1,186 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. I don't know why I can't do Evergreen and Atomic Notes.. .t3_16r8k0b._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/SouthernEremite at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/16r8k0b/i_dont_know_why_i_cant_do_evergreen_and_atomic/

      If you're not using your notes to create or write material and only using them as a form of sensemaking, then perhaps you don't need to put as much work or effort into the permanent notes portion of the work? Ask yourself: "Why are you taking notes? What purpose do they serve?" Is the form and level you're making them in serving those purposes? If not, work toward practicing to make those two align so that your notes are serving an actual purpose for you. Anything beyond this is make-work and you could spend your time more profitably somewhere else.

    1. Merchants and traders have a waste book (Sudelbuch, Klitterbuch in GermanI believe) in which they enter daily everything they purchase and sell,messily, without order. From this, it is transferred to their journal, whereeverything appears more systematic, and finally to a ledger, in double entryafter the Italian manner of bookkeeping, where one settles accounts witheach man, once as debtor and then as creditor. This deserves to be imitatedby scholars. First it should be entered in a book in which I record everythingas I see it or as it is given to me in my thoughts; then it may be enteredin another book in which the material is more separated and ordered, andthe ledger might then contain, in an ordered expression, the connectionsand explanations of the material that flow from it. [46]

      —Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Notebook E, #46, 1775–1776

      In this single paragraph quote Lichtenberg, using the model of Italian bookkeepers of the 18th century, broadly outlines almost all of the note taking technique suggested by Sönke Ahrens in How to Take Smart Notes. He's got writing down and keeping fleeting notes as well as literature notes. (Keeping academic references would have been commonplace by this time.) He follows up with rewriting and expanding on the original note to create additional "explanations" and even "connections" (links) to create what Ahrens describes as permanent notes or which some would call evergreen notes.

      Lichtenberg's version calls for the permanent notes to be "separated and ordered" and while he may have kept them in book format himself, it's easy to see from Konrad Gessner's suggestion at the use of slips centuries before, that one could easily put their permanent notes on index cards ("separated") and then number and index or categorize them ("ordered"). The only serious missing piece of Luhmann's version of a zettelkasten then are the ideas of placing related ideas nearby each other, though the idea of creating connections between notes is immediately adjacent to this, and his numbering system, which was broadly based on the popularity of Melvil Dewey's decimal system.

      It may bear noticing that John Locke's indexing system for commonplace books was suggested, originally in French in 1685, and later in English in 1706. Given it's popularity, it's not unlikely that Lichtenberg would have been aware of it.

      Given Lichtenberg's very popular waste books were known to have influenced Leo Tolstoy, Albert Einstein, Andre Breton, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. (Reference: Lichtenberg, Georg Christoph (2000). The Waste Books. New York: New York Review Books Classics. ISBN 978-0940322509.) It would not be hard to imagine that Niklas Luhmann would have also been aware of them.

      Open questions: <br /> - did Lichtenberg number the entries in his own waste books? This would be early evidence toward the practice of numbering notes for future reference. Based on this text, it's obvious that the editor numbered the translated notes for this edition, were they Lichtenberg's numbering? - Is there evidence that Lichtenberg knew of Locke's indexing system? Did his waste books have an index?

    1. For note makers who find themselves creating an unwieldy amount of so-called "orphan notes," the folgezettel sounds the alarm. When faced with a sea of parents without children (9A 9B 9C 9D 9E, etc) it makes these "empty nesters" all the more apparent as the note gets added to the stack.

      There's an interesting dichotomy which seems to be arising here. It's almost as if he's defining a folgezettel note in opposition to orphaned notes, most often seen in digital settings when importing lots of "stuff" but which Doto indicates can happen in analog systems as well.

      Orphaned notes in an analog space, however are still linked by proximity even though they're not as densely linked (even from a mathematical topology perspective.)

    2. "Using the Folgezettel to capture some connections and hope that their nature will reveal themselves later on is just another form of Collector’s Fallacy." I can tell you for a fact that, in my experience, the above quote is fundamentally false. I often find myself doing exactly what's expressed here—using the folgezettel to capture "some connections" in order to get the note-making process started—and am consistently rewarded having done so.

      Strong agree with Bob here.

      Quite often collecting can create huge value in slowly building a substrate for serendipity to do its work. Some of the key to overcoming this is in the affordances of one's system to find or discover these tidbits in one's collection.

    3. folgezettel pushes the note maker toward making at least one connection at the time of import.

      There is a difference between the sorts of links one might make when placing an idea into an (analog) zettelkasten. A folgezettel link is more valuable than a simple tag/category link because it places an idea into a more specific neighborhood than any handful of tags. This is one of the benefits of a Luhmann-artig ZK system over a more traditional commonplace one, particularly when the work is done up front instead of being punted to a later time.

      For those with a 1A2B3Z linking system (versus a pure decimal system), it may be more difficult to insert a card before other cards rather than after them because of the potential gymnastics of numbering and the natural tendency to put things into a continuing linear order.

      See also: - https://hypothes.is/a/ToqCPq1bEe2Q0b88j4whwQ - https://hyp.is/WtB2AqmlEe2wvCsB5ZyL5A/docdrop.org/download_annotation_doc/Introduction-to-Luhmanns-Zette---Ludecke-Daniel-h4nh8.pdf

    1. 21:30 notes as ongoing thinking process, not collection (& comment on student essays) + lack of own ideas (notes as starting this process)

  2. Sep 2023
    1. I’ve been flitting around loads of note taking platforms - each time, I bask in the glory of a new tool then about 3-4 weeks later I’m done.The one lasting tool is Roam, which I still like despite it being tossed aside by many for other tools. I use TickTick for my task management.I’ve recently returned to journaling or writing things down for that I’ve done and what I want to achieve. I still have an online and mobile task list but I really find writing useful for reflecting.Getting into Zettkekasten, I’m about to use a paper card based approach to do a spell of studying. Im looking forward to the analogue experience but almost feel like I’m being disloyal to the modern digital way. I’m looking forward to seeing if this method helps digest the learning and seeing where this takes me.

      reply to u/FilterGrad6 at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/16iwdep/newbie/

      Digital is just a tool. Why necessarily chose it over analog unless you can specifically identify affordances which dramatically improve your experience or output?

      As you've discovered, shiny object syndrome may prevent you from collecting enough into one place to be truly useful and valuable. Pick one that seems to work for you and build from there.

      If paper was good enough for the practices and outputs of Carl Linnaeus, Konrad Gessner, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz, John Locke, Hans Blumenberg, Roland Barthes, Beatrice Webb, Jacques Barzun, Niklas Luhmann, Gertrud Bauer, Marcel Mauss, Phyllis Diller, and so many others is there any reason it shouldn't work just as effectively for your work?

    1. Even though I commented earlier i have to side with Chris. A ZK is best suited for argumentative and essay like work, not creative one like poetry.Maybe this is something that we need to discuss as a community as hole: it’s seems that a lot of people try to fit their needs to a system that (in my opinion) it’s neither intended or works for those kinds of projects.

      reply to Efficient_Eart_8773 at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/16ad43u/comment/jzaas4l/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      Though depending on your needs and desires, you can really do both to effectuate the outcomes you'd like to have. The secret is knowing which affordances, structures, and methods suit your desired outcomes. (Of course if you're going to dump your box out and do massive rearrangements or take large portions out and want to refile them for other needs, then you're going to have to give them numbers and do that re-filing work.)

      I've seen snippets of saved language in Thoreau's journal (commonplace) which were re-used in other parts of his journal which ultimately ended up in a published work. As he didn't seem to have a significant index, one can only guess that he used occasional browsing or random happenstance delving into it to have moved it from one place to another.

      As ever, what do you need and what will best get you there?

      Link to:<br /> What Got You Here Won't Get You There

    1. Anyone thriving with a paper based GTD system?

      I've been using a mixture of methods focused around 4 x 6" index cards for a while after having previously done a traditional bullet journal, Day-Timer, etc. and attempting to something similar in a variety of digital contexts including TiddlyWiki, Obsidian, Logseq, etc. (More details/discussion: https://www.reddit.com/r/bulletjournal/comments/15av66m/a_year_of_bullet_journaling_on_index_cards/) Somehow paper always seems to win out for the tactile nature and the decreased probability of things going lost (being out of sight and thus out of mind which happens for me in digital), or dealing with a never-ending list of overwhelming pop up reminders.

      I've written a bit about the history of some of these methods, which includes links to some of the bigger examples of each if it helps to see some variety about what each system suggests or photos of them at work. One of the oldest methods from which most of the rest seem to stem is the Memindex from circa 1903.

      My current go-to is a Memindex/bullet journal method adapted to index cards rather than a notebook. I've got a card every day for events and to do lists as well as cards for "Future", planned purchases/groceries, etc. I keep a top level card with short lists of what I want to read, watch, listen to, and learn. I also keep a sectioned Eisenhower matrix group of cards for the areas: crisis, productivity, distraction, and low priority. I also have a Projects section with descriptions and lists for each and based on priorities, I'll take individual steps from the project cards and place them onto my daily cards as I go.

      Some of the bigger projects may have a top level card followed by cards which breakdown or outline parts of larger processes. I can then lay them out on a table (Gantt chart style) to determine dependencies and create a pseudo schedule. When I'm done, I'll clip them all together in the most appropriate order and number them. As necessary, I'll take some of these cards out and "schedule" them for individual days by placing them behind or attaching them to the appropriate daily cards with a paper clip. (If you do this, make sure the project name and a potential order number designator is on them, so that you can refile them with the project as necessary.)

      The key is doing weekly and bigger monthly or quarterly reviews of all the major cards and moving/scheduling what you need to do from either old cards or project cards each week. Going through my entire collection of immediate cards is usually incredibly fast. When I'm done with cards, they get archived away in my card index for future consultation if necessary. I'm also usually making further notes on the cards as I go and cross indexing them, so that if I don't have the notes for a particular project in the project section, it's being written on the individual daily cards; at the end of the week I'll update the project cards and write down the dates of those notes into the project file so that if I need them later they're available (but importantly I don't have to copy over all the notes). After doing this it's usually pretty easy to work on planning the next steps for the coming week/month.

