Exploring the Process of Turning Personal Knowledge into Powerful Ideas - Ev Chapman | Glasp Talk #3

Exploring the Process of Turning Personal Knowledge into Powerful Ideas - Ev Chapman | Glasp Talk #3

This is the third session of Glasp Talk!

Glasp Talk delves deep into intimate interviews with luminaries from various fields, unraveling their genuine emotions, experiences, and the stories that lie behind them.

Today's guest is Ev Chapman, the founder of The ✨Spark Method™ & Tana Fast Track. During the pandemic in 2020, while in lockdown in Sydney, Ev began her journey as a writer, delving into the world of knowledge management. Her initial struggles with maintaining creative flow and generating consistent ideas led her to discover effective knowledge management techniques.

In this interview, Ev shares her journey, practical advice on managing notes and generating new ideas, and the systems she uses to maintain her creative workflow. She also discusses the role of AI as a thinking partner, aiding her in expanding perspectives and refining her ideas. Ev's insights are invaluable for aspiring writers, influencers, and anyone interested in harnessing the power of knowledge management to fuel their creativity and content creation.


Kazuki: Hi everybody, welcome to Glasp Talk. Today, we have an exciting creator and knowledge management influencer, Ev Chapman. We want to discuss how she became a writer and an influencer in the knowledge management space, and also how she manages notes and creates and generates new ideas. So yeah, thank you Ev, welcome.

Ev: Yeah, thanks for having me, this is exciting, thank you.

Kazuki: So yeah, thank you. And I think some of our audience, I think, don't know you yet, so just in case, could you introduce yourself to people who don't know you yet?

Ev: Yeah, no worries. So my name is Ev Chapman and I've been a creator and kind of like a creative entrepreneur for maybe, I think, coming up on four years. So, during the pandemic in 2020, we were in lockdown here in Sydney and I decided it was a great time to start writing online. And it's about that same time I discovered Roam Research and kind of got into the whole knowledge management space. I think my story is that for 10 years before that, I was kind of this wannabe creator where I had all these creative projects and I just never seemed to be able to get a flow on effect with those. So I tried to vlog for a year and I tried to blog and a podcast and all this stuff, but I never felt like I had enough ideas to keep going. And so I eventually discovered knowledge management, and I read the book "How to Take Smart Notes" and kind of that kicked off for me a whole world of ideas and kind of, you know, really getting excited about not just kind of like taking notes and filing them away, and you know, I used to clip a whole lot of quotes and stuff, but actually building my own knowledge and that became really exciting to me. And so that's what I talk about now and that's what I help people do.

Kazuki: Oh yeah, that's so, yeah, really exciting and we want to dig into more, yeah. But before that, you know, like, if you go deeper and it's going to be deeper, so before that, you know, like we want to ask you, you know, if you want to share something before, I mean, you know, if there's something you want to share with our audience, you know?

Ev: Yeah, totally. I think, you know, if people do want to kind of dive into my world, I'm probably most prolific on Twitter. And so we can probably leave the link in the description somewhere. So that's kind of a good start. And I think then next, I have a master class that I have recorded called the Atomic Ideas Master Class and basically shows you how to build your own ideas and knowledge and turn those into kind of constant content that you can put out online. So it's a great first start. And yeah, if people want to check it out, they can.

Kazuki: Oh yeah, thank you. Yeah, we definitely want to put your link to Twitter, blog, and so on. Yeah, master class, your master class.

Ev: Yeah, yeah, we want to sometimes.

Kazuki: Yeah, we will watch it for sure.

Ev: Yeah, no worries, thanks.

Kazuki: So yeah, you mentioned about how to generate ideas and also like how you consume information and so, but yeah, so first thing I want to know from you is like your content consuming process. From like consuming information to generating ideas, like this whole workflow and how the process and system grow and evolve over time. Could you elaborate on that?

