Episode 73 of The Informed Life podcast features a conversation with “generalist, synthesist, and curator” Patrick Tanguay. Patrick publishes one of my favorite newsletters, Sentiers, and in this interview, we dive into his process and toolset for finding, curating, and publishing content.
Central to the process is enabling discovery and re-discovery and establishing places to store and process information. This material then manifests in different guises, including with Patrick’s consulting work:
even for some clients, I’ll just first go through the archives of the newsletter and re-find everything I’ve found before and compile it in a different way or see new patterns. And now more recently with the new website, the goal is to integrate the website with my note-taking and my reading in Instapaper often and kind of having the information flow more directly so that I can take more notes more easily. And I was going to say, “trust my brain a little less,” but I guess it’s more expand my - augment - my brain more purposefully.
Augmenting the brain more purposefully is what it’s all about, and I was inspired by hearing about how Patrick does it. I’d contemplated moving my website to a static site generator for years, but our conversation tipped me over into actually doing it. I’m now a couple of weeks into having migrated to Jekyll, and while I see some of the benefits from this approach, I’m also clearer on downsides that weren’t obvious to me at first.
This is to say, building a personal knowledge management system is an ongoing project. It’s essential to try these things rather than just read about them. Talking with others who are crafting similar “extended minds” also helps. I was excited to learn about the current state of Patrick’s PKM; I hope you find value from our conversation, too.