Differentiate between Pillars and Topics in Your PKM to Speed Up Your Growth

3 min read

Pillars and topics are essential elements in your PKM if you want to grow.


Pillars are consolidated areas in my life.

Things I have to pay attention to.

Examples: my family, my businesses, my growth.

Topics are things that catch my eye, and I want to go deep into them.

They’re like the highways of my life in a certain period.

Examples: PKM, blockchain, leverage.


1. Time Length

Pillars are here to stay. They’re long-term items. They are and will always be with me.

Topics are more ephemeral. They’re short/mid-term items. They can disappear at any moment.

I cannot avoid paying attention to my family or friends (pillars).

I can stop following a topic whenever I evolve, grow, or set different high-level principles in my life.

2. What I use them for

The most important feature that distinguishes pillars from topics is their use.

What Do I Use Pillars For?


I know I have to pay attention to them because they’re critical and essential elements in my life.

That’s why, in my reviews, I check them to see if everything’s ok.

I need to take care of them at any time in my life.

What Do I Use Topics For?


They give me focus, with all the benefits focus has:

  • Clarity.
  • Peace of mind.
  • Control.
  • Common sense.

Topics are essential elements to help me overcome the flood of information I “suffer” every day.

I know what I need to capture and process, what I should create projects and actions for, what I must dedicate time to think about.

Topics’ Golden Rule

I have a golden rule talking about topics: I can just have 5 at a time.

That forces me to focus on “just a few things”.

That forces me to prioritize. Decide “what really resonates with me”.

Don’t lie to yourself: 5 are “enough”.

Moving from Topics to Pillars

Topics are dynamic.

They’re kind of an “obsession” in a certain period.

If the “obsession” goes on for a long time, they can become a pillar.

A pillar is something inside my “deepest self”, something if I ignore it, it hurts me. I suffer.

Combining Pillars and Topics to Grow

Pillars and topics allow me to know which goals I set in my life.

From that point, I define projects, tasks, and thinking processes.


Pillars help me be sure I dedicate my energy to the things that matter to me the most.

Topics help me surpass the overwhelming flow of information I face every day.

Both give me balance. Balance is what we should look for in life.


Photo by Chris Brignola on Unsplash.