K is for knowledge

This post is part of a continuing series, “Digital: from A to Z,” that explores what it means to be “digital” from A to Z, broken down into individual blog posts diving deeper into various subjects. Check back regularly to see continuing posts as I work my way through the alphabet and let me know: What’s in your A to Z of digital? You can find me on twitter @Max_Hemingway or leave a comment below.

Understanding what is going on in your streams, market places and industries is a big task. We can be deluged with information, news and articles coming in on a daily basis through many streams/channels (as well as all the work emails you get in a day). This means that we tend to drink from the fire hose and not be able to assimilate all of the data coming in.

One way of helping is to create your own Personal Knowledge Management System that will help navigate the sea of information and pick out what is key to your requirements and what can be dropped.

Here is my updated Personal Knowledge Management System that I use to sort and store useful artefacts, blogs, information, inspiration, articles and bits that get in a day.

Max Hemingway’s Personal Knowledge Management System

Personal Life

Personal journal

Journaling in both a personal and work life is a useful tool to keep notes on your thoughts and ideas. In my personal life I opt for recording these in a Moleskine. See my blog post No Batteries Required for further details.

Social media

I separate my work life from my personal life using things like Instagram and Facebook for friends and family with appropriate security settings in place. Even with those settings you still need to consider that once something is online, it could be public in the future.

Work Life


This is split into several areas; these are a few of the inputs that I use to grab information, feeds and data from:

  • Podcasts
  • Audio subscriptions
  • RSS feeds
  • Web searches
  • Blog posts

Podcasts cover both audio and video casts that I watch/stream online or download to my media player (audio and video) to listen to on journeys (audio).


Flipboard provides another stream of data that I consume, bringing in news feeds from many sources around a series of topics. It does work well on a mobile device, allowing you to flip the pages through the articles.


Feedly provides an aggregation tool that I use to collect the stories from blogs and web sites I regularly pull information from.  This provides a list of stories that can be scanned in a few minutes on a single screen without going to multiple sites. Clicking on a story will bring up a snippet from the source site and provide the link to read the source article if required. Using a series of key strokes you can read the headlines and then move down the articles at a reasonable speed, stopping and opening when needed.

Sources can be categorised to allow an “all” view or just what’s new in a category.  There is a new noise filter to take out articles that are not relevant, which I will be looking at shortly (paid version).


Instapaper is one of several tools I use to store the articles I need to keep to refer back to and want to save. There is a link from Feedly to provide this (paid version), which saves the articles. Instapaper then tweets the link out on a separate @HemingwayReads Twitter account when I want it to.


IFTTT (If This Then That) provides a level of automation to my lists, from saving articles to creating alerts on topics and triggering different actions as needed to my devices.

Thinking time

This is where I view the data streams through the tools and assimilate and think about what has been reported/said.

Blogging and being social

From thoughts and research I will write about things through my blogs and publish these into social media streams such as Twitter, Linkedin and G+/.

Future tools

Future additions to my tools will probably include some machine learning and further automation to bring out more of the articles I am interested in and filter out the noise. Then, bring in a voice-based capability to read out targeted articles to me when I am mobile and traveling.

Do you have a Personal Knowledge Management System or use tools not mentioned above?

Further inspiration from others

Some other good Personal Knowledge Management Systems from colleagues:

Join me next time as I look at “L is for legal” in my Digital A-Z series.  See my last post, J is for jacking.

This entry was originally posted in Max’s blog.

Max Hemingway is a senior architect for DXC in the United Kingdom. With more than 25 years of experience, he has a broad and deep range of technical knowledge and is able to translate business needs into IT-based solutions. Currently the chief architect of the BAE Systems account in the UK, Max has a proven track record acquired through continual client engagement and delivery of leading edge infrastructures, all of which have delivered positive results for end-clients, including IT cost reduction, expansion of service capability and increased revenues.


  1. […] Join me next time as I look at “M is for machine learning” in my Digital A-Z series.  See my last post, K is for knowledge. […]

  2. […] Being a member of one of the many social networks available today is seen as the norm. The majority of people join well known social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, or a channel that’s less well known or used for specific purposes. We publish details of our lives online for all our friends and followers to see what we are up to, or use the tools to help gather information and keep up to date. […]

  3. […] learn what is happening today and future developments and innovations are coming out. Creating a Personal Knowledge Management System will help you manage the flow of this information and filter what you want to […]

  4. […] the fire hose.” So much is happening that you can easily get swamped with noise.  Building a Personal Knowledge Management System is one way of keeping in touch with what is happening and trending in social media on topics that […]

  5. […] A-Z of Digital – K is for Knowledge […]

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.