Laddice Learning's

Aug. 27, 2016, 11:35 a.m.
Edited: Aug. 27, 2016, 12:06 p.m.

Laddice Learning’s (user: LaddiceLearnings) is a Laddice account dedicated as a resource for new and experienced Laddice users alike to learn how to use Laddice more effectively.

This area is broken down into 3 subsections:

  1. About Laddice

  2. Help with Laddice

  3. Principles of Laddice

Laddice Learning’s content can be found through searching for “LaddiceLearnings” in the Search tool bar and selecting the User: LaddiceLearnings.

Feel free to comment on any node with any feedback you have, whether questions about something or feature requests.

 32 : LaddiceLearnings - 2 years, 10 months ago Open
About Laddice

This area contains content for anyone wanting to learn more about Laddice.


 1 : ProjectAMPLE - 4 years, 1 month ago Open
Welcome to The Project AMPLE Thought Blog

The Project AMPLE team invites you to test out our custom blog site! This blog site was uniquely designed to enhance the usefulness to its participants by implementing a number of nifty features. We really wanted to encourage everyone to externalize as many of their thoughts as possible so we developed the blog platform with user interactivity in mind. It includes the following features:

Enhanced comment threading

Feel free to comment on any article or on any other comment. If you’d like to add to or modify one of your existing comments, you can do that too. If you’re a bit shy but have something to say, you can also comment anonymously and change the comments status if you’d like later. And, just in case you made a mistake, you can always delete your comment. Finally, if you’d like to add your thoughts privately, you can make comments that only appear to you for your own reference.


You can also pin any number of articles and/or comments. Pinned content is organized neatly on your account Dashboard so you can easily refer to that content later. Also, all activity associated with the pinned content will be shared directly with you on your Dashboard.


Just like each article, each comment has it’s own weblink and is treated like an article in itself. You can easily share this link with others or save it for your personal use.

Save Notes/Thoughts

We also allow users to make their own independent notes/thoughts that can be shared via others in the Laddice Stream, a place where all users see public activity of the Project AMPLE community. Eventually, we will even be posting your content (if you’d like) to the blog site itself.

Integration into Laddice

Best of all, all your blog activity and pinned content will be automatically saved to your Laddice account upon launch. In fact, all of it is already linked using the hierarchical relationships implied by the comment threading. You will be able to easily navigate and use content that you create and/or pin as well as any linked comments made by others.

For all these reasons and more, we feel the Project AMPLE blog redefines blog platforms as a whole. Needless to say, we’d like to hear about what you think. We’d also like to hear if you could use any additional features and if you have any trouble using the features we’ve already implemented. Share your thoughts below!

View in Tree (New!)

Now you can view and edit blog content in a more easy to use interface: the Tree View. This view generates a visual tree from blog articles and their comment threads so you can easily navigate the relationships between each entry. You can also view a users tree to see their public content in the tree. To make things even easier, you can respond to blogs or comments directly from the tree. Check it out now.


 2 : azichettello - 3 years, 8 months ago Open

Click here if you want to learn more about Project AMPLE.


 1 : ProjectAMPLE - 4 years, 1 month ago Open
About Laddice

Laddice is best classified as a PKM (personal knowledge management) environment with emphasis on insight and creativity stimulation. Laddice achieves this by implementing two crucial features:

  1. Node relationships

  2. Node instantiation

Node Relationships

Laddice allows note entries to be connected to each other with various relationships. Rather than continue to call each entry a “note” we prefer to call them “nodes” since this term emphasizes that each entry is a potential piece of a network (modeled after the neuronal structure of the brain). Nodes can have several kinds of relationships to other nodes. Some relationships are created by the user while other relationships are implied indirectly by other user inputs or relationships. The relationships are as follows:

  • Parent: a parent node is one which is above its child node in a hierarchical sense

  • Child: a child node is one which is below its parent node in a hierarchical sense

  • Sibling: a sibling node is one which is related through common parent nodes

Laddice can easily display other implied relationships and we are open to discussing this aspect in particular with our early users. Being able to navigate nodes through relational connections is the core functionality of Laddice.

Window Manager

Laddice treats nodes as live links that can be visualized in multiple ways and in multiple locations, all of which are synchronized. Each view can be repositioned, hidden or shown as the user desires. In this way a user can set up their preferred work environment based on their particular purpose. Some of the views that Laddice implements are:

  • Detail: create new nodes or view/edit node details

  • List: a linear list of nodes and their corresponding various properties

  • Filter: provides a series of advanced options for filtering through your library of nodes

  • Tree: a mind map using the relationship hierarchies of the selected node

  • Connections: a list view showing children, parents and related connected nodes

  • Activity: a history of your actions

  • Notifications: social interactions with other laddice users, including shares, comments and pins

  • Coming Soon:

    • Shares

    • Groups

Each view has advantages and disadvantages depending on the users purpose. That’s why Laddice allows the user to see any combination of views. Laddice is the environment where you have the ultimate freedom as to how you choose to organize, browse and visualize your nodes. Perhaps most interestingly, each view is interactive with the others.

Detail View

The detail view is where you create new nodes and add/edit details to nodes including tags and relationships. A node can be just like any other note but tends to be a piece of information or thought that is brief and stands alone. Nodes can be formatted and include the ability to add hyperlinks. This is where selected nodes will also pop up when you want to see details or edit existing nodes. Perhaps most interesting about this view is that you can see and browse through related nodes simply by clicking them in the “Connection” area of the the detail view.

Detail View

As you can see above, the Node Detail view is a place where a nodes properties can be viewed, edited or created. We have put a great deal of thought into what type of properties are most useful. This is something we are constantly experimenting with internally but the current iterations of Laddice has the below options:

  • Custom tags: the user can create any tag and apply it to a node

  • Task: the user can mark that the node is an incomplete task and easily mark it as completed at any time

  • Time created: the date and time a node was created is automatically stored with each node

  • Time updated: the date and time a node was last edited is also automatically stored with each node

  • Connections: the various relationship types are treated as a property of that node in relation to the connected nodes

As discussed in the Node Relationships section, Laddice emphasizes the connection of one node to another node. For this reason, Laddice allows “embedded connections”. An embedded connection is a node that exists inside of another node. Allowing embedded nodes has very powerful and useful consequences.

