PKM for Students: Making School a Tad Easier

Spend more time learning cool stuff and partying with friends. Less time stressed about your data & notes.


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School is hard enough already.

You constantly juggle assignments, projects, and extracurricular activities as a student.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and disorganized, struggling to keep track of everything.

BBBUUUUTTTT what if there was a way to learn better, remember stuff more, and ultimately make school 10x easier?

Enter Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) – a game-changing approach that empowers you to take control of your learning and achieve academic success like never before.

How will PKM make you a more successful student?

Embracing Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) can revolutionize your academic journey, transforming you into a more organized, efficient, and successful student.

Here’s how:

  • Streamlined Note-Taking: Say goodbye to scattered notes and disorganized thoughts. PKM equips you with powerful note-taking techniques that help you capture ideas, insights, and information in a structured and easily retrievable manner.
  • Enhanced Memory and Recall: With PKM, you’ll learn strategies to strengthen your memory and improve your recall of information when needed most, such as during exams or presentations.
  • Effective Organization: From lecture notes to research materials, PKM provides a centralized system for organizing all your academic resources, ensuring you can quickly find what you need when you need it.
  • Improved Productivity: By streamlining your workflow and eliminating time-consuming tasks like searching for misplaced notes or duplicating work, PKM empowers you to maximize your productivity and focus on what truly matters.
  • Deeper Learning and Understanding: PKM encourages you to engage with the material actively, connect ideas, and synthesize information from various sources, leading to a deeper understanding and retention of the subject matter.

Sound good enough?

Let’s dive into some more specifics.

BTW–are you a teacher or administrator reading this? Check out this article.


No more messy scribbles on loose papers—you’ll lose them.

PKM offers a structured way to capture and organize information, so your notes will be accessible and useful.

Try the Cornell Note-Taking System. It divides notes into main ideas, details, and summaries. This method keeps you organized during lectures and helps you learn and review actively.

Digital note-taking apps like Notion, Roam Research, or Obsidian are game-changers. You can create interconnected notes. You can embed multimedia. Powerful search makes it easy to find and connect related ideas.

Note-taking is not just transcribing. It’s actively engaging with the material. PKM encourages you to ask questions, connect ideas, and synthesize ideas from various sources. Your notes become a personalized knowledge base that fits your learning style.

PKM helps to stay organized and focused during lectures. You’ll develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Memory and Recall Techniques

Honestly, with today’s tools, there’s not really any need to memorize anything ever again, ever.

Period. Ever.

Personal Knowledge Management gives you some seriously awesome memory and recall techniques to ensure that all that information sticks in your brain for the long haul.

One of these tricks is called the Feynman Technique, named after this super smart physicist dude, Richard Feynman. You break down complex stuff into simple explanations, like you’re teaching it to a kid. By doing this, you’re forced to understand the material truly, not just memorize it like a parrot.

Spaced repetition is another killer tool in your PKM arsenal, a scientifically proven method for reinforcing your memory through strategically timed review sessions. Apps like Anki and Remnote use this technique to help you retain information more effectively and for longer.

But PKM isn’t just about memorizing stuff; it’s about CONNECTING IDEAS. By creating visual maps, diagrams, and mind palaces (yeah, it’s a thing), you can associate new info with what you already know, forming this crazy web of interconnected ideas that are way easier to recall and apply.

Organizing all your stuff!

As a student, you deal with vast information from lectures, research papers, and assignments. PKM helps you centralize and organize all your academic resources in one place, ensuring easy access and preventing lost or misplaced documents.

PKM apps like Notion and Obsidian GO BEYOND simple note-taking.

Categorizing your notes by subject, course, or project. This digital filing system keeps your academic life organized and streamlined.

Additionally, PKM tools like Roam Research and Obsidian’s graph view enable you to visualize connections between your notes, ideas, and concepts, fostering a deeper understanding of the relationships within your knowledge.

How to get started with PKM right this second:

Here’s how to get started literally before you finish reading this article…

Take an inventory of what you need and what you already have.

Start by assessing your current academic setup & tools. What tools and resources are you already using? What’s working well, and what needs improvement?

This inventory will help you identify gaps and determine where PKM can help the most.

Get started with the tools you’re already using.


There’s no need to invest in fancy tools just yet.

Instead, start small by incorporating PKM principles into the tools and apps you’re already familiar with. For example, if you’re a fan of Google Docs, explore its built-in organization and collaboration features to streamline your note-taking and sharing processes.

  • Apple Notes – fine
  • Google Docs – fine

You can upgrade software when you need it.

Work on your organization system first.

A solid organizational system is the foundation of effective personal knowledge management. Invest time setting up a logical structure for storing and categorizing your notes, documents, and resources. This will save you time in the long run and make it easier to find and connect related information.

Focus on connecting notes and ideas.

PKM isn’t just about storing information; it’s about making connections. Explore tools like Obsidian or Roam Research that allow you to create bi-directional links between your notes, fostering a web of interconnected ideas and facilitating deeper learning.

Expand which tools and systems you use.

As you become more comfortable with PKM, gradually expand your toolkit. Experiment with different note-taking apps, productivity tools, and memory techniques to find the best combination for your learning style and academic needs.

Continually get better…

Personal Knowledge Management is an ongoing journey of self-improvement. Regularly review and refine your processes, seeking feedback from peers and mentors. Embrace a growth mindset, and don’t be afraid to try new approaches or abandon techniques that aren’t serving you well.

Remember, the key to success with PKM is to start small, stay consistent, and continuously strive for improvement. With dedication and perseverance, you’ll soon find yourself on the path to becoming a more organized, efficient, and successful student.


Personal Knowledge Management is more than just a fancy term for being productive; it’s a game-changer when it comes to acing your studies.

Once you’ve mastered the knack of taking notes, using memory tricks, and keeping things organized, you’ll feel like you’ve got superpowers. You’ll be able to tackle whatever academic challenges come your way like a boss. So why not give PKM a try today? You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn and how much closer you’ll get to achieving your academic goals.

Any crazy chance you’re studying law? Get a head start with PKM for Lawyers!


What is the best note-taking app for students?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer, as the “best” note-taking app depends on your preferences and learning style. However, some popular options among students include Notion, Obsidian, and Roam Research. These apps offer robust features for organizing, linking, and visualizing your notes, making them ideal for Personal Knowledge Management.

How can I develop a PKM routine as a student?

Consistency is key to developing a successful PKM routine. Start by incorporating note-taking into your daily study sessions and gradually expand to include memory techniques, organization strategies, and regular review sessions. Experiment with different approaches until you find a workflow that resonates with you, and don’t be afraid to adjust as needed.