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Smart Knowledge Capture: Building Your Own Knowledge Banks

Alan Mourgues
May 1, 2024

I once saw a LinkedIn post by John Kemp, a Senior Market Analyst at Thomson Reuters, featuring his recommended reading on energy. This list includes the books and articles he found most useful in his research into energy.

Here’s the LinkedIn post, with the PDF resource he was kind enough to share: link

I wanted to use this resource as an example of how I consume and store knowledge, and how I leverage Notion databases to build my own 'knowledge banks'.

Take a look at how we can transform this comprehensive bibliography into a user-friendly, clickable database that lives in the cloud.

The beauty of this is that I can search, filter by author, year, keyword, or anything else I want to add as a tag to each entry. I can even add annotations, takeaways, images, etc. Plus, I can carry it with me as a web page and access it from my phone whenever needed.

Here is the link to the live page, showcasing what the final result looks like. Click on it, have a peek, play with the search and filter buttons, and see for yourself how good it is 👇

Recommended Reading on Energy

Let me give you another example to now demonstrate the process of building such a knowledge bank. I've named this one the 'O&G Technical Knowledge Database'.

Here's how it works: whenever I come across an interesting post with valuable technical insights, I add that post into my database. Let's use this relative permeability cheat sheet, posted by Whitson, as an example:

I know that sometime in the future, I’ll be in the heat of a discussion about HM tweaks in a model, or needing to quickly write an email or report section. I would recall having seen this cheat sheet that would be perfect to make my point. I'd wonder, 'Where did I see that? How can I find it?' and end up wasting time searching everywhere, getting frustrated for not finding it.

Sounds familiar, right? It happens all the time. But with Notion, that's no longer a problem. This is why I said over a year ago (here) that Notion had changed my life. Now, I manage everything through Notion, not only work and business, but also family affairs and personal stuff; bills, providers, home projects, clients, kids' activities, books, movies, parks, holiday plans, you name it!

So, this is what I do: first, I build the database (think of a table), with fields (columns) for all the information I want to store:

With the database established, whenever I come across a valuable resource, I take a few seconds to populate the fields in the Notion table. Even this process can be automated further, reducing it to just a few clicks, but I won’t delve into that now.

Let's see how the Rel. Perm. Cheat Sheet post by Whitson looks once it's entered into the database.

And so it goes with every single post I come across that I deem worthy of being stored for future reference:

Here's the link to this database. It contains an extract of valuable posts I've collected from LinkedIn over the last few months or so. Bookmark it for easy access, explore it, search, filter, click on the URL links, and familiarize yourself with what's in there so you know the type of information you can find when needed.

O&G Technical Knowledge Bank

One more before I check out: a database of public Petroleum/Geo Datasets that includes 2D/3D seismic surveys, petrophysical logs, well production data, RTAs, simulation models, and more. Similar to the previous examples, you can search or filter by basin/region, author/owner, or keyword.

Here's the link to this page:

Petroleum / Geo Datasets

There you have it—a powerful use case for leveraging Notion databases to build knowledge banks from publicly available information:

Consider how you could develop similar resources in your own field. Any ideas spring to mind?

If you have a proposal you'd like to advance, do not hesitate to get in touch!

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Alan is a Consulting Petroleum Reservoir Engineer with 20+ years of international industry experience. Alan is the founder of CrowdField, a marketplace that connects Oil & Gas and Energy businesses with a global network of niche talent for task-based freelance solutions. His mission is to help skilled individuals monetize their knowledge as the Energy transition unfolds, by bringing their expertise to the open market and creating digital products to sell in CrowdField's Digital Store.


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