How to Use Obsidian to Boost Research Productivity
Tools for managing your PhD projects, reading lists, notes, and inspiration.
As a researcher, you have to know everything. But knowledge is useless if it cannot be accessed quickly. An easy-to-use method of archiving information makes taking notes effortless and enjoyable.
As a PhD student in Artificial Intelligence, I use Obsidian (https://obsidian.md) to manage my knowledge.
The article has three parts:
- What is a note, how to organize notes, tags, folders, and links? This section is tool-agnostic, so you can use most of these ideas with any note-taking app.
- Instructions for using Obsidian, managing notes, reading lists, and useful plugins. This section demonstrates how I use Obsidian, my preferred knowledge management tool.
- Workflows: How to use Zotero to take notes from papers, manage multiple projects' notes, create MOCs with Dataview, and more. This section explains how to use Obsidian to solve common scientific problems and manage/maintain your knowledge effectively.
This list is not perfect or complete, but it is my current solution to problems I've encountered during my PhD. Please leave additional comments or contact me if you have any feedback. I'll try to update this article.
Throughout the article, I'll refer to your digital library as your "Obsidian Vault" or "Zettelkasten".
Other useful resources are listed at the end of the article.
1. Philosophy: Taking and organizing notes
Carl Sagan: “To make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.”
Before diving into Obsidian, let's establish a Personal Knowledge Management System and a Zettelkasten. You can skip to Section 2 if you already know these terms.
Niklas Luhmann, a prolific sociologist who wrote 400 papers and 70 books, inspired this section and much of Zettelkasten. Zettelkasten means “slip box” (or library in this article). His Zettlekasten had around 90000 physical notes, which can be found here.
There are now many tools available to help with this process. Obsidian's website has a good introduction section: https://publish.obsidian.md/hub/
We'll start with "What is a note?" Although it may seem trivial, the answer depends on the topic or your note-taking style. The idea is that a note is as “atomic” (i.e. You should read the note and get the idea right away.
The resolution of your notes depends on their detail. Deep Learning, for example, could be a general description of Neural Networks, with a few notes on the various architectures (eg. Recurrent Neural Networks, Convolutional Neural Networks etc..).
Limiting length and detail is a good rule of thumb. If you need more detail in a specific section of this note, break it up into smaller notes. Deep Learning now has three notes:
- Deep Learning
- Recurrent Neural Networks
- Convolutional Neural Networks
Repeat this step as needed until you achieve the desired granularity. You might want to put these notes in a “Neural Networks” folder because they are all about the same thing. But there's a better way:
#Tags and [[Links]] over /Folders/
The main issue with folders is that they are not flexible and assume that all notes in the folder belong to a single category. This makes it difficult to make connections between topics.
Deep Learning has been used to predict protein structure (AlphaFold) and classify images (ImageNet). Imagine a folder structure like this:
- /Proteins/ - Protein Folding - /Deep Learning/ - /Proteins/
Your notes about Protein Folding and Convolutional Neural Networks will be separate, and you won't be able to find them in the same folder.
This can be solved in several ways. The most common one is to use tags rather than folders. A note can be grouped with multiple topics this way. Obsidian tags can also be nested (have subtags).
You can also link two notes together. You can build your “Knowledge Graph” in Obsidian and other note-taking apps like Obsidian.
My Knowledge Graph. Green: Biology, Red: Machine Learning, Yellow: Autoencoders, Blue: Graphs, Brown: Tags.
My Knowledge Graph and the note “Backrpropagation” and its links.
Backpropagation note and all its links
Why use Folders?
Folders help organize your vault as it grows. The main suggestion is to have few folders that "weakly" collect groups of notes or better yet, notes from different sources.
Among my Zettelkasten folders are:
My Zettelkasten's 5 folders
They usually gather data from various sources:
MOC: Map of Contents for the Zettelkasten.
Projects: Contains one note for each side-project of my PhD where I log my progress and ideas. Notes are linked to these.
Bio and ML: These two are the main content of my Zettelkasten and could theoretically be combined.
Papers: All my scientific paper notes go here. A bibliography links the notes. Zotero .bib file
Books: I make a note for each book I read, which I then split into multiple notes.
Keeping images separate from other files can help keep your main folders clean.
I will elaborate on these in the Workflow Section.
My general recommendation is to use tags and links instead of folders.
Maps of Content (MOC)
Making Tables of Contents is a good solution (MOCs).