      For lower priority projects and to do items, if things sit around too long undone they slowly move down the priority list from crisis to low priority or they slowly move to the back of my projects section where they get reviewed less often.

      For those who prefer some visualization, here are two photos which may help in terms of the physical arrangement I'm using: - https://boffosocko.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/wp-1693596706707-scaled.jpg (alt text: Display of two columns of index cards with only the titles on each showing. Column one: Planning Daily, Planning Weekly, Weeks 31-35 August 2023, Sept 02 2023, September 03 2023, Crisis: Urgent/Important, Productivity: Not Urgent/Important, Low Priority: Not Urgent/Not Important, Distraction: Urgent/Not Important, Someday. The second column: Project Priorities Spring 2023, Reading Priorities, Writing Priorities, Learning Priorities, Listening Priorities, Watching Priorities, Purchases Planning, Groceries.) - https://boffosocko.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/wp-16935967219588251569559254031730-scaled.jpg (alt text: My card index for productivity featuring sections for an Eisenhower Matrix, Projects, and tabs for the upcoming 12 months and 31 days in the current month.)

      On a day-to-day basis, I keep most of it in an Acrimet card file on my desk, though the longer term storage is in a nearby Singer Card File Cabinet. (I'll often have a full drawer removed from the big cabinet on my desk while I'm working on a particular section.) While travelling about, I store the most important daily use cards in a King Jim Flatty Works case which is about the size of a small notebook or which fits easily into my shoulder bag. If you're all-in on index cards and you need ideas for storage, I've been compiling a relatively comprehensive list of index card storage options.

      Having done notebooks and other paper-based planners (Hobonichi) before, I appreciate that the cards are easily moveable and re-orderable, I don't waste any paper or space if I miss days, I'm not as precious about screwing up a new notebook, and I don't have to carry either multiple notebooks, or worry about recopying project pages from one notebook to the next when I'm done. I also don't have to worry about losing large parts of my planning if I lose a whole notebook. It's always easy to have today's card on me at all times or to take small sections on the road as needed. Additionally cards are very cheap. If you're of the sort of camp that having pre-laid out stationery with finer stock, perhaps try Notsu who pre-prints a variety of productivity cards, though only in 3 x 5 inch sizes. There are a few other smaller companies who still do this, but they tend toward the more expensive side.

      There are many ways to do variations on these, so take a look at some examples of how others use them and then attempt to evolve a practice which works for you. For example, if having an Eisenhower Matrix section doesn't make sense to you, then drop that part and adopt what does work instead.

      For those who are deep into this sort of rabbit hole, I'll also mention that I keep a separate zettelkasten "department" within my collection for notes related to reading/research. (I had to fill that massive Singer card index up with something besides extra wine storage.)

      Syndication link: https://www.reddit.com/r/gtd/comments/15pfz8o/comment/jypt023/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

  3. Aug 2023
    1. Write short sentences. They are understandable. They may not be pretty. You will thank yourself later, though. Don’t write long sentences which are packed with subordinate clauses and with a buttload of extra flashy and forceful adjectives, just because you think that you’d enjoy a more pleasing style. It won’t work.

      It is not easy to start, but it is the survival skill for better writing.

    1. This is a way to make check lists that are more useful. You only fill the box when your all the way done with the task, when you are about half way done you fill the box half way. I learnedabout this from Adam Savage in his book, "Every Tool is a Hammer". He learned about it when he worked at Industrial Light & Magic.Does it have an official name? (screen shots from his book)

      Adam Savage's book Every Tool is a Hammer shows a checklist which has square bullets which can be partially filled in to show the level of completion. He learned the method when working at Industrial Light & Magic.

      via u/AZORIAN_K129 at https://www.reddit.com/r/NoteTaking/comments/15zgbvr/does_this_technique_have_a_name/

    1. I'm not convinced that a Luhmann-style ZK is the right note-making method for school notes. Though, I'd be fine having my mind changed.

      reply to u/taurusnoises and u/Leander_znsnsj at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/162os2q/how_can_i_use_zettelkasten_as_a_high_school/

      I'm generally in the same boat as u/taurusnoises and don't think that a Luhmann-artig ZK is necessarily the right way to go—particularly at the lower levels.

      I would suggest that if interested students look closely at the overall set up, they'll find that the literature note portion is almost identical to that of the Cornell note-taking method. The primary differences between them are placing more emphasis on follow-up and review, forcing yourself to answer questions, and doing spaced repetition. (Of course, naturally, there's nothing wrong with doing all your Cornell Notes on index cards despite every version I've ever seen recommending sheets of paper!)

      If you do ultimately choose to go with the expanded zettelkasten workflow, I would recommend you spend more time focusing on your own thoughts on the facts and ideas as they relate to the the Cornell portion. Focus more on the area of your major (or particular interests if you're still unsure of your major) in which you're most likely to need to create writing or other particular outputs. One or two good main cards a day with a full class load is a solid start.

      Keep in mind that as you enter new areas, you will likely make lots of basic, factual, low level notes while you're learning. Don't worry about this (and don't ignore it either) as working with these ideas will help you to scaffold your knowledge and understand it better. You may not have lots of high quality main notes which will usually come as you get deeper into the nuances of your subject. You should still expect to find and generate insights though and these may be highly valuable as you need to execute projects or write papers.

      Good luck!

    1. Although Diller generated a lot of her own material, she elicited some gags from other writers. One of her top contributors was Mary MacBride, a Wisconsin housewife with five children. A joke obtained from another writer includes the contributor’s name on the index card with the gag.

      Not all of the jokes in Phyllis Diller's collection were written by her. Many include comic strips she collected as well as jokes written by others and sent in to her.

      One of the biggest contributors to her collection of jokes was Wisconsin housewife Mary MacBride, the mother of five children. Jokes contributed by others include their names on the individual cards.

    1. Writing on small cards forces certain habits which would be good even for larger paper, but which I didn’t consider until the small cards made them necessary. It forces ideas to be broken up into simple pieces, which helps to clarify them. Breaking up ideas forces you to link them together explicitly, rather than relying on the linear structure of a notebook to link together chains of thought.

      A statement of the common "one idea per card" (or per note). He doesn't state it, but links to an article whose title is "One Thought Per Note".

      Who else has use this or similar phrasing in the historical record? - Beatrice Webb certainly came pretty close. - Others?

    2. However, I strongly recommend trying out Zettelkasten on actual note-cards, even if you end up implementing it on a computer. There’s something good about the note-card version that I don’t fully understand.

      Another advising to use the analog method for learning even if one is going to switch to a digital zettelkasten.

      He uses the word "good" here while others may have potentially used the word "magic", but writing in a space that values critical thinking, he would have been taken to task for having done so. In any case he's not able to put his finger on the inherent value of analog over digital.

    1. Might we coin "zettelkastenly" as a function of (box) composed with (manually+cerebrally)?


      I would use the LaTeX \boxtimes symbol for this composition I think....

    1. I want to start studying zettelkasten, advise books, video, courses, articles, web pages, please!

      Zettelkasten advice:

      1. Have a goal in mind
      2. Really... have a goal. Write it down.
      3. Practice at it, a lot
      4. When stuck, read some of the bits below
      5. Practice, practice, practice.

      Here are a list of some of the strongest books which focus on the topic or cover things from various interesting perspectives: - Ahrens, Sönke. How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers. Create Space, 2017. - Allosso, Dan, and S. F. Allosso. How to Make Notes and Write. Minnesota State Pressbooks, 2022. https://minnstate.pressbooks.pub/write/. (Specifically the first half of the book.) - Barzun, Jacques, and Henry F. Graff. The Modern Researcher. New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1957. http://archive.org/details/modernreseracher0000unse. - Bernstein, Mark. Tinderbox: The Tinderbox Way. 3rd ed. Watertown, MA: Eastgate Systems, Inc., 2017. http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/TinderboxWay/index.html. - Eco, Umberto. How to Write a Thesis. Translated by Caterina Mongiat Farina and Geoff Farina. 1977. Reprint, Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press, 2015. https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/how-write-thesis. - Goutor, Jacques. The Card-File System of Note-Taking. Approaching Ontario’s Past 3. Toronto: Ontario Historical Society, 1980. http://archive.org/details/cardfilesystemof0000gout. - Mills, C. Wright. “On Intellectual Craftsmanship (1952).” Society 17, no. 2 (January 1, 1980): 63–70. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02700062. - Sertillanges, Antonin Gilbert, and Mary Ryan. The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods. First English Edition, Fifth printing. 1921. Reprint, Westminster, MD: The Newman Press, 1960. http://archive.org/details/a.d.sertillangestheintellectuallife. (Especially chapter seven). - Weinberg, Gerald M. Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method. New York, N.Y: Dorset House, 2005.

      Read one (or two) and then dive in and actually practice (and practice and practice some more) things for a while.

      For some of the smaller subtleties which aren't covered in books, try one of the two following collections for individual bits of advice and insight: - https://writing.bobdoto.computer/zettelkasten/ - https://zettelkasten.de/posts/ - https://boffosocko.com/research/zettelkasten-commonplace-books-and-note-taking-collection/

    1. Jillian HessAug 7AuthorI make my own journals too! I found it totally elevated my note-taking experience.

      Jillian Hess makes her own journals as a means of elevating her note-taking experience.

    1. Zettelkasten for Normies: What Normies Really Need to Know .t3_15sqiq2._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/SunghoYahng at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/15sqiq2/zettelkasten_for_normies_what_normies_really_need/

      u/SunghoYahng, some of your article sounds like a pared down digital version of a commonplace book which allows for links, so it fits into the older zettelkasten tradition, just not into the more Luhmann-artig version on which this subreddit is generally more focused. Perhaps yours is closer to a digital version of the analog commonplace using index cards that Billy Oppenheimer describes having learned from Ryan Holiday and Robert Greene?

