What is the most efficient workflow that you have used for content consumption , storing and retrieval?

Let’s use this thread to showcase the plethora of apps in our daily arsenal , that make our life easier by making content consumption enjoyable and efficient .

My workflow/cycle isn’t complete yet , but my current cycle goes as follows :

  1. Consumption
    1. Web articles : Worldbrain’S Memex
    2. eBooks : Kindle
    3. Audio : Airr
    4. Tweets : Saved via Readwise
  2. Storing & Retrieval : Readwise synced with every tool mentioned above

Let’s make it a little fun by trying to break some ice in the new forum, shall we ? :wink:

Once you put your workflow done , you have to nominate another person from this forum or discord or anywhere else to post their workflow next .
Just nominating won’t cut it , it’s on you to get the nominated person to come here and share their workflow . Do whatever you have to ! Spam their DMs , tweet spam them !

All is fair :smiling_imp:

P.S : You have only one day (24 hours) after you post and nominate , to make the next person come here and post :wink:

My nomination: @aneeshghosh
:ghost:

N.B. User posted workflows will be highlighted by the staff for easy discoverability . Please make sure to post others comment as replies to their respective posts , for better contextual understanding :slight_smile:

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Here goes my current workflow in brief.

Consumption

  1. Web articles : Instapaper, Raindrop and Eloquent Chrome Extension for Highlighting content to be exported to Obsidian
  2. eBooks : Kindle, iBooks. I also recommend Kybooks3 app in iOS/iPadOS if you need some advanced features like auto indexing and chapter summary generation.
  3. Audio : I am not an active podcast listener, hence don’t use Airr. I refer to https://podcastnotes.org/ if needed for summary on any great podcasts.
  4. Tweets : Saved via Readwise

Storing & Retrieval : Readwise to assort everything in one place. From there I get it into Notion using their in-house export tool and from Notion to Obsidian. I want to use Devonthink and Obsidian more going forward given the former’s ability to better search and classify information using AI. The latter is my main note taking tool and the mark down files in Obsidian are indexed in Devonthink for reference and easy access from Devonthink iOS App.

I am a huge fan of Ramses Roudt in Twitter. He was also an Alumni Member in the last Building a Second Brain Cohort. Recommend to check out this series for a foolproof PKM workflow.

https://ramses.blog/how-take-notes-part-1/

I don’t know many other members personally. Hence taking the liberty to nominate he admin @Oshyan for posting next. Hope you don’t mind :wink:

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If am right , you use Instapaper to read later on iOS , raindrop to store and manage web pages as a whole ? While highlighting any info you want to be saved directly into obsidian?

  • in that case how do you get your Instapaper highlights and notes into obsidian?
    Do you just sync it to readwise -> notion -> obsidian?

This is totally new to me , thanks for that ! How big is their library and do books cost more than in kindle?

I love the fact that readwise could be used as the highlight or note hub for almost any tool . This is so powerful . The one tool I would recommend to everyone .

Ok , this is where it gets confusing for me . What’s the role of notion in this workflow ?

I have been eyeing devonthink for a while now and I think you are sealing the deal for me . Which plan of devonthink do you use ?

Count me in . Great stuff !

I am sure he wouldn’t :wink: besides this whole exercise is to get people engaging with each other !!
Great job man ! Thanks for being a great sport :slight_smile:

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Yes you’re right. Currently readwise doesn’t support direct export to Obsidian. One option is to individually export the mark down file from Readwise which carries the highlights and then import it into Obsidian. For now, I use an alternate option which is more convenient - i.e to copy-paste highlights directly from Notion where all my Readwise highlights are automatically synced. You could even use Readwise’s similar auto-sync with Roam instead of Notion, but I find Roam exported content a bit messy.

I don’t generally purchase books in iBooks App. I use iBooks and Kybooks3 to mostly read epubs that I download or purchase from other 3rd parties (like gumroad). The thing is Kindle doesn’t allow me to read in “Continuous Scroll” mode for books/pdfs that I have not originally purchased from their store. Hence I use iBooks (preferred since auto-synced with the rest of your Apple Eco System). Kybooks3 is a relatively new find for me along with Marvin 3 which is another great epub reader in iOS. These apps offer good highlighting and annotation experience + advanced features like auto summarisation which I need for some non-fiction books.
In short, I use the non-kindle apps not as a book stores, but rather as epub readers.