These are notes that "signposts" your Zettelkasten library, directing you to the right type of notes. It can link to other notes based on common tags. This is usually done with a title, then your notes related to that title. As an example:
An example of a Machine Learning MOC generated with Dataview.
As shown above, my Machine Learning MOC begins with the basics. Then it's on to Variational Auto-Encoders. Not only does this save time, but it also saves scrolling through the tag search section.
So I keep MOCs at the top of my library so I can quickly find information and see my library. These MOCs are generated automatically using an Obsidian Plugin called Dataview (https://github.com/blacksmithgu/obsidian-dataview).
Ideally, MOCs could be expanded to include more information about the notes, their status, and what's left to do. In the absence of this, Dataview does a fantastic job at creating a good structure for your notes.
In the absence of this, Dataview does a fantastic job at creating a good structure for your notes.
2. Tools: Knowing Obsidian
Obsidian is my preferred tool because it is free, all notes are stored in Markdown format, and each panel can be dragged and dropped. You can get it here: https://obsidian.md/
Obsidian is highly customizable, so here is my preferred interface:
The theme is customized from https://github.com/colineckert/obsidian-things
Alternatively, each panel can be collapsed, moved, or removed as desired. To open a panel later, click on the vertical "..." (bottom left of the note panel).
My interface is organized as follows:
How my Obsidian Interface is organized.
This is where I keep all relevant folders. I usually use the MOC note to navigate, but sometimes I use the search button to find a note.
I use nested tags and look into each one to find specific notes to link.
Easy-to-use menu plugin cMenu (https://github.com/chetachiezikeuzor/cMenu-Plugin)
The global graph shows all your notes (linked and unlinked). Linked notes will appear closer together. Zoom in to read each note's title. It's a bit overwhelming at first, but as your library grows, you get used to the positions and start thinking of new connections between notes.
Your current note will be shown in relation to other linked notes in your library. When needed, you can quickly jump to another link and back to the current note.
Finally, an outline panel and the plugin Obsidian Power Search (https://github.com/aviral-batra/obsidian-power-search) allow me to search my vault by highlighting text.
Start using the tool and worry about panel positioning later. I encourage you to find the best use-case for your library.
An additional benefit of using Obsidian is the large plugin library. I use several (Calendar, Citations, Dataview, Templater, Admonition):
Obsidian Calendar Plugin: https://github.com/liamcain
It organizes your notes on a calendar. This is ideal for meeting notes or keeping a journal.
Calendar addon from hans/obsidian-citation-plugin
Obsidian Citation Plugin: https://github.com/hans/
Allows you to cite papers from a.bib file. You can also customize your notes (eg. Title, Authors, Abstract etc..)
Plugin citation from hans/obsidian-citation-plugin
Obsidian Dataview: https://github.com/blacksmithgu/
A powerful plugin that allows you to query your library as a database and generate content automatically. See the MOC section for an example.
Allows you to create notes with specific templates like dates, tags, and headings.
Templater. Obsidian Admonition: https://github.com/valentine195/obsidian-admonition
Blocks allow you to organize your notes.
Plugin warning. Obsidian Admonition (valentine195)
There are many more, but this list should get you started.
3. Workflows: Cool stuff
Here are a few of my workflows for using obsidian for scientific research. This is a list of resources I've found useful for my use-cases. I'll outline and describe them briefly so you can skim them quickly.
3.1 Using Templates to Structure Notes
3.2 Free Note Syncing (Laptop, Phone, Tablet)
3.3 Zotero/Mendeley/JabRef -> Obsidian — Managing Reading Lists
3.4 Projects and Lab Books
3.5 Private Encrypted Diary
3.1 Using Templates to Structure Notes
Plugins: Templater and Dataview (optional).
To take effective notes, you must first make adding new notes as easy as possible. Templates can save you time and give your notes a consistent structure. As an example:
An example of a note using a template.
### [[YOUR MOC]] # Note Title of your note **Tags**:: **Links**::
The top line links to your knowledge base's Map of Content (MOC) (see previous sections). After the title, I add tags (and a link between the note and the tag) and links to related notes.
To quickly identify all notes that need to be expanded, I add the tag “#todo”. In the “TODO:” section, I list the tasks within the note.
The rest are notes on the topic.
Templater can help you create these templates. For new books, I use the following template:
### [[Books MOC]] # Title **Author**:: **Date:: **Tags:: **Links::
A book template example.