      Often people focus too much on Luhmann's prodigious output and then immediately imply or say you should adopt his very specific system without describing what his system did or why it worked so well for him and his particular needs. Very few focus on what it is that they want to accomplish and how they might use his system or the thousands of variations on it throughout history to come to those goals as quickly and easily as they can.

      You commit a version of this sin in your opening lines:

      The content about Zettelkasten is mostly too long and practically useless. The purpose of this text is to write only what normies really need to know.

      Who are these so-called "normies" and what specifically are they trying to accomplish? You don't define either of them, and possibly worse do it in a negative framing. The system you're describing might be a great one, but for whom? What do you expect them to use it for? What will they get out of it?

      Many people talk about the "magic" of a zettelkasten and then wave their hands at some version of a workflow of what they think it is or what they think it should be. Perhaps what we all really need is a list of potential affordances that different methods allow and how one might leverage those affordances. How might they be mixed and matched? Then users can decide what outcomes they wish to have (writing, thinking, aggregation, bookmarking, collecting, creativity, artificial memory, serendipity, productivity, wiki, spaced repetition, learning, time wasting, etc., etc.) and which affordances are necessary within their workflow/system to effectuate those specific goals? Finally they can pick and choose a specific version of a methodology/workflow and either an analog substrate (index cards, notebooks, memory palace, etc.) or digital tool/application (Obsidian, Roam Research, The Archive, etc.) to save it all in. Of course once you've chosen that analog or digital tool, does it actually have the affordances you want or need in actual practice? Are they easy to use? Practical? Do they save you time? Are they simple or over-engineered? What happens when they scale to a year of regular use or even a lifetime?

      As a simple example, many writers would love a seriously good outliner functionality in their system to pull out the materials they want to work with and then appropriately order them for a potential final written output. In practice, index cards on a big table are fantastic for this process while most (all?) current digital tools are miserable at it. And of course once you've gotten the outline you like in an analog space you have to type it all out to print/publish in a final form, something which the digital affordance of cut and paste would make much simpler. Who wouldn't love a tool that could give you all of these affordances, presuming you needed them?

      While we're on outlining, very few talk about the ease-of-use that some professional outliners like Dave Winer's Drummer or Little Outliner have versus some of the more text-editing focused tools like Obsidian which are generally poor as outliners (if you could even call them that) in comparison.

      If you're interested in folgezettel and outlining, you might appreciate some subtleties in Bob's piece: https://writing.bobdoto.computer/folgezettel-is-not-an-outline-luhmanns-playful-appreciation-of-disfunction/

      cross reference https://hypothes.is/a/OhcWSjxyEe6V8DP9P6WNQQ

    1. Why is the index card half full?

      reply to u/ManuelRodriguez331 at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/15ehcy5/why_is_the_index_card_half_full/

      There has been debate about the length of notes on slips since the invention of slips and it shows no signs of coming to broad consensus other than everyone will have their personal opinion.

      If you feel that A6 is is too big then go down a step in size to A7. One of the benefits of the DIN A standard is that you can take the next larger card size and fold it exactly in half to have the next size smaller. This makes it easier to scale up the size of your cards if you prefer most of them to be smaller to save space, just take care not to allow larger folded cards to "taco" smaller cards in a way they're likely to get lost. If you really needed more space, you could easily use an A1 or A2 and fold it down to fit inside of your collection! (Sadly 4x6 and 3x5 cards don't have this affordance.)

      Fortunately there are a variety of available sizes, so you can choose what works best for yourself. Historically some chose large 5x8", 6x9", or even larger "slips". Some have also used different sizes for different functions. For example some use 3x5 for bibliographic cards and 4x6 for day-to-day ideas. I've seen stacked wooden card catalog furniture that had space for 3x5, 4x6, and 8.5x11 in separate drawers within the same cabinet. Some manufacturers even made their furniture modular to make this sort of mixed use even easier.

      One of the broadly used pieces of advice that does go back centuries is to use "cards of the same size" (within a particular use case). This consensus is arrived at to help users from losing smaller cards between larger/taller cards. Cards of varying sizes, even small ones, are also much more difficult to sort through. Slight of hand magicians will be aware of the fact that shaving small fractions of length off of playing cards is an easy way of not only marking them, but of executing a variety of clever shuffling illusions as well as finding some of them very quickly by feel behind the back. Analog zettelkasten users will only discover that smaller, shorter cards are nearly guaranteed to become lost among the taller cards. It's for this reason that I would never recommend one to mix 4x6, A6, or even the very closely cut Exacompta Bristol cards, which are neither 4x6 nor A6!

      I once took digital notes and printed them on paper and then cut them up to fit the size of the individual notes to save on space and paper. I can report that doing this was a painfully miserable experience and positively would NOT recommend doing this for smaller projects much less lifelong ones. Perhaps this could be the sort of chaos someone out there might actually manage to thrive within, but I suspect it would be a very rare individual.

      As for digital spacing, you may win out a bit here for "saving" paper space, but you're also still spending on storage costs in electronic formatting which historically doesn't have the longevity of physical formats. Digital also doesn't offer the ease of use of laying cards out on a desktop and very quickly reordering them for subsequent uses.

      There are always tradeoffs, one just need be aware of them to guide choices for either how they want to work or how they might work best.

      Personally, I use 4x6" cards because I often write longer paragraphs on them. Through experimentation I found that I would end up using two or more 3x5 cards more often than I would have had mostly blank 4x6 cards and used that to help drive my choice. I also find myself revisiting old cards and adding to them (short follow ups, links to other cards, or other metadata) and 3x5 wouldn't allow that as easily.

      As ever, YMMV...

      See also: [[note lengths]] and/or [[note size]].

    1. How do you refer from and to multiple sources? .t3_15eljnf._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/IvanCyb at https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/15eljnf/how_do_you_refer_from_and_to_multiple_sources/

      Usually if I find a quote somewhere, I'll try to track down the original source, check the context and excerpt it from the original. If it's something mission critical, I might note that it was excerpted and used in other sources and whether it was well excerpted for their case or not. Sometimes, quoting can also help to make a solid case about the influence a work had and notes on that can be a useful thing. If I make multiple notes about the same sort of idea, that's fine, though I typically try to file them all next to each other for easy consultation and comparison, if necessary. As an example, I have quotes from multiple sources about note taking indicating that one should only write on one side of a(n index) card. Some quote earlier sources, some state it without attribution, some say they've learned to do so over time and with experience. Some give reasons why and some don't. The only way to track these practices over time is to note them all together for comparing and contrasting. It wasn't until I'd seen the third mention that I realized the practice was an interesting/important one and worth tracking, so I had to go back and dig up the originals which I had written briefly on their bibliographic cards with page numbers, so it made things easier to create main cards out of them. Because they're all stored together, there's only one index entry for them (for the first one), under "note taking" with the subheading "write only on one side". Alternately I might have made a single note card about the idea of the practice and created a list with pointers of those who used it (or didn't) and links to the sources where I originally found them. Do what makes most sense for you for tracking based on your own situation and needs. You may also find that these things happen frequently when doing literature reviews and things are repeated often within a field. Sometimes it's helpful to figure out who said a thing first and whether or not others are repeating/quoting them or coming to the same conclusion on their own. Is it a solid conclusion? What is the evidence or lack thereof? The only way to know is to start keeping track of these patterns in your reading and notes. Where and how you choose to track it in your zettelkasten is up to you. Sometimes it may be in brief notes with the original source, sometimes in a "hub note", and still others broken out into primary cards collected together.

  4. Jul 2023
    1. Hello! I've recently encountered the Zettelkasten system and adore the emphasis on connecting ideas. However, I don't want to use the traditional index card way, seeing as I have a ring binder with 90 empty pages thus I don't want it to go to waste. I've researched a lot of methods using a notebook, where some organize their zettels by page number, while others write as usual and connect and index the ideas for every 30 pages or so. But considering that the loose-leaf paper can be in any order I chose, I think there can be a better workaround there. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

      reply to u/SnooPandas3432 at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/158tzk7/zettelkasten_on_a_ring_binder_with_looseleaf_paper/

      She didn't specify a particular dimension, but I recall that Beatrice Webb used larger sheets of paper than traditional index-card sized slips in her practice and likely filed them into something akin to hanging files in a filing cabinet.

      For students, I might suggest using the larger sheets/3-ring binder to make Cornell notes for coursework and then later distilling down one or two of the best ideas from a lecture or related readings into index card form for filing away over time. You could then have a repository of bigger formatted literature notes from books/lectures with more space and still have all the benefits of a more traditional card-based zettelkasten for creativity and writing. You could then have the benefit of questions for spaced repetition for quizzes/tests, while still keeping bigger ideas for writing papers or future research needs.

    1. Overloaded with notes .t3_15218d5._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } A few years ago I moved from Evernote to Obsidian. Evernote had this cool web clipper feature that helped me gather literary quotes, tweets, Wikipedia facts, interview bits, and any kinds of texts all around the web. And now I have a vault with 10k notes.I am trying to review a few every time I open Obsidian (add tags, link it, or delete) but it is still too much.Did someone have the same experience? How did you manage to fix everything and move to a bit more controllable system (zettelkasten or any other)?Cus I feel like I am standing in front of a text tsunami

      reply to u/posh-and-repressed at https://www.reddit.com/r/ObsidianMD/comments/15218d5/overloaded_with_notes/

      Overwhelm of notes always reminds me of this note taking story from 1908: https://boffosocko.com/2022/10/24/death-by-zettelkasten/ If you've not sorted them, tagged/categorized them or other, then search is really your only recourse. One of the benefits of Luhmann's particular structure is that it nudged him to read and review through older cards as he worked and filed new ones. Those with commonplace books would have occasionally picked up their notebooks and paged through them from time to time. Digital methods like Obsidian don't always do a good job of allowing or even forcing this review work on the user, so you may want to look at synthetic means like one of the random note plugins. Otherwise don't worry too much. Fix your tagging/categorizing/indexing now so that things slowly improve in the future. (I'm sitting on a pile of over 50K notes without the worry of overwhelm, primarily as I've managed to figure out how to rely on my index and search.)

