Tinderbox Meetup Sunday 03 Dec 23 Video: INFORMATION GARDENING with Information Architect Jorge Arango

Tinderbox Meetup Sunday 05 Dec 23 Video: INFORMATION GARDENING with Information Architect Jorge Arango

Level Beginner
Published Date 12/3/23
Revision 1
Type Meetup
Tags 5Cs, 5Cs Learning and Knowledge Management, A, Design, Duly Noted, Eastgate, Identity Pr, Information Architecture, Jorge Arango, Knowledge Management, Michael Becker, Note-taking, Obsidian, Personal Knowledge Management, Thinking, Tinderbox
Chat chat.txt (18.0 KB)
Video Length 1:51:04
Video URL https://youtu.be/phZLDuQKQp8
TBX Version 9.6
Host Michael Becker

In this Tinderbox meetup, we received a presentation from Jorge Arango–author, teacher, designer, information architect, and longtime Tinderbox and Obsidian user–on how to use notes to externalize and help our thinking to remember things and generate them. We also had an engaging community dialog and sharing of resources around all the topics raised.

“Thinking clearly is essential to living good life. You ned to build a place to help you think more clearly–build a personal knowledge garden so that you can use your knowledge skillfully.” Paragraphs, Jorge Arango.

“Instead of asking whether the Web and the various devices connected to it are making us stupid, what if we could mindfully design and use digital media to make us smarter?” — Howard Rheingold, Mind Amplifier


Why do we take notes?

“Notes are a way for us to externalize our thinking,” Jorge Arango. Thinking is an externalization process; it is a method of interacting with other objects and people…“use your environment as part of your cognitive apparatus,” Jorge says.

  • "We think with things. One must mindfully organize their environment.
  • “Notes are critical for articulating one’s thoughts.”

Jorge starts with a basic idea: “As knowledge workers, our ability is capped by our ability to access and use information.” In his new book “Duly Noted,” and throughout this talk, Jorge shares ideas and frameworks on how to overcome the challenges and to achieve the opportunities facing today’s knowledge worker. Knowledge Garden


  • Too much information
  • Information anxiety/information overload
  • Low signal-to-noise ration
  • Information is fragmented
  • Black sheet of paper problem vs. too much information


  • Access to information
  • Access to people
  • Access to tools (e.g., Jorge been using TBX for 20 years)

Notes mean a lot of different things.

Notes are often defined as something we use to “remember something,” but notes help with more, i.e. generation:

  • generating insights,
  • generating new things,
  • generating a presentation,
  • generating knowledge, learning/updating your mental models (documentation a reflection).

Rules of Knowledge Gardening

  1. Make Short Notes (Atomic Notes), build thedisciplines to capture the essence of one idea in your notes. Consider context (You’re taking notes for future you)
  • When was it captured
  • What is it retailed to
  • Who does it pertain to
  1. Connect your notes
  2. Nature your Notes, current about keeping things live and relevant, also work on the system yourself (adopt new tools, new processes)…Ask yourself, what role does this thing play in my knowledge garden? Work on the system and the ideas…expose my feedback and thinking with others ["work with the garage door open].

Tinderbox can be a “knowledge garden”

Thinking matrix EVERGREEN | MNEMONIC<----|----->Generative | TRANSIENT

Rather, focus on proving people’s principles so that they can Rolle their own,

Add’l concepts

  • Tinderbox is a “whiteboard with super powers”
  • Everyone has different needs, wants, and desires…there is no one-size-fits-all all solution.
  • You need to make the system your own…requires to support facilitation.
  • You need to become intimate with tools.
  • It is not easy; it takes work; use your “meat computer”
  • Managing the provenance of a note/knowledge is important: prove time, origins, and integrity. The reason y provenance has not made it into modern tools: design, functionality, cost, time, security, time to market (even before functionally)
  • Our tools share our thinking. The real challenge is thinking and thinking clearly.
  • “Metawork”, there is doing the work, and then there is doing work on the things (tool and system) that will let you do your work. It is easy to become a tools dabbler rather than a user of the system. Remember: the ultimate point is to think better, not to use the tools.
  • To effectively think you need to have good questions.


Please comment

Please help with the development of future sessions by answering the three questions below.

  • What were your top 2~3 key takeaways from this lesson?
  • What do you want to learn next? Learn more about?
  • What exercises would help reinforce your learning?

Thanks. Sad to miss the meeting, but also thanks for all the info/links.

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A very simple, but powerful application for AI on our notes: semantic search.
Just stumbled across this blog-post and thought I’d leave it a link here:

Related to this thread Stuck on simple search - #32 by satikusala

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