In the middle of the desert you can say anything you want

28 Sep 2021

About this place

TL;DR This is a robbdigital garden. Diensttagebuch is for IT stuff, Journal is for everything else, the Blog is a blog.

Intro / About

PKM and Digital gardens’s main role is hosting the Diensttagebuch and Journal. Welcome!

I always believed in learning in public and loved the concept of digital gardens, even before I knew they are were thing. I don’t trust my memory and keep a lot of notes1, this is an experiment about making some of them public. Public notes make life easier for me and I hope they might help others.

ToS / Privacy policy

The spirit of Digital Garden Terms of Service applies - “learning in public” implies I’m likely wrong about a lot of stuff written here. I try to provide sources for most of the things I link, make your own judgements. I’d be glad to hear from you if you agree or disagree with anything.

No personal data is collected, no tracking cookies set, no Google Analytics used.

Internal links look like this, external links look like this.

The individual parts

Diensttagebuch / Work log

Initially I stole the idea from an /r/AskHistory thread, where a Dienttagebuch was mentioned as source and I thought that was really cool. In English, I’d translate this as “Work journal/log/notebook”, “Lab notebook”.

I note here bits I think I’ll need later. What I learned, what problems I had, how I solved them. Titles and partly content are optimized for easy grepping/“Ctrl+F”-ing. The Master file has all the Days concatenated in chronological order for even easier search.

This is the single best productivity/memory/PKM tool that helps me the most. I think it works because of how low-friction everything is (see below for details)

As of 28th September 2021, I’ve been keeping it for 1001 (one-thousand-and-one!) days!


Similar to the above, but about non-IT stuff - language notes, cooking recipes, anything I don’t want to lose. Previously was part of the Diensttagebuch.


I have had a blog since high school, it occasionally has longer-form posts, poetry, translations, etc. where I put a bit more effort.


I think it stuck because I tried to make its use as low-effort and frictionless as possible.

  • To create:
    • Opening the window with vim/Obsidian is literally a <Ctrl-minus> away.
    • To start writing, in Obsidian it’s <C-n> to create a note , gets named YYMMDD and put kn the correct folder. I type it’s name, then <C-t> runs the template that generates front matter date, title based on filename, basic tags etc.
    • I have a lot of vim/qutebrowser/Obsidian macros/bindings/templates to make life easier 2
  • To deploy, I run a ./ that:
    • converts Obsidian notes into Hugo markdown with Obyde3
    • commits and pushes everything
    • builds the static website and uploads to
    • additionally creates a textfile with all days together so I can search/grep it locally
  • Searching is easy because:
    • Simple search/grep: it’s either text, or a long webpage (The Master file)
    • Categories/tags: both on and locally through Obsidian
  • Accessing it is also easy because:
    • is available regardless where I am and what device I’m using
    • The Obsidian vault gets synchronized to my phone, and I can get information or write stuff easily through the Obsidian app (that also has the same templates, a nice markdown editor etc.)


  • 09 January 2019: Created
  • 28 September 2021:
    • switched from Jekyll to Hugo, now building takes 0.5 seconds instead of 30.
      • Which broke a lot of formatting, especially things like code inside <li>s etc
    • Added “Notes” to keep the non-work non-IT things separate from the “Dienst” things.
  • Sometime in October 2021:
    • Started getting deeper into Obsidian, set up laptop/phone sync, added templates etc
    • Started adding the Obsidian Zettelkasten-like notes directly into the Diensttagebuch, breaking with the longtime tradition of having titles like “Day 1234” but getting a much more flexible tagging system.
  • Sometime in November 2021:
    • Added back my old blog here.
  • End of November - beginning of December 2021:
    • Started using Obsidian more heavily, added custom templates for tags (see blog post) about that).

  1. Also see Personal knowledge management - Wikipedia ↩︎

  2. copying links from qutebrowser directly in markdown, for example ↩︎

  3. khalednassar/obyde: A minimal tool to convert a standardly configured Obsidian vault to a Jekyll or Hugo blog. ↩︎

Nel mezzo del deserto posso dire tutto quello che voglio.