Atoms of Knowledge: 5 Benefits of a Knowledge First Approach

Protolyst supports you to organise your Atoms of Knowledge.  Focusing on atoms or the small details, is a ‘knowledge-first’ approach. Going knowledge-first can deliver big improvements to your knowledge management, because it follows a similar storage and thought process to your brain.  

To recap, Atoms of Knowledge are the important details in your sources, but you might refer to them as highlights, golden nuggets or key takeaways.  Here are 5 benefits that you’ll see when you start using Atoms of Knowledge:

1. You can Manage Individual Ideas

Each Atom you capture frees your knowledge from the page to save your knowledge as distinct ‘objects’ (for more info see below).  Rather than collecting key ideas together in a summary document, you can manage each idea individually.  

A comparison between a Summary document containign several bullet points which stores several ideas in one place vs Atoms of Knowledge which separates out each bullet point as an individual item in your system
Saving ideas individually as an Atom of Knowledge rather than grouping them into a Summary Document can improve access to your knowledge

A Summary groups all your Atoms together, and saves them under one Summary title. Usually you save your Summary in just one location in your storage system. However, saving each idea as an Atom, allows each Atom to exist across multiple topics or categories (See Point 2).  

2. Each Atom of Knowledge can be Cross Referenced

Each Atom can be connected to any related categories or topics by adding Tags.  This gives you an easy way to group related content together.  These connections mean your atom can ‘exist’ in several different places, rather than existing in just one place. This one location is often the project, source file or summary document.

Adding Tags is similar to using hashtags on social media to add your post into a collection. The hashtag lets other people interested in the topic find it alongside other related posts.  

3. You can See Details at a High Level

On Protolyst, Atoms bring your key details and knowledge to the surface.

In Tables, (which can act a bit like Folders), the Atoms property displays all your Atoms captured or connected, in a column next to that Page.

Folders and Documents don’t reveal the information they contain. Organising with Tables on Protolyst allows you to view Atoms of Knowledge without needing to open your Document

The Atoms display in a column in the table, allowing you to see the important information within your Document. No need to open and scroll through each document separately to find the highlighted sections or access your info in a Summary.

Atom filters and sorts can give further order and organisation of your knowledge.

4. Atoms of Knowledge are Easier to Find

Saving each idea as an Atom improves your ability to refind it, because it won’t be buried inside a document or folder saved under an often unrelated title.  

You can search through all the Atoms you have captured and all the Pages you have created. You can also navigate to Atoms through categories or topics based on your chosen Tags, which is much more intuitive than having to remember the idea and exactly where you saved it.

5. Atoms of Knowledge leads to Deeper Thinking

As you add more Atoms and connect them to your topics or categories of interest, you will collate all your knowledge around those topics and categories. You will more easily see relationships between your different Atoms, gaining clarity, context and sparking new ideas that you might not have otherwise seen.

Each time you visit a topic, all the Atoms you have connected to it will be visible. Over time you will see your knowledge compound. 

A Note on Objects

Knowledge-first is a bottom up approach to managing knowledge, based on the creation of data objects.  You dont think in Documents & Folders you think on the smaller level; ideas, facts, quotes.  We think that objects better represent the level of our thinking. Rather than objects, we use Atoms of Knowledge as a catch-all for these smaller units of thinking.

Atoms of Knowledge – Key Takeaway

Whatever your goals, taking a knowledge-first approach will help you to resurface knowledge you had forgotten, consolidate your understanding on topics of interest and connect your knowledge to the many different topics it can have meaning to you.   

Interested in capturing Atoms of Knowledge and giving Protolyst a try?

You can get started here

1 comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *