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  1. Last 7 days
  2. May 2024
    1. where do I start?

      reply to u/rocklover7 at https://www.reddit.com/r/typewriters/comments/1cnljgm/where_do_i_start/

      The best thing you could do is to take a moment at the library or bookshop and pick up a copy of Polt, Richard. The Typewriter Revolution: A Typist’s Companion for the 21st Century. 1st ed. Woodstock, VT: Countryman Press, 2015.

      He looks at typewriters from a writers' writer perspective which I'm sure you'll appreciate. He's got experience with a wide variety of machines as well as a large collection himself. He goes over all of the common/popular (and solid machines) in a variety of sizes and formats to help you figure out which one you might like to start out with. He also covers some of the common problems and repairs that regularly pop up. The book is really a "best of" list of typewriter material from the past 15+ years of this reddit forum and material from the "typosphere" of which he's been not only an active member, but literal ring-leader. The vast majority of the questions which appear on a weekly basis here are discussed and addressed in his book, along with some emphasis on writerly concerns and practice which most beginners here wouldn't be asking. Even reading 3 or 4 of the 8 chapters which are rife with images will give you a solid crash course for exactly the sorts of typewriter (and writing) advice you're searching for.

      Definitely DO NOT pick up a new machine off of Amazon. They're even worse than some of the late 70s/early 80s machines. Instead, for beginners (and for the value) I'd recommend looking at Remingtons (Quiet-Riter), Royals (Quiet De Luxe), or Smith-Coronas (Clipper, Silent, Super) from roughly 1948-1958 which is generally the peak of U.S. typewriter manufacturing as well as for features. These were all built like tanks and are usually still in very good condition, even when they're in bad condition. I've provided links to some of these models in the typewriter database, so you have an idea visually of what to look out for.

      If desperate, and you live in an area where machines are priced starting over $50 or you're more price sensitive (making eBay, Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist less appealing), you can find some of these every day listed at shopgoodwill.com starting at $10. Even with heaving bidding on auctions, these usually don't go over $35 (except for some of the Smith-Coronas). I've even seen them (sadly) not move at all for $10. This would give you an incredibly solid and inexpensive machine to tinker on, and will most likely work for you out of the box (as long as it's got a ribbon.) You'll end up with a solid machine to start off on while you search for your dream machine. It'll also give you some experience cleaning up and maintaining one. Of the seven machines I've gotten this way and paid an average of about $30-35 each (all in with shipping, tax, etc.) All but one were all immediately usable and only needed moderate cleaning that one could do at home with a cloth, dish soap, a toothbrush and maybe some canned air. Two of the seven were in near mint condition and didn't need any work at all. Tag/garage sales are also inexpensive options that usually allow you test out a machine, but it requires some shoe leather and lots of patience. If you've got a favorite author you love and trust, you might try searching out their machines: https://site.xavier.edu/polt/typewriters/typers.html

      If there are any type-ins in your local area, try to go so you can not only meet others, but it might give you a chance to see and try out the machines of others to see what might suit you best.

      Happiness and best wishes on your search!

  3. Apr 2024
    1. mindful of your alcohol and caffeine

      for - sleep hygiene - 5 - mindful of alcohol and caffeine

      advice - sleep hygiene - 5 - mindful of alcohol and caffeine - cut out 10 hours before bedtime. - so no afternoon coffee - only morning coffee

    2. Walk It Out

      for - sleep hygiene - 4 - walk it out

      advice - sleep hygiene - 4 - walk it out - try not to spend too much time in bed awake, - as your brain learns to associate the bed with waking - if you wake up in the night, walk it out for about half an hour

    3. temperature

      for - sleep hygiene - 3 - temperature

      advice - sleep hygiene - 3 - temperature - sleep cool - 18.5 Deg C is ideal

    4. second piece of advice is darkness

      for - sleep hygiene - 2 - darkness

      advice - sleep hygiene - 2 - darkness - one hour before sleeping, turn lights down to lowest level possible

    5. regularity

      for - sleep hygiene - 1 - regularity

      advice - sleep hygiene - 1 - regularity - try to make weekend sleep times same as weekday - don't deviate if possible

    1. if you have an idea, you have to write it down. And you may end up throwing it away, but if you wait, it will be gone.

      for - innovation - importance of capturing ideas in real time - adjacency - Joe Strummer advice - capture all ideas immediately - indyweb

      adjacency - between - Joe Strummer advice - capture all ideas immediately - Indyweb - adjacency statement - Joe Strummer's advice, to capture all ideas immediately as soon as they occur, is also one of the key functions of the open function Indyweb - in order to have an accessible external record of the evolution of your own learning process

    1. Typewriter Correction

      If you go the white out fluid route, there are some bottles that use mini-sponges versus the old brush-types which are easier to apply. If you're worried about dripping on/in your machine with fluid, there's now also a variety of small handheld dispensers of white out tape which allow some incredibly precise use at the level of individual letters. Scroll the paper up a line or two, white it out, scroll back down and be on your way. (I only do this for things approaching mission critical applications; generally I just x things out or overtype and continue.)