List View

This is the primary place to view existing nodes and other entries in the Laddice environment. The List View is at the heart of Laddice because it allows the user to see the full picture of their existing nodes in a spreadsheet-like form, easy to navigate, with the ability to filter to specific types of nodes or to reorder by various attributes.

List View

Filter View

Laddice provides advanced filtering options for navigating through a potentially large library of nodes. The user can filter by tags or combinations of tags using boolean logic (AND/OR at this time). The user can also pin a particular node or multiple nodes and this pin attribute can be included in the filtering. Task nodes can also be treated in the same way for filtering.

It is also notable that Laddice allows for hierarchical tag relationships. That is, the user can group tags inside of other tags (nesting). Unlike other note taking software, Laddice nodes automatically inherit the tags which they are nested inside of. Example: If the user applies a tag called “consumer psychology” to a node and that tag exists nested inside of a tag called “psychology” then the node could be located by filtering either “psychology” or “consumer psychology”. Multiple levels of nesting is allowed in Laddice so the user can easily organize and navigate their library through hierarchical tags.

Filter View

Filter View

Map View

This is effectively an automatically generated mind map (or more precisely a tree map as it stands). Laddice uses the relationships that the user created between nodes to generate mind maps for any node you select. From this view, the user can explore their nodes and visually see the node relationships, both created and inferred.

Map View

Map View

The map view displays the content of the node, any applied tags and whether the node is a task (red box = incomplete task; green box = complete task). From this view the user can select any node and view its details in the detail view pane. Additionally, the map view allows for collapsing and expanding of node trees to provide a better user experience for navigating complex trees.

Concluding Thoughts

This overview has captured the essence of what Laddice does and the features it implements. However, as Laddice is still in development, all of the features above are subject to change based on what is most useful to you, the user. The founders of Project AMPLE strongly encourage you to subscribe for Laddice Beta to evaluate our product upon the beta release. Laddice Beta is currently free for all early subscribers so sign up now.

At this stage, we are eager to get direct feedback from you on what you find most useful as well as not so useful. This feedback will be fed directly back into our development. This is an amazing opportunity for you to influence the development of what can be the single best Personal Knowledge Environment in existence (we benchmarked many PKM and notetaking software before deciding to develop Laddice).

If you have questions, thoughts, suggestions or just want to chat about related topics, please feel free to contact Project AMPLE directly via my email:

Alex Zichettello

You can also make comments on our Laddice Forum.


 9 : llvickers - 3 years, 11 months ago Open

I like this because it is trying to implement something very natural, and basically what the brain already does, by making random connections. This should make it easier for people such as myself to gain better control of what they know.


 32 : LaddiceLearnings - 2 years, 10 months ago Open
Help with Laddice

This area contains content for anyone looking for help using Laddice.


 32 : LaddiceLearnings - 2 years, 9 months ago Open
Laddice Tutorial

The Laddice Tutorial is an interactive run through the entire Laddice framework. This tutorial is a way for new users to understand the basics of how Laddice works and what it can do. It also helps users familiarize themselves with the Laddice layout and terminology.

To access the Laddice Tutorial, click the Tutorial button on the toolbar at the top right of the page.


 1 : ProjectAMPLE - 4 years, 1 month ago Open
Laddice Forum

We’ve provided this area for everyone to share their thoughts, feelings, ideas or any other form of feedback regarding Laddice. We’ll answer any questions you have as well. Don’t be shy!

Note: If you want to provide feedback specifically about Project AMPLE, you should do so here.


 32 : LaddiceLearnings - 2 years, 10 months ago Open
Principles of Laddice

This area contains content for anyone wanting to learn more about the principles behind Laddice.


 2 : azichettello - 4 years, 1 month ago Open
Why Externalize?

Externalization is the act of expressing your thoughts through written words or verbal communication. I want to explain to everyone just how useful externalization truly is. This is something that can change your life. It’s all about your thoughts, so we’ll start there...


So what is a thought? Thoughts are rich in diversity and range from the simple and mundane to the sophisticated and abstract. Thoughts are the mechanism by which our brains experience and analyze the world around us. I consider them as the hallmark of human existence and the resource that fuels all human activities and behavior whether good or bad. They are so powerful that we can even think about our thinking! It’s no surprise that thinking, or cognition, is a huge field of study including cognitive science, psychology and neuroscience. But for now, I want to focus on just two particular attributes of thinking:

  1. The relationships between thoughts, emotions and actions

  2. Memory and consolidation of thoughts

Thoughts, Emotions and Actions

Try to recall the last emotion that you experienced. Now try to recall what you were thinking about at the time. If you were happy you may have been thinking about how life is going just the way you want it to. Or perhaps you weren't thinking about much at all and you were just enjoying the moment. If you were sad, you were likely thinking about something that made you uncomfortable about life that troubled you. Emotions are your minds primitive way of using basic sensory information to influence your actions. But emotions are informed (or misinformed) by awareness. And awareness is influenced by the thinking mind. This means that our thoughts, if given enough attention, can be the key to influencing our actions and even reactions. Control your thoughts and you control your future. Viktor E. Frankl once said:

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."

That space is governed entirely by thinking...


Now try to recall a time from your childhood that you can picture most vividly. Now tell me, are you recalling the details as they were? Or are you recalling the details as you last remembered them? Or are you recalling the details as to how you remembered last remembering them? What about a distortion of them all? Memory, though studied widely, is still not well understood by scientists, and yet, memory influences our day-to-day actions and choices in life nevertheless. Memory is an imperfect utility that can morph, sometimes quite drastically, over time. To make matters worse, we forget things all the time as our brain is always working to consolidate or prune information in an effort to reduce energy consumption (this is also why habits are formed). Yet when we need to make a decision, our first instinct is to go back to our memory to find patterns that can help us decide what to do. Unfortunately we don’t directly control what our brain decides to remember and forget or even whether our memory is accurate. Do you really want to make important decisions based on information like that?

