How to Tame a Hydra

using PKM ideas for daily tasks


Xavier Roy

work 🧑🏾‍💻
#manager #writer #content-engineer


/now 🤩
#pkm #neuroscience #gamelit

⚠️ some caveats ⚠️

  • Very highly opinionated information.
  • Steal ideas and adapt to your context.
  • What works for me may or may not work for you.


what is PKM?

Personal Knowledge Management is a process of collecting information that a person uses to gather, classify, store, search, retrieve and share knowledge in their daily activities and the way in which these processes support work activities.



A note-taking tool that works with Markdown syntax

easily extensible with plugins

data stays on your computer only

How I use it for work

  • as a task management tool  

  • as a note-taking tool

The Daily Note

  • A daily note is a central place to capture all of your thoughts, ideas, and learnings for the day.

  • For technical writers, this could involve meeting notes, project notes, research notes, and more.

  • One note per day.

  • I use YYYY-MM-DD for file names. (easier organisation)

Start of Day

Add Meetings

  • Add today’s meetings to the daily note.

    • I use Today’s Meetings section.
  • You can be as specific or vague as needed.

    • I usually add a duration for the meeting.

Timebox work

Timeboxing is an idea from the book, Deep Work by Cal Newport.

  • Decide what to work on and when today.

  • These are the items that you want to spend the day.

  • Add projects you want to work on to the planner.

Through the day

Interstitial Journalling

  • Add tasks or next actions. (via: the Tasks plugin)

    • I use #task to indicate tasks.
  • Capture notes whenever you start something or at random intervals.

    • I add a timestamp + a short note on what I was working on.
  • 🔬 It takes 23 mins to refocus after each interruption. 🤯

    • Add a note on the current task (for easier refocus) 🛟

There are a lot of applications for these interstitial logs.


  • Change task dates as needed

  • Review notes for tasks/ideas

  • Send out mails / update Jira tickets

  • Add notes for next day

    A shutdown ritual is also from Deep Work by Cal Newport.

Alt text


Take notes in meetings

  • One note per meeting

  • Capture notes in the meeting

  • Add action items as tasks

  • Link to other notes (meetings, projects, people…)


  • One note per person
  • Capture information like meetings/conversations/tasks/requests
  • I have a list of tickets assigned to person (pulled in from Jira via a plugin)
  • I also have a list of other notes that reference this person. Useful in non 1:1 meetings

What’s next?

  • Templates and reusable snippets ⬇️

  • Advanced ideas like queryable data and dashboards 📊

  • And lots more 🏆

How to tame a hydra  

  • Start small. Start by using a daily note or a note per meeting.

  • Experiment. Find a system that works for you.

  • Practice interstitial journalling. It works wonders.

  • This is a journey, not a destination.