      My typing technique has gotten better using a typewriter versus computer keyboard.

      reply to u/AlexInRV at https://www.reddit.com/r/typewriters/comments/1cc6oci/typewriter_correction/

    1. WhenI fi nish a page and pull it out, I holdsomething real. And this, too, fuels myprogress by giving me a tangible senseof accomplishment.

      Typewriters provide a tangible sense of accomplishment when a writer finishes a page.



    1. Forrester: No thinking - that comes later. You must write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is... to write, not to think!


      In this quote from Finding Forrester (Columbia Pictures, 2000) Forrester (portrayed by Sean Connery) turns the idea that writing is thinking on its head.

    1. Discrimination

      in ¶90-96 he provides some advice about selection and discrimination of reading sources and materials for indexing as a means of cutting down on the information overload problem

      Some of his factors include: - relying on experience in a field/area to narrow down - limiting one's scope of activity - staying away from reference books (dictionaries, encyclopedias - discriminate in favor of the specific versus the general - don't admit duplicative literature (unless one is working syntopically—though he doesn't admit this caveat), and prefer the most authoritative sources - prefer authoritative authors, when given, but make space for new writers who may be more careful in their writing and argumentation - discriminate by style and composition and in particular stay away from pernicious advertising-related material (today he might advocate away from listicles, content farms, etc.)

    1. 357 It is this great difficulty involved in consistency which is responsiblefor the fact that however much we may try or desire to do otherwise,the best man to run a system effectively is he who has devised it,''^for however careful and painstaking we may be in trying to repro-duce his system accurately on paper, these reproductions are merelyabstracts of the original ; reproduction can never be absolutelycomplete. We may reproduce a system on paper in clearly markedoutlines, we may add within the general configuration all the inter-woven details, all of which may be concise and manageable, butbeyond the confines of the system there are blank margins in alldirections, which cannot be filled in until such cases arise as willcompel us to extend the ramifications of our system into thesemargins. It is not possible to express these ramifications before-hand on paper, but they no doubt have been allowed for in themind of the originator of the system, even supposing that he is notalways conscious of it. It is precisely these undefined marginswhich in most cases put consistency on its trial ; hence consistency,already a difficult factor in cases where the deviser deals with hisown system, is doubly so in other cases, for the unexpressed rami-fications which remain in suspense until called into being by unfore-seen circumstances can only be depicted consistently with therest of the system in the mind of the originator, who will have tobe consulted in each case for the purpose.

      What great advice this is in general, but especially for those who are attempting to copy or recreate Niklas Luhmann's zettelkasten for themselves.

    2. It is prudent to maturewell before improvements are adopted. Improvements rashlyintroduced may give cause for regret when it is too late to turn back.

      Regular note taking practice will be the best indicator of when potential improvements are worthwhile. Though you may see someone else's advice, workflows, or potential improvements, they may be just as likely not to work for you and your particular needs. Adopting changes without thinking them through or even practicing them for a while are more likely to cause harm, regret, or additional work without any value added to the system.

    3. don't supervise too little, otherwise your staff will soonbecome prolific in the production and application of all manner ofimprovements, which must eventually prove fatal ; superviseenough to assure adequate continuity and consistency in the system,and to leave your staff sufficient of their individuality to make theirwork interesting to them.

      While many will be interested in improving, expanding, or constantly changing their note taking systems, centuries of practice and experience indicate as Julius Kaiser says that they "must eventually prove fatal" (¶361). Allow simplicity, consistency, and continuity to be your watchwords and put your creativity into your reading and writing rather than into the system and workflows themselves. Additional rules and workflows will result in extra work which doesn't produce results in the long term. These will make your work more complicated, less likely to be consistent, and generally will destroy your ability to create continuity.

  4. Mar 2024
    1. Devising Once a proper system has been devised, it requiresCard Systems

      Devising Card Systems

      Many modern-day note takers and knowledge workers might take solace in the broad advice provided by J. Kaiser in 1908. In describing some of the broad categories of uses of card index filing systems for business use he says that each entity "has its individual character and individual requirements, and its individual character" (ie, everyone is different and has different needs), therefore everyone "must devise [their] system in accordance with [their] own requirements" and should "be the best judge as to what these requirements are." He continues on in the rest of the book to outline a variety of suggestions and methods which one might use or adopt, but he doesn't dictate specific methods and leaves those decisions up to the end user.