Using a simple query, I can hook Dataview to it.
dataview table author as Author, date as “Date Finished”, tags as “Tags”, grade as “Grade” from “4. Books” SORT grade DESCENDING
using Dataview to query templates.
3.2 Free Note Syncing (Laptop, Phone, Tablet)
No plugins used.
One of my favorite features of Obsidian is the library's self-contained and portable format. Your folder contains everything (plugins included).
Ordinary folders and documents are available as well. There is also a “.obsidian” folder. This contains all your plugins and settings, so you can use it on other devices.
So you can use Google Drive, iCloud, or Dropbox for free as long as you sync your folder (note: your folder should be in your Cloud Folder).
For my iOS and macOS work, I prefer iCloud. You can also use the paid service Obsidian Sync.
3.3 Obsidian — Managing Reading Lists and Notes in Zotero/Mendeley/JabRef
Plugins: Quotes (required).
3.3 Zotero/Mendeley/JabRef -> Obsidian — Taking Notes and Managing Reading Lists of Scientific Papers
My preferred reference manager is Zotero, but this workflow should work with any reference manager that produces a .bib file. This file is exported to my cloud folder so I can access it from any platform.
My Zotero library is tagged as follows:
My reference manager's tags
For readings, I usually search for the tags “!!!” and “To-Read” and select a paper. Annotate the paper next (either on PDF using GoodNotes or on physical paper).
Then I make a paper page using a template in the Citations plugin settings:
An example of my citations template.
Create a new note, open the command list with CMD/CTRL + P, and find the Citations “Insert literature note content in the current pane” to see this lovely view.
Citation generated by the article https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.01.24.22269144
You can then convert your notes to digital. I found that transcribing helped me retain information better.
3.4 Projects and Lab Books
Plugins: Tweaker (required).
PhD students offering advice on thesis writing are common (read as regret). I started asking them what they would have done differently or earlier.
“Deep stuff Leo,” one person said. So my main issue is basic organization, losing track of my tasks and the reasons for them.
As a result, I'd go on other experiments that didn't make sense, and have to reverse engineer my logic for thesis writing. - PhD student now wise Postdoc
Time management requires planning. Keeping track of multiple projects and lab books is difficult during a PhD. How I deal with it:
- One folder for all my projects
- One file for each project
I use a template to create each project
### [[Projects MOC]] # <% tp.file.title %> **Tags**:: **Links**:: **URL**:: **Project Description**::## Notes: ### <% tp.file.last_modified_date(“dddd Do MMMM YYYY”) %> #### Done: #### TODO: #### Notes
You can insert a template into a new note with CMD + P and looking for the Templater option.
I then keep adding new days with another template:
### <% tp.file.last_modified_date("dddd Do MMMM YYYY") %> #### Done: #### TODO: #### Notes:
This way you can keep adding days to your project and update with reasonings and things you still have to do and have done. An example below:
Example of project note with timestamped notes.
3.5 Private Encrypted Diary
This is one of my favorite Obsidian uses.
Mini Diary's interface has long frustrated me. After the author archived the project, I looked for a replacement. I had two demands:
- It had to be private, and nobody had to be able to read the entries.
- Cloud syncing was required for editing on multiple devices.
Then I learned about encrypting the Obsidian folder. Then decrypt and open the folder with Obsidian. Sync the folder as usual.
Use CryptoMator (https://cryptomator.org/). Create an encrypted folder in Cryptomator for your Obsidian vault, set a password, and let it do the rest.
If you need a step-by-step video guide, here it is:
So, I hope this was helpful!
In the first section of the article, we discussed notes and note-taking techniques. We discussed when to use tags and links over folders and when to break up larger notes.
Then we learned about Obsidian, its interface, and some useful plugins like Citations for citing papers and Templater for creating note templates.
Finally, we discussed workflows and how to use Zotero to take notes from scientific papers, as well as managing Lab Books and Private Encrypted Diaries.
Thanks for reading and commenting :)
Read original post here
More on Productivity
9 months ago
I received a $2k bribe to replace another developer in an interview
I can't believe they’d even think it works!
Developers are usually interviewed before being hired, right? Every organization wants candidates who meet their needs. But they also want to avoid fraud.
There are cheaters in every field. Only two come to mind for the hiring process:
Lying on a resume.
Cheating on an online test.
Recently, I observed another one. One of my coworkers invited me to replace another developer during an online interview! I was astonished, but it’s not new.