Cyclic Thinking

Externalization is a useful tool that anyone can use to help them consciously take charge of their thoughts and memories. Why rely on your brain to do functions that computers (or even pen and paper) can do better? Writing down thoughts gives us a direct reference to go back to when we want to recall our past experiences, ideas and realizations. But that’s just the start of what externalization can do. Once any of our thoughts exist outside of the mind, we are now able to go back to them to stimulate more thoughts. This is the best way I know to combat cyclic thinking. Thinking patterns tend to progress until the point at which they enter a loop, at which time cyclic (and usually stressful) thinking patterns begin. This is why you commonly hear people use expressions such as “over-thinking” or “spinning your wheels”. I don’t believe that thinking too much is the real problem; it’s cyclic thinking that is the true culprit. When you write your thoughts down, it empowers you to focus on building upon previous thoughts rather than thinking in circles.

Decluttering the Mind

There are even more benefits to externalization, especially in the realm of digital externalization. When you have your thoughts captured in digital form it is quite easy to go back to your thoughts and reorganize them. It is also becoming easier and easier to sort through and find content that might now be relevant despite being old (Recency ≠ Relevancy). Having organized thoughts helps you to think in an organized manner. And organized thinking is the secret to bringing purpose to your thoughts. Externalization helps you deliberately build your mind. It also helps you deconstruct your thoughts (both present and past) for self-analysis which can aid in battling lack of motivation, controlling mood swings and even eliminating depression. Seeing your past perspectives in the context of your present knowledge allows you to re-evaluate your feelings and stay grounded to your greater intentions in life.

Tools of Externalization

As you know by now, all that it takes to externalize is a pen and paper or other device to record your thinking. But I highly recommend digital text-based externalization for the advantages it brings. You might be thinking “sure it would be nice to have all my thoughts externalized but that’s going to be a heck of a lot of work to type them all up” and that may be true. But you don’t have to be a lifelogger to start reaping the benefits of externalization; just start by taking note of whatever you think may be important and relevant to your future. If you use a digital note taking system, you can go back to previous thoughts and add more details at a later time. With more advanced systems, such as PKM (Personal Knowledge Management) tools, you can easily externalize your thoughts in the context of related information to immediately begin developing your thoughts. Your externalized thinking becomes a personal library for you to review whenever you need to make an important decision or are trying to solve problems you’re facing in life. I’ve even used externalization to figure out what I stand by and developing a personal mission statement that acts as a guide for all my endeavours in life. I now externalize so intensively that I’ve developed a system which I feel best empowers externalization.

Time to Externalize!

I encourage anyone interested in improving themselves to start externalizing now. Being an experienced externalizer, I now have logs of:

  • Details of important events

  • Interesting realizations

  • Business ideas

  • Random ideas about topics

  • Dreams and memories

  • Thoughts related to topics I’m learning about

  • And any other miscellaneous information and thoughts

I firmly believe that, despite being able to categorize your thoughts, there should not be a strict segmentation between them. Thoughts thrive most effectively in the context of more information and thoughts. There are many techniques and tools to do this in the realm of PKM and you can learn more about them here If you haven’t already done so, you should subscribe with Project AMPLE to stay in touch and get the chance to try Laddice Beta, exclusively released to early subscribers. Laddice is the ultimate PKM and externalization system and designed to make information and thoughts useful for every user.

A Final Note

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future” Steve Jobs

If those “dots ” are thoughts, externalization will pay you back for your efforts with dividends. Start externalizing and empower your capacity to make each day, each moment and each thought meaningful.

- Alex Zichettello


 2 : azichettello - 4 years, 1 month ago Open

Have you ever thought: "there must be more potential in my brain?" I've thought this from a young age and still do. I'm also reminded every time I hear someone say they "can't do this" or "can't do that". Well, several years ago I became determined to make a difference in the way people use their minds. I became determined to discover the perfect ingredients for unlocking human potential. This led to the birth of Project AMPLE.

Project AMPLE is a business dedicated to empowering people through the AMPLE facets:

  • Aim: Set a target

  • Motivate: Keep going

  • Plan: Work from a strategy

  • Learn: Get the knowledge/skills you need

  • Educate: Teach others in the process

But first things first; people need a better way to manage their knowledge. I realized this after trying countless numbers of note taking applications and methods for storing and later using information. Nothing worked the way I wanted it to. I wondered if knowledge really should be managed to begin with. Coming from an engineering background with a passion for psychology and understanding how people think, I began to ponder on this question. I came to these realizations:

  • Thinking about thinking is the most powerful thought

  • All people have a poor memory compared to computers

  • Understanding things is all about making connections

Information and thoughts are abundant but we humans just don’t know what to do with it! If only it could all be useful…Project AMPLE set it’s aim on building a tool to do just that: Make IT (information & thoughts) useful.

This opened up a whole can of worms involving neuroscience, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, taxonomy, ontology, connectionism, creativity, etc. Laddice manifested itself as a web application built upon the philosophies we (the founders) developed during our studies, self reflections and analysis.

Laddice: a Ladder to success through a Latticework of information and thoughts

Laddice is about appreciating every bit of information and each and every thought then providing a means to see them in a wider context where you can easily make connections. At the core, Laddice is about stimulation of insight and creativity through externalization of thoughts. Laddice is a powerful knowledge environment that extends beyond all existing note taking tools. The most important aspect of Laddice is the manner in which it treats notes. We wanted to instill in the user that every bit of information and each individual thought is really just a fragment of something much larger. Thus the fragmented note (more simply called a node) was born.

Breaking notes up into fragments calls for them to be put back together again like a puzzle. But unlike a traditional puzzle, Laddice allows the user to connect any node to any other node in a variety of relationships. The very act of connecting is what our brains are attempting to do (often subconsciously) when we truly are learning and understanding new things. In a way, Laddice connects you to your brain at a deeper level and then allows you to explore.

