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Advanced Knowledge Systems in Tana

Course/Lab by Andrew Altshuler. Cohort #4 starts April 28


Tana is the most powerful knowledge management tool available today. Add human-grade AI to the mix, and you have your own knowledge powerhouse. 

People who work with complex subjects & vast amounts of information can benefit from this a lot!

However, to truly tap into Tana's potential, you need to go beyond traditional PKM practices by updating your mental models & methods.

Tana is not a note-taking app. It's a sophisticated computational platform where you craft your personalized knowledge graph with the help of AI.

Recognizing this paradigm shift and adapting your approach to knowledge management is key to enhancing your:

  • Understanding & articulation
  • Synthesis quality 
  • Overall intellectual productivity

As Maggie Appleton put it:

Tana is one of the few knowledge management tools that moves beyond mimicking static text on paper. It takes the computational medium seriously. It gives regular folks access to a set of powerful primitives that previously only developers could touch.



What to expect from the course?

First principles

Building a robust knowledge system requires a nuanced understanding of computer science, cognitive science, and complexity. In the course, there will be a strong emphasis on core concepts/models for a solid foundation.

Run inside in Tana

The whole program will be fully integrated into Tana workspace. All the workshops will be done right on the spot! That will give you a full immersion effect.

Lab spirit

Although I call this program a course, there will be quite a few elements from the laboratory. You will have the opportunity to work on your own system, applying knowledge immediately, sharing raw ideas & learnings with a group.


My goal is to show you real-life use cases. So, we'll explore the whole sensemaking ecosystem built around Tana. We will use Readwise, ChatGPT, Gemini, NetworkX, Perplexity, and other tools.


1. History & context

History of Computable Knowledge
Knowledge paradigms
Escaping skeuomorphism
Evolution of tools for thought
Looking forward: Expertise economy

2. Computer science for knowledge work

Object Oriented Approach

3. Cognitive aspect of knowledge

Cognitive load
Types of memory
Encoding, storage & retrieval
Extended mind
Minimizing computations
Tacit vs. Explicit knowledge

4. Knowledge structures

Knowledge graphs
Ontologies & schemas
Supertags & Queries
Organising principles
General framework
Scaffolding & enabling constraints
Building from first principles
Semantics & semantic functions

5. Sensemaking

Framework of understanding
Key principles
Sensemaking process
Pattern recognition
Data/Frame theory
AI-augmented sensemaking

6. AI as a knowledge co-pilot

LLMs & knowledge work
Basic prompt engineering
More complex prompts
Reasoning co-pilot
Prompt Workbench in Tana
Dynamic prompts
Custom AI commands

7. Building your KNOWLEDGE DEV Environment

Information / Knowledge lifecycle
Types of processing
Robust protocols
Threads & Flow
Export / Import / Tana Paste
Re-formatting data & information with GPT-4
Parse to Tana with OpenAI Code Interpreter
Knowledge Factory model
Filtering, Clustering, Merging

8. Synthesis

Asking the right questions
Idea Maze
Forming judgments
Making decisions
Synthesizing new frameworks
Creating reports / articles
Synthesis with AI

Live workshops

The course will be structured around live sensemaking & BUILD together sessions. All workshops will be held in shared workspace.

Tana ALIENS Game

It is a game designed to help you to get more relaxed and confident playing with Tana.
You will learn to apply key concepts from computer science by building a custom setup for aliens in a shared workspace.

Structuring the vast body of research

We'll explore Robert Kegan's works on Levels of Self.
How is his framework connected to recent scientific studies and other similar frameworks.
We're going to make a general structure that will help us to gain a better understanding of the subjects.

Making sense of complex phenomena

We'll explore the recent complex geopolitical events.
I will show you how to collect & structure evidence to make a weighted judgment about the situation.

Building your own KNOWLEDGE DEV

Together, we'll (re)design & build an MVP of a your PKM system using Constraints, Protocols & Threads.
The system will heavily utilize custom structures & AI.

Here is the example of KNOWLEDGE DEV:

TfT #12 / How to build AI-powered knowledge system in Tana
In this article, I will show you how I built a system for exploring and improving my health in Tana with heavy AI usage. I have been experimenting with it for quite some time. But only with access to GPT-4 API (I got it only a few weeks ago), I

Join the fourth cohort!

Starting April 28

  • 4 weeks
  • 4 live workshops
  • 10 lectures
  • 2 office hours sessions
  • Dozens of real live CASE STUDIES
  • 30 minutes 1:1 onboarding call
  • Shared Tana workspace
  • Private Slack community
  • Realtime & ASYNC feedback
  • 250 USD


Who is this course for?

Lifelong learners

Basically for all knowledge workers who deal with a lot of diverse information and want to utilize Tana's full potential.

What is the size of the group?

15 people MAX.
I designed the course around workshops and BUILD together sessions in a shared Tana workspace. These formats only work in small groups.

Do I need to know Tana fundamentals to participate?

Yes. You will benefit from the course if you already have some experience with Tana and have a grasp on basic stuff: supertags, fields, and live queries.
Don't worry if your Tana skills are not perfect yet.
If you have any difficulties, I will be available to answer questions during the whole time.

At what time the live event will be held?

They will be on weekends for sure.
I want to stay flexible and schedule a time/date that will work best for the group based on the poll.
Obviously It's hard to find a spot that will work best for, let's say, people in Singapore and LA. If we experience this, I'm open to doing two sessions of each workshop for different timezones.
For me, it's super important to give each participant the best experience possible!

Do I have to attend all the events?

While live events are an important part of the course, It's okay to skip some of them and watch recordings. You will get access to the recordings within 24 hours of the event.

Can I get a refund?

14-day refunds are available. Just send me an email, and I'll refund you, no questions asked.