Originally published on June 29, 2016

To manage your personal knowledge, whenever you learn something new — or search for, receive, or come across potentially useful information — ask yourself these questions:

  1. Whom to contact to get and give help? Build your social network, actively use it, and don’t be afraid to contact someone to ask a question or share useful information.
  2. What can and should be done with information? Think about information, and ask how can you use it now, who else might be interested in it, and if it might be useful in the future.
  3. When to share information and with whom? Use email, threaded discussions, blogs, and wikis to share what you know and think, ask questions and solicit help, and build credibility and a good reputation.
  4. Where to store information so it can be found, and where to find it? File, tag, organize, and search effectively so that information can be readily retrieved.
  5. Why information is and can be useful? Ponder, analyze, make sense, learn, and innovate.
  6. How to find information when needed, and how to use it? Develop strategies for searching, browsing, navigating, asking, discovering, and using information.

Articles, Posts, Presentations, and Threads

1. Paul Dorsey defined seven Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) skills in:

  1. Retrieving Information
  2. Evaluating Information
  3. Organizing Information
  4. Collaborating Around Information
  5. Analyzing Information
  6. Presenting Information
  7. Securing Information

2. Harold Jarche has written extensively about PKM:

Personal Knowledge Mastery: PKM is a set of processes, individually constructed, to help each of us make sense of our world, work more effectively, and contribute to society. PKM means taking control of your professional development, and staying connected in the network era, whether you are an employee, self-employed, or between jobs.

  • Personal — according to one’s abilities, interests & motivation. (not directed by external forces)
  • Knowledge — understanding information and experience in order to act upon it. (know what, know who, know how)
  • Mastery — the journey from apprentice to disciplined sense-maker and sharer of knowledge. (masters do not need to be managed)

The Seek, Sense, Share Framework: Capturing knowledge, as crudely as we do, is just a first step. Personal Knowledge Mastery (PKM) is a framework for individuals to take control of their professional development through a continuous process of seeking, sensing-making, and sharing.

  • Seeking is finding things out and keeping up to date. Building a network of colleagues is helpful in this regard. It not only allows us to “pull” information, but also have it “pushed” to us by trusted sources. Good curators are valued members of knowledge networks.
  • Sensing is how we personalize information and use it. Sensing includes reflection and putting into practice what we have learned. Often it requires experimentation, as we learn best by doing.
  • Sharing includes exchanging resources, ideas, and experiences with our networks as well as collaborating with our colleagues.

3. Personal Knowledge Management Workshop through Social Learning Centre UK by Helen Blunden

Personal Knowledge Management is a “set of processes, individually constructed, to help each of us make sense of our world & work more effectively.”

4. Your say: Personal knowledge management by Sandra Higgison

Focusing knowledge-management initiatives on the individual should not be a groundbreaking move within an organization. However, few companies have taken the time to equip employees with the appropriate tools and techniques to support their personal-knowledge and information-management needs. Even fewer have identified and built on their employees’ competencies, or ensured they are motivated to deliver the best of their work and share knowledge. Sandra Higgison finds out why personal knowledge management has been ignored by organizations and traditional KM initiatives for so long.

5. Lilia Efimova on PKM:

Personal KM Q&A: PKM is a mix of activities contributing to personal effectiveness in a knowledge-intensive environment. It’s not only about creating, sharing, acquiring and applying knowledge, but about supportive activities as well. Effective knowledge development is enabled by trust and shared understanding between people involved. For an individual this means a need to establish and maintain personal network, to keep track of contacts and conversations, and to make choices which communities to join. However, developing knowledge also requires filtering vast amounts of information, making sense of it, connecting different bits and pieces to come up with new ideas. In this process physical and digital artefacts play an important role, so knowledge workers are faced with a need for personal information management to organise their paper and digital archives, e-mails or bookmark collections.

Knowledge work framework (PKM + tasks): Conversations are in the middle of the framework. The lower sector represents the domain of relations. The top sector represents the domain of developing ideas.

