Bottom Up Knowledge: Organising at the Idea Level with Atoms

What are Atoms of Knowledge? How do these Atoms relate to bottom up knowledge? A bottom-up approach focuses on assembling small pieces together, just like how atoms are assembled together and there are similarities here to how ideas are combined together to create.

Bottom Up Knowledge and Ideas

Ideas are like building blocks. 

You usually encounter them already assembled together into articles, videos, reports – any type of media or content you consume.

Consider ideas are like building blocks.  A wall of blocks is shown representing how ideas are often pre-assembled into the content that we consume such as videos, articles, tweets and blogs.
Ideas are pre-assembled into the content you consume

Some elements of the content you consume will be interesting and important to you. If they resonate and you don’t want to forget them, then platforms are set up for you to save the whole piece of content for that single idea or handful of ideas. On social media you save posts in your personal area on the platform, in browsers you bookmark tabs, in email and messaging apps you star or favourite.

The Problem of Saving Content

Some time passes, and it’s quite likely you forgot about those ideas and that you even saved them somewhere.  And if you part remember one of those ideas, it’s difficult to refind – where did you save it? On your phone, on your computer, as a note, screenshot or bookmark? Not to mention which app or account you saved it in!

But what if you started saving each of those ideas individually?

What if you started capturing JUST the ideas that are interesting and important to you?  Getting them out of the content you found them in, so they are freed up and available for you to use as building blocks to assemble in your own work.

Bottom up knowledge is about taking the building blocks (or ideas) that you want from content and then combining them with other ideas you've saved to assemble something new.

We call the individual ideas that you want to save, ‘Atoms of Knowledge’ or Atoms for short, because they’re similar to how Atoms can be assembled many times over in different ways to create something new.

Use your Atoms to build your knowledge, deepen your understanding, or assemble them together to create something new.

On Protolyst, you can start collecting Atoms by highlighting text and hitting ‘Capture Atom‘ – easy.

So why not give it a try and see what you can build?

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