📚 node [[zettelkasten]]


  • The notes are numbered hierarchically, so that new notes may be inserted at the appropriate place, and contain metadata to allow the note-taker to associate notes with each other. For example, notes may contain tags that describe key aspects of the note, and they may reference other notes. The numbering, metadata, format and structure of the notes is subject to variation depending on the specific method employed.


"box of notes"

He wrote only on one side of each card to eliminate the need to flip them over, and he limited himself to one idea per card so they could be referenced individually.

How To Take Smart Notes: 10 Principles to Revolutionize Your Note-Taking and …

-Zettelkasten — How One German Scholar Was So Freakishly Productive

It feels a bit like the philosophy of [[tiddlers]], to me.

The purpose of recording and organising information is so that it can be used again. The value of recorded information is directly proportional to the ease with which it can be re-used.

Philosophy of tiddlers - TiddlyWiki

Notes / steps

  1. Literature notes
  2. Reference notes
  3. Permanent notes
  4. Review and repeat

Digital Zettelkasten

I use [[org-roam]] for this.

Does it make sense to have a timestamp in the filename?


#zettelkasten #permanent-notes

A Zettelkasten is neither a neatly structured filing system for notes easy to access nor a turmoil deep sea generating ideas out of the ununderstandable chaos. There are three layers in my archive which emerged from the years of working with the Zettelkasten Method. I didn’t plan them in advance. It rather was an organic process.

A [[personal knowledge management]] process.

The core of the process revolves around two collections of notes - [[Reference Notes]] which summarise source material and include a link to the source, and the collection of [[evergreen notes]] which are written in the interpretive part of the process.

The 20th-century German sociologist [[Niklas Luhmann]] managed to publish 70 books. He credits much of his success to his Zettelkasten, or "slip box."

Luhmann, N. (1992). Communicating with Slip Boxes. In A. Kieserling (Ed.), & M. Kuehn (Trans.), Universität als Milieu: Kleine Schriften (pp. 53–61). [http://luhmann.surge.sh/communicating-with-slip-boxes page]

see also [[Zettelkasten project]]

below content stolen from [https://zettelkasten.de/posts/three-layers-structure-zettelkasten/ here]

Bottom Layer: Content

The first layer of course consists of content notes. I write, I research, I get ideas. All of that goes into my archive. The full text search and the search for tags are sufficient enough to handle a smaller archive. At this stage it is only natural to stress the importance of tags. You are using them frequently and they serve as important entrances into your archive.

But after a while, you won’t be able to keep up. When I search for tags I get a couple hundred of notes. I have to review them to connect a note to some of them, or get a grasp of what I wrote and thought about a specific topic.

Naturally, a need to organize the archive arises at this point. I can’t remember how many notes I had when I experienced this. I introduced hub-like notes when I had between 500 and 700 notes. 1 I gave myself an overview of the most important notes on that topic.

It must have been between 1000 and 1500 notes when this became too much to handle. I needed more structure. With every additional note I continued to lose my grip on the archive. I wasn’t very concerned because Luhmann, the godfather of the Zettelkasten Method, never had a grip in the first place. But I thought: I have a big technical advantage over him. I need a grip.

Then structure notes emerged.

Middle Layer: Structure Notes

My archive became opaque like the sea: You can see a couple inches into the deep but you know there is much more that you can’t access. You can dive deep, but still you just see a couple of inches at any time. Therefore, I thought of it in terms of unexplored territory for which I need mapping methods and such.

I started with structured lists to have tools to get a precise idea quickly how a certain space in my archive is structured. (similar to what Luhmann had with his hub notes, by the way).

Now, I am at a point where my structure notes embed the structure itself. Take a look at one of my structure notes:

They look much like a table of contents. It’s because they are tables of contents. A table of contents is a structured set of chapters of a book, a set with hierarchy and order. Of course, a book’s page sequence is ordered according to the table of contents for the reader’s convenience. A structure note doesn’t need to adhere to any didactic needs or any needs other than yours.

In the Zettelkasten there are at this point two layers:

  • The content. Tiny, tiny bits of content.

  • Structure notes. Tables of contents.

Structure notes share a similarity to tags: Both point to sets of notes. Structure notes just add another element. They are sets with added structure. This added structure provides a better overview and adds to the utility of the archive.

Top Layer: Main Structure Notes and Double Hashes

After a while, I did not only have structure notes that structure content notes, I also had structure notes that mainly structured sets of structure notes. They became my top level structure notes because they began to float on the top of my archive, so to say.

My structure note on human movement is a perfect example of it. First, I wrote a lot about training. The training structure note linked to strength training, endurance training, sprint training, strongman training, mobility training, and more. But after a while a couple of topics didn’t fit into this space. What about physical work like wood chopping or the whole space of non-movement (like chronic sitting)? The topic broadened and I found a new umbrella: Human Movement. This structure note just keeps on floating on top. It is like the tip of an iceberg. No matter how much water freezes and is added to its body, the top stays on top.

Another type of top-level structure notes are the one I design in this manner right away. I worked a lot on the topic of self-worth from various perspectives (even from the perspective of cardinal sins; the perspective is broad!). The structure note is tagged with a special tag: ##self-worth. If I search for #self-worth (note the single hash!) I get all the notes that deal with this concept but with a double hash I go directly where the money is in my archive: The top-level structure note.

The difference between these two kinds of top level structure notes is in how they turn out to become top level: Human Development emerges because of the structural changes in my archive, while the one with ##self-worth is marked as a top-level structure note because I designed it to be a top-level note right away. (I mark the human development note with a double-hash, too).

📖 stoas
⥱ context
⥅ related node [[20200617233727 zettelkasten]]
⥅ related node [[20200712110047 zettelkasten_note_taking_process]]
⥅ related node [[bibliographical]]
⥅ related node [[comparing zettelkasten and agora]]
⥅ related node [[different types of notes in zettelkasten]]
⥅ related node [[evergreen notes]]
⥅ related node [[flancian]]
⥅ related node [[inter brain zettelkasten]]
⥅ related node [[literature]]
⥅ related node [[mere exposure effect]]
⥅ related node [[niklas luhmann]]
⥅ related node [[note taking]]
⥅ related node [[org roam]]
⥅ related node [[organize your knowledge with zettelkasten]]
⥅ related node [[permanent]]
⥅ related node [[permanent notes in zettelkasten]]
⥅ related node [[personal knowledge management]]
⥅ related node [[roam]]
⥅ related node [[shu omi]]
⥅ related node [[the zettelkasten method]]
⥅ related node [[thinking in zettelkasten]]
⥅ related node [[tiddlers]]
⥅ related node [[zettelkasten and gtd]]
⥅ related node [[zettelkasten id]]
⥅ related node [[zettelkasten learning method]]
⥅ related node [[zettelkasten method]]