In 2022 I created:
- 52 Newsletters
- 52 YT videos
- 48 Blog Posts
- 10 Podcast Episodes
- 10 MOCs
I repurpose old content by combining it with new knowledge inside of my Obsidian vault.
All with a simple 3-step process:
I use this 3-step process for creating anything.
Writing college essays, YouTube scripts, blog posts, newsletters, course outlines, MOCs, and more. This is the process I wish I had two years ago. Now you get to learn it in the next five minutes.
Remember, though, this process is simple. That doesn’t mean it’s easy.
You still have to do the work.
Dump, Lump, Jump
The 3 step process is called dump, lump, jump.
In summary it works by dumping all of your ideas for a given creative project down in a document. Then lumping them together under themed points. And finally, copying and pasting the content of the individual notes and pasting them into the document.
Let’s see this process in action using an essay prompt I got for my class on the the psychology of making better decisions for life, love, and money.
The essay prompt: Take your greatest insights from Daniele Gilbert’s book Stumbling on Happiness and analyze how they have changed your life in some way.
First I dump every idea, quote, or note I think would be relevant to the essay.
As you do this process more and more you will get better at sifting what you should dump versus what you leave out. But in the beginning, you should follow your gut. This is where you finally get to experience the true power of link based thought. As I paste relevant notes into the document I follow the connections I created in the past through the back links view, the local graph, and the notes themselves.
This gives you a foundation for the essay.
As your dump more and more into the note, you will get a better and better idea for what to write about. Start fleshing out a title for your creative work (in this case an essay). Spend a good amount of time on this. The title gives an idea for how the lump stage will go. You can even write a short introduction if you want to.
Here is the result of five minutes of dumping for the essay:
In the lump stage you take all of your dumpings — you better thank me for not making a poop joke — and lump them together based on theme.
This is why the titling is so important. An essay titled “3 Questions” vs. “3 Lessons” will have an entirely different outline. Your lumpings become the outline for your essay.
In may case lumping led me to realize I wanted to structure my lessons around the three main insights of the book:
- Our memories of the past are inaccurate
- Our perceptions of the present are skewed
- Our imaginations of the future are often wrong.
I put the relevant dumpings under each header in my outline. This was the result of five minutes in the lump stage:
In the jump stage you copy and paste the contents inside each note and bring them into your document.
Here’s what a part of my essay looked like right after the jump stage:
Then, the only thing left to do is write which involves three things:
- Reword and reframe the note content to fit with the specific work
- Connecting together what you have into a narrative
- Finding holes in your argument and identifying areas for further research
All in all writing this 2000 word essay took me around an hour.
That’s the power of conceptual notemaking.
Most of the work comes in collecting and connecting information. When you sit down to write, you should be 80% done already. You never have to start with a blank page again.
Your past self works for you.
If you resonated with this you should check out my free email course, From Idea to Paper in Minutes: How to Write Anything In Record Time With Obsidian Notes!
By the end of this email course you will:
- Understand the 3 step process for writing anything in record time with your Obsidian notes
- Understand how to do more with less by compounding your knowledge
- Have an idea for some things you would like to create in the future
- Be amazed that you did it all in 3 days