Field Report #3: Mini-Workflow of a YouTuber

This is a little workflow how I use my spare time when am forced to create YouTube videos and notes.

  1. I train from 1pm to 2pm. It is fairly similar to Crossfit and Rosstraining. So I need to take a couple of minutes to cool down and let the sweating stop.
  2. During warming-up, I happen to have an idea most of the time. I write it down on a slip of paper.
  3. When I am done training I turn on the camera and talk about the idea. This will be published as a video with no editing other than adding an intro and an outro.
  4. I will then walk my dog for approximately 1–2 hours.
  5. When I come home I think about my idea and create a note.

There are some benefits to that workflow.

  1. When it becomes a habit, regular content creation will be no issue for you any longer.
  2. You can utilise time that gets lost in little gaps in between tasks. In my case, I can use the time I need to cool-down after training.
  3. An idea will go through some steps of reformulation. From ideation to a line on a slip of paper, to a narration in video, to a note and perhaps then an edited note. Each time, the idea has the chance to improve, and you have a chance to improve yourself, too.

Why do I share this? A Zettelkasten is not something you add to your life. You don’t want to add just another responsibility in your life. The Zettelkasten Method is a way of dealing with knowledge. You do what you already are doing in a different, a much more effective and efficient way (both! This is no buzzword stuffing).

I need to publish content to create a public platform for my work. That means I need to produce videos (and blog posts) anyhow. I also need to write notes to lay the foundation for my books anyhow. And I need to order them and relate them to each other to actually create some order anyhow. I need to reformulate my own ideas and the ideas I use from other people to understand them better and improve them anyhow. So nothing is actually added, just put into order.

So why not put all those steps into such an order that they benefit from each other and each step becomes part of the way I create notes for my Zettelkasten?

In my opinion, there is way too much focus on templates and specific workflows in the domain of knowledge work. This focus leads to the assumption that you need to add large habits to your life. The result is that you add something to your life that feels alien and will behave in alien ways to your Lebenswelt.

My suggestion is: Try to improve and order what you are already doing instead of adding yet another gadget that will add to the clutter of life.

Christian’s Comment: We can make a lot of the things we already have, I think, especially when it comes to tech-based workflows. Then again, I’m a programmer and always looking for automatization :) But still: reducing the friction in everyday chores makes it less likely they fall over. I experienced that with my general productivity tools and habits – my work and the things I publish doesn’t lend itself to such optimizations, but maybe I’m just not seeing the opportinities, yet; at least blog posts “write themselves” based on notes about things I learn to solve a problem.