March PKM One Newsletter

4 min readMar 5, 2023

The theme of this newsletter is Carl Pullien’s Time Sector method of personal task management.

GTD is outdated!!!

If your todo application fills you with dread, I highly recommend you learn about the time sector method. After learning and now practising this method for over a week, I am wondering why no one before had thought of this.

I am now ready to settle down and marry my note-taking app.

I was also considering what an ideal note-taking application should be and asked Twitter what they expect from their note-taking applications. I guess the fatigue of trying every new note-taking app has kicked in for me. My dating life with note-taking apps is over, and now I want to settle down and get married to one for life.

Below are some must-have attributes in my ideal note-taking app.

1. No subscriptions, please

I want my ideal note-taking application to be always accessible without a subscription; I don’t mind a one-time payment if free is not an option. A subscription is useful only when you use an app every day or at least for some hours every month or a year; otherwise, it just adds to your monthly bills, and you feel you are being swindled. There are many times I have used a special type of note-taking app like gemsnotes for just one month for a project and discontinued the subscriptions.

Of course, this is the user perspective, note-taking apps founder would say they have fixed monthly expenses like salaries and server costs. Ideally, when the cost of producing one extra copy is marginal or near zero, the companies can afford to give the users a one-time purchase or even a free copy of their software. There is excellent software like Things 3, Scrivener and iA Writer which are one-time purchases.

2. Established player and is in it for the long term

I want the company to be an established player so they don’t shut down a couple of years down the line. Any product that has been around for five or more years is an ideal candidate for a note-taking app.

3.Local Storage and Markdown

The application should have local storage, which is cross-compatible with other apps and doesn’t have a proprietary file format. Markdown is the best.

The idea is to have as few points of failure in your personal knowledge management workflow.

I am still bitter about getting locked out of Roam Research when they introduced their pricing. It was only at the very last moment I exported my data.

4. Should double down as a Project Manager

As per Carl Pullien’s Time sector process, he recommends the note-taking application to double down as a personal project manager, so I would like it to handle tasks efficiently.

My New Writing App

After trying all the writing apps in the market, I finally decided to purchase iA Writer this month. The nearest competition to iA Writer is Ulysses, but Ulysses did not work for me; I felt iA Writer’s interface was much more elegant and beautiful. I am also going to use iA Writer as a notes app. They have introduced the wiki-links feature, which makes it the best writing app with note-taking features. iA Writer doesn’t feel bloated like note-taking apps do.

Setapp apps for Personal Knowledge Management.

I also wanted to reduce my monthly app subscription as much as possible. I decided to give Setapp another go. I did a brief breakdown below of the money I am saving with Setapp and wrote a note of the apps that can be used for PKM in Setapp.

I use many apps in Setapp, but these are the most used ones. Setapp subscriptions are about 150 USD per year. It looks like it is a good decision.

Of course, we won’t use so many apps if we pay individually, but set apps encourage us to use as many as possible.

Review of Text Expander

I discovered Text Expander many years back; it is an indispensable part of my life. I cannot claim to be a power user, but it is one subscription I have been carrying for the last four or five years. In case you haven’t discovered the joy of Text Expander, here is my brief review.

Thats a wrap for the March Newsletter. See you again in April.