Ev: Yeah, it's a great question. I think I used to use read it later apps, right? So I'd find something like, you know, Pocket or something, and I would find an article online, save it, and then never read it again. So that was my original workflow and it didn't work for me. I think for two reasons, right? One, it kind of gets lost and I didn't have a good ritual to then like go back and read all of those things, right? So that was kind of one. But I think the second thing was that I didn't really have a good system for taking notes from what I read. So my original system was that I would read things on my iPad, screenshot them, and just save the quote into Notion. And then I just, there was like nothing else after that and it wasn't useful at all. And so I made two decisions, and Glasp actually helped me with one of them, is that one, I decided if I'm going to read it, I'm reading it now. So I was like, you know, if it's worth reading, I'm going to read it now rather than save it for later. And then the second thing was that I had to leave a note for myself. So if I highlighted anything, I had to leave a note for it. And I think those two things really helped me get into a better pattern around consuming content because I couldn't just save, like I think we get into this pattern of let's save all the things and there's just so much that you could possibly consume. And so just giving myself those two filters meant that I kind of constrained myself and I put a filter on myself to say like, okay, I've got some time now, I can, you know, quickly read through this article and save some notes for myself. And like, to be honest, you know, reading an article, like a Medium article or something takes like less than five minutes, including taking notes, getting those highlights, you know, somewhere and then done. And I don't have to then worry about this massive inbox of read it later items that I've never read. So that is still kind of my, mostly my workflow. And I use Glasp a lot because I can just highlight it in the browser. And there, it's not like, you know, like a paid promotion or anything, it's like, I honestly like because I read, I decide to read it now. I've just got the Glasp extension and I just go through and it's just so easy just to highlight, leave a note and then I send all of those notes into Readwise and then they get, you know, into my note management tool. And so I like Readwise as kind of a conduit. So I also read Kindle, I listen to podcasts and so all of that stuff can go through Readwise. You know, whatever I'm consuming from whichever place I'm consuming it and then it's ready for me to then process and think about and do that next step.

Kazuki: I see, cool, like aggregating highlights in Readwise and then send. Do you use like a, then do you send it to Tana?

Ev: I do, yeah. So basically I kind of have like that capture stage where I can, you know, all sorts of different sources and capturing stuff. And so I then send all of that into Tana through Readwise and it goes into, I call it my sparking box. So I kind of treat everything that I read as something that sparked me. And so I have to, when I highlight something, have to ask the question, why does this spark me? And so I just leave a little, like just a little future note for myself. And actually in Glasp it's kind of a future note for everyone because it's a social highlighting tool, which I find really fun. And so then when I go to then do my processing of the notes, I have something that reminded me of like, why did I highlight things? Because I think a lot of us highlight and then we look at it and we're like, what is the context here? What was I even thinking? Like, you know, so it's just like a little note I can say, oh, that's what I was thinking. Okay, I can kind of expand on that. And so I spend time every morning in those notes and I kind of choose a couple to just think about, write about, and they kind of turn into bigger notes that I call kind of atomic notes. And so I kind of think of it as like, you know, what happens kind of in that middle part of this information's coming in and then I'm here like my experience, my knowledge, and in the middle is kind of this really cool thing that happens where my knowledge kind of comes together on that. That's how I think about it.

Kazuki: I see, like a spark note, atomic notes and ideas. And then I think, you know, creativity is just connecting those, right? That's a great mindset. But do you have some like a systematic way to connect ideas? Like, do you randomly connect spark notes or do you have some sorting or, yeah, how does it work?

Ev: Yeah, good question. I generally, my spark notes, like I've got over 900 notes in my inbox, right? So I just like, there's no hope of ever getting through all of them. So I just like abandon that idea and I just choose ones that I'm interested in. So I kind of, I sort my inbox by my own interests, like, okay, what am I interested in today? I'm going to kind of have a look and explore around. Once they get to kind of an idea building stage, like I'm saying, okay, I've got this idea, I've started to put my own knowledge around it, then I start to build those kind of, you know, more, you know, bigger ideas around clusters. So I've got clusters around things like note taking, for instance, that's a cluster for me. And so all of the notes that kind of apply to that, I kind of put into that cluster. I've got notes around, like I've got a random one, like why walking is good for your brain, like that's one of my clusters. And then I have a whole lot of notes that kind of fit into that. And I work it like, so if you've read "How to Take Smart Notes" and kind of the Zettelkasten method, he would keep all of his notes in a sequence one after the other. So I do the same. So they're kind of clustered together, but I keep them in some kind of sequence that makes sense. So it's not just like, I feel like sometimes we can just categorize something and say, oh, okay, filed away. But when you have to connect it into a sequence, it actually helps to embed that knowledge kind of, you know, like in you. So you're not just like, sometimes working on the computer, this is why people say like writing things down is often better. And I don't actually think that is correct. Like, I think that you can still use a computer. It's about intention and it's about creating those intentional rituals that help you to say, okay, where does this fit in? Rather than just saying, this fits into the topic of Zettelkasten, well, I might have two notes that kind of sit, you know, one on top of each other and say, oh yeah, that's going to fit inside there. And so it helps me to just remember. And then also because I'm a content creator, it helps me to create outlines and actually use those notes in a useful way when I get to content.

