Reply to email questions about my digital garden


1. Do you store your notes (second brain or otherwise) in one place, or across many apps/services/plain text files/napkin sketches/etc?

I have a both a public, outer garden, and a private, inner garden. See Bill Seitz's page on this for more info:

I use org-mode, org-roam and Emacs for all of my writing. My private garden is where I do all my planning and todo management, too, with org-mode.

I also currently do freeform journalling occassionally in a paper notebook with pen. I'd like it to be a daily habit, but not there yet. I've been contemplating for about a year now getting one of the e-ink tablets for this, but haven't yet. Haven't been able to justify the price/purchase of a new device just yet.

As well as to my own website at, I also publish my garden to, a collective space that combines multiple gardens together.

2. How often do you look up info in your notes, and how do you find what you’re looking for?

Interesting question! I don't have any stats, but anecdotally I would say that it is fairly infrequent. Let's say the order of magnitude is weekly rather than daily. It's most often when I want to share a link publicly as part of a social media discussion I'm having, and I want to point to some previous thinking on it. I always find what I'm looking for. org-roam has good title search and org-mode quick full text search of all notes. So it may take more or less time depending on how hazy my memory is of it, but it's rare that I can't find something that I know is there.

There's probably things that I don't remember are even in there though, which is another story.

3. If you need to look something up while you’re working outside of your notes, how difficult is it for you to get back into a flow state?

Not too hard. Just by its nature social media can be a distraction if I need to look something up there. But I'm generally good at avoiding rabbit holes, and I tend to prefer reading in an e-reader or writing in Emacs to surfing the web anyway. All that said, given that I have a child, cat and a partner usually not that far away, I tend not to often get into a full flow state anyway. I'm generally in some kind of half-flow, and I've had plenty of practice at recovering back to that half-flow from external distractions.

4. Elsewhere

4.1. In my garden

Notes that link to this note (AKA backlinks).

4.3. Mentions

This page last updated: 2023-01-04 Wed 18:51. Map. Recent changes. Source. Peer Production License.