I hope I have now answered it above in this post :smiley:

I currently use the Pro version. Good thing is that its a one time purchase and not a subscription. If you are looking to buy, wait till black Friday - they generally have a good discount around this time.

Off late I am getting more interested in Devonthink. I am eyeing this ebook from Kourosh Dini to improve my PKM workflow with Devonthink.
Taking Smart Notes with DEVONthink

He has published a lot of helpful articles on Devonthink which I really like.

  1. Using Both DEVONthink and Obsidian for Taking Notes | Being Productive
  2. Organizing Your Ideas with DEVONthink Series (1 of 6) – Introduction | Being Productive

Hope this clarifies my messy first post :joy:

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So , Notion is to just allow for easy copy-pasting into Obsidian .
Interesting , good heuristic approach for now!

Makes sense ! How do you export the highlights and annotations from these non-kindle readers ?

Also , how do these auto summarisations work ?

Wow , that looks like there’s a big community surrounding DevonThink . I know they have been around for a long time , but I thought for some reason they weren’t being supported actively . But off late , there has been some good updates and the community is getting more active about it too !

Thanks for all the wonderful information . Now I have a lot of things to explore and keep busy for a while :smiley:

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Apple iBooks is supported by Readwise directly. You can directly email the highlights to readwise email id to have these synced. Kybooks3 and Marvin allow exporting the highlights as Markdown/text/CSV which I can directly copy-paste into Obsidian. If I need these highlights in Readwise for the daily emails, then some formatting is required to upload manually in the Readwise stipulated CSV format.

I am actually quite amazed by the Auto Summarization feature in Kybooks. Don’t know how it actually works, but the output is quite good in most cases. This gives a succinct picture for me before reading the actual chapter so that I know the key points beforehand. Marvin has a similar feature called Deep View, which searches the book for the selected keyword. Feel free to check out both.

That being said, both Marvin and Kybooks3 are not under active development. You can use these for the current feature set without much expectation for new features going forward.
For future-proofing, Kindle / iBooks is the best bet. I am getting more fond of iBooks these days with their improved highlighting/annotation experience. If you have the Textexpander keyboard set-up as suggested by Ramses, it will be a breeze to annotate with tags (.h1, .c1etc) as required for Readwise.

https://twitter.com/rroudt/status/1272166281882591234?s=20

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That sounds amazing . But a bummer that they are not being actively developed !

Actually I use this feature often while highlighting from Kindle !
I love the .c1 features especially !

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Wow, well, I must admit I was unprepared for this, and I do apologize I didn’t make the deadline. :smile: But thank you for your excellent response and for nominating me.

That said, the honest truth is this is probably the messiest and least efficient area of my digital life. :weary: But here goes a brief overview, definitely a work in progress, and hoping I can make it better soon! (certainly working on it…)

Consumption

Web Content - articles, emails, etc.

First and foremost: open tabs in Chrome until I read them :grimacing: with things saved to Pocket and/or Instapaper being lost for the time being :laughing:

Occasionally I’ll save an email in my inbox unread to remind me to read something in it.

Meanwhile I am trying to start using Notion to save articles to, I love it in principle, but the clipper is not yet as good as I would want it to be. I do collect recipes, particularly cocktail recipes, and while the clipper is not great, it is adequate for this purpose, especially since cocktail recipes are typically short and even when poorly formatted, they can be read. Would still like significant improvement here though.

I take notes on articles on occasion, usually for now still in dedicated pages in Quip, though occasionally in Roam (which I mostly only use for a daily log).

I have lightly experimented with Worldbrain’s Memex, but it hasn’t “stuck” yet.

eBooks

What are these again? :wink: No, really I don’t have a good means of reading eBooks (not going to do it on my phone or computer), so I don’t do so right now. But I would like to one day.

That said my dead tree book reading is pretty slow as it is (due to lack of applying time to it, another problem I’d like to remedy). So this is just something that needs more time investment…

Audio

I listen to both audiobooks and podcasts. For audiobooks it’s just the Audible app, and I don’t make the most of it. I’d like to actively take notes or something, but I don’t… yet. One of those habits I plan to adopt and develop a workflow for (suggestions welcome!).

