TIL: using my own blog as a knowledge DB with Google as the search engine

Today, I saw Simon Willison’s “One year of TILs” post on HN (which itself was inspired by Josh Branchaud’s collection) where he mentions writing blog posts that come from small tidbits of knowledge. For a long time, I’ve dabbled in keeping notes in Notion, text files edited with vim, and a bunch of native mac apps but the problem I run into over and over is the inability to deeply search for things. Notion has been improving in this regard but still feels really slow. This is a surprise since it has all of data that I want to search.

Well, I realized that if I wanted to just search through my blog posts and pages on my blog (where I keep most of my public notes), I can just use google with the site:usmanity.com specifier.

Why not DuckDuckGo?

I use DDG for 99% of my searching on my phone and computers so when I tried the site:usmanity.com or even the one where it was specifically my blog (site:blog.usmanity.com), DDG fails to find any of the specific pages/posts. So I went with Google on this one.

How it works

To speed up the whole process, I’ve made a custom search for Alfred, this is the key to making this trick work.


In the above image, the “b” stands for “search on my blog” and the rest is what gets passed to Google. It works like a charm. I get a few search results and the more specific I make the search, the less results I get which is perfect for my use case!

This might be my first TIL post as well đŸ˜€