My ex-colleague recently texted me. No one from your former office will ever approach you after a year unless they need something.
Which was the case. My coworker said his wife needed help as a programmer. I was glad someone asked for my help, but I'm still a junior programmer.
Then he informed me his wife was selected for a fantastic job interview. He said he could help her with the online test, but he needed someone to help with the online interview.
Okay, I guess. Preparing for an online interview is beneficial. But then he said she didn't need to be ready. She needed someone to take her place.
I told him it wouldn't work. Every remote online interview I've ever seen required an open camera.
What followed surprised me. She'd ask to turn off the camera, he said.
I asked why.
He told me if an applicant is unwell, the interviewer may consider an off-camera interview. His wife will say she's sick and prefers no camera.
The plan left me speechless. I declined politely. He insisted and promised $2k if she got the job.
I felt insulted and told him if he persisted, I'd inform his office. I was furious. Later, I apologized and told him to stop.
I'm not sure what they did after that
I'm not sure if they found someone or listened to me. They probably didn't. How would she do the job if she even got it?
It's an internship, he said. With great pay, though. What should an intern do?
I suggested she do the interview alone. Even if she failed, she'd gain confidence and valuable experience.
Many interviewees cheat. My profession is vital to me, thus I'd rather improve my abilities and apply honestly. It's part of my identity.
Am I truthful? Most professionals are not. They fabricate their CVs. Often.
When you support interview cheating, you encourage more cheating! When someone cheats, another qualified candidate may not obtain the job.
One day, that could be you or me.
8 months ago
Do You Have Focus Issues? Use These 5 Simple Habits
Many can't concentrate. The first 20% of the day isn't optimized.
Elon Musk, Tony Robbins, and Bill Gates share something:
A repeatable morning ritual saves time.
Time for hobbies.
I'll discuss 5 easy morning routines you can use.
1. Stop pressing snooze
Waking up starts the day. You disrupt your routine by hitting snooze.
One sleep becomes three. Your morning routine gets derailed.
Hide your phone. This disables snooze and wakes you up.
Once awake, staying awake is 10x easier. Simple trick, big results.
2. Drink water
Chronic dehydration is common. Mostly urban, air-conditioned workers/residents.
2% cerebral dehydration causes short-term memory loss.
Dehydration shrinks brain cells.
Drink 3-4 liters of water daily to avoid this.
3. Improve your focus
How to focus better?
Improve your mood
Enhance your memory
increase mental clarity
Reduce blood pressure and stress
Headspace helps with the habit.
Here's a meditation guide.
Shut your eyes.
Concentrate on your breathing
Breathe in through your nose
Breathe out your mouth.
5 in, 5 out.
Repeat for 1 to 20 minutes.
Here's a beginner's video:
focus and memory
15-60 minutes of fun:
Stretching and yoga
This helps you now and later.
5. Keep a journal
You have countless thoughts daily. Many quietly steal your focus.
Here’s how to clear these:
Write for 5-10 minutes.
You'll gain 2x more mental clarity.
5 morning practices for 5x more productivity:
Say no to snoozing
Improve your focus
One step starts a thousand-mile journey. Try these easy yet effective behaviors if you have trouble concentrating or have too many thoughts.
Start with one of these behaviors, then add the others. Its astonishing results are instant.
9 months ago
Jack Dorsey's Meeting Best Practice was something I tried. It Performs Exceptionally Well in Consulting Engagements.
Yes, client meetings are difficult. Especially when I'm alone.
Clients must tell us their problems so we can help.
In-meeting challenges contribute nothing to our work. Consider this:
Clients are unprepared.
Clients are distracted.
Clients are confused.
Introducing Jack Dorsey's Google Doc approach
I endorse his approach to meetings.
Not Google Doc-related. Jack uses it for meetings.
This is what his meetings look like.
Prior to the meeting, the Chair creates the agenda, structure, and information using Google Doc.
Participants in the meeting would have 5-10 minutes to read the Google Doc.
They have 5-10 minutes to type their comments on the document.
In-depth discussion begins
There is elegance in simplicity. Here's how Jack's approach is fantastic.
Unprepared clients are given time to read.
During the meeting, they think and work on it.
They can see real-time remarks from others.
Three months ago, I fell for this strategy. After trying it with a client, I got good results.
I conducted social control experiments in a few client workshops.
I am sure Jack Dorsey’s method works well in meetings. What about client workshops?
So, I tested Enterprise of the Future with a consulting client.