    1. Converting Commonplace Books? .t3_14v2ohz._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/ihaveascone at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/14v2ohz/converting_commonplace_books/

      Don't convert unless you absolutely need to, it will be a lot of soul-crushing make work. Since some of your practice already looks like Ross Ashby's system, why not just continue what you've been doing all along and start a physical index card-based index for your commonplaces? (As opposed to a more classical Lockian index.) As you browse your commonplaces create index cards for topics you find and write down the associated book/page numbers. Over time you'll more quickly make your commonplace books more valuable while still continuing on as you always have without skipping much a beat or attempting to convert over your entire system. Alternately you could do a paper notebook with a digital index too. I came across https://www.indxd.ink, a digital, web-based index tool for your analog notebooks. Ostensibly allows one to digitally index their paper notebooks (page numbers optional). It emails you weekly text updates, so you've got a back up of your data if the site/service disappears. This could potentially be used by those who have analog commonplace/zettelkasten practices, but want the digital search and some back up of their system.

    1. Inserting a maincards with lack of memory .t3_14ot4na._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } Lihmann's system of inserting a maincard is fundamentally based on a person's ability to remember there are other maincards already inserted that would be related to the card you want to insert.What if you have very poor memory like many people do, what is your process of inserting maincards?In my Antinet I handled it in an enhanced method from what I did in my 27 yrs of research notebooks which is very different then Lihmann's method.

      reply to u/drogers8 at https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/14ot4na/inserting_a_maincards_with_lack_of_memory/

      I would submit that your first sentence is wildly false.

      What topic(s) cover your newly made cards? Look those up in your index and find where those potentially related cards are (whether you remember them or not). Go to that top level card listed in your index and see what's there or in the section of cards that come after it. Find the best card in that branch and file your new card(s) as appropriate. If necessary, cross-index them with sub-topics in your index to make them more findable in the future. If you don't find one or more of those topics in your index, then create a new branch and start an index entry for one or more of those terms. (You'll find yourself making lots of index entries to start, but it will eventually slow down—though it shouldn't stop—as your collection grows.)

      Ideally, with regular use, you'll likely remember more and more, especially for active areas you're really interested in. However, take comfort that the system is designed to let you forget everything! This forgetting will actually help create future surprise as well as serendipity that will actually be beneficial for potentially generating new ideas as you use (and review) your notes.

      And if you don't believe me, consider that Alberto Cevolini edited an entire book, broadly about these techniques—including an entire chapter on Luhmann—, which he aptly named Forgetting Machines!

  5. Jun 2023
    1. What I love and appreciate from Metivier, he will cite his sources. He makes it super easy to go back to his sources and mine those materials myself. He gives credit to other memory experts and is transparent throughout his books and course about where he is in his own process of growing and learning. In summary, we don't need originality, we need what works and in the scholarly world- syncretizing multiple sources and distilling them into a process IS original even if every building block is coming from another source. We're all standing on the shoulders of the giants before us.

      My note-taking method is informed by the commonplace book and zettelkasten: why reinvent a wheel that needs no reinventing (it is only, really, about translating things from one medium to another)

    2. I just can't get into these sort of high-ritual triage approaches to note-taking. I can admire it from afar, which I do, but find this sort of "consider this ahead of time before you make a move" approaches to really drag down my process.But, I do appreciate them from a sort of "aesthetics of academia" perspective.

      Reply to Bob Doto at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/14ikfsy/comment/jplo3j2/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3 with respect to PZ Compass Points.

      I'll agree wholeheartedly that applying methods like this to each note one takes is a "make work" exercise. It's apt to encourage people into the completist trap of turning every note they take into some sort of pristine so-called permanent or evergreen note, and there are already too many of those practitioners, who often give up in a few weeks wondering "where did I go wrong?".

      It's useful to know that these methods and tools exist, particularly for younger students, but I would never recommend that one apply them on a daily or even weekly basis. Maybe if one was having trouble with a particular idea or thought and wanted to more exhaustively explore the adjacent space around it, but even here going out for a walk in nature and allowing diffuse thinking to do some of the work is likely to be just as (maybe more?) productive.

      It could be the sort of thing to write down in your collection of Oblique Strategies to pull out when you're hitting a wall?

    1. I would advise you to read with a pen in your hand, and enter in a little book short hints of what you find that is curious or that may be useful; for this will be the best method of imprinting such particulars in your memory, where they will be ready either for practice on some future occasion if they are matters of utility, or at least to adorn and improve your conversation if they are rather points of curiosity.

      Benjamin Franklin letter to Miss Stevenson, Wanstead. Craven-street, May 16, 1760.

      Franklin doesn't use the word commonplace book here, but is actively recommending the creation and use of one. He's also encouraging the practice of annotation, though in commonplace form rather than within the book itself.

    1. Todd Henry in his book The Accidental Creative: How to be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice (Portfolio/Penguin, 2011) uses the acronym FRESH for the elements of "creative rhythm": Focus, Relationships, Energy, Stimuli, Hours. His advice about note taking comes in a small section of the chapter on Stimuli. He recommends using notebooks with indexes, including a Stimuli index. He says, "Whenever you come across stimuli that you think would make good candidates for your Stimulus Queue, record them in the index in the front of your notebook." And "Without regular review, the practice of note taking is fairly useless." And "Over time you will begin to see patterns in your thoughts and preferences, and will likely gain at least a few ideas each week that otherwise would have been overlooked." Since Todd describes essentially the same effect as @Will but without mentioning a ZK, this "magic" or "power" seems to be a general feature of reviewing ideas or stimuli for creative ideation, not specific to a ZK. (@Will acknowledged this when he said, "Using the ZK method is one way of formalizing the continued review of ideas", not the only way.)

      via Andy

      Andy indicates that this review functionality isn't specific to zettelkasten, but it still sits in the framework of note taking. Given this, are there really "other" ways available?

  6. May 2023
    1. @Will Thanks for always keeping up with your regular threads and considerations.

      I've been keeping examples of people talking about the "magic of note taking" for a bit. I appreciate your perspectives on it. Personally I consider large portions of it to be bound up with the ideas of what Luhmann termed as "second memory", the use of ZK to supplement our memories, and the serendipity of combinatorial creativity. I've traced portions of it back to the practices of Raymond Llull in which he bound up old mnemonic techniques with combinatorial creativity which goes back to at least Seneca.

      A web search for "combinatorial creativity" may be useful, but there's a good attempt at what it entails here: https://fs.blog/seneca-on-combinatorial-creativity/

    2. The magic comes from the repetition of adding your thoughts to the notes you take and reviewing notes regularly.

      Will Simpson feels that the magic of note taking stems from "the repetition of adding your thoughts to the notes you take and reviewing notes regularly".

      I think it sems more from the serendipitous connections and resultant combinatorial creativity.

    3. Links are where the magic happens.
    1. It is unfortunate that the German word for a box of notes is the same as the methodology surrounding Luhmann.

      reply to dandennison84 at https://forum.zettelkasten.de/discussion/comment/17921/#Comment_17921

      I've written a bit before on The Two Definitions of Zettelkasten, the latter of which has been emerging since roughly 2013 in English language contexts. Some of it is similar to or extends @dandennison84's framing along with some additional history.

      Because of the richness of prior annotation and note taking traditions, for those who might mean what we're jokingly calling ZK®, I typically refer to that practice specifically as a "Luhmann-esque zettelkasten", though it might be far more appropriate to name them a (Melvil) "Dewey Zettelkasten" because the underlying idea which makes Luhmann's specific zettelkasten unique is that he was numbering his ideas and filing them next to similar ideas. Luhmann was treating ideas on cards the way Dewey had treated and classified books about 76 years earlier. Luhmann fortunately didn't need to have a standardized set of numbers the way the Mundaneum had with the Universal Decimal Classification system, because his was personal/private and not shared.

      To be clear, I'm presently unaware that Dewey had or kept any specific sort of note taking system, card-based or otherwise. I would suspect, given his context, that if we were to dig into that history, we would find something closer to a Locke-inspired indexed commonplace book, though he may have switched later in life as his Library Bureau came to greater prominence and dominance.

      Some of the value of the Dewey-Luhmann note taking system stems from the same sorts of serendipity one discovers while flipping through ideas that one finds in searching for books on library shelves. You may find the specific book you were looking for, but you're also liable to find some interesting things to read on the shelves around that book or even on a shelf you pass on the way to find your book.

      Perhaps naming it and referring to it as the Dewey-Luhmann note taking system or the Dewey-Luhmann Zettelkasten may help to better ground and/or demystify the specific practices? Co-crediting them for the root idea and an early actual practice, respectively, provides a better framing and understanding, especially for native English speakers who don't have the linguistic context for understanding Zettelkästen on its own. Such a moniker would help to better delineate the expected practices and shape of a note taking practice which could be differentiated from other very similar ones which provide somewhat different affordances.

      Of course, as the history of naming scientific principles and mathematical theorems after people shows us, as soon as such a surname label might catch on, we'll assuredly discover someone earlier in the timeline who had mastered these principles long before (eg: the "Gessner Zettelkasten" anyone?) Caveat emptor.

    1. I get by when I work by accumulating notes—a bit about everything, ideas cap-tured on the fly, summaries of what I have read, references, quotations . . . Andwhen I want to start a project, I pull a packet of notes out of their pigeonhole anddeal them out like a deck of cards. This kind of operation, where chance plays arole, helps me revive my failing memory.16

      via: Didier Eribon, Conversations with Claude Lévi-Strauss (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), vii–viii; Claude Lévi-Strauss, Structural Anthropology (New York: Basic Books, 1963), 129f.

