WordPress Blog as a PKM
This blog is a trial in methods to self-organize my thoughts, ideas, tasks and actions during my post-graduate research studies.
I Initially started out with Google Docs documents with a chronological entry for each day listing what I’ve learnt, what I’ve done, and notes to self. After about four days I relalised this is hardly ideal - I need a more flexible categorization system for tagging thoughts, actions, references, etc, which lead me to the idea of using a personal Wiki or Blog.
Doing some quick searches I found that I’m hardly the first to come up with this idea. There are many Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) or Personal Information Management (PIM) solutions. Some involve Desktop Wikis (installable applications with Wiki-like tagging and page graphing features), semantic Wikis (extension of traditional Wikis with machine parseable tagging and advanced searching), personal Blogs, and the list goes on.
I tried a few of these different tools, but wasn’t very happy with any of them. The free Desktop Wikis seem a little cumbersome to use, perhaps with practice I’d adjust, but I wanted something that’s more intuitive and user-friendly. Having used WordPress before, I know that a blogging system with categorization and tagging is more along the lines of what I want.
I tried out Google Blogspot first, but I don’t like the tags/labels menu layout (long list of one-tag per line). I much prefer the WordPress condensed weighted tags. I also prefer the separation of categories from tags in WordPress, and the ability to mark my blog as public while marking certain posts as private.
The other choice I had to make was whether to self-host on a local/public server or to use the wordpress.com hosted service. I started out with the latter since it’s the easiest approach (no need to setup my own database and muck around with installing plugins and themes, also no need to regularly update). However, this restricts me from installing any plugins if I wish to do so, and also means I need to trust WordPress.com with my private posts…