I sent multiple emails to client stakeholders describing the new approach.
No PowerPoints that day. I spent the night setting up the Google Doc with conversation topics, critical thinking questions, and a Before and After section.
The client was shocked. First, a Google Doc was projected. Second surprise was a verbal feedback.
“No pre-meeting materials?”
“Don’t worry. I know you are not reading it before our meeting, anyway.”
We laughed. The experiment started.
Observations throughout a 90-minute engagement workshop from beginning to end
For 10 minutes, the workshop was silent.
People read the Google Doc. For some, the silence was unnerving.
“Are you not going to present anything to us?”
I said everything's in Google Doc. I asked them to read, remark, and add relevant paragraphs.
As they unlocked their laptops, they were annoyed.
Ten client stakeholders are typing on the Google Doc. My laptop displays comment bubbles, red lines, new paragraphs, and strikethroughs.
The first 10 minutes were productive. Everyone has seen and contributed to the document.
I was silent.
The move to a classical workshop was smooth. I didn't stimulate dialogue. They did.
Stephanie asked Joe why a blended workforce hinders company productivity. She questioned his comments and additional paragraphs.
That is when a light bulb hit my head. Yes, you want to speak to the right person to resolve issues!
Not only that was discussed. Others discussed their remark bubbles with neighbors. Debate circles sprung up one after the other.
The best part? I asked everyone to add their post-discussion thoughts on a Google Doc.
After the workshop, I have:
An agreement-based working document
A post-discussion minutes that are prepared for publication
A record of the discussion points that were brought up, argued, and evaluated critically
It showed me how stakeholders viewed their Enterprise of the Future. It allowed me to align with them.
Client meetings are a hit-or-miss. I know that.
Jack Dorsey's meeting strategy works for consulting. It promotes session alignment.
It relieves clients of preparation.
I get the necessary information to advance this consulting engagement.
It is brilliant.
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7 months ago
I gave up climbing the corporate ladder once I realized how deeply unhappy everyone at the top was.
Restructuring and layoffs cause career reevaluation. Your career can benefit.
Once you become institutionalized, the corporate ladder is all you know.
You're bubbled. Extremists term it the corporate Matrix. I'm not so severe because the business world brainwashed me, too.
This boosted my corporate career.
Until I hit bottom.
15 months later, I view my corporate life differently. You may wish to advance professionally. Read this before you do.
Your happiness in the workplace may be deceptive.
I've been fortunate to spend time with corporate aces.
Working for 2.5 years in banking social media gave me some of these experiences. Earlier in my career, I recorded interviews with business leaders.
These people have titles like Chief General Manager and Head Of. New titles brought life-changing salaries.
They seemed happy.
I’d pass them in the hallway and they’d smile or shake my hand. I dreamt of having their life.
The ominous pattern
Unfiltered talks with some of them revealed a different world.
They acted well. They were skilled at smiling and saying the correct things. All had the same dark pattern, though.
Something felt off.
I found my conversations with them were generally for their benefit. They hoped my online antics as a writer/coach would shed light on their dilemma.
They'd tell me they wanted more. When you're one position away from CEO, it's hard not to wonder if this next move will matter.
What really displeased corporate ladder chasers
Before ascending further, consider these.
As you rise in a company, your days get busier.
Many people and initiatives need supervision. Everyone expects you to know business details. Weak when you don't. A poor leader is fired during the next restructuring and left to pursue their corporate ambition.
Full calendars leave no time for reflection. You can't have a coffee with a friend or waste a day.
You’re always on call. It’s a roll call kinda life.
Unable to express oneself freely
My 8 years of LinkedIn writing helped me meet these leaders.
I didn't think they'd care. Mistake.
Corporate leaders envied me because they wanted to talk freely again without corporate comms or a PR firm directing them what to say.
They couldn't share their flaws or inspiring experiences.
They wanted to.
Every day they were muzzled eroded by their business dream.
Limited family time
Top leaders had families.
They've climbed the corporate ladder. Nothing excellent happens overnight.
Corporate dreamers rarely saw their families.
Late meetings, customer functions, expos, training, leadership days, team days, town halls, and product demos regularly occurred after work.
Or they had to travel interstate or internationally for work events. They used bags and motel showers.
Initially, they said business class flights and hotels were nice. They'd get bored. 5-star hotels become monotonous.
No hotel beats home.
One leader said he hadn't seen his daughter much. They used to Facetime, but now that he's been gone so long, she rarely wants to talk to him.