6. Connecting Personal KM to Innovation by Thomas Collins

Individual knowledge workers will have to find the right mix of tools for their personal learning styles and work patterns. One-size-fits-all approaches seem no more likely to work for individuals than they have for organizations. The urgent task is to identify and develop a range of tools and techniques for individual knowledge workers. There remains much to learn about KM in general and we’ve only begun to think about it at the individual level. The lesson from Google and 3M may be that successful enterprise level KM depends on supporting personal KM.

7. Using Blogs for Personal KM by Bill Ives and Amanda Watlington

Personal KM is an increasingly important aspect of KM. Productivity tools designed to make life easier often have the opposite effect. Blogs can offer a simple means to create a contextualized personal archive. Many bloggers, including the authors of this article, have come to rely on their blog as their back-up brain. Whether one is writing a book, learning about new technology or simply working in a digitally connected age, it results in a huge volume of often disconnected information. All of this information can be neatly codified into a personal blog. With the blog, it is possible to include commentary and context for each piece of information retained.

8. SIKM Leaders Community Threads

9. Personal KM and expression of information from desktop to enterprise by Howie Cohen

PKM — How I can manage my information, content, knowledge in a way that I can find what I need when I need it?

10. Dave Pollard

KM 1.0 is all about content and collection; KM 0.0 (PKM) is all about context and connection. At the request of several readers, I’ve pulled this all together in the table above into a framework for what some have called KM 2.0, but which I prefer to call KM 0.0, because it’s getting back to the roots of why and how people share what they know. It could also be called PKM — Personal Knowledge Management — because it’s about self-managed content and peer-to-peer connectivity.

KM is simply the art enabling trusted, context-rich conversations among the appropriate members of communities about things these communities are passionate about. Most of this KM 0.0 stuff is inexpensive and ubiquitous, so enterprising information and IT professionals can introduce it without having to get permission and resources from management. Here’s a walk-through of what it comprises:

  1. Personal content management tools
  2. RSS-publishable and subscribable personal web pages, blogs and small-group-created wikis
  3. Communities of passion
  4. Stories and visualizations as the principal formats of content
  5. Open access
  6. Reintermediation
  7. A simple set of connectivity enablers
  8. Public site geared to what the customer wants to know

These eight components of KM 0.0 / PKM are the antithesis of what most large organizations provide as Knowledge Management resources. Most of them are quite simple and inexpensive to implement. They simply enable trusted, context-rich conversations among communities that care. Imagine that.

11. Personal toolkit: A framework for personal knowledge management tools by Steve Barth

  1. Accessing information and ideas
  2. Evaluating information and ideas
  3. Organizing information and ideas
  4. Analyzing information and ideas
  5. Conveying information and ideas
  6. Collaborating around information and ideas
  7. Securing information and ideas

12. Jack Vinson

PKM is about getting things done. Personal knowledge management is the idea that individuals have to be responsible for managing to get things done. While organizations around us can help, the essential people and things that I use in my regular work need to work for me. This means that I need to know how to use the resources my organization(s) provide, and I have to bring in additional resources when these are not sufficient for me to succeed. These resources can be everything from the software and files on my computer to the stuff on the network to the people who will make larger connections for me. Importantly, beyond the simple bits and bytes, PKM is about making connections between these artifacts and the people who create them or influence them. I need access to people in the organization to the people outside the organization who will help me get things done.

13. Personal Knowledge Management by Steve Dale

PKM extends further than giving employees access to Intranets, Enterprise Social Software Systems or Knowledge/Information Standards. If organizations stopped spending so much time on processes and technology solutions and uncovered the latent potential in employees, then real value could be harnessed through Personal Knowledge Management. The goal is to make knowledge workers better at capturing, using and sharing knowledge, and maximizing their personal effectiveness in the social and relationship-building part of their jobs.