Sometimes I’ll take some basic notes, but I’d like to have a more regular note-taking and review practice.

For podcasts, I was perfectly happy with Google Play Music, but Google killed that. For some reason I don’t like Google Podcasts as much, for one thing it seems to do a bad job of maintaining which episodes I’ve listened to. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I had never heard of Airr and now I wish it were available for Android! The idea, at least, is excellent. Of course some podcasts are available on SoundCloud where audio highlighting has been a thing for years (and highly underappreciated/underutilized IMO). But I’ve signed up for the notification list on Airr so will definitely be checking that out when available.

Not sure if music counts, but I had to switch to YouTube Music and it kind of low-key annoys me every day. But Spotify annoys me more, so… Also I’m a YTM subscriber, so no ads, etc., which is only part of what puts me off Spotify. Anyway, I have 1 or more newsletters that send me new music either daily or weekly, along with other sources of new/interesting music. And I have special playlists and a workflow (however primitive) to save promising new songs, review them over time, then promote to “favorite”, or file into a “keep but not favorite”, or remove from consideration. Still the list tends to only grow…

Video

I watch a lot of videos on YouTube. I have a fairly large amount of subscriptions, but only 8-10 set to actually notify me (the bell). Of those I watch about 75% within a couple days, leaving them as browser tabs until then. I don’t let my notifications pile up, I clear them out at least once/day, otherwise they’re hard to manage.

I do take basic notes on my video watching when appropriate, or just save a link to a video, depending. Video links will generally be saved in relevant pages in Quip or Notion, e.g. I have an entrepreneurial reference folder in Quip, so if there’s a good video on sales or whatever, I’ll put it in the Sales page, maybe with a few quick comments.

A lot of cocktail recipes also come from videos, so sometimes I’ll just save the URL and thumbnail to the same Notion DB with all the others from web pages.

Social

I don’t have a specific workflow or tool to save Tweets or other social content yet. Sometimes I’ll save a link to e.g. a specific Facebook post or Tweet in a relevant page as above (e.g. entrepreneurship), or I’ll quote it, or just write notes inspired by it.

Frankly the fact that readwise replies in the thread on Twitter drives me crazy and makes me think that either Twitter (most likely) or Readwise are broken and hacky. I don’t think I’m willing to subject others to that given how much it annoys me :laughing: so I’ll probably just stick to Memex or Notion clip/highlight options until something better comes along (Codex?).

Storage and Retrieval

I touched on a lot of this above in pieces. In short, I have most of my legacy content in Quip, use Roam for daily logs and some brief notes, and am adopting Notion for more and more, mostly database-oriented stuff. Also testing Anytype and kind of hopeful it can replace Notion soon-ish. I have Readwise, but don’t use it yet. I probably should before the trial runs out! :smile:


Phew I’m sure I’m forgetting something but that’s a lot for now. Hope it was interesting! I know it’s a mess, I’m really between lots of tools right now. If you asked me the same question a year ago it would have been much cleaner, though at the same time I’d say my process for e.g. collecting cocktail recipes is actually easier and more efficient in some ways now. That’s really the purpose of adopting these new tools, I just have so many parts to my workflows, and content in legacy systems that needs to be migrated, so it all takes a while to settle down…

I’m going to nominate @Calhistorian (Mark Robertson) both because I’m curious about the workflow(s) of an educator who does research professionally, and because I know him to be an extremely thoughtful and interesting person from Twitter, where we’re already casually acquainted. :slight_smile: I’ll go hound him over there if necessary. :grin:

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P.S. Great discussion @Karthikk and @aneeshghosh! I’m already learning a lot. Clearly there are many opportunities for improving my workflow. I am trying to settle on a primary “destination”, a central repository for everything, and then move everything there. For the moment that seems to be Notion by default, but I’m still eyeing Obsidian, although it wouldn’t meet all my needs (a lot of stuff I want to do benefits from databases). So we’ll see how it all goes. Exciting times, yet frustrating too as no tool is yet ideal…

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Well you don’t have to resort to that , you just have to share the tweet to readwise account as a DM and that also auto saves the tweet :slight_smile:

Things are getting interesting now :star_struck::star_struck::star_struck:

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Thanks, @Oshyan for taking the time to pen your workflow. Quite interesting how you use Audio and Video for PKM.