    2. system was described by Charles Darwin:I keep from thirty to forty large portfolios, in cabinets with labeled shelves, intowhich I can at once put a detached reference or memorandum. I have bought manybooks and at their ends I make an index of all the facts that concern my work.Before beginning on any subject I look to all the short indexes and make a generaland classified index, and by taking the one or more proper portfolios I have all theinformation collected during my life ready for use.13

      via Nora Barlow ed., The Autobiography of Charles Darwin 1809–1882 vol. 1 (London: Collins, 1958), 137.

    1. Physical vs Digital Note Systems

      There's a lot of useful detail hiding in this 15 minutes as an overview, but nothing new/interesting for me.

      I will say that he completely misses a lot of the subtleties of indexing and multiple storage within the analog space, but it's likely because he's not done it personally or doesn't have enough experience there.

    1. Evergreen notes should be atomicEvergreen notes should be concept-orientedEvergreen notes should be densely linkedPrefer associative ontologies to hierarchical taxonomiesWrite notes for yourself by default, disregarding audience

      Deben ser de una forma en la que pueda tomar el concepto de lo que quería anotar solo con leer la nota, (como si fuera un guía definitiva en YT) tienen que estar enlazadas con otros conceptos (como el ejemplo de guía definitiva de YT) para tomar una idea más completa y amplia sobre la nota tienen que estar categorizadas por el concepto que estoy tratando, no sobre autor, libro, fecha. Tiene que sobre concepto general, evitamos tener millones de notas de diferentes categorías y las metemos todas en una categoría madre (sleep en vez de andrew huberman, o youtube) tengo que hacer notas para mi sin pensar que las voy a compartir, (que también puedo hacer) Y que puedan crecer, verlas como una red muy compleja como celulas o neuraonas en un cerebro que se concetan entre si hacer este tipo de notas con cada cosa interesante que encuentre y me gustaría guardar

    1. During his imprisonment, Gramsci wrote more than 30 notebooks and 3,000 pages of history and analysis. His Prison Notebooks are considered a highly original contribution to 20th-century political theory.

      Antonio Gramsci, an Italian Marxist philosopher, journalist, writer, politician, and linguist, was imprisoned from 1926 until his death in 1937 as a vocal critic of Benito Mussolini. While in prison he wrote more than 3,000 pages in more than 30 notebooks. His Prison Notebooks comprise a fascinating contribution to political theory.

    1. people are great at the collecting and categorizing pieces, but we're less good at going back in and connecting or expressing and this is where the value increases exponentially

    1. Requesting advice for where to put a related idea to a note I'm currently writing .t3_13gcbj1._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } Hi! I am new to building a physical ZK. Would appreciate some help.Pictures here: https://imgur.com/a/WvyNVXfI have a section in my ZK about the concept of "knowledge transmission" (4170/7). The below notes are within that section.I am currently writing a note about how you have to earn your understanding... when receiving knowledge / learning from others. (Picture #1)Whilst writing this note, I had an idea that I'm not quite sure belongs on that note itself - and I'm not sure where it belongs. About how you also have to "earn" the sharing of knowledge. (Picture #2)Here are what I think my options are for writing about the idea "you have to earn your sharing of knowledge":Write this idea on my current card. 4170/7/1Write this idea on a new note - as a variant idea of my current note. 4170/7/1aWrite this idea on a new note - as a continuation of my current note. 4170/7/1/1Write this idea on a new note - as a new idea within my "knowledge transmission" branch. 4170/7/2What would you do here?

      reply to u/throwthis_throwthat at https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/13gcbj1/requesting_advice_for_where_to_put_a_related_idea/

      I don't accept the premise of your question. This doesn't get said often enough to people new to zettelkasten practice: Trust your gut! What does it say? You'll learn through practice that there are no "right" answers to these. Put a number on it, file it, and move on. Practice, practice, practice. You'll be doing this in your sleep soon enough. As long as it's close enough, you'll find it. Save your mental cycles for deeper thoughts than this.

      Asking others for their advice is fine, but it's akin to asking a well-practiced mnemonist what visual image they would use to remember something. Everyone is different and has different experiences and different things that make their memories sticky for them. What works incredibly well for how someone else thinks and the level of importance they give an idea is never as useful or as "true" as how you think about it. Going with your gut is going to help you remember it better and is far likelier to make it easier to find in the future.

    1. 4. Cite Card Icon : Hat (something above you)Tag : 5th block Quotation, cooking recipe from book, web, tv, anything about someone else’s idea is classified into this class. Important here is distinguishing “your idea (Discovery Card)” and “someone else’s idea (Cite Card)”. Source of the information must be included in the Cite Card. A book, for example, author, year, page(s) are recorded for later use.

      Despite being used primarily as a productivity tool the PoIC system also included some features of personal knowledge management with "discovery cards" and "citation cards". Discovery cards were things which contained one's own ideas while the citation cards were the ideas of others and included bibliographic information. Citation cards were tagged on the 5th block as an indicator within the system.

      Question: How was the information material managed? Was it separate from the date-based system? On first blush it would appear not, nor was there a subject index which would have made it more difficult for one to find data within the system.

    1. Jared Henderson writes excerpted ideas in block capital letters and his own observations and thoughts in small print as a means of distinguishing his own ideas from others.

      Others might do this using other means: fonts, color, writing instrument, etc.

    1. Enter the venerable composition notebook. For $1.507, I get 180 pages at that composition book size (larger than A5) with a reasonably durable hard cover. The paper is quite acceptable for writing and I really don’t care if I make a huge mess within because it’s relatively inexpensive8.

      At Mark Dykeman's rate, to convert to cheap composition books, he's looking at $26/year for the equivalent paper consumption. On a per day basis, it's $0.071 per day in paper.

      This can be compared with my per day cost of $0.421 per day for index cards, which is more expensive, though not $1-2 per day for more expensive notebooks.

    2. I take a lot of notes during my day job. More like a huge amount of notes. On paper. As an experiment I started using several Dingbats* notebooks during the day job to see how they would work4 for me. After about 9 weeks of trials, I learned that I could fill up a 180 page notebook in about 3 weeks, plus or minus a few days. Unfortunately, when you factor in the cost of these notebooks, that’s like spending $1 - $2 per day on notebooks. Dingbats* are lovely, durable notebooks. But my work notes are not going to be enshrined in a museum for the ages5 and until I finally get that sponsorship from Dingbats* or Leuchtuurm19176, I probably need a different solution.

      Mark Dykeman indicates that at regular work, he fills up a 180 page notebook and at the relatively steep cost of notebooks, he's paying $1-2 a day for paper.

      This naturally brings up the idea of what it might cost per day in index cards for some zettlers' practices. I've already got some notes on price of storage...

      As a rough calculation, despite most of my note taking being done digitally, I'm going through a pack of 500 Oxford cards at $12.87 every 5 months at my current pace. This is $0.02574 per card and 5 months is roughly 150 days. My current card cost per day is: $0.02574/card * 500 cards / (150 days) = $12.78/150 days = $0.0858 per day which is far better than $2/day.

      Though if I had an all-physical card habit, I would be using quite a bit more.

      On July 3, 2022 I was at 10,099 annotations and today May 11, 2023 I'm at 15,259 annotations. At one annotation per card that's 5,160 cards in the span of 312 days giving me a cost of $0.02574/card * 5,160 cards / 312 days = $0.421 per day or an average of $153.75 per year averaging 6,036 cards per year.

      (Note that this doesn't also include the average of three physical cards a day I'm using in addition, so the total would be slightly higher.)

      Index cards are thus, quite a bit cheaper a habit than fine stationery notebooks.

    1. ’ve been studying notebooks for over a decade and I still haven’t landed on a perfect organization method. I have, however, found the perfect pen: uni-ball signo, .38mm. I discovered them while teaching in Korea in 2008 and haven’t looked back.

      It can't be a good sign that an academic who has spent over a decade studying notebooks and note taking still hasn't found the "perfect" organization method.

    1. 4/20/52[Keime.] Murder by mental nagging. Woman nags her husband to suicide, which he does so it looks like he has been murdered. Poison, which he puts in her desk drawer, her fingerprints on it.

      Jillian Hess noted that Patricia Highsmith uses the German word Keime, meaning "germ of an idea" in her cahiers to indicate ideas which might be used in her novels or short stories.

    2. I highly recommend notebooks for writers, a small one if one has to be out on a job all day, a larger one if one has the luxury of staying at home.

      from Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction

    1. Write down all these slender ideas. It is surprising how often one sentence, jotted in a notebook, leads immediately to a second sentence. A plot can develop as you write notes. Close the notebook and think about it for a few days — and then presto! you’re ready to write a short story. — Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks

      quote is from Highsmith's Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction

      I love the concept of "slender ideas" as small, fleeting notes which might accumulate into something if written down. In saying "Close the notebook and think about it for a few days" Patricia Highsmith seems to be suggesting that one engage in diffuse thinking, passive digesting, or mulling rather than active or proactive thinking.

      She also invokes the magic word "presto!" (which she exclaims) as if to indicate that magically the difficult work of writing is somehow no longer difficult. Many writers seem to indicate that this is a phenomenon, but never seem to put their finger on the mechanism of why it happens. Some seems to stem from the passive digestion over days with diffuse thinking, with portions may also stem from not starting from a blank page and having some material to work against instead of a vacuum.

      From Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941-1995 (Swiss Literary Archives)

    1. What's with the bees? by [[Jillian Hess]]

      A tipping out of Hess' zettelkasten on the theme of bees (apes) in note taking.