Kazuki: I see. Yeah, that's very interesting. And at the same time, I wonder, you know, like OpenAI launched GPT-4, like a new model, and AI is getting really better and smarter these days. Do you leverage AI, generative AI, to kind of sort out some new idea, you know, gives you some new ideas and brainstorming, do that?

Ev: Yeah, I think of it like a thinking partner. So like, I'm a fairly solo person, right? Like, I'm a creator and a writer, so I tend to do a lot of things on my own. But it's kind of like having a second person sitting next to you where you can throw ideas to and say, okay, what about this? Or, you know, what am I missing here? So I'll like ask certain questions of it. So I'll have, you know, something that I've written, I'll say, okay, what do you think I'm missing here? Or I'm assuming this to be true, what if it wasn't? Like, and so like, you know, really trying to expand my thinking. Because I think we can get into these real, you know, train track thinking lanes where, you know, I think the same way all the time. And so I like that you can kind of have that AI kind of bring in a little bit of a different perspective on things. You think, oh, okay, I didn't think about that. You know, whereas I think before AI, right, it would have been like all of our input did that or having a conversation with a friend did that. And so I think it's much slower process. With AI, all of that gets sped up. And I think you can create, or you can really build those ideas faster by using AI like that. So I tend to just kind of throw it questions or, you know, sometimes I'll ask it to sort out my thoughts. And in Tana, we have built-in voice. So I can record something. And so often I will talk out what I'm thinking. And then I'll ask AI to sort it out. So sort it into an outline or, you know, into some points. And so I find that works really well as well.

Kazuki: Oh wow. Would you recommend other creators or, you know, aspiring writers or influencers use or leverage AI that way?

Ev: Yeah, I would. I mean, like, and everyone's going to use it differently. I, you know, in the beginning, because I'm a writer at heart and I like to write, like, so I still do most of my writing. I rarely use AI to say like, well, write me a blog post. But I could because what I focus on is the ideas, right? So I'm coming up with ideas. I could easily put that into AI and say, you know, generate a post for me or generate this. But I still like the act of writing. So I often say to people, like leverage AI with the things you don't like to do. So I like to write, so I want to use that. I'm fairly bad at trying to kind of expose my thinking to different perspectives and things. So that's where I use AI in the process. But for other people, writing is harder for them. And so I say, okay, well, come up with your idea and then get AI to help you write things. And so I think that whatever the... And it's sometimes, I understand why people kind of get scared of it. And I think I was in the beginning as well. But I always think to myself, technology is always moving forward and never backwards. And so you either go with it or you end up getting left behind. You know, so that's how I think about it.

Kazuki: That's a great advice. Thank you. Yeah. So let's get a little bit off the topic. And I think you have taught and advised, you know, so many aspiring writers, influencers, and content creators. Have you seen any common mistakes or top, like, lessons you share every time? Do you have something like that?