So they iPad-parented.
You're miserable without your family.
Held captive by other job titles
Going up the business ladder seems like a battle.
Leaders compete for business gains and corporate advancement.
I saw shocking filthy tricks. Leaders would lie to seem nice.
Captives included top officials.
A different section every week. If they ran technology, the Head of Sales would argue their CRM cost millions. Or an Operations chief would battle a product team over support requests.
After one conflict, another began.
Corporate echelons are antagonistic. Huge pay and bonuses guarantee bad behavior.
Overly centered on revenue
As you rise, revenue becomes more prevalent. Most days, you'd believe revenue was everything. Here’s the problem…
Numbers drain us.
Unless you're a closet math nerd, contemplating and talking about numbers drains your creativity.
Revenue will never substitute impact.
Incapable of taking risks
Corporate success requires taking fewer risks.
Risks can cause dismissal. Risks can interrupt business. Keep things moving so you may keep getting paid your enormous salary and bonus.
Restructuring or layoffs are inevitable. All corporate climbers experience it.
On this fateful day, a small few realize the game they’ve been trapped in and escape. Most return to play for a new company, but it takes time.
Addiction keeps them trapped. You know nothing else. The rest is strange.
You start to think “I’m getting old” or “it’s nearly retirement.” So you settle yet again for the trappings of the corporate ladder game to nowhere.
Should you climb the corporate ladder?
Let me end on a surprising note.
Young people should ascend the corporate ladder. It teaches you business skills and helps support your side gig and (potential) online business.
Don't get trapped, shackled, or muzzled.
Your ideas and creativity become stifled after too much gaming play.
Corporate success won't bring happiness.
Find fulfilling employment that matters. That's it.
1 year ago
Framework to Evaluate Metaverse and Web3
Everywhere we turn, there's a new metaverse or Web3 debut. Microsoft recently announced a $68.7 BILLION cash purchase of Activision.
Like AI in 2013 and blockchain in 2014, NFT growth in 2021 feels like this year's metaverse and Web3 growth. We are all bombarded with information, conflicting signals, and a sensation of FOMO.
How can we evaluate the metaverse and Web3 in a noisy, new world? My framework for evaluating upcoming technologies and themes is shown below. I hope you will also find them helpful.
Understand the “pipes” in a new space.
Whatever people say, Metaverse and Web3 will have to coexist with the current Internet. Companies who host, move, and store data over the Internet have a lot of intriguing use cases in Metaverse and Web3, whether in infrastructure, data analytics, or compliance. Hence the following point.
## Understand the apps layer and their infrastructure.
Gaming, crypto exchanges, and NFT marketplaces would not exist today if not for technology that enables rapid app creation. Yes, according to Chainalysis and other research, 30–40% of Ethereum is self-hosted, with the rest hosted by large cloud providers. For Microsoft to acquire Activision makes strategic sense. It's not only about the games, but also the infrastructure that supports them.
Follow the money
Understanding how money and wealth flow in a complex and dynamic environment helps build clarity. Unless you are exceedingly wealthy, you have limited ability to significantly engage in the Web3 economy today. Few can just buy 10 ETH and spend it in one day. You must comprehend who benefits from the process, and how that 10 ETH circulates now and possibly tomorrow. Major holders and players control supply and liquidity in any market. Today, most Web3 apps are designed to increase capital inflow so existing significant holders can utilize it to create a nascent Web3 economy. When you see a new Metaverse or Web3 application, remember how money flows.
What is the use case?
What does the app do? If there is no clear use case with clear makers and consumers solving a real problem, then the euphoria soon fades, and the only stakeholders who remain enthused are those who have too much to lose.
Time is a major competition that is often overlooked.
We're only busier, but each day is still 24 hours. Using new apps may mean that time is lost doing other things. The user must be eager to learn. Metaverse and Web3 vs. our time? I don't think we know the answer yet (at least for working adults whose cost of time is higher).
I don't think we know the answer yet (at least for working adults whose cost of time is higher).
People and organizations need security and transparency.
For new technologies or apps to be widely used, they must be safe, transparent, and trustworthy. What does secure Metaverse and Web3 mean? This is an intriguing subject for both the business and public sectors. Cloud adoption grew in part due to improved security and data protection regulations.
The following frameworks can help analyze and understand new technologies and emerging technological topics, unless you are a significant investment fund with the financial ability to gamble on numerous initiatives and essentially form your own “index fund”.