    2. As they flit like so many little bees between Greek and Latin authors of every species, here noting down something to imitate, here culling some notable saying to put into practice in their behavior, there getting by heart some witty anecdote to relate among their friends, you would swear you were watching the Muses at graceful play in the lovely pastures of Mount Helicon, gathering flowers and marjoram to make well-woven garlands. —The Adages of Erasmus
    3. The bee plunders the flowers here and there, but afterwards they make of them honey, which is all theirs; it is no longer thyme or marjoram. Even so with the pieces borrowed from others; he will transform and blend them to make a work that is all his own, to wit, his judgment — The Complete Essays of Michel de Montaigne

      Cross reference with Seneca's note taking metaphors with apes.

    4. Besides the metaphor of the honeybee, Seneca also compares this method to a stomach digesting food as well as a choir that produces one sound from many harmonized voices.

      In addition to the honeybee metaphor, Seneca compared note taking and collecting sententiae to a stomach digesting food and a choir producing a harmonized sound out of many voices.

      (Sources from these last two? Potentially Epistle LXXXIV?)

    1. It’s great that there’s interest in this stuff. Your articles are inspiring, as is Jillian Hess’s NotesSubstack, team Greene/Holiday/Oppenheimer, and the German scholars who focus on the technology of writing, such as Hektor Haarkötter. But I don’t see this as nostalgia. For me it’s history in service of the present and the future.

      reply to u/atomicnotes at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/13cqnsk/comment/jjkwc05/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      Definitely history in service of the present and the future. Too many people are doing some terribly hard work attempting to reinvent wheels which have been around for centuries.

    1. Note taking should serve a specific purpose; it should be a means to some end.

    2. Note taking can also be done to create a database (a la Beatrice Webb's scientific note taking).

    3. Writing permanent notes was time consuming as f***.

      The framing of "permanent notes" or "evergreen notes" has probably hurt a large portion of the personal knowledge management space. Too many people are approaching these as some sort of gold standard without understanding their goal or purpose. Why are you writing such permanent/evergreen notes? Unless you have an active goal to reuse a particular note for a specific purpose, you're probably wasting your time. The work you put into the permanent note is to solidify an idea which you firmly intend to reuse again in one or more contexts. The whole point of "evergreen" as an idea is that it can actively be reused multiple times in multiple places. If you've spent time refining it to the nth degree and writing it well, then you had better be doing so to reuse it.

      Of course many writers will end up (or should end up) properly contextualizing individual ideas and example directly into their finished writing. As a result, one's notes can certainly be rough and ready and don't need to be highly polished because the raw idea will be encapsulated somewhere else and then refined and rewritten directly into that context.

      Certainly there's some benefit for refining and shaping ideas down to individual atomic cores so that they might be used and reused in combination with other ideas, but I get the impression that some think that their notes need to be highly polished gems. Even worse, they feel that every note should be this way. This is a dreadful perspective.

      For context I may make 40 - 60 highlights and annotations on an average day of reading. Of these, I'll review most and refine or combine a few into better rougher shape. Of this group maybe 3 - 6 will be interesting enough to turn into permanent/evergreen notes of some sort that might be reused. And even at this probably only one is interesting enough to be placed permanently into my zettelkasten. This one will likely be an aggregation of many smaller ideas combined with other pre-existing ideas in my collection; my goal is to have the most interesting and unique of my own ideas in my permanent collection. The other 2 or 3 may still be useful later when I get to the creation/writing stage when I'll primarily focus on my own ideas, but I'll use those other rougher notes and the writing in them to help frame and recontextualize the bigger ideas so that the reader will be in a better place to understand my idea, where it comes from, and why it might be something they should find interesting.

      Thus some of my notes made while learning can be reused in my own ultimate work to help others learn and understand my more permanent/evergreen notes.

      If you think that every note you're making should be highly polished, refined, and heavily linked, then you're definitely doing this wrong. Hopefully a few days of attempting this will disabuse you of the notion and you'll slow down to figure out what's really worth keeping and maintaining. You can always refer back to rough notes if you need to later, but polishing turds is often thankless work. Sadly too many misread or misunderstand articles and books on the general theory of note taking and overshoot the mark thinking that the theory needs to be applied to every note. It does not.

      If you find that you're tiring of making notes and not getting anything out of the process, it's almost an assured sign that you're doing something wrong. Are you collecting thousands of ideas (bookmarking behavior) and not doing anything with them? Are you refining and linking low level ideas of easy understanding and little value? Take a step back and focus on the important and the new. What are you trying to do? What are you trying to create?

    4. The few notes I did refer back to frequently where checklists, self-written instructions to complete regular tasks, lists (reading lists, watchlists, etc.) or recipes. Funnily enough the ROI on these notes was a lot higher than all the permanent/evergreen/zettel notes I had written.

      Notes can be used for different purposes.

      • productivity
      • Knowledge
        • basic sense-making
        • knowledge construction and dispersion

      The broad distinction is between productivity goals and knowledge. (Is there a broad range I'm missing here within the traditions?) You can take notes about projects that need to be taken care of, lists of things to do, reminders of what needs to be done. These all fall within productivity and doing and checking them off a list will help one get to a different place or location and this can be an excellent thing, particularly when the project was consciously decided upon and is a worthy goal.

      Notes for knowledge sake can be far more elusive for people. The value here generally comes with far more planning and foresight towards a particular goal. Are you writing a newsletter, article, book, or making a video or performance of some sort (play, movie, music, etc.)? Collecting small pieces of these things on a pathway is then important as you build your ideas and a structure toward some finished product.

      Often times, before getting to this construction phase, one needs to take notes to be able to scaffold their understanding of a particular topic. Once basically understood some of these notes may be useless and not need to be reviewed, or if they are reviewed, it is for the purpose of ensconcing ideas into long term memory. Once this is finished, then the notes may be broadly useless. (This is why it's simple to "hide them with one's references/literature notes.) Other notes are more seminal towards scaffolding ideas towards larger projects for summarization and dissemination to other audiences. If you're researching a topic, a fair number of your notes will be used to help you understand the basics while others will help you to compare/contrast and analyze. Notes you make built on these will help you shape new structures and new, original thoughts. (note taking for paradigm shifts). These then can be used (re-used) when you write your article, book, or other creative project.

    5. I used Apple Notes, Evernote, Roam, Obsidian, Bear, Notion, Anki, RemNote, the Archive and a few others. I was pondering about different note types, fleeting, permanent, different organisational systems, hierarchical, non-hierarchical, you know the deal. I often felt lost about what to takes notes on and what not to take notes on.

      Example of someone falling prey to shiny object syndrome, switching tools incessantly, then focusing on too many of the wrong things/minutiae and getting lost in the shuffle.

      Don't get caught up into this. Understand the basics of types of notes, but don't focus on them. Let them just be. Does what you've written remind you of the end goal?

    1. I'm not actually setting a productivity goal, I'm just tracking metadata because it's related to my research. Of which the ZettelKasten is one subject.That being said, in your other post you point to "Quality over Quantity" what, in your opinion, is a quality note?Size? Number of Links? Subjective "goodness"?

      reply to u/jordynfly at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/13b0b5c/comment/jjcu3cn/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      I'm curious what your area of research is? What are you studying with respect to Zettelkasten?

      Caveat notetarius. Note collections are highly idiosyncratic to the user or intended audience, thus quality will vary dramatically on the creator's needs and future desires and potential uses. Contemporaneous, very simple notes can be valuable for their initial sensemaking and quite often in actual practice stop there.

      Ultimately, only the user can determine perceived quality and long term value for themselves. Future generations of historians, anthropologists, scholars, and readers, might also find value in notes and note collections, but it seems rare that the initial creators have written them with future readers and audiences in mind. Often they're less useful as the external reader is missing large swaths of context.

      For my own personal notes, I consider high quality notes to be well-sourced, highly reusable, easily findable, and reasonably tagged/linked. My favorite, highest quality notes are those that are new ideas which stem from the combination of two high quality notes. With respect to subjectivity, some of my philosophy is summarized by one of my favorite meta-zettels (alt text also available) from zettelmeister Umberto Eco.

      Anecdotally, 95% of my notes are done digitally and in public, but I've only got scant personal evidence that anyone is reading or interacting with them. I never write them with any perceived public consumption in mind (beyond the readers of the finished pieces that ultimately make use of them), but it is often very useful to get comments and reactions to them. I'm only aware of a small handful of people publishing their otherwise personal note collections (usually subsets) to the web (outside of social media presences which generally have a different function and intent).

      Intellectual historians have looked at and documented external use cases of shared note collections, commonplace books, annotated volumes, and even diaries. There are even examples of published (usually posthumously) commonplace books, waste books, etc., but these are often for influential public and intellectual figures. Here Ludwig Wittgenstein's Zettel, Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project, Vladimir Nabokov's The Original of Laura, Roland Barthes' Mourning Diary, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg's Waste Books, Ralph Waldo Emmerson, Ronald Reagan's card index commonplace, Stobaeus' Anthology, W. H. Auden's A Certain World, and Robert Southey’s Common-Place Book come quickly to mind not to mention digitized scholarly collections of Niklas Luhmann, W. Ross Ashby, S.D. Goitein, Jonathan Edwards' Miscellanies, and Aby Warburg's notes. Some of these latter will give you an idea of what they may have thought quality notes to have been for them, but often they mean little if nothing to the unstudied reader because they lack broader context or indication of linkages.

    2. Why are folks so obsessed with notes per day? Perhaps a proxy for toxic capitalism and productivity issues? Is the number of notes the best measure or the things they allow one to do after having made them? What is the best measure? Especially when there are those who use them for other purposes like lecturing, general growth, knowledge acquisition, or even happiness?

    1. https://www.napkin.one/

      Yet another collection app that belies the work of taking, making, and connecting notes.

      Looks pretty and makes a promise, but how does it actually deliver? How much work and curation is involved? What are the outputs at the other end?

  7. Apr 2023
    1. Zhao briefly describes Cal Newport's Questions, Evidence, Conclusions (QEC) framework which she uses as a framework for quickly annotating books and then making notes from those annotations later.

