Here is an overview of my PKM routine
Firstly I acquire as much information as possible on a subject that I need to research. This usually involves doing searches for keywords. Having only recently moved back to Australia from a non-English speaking country, physical English language sources of literature and academic articles were very difficult to find. This meant I had to primarily rely on the Internet. I usually download as many PDF documents, videos and other texts as I can find in a single sitting.
Next, I go through the documents quickly to ascertain if they are good sources of information for the area I am researching. After superficial skim reading, if this does not appear to be the case, documents are quickly disregarded.
With the identified “good sources”, I next begin deeper reading and creating a plan with the themes and ideas that come out of these sources. Using pen and paper helps me to be concise and cut down my thoughts to only the most important ideas.
Lastly I post to a blog, a forum or type up my ideas into a word processing document. This is how I share my ideas with others.
While my PKM routine looks bare compared to others, I think there are good reasons for this. Firstly, I’m not a professional writer and many of the PKM routines you will find online are produced by individuals who are professional bloggers or researchers. Secondly, I’ve discovered that I definitely have a problem with being distracted and procrastinating. This has caused many challenges for me over my life as a student.
I’ve found the best way to combat this problem is to limit my exposure to social media and other extremely distracting feeds of information. I still use these sites regularly, however I try to only use them when I have specific tasks to accomplish. A book I read a number of years ago (Ferriss, 2009) gave similar advice that I feel has been useful for me to stay on track. Ferriss believes that information overload is taking over our lives and causing levels of anxiety that prevent many people from focusing on their most important goals. His advice is to rely on trusted sources that can function as aggregators, allowing unimportant news to be filtered out.
Ferriss, T. (2009). The 4-hour workweek. New York: Crown Publishers.