      When devising their own systems, one certainly ought to heed this advice when looking at a variety of alternative methods like Forte's P.A.R.A., Milo's LYT, or even in mimicking Luhmann's idiosyncratic Zettelkasten set up. Are these methods best for your particular use cases? Are they simple enough for what you want to do, or are they overly structured and complicated? The key is to be able to classify and file things quickly so that they can be easily accessed in the future, all the rest becomes additional details and overhead to support on an ongoing basis.


    2. It is best not to trust too much tomemory until the routine vrork is thoroughly mastered.
    1. I read many such books as I set about trying to become a better, more effective manager.Most, I found, trafficked in a kind of simplicity that seemed harmful in that it offered falsereassurance. These books were stocked with catchy phrases like “Dare to fail!” or “Followpeople and people will follow you!” or “Focus, focus, focus!” (This last one was a particularfavorite piece of nonadvice. When people hear it, they nod their heads in agreement as if agreat truth has been presented, not realizing that they’ve been diverted from addressing thefar harder problem: deciding what it is that they should be focusing on. There is nothing inthis advice that gives you any idea how to figure out where the focus should be, or how toapply your energy to it. It ends up being advice that doesn’t mean anything.) These sloganswere offered as conclusions—as wisdom—and they may have been, I suppose. But none ofthem gave me any clue as to what to do or what I should focus on.

      Curious that he might write this in a business book on creativity which is highly likely to fall trap to the same simple advice or catchy phrases.

      Does he ultimately give his own clear cut advice that means something?

      I'm reminded here of Dan Allosso's mention of the David Allen quote from Getting Things Done: "It is better to be wrong than to be vague."<br /> https://hypothes.is/a/yOFrNubcEe6AsafBDjDzBw

      Are business books too often vague when it would be better for them to be wrong instead?

    1. in literature notes, do you write all of the stuff from a single article/book/whatever in one note, or do you split them all into individual notes of their own, one little piece on each card/note?

      reply to u/oursong at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/1bideq7/literature_notes_question/

      My bibliographic/literature notes are my personal (brief) index of what I found interesting in the book. I can always revisit most of what the book contained by reviewing over it. When done I excerpt the most important and actionable items on their own cards with a reference back to the book and page/loc number. Depending on my needs I may revisit at later dates and excerpt other pieces from my indexed items if it turns out I need them.

      From an efficiency perspective, I find that it seems like a waste of time to split out hundreds of lower-level ideas when I may only need the best for my work.

    1. Instead of jotting down every note, thought, observation, excerpt, andreading on a single slip of paper and leaving them there, Placcius recom-mends grouping them, by dint of appropriate libros excerptorum (see figure2.5),39 excerpt books that follow the pattern that had guided the design ofregisters and bound library catalogs since Konrad Gessner; Placcius citesthe entire section “ De Indicibus Librorum ” from the Pandectae .40 Perhapshis strong vote for the bound form of this storage technology and againstJungius’s method is a way of warning against lifelong knowledge accumula-tions that merely gather treasures without being recombined and pub-lished as new books. Jungius, keen on including new resources, delays hisown publications time and again, leaving them unfinished or simply asraw paper slip potential in storage, on call. 4
    1. Safety Tip Always use === (triple equals) and !== when testing for equality and inequality in JavaScript.
  5. Feb 2024
    1. 80/15/5. Spend 80% of your time on low-risk/reasonable-payoff work. Spend 15% of your time on related high-risk/high-payoff work. Spend 5% of your time on things that tickle you, regardless of payoff. Teach the next generation to do your 80% job. By the time someone is ready to take over, one of your 15% experiments (or, less frequently, one of your 5% experiments) will have paid off and will become your new 80%. Repeat.

      Should use this in concert with the Commitment Inventory exercise.

    1. Perhaps the quickest way to understand the elements of what a novelistis doing is not to read, but to write; to make your own experiment withthe dangers and difficulties of words.

      This seems to be the duality of Millard Kaufman (and certainly other writers'?) advice that to be a good writer, one must first be well read.

      Of course, perhaps the two really are meant to be a hand in a glove and the reader should actively write as they read thereby doing both practices at once.

  6. Jan 2024
    1. You should read with a pen in your hand andenter...short hints of what you feel...may be useful; forthis be the best method of imprinting [them] in yourmemory. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

      original source?

      it's Benjamin Franklin letter to Miss Stevenson, Wanstead. Craven-street, May 16, 1760.<br /> see: https://hyp.is/HZeDKI3YEeyj9GcNWKX4iA/www.gutenberg.org/files/40236/40236-h/40236-h.htm

    1. We’ll spend this session talking a bit about the weirdness of academic writing, as well as the overflow of writing advice out there.

      overflow of writing advice!

