future reference.
Folder structure example
- Notes On
- Notes On