That's it, the essence of Laddice. But to make everything work well together we had to implement a number of other neat features. We are nearly ready to launch a beta version of Laddice and would love for you to try it out. If you're interested and want to stay in the loop, you could subscribe here, or if you want to learn more about the features of Laddice, click here.


 2 : azichettello - 4 years, 1 month ago Open
PKM Lesson #1: What is PKM and How to Begin

PKM is crucial in the information age and will only become more important with time. PKM affects everyone in their day-to-day life whether they realize it or not. PKM can help virtually anyone get and stay on the right path towards success in life. So what is PKM?

PKM is an initialism for Personal Knowledge Management and is a subset of the more general and mature field of KM (Knowledge Management). KM encompasses all aspects of how an organization collects, organizes, finds and shares knowledge. KM aims to optimize the flow of knowledge through an organization and to even facilitate new discoveries and creativity. The KM movement initially came about when some organizations began to see their employees as reservoirs of knowledge that would inevitably leave the company and take all their knowledge with them. It became apparent that being more systematic about how people store and share their knowledge could be a major competitive advantage.

PKM is simply KM applied to an individual (you!). PKM encompasses all of what you do to collect and organize the information and thoughts you have and how you go about finding and developing that content later. PKM is especially important for the individual because the brain doesn’t naturally organize itself to be optimal for success in today’s society. Imagine trying to find a book in a library without any organization. It may take you days or weeks to find a book, or even worse, you may never find it. Now imagine there are no books, but just thousands of bits of information and thoughts written down on tiny pieces of paper scattered about randomly, some folded, others crumpled and some even ripped up. That’s what it’s like to live a life in modern society without regards for PKM.

How to Begin Using PKM

The basics of implementing PKM techniques into your life are quite simple to start. It’s very much a practice of note taking, note reviewing/organizing and note developing. I encourage you to start applying PKM right now! That’s why I’ve put together an easy guide for beginners below:

Step 1) Start logging your thoughts (externalize)

The first and most important step in beginning to apply PKM to your life is to start acquiring something to manage. For most people, it is exceptionally difficult to manage your thoughts and knowledge inside the brain alone. Difficulty with memory and recall hinders this process greatly. So the first step is to start capturing your thoughts in some external form that can be referenced later. This is called externalization and is such a crucial activity that I wrote an entire article dedicated to it here: Why Externalize? If you are unsure of what to log, start with anything that randomly pops into your head or some bit of information that you come across that you find interesting.

You can begin externalizing by either taking handwritten notes or typing up digital notes. You can also record notes with audio or video but I encourage a method that allows you to see the actual words on paper or screen for easy review later. You can do this at the end of the day or at the time of having the thoughts, whatever works best for you. I use Gtasks (a simple task app on my smartphone) to jot thoughts I have throughout the day and then review and develop them at the end of the day. I generally just need a small reminder of what I thought about which will give me the ability to recall the entire thought and type it up later. Finally, you need to make sure that wherever you are logging your thoughts is a place that is easy to review at a later date. For the most part, I use Google Drive Docs for that. Also, I recommend logging the date you took the note.

Step 2) Log any new relevant ideas or information you come across

Now that you have started externalizing, you can start logging any thoughts or information that come about that relate to your previous logs. By “relate” I mean anything that you feel may have something to do with what you have already externalized. A lot of times the thoughts that just barely relate to what we have already written about are the most useful because they stimulate new associations when you review again later. For example, in The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin, the author describes how he found inspiration for Tai Chi through his experiences watching the tides of the ocean. So don’t be afraid to take note of a lot of seemingly unrelated thoughts and experiences. You don’t have to be a lifelogger (one who logs all the details of his or her life) but use your own judgment and intuition to guide you in what you decide to log. Add any completely new thoughts or information that you think are interesting or important as well.

Step 3) Review your entire log routinely (each week or month)

Now that you have started to acquire some externalized thoughts, your memory of them may be a little fuzzy or even non-existent. Going back to your log to review your content is usually an interesting experience because you get to see an external manifestation of your past thinking. This act alone helps one to internalize the new thoughts and information they have come across since last review. Internalization is the act of the unconscious brain processing information so that it could incorporate that information into future thinking and activities. Anything that helps us internalize content helps us to grow our minds.

Step 4) Log any new thoughts that are generated during your review

Once you review your logs and get your memory recall stimulated, you’ll find this is a great time to think about how the various individual thoughts and information you have gathered relates to each other. This is called association and is a great way to stimulate new thinking with the chance of realizing insights about yourself or the world around you. Of course if you do have new thoughts from your review, log them right away.

This activity can prove to be the trickiest to manage for most people without using a particular tool or technique for referencing. I’ll describe some methods to aid in this process later, but for now you can simply read or skim over your previous logs in sequential order.

Step 5) Repeat steps 1-4

That’s it! Now you’re externalizing your thoughts, reconsidering them later and adding any new insights you have during your review. This is a great start for anyone to begin reaping the benefits of PKM. As you repeat this process over time, you may have any number of realizations that will help you in your life. Since this process naturally incorporates the thoughts that are occurring in your mind, it has a way of identifying key issues you may be facing or solutions to problems you may be working on. Finally, it's important to understand that the benefits of this process increase with time and as you expand your library of personal thoughts and information.

Why This Process Works

This process works because it helps our brain overcome some common mental challenges we all face in life. Using a simple systematic method as outlined above unlocks a potential in your brain that you may have never realized you had. And the best part is that these concepts can be molded to fit various personality types.

Watch as you build your thoughts up in ways you never thought were possible before. This is because we are used to trying to think through memory alone. It is very difficult to process many previous thoughts, ideas and events inside the brain. Using externalization and physical reorganization gives your brain a chance to make connections and realizations without having to depend on memory recall which clouds your ability to think clearly.