Ev: I think one of the biggest things that I see is people trying to be on too many platforms all at once. And when I started, I started on one platform, just on Twitter. And I did it because I really liked being on Twitter. Like, I liked the experience of it. I liked the people of it. And I got really obsessed with it. You know, so a lot of people ask me, you know, how did I grow, you know, big following? I think there's a little element of timing and luck in it. You know, the pandemic was actually great for growing online, like everyone's attention was there. Whereas it's a little bit harder now. But I think, you know, for me, I just became obsessed with it. I became obsessed with writing great tweets and posts. And I became obsessed with growth and how do you grow on that platform. And I think that when you try and go on all of the platforms, you miss out a little bit on that really mastering one thing, you know. And so now I kind of, let's say, mastered Twitter. And so now I'm really focusing on LinkedIn. And so I'm saying, okay, I want to get really obsessed by that platform. And so then I'm going to go all in on that. And then maybe at some point I'll add something else into the mix. But it's like, you know, if you try and kind of just kind of go everywhere, you're just going to grow really slowly. So I'd always suggest one platform. And then I say to a lot of people, choose like, I call it a signature style, right? So I just started writing one atomic essay every day. And I wrote 300 of them over a year or something. So there are a lot, right? So, but every day I just knew I was doing one thing. I was waking up, I was writing an atomic essay and I was posting it on Twitter. And that was a really easy way to get started. And I think that a lot of people try and do all sorts of things, you know, they're trying to post reels, trying to do threads, they're trying to do all this stuff that, you know, if they just focused on doing one thing, then they would really master that. And I think they'd see their growth really skyrocket as a result.

Kazuki: Wow, that's impressive. And I remember I saw you start with 500, like you grew your audience from 500 to over 22,000 in two years and so on. That's really impressive. And then looking back now and what, you know, I think in the early days you made a bunch of mistakes. I think you posted a lot every day. But if you go back now, what would you do differently? Do you have some ideas?

Ev: It's a good question. I don't actually know I'd do anything different. If I did anything different, I'd start sooner. And like, so all those years that I tried, I'd start doing all of that stuff sooner than I did because it all worked, right? So the showing up, the posting every day, the, you know, all of that, like something worked in that mix and I wish I had started sooner. That's probably my biggest mistake that I would say.

Kazuki: I see. But have you ever tried other platforms other than Twitter or LinkedIn? Now you started with Twitter at first. Now you're focusing on LinkedIn, but you just tried into Twitter. So haven't tried any other platforms?

Ev: I've dabbled in Instagram, but I find it, and I've also dabbled in TikTok, right? So both of those. But I find those two platforms vastly different to Twitter. So you really have to change the content a lot. And I can easily take now my atomic essays and turn them into reels and, you know, slides and tweets and Instagram stuff. But it's a lot harder than just saying, well, really LinkedIn is another writing platform and kind of teaching platform. And so it's much easier to translate what I'm doing on Twitter over to LinkedIn. And I found that easier. I still have my Instagram, but I'm not very active on it.

Kei: Makes sense. Instagram is more like visual platform, so maybe you need to have a good looking something.

Ev: Yeah. And look, I am originally professionally a designer, so I could easily go on there. It's just, I like to write and I find that easy. Like, I mean, I also have YouTube and I've got a, you know, I'm really building a good YouTube channel, but it's still hard. Like, it's like you got to, you know, prepare the video and write the script and then film, edit, publish, you know, all that. Whereas like with writing, you just write and publish. Like it feels so much.

Kazuki: I see. And do you see any difference like, you know, Twitter and LinkedIn, like audience are kind of seem similar, but I think slightly different, right? LinkedIn is more like a professional, like a work career related. And do you notice or see some difference, the audience in your.

