Hi! I’m Elizabeth Butler, MD, PhD. I help creative, idealistic professionals build soulful, sustainable productivity and note taking systems.

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Personal knowledge management: the ultimate guide to simplify your life

The definition of personal knowledge management (PKM), simply put, is to have a structured system in place to organize your thoughts, notes, and files.

What if it could be easy? Imagining a frictionless note taking system

What could it look like if your note taking system felt easy? Frictionless? Light? Simple? Does your current note taking system simplify your life, or complicate it? Does it make you feel bogged down or buoyed up? Does it feel like a trusted support, or a drain on your resources?

How a personal knowledge management system will help you get things done when you’re exhausted and tired

Here are five ways that building a personal knowledge management habit can help you stay productive when you’re in a season of low energy.

Build a better note taking system by asking this one question (that changes everything)

Personal knowledge management is sometimes used as shorthand for “organizing digital notes” or “creating a digital note-taking system.” But a true PKM system encompasses more than just notes. Building yourself a customized, mindfully-designed personal knowledge management system means thinking about all the varied types of information that you need to process, keep track of, act on, refer to, or share with others.

The first step to building an effective, sustainable personal knowledge management system is to start with the end in mind. Here’s how.

These 5 key principles of the Calmer Notes method will help you create a sustainable personal knowledge management system

Structure matters. The tools? Not as much. Build a tailored, purpose-driven personal knowledge management system with the Calmer Notes framework.

Streamline your note taking practice by clarifying your personal knowledge management goals

Everyone comes to the world of personal knowledge management for a different reason. We all have different problems we’re trying to solve. Unfortunately, sometimes the online advice on note taking tips or personal knowledge management strategies can elide all of those individual, unique goals into one monolithic approach. Generic advice about “the best note taking style” or “how to take perfect notes” flattens out differences between note takers, and pretends that we all have the same goals in note taking.

Have you clarified that pressing need, concern, interest, or problem you’re trying to solve by building a note taking system? Do you know why you’ve tumbled down the online rabbit hole of research into personal knowledge management?