  7. Dec 2023
    1. The crux being - 1. Exercise, that's the best drug to get your brain running, and it is true. 1. I have experienced the best ideas hit me when I am exercising or about to sleep, which brings me to the second point 1. Get ample amount of sleep, it helps to build synapses, and literally updates your brain as per research. 1. Form habits, 3 elements - cue > routine > reward 1. There are lot many memorization techniques, like - Memory palace, graphic representation and spaced repetitions, try and see which fits best. 1. Make chunks, or divide in modules whatever you learn, making it easier to access and use. 1. And finally, if the task seems tough, it is because it is new. Just start, as and when the synapses are formed it becomes easier to do it again and again, and even more rewarding in the future. Kinda like building a habit.

    1. Take these two statements:“I see what you're saying, but in my experience, the other way has worked best.”“In my experience, the other way has worked best, but I see what you're saying.”The first one negates “I see what you’re saying.”The second one negates “In my experience, the other way has worked best.”When you use “but”, it’s important to understand which part you are negating.

      always end positively.

  8. Nov 2023
    1. Lovely. I guess what I'm trying to define is some methodology for practicing. Many times I simply resort to my exhaustive method, which has worked for me in the past simply due to brute force.Thank you for taking the time to respond and for what look like some very interesting references.

      reply to u/ethanzanemiller at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/185xmuh/comment/kb778dy/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      Some of your methodology will certainly depend on what questions you're asking, how well you know your area already, and where you'd like to go. If you're taking notes as part of learning a new area, they'll be different and you'll treat them differently than notes you're collecting on ideas you're actively building on or intriguing facts you're slowly accumulating. Often you'll have specific questions in mind and you'll do a literature review to see what's happing around that area and then read and take notes as a means of moving yourself closer to answering your particular questions.

      Take for example, the frequently asked questions (both here in this forum and by note takers across history): how big is an idea? what is an atomic note? or even something related to the question of how small can a fact be? If this is a topic you're interested in addressing, you'll make note of it as you encounter it in various settings and see that various authors use different words to describe these ideas. Over time, you'll be able to tag them with various phrases and terminologies like "atomic notes", "one idea per card", "note size", or "note lengths". I didn't originally set out to answer these questions specifically, but my interest in the related topics across intellectual history allowed such a question to emerge from my work and my notes.

      Once you've got a reasonable collection, you can then begin analyzing what various authors say about the topic. Bring them all to "terms" to ensure that they're talking about the same things and then consider what arguments they're making about the topic and write up your own ideas about what is happening to answer those questions you had. Perhaps a new thesis emerges about the idea? Some have called this process having a conversation with the texts and their authors or as Robert Hutchins called it participating in "The Great Conversation".

      Almost anyone in the forum here could expound on what an "atomic note" is for a few minutes, but they're likely to barely scratch the surface beyond their own definition. Based on the notes linked above, I've probably got enough of a collection on the idea of the length of a note that I can explore it better than any other ten people here could. My notes would allow me a lot of leverage and power to create some significant subtlety and nuance on this topic. (And it helps that they're all shared publicly so you can see what I mean a bit more clearly; most peoples' notes are private/hidden, so seeing examples are scant and difficult at best.)

      Some of the overall process of having and maintaining a zettelkasten for creating material is hard to physically "see". This is some of the benefit of Victor Margolin's video example of how he wrote his book on the history of design. He includes just enough that one can picture what's happening despite his not showing the deep specifics. I wrote a short piece about how I used my notes about delving into S.D. Goitein's work to write a short article a while back and looking at the article, the footnotes, and links to my original notes may be illustrative for some: https://boffosocko.com/2023/01/14/a-note-about-my-article-on-goitein-with-respect-to-zettelkasten-output-processes/. The exercise is a tedious one (though not as tedious as it was to create and hyperlink everything), but spend some time to click on each link to see the original notes and compare them with the final text. Some of the additional benefit of reading it all is that Goitein also had a zettelkasten which he used in his research and in leaving copies of it behind other researchers still actively use his translations and notes to continue on the conversation he started about the contents of the Cairo Geniza. Seeing some of his example, comparing his own notes/cards and his writings may be additionally illustrative as well, though take care as many of his notes are in multiple languages.

      Another potentially useful example is this video interview with Kathleen Coleman from the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae. It's in the realm of historical linguistics and lexicography, but she describes researchers collecting masses of data (from texts, inscriptions, coins, graffiti, etc.) on cards which they can then study and arrange to write their own articles about Latin words and their use across time/history. It's an incredibly simple looking example because they're creating a "dictionary", but the work involved was painstaking historical work to be sure.

