Why Digital Gardening is the Best.

I’ve always wanted to write a book, but got lost every time I’ve tried.

I would have rich, deep, and vibrant conversations with people and wonder why I haven’t written these ideas down in a place that I can share with more people.

I started writing in journals and compiling my ideas into binders.
I have so many scattered interests that these places for my ideas would get so overwhelmingly chaotic, I’d stop growing the ideas and forget about them.

Every once in a while, I’d crank out a couple pages of ideas that I’ve been thinking about over a period of time. I’d write them with the idea that maybe some future civilization would uncover my work and realize my brilliance.

I was vicariously putting the responsibility of organizing my thoughts and ideas on to someone else who would care enough about what I did to want to pull it together.
I may have been a bit selfish in that regard.
In those moment, I felt like I was selflessly giving my value to anything that could possibly listen. I felt desperate, a longing to release this energy.
Any artist would understand this strife.

My art is life itself.

It’s hard to understand this in a world that seems controlled by anyone else but ourselves.

They narrowed the options and drove me insane. I had to figure something out.
Everywhere I looked seemed like a dead-end.

I was yearning for a place to feel at home. A career path to my highest good. A way of life that I love being totally invested in, as if there’s no where else for me to be.

I knew that my “job title” is something that hasn’t been introduced to me yet, so I was forced to remain patient and just respond to the world around me.

I started a blog to try and get my ideas out as I made them; and that worked better than nothing.

I felt like it didn’t really mean much in the end, like they’re just some (actually quite) meaningful articles that get buried by SEO. Knowing how much energy I was putting in these places for it to ultimately get swept under rugs left me feeling discouraged.

Who wants to subscribe to a blog? We have feeds now… Give me something good!

The few responses I did get from my writing was enough to keep me inspired and want to keep writing. I’m really thankful that not everyone got sucked into the feed machine and were able to go against the grain enough to find me where I was at.

So, what’s this game changer?

I can say now, with confidence, that I am a digital gardener.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard of a digital gardener before.

I spent about 3 weeks going down a rabbit hole of productivity apps after discovering the Second Brain and found Digital Gardening at the other end of it.

A Digital Garden is a place to grow my thoughts, and so, myself.

This is how the story goes,

I felt like, if I’m about to invest my life in to one of these apps, I’d better make the best choice! Thankfully, it wasn’t long until I discovered Obsidian.

However, it also wan’t long until I felt where this particular program fell short for being a practical solution in my lifestyle, so I was back on the hunt.

Throughout these weeks, my perspective shifted when I discovered:

When I was talking to people about creating a usable interface for organizing my life, I kept referring to it as “second brain” when it was any of those 3 terms. This opened my mind to accepting that there are multiple worlds of opportunity here.

When I started looking for an app to become my Integrated Thinking Environment, my search felt incredibly more precise. Thankfully, it wasn’t long until I discovered Amplenote.

In the meantime, I’m making prodigious notes with my thought process in Obsidian. Easily completely overthinking the process and driving myself insane looking between these apps for the answers. I knew what I wanted to use, but I wasn’t convinced.
I had to start drawing the lines somewhere, though.

Which apps do I use and when?

It remained ambiguous to me while I was looking specifically for a digital gardening app. I didn’t even know that I was looking in to “digital gardening”, I didn’t know the term for it but I knew what kind of idea I was looking for.

When I discovered the Second Brain and how Tiago Forte works with it, I kept his 4-step process, CODE, as a framework. In essence, it is about:

  • Collecting
  • Organizing
  • Distilling
  • Expressing

I felt like I had a good grasp with the first 3 stages, being able to use Obsidian and Zenkit (using To-Do and evolving them into projects from there), so I started looking up ways to actually share the information I create. I was focusing on “HTML export”, thinking I would run those files into something like Adobe Dreamweaver and get a beautiful website. Joplin and [[ UpNote ]] both have a built-in HTML export, but internal links aren’t currently kept from either. Joplin keeps the links with a markdown export, so, proves extremely worthy for an ITE that pairs with Obsidian.

Eventually, I found, in this reddit post, that one can simply run markdown files in to a static site generator and get it online! This is when I discovered the Digital Garden.

Great! Now back to choosing an ITE

As much as I love and appreciate the dedication poured in to many of the available apps, I should settle down, at least for some time, with one. Between Joplin and Amplenote, I chose Amplenote for their Idea Execution Funnel. I was only able to make this choice after realizing that Obsidian is best for building a body of work and thus, Gardening!

Amplenote & Obsidian.
Alpha & Omega
The Beginning and The End.

Creating ideas with Amplenote and releasing them with Obsidian.

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