      How does QEC differ from strategies in Adler/Van Doren?

    1. Roy Peter Clark, writing scholar and coach at The Poynter Institute, says, “Reports give readers information. Stories give readers experience.” I would add: An article is generic; a story is unique.

      There's something interesting lurking here on note taking practice as well.

      Generic notes for learning may rephrase or summarize an idea int one's own words and are equivalent to basic information or articles as framed by Clark/Keiger. But in building towards something, that goes beyond the basic, one should strive in their notes to elicit experience and generate insight; take the facts and analyze them, create something new, interesting, and unique.

    1. Mobility of the Antinet

      reply to u/523tailor at https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/12xpq6s/mobility_of_the_antinet/

      Many parts of the process are small bits that loan themselves to filling 5 minutes here or 10 minutes there, so mobility is a good thing, especially if you have a schedule that moves you around. I use a few of the following to help on the mobility front:

    1. How I annotate books as a PhD student (simple and efficient)

      She's definitely not morally against writing in her books, but there are so many highlights and underlining that it's almost useless.

      She read the book four times because she didn't take good enough notes on it the first three times.

      Bruno Latour's Down to Earth

      Tools: - sticky tags (reusable) - purple for things that draw attention - yellow/green referencing sources, often in bibliography - pink/orange - extremely important - highlighter - Post It notes with longer thoughts she's likely to forget, but also for writing summaries in her own words

      Interesting to see another Bruno Latour reference hiding in a note taking context. See https://hypothes.is/a/EbNKbLIaEe27q0dhRVXUGQ


    1. thanks for the comprehensive overview; i'm going back to grad school after working for a couple years, any guides in particular you would recommend for getting up to speed and setting up a good workflow to keep track of articles and other references + store files and notes?

      reply to u/whysofancy at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/12u8gbv/comment/jh61vqw/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      My general advice is to keep things as stupidly simple as possible and use as few tools/platforms as you can get away with.

      If you haven't come across them, I highly recommend these two books:

      • Eco, Umberto. How to Write a Thesis. Translated by Caterina Mongiat Farina and Geoff Farina. 1977. Reprint, Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press, 2015. https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/how-write-thesis.
      • Adler, Mortimer J., and Charles Van Doren. How to Read a Book: The Classical Guide to Intelligent Reading. Revised and Updated ed. edition. 1940. Reprint, Touchstone, 2011.

      You might also appreciate the short article by Mills:

      Mills, C. Wright. “On Intellectual Craftsmanship (1952).” Society 17, no. 2 (January 1, 1980): 63–70. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02700062.

      Chances are pretty good your college/university's library does regular tutorials for tools like Zotero, particularly at the beginning of the term. Raul Pacheco has some good notes/ideas which may be helpful for things like literature reviews: http://www.raulpacheco.org/resources/. For Hypothes.is, try starting with this tutorial by their head of education: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09z5hyBMs8s. If you're using Obsidian with Zotero, I'd recommend this walk through https://forum.obsidian.md/t/zotero-zotfile-mdnotes-obsidian-dataview-workflow/15536 and this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbGJH08ZfCs. If you have other tools in mind that you'd like to use, let the community know and perhaps we can make some suggestions about tutorials, but really, just jump in and try something out. Search YouTube and see what you find.

      At the end of the day, start using a tool or two and simply practice with them. Practice, practice, and practice some more as that's what you'll be doing regularly in grad school. Read, write notes, organize them, write short articles or papers as practice. You'll eventually build up enough for a much longer thesis.

    1. does my zettelkasten make writing... harder?

      Worried about self-plagiarizing in the future? Others like Hans Blumenberg have struck through used cards with red pencil. This could also be done with metadata or other searchable means in the digital realm as well. (See: https://hypothes.is/a/mT8Twk2cEe2bvj8lq2Lgpw)

      General problems she faces: 1. Notetaking vs. writing voice (shifting between one and another and not just copy/pasting) 2. discovery during writing (put new ideas into ZK as you go or just keep writing on the page when the muse strikes) 3. Linearity of output: books are linear and ZK is not

      Using transclusion may help in the initial draft/zero draft?<br /> ie: ![[example]] (This was mentioned in the comments as well.)

      directional vs. indirectional notes - see Sascha Fast's article

      Borrowing from the telecom/cable industry, one might call this the zettelkasten "last mile problem". I've also referred to it in the past as the zettelkasten output problem. (See also the description and comments at https://boffosocko.com/2022/07/12/call-for-model-examples-of-zettelkasten-output-processes/ as well as some of the examples linked at https://boffosocko.com/research/zettelkasten-commonplace-books-and-note-taking-collection/)

      Many journal articles that review books (written in English) in the last half of the 20th century which include the word zettelkasten have a negative connotation with respect to ZK and frequently mention the problem that researchers/book writers have of "tipping out their ZKs" without the outlining and argument building/editing work to make their texts more comprehensible or understandable.

      Ward Cunningham has spoken in the past about the idea of a Markov Monkey who can traverse one's atomic notes in a variety of paths (like a Choose Your Own Adventure, but the monkey knows all the potential paths). The thesis in some sense is the author choosing a potential "best" path (a form of "travelling salesperson problem), for a specific audience, who presumably may have some context of the general area.

      Many mention Sonke Ahrens' book, but fail to notice Umberto Eco's How to Write a Thesis (MIT, 2015) and Gerald Weinberg's "The Fieldstone Method (Dorset House, 2005) which touch a bit on these composition problems.

      I'm not exactly sure of the particulars and perhaps there isn't enough historical data to prove one direction or another, but Wittgenstein left behind a zettelkasten which his intellectual heirs published as a book. In it they posit (in the introduction) that rather than it being a notetaking store which he used to compose longer works, that the seeming similarities between the ideas in his zettelkasten and some of his typescripts were the result of him taking his typescripts and cutting them up to put into his zettelkasten. It may be difficult to know which direction was which, but my working hypothesis is that the only way it could have been ideas from typescripts into his zettelkasten would have been if he was a "pantser", to use your terminology, and he was chopping up ideas from his discovery writing to place into contexts within his zettelkasten for later use. Perhaps access to the original physical materials may be helpful in determining which way he was moving. Cross reference: https://hypothes.is/a/BptoKsRPEe2zuW8MRUY1hw

      Some helpful examples: - academia : Victor Margolin - fiction/screenwriting: - Dustin Lance Black - Vladimir Nabokov - others...

    1. Of all skill, part is infused by precept, and part is obtained by habit.SAMUEL JOHNSON
    2. one must also submit to the discipline provided by imitationand practice.

      Too many zettelkasten aspirants only want the presupposed "rules" for keeping one or are interested in imitating one or another examples. Few have interest in the actual day to day practice and these are often the most adept. Of course the downside of learning some of the pieces online leaves the learner with some (often broken) subset of rules and one or two examples (often only theoretical) and then wonder why their actual practice is left so wanting.

      link to https://hypothes.is/a/ZeZEgNm8Ee2woUds5QzgOw

    1. any easy strategies to improve my notetaking?

      reply to u/all_flowers_in_time_ at https://www.reddit.com/r/NoteTaking/comments/12g3idj/any_easy_strategies_to_improve_my_notetaking/

      In many ways I was just like you in school...

      Some of it depends on what your notes are for. Are you using them to write things in your own words to increase understanding and tie them into other ideas? Are you using them as reminders? Are you using them to build material for later (papers, articles, write a book, other?) For memorization?

      Your notes look like they've got a Cornell Notes appearance, so perhaps more formally structuring your pages that way will help? Creating sample test questions afterward for practice and recall can be highly useful and force you to create answers which is dramatically more productive than simply reviewing over notes which usually creates a false sense of familiarity.

      If you're using them for memorization, then perhaps convert the notes after lecture into flash cards (physical cards, Anki, Mnemosyne, etc.) that you can use for spaced repetition.

      If you're using them to later create other content, then perhaps a commonplace book or zettelkasten structure may be helpful for cross indexing ideas. If you're not familiar with these, try out the following book which covers all of these use cases and mores:

      Ahrens, Sönke. How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers. Create Space, 2017.

      I wish I had been able to do so when I was a student.

    1. Benefits of sharing permanent notes .t3_12gadut._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/bestlunchtoday at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/12gadut/benefits_of_sharing_permanent_notes/

      I love the diversity of ideas here! So many different ways to do it all and perspectives on the pros/cons. It's all incredibly idiosyncratic, just like our notes.

      I probably default to a far extreme of sharing the vast majority of my notes openly to the public (at least the ones taken digitally which account for probably 95%). You can find them here: https://hypothes.is/users/chrisaldrich.

      Not many people notice or care, but I do know that a small handful follow and occasionally reply to them or email me questions. One or two people actually subscribe to them via RSS, and at least one has said that they know more about me, what I'm reading, what I'm interested in, and who I am by reading these over time. (I also personally follow a handful of people and tags there myself.) Some have remarked at how they appreciate watching my notes over time and then seeing the longer writing pieces they were integrated into. Some novice note takers have mentioned how much they appreciate being able to watch such a process of note taking turned into composition as examples which they might follow. Some just like a particular niche topic and follow it as a tag (so if you were interested in zettelkasten perhaps?) Why should I hide my conversation with the authors I read, or with my own zettelkasten unless it really needed to be private? Couldn't/shouldn't it all be part of "The Great Conversation"? The tougher part may be having means of appropriately focusing on and sharing this conversation without some of the ills and attention economy practices which plague the social space presently.

      There are a few notes here on this post that talk about social media and how this plays a role in making them public or not. I suppose that if I were putting it all on a popular platform like Twitter or Instagram then the use of the notes would be or could be considered more performative. Since mine are on what I would call a very quiet pseudo-social network, but one specifically intended for note taking, they tend to be far less performative in nature and the majority of the focus is solely on what I want to make and use them for. I have the opportunity and ability to make some private and occasionally do so. Perhaps if the traffic and notice of them became more prominent I would change my habits, but generally it has been a net positive to have put my sensemaking out into the public, though I will admit that I have a lot of privilege to be able to do so.