      Again, when you're done, remember to go back and practice for yourself. Read. Ask questions of the texts and sources you're working with. Write them down. Allow your zettelkasten to become a ratchet for your ideas. New ideas and questions will emerge. Write them down! Follow up on them. Hunt down the answers. Make notes on others' attempts to answer similar questions. Then analyze, compare, and contrast them all to see what you might have to say on the topics. Rinse and repeat.

      As a further and final (meta) example, some of my answer to your questions has been based on my own experience, but the majority of it is easy to pull up, because I can pose your questions not to my experience, but to my own zettelkasten and then quickly search and pull up a variety of examples I've collected over time. Of course I have far more experience with my own zettelkasten, so it's easier and quicker for me to query it than for you, but you'll build this facility with your own over time.

      Good luck. 🗃️

    1. As to the mechanics of research, I take notes on four-by-six indexcards, reminding myself about once an hour of a rule I read long agoin a research manual, “Never write on the back of anything.”

      Barbara Tuchman took her notes on four-by-six inch index cards.

      She repeated the oft-advised mantra to only write on one side of a sheet.

      What manual did she read this in? She specifically puts quotes on "Never write on the back of anything." so perhaps it might be something that could be tracked down?

      Who was the earliest version of this quote? And was it always towards the idea of cutting up slips or pages and not wanting to lose material on the back? or did it also (later? when?) include ease-of-use and user interface features even when not cutting things up?

      At what point did double sided become a thing for personal printed materials? Certainly out of a duty to minimize materials, but it also needed the ability to duplex print pages or photocopy them that way.

    1. So I take down notes, and then what? Jackhansonc November 8 in The Zettelkasten Method Flag Hi, A few years ago, I started to take daily note and take a lot, but at the end of a day, I have difficulty on how to deal with those notes. The major problem is, I can't decide the size of a note derived from my daily note. Say, I take a note like "5 students have sent me the language test invoice regarding applying for an academic reward. In my understanding, this could be directly put into "Academic Reward" or "Things related to Academic Reward for Language Test". But if I do so, I feel guilty because it looks not even a bit like a Zettel systems. I heard a lot of so-called atomic notes, but I never really see a real-world, down-to-earth workflow of authentic zettel.

      reply to Jackhansonc at https://forum.zettelkasten.de/discussion/2726/so-i-take-down-notes-and-then-what#latest

      I'm not sure I understand the full context of your note and it's purpose. If I had to guess, it's closer to what I might consider a productivity note to be followed up on as part of a potential project. Personally, I keep things like this in a separate drawer (or what I would call a "department") of my zettelkasten which acts more like a Memindex (more details on my specific practice). These project and to-do related items are valuable, but I don't treat them with the same level of rigor and indexing that I do for cards with buildable ideas.

      Notes from my reading, for my writing, knowledge building, etc. are the ones I keep in my primary zettelkasten department. These are the ones which are better indexed and more highly interlinked.

      I know that some here do keep everything more closely integrated and to some extent mine really are are as well. I find that keeping some sort of mental separation about what specific tranches of notes are for can be helpful, and even placing them in separate drawers (or digital areas/folders) may be useful to some. As long as you can search for and find it when you need it, you can't go far wrong. In my case having a specific section for to do items and projects means I'm regularly culling through them, something which I might not be as prone to do in other portions of my collection.

  9. Oct 2023
    1. Any recommendations on Analog way of doing it? Not the Antinet shit

      reply to u/IamOkei at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/17beucn/comment/k5s6aek/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      u/IamOkei, I know you've got a significant enough practice that not much of what I might suggest may be helpful beyond your own extension of what you've got and how it is or isn't working for you. Perhaps chatting with a zettelkasten therapist may be helpful? Does anyone have "Zettelkasten Whisperer" on a business card yet?! More seriously, I occasionally dump some of my problems and issues into a notebook, unpublished on my blog, or even into a section of my own zettelkasten, which I never index or reconsult, as a helpful practice. Others like Henry David Thoreau have done something like this and there's a common related practice of writing "Morning Pages" that you can explore. My own version is somewhat similar to the idea of rubber duck debugging but focuses on my own work. You might try doing something like this in one of Bob Doto's cohorts or by way of private consulting sessions. Another free version of this could be found by participating in Will's regular weekly posts/threads "Share with us what is happening in your ZK this week" at https://forum.zettelkasten.de/. It's always a welcoming and constructive space. There are also some public and private (I won't out them) Discords where some of the practiced hands chat and commiserate with each other. Even the Obsidian PKM/Zettelkasten Discord channels aren't very Obsidian/digital-focused that you couldn't participate as an analog practitioner. I've even found that participating in book clubs related to some of my interests can be quite helpful in talking out ideas before writing them down. There are certainly options for working out and extending your own practice.