I write on VC, startups, and leadership.
More on https://www.linkedin.com/in/joycejshen/ and https://joyceshen.substack.com/
This writing is my own opinion and does not represent investment advice.
4 months ago
What Happens When You Sell Your House, Never Buying It Again, Reverse the American Dream
Homeownership isn't the only life pattern.
Want to irritate people?
My party trick is to say I used to own a house but no longer do.
I no longer wish to own a home, not because I lost it or because I'm moving.
It was a long-term plan. It was more deliberate than buying a home. Many people are committed for this reason.
Anyone who told me that owning a house (or striving to do so) is a must is wrong.
One pattern for life is to own a home, but there are millions of others.
You can afford to buy a home? Go, buddy.
You think you need 1,000 square feet (or more)? You think it's non-negotiable in life?
It's insane that society forces everyone to own real estate, regardless of income, wants, requirements, or situation. As if this trade brings happiness, stability, and contentment.
Take it from someone who thought this for years: drywall isn't happy. Living your way brings contentment.
That's in real estate. It may also be renting a small apartment in a city that makes your soul sing, but you can't afford the downpayment or mortgage payments.
Living or traveling abroad is difficult when your life savings are connected to something that eats your money the moment you sign.
#vanlife, which seems like torment to me, makes some people feel alive.
I've seen co-living, vacation rental after holiday rental, living with family, and more work.
Insisting that home ownership is the only path in life is foolish and reduces alternative options.
How little we question homeownership is a disgrace.
No one challenges a homebuyer's motives. We congratulate them, then that's it.
When you offload one, you must answer every question, even if you have a loose screw.
Why do you want to sell?
Do you have any concerns about leaving the market?
Why would you want to renounce what everyone strives for?
Why would you want to abandon a beautiful place like that?
Why would you mismanage your cash in such a way?
But surely it's only temporary? RIGHT??
Incorrect questions. Buying a property requires several inquiries.
The typical American has $4500 saved up. When something goes wrong with the house (not if, it’s never if), can you actually afford the repairs?
Are you certain that you can examine a home in less than 15 minutes before committing to buying it outright and promising to pay more than twice the asking price on a 30-year 7% mortgage?
Are you certain you're ready to leave behind friends, family, and the services you depend on in order to acquire something?
Have you thought about the connotation that moving to a suburb, which more than half of Americans do, means you will be dependent on a car for the rest of your life?
Are you sure you want to prioritize home ownership over debt, employment, travel, raising kids, and daily routines?
Homeownership entails that. This ex-homeowner says it will rule your life from the time you put the key in the door.
This isn't questioned. We don't question enough. The holy home-ownership grail was set long ago, and we don't challenge it.
Many people question after signing the deeds. 70% of homeowners had at least one regret about buying a property, including the expense.
Homes are different from houses
We've been fooled into thinking home ownership will make us happy.
Some may agree. No one.
Bricks and brick hindered me from living the version of my life that made me most comfortable, happy, and steady.
I'm spending the next month in a modest apartment in southern Spain. Even though it's late November, today will be 68 degrees. My spouse and I will soon meet his visiting parents. We'll visit a Sherry store. We'll eat, nap, walk, and drink Sherry. Writing. Jerez means flamenco.
That's my home. This is such a privilege. Living a fulfilling life brings me the contentment that buying a home never did.
I'm happy and comfortable knowing I can make almost all of my days good. Rejecting home ownership is partly to blame.
I'm broke like most folks. I had to choose between home ownership and comfort. I said, I didn't find them together.
Feeling at home trumps owning brick-and-mortar every day.
The following is the reality of what it's like to turn the American Dream around.
Leaving the housing market.
Sometimes I wish I owned a home.
I miss having my own yard and bed. My kitchen, cookbooks, and pizza oven are missed.
But I rarely do.
Someone else's life plan pushed home ownership on me. I'm grateful I figured it out at 35. Many take much longer, and some never understand homeownership stinks (for them).
It's confusing. People will think you're dumb or suicidal.
If you read what I write, you'll know. You'll realize that all you've done is choose to live intentionally. Find a home beyond four walls and a picket fence.
Miss? As I said, they're not home. If it were, a pizza oven, a good mattress, and a well-stocked kitchen would bring happiness.
If you can afford a house and desire one, more power to you.
There are other ways to discover home. Find calm and happiness. For fun.
For it, look deeper than your home's foundation.