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What is Personal knowledge management (PKM) ?

Ken Harrison
2 min readJan 31, 2023


Personal knowledge management (PKM) is the process of actively gathering, organizing, and applying knowledge gained throughout your life, whether through work, study, or casual internet browsing.

You can improve your productivity, decision-making abilities, and overall effectiveness in both your personal and professional lives by implementing effective PKM techniques. Starting with PKM is simple and straightforward. The first step is to decide what kinds of data you want to collect and organize. This could include articles, notes, research, and ideas. Once you’ve determined what you want to collect, you can begin using tools to assist you.

The concept is not revolutionary per se; however, a deliberate, well managed PKM is a game changer.

A few key components for starting your PKM journey are:

  1. A note-taking app
  2. A single source of truth (on the cloud, local desktop or mobile)
  3. Tags to organize your notes and folders

Evernote is a well-known PKM tool. Evernote is a note-taking and organizational app that allows you to record audio, save articles, and take notes. The app also has a web clipping feature that lets you save articles from the web with a single click. It also supports tagging, making it easy to find what you’re looking for. Another tool similar to Evernote is Microsoft OneNote, which offers more flexible formatting options and can integrate with other Microsoft tools such as Word.

Personally, I don’t use either because I prefer to write in Markdown. I have a Markdown article here. Also I have an article on note-tasking apps here

Another important element of PKM is the ability to access and use your knowledge when needed. One method is to use a mind mapping tool such as XMind or MindNode. Mind mapping allows you to visually organize your thoughts and ideas, making connections and relationships between different pieces of information easier to see.

Last but not least, you must be sure to regularly review and update your knowledge. This could entail scheduling time each day or each week to review and arrange your notes, or it could even entail setting up reminders to go over specific subjects or information at predetermined intervals.

Overall, PKM is a powerful and effective way to stay organized and make the most of the knowledge you acquire throughout your life. By using tools like Evernote, OneNote, and mind mapping apps to collect and organize your information, and by setting aside time to review and update your knowledge on a regular basis, you can easily boost your productivity and effectiveness in both your personal and professional life.



Ken Harrison

Technical Product/Program Manager passionate about productivity, motivation and tech. Writing about the intersection of technology and effective management.