Ev: Yeah, I think I do. And I mean, look, I resisted LinkedIn for a long time because I've had LinkedIn for forever, probably like all of us. And kind of like 12 or so years ago, I was just a freelancer. And so I have a lot of contacts from then. Whereas I feel like I'm like a completely different person and doing a completely different thing. And so it felt really odd to go back to LinkedIn and say, hello, this is who I am now. Like it was just kind of odd because I've got all these old contacts, but also I've now got all these new contacts who are creators. So it's, I think that the creators are definitely have cottoned on to LinkedIn as a platform and they're there in numbers now. But I think that's still all traditional businesses, knowledge workers, you know, there's a, there's a good, I think, solid audience there. And I guess what I would say is probably the difference now that I see between like, and look, Twitter has a lot of different subsets of people. Like where I am in the creator space, I think there's a lot of kind of younger creators, I would say. So you've got your, you know, super young, like teenager types, and then a lot of people in their 20s who are kind of the big creators and that kind of thing. I think that older creators, like I'm in my 40s now. So I feel like I'm in the older group. I think that, I mean, I did manage to kind of, you know, come up on Twitter, but I think that a lot of those older people feel more comfortable on LinkedIn in a professional environment than they do kind of on Twitter. That is, that's totally just my opinion. I don't know if that is actually the truth, but that's kind of, yeah. But in terms of, in terms of engagement and that kind of thing, I find LinkedIn excellent. Right. So I have a large audience on Twitter and I still get, you know, a lot of engagement on posts, but I find I get really meaningful engagement on LinkedIn, even though it's less. And that really, I don't know, I guess it didn't surprise me, but it kind of excited me because honestly, all I want to do is put ideas out there and talk to people about them. Like I want to have those conversations and, you know, kind of wrestle with things. And sometimes on Twitter, it's like you, you get the likes and that kind of thing, but not necessarily those deep conversations. And I think on LinkedIn, I'm seeing a lot more of that.

Kazuki: That totally makes sense. Yeah. And it's a little bit about the future, I think, but you know, because you know, Glasp stands for Greatest Legacy Accumulated as Shared Proof. And we care about people's legacy and for other people, how we can leave something for other people. Right. And do you have some goals or vision in your mind in the future? I mean, like, what would you want to leave for other people? Because some, you know, for some creators, they want to, for some people, goal is like to hit some numbers or revenues. And for some people, they want to be like a, leave something meaningful for other people, like something that made others think of new, like new, you know, give them new perspective or something. And in your case, what's your goal or things you care about as a creator?

Ev: I think, you know, I do want to leave a mark on the world, right? I think that, I think every creator probably has that deep down inside. That's why we create things. I think that's why artists create things. That's why, you know, there's kind of this, you know, innate thing to want to leave something behind of us, you know, some kind of essence, I guess. So I think that's kind of, I don't know exactly what that is, but what I do know is that unique ideas take time to take effect. So sometimes, you know, so I don't, I don't measure my results by, you know, likes or, you know, the number of subscribers or anything like that. Because I think that I always remind myself that I'm here to deliver kind of more unique takes and unique things rather than, you know, kind of what everyone else is doing. And so sometimes those ideas take time for people to kind of get. And it's been exciting kind of over the past three years to kind of now see people kind of start to pick up on these concepts that I've been talking about, like, you know, following your spark and, you know, like stuff like that. It's like, oh, wow, like that's my thing. And that's really exciting when something that you created impacts somebody else. And whether that lasts for a long legacy or a short one, I think impact and meaning is definitely kind of the legacy that I want to leave.

Kei: Makes sense. Yeah. Yes. And do you have any advice to other, like in that sense, you know, like thinking about the long-term goal or long-term thinking, do you have some advice or lessons you want to share with younger generations or new, you know, aspiring writers or influencers?

Ev: I think that most of us give up too early on our ideas. You know, you don't get the followers or that didn't get, that didn't get enough likes or I'm not growing fast enough, like all of those kinds of things. And I think that causes us to think like, are we doing the right thing? But I think what I've learned about momentum and like compounding and, you know, kind of growth is that you can do all the right things for a very long time and still, you know, you're still kind of here on the curve. And then at some point, you know, something happens and you kind of go on that upward tick. And I think, you know, a lot of people ask me, well, how do you know the difference between when you should quit and when you shouldn't? And the fact is you just don't, right? I don't, like I don't have the answer for that. But I do know that all the times that I quit, it didn't work. And the time that I didn't, it ended up working. And so I think that you can't just, you know, try this thing for three months or six months or maybe even a year. It's like, you know, sometimes you just got to put in the reps. And I certainly believe that the universe kind of rewards that, that the, that repetition of activity. And you can't put all of that activity in and get nothing as a result. So you got to trust the process sometimes. And I think that's a hard slog. And the internet is full of stories about unicorns, right? And they're the things that stand out all the time. But for the majority of us, we're not unicorns. And we have to actually put in the work and the time, like, you know, the world, like how, that's how the world works. So up until the internet, the world just worked with, you had to put the time and the effort in. And so I think that for most people, it's still time and effort. And then sometimes you get really lucky and you get kind of this wind that takes you on a trajectory.

