Lasting Value


Failing at Personal Knowledge Management

In previous attempts at creating and maintaining Personal Knowledge Management Systems (PKMSs), I have thrown lots of material into my storage facility DEVONthink. I was of course thereby demonstrating that I had fallen prey to the Collectors Fallacy.

Items which were stored in DEVONthink may have passed a threshold of interest, but they were prone to two problems:


  • I may have stored items which were of passing interest, but whose utility was ephemeral
  • there was no obvious retrieval method, or mean of linking ideas together, even allowing for DEVONthink’s rather impressive AI.

I coined the term Lasting Value to help mitigate the first of the problems (ephemera). In the constant battle for my attention, I wanted some criteria and a process to help me weed out items which had potential Lasting Value and any items which don’t.


The reason I began my Zettlekasten in the first place, was because I was getting overwhelmed as I assembled sources of inspiration, potential vocabularies and other items for my poetry writing.


By combining good organisation – the Zettlekasten with an inlet valve – Lasting Value I feel like I have reached a good point in my struggle to be better organised and more creative.

The Process

The process I use to allow items into my Zettlekasten is described by what I call Information Flow.


Here are some useful links:


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