      Of course for those who just want my longer form stuff, there's a website/blog for that, though personally I think all the fun ideas at the bleeding edge are in my notes.

      Since some (u/deafpolygon, u/Magnifico99, and u/thiefspy; cc: u/FastSascha, u/A_Dull_Significance) have mentioned social media, Instagram, and journalists, I'll share a relevant old note with an example, which is also simultaneously an example of the benefit of having public notes to be able to point at, which u/PantsMcFail2 also does here with one of Andy Matuschak's public notes:

      [Prominent] Journalist John Dickerson indicates that he uses Instagram as a commonplace: https://www.instagram.com/jfdlibrary/ here he keeps a collection of photo "cards" with quotes from famous people rather than photos. He also keeps collections there of photos of notes from scraps of paper as well as photos of annotations he makes in books.

      It's reasonably well known that Ronald Reagan shared some of his personal notes and collected quotations with his speechwriting staff while he was President. I would say that this and other similar examples of collaborative zettelkasten or collaborative note taking and their uses would blunt u/deafpolygon's argument that shared notes (online or otherwise) are either just (or only) a wiki. The forms are somewhat similar, but not all exactly the same. I suspect others could add to these examples.

      And of course if you've been following along with all of my links, you'll have found yourself reading not only these words here, but also reading some of a directed conversation with entry points into my own personal zettelkasten, which you can also query as you like. I hope it has helped to increase the depth and level of the conversation, should you choose to enter into it. It's an open enough one that folks can pick and choose their own path through it as their interests dictate.

    1. To buy or not to buy a course? And, if the latter, which one? .t3_12fowjy._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } questionSo, I've been considering buying an online course for Zettelkasten (in Obsidian). Thing is... There are a bunch of them. Two (maybe three) questions:Is it worth it? Has anyone gone down that path and care to share their experience?Any recommendations? I've seen a bunch of options and really don't have any hints on how to evaluate them.

      reply to u/Accomplished-Tip-597 at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/12fowjy/to_buy_or_not_to_buy_a_course_and_if_the_latter/

      Which "industry", though? Productivity? Personal Knowledge Management? Neither of these are focused on the idea of a Luhmann-esque specific zettelkastenare they?

      For the original poster, what is your goal in taking a course? What do you want to get out of it? What are you going to use such a system for? The advice you're looking for will hinge on these.

      Everyone's use is going to be reasonably idiosyncratic, so not knowing anything else, my general recommendation (to minimize time, effort, and expense) would be to read one of the following (for free), practice at some of it for a few weeks before you do anything else. Then if you need it, talk u/taurusnoises into a few consultations based on what you'd like to accomplish. He's one of the few who does this who's got experience in the widest variety of traditions in addition to expertise in the platform you want (though I'd still recommend him if you were using something else.)

    1. after decades of using the Zettelkasten it might become impossible to access it from your place at the desk. To mitigate this issue, it is recommended to use normal (thin) paper instead of (thick) index cards.

      After having used his zettelkasten for 26 years, Luhmann mentions that he chose normal paper as his substrate for note taking over thicker index cards to save on storage space and particularly to make it possible to keep more material closer to his desk rather than need to store it at larger distances within his office. This allows more slips per drawer and also tends to have an effect on productivity with respect to daily use and searching.

      One might need to balance this out with frequency of use and slip wear, as some slips in his box show heavy use and wear, especially at the top.

    2. If you have to write anyway, it is pragmatic to exploit this activity by creating a system of notes that can act as a competent communication partner.
    1. There is no real difference if you think about the boundaries between reading and notetaking. Moving the eyes over text: Sounds like reading. Highlighting key words while reading: Still sounds like reading. Jotting down keywords in the margins: Some writing, but still could count as reading. Writing tasks in the marings (e.g. "Should compare that to Buddhism"): Don't know. Reformulating key sections in your own words: Sounds like writing. But could be just the externalisation of what could be internal. Does make a difference if you stop and think about what you read or do it in written form?

      Perhaps there is a model for reading and note taking/writing with respect to both learning and creating new knowledge that follows an inverse mapping in a way similar to that seen in Galois theory?

      Explore this a bit to see what falls out.

    1. How do I store when coming across an actual FACT? .t3_12bvcmn._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } questionLet's say I am trying to absorb a 30min documentary about the importance of sleep and the term human body cells is being mentioned, I want to remember what a "Cell" is so I make a note "What is a Cell in a Human Body?", search the google, find the definition and paste it into this note, my concern is, what is this note considered, a fleeting, literature, or permanent? how do I tag it...

      reply to u/iamharunjonuzi at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/12bvcmn/how_do_i_store_when_coming_across_an_actual_fact/

      How central is the fact to what you're working at potentially developing? Often for what may seem like basic facts that are broadly useful, but not specific to things I'm actively developing, I'll leave basic facts like that as short notes on the source/reference cards (some may say literature notes) where I found them rather than writing them out in full as their own cards.

      If I were a future biologist, as a student I might consider that I would soon know really well what a cell was and not bother to have a primary zettel on something so commonplace unless I was collecting various definitions to compare and contrast for something specific. Alternately as a non-biologist or someone that doesn't use the idea frequently, then perhaps it may merit more space for connecting to others?

      Of course you can always have it written along with the original source and "promote" it to its own card later if you feel it's necessary, so you're covered either way. I tend to put the most interesting and surprising ideas into my main box to try to maximize what comes back out of it. If there were 2 more interesting ideas than the definition of cell in that documentary, then I would probably leave the definition with the source and focus on the more important ideas as their own zettels.

      As a rule of thumb, for those familiar with Bloom's taxonomy in education, I tend to leave the lower level learning-based notes relating to remembering and understanding as shorter (literature) notes on the source's reference card and use the main cards for the higher levels (apply, analyze, evaluate, create).

      Ultimately, time, practice, and experience will help you determine for yourself what is most useful and where. Until you've developed a feel for what works best for you, just write it down somewhere and you can't really go too far wrong.

  8. Mar 2023
    1. I do my thinking with pen on paper. Digital tools, even (or especially?) the note-taking ones, are just not for me. <br><br>They may be easy to access or carry around, but what’s the point if they constrain the output?

      — Julia Pappas (@JuliaPappasJoy) March 30, 2023
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      A common issue of many digital note taking apps is that while they may have ease for cutting and pasting data into them, moving data around, visualizing it in various forms, and exporting it into a final product may be much more difficult. At the opposite end of the spectrum, physical index cards are much easier to sort, resort, and place into an outline form to create output.

    1. Ein Zettel, auf den kein anderer Zettel verweist, ist kein Zettel

      —Detlef Stern, 2023-03-21, https://mastodon.social/@t73fde/110062851811483123

      A note not referenced by another note is not a note. (translation mine)

    1. one can protect by using dictionaries of synonyms and then create enough referencesheets (e.g. Astronomy: cf. Science of the Stars). The only premise for this is that one knowsbeforehand the one location where the sheet belongs in the box.

      use of theausaurus to limit subject headings...

    2. Heyde, Johannes Erich. Technik des wissenschaftlichen Arbeitens. (Sektion 1.2 Die Kartei) Junker und Dünnhaupt, 1931.

      annotation target: urn:x-pdf:00126394ba28043d68444144cd504562

      (Unknown translation from German into English. v1 TK)

      The overall title of the work (in English: Technique of Scientific Work) calls immediately to mind the tradition of note taking growing out of the scientific historical methods work of Bernheim and Langlois/Seignobos and even more specifically the description of note taking by Beatrice Webb (1926) who explicitly used the phrase "recipe for scientific note-taking".

      see: https://hypothes.is/a/BFWG2Ae1Ee2W1HM7oNTlYg

      first reading: 2022-08-23 second reading: 2022-09-22

      I suspect that this translation may be from Clemens in German to Scheper and thus potentially from the 1951 edition?

      Heyde, Johannes Erich. Technik des wissenschaftlichen Arbeitens; eine Anleitung, besonders für Studierende. 8., Umgearb. Aufl. 1931. Reprint, Berlin: R. Kiepert, 1951.

    1. Die Erfahrungen Ermans und seiner Mitarbeiter lehren nur zu deutlich, dass die Buchform der Präsentation eines solchen Materialbestands durchaus nicht entgegenkommt.

      For some research the book form is just not conducive to the most productive work. Both the experiences of Beatrice Webb (My Apprenticeship, Appendix C) and Adolph Erman (on Wb) show that database forms for sorting, filtering, and comparing have been highly productive and provide a wealth of information which simply couldn't be done otherwise.

    2. Auch die Korrektur einer Textstelle ist in der Datenbank sofort global wirksam. Im Zettelarchiv dagegen ist es kaum zu leisten, alle alphabetisch einsortierten Kopien eines bestimmten Zettels zur Korrektur wieder aufzufinden.

      Correcting a text within a digital archive or database allows the change to propagate to all portions of the collection compared with a physical card index which has the hurdle of multiple storage and requires manual changes on all of the associated copies.

      This sort of affordance can be seen in more modern note taking tools like Obsidian which does this sort of work with global search and replace of double bracketed words which change everywhere in the collection.

    1. By looking at practices of note-taking for their ownsake we can get a better idea of how people performed intellectual work in the past, what caughttheir attention and how they moved from reading to producing a finished work, often via note-taking.
    2. Blair, Ann M. “The Rise of Note-Taking in Early Modern Europe.” Intellectual History Review 20, no. 3 (August 4, 2010): 303–16. https://doi.org/10.1080/17496977.2010.492611.

      Annotation target: urn:x-pdf:202007e9836543a7b69e7045c81f5965

      Hypothes.is: https://hypothes.is/users/chrisaldrich?q=url%3Aurn%3Ax-pdf%3A202007e9836543a7b69e7045c81f5965