      Beyond this, and without knowing more of your specific issues, I can only offer some broad thoughts which expand on some of the earlier discussion above.

      I recommend stripping away Scheper's religious fervor, some of which he seems to have thrown over lately along with the idea of a permanent note or "main card" (something I think is a grave mistake), and trying something closer to Luhmann's idea of ZKII.

      An alternate method, especially if you like a nice notebook or a particular fountain pen, might be to take all of your basic literature/fleeting notes along with the bibliographic data in a notebook and then just use your analog index cards/slips to make your permanent notes and your index.

      Ultimately it's all a lot of the same process, though it may come down to what you want to call it and your broad philosophy. If you're anti-antinet, definitely quit using the verbiage for the framing there and lean toward the words used by Ahrens, Dan Allosso, Gerald Weinberg, Mark Bernstein, Umberto Eco, Beatrice Webb, Jacques Barzun & Henry Graff, or any of the dozens of others or even make up your own. Goodness knows we need a lot more names and categories for types of notes—just like we all need another one page blog post about how the Zettelkasten method works by someone who's been at it for a week. Maybe someone will bring all these authors to terms one day?

      Generally once you know what sorts of ideas you're most interested in, you take fewer big notes on administrivia and focus more of your note taking towards your own personal goals and desires. (Taking notes to learn a subject are certainly game, but often they serve little purpose after-the-fact.) You can also focus less on note taking within your entertainment reading (usually a waste) and focusing more heavily on richer material (books and journal articles) that is "above you" in Adler's framing. You might make hundreds of highlights and annotations in a particular book, but only get two or three serious ideas and notes out of it ultimately. Focus on this and leave the rest. If you're aware of the Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule, then spend the majority of your time on the grander permanent notes (10-20%), and a lot less time worrying about the all the rest (the 80-90%).

      In the example above relating to Marx, you can breeze through some low level introductory material for context, but nothing is going to beat reading Marx himself a few times. The notes you make on his text will have tremendously more value than the ones you took on the low level context. A corollary to this is that you're highly unlikely to earn a Ph.D. or discover massive insight by reading and taking note posts on Twitter, Medium, or Substack (except possibly unless your work is on the cultural anthropology of those platforms).

      A lot of the zettelkasten spaces focus heavily on the note taking part of the process and not enough on the quality of what you're reading and how you're reading it. This portion is possibly more valuable than the note taking piece, but the two should be hand-in-glove and work toward something.

      I suspect that most people who have 1000 notes know which five or ten are the most important to where they're going and how they're growing. Focus on those and your "conversations with texts" relating to those. The rest is either low level context for where you're headed or either pure noise/digital exhaust.

      If you think of ideas as incunables, which notes will be worth of putting on your tombstone? In other words: What are your "tombstone notes"? (See what I did there? I came up with another name for a type of note, a sin for which I'm certainly going to spend a lot of time in zettelkasten purgatory.)

    1. "This," says Aristotle, "is the essence of the plot; the rest isepisode."

      Aristotle on the unity of a work.


    2. You have not graspeda complex unity if all you know about it is how it is one. Youmust also know how it is many, not a many that consists of alot of separate things, but an organized many. If the partswere not organically related, the whole that they composedwould not be one. Strictly speaking, there would be no wholeat all but merely a collection.

      This is also an art of putting notes together to make an article or book.


      The first several rules of reading a book analytically follow the same process of writing a book as suggested in the snowflake method.

    1. You become familiar with the process of catching an idea andtranslating that idea. You understand the tools and the lighting. Youunderstand the whole process—you’ve been through it before.

      He's talking about movie making, but it applies to almost anything.

    1. How to get started with ZK and Obsidian .t3_16wgq4l._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/Rampage_user at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/16wgq4l/how_to_get_started_with_zk_and_obsidian/

      Perhaps what I've done in Obsidian may help: I've created several folders for individual pieces:

      • Zettels folder - contains permanent/atomic/evergreen notes which broadly stand on their own; I give them decimal numbers so that alphabetical sorting within the folder provides me with neighborhoods of ideas without needing to provide direct links from one idea to another on each and every note.
      • Bibliography folder - contains individual notes for details about sources (books, articles, videos, etc.) which also contains the fleeting notes related to them (each can have from one to sometimes hundreds of short, not fully formed notes and excerpts);
      • Index folder - contains 26 notes, one for each letter of the alphabet each of which has index entries that lead to notes in the zettels folder; Like Luhmann's my index is sparse and I rely on the neighborhoods around the notes that link from the index.

      While I do have a few tags, I broadly eschew them as they don't scale well with time in my experience.

