Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) Tool Wishlist - What features do you want/need that no current tool has?

What needs/wants do you have for personal knowledge management that no tool currently fulfills?

What features/functions would you like to see in a future tool or method?

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This seems like it would be a very difficult question to answer. Since I don’t have knowledge of every tool. I know this to be the case, because I’m very frequently finding reference to another tool that I’ve never heard of. This is one of the things which keeps me coming back to this and other similar forums.

I wish to thank those who share their knowledge of the existence and capabilities of various tools and methods.

It seems like a more manageable, although still quite challenging task, would be to list what tools are available and what features they provide. I’ve seen many attempts to address this approach, by creating lists or repositories of lists. Unfortunately, this is a huge task and new options are created and old options seem to die off at an amazing pace.

Since I assume this was tossed out as a discussion starter, and it is actually a question that I would like to get a better answer for, does anyone have a better way to ask the question, or a better way to frame an answer?

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I find that there’s a gap between annotating a source, taking notes and being able to easily work with the annotations and notes and finally outputting an ordered document based upon them.

I use the Highlights app/Zotero to extract annotations and notes on journal articles in markdown format. That leads to a markdown document with the all annotations/notes for a source. I then need to do the same for 20 other articles, then take all those individual annotations/notes and reorder them, revise them, ignore them and combine them as appropriate.

At the moment I’m copying/pasting into Word then moving around by more copying and pasting into a rough order. It does work, but the elements aren’t readily reusable (except by more copying and pasting later!) and it’s not exactly slick. I had hopes for MarginNote, but I found its interface difficult to use and strangely it doesn’t maintain a record of the source on export so is essentially useless for academic writing unless you manually reference every annotation.

Keypoints app looks like it might be exactly what I’m looking for but isn’t released yet. Something like Obsidian is fine for storing notes, and I could probably script something to break up the markdown files, but it doesn’t really offer a way to rapidly reorder and assemble individual notes into a new document - at least nothing much better than cutting and pasting in Word.

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Being able to gather & arrange individual (atomic) notes into a structured & annotated outline and storing this outline itself in (structure/overview/MOC/…) notes is indeed key.

I also agree with you that rapid re-ordering of notes or sections in these structure notes is important. I’ve tried to think about some approaches here (i.e., parse the elements of a structure note and offer to arrange them via drag & drop). However, such drag+drop reordering of structure note elements may be tricky to implement well, and likely won’t be available in the first Keypoints releases.

That said, for any PKM tool, smart ways to actually work with your notes (like filtering, arranging & gathering notes into new notes) definitely should be the goal so that you end up with a great foundation for, say, your next writing project.

I very much agree that the gap you are describing is a pressing one. Citavi (full disclosure: I’ve worked for them for ten years) covers the annotation, outlining, and citing part. However, it doesn’t have any direct linking capabilities between notes which restricts it quite a lot when it comes to detaching your note-taking from a predefined outline.

As to reorder notes in Obsidian, you might just want to use Embeds - although they come with some disadvantages: you have to scroll them if they are too long (which might be a hint that the linked note is not “atomic enough”, though) and you cannot move them with CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW UP/DOWN