PKM is also about taking responsibility for your own personal and professional development. This means being an accomplished networker, comfortable with technology and — perhaps most important of all — curious. Curiosity encourages serendipitous connections and a desire to understand the complex world we live in. By equipping ourselves with the skills to understand the environment we live and work in, we can make better decisions, grow our reputation and ensure we remain relevant in the career path we have chosen for ourselves.

14. PKM by Denham Grey

PKM that does not focus on networking, community participation, tacit knowledge exchanges and inquiry is pointed in the wrong direction. Personal voicing, thought organization and personal publication do not do justice to the social components necessary for real knowledge work.

15. What is Personal Knowledge Management? by Jeff Hester

There are three dimensions to personal knowledge management.

  1. First, you need an awareness of your knowledge.
  2. Next, you need to be open to learning.
  3. Finally, you must be open to sharing.

As personal knowledge is shared, the entire organization grows and benefits.

16. I Believe in the Importance of Personal Knowledge Management by Tom Spiglanin

Three Key Components of PKM: Personal knowledge management is, above all else, personal. What works for me won’t necessarily work for someone else. Therefore, it’s important for each of us to develop our own processes, try different approaches, and adapt them as needed to make them a part of our daily work. They need to work for us, not someone else. Regardless how these processes evolve, there are three critical aspects to disciplined personal knowledge management:

  1. Capturing knowledge, which encompasses finding, identifying, filtering, or even stumbling across useful information that we can then merge with our own body of knowledge and experience;
  2. Developing knowledge, meaning to make sense of what’s been captured, think critically about how it reconciles with our previous perspectives and experiences, be creative with how to use the new information, synthesize new ideas by combining the new with the existing, and put new ideas into action; and
  3. Sharing knowledge, using any number of media that fit our personal needs, work styles, and professional social networks.

17. David Gurteen on PKM:

Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) is about taking a personal or individual perspective to Knowledge Management rather than an organizational or corporate one. PKM is a smorgasbord of principles, concepts, disciplines and tools that we can all apply as knowledge workers in the new knowledge economy to help improve our ability to meet our personal and business objectives. In short — Personal Knowledge Management is taking responsibility for what you know, who you know — and what they know.

18. Bill Brantley

Personal Knowledge Management in Higher Education: What is Personal KM?

  • Knowing what you know
  • Knowing where what you know is
  • Knowing how to get to what you know
  • Knowing how to use what you know

Personal Information Management or Personal Knowledge Management?: I wonder if personal information management and personal knowledge management are essentially the same. I don’t believe so and that we should make this distinction clear.

19. Personal, anticipated information need by Harry Bruce

  1. Personal, anticipated information need is triggered by information events
  2. Individuals have differential sensitivity and reactions to personal, anticipated information need.
  3. Personal, anticipated information need predicts, but does not guarantee, future information use
  4. Personal, anticipated information need informs the investments and valuations that underpin the processes of personal information collection
  5. Sensitivity to personal, anticipated information need is a critical component of information literacy

20. Personal Knowledge Management: Who, What, Why, When, Where, How? by Jason Frand and Carol Hixon

What is personal knowledge management? It’s a system designed by individuals for their own personal use. PKM is a conceptual framework to organize and integrate information that we, as individuals, feel is important so that it becomes part of our personal knowledge base. It provides a strategy for transforming what might be random pieces of information into something that can be systematically applied and that expands our personal knowledge.

21. Organizing In Advance of the Info-Glut by Guy Wallace

I use two key strategies/tactics to keep above the pile of data/info that reaches me, or that I reach out to acquire:

  1. Handling emails as they come in
  2. Filing paper and electronic content

22. Personal Knowledge Management by Doug Cornelius

To create a personal knowledge base, we need a strategy for transforming the random bits of information and transform it into a usable system. It is important for others in the attorney’s network and for the firm to be able to harvest the individual’s personal knowledge management systems. Things like shared folders in the document management system, blogs and wikis provide simple and easy to use tools to collect information that can be harvested by others.