Over a short period of time, you’ll have built up an external representation of at least the most important aspects of your thinking in life. This is much better than having left those thoughts in your head. Now you can return to them and think about them again later to help build them up (or overcome them). Some of the specific benefits of this process are:

  1. Provides a thought diary for future references

  2. Helps you deliberately build upon the ideas you have and make them useful in your life

  3. Affords you the ability to return to difficult thoughts and feelings you may have so you can work through them with a clear mind (at a time when the emotions aren’t happening)

There are many more aspects of this process that can greatly enhance the benefits of PKM, especially for someone that has a lot of thoughts and/or goal, but I will leave them for another article (see PKM Lesson#2: Five Crucial Concepts). For now, just get started! What’s stopping you? Once you are familiar with this process, you can learn more from the articles discussed below.

Learn more about PKM

The power of PKM goes way deeper than just what has been discussed in this article. That’s why I’m putting together a series of additional articles to help you understand the full picture and implement some more advanced techniques. See the table of contents below. Keep posted for additional releases. Enjoy!

PKM Lesson #1: What is PKM and How to Begin

You’re reading it!

PKM Lesson #2: Five Crucial Concepts

I’ve came up with five concepts that will help a person more deeply understand the true potentials of using PKM, some key techniques and how to have the best mindset to maximize its usefulness.

PKM Lesson #3: PKM Products

I'll go into some existing products you can use to help facilitate your application of the concepts taught so far and review the pros and cons of those products. I'll also introduce Laddice, Project AMPLE’s working progress that aims to give you an edge in PKM when it comes to insight stimulation, creativity and developing written works. (Coming Soon!)

PKM Lesson #4: The Scientific Case For PKM

A review of the principles of cognitive science, psychology and neuroscience and why they suggest PKM as a practice everyone should integrate into their lives (Coming Soon!)

PKM Lesson #5: The Future of PKM - (P)KM

At Project AMPLE, we anticipate big changes in the way the world uses PKM and KM. In this article, I'll go into what the future may hold: a deeply connected world (Coming Soon!)


 9 : llvickers - 3 years, 11 months ago Open
My Teaching Philosophy

When I was in my Intro to Education course, we were asked to write what we thought our philosophy for teaching would be as our final short writing assignment. I had to think about this. Why do I want to teach? What do I want to teach? What would I want my students to walk away with? It turned out that the things that I wanted my future students to know is what I would want everyone to know, and to hopefully never forget.

The past, present, and future

I believe that what has happened in the past will greatly affect the future. Every person on this planet came from somewhere with a rich history that affects them in everyday life, whether it is a big life altering event or a small easily forgettable one. I believe that kids today and in the future need to know that actions affect everything. The past connects us in a way that sometimes goes unnoticed. A person can learn so much from the actions and beliefs of people thousands of years ago, and even in recent history. That is why I am going to teach high school history. We can learn from things that happened in the past and history contains valuable lessons. I will teach my students that they can change the world, for the better or worse, if they use the resources they have to affect change. I will teach them that each and every person is unique and use historical examples in my teaching methods to help them learn that even the smallest voice can affect change and change people’s perceptions.

Failure is good

My classroom will be a warm environment that embraces unique abilities. I, as the teacher, will guide their learning in a way where they can draw their own conclusions about the lessons and stories taught about the people that changed the country and the world. Society tells us that failure is bad. Mistakes and failure will not be seen as a reflection on their abilities or what type of person they are or will be, but as a learning tool to try something different or push themselves in a direction that will most help their ability to learn. If a person has the ability to learn new things, failure is an essential tool. People who never fail never learn what it is to make themselves better, and they will not have learned to fail and be satisfied and even excited to apply what they have learned in doing so. Even the most successful people in history have failed more times than they have succeeded, and it is they that have taught me and so many other people that mistakes are valuable and you should welcome them. Students with different cognitive abilities will be embraced and not conformed to a specific way of learning, I believe that practice defeats the purpose of learning. Every student will be met with my best ability to teach them what I know. As history shows, there is no one right way to do something, and no one belief can shape the world.

Write, write write

I will try to instill in my students that in order to tell people of the future what life is like in their time, you need to record life as you see it. History is a recorded knowledge of the past, and if we only had more records of many things in the past, it wouldn’t be the mystery that it is today. My students will learn that writing is not only a valuable skill, it can be a voice from the past. Writing helps the past connect with the future and it gives people long deceased a voice to teach what they know long after they have gone. Recording your life as you live it now could be a valuable key to history in the future, as Anne Frank’s account of her life is today. Write what you know. Write what you don’t know. Write what you see and what you’re blind to. Just write!

During this course, I learned so much about the profession of teaching. I went into it not knowing much, but that I wanted to teach history at the high school level. I learned that this will be a scary journey, but also that I have not been more excited to take it. The course material helped me form my philosophy by helping me ask and answer the right questions to ask myself and my future students. The structure of the classroom depends on many different things. What I am asking of the students, what I am looking for in their answers depending on their perspective, how they got to the conclusion they did, and many other things.

The main question I asked myself when I formed my philosophy statement is “what is worth knowing?” Is history worth knowing? Some people say it is not, whereas I say it is essential to learn from other people’s mistakes or acheivements. How do we know what we know? That question is essential to ask myself when teaching my high school history class. In my philosopy statement, I said that in order to record history accurately, we needed to write what we know and what we don’t know. Recorded history is exactly how we know what we know. I wondered how I would look at my classroom when it came to testing. How would I do it? How would I decide whether or not a student knows the material? I mentioned in my philosophical statement that failure is good. Although failure is a learning tool that many people can use, it will be hard to use that as a teaching tool. My strengths are emphasizing other people’s strengths to teach them, I lack in the area of constructive criticism.

I have learned in this course that it can be hard to define who is a “good teacher”. There are many variables that determine who is good and who isn’t fitting the description. Some say test scores define a good teacher, some say classroom atmosphere. When I asked myself how to be a good teacher, I take into account that all kids are unique and learn in different ways. What matters is how I transfer my knowledge to them, and help them learn from that knowledge. Students today need more than just testing, and I hope to create a stimulating learning environment for them with my curriculum and the standards that are put in place by the state, as well as the environment I create for them to learn the best way they can.

