Digital Garden

Goal:: Let your thinking evolve over time
Known or created by:: Maggie Appleton

A Digital Garden is a metaphor for a different thinking about how to write, process and publish information.

Having a set of pages that get constantly updated as your knowledge grows instead of chronological posts.

Other names:

What? Why?

Learn in Public


Lernen in der Öffentlichkeit ("Learn in Public") bedeutet die Inhalte / die Erkenntnisse / etc. öffentlich bereitzustellen, welche man selbst gerne in der Vergangenheit gehabt hätte.

Personal thinking?

A digital garden lets you edit everything in real time and let's your thinking evolve over time.

"Stock and Flow"

What's more important? The right balance is probably the best, depending on the context.

Digital Garden vs. Blog

Beneath the umbrella term, however, digital gardens don’t follow rules.

“With blogging, you’re talking to a large audience,” … “With digital gardening, you’re talking to yourself. You focus on what you want to cultivate over time.”

What they (the notes) have in common is that they can be edited at any time to reflect evolution and change. The idea is similar to editing a Wikipedia entry, though digital gardens are not meant to be the ultimate word on a topic.

How to create a digital garden?

See the collection of Maggie Appleton: Digital Gardening Tools and Resources

Obsidian specific tools: Digital Gardening with Obsidian

Intro Videos

Digital Gardening: Explained - YouTube (2:35 min)

What is a Digital Garden? Everything you need to know 🌱 - YouTube (5:37 min)

  1. Topography over Timelines
    • posts are not structured by date, instead they are connected to others through links, tags, etc.
  2. Continuous Growth
    • gardens are never finished, they are constantly growing, evolving and changing
  3. Imperfection & Learning in Public
    • in the middle of chaos streams (like chats) and cultivated performance (like books, research papers)
    • make the status of the notes clear to readers, e.g. with a simple categorisation system (🌱 Seedlings, 🌿 Budding, 🌳 Evergreen)
    • Digital Garden Terms of Service
  4. Playful, Personal, and Experimental
  5. Intercropping & Content Diversity
    • all the different mediums should live in the garden: podcasts, videos, diagrams, ...
  6. Independent Ownership
    • avoid walled gardens, build on reliable, interoperable system you own & control


Digital Gardeners Telegram Group - Ness Labs

Reddit: Digital Gardens

Gardening as a principle of Software Craftsmanship

Software Gardeners are professionals who perceive software development in a different way. Our goal is to spread the word of our core values, be mentors for the new developers and create software that it is developed at the highest quality bar.

Software gardening | Coding Journeyman

Are you a Software Gardener?. Building delightful software is more… | by Chris Aitchison | Medium

🔗 References

Public Digital Gardens & Seconds Brains

A Brief History & Ethos of the Digital Garden

Joel Hooks: 🌱 My blog is a digital garden, not a blog

Of Digital Streams, Campfires and Gardens by Tom Critchlow

Building a digital garden by Tom Critchlow

Subreddit: Digital Gardens

The Rise of Digital Gardeners - Choosing Easy

Digital gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet | MIT Technology Review