PyCon UK 2022

Connecting those thoughts: Personal knowledge management with Python
09-18, 11:30–12:00 (Europe/London), Assembly Room

Apps such as have revolutionised note-taking for the digital age, through connected markdown files. I discuss how I developed a Python package that enabled me to become more effective at learning at university and built a knowledge graph of 500+ notes.

Software has emerged in the last few years, such as Roam Research and, for writing notes in a highly-connected format. These apps can display notes in an extensive knowledge graph and have enabled a new wave of personal knowledge management (PKM) for the digital age. This talk provides an introduction to personal knowledge management and shows how I used Python to improve my learning through my Obsidiantools package.

During my MPhil programme in Health Data Science at the University of Cambridge in 2021-22, I wrote all my notes as markdown files through I developed the Obsidiantools package for analysing vaults, in order to improve my Obsidian workflows and analyse my notes via the Python data science stack, NLP packages and NetworkX. Within 3 months, I had written over 65k words in 250+ notes and used network analysis through the Python data stack to improve my strategy for studying.

Connected notes even go back hundreds of years in an analogue format, through the use of index cards and Zettelkasten systems. In a more modern form, digital note vaults are at the intersection of NLP and network analysis, so there are data science challenges to tackle in those domains (Roam Research even offers a $150k prize for one of those challenges, in case you are tempted).

Talk structure:
- Introduction to personal knowledge management (PKM)
- My MPhil notes as connected notes
- The Obsidiantools package
- Data science challenges and wrap-up

Is your proposal suitable for beginners? – yes

Mark is a data scientist who has worked in tech companies and consultancies, in areas such as SaaS, healthcare and ecommerce. He has developed two popular Python packages, including Obsidiantools recently. He has been studying MPhil Population Health Sciences at Cambridge and specialised in Health Data Science. Over the course of his programme he wrote all his notes in a digital vault via software.