Personal Wiki PIM – Update I.
I’ve been using MoinMoin as my personal information management platform for the last several weeks. This had several goals. First, I needed to get my growing collection of documents under control. Secondly, I really wanted to dive into wikis a lot deeper and this gives me a great chance to do just that.
So here is a brief update about what I have found so far.
I am amazed at how useful the auto linking and document templating is for PIM type functions. It is really a snap to put some rudimentary organization on the material and then let it develop from there.
I was initially worried that what I needed was more structured database style storage for contact information and such, but doing it freeform doesn’t seem to have anty real disadvantages that I have found yet.
MoinMoin has a pretty cool regex based query tool that lets you collect links to other pages. I have made good use of this to create a very low maintenance set of navigation pages so my info is only one to two clicks away. Very Handy.
Wikis really help me write … all the fuss about how it really is designed for writers not readers is apparently true, at least in my case. I find it easier to write in my wiki than in MS Word. Perhaps less clutter? More focus on the words?
I have also made use of editmoin which allows me to use vim to edit my documents which may contribute to the ease of writing somewhat. Here is an Infoworld article noting that writers tend to work in minimal writing tools. Maybe that is partly what I’ve experienced.
I have had to spend sometime on buffing up the css stylesheets. This is mainly because a lot of my formal documents need to get emailed out to customers and I have been converting them to PDF and sending them that way. This required some adjustment to the styles.
[Note to MoinMoin developers: It would be cool if the print preview used a different stylesheet… Then I could highlight uncreated WikiWords in the regular view but not the print view …]
Finally, I am using JPluck to sync the content of my Wiki to my Palm Pilot. That way all the info I need is always at my fingertips. It took some adjustments to the spidering controls to get it to focus only on what I wanted, but it has worked out very well.
So far this has been extremely successful. More reports as events warrent 😉
Here’s a perfect example of why Ed’s blog is in my subscription list. This is excellent perspective on similar experiments I’ve been trying to get some traction on.