Building Gatsby Starter for Digital Garden

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You cannot connect the dots by looking forward. You can only connect them by looking backward.

- Steve Jobs

I jotted down this quote from Steve Jobs in my Evernote quite a while ago, but it only inspired me to write this article when I rediscover the note recently. My process of discovering it accurately described the ideal learning process. It takes time and multiple occasions for our brain to convert short-term memory into long term, and further become knowledge that we can apply anytime we want.

Goodbye Evernote, Hello Obsidian

Note-taking has become an essential part of learning digitally. However, a lot of popular note taking apps has not adopt the same philosophy in their design, there should be a better way helping us review notes and connect the dots.

Obsidian embraces Zettelkasten method. In short, Zettelkasten method is a system of note-taking and personal knowledge management. It focus on the relationship rather than the note itself. Each note card contain one small idea, and this note could be cross-referenced else where. It sound a lot like what the current worldwide web looks like, but in a personal level.

Obsidian enhances the Zettelkasten experience by providing bi-directional linking and graph view, which is still yet to be found on other reading-focused competitors like Evernote, Bear.

Perks of using Obsidian

Aside from that, Obsidian saves your note locally, meaning all notes are using universal format, Markdown. All notes can be opened and edited by other apps, making it much more open than competitors. This also leads to the second perks of Obsidian, the community support, there are tons of 484 community plugins and themes as of today and it's very customisable. Stay tuned for my Obsidian setup later.

Growing Digital Garden

Growth of this trend of personal knowledge management spread across fields, it could be design, programming, even religious use to study the bible. Some of the people are willing to expose the process in public, which they called Digital Garden. The idea of digital garden is harnessing the power of the internet and expose the learning process in public. Digital garden encourage people to create personalized knowledge base in the format of a website. Instead of publishing long-form, well-written article, you now share it when it was only an idea.


Here comes Gastby Starter Garden

Obsidian currently offers Publish services ($20/month) with advance features. Frankly, it's not cheap but it's the easiest solution with most features. Basically it's the web version of Obsidian without the editing. Gastby Starter Garden is a free alternative that will help beginners get started hosting Obsidian vault by themselves.

Try it now