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:open_mouth: If that’s true then why do people use any method that spams the thread contents publicly!? :smile:

Lack of common sense ?

Meanwhile , I am going to budge in and nominate our new member @TokyoMike here to share his workflow :wink:

Hello everyone! Here is my workflow - but it is a work in progress. In Japanese there is a word - Kaizen (改善) Kaizen - Wikipedia which roughly means continuous improvement.

AM First thing

  • Check Calendar for the day
  • Open Dendron (I have used Obisidian and I love both)
  • Open Daily Note that has a template in Dendron. The format I use is controlled by the schema: daily.journal.YYYY.MM.DD.
  • Enter my meeting, reflection, break, task schedule in Dendron using the Mermaid template I have inserted into my Daily Template

Note-taking

  • My daily template has a section for # Meetings which I then use to create a linked note that follows a schema: [[work.notes.YYYY.DD.MM.description]]. Once this note is created I then link BACK to the Daily Note page for that day.

  • On my iPhone I use ‎Notes Writer Pro - Sync &Share on the App Store (apple.com) which allows me to edit and create notes. This did not work when my notes were located in Google Drive - but it did work on my corporate OneDrive account which you would think would be more difficult.

I have another schema for misc: misc.tech.books.recipes and books has a schema such as books.coding, books.litrpg, etc.

I sometimes paste in screen-captured images into my notes as well - I love how Dendron creates a link and organizes the screen captures into the Assets folder.

That is pretty much it. I am happy to share any details of my schema’s or the mermaid format I use to embed the schedule into my daily notes.

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Well thank you for the invite to participate in the conversation. I will have to cheat a bit though by linking out to some external links to fill in the gaps. But below is my relatively simple tech stack, with relatively complex workflow.Basically everything is funneled into Roam as text or links - even files (DEVONthink). The only outputs are in Roam themselves, and Obsidian Publish.

PKM Repository: Roam Research -

  1. Interstitial Journalling and Reflections
  2. Relatively standard Zettelkasten/Evergreen Note system
  3. Citation Management and Source Repository
  4. GTD (tasks, project management, review system)
  5. “Curriculum” wiki and textbook for teaching history
  6. CRM
  7. Coaching Business

Capture Tools: Drafts App (iOS/iPadOS), Instapaper, Readwise, directly in Roam (if applicable)

Consumption: Youtube, Airr Podcast Player, Kindle, Instapaper, Twitter, Roam (if applicable)

Organization: Roam for notes, DEVONthink for files

Writing/Publishing: Obsidian, Obsidian Publish (US History Textbook for students), previously Notion

Interviews:
First two more about workflows, others have commentary about other items, but still about workflows.

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This is a really solid workflow ! Highly impressive and envious !

Also , to keep the chain from breaking , do nominate someone you know from discord or twitter , heck even a random person and drop in a notification please :wink:

Much appreciated !

Oh. See not much reading time! I never read the manual :rofl: As soon as I think of someone I will do so.

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Not my entire workflow, but I’ve found that when doing a course with video content, having an Obsidian note open for quick notes (like a mini inbox) and ShareX/Shutter open lets me screenshot critical video moments, upload the shot to imgur, have the link automatically copied to my clipboard, and paste the url in using Markdown means I take seconds to put together a complete and future-readable set of notes on a topic.

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My workflow is a little thrown here and there.

  1. Consumption
    1. Web Articles: Worldbrain’s Memex, Walling, Raindrop.io, Nimbus Note, Notion,
      Airtable, Infinity, Reader Mode, Eagle, NiravanaHQ (In some Cases) and everything finally from all of these moved to
      Obsidian or Standard Notes.
    2. Ebooks: Currently PDF readers. Waiting for Memex PDF Annotation to shift on it.
    3. Audio: Pocketcast, Summizeit.
    4. Tweets: Walling, Raindrop.io, Nimbus Note, Notion And Memex (Kinda).
  2. Storage And Retreival
    1. My Personal cloud storage such as OneDrive, G drive, Or Local Files As I convert
      Everything in the end to Markdown or PDF.