PTPL 37: Analog: the (very cool) To-Do List Holder Used by Ali Abdaal and Shawn Blanc

Plus, separating capture and curation from content creation, and lessons from a physical Zettelkasten

Ellane W
4 min readJan 30


Plain text, Paper, Less Productivity Digest 37 image by Author

This week

  • Should capture and curation live in a space separate from content production? (Matt Giaro, Chuck Frey)
  • Lessons from a physical Zettelkasten (Herbert Lui)
  • Why I’ve removed the plain text Bible from my Obsidian vault
  • A cool to do list holder (Ali Abdaal and Shawn Blanc use it)

Productivity Tips and Inspiration

PKM is Sophisticated Procrastination, Says Sam Matla

Here’s my writeup and sketchnote of a 20-minute video that’s well worth the watch. It’s going to call you out big-time if you’re still justifying working on your productivity system more than you’re working in it.

Cropped image of a sketchnote of Sam Matla’s video. A large yellow oval in the middle contains white writing that reads: PKM: Sophisticated Procrastination?
Graphic by Author

Should Capture and Curation always be separate from Content Production?

Matt Giaro thinks we should separate our capture and curation process from content production. What do you think? I’m letting the idea settle for a while before I come to any conclusions.

I heard about this from an article by Chuck Frey, who treats Obsidian as a sacrosanct space for his writing. Here is Chuck’s affiliate link for Matt’s free email mini-course on the topic if you’re interested.

Lessons from a physical Zettelkasten

Herbert Lui moved his Zettelkasten from physical cards, to Notion. I won’t be following his lead (i.e. switching to Notion) because I want to stay in control of my data, but I did like the thinking behind his process.

  1. He writes a new note almost everyday, and doesn’t worry about how important it is. Just dumps them all in together, and lets the clear thinking emerge over time.
  2. He leverages the…



Ellane W

Designer and educational publisher for 30 years+. Plain-text advocate. Still using paper, but less of it.