Maps of Content

Came across this concept in this article: A case for MOCs - Knowledge management - Obsidian Forum, which I found from this Reddit discussion: How do you engage with your Bear so that it’s more ‘second brain’ and less archive?.

As I understand it, the argument is to structure and organize notes so that they are a decentralized system:

  • Decentralized system:
    • One central index node, but as you move out from the center, there are more index nodes.
    • In the context of note taking, there should be one central index note, but more index notes that break off from that.
    • Each of the index nodes are Maps of Content (MOCs)

As opposed to:

  • Centralized system:

    • Only one central index node, everything else is a sub-node of that one index node.
    • Very limiting in terms of organization.
  • Distributed system:

    • There’s an absence of any index nodes at all.
    • Notes are all inter-linked, but there aren’t indexes of notes.
    • Great for discovery, not good for organization.

Discussion and comments on MOCs

Yes I have an MOC of MOCs.
I’ll usually rely on direct links or the Index / Launchpad note. But I do not underestimate the value of putting together a new dedicated list. It can be soothing; it can lower anxiety. It can reinforce progress. Or it can just be a form of spaced repetition.
Nick Milo

This post made me think if I had unorganized notes to turn over to someone else, what would help them understand and find what content existed in the directory?
Create an index with two sections. One section contains a list of concepts or topics, MOCs. The other section consists of current and past projects, TOCs. Via the index, the person should be able to quickly understand what information is present, how the information was used, and how it’s being used. To get even more fine-grained, add a TOC containing a chronological list of daily/todos.

In § My note taking system, my version of Maps of Content is Outline Notes.