The only thing that separates us from the past is time, and sometimes I think about that so much it boggles my mind. I hope in writing this, someone walks away feeling more connected to the past, less afraid of failure, and more inclined to document what they see in life, as they see it. Every person's perspective is different. The reason we have historic texts is because someone cared enough to write it down.


 1 : ProjectAMPLE - 3 years, 3 months ago Open
Tag Functionality Analysis

The purpose of this document is to analyze tagging so we better understand the fundamental uses of tags and tag hierarchies, the implications of introducing various functionality, and how to better craft a user interface for these functions. The following are various questions/issues posed to externalize and clarify my thoughts (|A)

  • Why use tags?

    • Allows item to be found in multiple categories

      • When we are not sure where it belongs and want to be able to find in multiple ways

  • Other ways to use tags:

    • Allows for tagging multiple attributes

      • So we can search a tag by a collection of attributes

      • This is similar to filtering a spreadsheet by a number of attributes specified in different columns (&K)

        • Consider managing attributes with Spreadsheet View? (*M)

  • Why hierarchical tags?

    • Simply allows user to organize their tags into folders so they are easier to find and implement later

      • This is the primary function

      • This is the "bag of tags" mentality (&K)

        • In this case, the user may simply want a tag to exist in multiple places so that it can be found in different ways

  • Other benefits of hierarchical tags:

    • Clearly define categories of attributes and what options exist under each attribute

      • Ex: Task

        • Open Task

        • Closed Task

        • Cancelled Task

    • Define categories and sub categories so that items can be found based on broad or narrow tag filters

      • Ex: Science

        • Physics

        • Chemistry

  • Challenges introduced by hierarchical tagging:

    • Tags exist inside of other tags which can be confusing...when do you tag something with an attribute vs the name of the attribute?

      • Alternatively, we can have tags exist in folders (non tags) (&K)

        • Back to "bag of tags" approach

    • Naming becomes an issue

      • When a tag is inside of another tag, it's context is implied by the parent tag name

        • Users will likely not want to be repetitive

          • Ex: Task

            • Open Task --> Open

            • Closed Task --> Closed

              • Now you have two tags called "Open" and "Closed" which don't mean much when considered outside of the context of their parent tag "Task"

              • Tags don't appear 0n the node in the context of their parent structure so this is confusing (&K)

              • And what happens if these tags get moved?

  • Solutions to our challenges:

    • Option #1: Folders for tags instead of tags in tags

      • Pros

        • Eliminate the possibility of tagging something with an attribute name

    • Option #2: Standardized hierarchical tags with certain blocked functions

      • Duplicate names are possible

      • If user tries to place a tag in another tag that already has a tag with the same tag name, block move and alert user

      • In other words, uniqueness is dependent on unique hierarchy and not unique tag name


 1 : ProjectAMPLE - 3 years, 2 months ago Open
Computer Knowledge Management Fault Analysis (CHMF)

The purpose of this document is to aid in developing a robust note taking system which emphasizes fail safe systems while getting out of the way of humans doing what they are made to do: being creative and connecting ideas to find new and useful insight.

  • Glitches

    • Interface

      • Frozen

      • Function stops working

    • Server

      • False save

      • Data loss

    • Browser

      • Chrome error

  • Usability issues

    • Function is particulary hard to use/understand

  • Lag

    • Slow savings

    • Slow opening

    • Slow filtering

    • Slow searching


 9 : llvickers - 3 years, 10 months ago Open
How I believe the world should be
Mutual Human Understanding and Respect

I believe that all people, no matter their race, gender, sex, sexual orientation, religion, location, education or occupation deserve the chance to give and receive love and kindness. I believe that we should not be a world of different and separate countries, but one planet of equal human beings deserving of equal love and equal opportunity to do what we aspire. We, as a planet, need to help each other to reach our potential in life and be motivated to follow our dreams, no matter how big or small it may seem.

Things to Apply to your Life

-Respect animal life as well as human life. If you can help it, do not eat meat that has been abused, sick, or had bad quality of life. Respect the life that was given to nourish you.

-Be kind to one another, no matter your religious, political, racial, sexual, or educational differences. There are too many people in this world who believe taking from others is the way to survive. Do not be one of these people.

-Do not see another person as different. You are human. They are human. Be aware that they have a different way of life, different thoughts and feelings. But they are not less than human.

-Help each other. Do not ignore the troubles of the world. Think of others who have less than you, whether it be money or happiness.

-Do not ignore the troubles of the world, but accept the things you cannot change.

-Be brave. Remember that being brave is not easy, it is supposed to be difficult.

-Say what you want to say in a way that is not hurtful. Being offensive is not the way to get another person to listen to your view.

-Respect yourself. Do not think negative things about yourself. Remember that you are not your thoughts or feelings.

I believe that if people remembered these things, the world would be a more welcoming place. I also believe that they would be personally happier. Some people don't realize that helping rather than being selfish or ignoring other peoples' hardships. It is not always easy, even I have a hard time with most of these things. I have discovered, though, that it is worth it and I feel like a better person. I hope this opens some eyes and motivates people to strive to understand and respect.


 2 : azichettello - 4 years ago Open
PKM Lesson #2: Five Crucial Concepts

In the last article (PKM Lesson #1: What is PKM and How to Begin) I introduced PKM and explained the basics of beginning to implement PKM into your life. If you are not familiar with PKM, you should read that article first. In this article, I will explain some of the most important concepts that will help you more deeply understand what it is to manage your personal knowledge and how to implement that management most effectively. You’ll find that PKM has the capacity to not only deliberately alter the path of your future thinking, but also stimulate realizations of insight and even improve your creativity. So here they are:

1. Knowledge comes in many forms

In order to manage something effectively, you have to know what you’re managing. So what’s knowledge? It could be many things and that is what makes managing it sometimes complicated. There are so many philosophical perspectives on what knowledge is that it even has it’s own branch of study called epistemology. But I will focus on giving you a perspective of knowledge that will be particularly helpful for implementing effective PKM.