Kazuki: Yes. And in terms of effort, would you ask them, I mean, they shouldn't put much like pressure on them, right? It shouldn't be too much stressful, right? And would you recommend them to follow what they want to like, like based on their curiosity and.

Ev: Oh, I see. Yeah, 100%. I think there's the thing that you think that you want to write about or you think that people should hear about and the thing that you actually do. Like when I first started writing online, I thought I was going to write about mindfulness and meditation. I don't write about any of that because at the end of the day, it's still something I'm really passionate about, but it didn't fascinate me as much as knowledge building and that whole side of things. So I think that you want to, I think, you know, don't, don't try and find your niche too early or like box yourself in too early. Just let yourself, you know, be interested in things and share, you know, often say to new creators, like just share what you're learning, right? So every time you learn something, get online and share what that is. Okay. You don't have to be an expert about it. You're just learning things and then you just kind of follow those kind of signals around. And when you hit on something, then, oh, okay, there's something in that. Let's kind of test that again. You know, so, so for me in the early days, every time I shared about some kind of process in my writing, people loved it. And I thought, I'm writing with a bunch of writers. Like, don't you all have systems? Like, I don't know what's so, like, it was really, it was really strange to me. I thought, doesn't everybody have a system? But that is where kind of you think the obvious things that you think are often the things that actually are not obvious. And so, yeah, I just, you just kind of follow those around.

Kazuki: Wow, that's a great, great advice. And thank you again. Yeah. Sorry. Do you have any advice to keep things going? So, or like, do you have any habits? So making habits is really important. Like you mentioned that like you are keeping writing so hundred of days. So in your case, so people usually get lazy or tired of doing something. So do you have anything, any advice to keep something doing?

Ev: Yeah. So I write every morning. And I think that is the key. I think before I wrote when I had to publish something. Okay. So there's a big difference to that. It's like, oh, once a week I got to publish blog. I got to sit down and write it. Whereas nowadays, every morning I get up, publishing anything, it's just sitting with my ideas and just writing. And so I think that if you can build a practice that is not connected to any kind of publishing, but still, you know, helps you to get excited about ideas. I think that then like how I see it is like that it's like the iceberg and that's underneath the surface, right? All of that writing, everything I do every morning, you know, in my sparking box, writing about all those ideas, building stuff up that happens all under the surface. No one ever sees it. And then all of this content kind of spills over as a result. And so I don't really have to focus too much on content. Like I obviously still have to write it. But if I just focus on the things that excite me every day and like so. And I think the other thing is to always be working on something that is exciting. Okay. So I have, you know, probably I have about three weeks worth of content that I'm working on in different stages. And so what that does, what it means is that in every writing session, I'm always writing something that I'm interested in. Whereas, because what happens is if one writing session is a big slog, then when you go to do it next, your brain thinks, oh, this is hard. And so then you get that resistance. But when every writing session feels easy because you picked something that you're really excited to write about, then the next day you wake up and you think, oh, that was amazing yesterday. I want to get straight into it. So I always work on multiple things so I can always choose the thing that I'm most excited about that day. And that kind of helps. I think that's really helped me to feel excited every day to write.

Kazuki: Wow, that's a great tip.

Kei: No worries. But so going back to the previous question, previous topics, but so what if, you know, you keep the idea so that reasoning to you was F you, but later, so it doesn't inspire you anymore. So do you keep it or do you remove it from the rest?

Ev: Yeah, I just remove it. Yeah. If it's not sparking, I just go, okay, no worries. You know, it obviously was for a period. Or I usually kind of put it back into my inbox, right? So it's still around and it might spark me again at some other point. But a lot of the time, what I noticed myself doing, right, was I'd have this content calendar and every week I would like defer an idea, like defer one of the ideas to the next week. Oh no, I'm not ready to write that. I just keep deferring. And then I realized actually I'm just not that sparked by this anymore. I should just remove it rather than keep kind of, you know, like migrating it forward to the next week. So it's about, I think like noticing how you work, like noticing is a really big part of the process where like most of us just, you know, follow advice online that we hear and we never stop to think, does this work for me? Is there friction in this process? Why am I feeling this thing? And so I think that I just try every week to say, what's coming up for me? So every week during my weekly review, I say what worked, what didn't, and you know, what do I need to do moving forward? And I think those things have been good just to take notice of what is working for me. And I'm not afraid to go against the grain and try something that everybody else says works, like doesn't work, right? So most people would be like, have a content calendar, stick to it. I just don't care about sticking to advice like that. I care about noticing what works for me and then doing that. And you kind of treat yourself like an experiment, right? So something works that you try, right? Keep doing it. If it doesn't, try something else.