      Some literature is unspecific about it, but you should know that NOT EVERY FLEETING NOTE NEEDS TO BECOME A PERMANENT NOTE. Only split out the most interesting and potentially future useful ones. Some of my book notes have hundreds of fleeting notes, highlights, etc. and I've only pulled out 3 or 4 permanent notes from them. (The side benefit is that if you need them, you've got links to those fleeting notes for later if you need to review over, use, or convert them.)

      Really the best advice is to practice. A Lot. Experience will help you know when your fleeting notes should become permanent ones and how much work they need to become permanent notes. You can always adjust things in the future if your experience helps you simplify things further for you. If you make three permanent notes a week, you're doing better than most. I add 1-5 bibliographic sources a day and average about 50 fleeting notes with only one, or maybe two permanent notes on a good day.

      Good luck. Now go practice...

  10. Sep 2023
    1. This Be The Verse<br /> by Philip Larkin

      They fuck you up, your mum and dad. <br /> They may not mean to, but they do. <br /> They fill you with the faults they had<br /> And add some extra, just for you.

      But they were fucked up in their turn<br /> By fools in old-style hats and coats, <br /> Who half the time were soppy-stern<br /> And half at one another’s throats.

      Man hands on misery to man.<br /> It deepens like a coastal shelf.<br /> Get out as early as you can,<br /> And don’t have any kids yourself.

      Philip Larkin, "This Be the Verse" from Collected Poems. Copyright © Estate of Philip Larkin. Reprinted by permission of Faber and Faber, Ltd. Source: Collected Poems (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2001)

      Reference: Larkin, Philip. Collected Poems. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1989.

      Compare with The Kids Are Alright.

      Recited in Ted Lasso, S3 https://www.looper.com/1294687/ted-lasso-season-3-episode-11-maes-poem-sounds-familiar/#:~:text=To%20jog%20your%20memory%2C%20the,extra%2C%20just%20for%20you.%22

      See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Be_The_Verse

    1. Is the idea that you force yourself to find the link between a new idea and the existing cards? I didn't understand it that way.Example of the 4 cards I have nowone how there's a continuum between music that's easy digestable for the listener, where the creator does a lot of effort, and music that asks a lot from the listener, because the creator makes idiosyncratic music.the concept of "false consensus" in psychologylinked with that: "naive realism"one about (marching band) parades, how in some cultures/for some people it's more about choosing to enjoy and dance then about the musicians who are responsible for that. (I see a link with the first, but that's not what interests me in this one)

      reply to u/JonasanOniem at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/16ss0yu/comment/k2buxsc/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      In digital contexts it is much easier and very common to create orphaned notes that aren't connected to anything. In a paper zettelkasten, you are forced to file your note somewhere and give it a number (only to be able to find it again—it's difficult, but try not to make the mistake of conflating your number with the idea of category). The physical act of placing it in your slipbox creates an implicit link to the things around it. As a result, your four notes would all initially seem to be directly related because they're nearby, but over time, they will naturally drift apart as you intersperse new notes between and among them. Though if they're truly directly interrelated, you can write down explicit links from notes at one end of your thought space to notes which seem distant.

      In your example, you may see some sort of loose link between your first and fourth notes relating to music. While it may be a distant one, given what you have, putting marching band "next to" digestible music is really the only place to put it. Over time, you'll certainly find other notes that come between them which will tend to split them apart and separate them by physical distance, but for now, if it's what you've got, then place them into the same neighborhood by giving them addresses (numbers) to suggest they live nearby. (Some note applications like Obsidian make this much harder to do, and as a result orphaned notes will eventually become a problem.)

      This physical process is part of the ultimate value of building knowledge from the bottom up. Like most people, you've probably been heavily trained to want to create a hierarchy from the top down (folder-based systems on computers of the late 20th century are a big factor here) which is exactly why you're going to have problems like this at the start. You'll want to place that music note somewhere else, or worse, orphan it. For some people who may not be able to immediately trust the process, it can be easier to create a few dozen or a hundred notes and then come back to them later to file and arrange them. This will allow you to seed some ground from which to continually build and help to bridge the gap between the desire to move top-down in a system designed to move from bottom-up.

      Depending on one's zettelkasten application (Obsidian, Zettlr, Logseq, The Archive, et al.) some do a better job of allowing the creation of "soft links" versus the more explicit hard or direct links (usually using [[WikiLinks]]). The soft links are usually best done by providing a number that places one note into proximity with another, but not all systems work this way. As a result, it's much easier to build a traditional commonplace book with Obsidian than it is to build a Luhmann-artig zettelkasten (see: https://boffosocko.com/2022/10/22/the-two-definitions-of-zettelkasten/). The concept of tags/categories in many systems is another form of soft link that can hold ideas together, so use this affordance if your application offers it as well. But also keep in mind that if sociology is your life's work, you'll eventually amass such a huge number of digital notes tagged with "sociology" that this affordance will become useless as it won't scale well for discovery and creating links.

