A Quick Hop From Note-Taking To Writing Online

I started writing online 3 years ago. I wish I started even earlier but as the sign that used to hang in our boys’ preschool used to read:

The best time to plant a tree is yesterday. The second best time is today.

I won’t rehash the benefits of writing online (I have a list of clipped articles on that if you’re interested) but I’ll share a thought on the topic.

I was recently chatting with an internet friend (or what your meatspace spouse might refer to as an “imaginary friend”) who has an established quant finance career. She’s at a juncture in her career but is finding that the most compelling options are coming from inbound opportunities based on her writing. While she has options coming from her direct experience and CV, they aren’t the most interesting. They are well-trodden, established paths. But writing has inadvertently cast a much wider net than her resume ever could have.

I see my writing the same way. I don’t know what my next endeavor is, but I’m making the bet that having a public body of work might allow future partners/collaborators/employers to take a chance on me even though my official career (“option trader”) has been narrow. Writing is a way to demonstrate range. Perhaps I’d be better off getting an MBA or other degree if I’m trying to pivot, but that’s why I call this a bet. It’s also a real-life example of the post I shared last week Portfolio Theory And The Invisible Option On Hobbies.

It’s never been easier to get started. A few thoughts about getting started from personal experience.

  • I did have one head-start. I am a note-taker.

    I’ve explained my system here.

    Just as storing a guitar in a convenient location (without a case) makes you more likely to pick it up and practice, your note-taking habits reduce the drag coefficient of traveling from “idle thoughts” to “words on a page”. The structures I built in Notion lent themselves to connecting ideas better than my old Evernote + Trello PKM stack. (PKM stands for personal knowledge management amongst the “productivity” cult).

    There’s lots of great software to host your PKM. Ann-Laure’s guide can help you choose.

  • For Notion users

    You are 95% of the way to publishing online. I use WordPress as a CMS (content management system) but I just subscribed to Potion.so which allows you to point your Notion pages to a custom domain that you own. If I were starting over today, I would simply buy a domain and connect it to a service like Potion.so or Super.so for a small monthly fee. If you want a free solution, with a little extra effort you can use Fruition.

    These solutions eliminate the need to learn a new CMS. So you can turn a key and have the Notion environment you are comfortable with be an elegant and flexible CMS. For evergreen content, like much of my writing, the chronology of blogs makes little sense. While you can use “categories” and “tags” the end result isn’t quite right for material that looks more wiki-like.

    Here’s a link to all my Notion pages that are now public. Note how Potion allowed me to use my MoontowerMeta domain be the host.

    This lets you:

If you were on the fence about starting to write online, I hope this was helpful.

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