Kei: Yeah, I think that's the same for us. Like, you know, we want to put it in your schedule, but it's not okay. So every time we discuss and decide, you know, idea that interests us. So yeah, maybe if this is a big organization, this is not good for us. So in the beginning for us, I think I resonate with you.

Ev: I think like, and as an individual creator, you really need to get an individual idea out on a certain date. Like I worked in marketing for the past 12 years as well. So I know what it's like to have to get content out, you know, for an offer or, you know, specific campaign or stuff like that. But as a creator, it's a little bit more casual. Whereas, you know, one idea, I'm like, oh, that actually doesn't need to go out this week. It could go out next week and I can spend a little bit more time on it.

Kazuki: Yeah, thanks. So maybe going to the next topic or a different question. So I'm interested in your writing platform. So before publishing on Medium or like on your website, so where do you make a draft?

Ev: Okay, so when I write, I always write in Tana. So I always do, yeah. So I always, I do all my writing in there. Some people don't like using Tana for long form writing because it is basically an outliner. But I don't know, I just forget that it's an outliner. I just write in it. It's quite easy for me. And I like it because all my notes are in there. So I can pull for my notes and reference them and kind of everything is there. It's like, you know, I feel like it's like a real creative lab for me, you know, kind of, I call it my creative studio. And so once that's done, then I will copy and paste it into Medium or onto my website or wherever it needs to go.

Kei: Okay, yeah, that's really interesting. So I'm not on Tana yet, but so let me try it.

Ev: I said to someone today, someone they, every time they see one of my screenshots, they're like, oh, I want to try it out, but I'm trying to resist. So I always kind of apologize. I apologize for being the shiny new tool girl, but yeah, I absolutely suggest like, it's a great, great app for knowledge management, like really one of the best I've found.

Kei: Is it open to the public?

Ev: It's still in early access. So you can go to the waitlist. But if you join the community on Slack, there's, so if you go to their website, join up for the community and introduce yourself, you get an invite.

Kazuki: Okay. I think I requested and I'm on the join list twice or three times.

Kei: You don't get any email.

Ev: Okay, yeah. So maybe that's why. All right, I'll sort you out.

Kazuki: Oh, by the way, I'm curious to know in that sense, like, because you tried many applications, I think, before Tana, but you know, I remember Tana is kind of new in this market space, I think. And but what activated you or told you, oh, this is, this is great. And this is different from others. And what was the clicky moment for you? Did you, do you remember that?

Ev: Yeah, so I, a friend messaged me on Twitter and said, I think you're going to love this app. And it had been in like stealth mode. Okay. So there was no, nothing online about it. And they launched, I think it was like September 2022 now. So two years ago. And the moment I saw the video on Twitter, I was like, that is my app, right? I, there was something about it. So before that I had used Roam. And so that was kind of my daily driver. And I really had got into, and before Roam, I had used Notion, right? And the reason there's a big reason I switched between Notion and then into kind of more of a linked tool is like Notion is great for structure, right? It's great for building databases. It's great for organizing things, but it's actually terrible as a, as a daily driver, right? So is, you know, if you just want to capture things quickly, it's very hard to do that. Like if I'm in my project over here in Notion and I have an idea for content, I have to go to the content database and enter the content thing and then go back. And so there's a whole lot of like switching that's happening in Notion just to get things in. Okay. So that's how I felt. And so I had kind of, I felt like I wasn't getting a flow, even though I loved the, you know, the, the how, how organizational it was. So I end up switching to Roam and it took me a few goes, like to go from a very structured kind of space like Notion into Roam, which is just the day opens like with the, you know, the date at the top of the page, like, oh, oh, what's happening here. But actually now the day page is such an integral part of my workflow that I just collect everything on that day page. And then I think like a lot of people used Roam where, you know, you have kind of the square brackets where you link things off and you kind of build up topics about things. I did not use Roam at all like that. I had tags for different things. Okay. So I had tags for tasks, tags for ideas, tags for content, and then I would create queries to find those things again. And so basically Tana is that exact workflow. So it has super tags and live searches. And so when I saw Tana, I was like, oh, that's exactly what I'm doing in Roam. And so I ended up kind of, yeah, getting in and now Tana has AI integrated into it. It has voice integrated into it. It's got some very, very cool features coming. And so it just suits how I think I can live on the day page, capture all sorts of things. And then I have live searches to kind of then find all of those things again in different ways. So, yeah.

