Digital Garden

What is it?

A place to keep useful knowledge, tips, how to’s, personal project notes, collections, thoughts, ideas, blog posts, and more. If you’re inclined, it’s also a place to Learn in Public. 1

It’s not entirely a Zettelkasten. I keep that separated as a more formal system to help me think about the world and I think of that more as an academic thinking partner.

The parts that I borrow from that system, however, include atomic-ish notes and linking.

The part that is different is that I use a digital garden more as a way to store and organize knowledge that shouldn’t really go into a Zettelkasten, so really, it is more like a personal wiki.

To me, it makes more sense to organize things like this rather than to keep a blog, where you are stuck in a certain format of linear, fully written articles, that are mostly unchanged after publishing. I have tried starting a blog multiple times but I know now that I cannot make such a commitment to it. A digital garden also fits in with my having multiple interests (see Multipotentialism). I also like to think of entries as pages, rather than posts. Pages don’t feel so permanent or linear.

Some pages might be notes, or collections of notes. I think of notes in terms of the Zettelkasten note (or Zettel). This means that it contains a single “atomized” idea, which makes it easy to pull in multiple ideas from a variety of topics when writing about something.

You may think that I should just call it a personal wiki or blog because that’s really what it is, but it just makes sense to me to call it a ‘digital garden’. Besides, it’s fun to think of myself as a gardener, cultivating and tending to my internet garden, with different patches of different plants (a.k.a pages).

Why keep a digital garden?

Pros

  • I have more incentive to write more clearly when I have an (imaginary) audience.
  • It encourages me to be short and succinct. (Well, we’ll see about this)
  • It encourages me to write and share! I wouldn’t put this much effort in notes for myself, but if I think that they might help others, I will put the effort into creating and polishing them.
  • It serves as a resource for me. There is much to keep track of, and this is a great way to store, and share knowledge.
  • Who knows? The stuff I share could actually help someone. I feel like I’m contributing to something.
  • Make sense of the information around me through organizing, curating, and writing.
  • Hopefully encounter like(or different!)-minded folks.

Cons

  • It might be hard for readers to keep up with what’s new - implementing an RSS feed for a few changes or small additions to each page is impractical (although I could collect new pages per month and share that). >> it’s possible!
  • It’s not as polished as a blog. I hope not to create such fragmented notes, as I’m not aiming for a Zettelkasten, and I noticed that it’s difficult to follow other public Zettelkästen2 as you have to keep clicking links, that lead to more links, and etc.
  • It’s a bit…chaotic. I know. That’s also the magic of it. Our brains aren’t neat little compartments, after all. However to make it easier, I’m planning on creating an Index that makes it easier to navigate the garden, and have also included different methods to view the garden, such as by tags or by date.
  1. Learn in Public

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  2. In German, this is the plural version of “Zettelkasten”

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