🧠 Brain STREAM: 5️⃣ Change

This week I discuss "Change". Things are changing as I develop a new website and take actions to try and STREAMline my workload.

🧠 Brain STREAM: 5️⃣ Change
Change is on the horizon. This week's newsletter focuses on 'change'.

Change can be difficult, but it can also be exciting. Because change always entails some kind of extra work, especially when it relates to changing systems, the decisions related to them should not be taken lightly.

As such, I've been dithering on the fence for the last couple of months about changing my information management systems and website strategy. So this week's newsletter is dedicated to 'change'.

[You're reading this newsletter if you subscribed to email updates via @dandelionmind on Medium, on annetteraffan.co.uk or BrainSTREAM on Paragraph - Welcome everyone!]


Over the next few weeks, I'm merging my current WordPress website and Paragraph newsletter into Ghost. Whilst this newsletter will be a continuation of the same style, it will now come from a slightly different place.

There are multiple reasons for this change.

The main reason is that I've been getting side-tracked from my original intention of building a great website. My website is focused on helping people do better research in STEM (taking notes, writing, getting into a PhD etc.). Although I have now extended this to STEAM, to include the 'Arts', I still want to honour my original intention.

So I'm STREAM-lining things to come from one central hub - my website on Ghost, rather than having several different platforms and ideas running at once. Perhaps these newsletters may even develop a degree of regularity... 🤔

My question to you is, are you following your original intention, or are you getting side-tracked?


I'm also working on a new project, called 'The Knowledge Ecosystem'. As an ecologist at heart, I feel we can learn a lot from natural systems and ecology when it comes to managing information and knowledge.

For example, I love the idea of 'Digital Gardens'. However, 'gardens' require quite a lot of work to maintain. I'm looking for a more organic approach which revolves around the fact that ecosystems are self-organising, resilient and evolve naturally without us having to 'tend' to them. They change naturally.

There's so many ecological concepts we can learn from to create a sustainable personal management system.

So stay tuned for this! I'll have some pages on the new website dedicated to this idea. I'm not sure what form it will take yet; I'm in the concept phase just now!

Do you feel your systems are organic or do they require tending to on a daily basis?


If anyone is on Medium, you will see I posted about why I'm switching from Obsidian to Capacities. What I didn't say was how close of a call this change was. I'm kind of nervous of the amount of time this move will consume to get Capacities running at full, well, capacity.

The post received quite a few comments, both as concerns around data ownership and access, but also quite a few agreements around others switching to Capacities also. A couple of weeks ago, Capacities posted about a server outage which meant they had to revert to an old back-up. Whilst I was lucky it was a night time outage here in the UK, others were not so lucky. If there is one thing to come out of it, I'm pretty sure they'll be putting in some mega changes to data management to prevent it happening in future. But something like it could ...

There are also some things which Obsidian just does so well, that I'm not sure I'll be able to replicate in Capacities. Things like the plugin 'Dataview' does for pulling similar sources together in a really usable way. And now they've built in a Notion-esque Properties view for YAML, I'm wondering whether I've jumped out the frying pan...

I'm not sure how to navigate this change at the moment, but sometimes it's best to not look back.

What's STREAM-ing this week:

About a week or so ago, the second issue of Collider magazine dropped. If you haven't read it and are looking for some great reading on 'a blueprint for thinking' then I would highly recommend you check it out. It aims to change knowledge management from systems to strategies.

Bianca Pereira, one of the brains behind Collider magazine, also launched a shiny new website this week. Her Prolific Researcher's Playbook is full of great insights and tips into research methods and mindsets; I'd highly recommend subscribing.

If you're looking for some YouTube inspiration, today I loved listening to How Ali Abdaal makes $5,741,266.32 a year on YouTube on The Colin and Samir Show. Here Ali shares a no frills approach on how he has made money on YouTube. As always he's full of useful snippets in his mission of 'feel good productivity'. Now he can add author to his creative empire and I'm looking forward to reading his book when it comes out in December.

An up and coming YouTube channel is Nate Black's new channel. Now that he has left Income School he can let his own ideas and passions loose. Even though I don't yet have a YouTube channel, I can't help but love his charisma and insights. Perhaps it's a testament as to why he has grown so fast and why change for him will only bring exciting new ventures.

That's it for this week! I have a new email address: annette@knowledgeecology.me. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out.