the workflow of learning

I was asked today about my sensemaking routine. I try not to talk too much about how I do things because I believe that a practice — like personal knowledge mastery — has to be personal, or it will not last. But perhaps I can give some details to help others find there own way. The question was asked during the current PKM Workshop.

One of the things I’m trying to figure out is the most efficient workflow for moving from reading >> notes >> sensemaking >> drafts >> publishing articles. Right now, the pieces feel really disconnected for me, and I don’t see many people talking about their process in detail.

In my own case, I collect (seek) information through my social networks and then collate them in my social bookmarks or my blog posts, especially my Friday’s Finds. These blog posts over time may get connected into longer articles or updated posts. Since 2014 I have written e-books which are edited and revised collections of blogs posts. I write about one a year now, with the latest in December 2018 — Life in Perpetual Beta. Small pieces gradually become bigger ones and then some may congregate as more polished works. For me, it is easier to write smaller pieces, and then later connect and edit them into a coherent framework and story. But as they say in automobile advertising — your mileage may vary.

Here are some examples of PKM Routines from other practitioners.
Other practical examples are in PKM in Action — Part OnePart TwoPart Three.

6 Responses to “the workflow of learning”

  1. Julian Elve

    There’s definitely a thing about volume and practice.

    I have to read, sift, link and synthesise technical stuff voraciously for my work, and it comes very naturally to bang out intermediate notes to contextualise a new piece of knowledge.

    My wider interests seem to work on a much longer cycle – it can be weeks until I see a link or pattern of thought I want to express.

    I suspect there are also links to self-confidence. I know that I know a lot in my professional sphere but that equally there are always orders of magnitude more I could know – because I am actively thinking about that stuff most waking hours I’m in the flow a lot of the time.

    With other areas I’m often conscious that the others in the conversation know far more (e.g. you Harold on this topic!) so I’m sometimes reticent to add my contribution. And I really struggle with the stream-of-consciousness style of blogging outside of work stuff – none of that ever really feels like something I want to share…

    • Harold Jarche

      Thanks for sharing, Julian. Like you, I keep the stream of consciousness stuff to my professional work, probably because it’s more comfortable. The more personal things are shared in trusted conversations or behind privacy walls in communities of practice.

  2. Dick Webster

    “Personal Knowledge Mastery” (PKM) model is useful – thank you.
    What would change for a “Workplace Knowledge Mastery” (WKM) model?
    • “Filter” might change to “Search” or “Explore.”
    • “Apply” or “Practice” could be a useful addition.
    • How to encourage “Learning Team” focus: two to six or eight like-minded learners helping one another to master and apply topic knowledge called for in their work?
    • Other changes?


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