During the PKM Summit last week I saw Zsolt Viczián do several amazing things with his Excalidraw plugin in Obsidian as part of his visual thinking efforts.
I’m very much a text person, but do recognise the role of visual elements as part of my thinking process. Shifting concepts around, thinking about connections, clustering etc. It engages the spatial parts of the brain, and humans are good at that. As most tools do either one thing or the other, when a tool can do both as just different perspectives on the same thing that draws my attention. It is why I’ve used Tinderbox and e.g. The Brain. Zsolt showed me how Excalidraw in Obsidian can do both too. Any Excalidraw-in-Obsidian image can have a regular note on the other side, and you can switch between them. All this because it’s just one note in markdown with some parts interpreted by Excalidraw and other parts by Obsidian.

A sketch of the elements needed to post my own slidedecks in a nice viewer, now that I’m no longer satisfied with how I’ve ‘brought slides home‘ the past four years.

The same file but now shown as text, where I’ve written a few tasks as part of creating the setup I’ve sketched in the image. Zsolt calls this the backside of the image. I’m more reminded of Tinderbox where you could see something as outline, as timeline, as tree map, as canvas etc. all interchangeable.

Zsolt very much gave me a great nudge to play with this more, and relearn that I do care about visual elements in my notes, and that it’s just that it wasn’t easy enough to build into my routines in making notes.

My site as a graphThis is a multi-part story about the themes I picked up at the Reboot 8 conference in Copenhagen, June 1st and 2nd.
Relationships above Information/Technology
Putting relationships above information shifts your perspective on what information filtering is dramatically. Something I noted here a number of times but which is not something that everybody easily or automatically grasps and accepts. On a number of occasions the notion came up that if you want to keep knowledge alive in your organisation, or want to ‘store’ it or protect from getting lost, you need to share it, and need to build more and stronger relationships around it. The announced death of marketing as broadcasting fits here too, as does the rebirth of marketing in its original shape of bringing your goods to market and weaving relationships around it.
Another major ingredient for filtering and dealing with information abundance. Visualization so that we may see the patterns. Pattern watching is much more important than the individual pieces of information when you are trying to make sense of the world around you, and want to see trends. Combining visualization and relationships is when information filtering really starts to get into its own.
Technology helping you to be a social animal while on the move. Staying connected to your existing relationships and being able to spot the opportunities for new ones. Who is near you, in your proximity, who is in your general location, and how can I share with them and my relationships at home and elsewhere. Plazes and Imity are examples of aspects of this. Contactivity is social connectivity. It needs technological connectivity but is a totally different beast.
ContactivityThis posting and the last four sum up the major themes I took away from Reboot, and which are likely to come up in the postings in the coming months.
All parts in this story:
I Renaissance
II Diversity
III Good Enough
IV Privacy and Ownership
V Relationships, Visualization, Contactivity

Photo’s: both by me.