🪴 Scaling Synthesis

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Q- How might we allow people to adapt their past system and notes to current needs

Last updated May 24, 2022

Authored By:: P- Rob Haisfield

This is closely related to the question: Q- How might we make it so it doesn’t matter if user behavior is inconsistent. There is a fundamental tension with notes that are intended for your future self where it’s impossible to know exactly what your future self will need all of the time… so you need to be able to refactor and structure in hindsight.

For example, let’s say that we suddenly decide “Let’s not categorize our notes with prefixes in the titles. Instead, let’s do it with tags.” How could someone refactor everything to current needs without manually going through everything one by one? Q- How can people maintain a decentralized discourse graph with a high quantity of information in it

There can be an intense amount of FOMO and friction that comes from thinking that you need to plan everything ahead of time. This is one of the problems with Notion - it’s really hard to refactor systems so people feel like they can’t start before they have it all figured out. It is a big friction for new users.

One can reduce this friction through: - C- Incrementally processing notes is a key user behavior to promote synthesis. A common user pattern we saw is that people would update prior notes to meet their new systems at the point where the prior notes came up in their review/exploration, for just-in-time restructuring. As such, C- Reviewing past notes in the process of creating new notes is a key user behavior to promote synthesis, while also serving as a way to update systems slowly over time.

C- End user programming enables people to bulk process notes can solve this problem if the user or the system is capable of identifying a queryable consistent pattern that can pull up notes that followed a previous convention. It becomes challenging when there is no consistency.