Setup a self-hosted Knowledge Management tool

Ideation Feb 14, 2021

Ever since BBC Sherlock's Season 3 finale came out, I thought a few times about the concept of a Mind Palace where Charles Augustus Magnussen manages information stored in his head. This idea was inspired from the Method of Loci which is a strategy of memory enhancement which uses visualisations of familiar spatial environments in order to enhance the recall of information. The Method of Loci is also known as the memory journey, memory palace, or mind palace technique. This method is a mnemonic device adopted in ancient Roman and Greek rhetorical treatises. Many memory contest champions report using this technique to recall faces, digits, and lists of words.

Medical information exhibit at the Museum of Weed
Photo by Bret Kavanaugh / Unsplash

The Power of Memorising and Recalling with Routes:

Take a list of ten items that you want to memorise, and imagine each item in one locus, or location, of your memory palace.

To recall the items, just mentally retrace your route through the memory palace and you should be able to retrieve the data.

If you want to store the memorised information for a longer period of time, use repetition and go through the memory palace a few times per day until it sticks.

After you try it with 10 items and can recite them forwards and backwards in order, try expanding your memory palace to 30 locations and see if you can do the same with 30 items.

While Whimsical Mind Maps is a good platform for this use, I started looking for lightweight self-hosted solutions.

Tutorial:

For this tutorial, we are going to setup my-mind tool with nginx and a SSL from Cloudflare which looks something like this:

Screenshot of the tool

Using this tool, you can create and export as a .mymind extenstion file which will help get back on track in order to update the mind map you just created. Since the tool is self hosted, your privacy is always secured. So, let's have a look at the steps.

Clone the repository and change into the directory:

git clone https://github.com/ondras/my-mind.git

cd my-mind/

Configure nginx:

sudo vim /etc/nginx/sites-available/default
server {

        listen 443 ssl http2;
        server_name example.com www.example.com;
        root /home/ubuntu/my-mind;
        index index.html;
        
        ssl_certificate     /path/to/ssl/origin.pem;
        ssl_certificate_key /path/to/ssl/private.key;
        location / {
        
        proxy_set_header Host $host;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;

        
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_buffering off;
        proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";

        
        gzip off;
}
}

server {
        listen 80;
        server_name example.com www.example.com;
        return 301 https://example.com$request_uri;
}

Restart nginx:

sudo nginx -s reload

Now, you can logon to https://example.com in order to start using the tool. The tool is extremely light weight and can work on a VM with lower memory and CPU.

[Optional]

Read the this paper in order to use Method of Loci in your daily life.

[Bonus]

Want to use a server with aforementioned configuration and don't want to pay for it...EVER?

Follow the below post to obtain forever free servers from Oracle Cloud:

How to get 2x Oracle Cloud servers free forever
This is a follow up to my How to get a Google server free forever post. In the comments selim13 let...

Cheers!

[Update - 11th May 2021]

n8n.io is also a good alternative with slick UI and serves as an additional self-hosted besides my-mind tool we installed in this blog.

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