24. Directions in KM and Learning by Curtis Conley (formerly of Deloitte)

So, why start a website? The ultimate purpose of this site is to serve as a personal knowledge management (PKM) tool for myself — a place where I can put down my own thoughts on a variety of subject matter prior them taking shape in say, a research-journal form. Also, I hope to build an online resource of information related to KM and other related subjects — so when I need to find a website or snippet of information I only have to come here to find it. To this end, this site will also serve as a resource for anyone else who may be interested in subjects such as knowledge management, organizational learning, human resource development, adult education, training, etc.

24. Ewen Le Borgne

My mantra to keep the head above the info water is: PACMAN. Or rather PACMan: Plan-Act-Capture-Manage. PACMan helps you eat information nuggets all along the way and keep going happily, while fixing filter failures letting phantoms through. It has a lot to do with personal knowledge management (PKM) so perhaps it should be called PaKMan

25. The 3rd KM: personal knowledge management by Patti Anklam

The 3 KMs

Selecting one of the 3 KMs is not an either/or/or. As in economics and practically everything else, it depends. Different purposes, the target audience, and available resources will guide the approach that is used. To recap:

  • Big KM is about top-down, structured and organizationally distinct “knowledge management”
  • Little KM is about safe-fail experiments embedded in the organizational structure
  • Personal KM is about access to tools and methods to ensure that knowledge, context, bits, fragments, thoughts, ideas are harvestable

26. Personal KM vs Team Collaboration by Tim Wieringa

Three principles to make your Personal KM efficient and effective.

  1. One: Transparency
  2. Two: Central Storage
  3. Three: Common Tags

27. My Personal Learning Environment…My Personal Knowledge Management System by Mohamed Amine Chatti

  • Communities
  • Social Media
  • Actions
  1. Comment
  2. Collaborate
  3. Network
  4. Reflect
  5. Analyze
  6. Discuss
  7. Manage
  8. Share
  9. Search
  10. Rate
  11. Subscribe
  12. Read
  13. Write
  14. Access
  15. Tag
  16. Remix
  17. Save
  18. Publish
  19. Aggregate
  20. Bookmark
  21. Organize
  22. Create
  23. Consume

28. Eric Tsui

29. Tiago Forte

30. Ray Sims


1. Thinking for a Living by Tom Davenport addresses many topics related to PKM (also see Tom’s article Personal Knowledge Management). In Chapter 6, Developing Individual Knowledge Worker Capabilities, he lists ten common attributes of individuals who are highly effective in managing their own personal information environments:

  1. they avoided gadgets
  2. limited the number of separate devices
  3. invested effort in organizing information
  4. weren’t missionaries
  5. got help
  6. used assistants — to some degree
  7. weren’t doctrinaire about paper versus electronic approaches
  8. decided what information was important to them, and organized it particularly well
  9. use lists
  10. adapt the use of tools and approaches to the work situation at a given time

2. Personal Knowledge Management: Individual, Organizational and Social Perspectives by David Pauleen and Gary Gorman

3. Personal Knowledge Management, Leadership Styles, and Organisational Performance: A Case Study of the Healthcare by Vissanu Zumitzavan and Jonathan Michie

4. Personal Knowledge Capital: The Inner and Outer Path of Knowledge Creation in a Web World by Janette Young

5. Organize Your Brain: Personal Knowledge Management Essentials by Jeffrey Stockton

6. The Case for Personal Knowledge Management (Perspectives on Knowledge Management Book 2) by Luc Glasbeek

7. Using Getting Things Done as a Personal Knowledge Management Tool (Perspectives on Knowledge Management Book 3) by Luc Glasbeek

8. Personal Information Management edited by William Jones and Jaime Teevan

9. Next Generation Knowledge Management, Volume 2 by Jerry Ash includes:

  • Comparing, contrasting, connecting corporate and personal KM
  • Seven steps to personal knowledge management

10. Introduction to Knowledge Management: KM in Business by Todd Groff and Thomas Jones includes:



Stan Garfield

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/