Thoughts on using Kinopio as 2nd brain / personal knowledge management

Hi, you’ve referenced roam with the forthcoming tags feature and had a question a while back on twitter about what would make Kinopio more suited as a 2nd brain type application. Here are some of my current (rather raw) thoughts.

First of all, what I mean/want out of this is 1) a place I can store reference information and make connections, perhaps developing those atoms into networks of information. Examples: code snippets, work projects, important links, conversations with people, ideas and planning. 2) a place to journal regularly and the ability to connect current happenings with things in the system.

Here are some areas I think Kinopio is lacking for this (and other thoughts):

  • The ease of editing and moving around cards works against the idea that I can/should use these cards for more permanent storage. It’s to easy to misplace a card or effectively lose it.
  • Lack of searchability. If I can’t reliably find a piece of information, it’s not useful. I want to be confident I can find things I put it.
  • I can’t think of a good way to codify an atomic piece of information. One form of information I have is question and answer (e.g. How to deploy x on y platform? A: these steps). That is too much to fit on a card. I could use one card for the question and connect it to some answers. But there are not enough semantics so I can easily retrieve this answer. Let’s say I have a tag in the question card. How do I notate that connection 3 is the answer? And connections aren’t part of the card, so it is indirect to get there.
  • I love being able to lay out cards spatially. It helps me recall things. Maybe in an ideal world, I could have an infinitely sized Kinopio space/canvas. And then a way to navigate to sections of it. It would be cool if there were a way to “focus” on a specific area in a big space.
  • I feel like cards are a little too small to capture most concepts. But a space is too much space. I feel like the right size is somewhere between a few cards to a screen-ful. Now, take this size of “space” and being able to put it on a larger canvas would work. Then, the ability to drill-down into the space to add to an existing concept, and then zoom back out would be nice.
  • I love the idea of a daily journal that some of these tools have. Every day gets a page auto-generated, and then you can quickly add notes. Then you start to link that daily journal to existing projects, concepts, ideas to make it more useful.

Just wanted to share some of my nascent thoughts. I’ve been exploring other “tools for thought” out there.

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that all makes sense,

Tags (which I’m releasing tomorrow) may help with some of that, I’ll be interested to see how ppl use them.

Search is def coming in the future, maybe sooner than later.

One way I could address the daily journal thing is to add an extra step to adding a space.
so, your spaces → + add ,
changes to your spaces → + add → blank or daily journal

I don’t love adding a step to such a core flow, but I think it’d be a net win. This would also let me do some fun light hobonichi type stuff on the daily page too :crescent_moon:

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lemme riff on this a bit.

Having a first-class daily journal space might be neat. This got me thinking, I would want all these daily journal spaces to be tied together. Maybe an auto-generated space of all daily journals. You can do this with a common tag. So then, more generally, do we want auto-generated spaces for all tags? I realize this could all be accomplished through the API.

Maybe we want an auto-generated/system space that has cards with links to all your spaces. Kinda like what @sam described he has done manually. In this world of auto-generated spaces, you want a way to mark cards as “auto-generated” or read-only.

For other reasons, I’ve thought it would be nice to have read-only cards. It’s a way to balance the fact that cards are super easy to manipulate. Sometimes I’ve got a space with lots of cards that I’m using as reference. I want to keep the existing cards pretty stable/locked down. I’m in a mode where I am only adding to my space. Right now, I feel like I have to be a bit careful as to not jostle anything. Especially when I need to paint-select stuff, it gets tedious to precisely move my mouse to pick just the right cards in a dense space. And even more so on a small screen like a phone.

You mentioned yourself you have special code to visually show templates so you don’t accidentally edit them. In a similar way, I have spaces I want to be very careful when I’m in them that I don’t mess up how I’ve organized them. Now that I have hourly backups, it is slightly less of a concern. Better undo would probably address this, too.

light hobonichi type stuff on the daily page too :crescent_moon:



The journal space that I’m proposing wouldn’t be autogenerated, you’d opt into making a daily space on the days you want to do that.

I could add a special route like that’d automatically make a new daily space for those who primary want to use it that way tho.

I could mark these daily entries somehow but if you’re mostly using daily entries a generic/autogenerated “diary” badge won’t really differentiate things very effectively, I could do similar by prepending the name of the space w a :sunny: or something. Solving this latter issue would be a separate thing

I would love a space to easily see all Daily Journals, organized or grouped by time, etc. It gets unwieldy to try to access them from the Cmd + K menu and not have a way to browse them all.

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It gets unwieldy to try to access them from the Cmd + K menu and not have a way to browse

added since this thread is a way to filter your spaces list to show only journals - might help with this specific need