How I Make Sense as Part of the Seek – Sense – Share Framework

Continuing on from a previous post regarding the Seek – Sense – Share Framework outlined by Harold Jarche, I am going to describe the methods I use to make sense of all that I collect. I use a number of tools to collect and reflect upon what I find.

Jarche describes this process as sense-making. As Jarche notes, sense-making should be a regular process where one filters new information through a personal experience filter to develop new knowledge or reinforce what is already known. He also adds that sense-making is what we put into practice.


For me, the process of sense-making is necessary before I share information with others. In my various roles as instructional technologist, martial artist, and Civil Air Patrol leader, I believe it is my responsibility to help find and distribute new content in order to help others excel. Sense-making is a key component to this process because I have to first understand it and know how the new knowledge will benefit others before I can share it.

Sense-making may occur while I seeking information, or it may be distinct function as I am getting ready to share what I have learned with others.

Here are the tools I use as part of my sense-making:


My blog is perhaps the centerpiece of my sense-making. It started as an exercise for a class I took with Dr. Michael Day, and has evolved into a place where I reflect and share what I am learning. I do not have a particular audience for this blog. It is  a place where I can document my learning journey.


While doing some professional reading, I write my notes into Zotero. I now have countless articles and books listed in Zotero with my notes. I am able to quickly research this resource to craft new understanding on a topic. It was indispensable to my dissertation writing process. I am now leveraging it as a write a book. Throughout my blog, I have written a number of posts about Zotero. Kindle and Zotero make a great note capture combination.


If I am watching a Webinar, attending a presentation, or listening to a podcast, I will usually have Evernote open to capture my notes. If I am taking a note in a notebook, I will later photograph the page and save it to Evernote where I can subsequently search for it. Additionally, I have scanned previous notes captured at events into Evernote so that I can more easily reference them. Evernote is such a versatile tool, I can not imagine working without it.


If I am capturing a Web-based resource, I will typically save it to Diigo. I have approximately 9,700 sites saved to Diigo, and they are tagged for easy retrieval. I am regularly referencing my collection as I write blog posts or put presentations together. If someone asks me for references on a topic, I will generally give them a Diigo tag link related to their topic.

Presentation creating

When I create a presentation, it is very much a sense-making process. To build a presentation, I have to organize the material in a way that makes sense to me and others. Often when working through the process of building a presentation, I will develop some new insight into the problem I am addressing. I share my presentations to Slideshare for the benefit of others.


Vodcasting is my newest endeavor. I am using vodcasting as a tool to share my learning adventures. Each week, I learn new things As I listen to podcasts or read, and I develop a short video to share what I have come to understand.

Book writing

Finally, I am in the process of writing a book on informal learning. The entire process has been a learning experience, and caused me to explore my understanding of informal learning in much more depth. It has very much been a sense-making process. As I get ready for a vacation, I will be focusing a significant amount of time to writing and researching.

Well, that is how I go about making sense of this rapidly changing world. What do you do to make sense of your part of the world?


Posted on July 20, 2014, in Personal Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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