Jay Cross helps people work and live smarter. Jay is the Johnny Appleseed of informal learning. He wrote the book on it. He was the first person to use the term eLearning on the web. He has challenged conventional wisdom about how adults learn since designing the first business degree program offered by the University of Phoenix.

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Personal Knowledge Management

posted on
March 12th, 2010

Teach a man to fish…

PKM: Figuring out what’s important to you, how to find it, how to keep up with it, how to make sense of it, how to recall it when you need it anew, and how to share it with others — this is ground zero for mining the riches of the web. Bookstore shelves overflow with books on blogging, but I’ve yet to see one on PKM.

Harold Jarche has written some great posts about PKM. But for those of you have a tough time seeing the trees for the forest, I decided to clean up my PKM framework and show you what I do rather than talk about it.

My links page is my launch pad. I’ve maintained a page like this for a dozen years. It may be my ADD; I need some semblance of structure. The launch page begins with frequent destinations. The little lobster signals my restaurant page; the plane, my travel numbers and suppliers. (These are screen shots; go to the links page if you want to play with the real thing. You’ll find some pages that are private.)

To the right of the clocks are a Google search of all my sites and an Amazon search box; I use these incessantly.

Mind you, I”m forever tweaking the launch page as my interests (and the web) change. Below the frequent destinations, I keep URLs of online services I tap into. To the right, blogs… although the list is a little flaky. I read a dozen blogs in the mail and many more in Google Reader.

To the right of that section are feeds I like and local organizations & events.

I use the bottom of the page to store frequently used graphics. No more searching all over for a common icon.

That’s the top layer of my Personal Knowledge Management set-up.

If you visit the links page, you’ll see subsidiary pages such as the Research page and my¬† Delicious tags.

I stash the social connections on my home page:

The home page is also the entry into my articles, groups, books, and so on:

One page I recommend visiting is this page of other people’s work. I plan to expand it soon.

Seminal Documents

How do you organize your PKM?

I set the foundations of my approach before we had tags, billions of choices, and responsive search engines. There’s bound to be an easier way.


  • Maria Lorna A. Kunnath - March 13, 2010 at 7:17 pm -

    I take the concept a bit further through my business model geared towards a do-it-yourself approach to elearning, i.e. add to the knowledge space digital tools and applications to create reusable learning content and include a cloud-hosted LMS within a user’s private space and voila I have just built for a user a personalized private learning aka building and publishing platform. Portal Owner User can then earn some money through LMS’s added capability to enroll students.

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    Welcome to Jay’s hangout on the web! There’s a lot underneath the hood here. I’ve been blogging more than a dozen years. Go to “coordinates” for a list of what to check out and how to get in touch. Don’t miss the Important Stuff collection.

    Twitter: jaycross