Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) — Why and How Overview

Ed Nico
7 min readDec 31, 2020

The best place to start may be a brief description of what Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) means and how it can help you to grow and develop.

Personal knowledge management (PKM) is a process of collecting information that a person uses to gather, classify, store, search, retrieve and share knowledge in their daily activities ( Grundspenkis 2007) and the way in which these processes support work activities ( Wright 2005). It is a response to the idea that knowledge workers need to be responsible for their own growth and learning ( Smedley 2009). It is a bottom-up approach to knowledge management (KM) ( Pollard 2008).

It is important to note that we will not develop or learn by simply gathering (or hoarding) resources / information. To grow our personal knowledge, we must digest the information gathered and turn this into ideas that can help us grow to meet our goals and objectives and advance our projects. It is also vital to combine our prior knowledge and experiences with newly learned information to continue to grow and expand our knowledge.


In visual terms, this is how I see it:

PKM flow as I see it

In essence, I see it as the process of turning information collected from various sources (articles, videos, books etc.) into ideas and to support our goals / objectives, projects and tasks. This can be achieved by something I like to call the 3 C’s of PKM’ing: Capturing, Curating and Creating.

1. Capturing:

This is the start of the process. Here we capture / gather information from the multitude of sources available to feed our knowledge management system to develop new ideas. I like to do this step by either bookmarking webpages, saving videos, copying and pasting text into my note taking tool so that I can then curate it (discussed below).

Whilst this may sound like a simple process, it is critical to get right as it is easy to go astray. Where we collect the information from is important, especially with the abundance of misinformation and fake news. Knowing when to stop is also vital — with the amount of information out there we can quickly have information…

Ed Nico

Posting about personal knowledge management (PKM) and Tools for Thought (TFT) along with some other stuff along the way.