Kei: I see. Interesting. And you saw the video and it clicked you.

Ev: Yeah.

Kei: I see.

Ev: It just clicked for me. It was exactly, I feel like it was exactly my workflow. Like I saw my workflow in action that I was kind of piecing together in Roam and I said, oh, that's it. And because the other thing that Tana has that is a bit different to Roam is that it has fields. And so you can, it's kind of this great combination of linked thinking, right? So you've got your block style, bullet style stuff, but then also every super tag you can build fields into. And so you can end up building Notion like databases, but it's fluid. So you just, so, so you don't have to go to a database to get something in. You just enter it on your day page tag and it goes to that place. So it's kind of, I feel like it's just real, like it's just inflow all the time.

Kazuki: I see. That's interesting. At the same time, I'm curious, you know, like there's so many application, note-taking, project management tools coming out and a new one comes out and every year, every two years, I think. And switching from Evernote to Notion and Obsidian and so on. And I get back to the app or something like that. And, but do you think if in the future, will you, I don't, it's just curiosity, but out of curious, but will you switch to new application or, or if so, what, what would be the reason? Yeah. And you know, do you have, so Tana is, you know, lasting, you know, the last final space for you?

Ev: I do feel like Tana is the thing for me. Like, so before, like I have always been the girl who looks at other apps and, you know, something new comes out, I'm like on it. Since I've used Tana, I haven't done any of that. Like I've only used Tana and that says to me like, okay, something satisfies me with, with the way Tana works with my brain. And I don't think that's necessarily for everyone. Like I actually believe that there's all sorts of apps for people. Like, you know, different people like different things. And so, yeah, I, I, I mean, I can't see myself doing anything else. And you know what I was thinking about this the other day, something that really excites me is like, like what happens if I like 10 years back from now, right? So it's like, I don't know, 2034 and I can see all of those notes from the last 10 years in Tana. Like that for me feels really exciting. Like, oh my gosh, like look at all of that knowledge that I've acquired over that time. Whereas like before, like, I mean, I don't know, like all of these are like notebooks that I've had over the past 10 years. Like I could look back on them, but imagine seeing that all in one app that kind of is exciting to me.

Kazuki: I see. Interesting. Thank you. Yeah, I think I asked a question and yeah, thank you so much for all the advice and then, and lessons and tips and, and, but before ending, do you have some, do you have anything you want to share with our audience again or, you know, something you forgot to mention?

Ev: I don't think so. I think, I mean, I just think like if people are not like, if, if, if people are like, if you're collecting all of this stuff and you're not doing anything with it, then, you know, like find a proper kind of workflow and, and kind of a habit that works for you. Because I think that, you know, we are in this age of knowledge. Every one of us is kind of this knowledge worker. And if you're not kind of building your own knowledge, I think that you will get left behind. And so I think that, you know, it's more and more, we're going to see people, you know, really have these knowledge practices where they're, you know, building up their own knowledge for career or, you know, business they want to run or, you know, any, anything in life. So I think, you know, I think it's something really important for, for everyone to kind of think about, like, what is their knowledge practice that they can do each day to build their own knowledge.

Kazuki: Thank you so much for joining, Ev.

Ev: No worries. Thanks so much for having me. This was really fun.

Kei: Thank you for taking the time.

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