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Why We’ve Stopped Using Mem as Our PKM’s Shallow Thinking Tool at the Paperless Movement®


In April 2021, when they raised $5.6 million, I began testing Mem, and by March 2022, I had fully embraced it, going all in.

I even wrote an article titled “How and Why I’ve Dramatically Improved my PKM by Switching to Mem After 1 Year Using Obsidian”.

This piece of content detailed my reasons for making Mem the core tool in my PKM system.

I’ll always remember how they were pioneers, adopting AI long before it became a buzzword and hype.

They saw the future coming.

Their visionary approach kept them ahead, anticipating a transformative shift that would influence information, software tools, and society’s growth.

That’s why I bet on them without hesitation!

Issues with Mem I’ve Noticed Over Time

While no tool is perfect, there were specific areas in Mem that I felt could be improved since day one:

  1. Pace of Releases: It’s always been a sore point for me how long Mem took to roll out new releases, whether for fixes or new features. However, what tempered my frustration was the sheer brilliance of their releases. Some examples include the addition of the email tool and their recent chat feature, although the first feature never worked really well, and the second one wasn’t implemented the best way possible, as it was too intrusive for me.

  2. Glitches: Mem wasn’t free from glitches, some of which disrupted my daily heavy usage. There were fundamental features that didn’t always function as they should. For instance, even after removing tags, mems with those tags would still show up in search results. Another issue was not being able to rename a mem and have it universally updated across my PKM. Despite these challenges, I continued to rely on the tool as their vision really resonated with me.

  3. Mobile App: I’ve been puzzled by Mem’s lack of emphasis on their mobile app. For a paid service, especially one where capturing and retrieving are key features, a robust and solid mobile presence is a must in my book.

Why I Continued Using Mem

The answer is straightforward: Mem excels at capturing and retrieving information.

In fact and in my case, the best one ever.

I’ve always managed to find what I need quickly and efficiently.

Taking notes is effortless. I just type and let it be, knowing I can retrieve it whenever necessary.

The AI-enhanced feature that suggests relevant mem connections is fantastic, offering serendipitous links between notes.

And, on top of that, Mem’s AI effortlessly handles multiple languages and semantics, no matter if I write in Spanish, English, or French.

Growing Worries Regarding Mem

I’ve had concerns about Mem for quite some time now.

The updates became less frequent, and there seemed to be no news or improvements on the horizon.

When I reached out to Dennis, one of Mem’s co-founders, he mentioned they were dedicating their efforts towards a significant new release. And now, news about this new direction has emerged.

Mem has chosen to phase out several features. They shared a list, stating, “Here’s the full list of features we are sunsetting”.

  • Tasks

  • Scheduled Mems and Daily Mems

  • Templates

  • People

  • Calendar

  • Comments

  • “Push into new mem”

  • Inbox

  • Published mems

The ramifications of this shift? It totally disrupts the way I work breaking main workflows.

Most of these features were integral to why I found Mem indispensable, especially for my “Shallow Thinking System” within my PKM.

For example, I love using my inbox to calmly process the mems that need to be processed.

I also frequently used the task feature, moving items seamlessly to my task or project management systems.

And the daily mem was crucial for providing context to my entries.

These are just a few examples of how my workflows have been adversely affected by Mem’s recent decisions.

And Now, What’s Next?

I, and the whole Team Paperless Movement®, are still waiting to check this new approach to draw final conclusions.

Right now, our PKM System bets on Reader (Shallow Thinking) and Heptabase (Deep Thinking), using the later as the Shallow Thinking tool to write down everything related to thoughts, meeting notes, and any other workflow related to written content by oneself.

If you want to go deeper in the topics I’ve described in this article, you can check out the video published by my business partner and friend Tom Solid, founder of the Paperless Movement®.

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