In its most basic form, a digital garden is a public collection of interlinked documents. They’re similar to blogs in many ways, but rather than posts, the fundamental unit is notes – short, focused snippets of prose that build upon one another. The purpose & direction of these notes are largely up to the gardener; many use the concept as a form of public learning, while others see it as a way to write about their interests without being bound to social media.
Personally, I’m using this garden as a replacement for my former life as a bored, extremely-online Twitter power user. It’s an outlet for writing that explicitly doesn’t optimize for engagement: I’m not monitoring clicks or pageviews, and I have no plans to cross-post my notes to social media. No target audience, no advertisements, no ulterior motives: just text on a webpage.
I used Maxime Vaillancourt’s tutorial and template project to create this garden. The contents are stored in a
public/ subfolder of my personal Obsidian vault, version-controlled in a private GitLab instance, and automatically deployed to a Linode VPS as a static site.
Obsidian is one of a few note-taking applications vying for the zettelkästen niche, where the dominant structure is hyperlinks as opposed to hierarchy (i.e. folders). Competitors in this space include Roam and LogSeq. However, if you’re shopping around for a new note-taking application, the most important attribute is not its organizational philisophy, but whether you’ll actually use it! Depending on how you use technology, you might prefer to use your phone’s built-in notes app, or even a pen & notepad. My needs are relatively complex & likely don’t align exactly with yours.