Knowledge can be broken down into two categories, information and thoughts. Information is everything that is either outside your mind or has not (yet) been internalized deeply enough inside the mind to be truly understood. Thoughts are everything that exists inside the mind that is contemplated. For example, “the sky is blue” is a bit of information but asking yourself “why is the sky blue?” is a thought. Why this distinction? Because this perspective opens the gateway to optimizing mental connectivity, or the ability to develop new understandings, insights and even creative thinking without taking anything new into the brain. The information we’ve picked up on through experiences and education has a wealth of potential if only it could be connected more deeply to our thinking mind. Put another way, thoughts are the mesh that allows seemingly useless information to be tied together and made useful.

2. The relevance and importance of knowledge changes with time

Today you may think that some information you came across or a fleeting thought you had has no value to your life. Next year you may think otherwise. I summarize this principle as “recency does not equal relevancy”. It is a common fallacy that if something happened a long time ago then it is no longer relevant to the present or future. Thinking or pretending this is true has the effect of squashing the great potential that exists inside of every humans mind. We learn from history. So please be open minded about what may come of the information you learn today and the thoughts you have. Later, they may be crucial for unlocking an important insight about yourself, solving a crucial problem or even making a discovery that will change your life or the world.

3. Stored knowledge is communicating with your future self

When I was a student, I developed a habit of taking a lot of notes. I had the thought that I would refer back to my notes forever and that if I took good notes, it would make my time and efforts writing them worthwhile. What I didn’t realize was that the way I was taking notes was burying the important insights I learned inside a vast amount of junk and I would later be disinclined to use them for anything. What happened here? Though I took my notes for future reference, I didn’t think of my notes as a tool for communicating with my future self. The future self often forgets a lot that the present self takes for granted. We have to take care about the way in which we store our knowledge so IT (information and thoughts) will be useful in the future. This has a lot to do with the way we write and organize our notes. There are three categories of tools/methods to facilitate this. I call them classifications, filters and relationships.


Classifications go by several names in the digital era including labels, tags and folders. These tools allow you to sort through notes/files more effectively by preventing you from delving into the actual content in order to find what you may be looking for. I prefer the tagging system since it allows multiple labels to be attached to a single entity (even a single sentence using inline tagging). This creates more avenues to find the content you may be looking for, especially if the classification is a fuzzy one. There is an entire field dedicated to the techniques of classification of things known as taxonomy but I won’t delve into that here. You should also be aware that the way in which you classify content has an impact on how we internalize the content (considered later).


Filters (the computational type) are tools that allow you to easily sift through massive amounts of content and isolate the leftover relevant information by selecting particular classifications. Filters are vastly under appreciated in the digital age but are only as good as the classification system you use for the content you are filtering. Word finders are also a type of useful filter. However, don’t make the mistake of solely relying on word finders and neglecting classification because individual words within content are often not used in the description of those words. Rather, with the advent of filters, classification has become more useful than ever. Classifying more than just topics (ex: ideas, tasks, dates, importance, insights, etc.) brings the power of filtering to another level.


Relationships are similar to classifications except instead of tagging content with a specific label, content is assigned as related to other content. You can think of this as using other content as the tag for some related content. Classifications themselves can be organized with relationships. In fact, the idea of organizing computer folders inside of other folders is a particular form of this known as hierarchical relationships. Hierarchical relationships can be visualized with the branching structure of a tree and so are often displayed with tree maps. Think of a family tree and you'll be able to understand the hierarchical relationship between a parent and child or two siblings. These terms are often used to describe the nature of a relationship.

The power of assigning relationships to content is twofold. First, it allows you to easily find related content at a later time. However, more importantly, it allows us to deliberately harness the natural mental process of association. Association is when the mind relates one thing to another and is largely responsible for insight formation and creativity. When you create relationships between content entities, you are effectively creating a network that becomes more and more interesting (and useful) as it grows since new relationships develop through implied yet unintended connections.

4. Externalization facilitates internalization

Externalization is the act of extracting our thoughts into some form outside of our own heads. This can be done through writing/typing, recording yourself or even talking to someone. Extracting thoughts outside of the mind creates opportunities to explore those thoughts. You can externalize your ideas, feelings, knowledge, beliefs, dreams or anything else you can imagine that may pop into your mind.

Though externalizing by talking to a person is often helpful in making sense of our thoughts, I am a huge proponent of externalizing into digital forms, particularly typed words. When your thoughts are externalized digitally, they can more easily be managed with some of the techniques I’ve described. But more importantly, the very act of externalization affords the brain a much easier way to organize and develop your thoughts at a later time. This becomes a virtuous cycle as old thoughts incite new thoughts which are externalized again. Externalization allows one to overcome the “thinking too much” fallacy and to escape cyclic thinking. There are so many benefits to this for a person’s life that I wrote an article about it (see Why Externalize?)

Externalization was the primary reason I became interested in knowledge management. I strongly feel that externalization is the starting point for making great improvements in your life and that PKM is the next step. I later realized that PKM principles allow externalization to facilitate internalization. That is, when we see and organize our thoughts routinely in the context of other thoughts and information, our brains naturally begin to realize things and our mind evolves. Externalization allows us to take control of the way our brains develop over time. This is extremely important to consider while using PKM and emphasizes the importance of using great care.

5. How you experience knowledge affects insight formation and creativity

We experience thoughts and come across new information so much that we often become overloaded. And when our brains become overcrowded, we have little room to mentally maneuver. New ideas and realizations become suppressed. A high level of presence can counter the natural phenomena of information overload. In a state of total presence, your brain is not distracted by the things that aren’t happening right now. You can experience the world fully in the moment and the unconscious mind has a heightened ability to process that which is being experienced in the now (internalization). Mindfulness meditation can help a person train to develop higher levels of presence. But there are other ways to give our brains a chance to process information and thoughts more deeply. They involve PKM.

