Building a Personal Knowledge Base

Wed Nov 07 2018

For about 2 years now, I’ve been maintaining a Personal Handbook. In this collection of documents I add everything that I find worth remembering. It contains multiple topics. Some of them share my personal view of the world and how I aim to interact with it. Others are more technical and help me capture important principles and techniques.

davidgasquez/handbook - GitHub


I started the handbook to serve as a backup of my learnings. Each time I find something interesting, I (try to) add it. I’ve found that writing ideas, learnings, and workflows makes it simpler to iterate and reflect on them over time.


Currently, the handbook is hosted in Github as a bunch of Markdown files. Each file contains related thoughts and facts. Keeping it on Github has some advantages over a private alternative like Evernote. It allows the documents to be treated as code. That means I can open issues with topics I’m researching or send Pull Requests after I’ve changed my mind on something. This flexibility allows me (or anyone) improve it through time while keeping all the changes.

Is not perfect though! I’m still trying to figure out a way to tag each bit of knowledge (something similar to what TiddlyWiki does). Also, adding new information to the handbook is not as easy as I’d like. It can be tricky to remember the handbook is there after the aha moments!

Most of the content will be wrong, biased or out of date after some time. It’s important to distill and review older notes in order to keep it in sync with me. I try to do monthly reviews of the handbook. That also helps me to interiorize the knowledge.

If you’re interested on this topic, I’ve been collecting awesome Handbooks from companies and individuals. Check them out!

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