When we manage the content of our brain using externalization and PKM, we now have a way to re-experience our thoughts in a place with lots of space to mentally maneuver. Seeing your knowledge in the context of other related knowledge and thoughts allows you to draw insights that you may otherwise have never realized. It also stimulates creative thinking by unlocking hidden associations. Not only that, mental maneuvering can become digital maneuvering since the contents in the mind can be represented digitally on a screen and their relationships can be easily manipulated and then subsequently considered. We don’t have to remember the thought process we had last week or last year when we could save it, view it and build upon it later.

The idea of modelling information and thoughts in the brain as a connected network has been deeply considered in the field of connectionism. Connectionism has been used by neuroscientists to try to understand the inner working of the thinking brain and to aid in the development of artificial intelligence. If our brains learn through connections, then a PKM environment that allows one to physically see connections should aid in enhancing our ability to learn, draw insights and be more creative. The capacity of a digital PKM system to do this is highly related to the UI/UX (user interface & user experience) of the software. I will discuss software products and systems in the next article.

Summary of Principles

The five concepts reviewed are highly intertwined. Taken altogether they suggest that PKM has the capacity to not only aid in remembering things in the future, but also in altering the path of future thinking in a deliberate way. PKM can even stimulate the realizations of insight and creative thinking. But all of these great benefits depend highly on the way in which one treats their PKM over time. The advent of computers and easy to use visual interfaces can make it easier for anyone to more easily develop an optimal system catered to their personal needs.

In the next article (coming soon), I’ll be discussing how some existing systems can aid in applying these concepts effectively to PKM. I’ll also review the pros and cons of each and explain a new product designed for optimal PKM that is coming your way soon.


 3 : bzichett - 3 years, 8 months ago Open
Always Bet On Text

Reposted from

I figured I should just post this somewhere so I can make future reference to how I feel about the matter, anytime someone asks me about such-and-such video, 3D, game or "dynamic" multimedia system. Don't get me wrong, I like me some illustrations, photos, movies and music.But text wins by a mile. Text is everything. My thoughts on this are quite absolute: text is the most powerful, useful, effective communication technology ever, period.

Text is the oldest and most stable communication technology (assuming we treat speech/signing as natural phenomenon -- there are no human societies without it -- whereas textual capability has to be transmitted, taught, acquired) and it's incredibly durable. We can read texts from five thousand years ago, almost the moment they started being produced. It's (literally) "rock solid" -- you can readily inscribe it in granite that will likely outlast the human species.

Text is the most flexible communication technology. Pictures may be worth a thousand words, when there's a picture to match what you're trying to say. But let's hit the random button on wikipedia and pick a sentence, see if you can draw a picture to convey it, mm? Here:

"Human rights are moral principles or norms that describe certain standards of human behaviour, and are regularly protected as legal rights in national and international law."

Not a chance. Text can convey ideas with a precisely controlled level of ambiguity and precision, implied context and elaborated content, unmatched by anything else. It is not a coincidence that all of literature and poetry, history and philosophy, mathematics, logic, programming and engineering rely on textual encodings for their ideas.

Text is the most efficient communication technology. By orders of magnitude. This blog post is likely to take perhaps 5000 bytes of storage, and could compress down to maybe 2000; by comparison the following 20-pixel-square image of the silhouette of a tweeting bird takes 4000 bytes: . At every step of communication technology, textual encoding comes first, everything else after. Because it's vastly cheaper on a symbol-by-symbol basis. You have a working optical telegraph network running in 1790 in France. You the better part of a century of electrical telegraphy, trans-oceanic cables and everything, before anyone bothers with trying to carry voice. You have decades of teleprinter and text-only computer networking, mail and news, chat and publishing, editing and diagnostics, before bandwidth gets cheap enough for images, voice and video. You have pagers, SMS, WAP, USSD and blackberries before iPhones. You have Teletext and BBSs, netnews and gopher before the web. And today many of the best, and certainly the most efficient parts of the web remain text-centric. I can download all of wikipedia and carry it around on the average smartphone.

Text is the most socially useful communication technology. It workswell in 1:1, 1:N, and M:N modes. It can be indexed and searchedefficiently, even by hand. It can be translated. It can be produced and consumed at variable speeds. It is asynchronous. It can be compared, diffed, clustered, corrected, summarized and filtered algorithmically. It permits multiparty editing. It permits branching conversations, lurking, annotation, quoting, reviewing, summarizing, structured responses, exegesis, even fan fic. The breadth, scale and depth of ways people use text is unmatched by anything. There is no equivalent in any other communication technology for the social, communicative, cognitive and reflective complexity of a library full of books or an internet full of postings. Nothing else comes close.

So this is my stance on text: always pick text first. As my old boss might have said: always bet on text. If you can use text for something, use it. It will very seldom let you down.This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.


 2 : azichettello - 3 years, 8 months ago Open

Appreciate the bad days


 1 : ProjectAMPLE - 3 years, 2 months ago Open
Human Knowledge Management Faults (HKMF)

The purpose of this document is to aid in usability analysis of Laddice ranging from low order to high order usability. This should help us prioritize features and come up with innovative design to optimize the usability and usefulness of Laddice. In short, it will help us make Laddice a true human companion by compensating for the brain's shortcomings and, thereby, removing the barrier to human success (refer back to our first mission statement on business card).

  • Low Level

    • Memory

      • Forgetting where something is

        • What folder it is in

        • How it is connected

      • Forgetting words used

      • Forgetting when something was made

      • Forgetting who made something or shared something

      • Forgetting how something was labelled

        • What is it tagged as

      • Sometimes we even think something may exist that doesn't exist

    • Unawareness

      • We may accidentally delete something and not realize

      • We may forget to save something

    • Errors

      • We may spell something incorrectly

      • We may assign an incorrect tag

      • We may connect something improperly

  • High Level

    • Bias

    • False knowledge

    • Emotions

      • Frustration

        • If something doesn't work as expected

        • If they are frustrated to begin with


 2 : azichettello - 3 years, 8 months ago Open

Remember to look back and reflect on the past (reflexology)


 2 : azichettello - 3 years, 8 months ago Open

Always embrace change


 2 : azichettello - 3 years, 8 months ago Open

Always remember to keep the goal of the task in mind