    2. Hi, I just started to use Zettlr for my thoughts, in stead of just individual txt-files. I find it easy to add tags to notes. But if you read manuals how to use ZettelKasten, most seem to advice to link your notes in a meaningful way (and describe the link). Maybe it's because I just really started, but I don't find immediate links when I have a sudden thought. Sometimes I have 2 ideas in the same line, but they're more like siblings, so tagging with the same keyword is more evident. How do most people do this?

      reply to u/JonasanOniem at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/16ss0yu/linking_new_notes/

      This sort of practice is harder when you start out in most digital apps because there is usually no sense of "closeness" of ideas in digital the way that is implied by physical proximity (or "neighborhood") found in physical cards sitting right next to or around each other. As a result, you have to create more explicit links or rely on using tags (or indexing) when you start. I've not gotten deep into the UI of Zettlr, but some applications allow the numbering (and the way numbered ideas are sorted in the user interface) to allow this affordance by creating a visual sense of proximity for you. As you accumulate more notes, it becomes easier and you can rely less on tags and more on direct links. Eventually you may come to dislike broad categories/tags and prefer direct links from one idea to another as the most explicit tag you could give a note . If you're following a more strict Luhmann-artig practice, you'll find yourself indexing a lot at the beginning, but as you link new ideas to old, you don't need to index (tag) things as heavily because the index points to a card which is directly linked to something in the neighborhood of where you're looking. Over time and through use, you'll come to recognize your neighborhoods and the individual "houses" where the ideas you're working with all live. As an example, Luhmann spent his life working in sociology, but you'll only find a few links from his keyword register/subject index to "sociology" (and this is a good thing, otherwise he'd have had 90,000+ listings there and the index entry for sociology would have been utterly useless.)

      Still, given all this, perhaps as taurusnoises suggests, concrete examples may help more, particularly if you're having any issues with the terminology/concepts or how the specific application affordances are being presented.

    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. 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

  11. Aug 2023
    1. Diller says that she always let the audience do the editing of her material for her. If people didn't laugh, or get it right away, the joke didn't survive. "You never blame the audience," she says. Thus, her advice to aspiring comics: "Go out and try it, and if you find out from the audience that you're not funny, quit."
    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. I could continue a thread anywhere, rather than always picking it up at the end. I could sketch out where I expected things to go, with an outline, rather than keeping all the points I wanted to hit in my head as I wrote. If I got stuck on something, I could write about how I was stuck nested underneath whatever paragraph I was currently writing, but then collapse the meta-thoughts to be invisible later -- so the overall narrative doesn’t feel interrupted.

      Notes about what you don't know (open questions), empty outline slots, red links as [[wikilinks]], and other "holes" in tools for thought provide a bookmark for where one may have quit exploring, but are an explicit breadcrumb for picking up that line of thought and continuing it at a future time.

      Linear writing in one's notebooks, books they're reading, and other places doesn't always provide an explicit space which invites the reader or writer to fill them in. One has to train themselves to annotate in the margins to have a conversation with the text. Until one sees these empty spaces as inviting spaces they can be invisible to the eye.

    2. 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?

    1. https://www.oliverburkeman.com/onwriting

      Oliver Burkerman, of Four Thousand Weeks fame, is testing out zettelkasten based on Ahrens' book.

    2. Quoting the academics Francis-Noël Thomas and Mark Turner, Pinker suggests approaching writing as if you were pointing something in the environment out to another person – something that she would notice for herself, if only she knew where to look. Imagine directing someone's gaze across a valley, to a specific house on the other side. "You should pretend," writes Pinker, "that you, the writer, see something in the world that's interesting, and that you're directing the attention of your reader to that thing." He calls this the "joint attention" strategy.

      Good writing is pointing out the interesting things you see to others. It's pre-literate, and even pre-oral.

    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. 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.

  12. Jul 2023
    1. Books aren’t something one approves or disapproves of; they are to be understood, interpreted, learned from, shocked by, argued with and enjoyed. Moreover, the evolution of literature and the other arts, their constant renewal over the centuries, has always been fueled by what is now censoriously labeled “cultural appropriation” but which is more properly described as “influence,” “inspiration” or “homage.” Poets, painters, novelists and other artists all borrow, distort and transform. That’s their job; that’s what they do.
    1. Nowhere is the P&V distortion so plain and disturbing as in their versions of Tolstoy.Critics sometimes say it is impossible to ruin Tolstoy because his diction is so straightforward. But it is actually quite easy to misrepresent him if one does not understand the language of novels. Since Jane Austen, novels have tended to trace a character’s thoughts in the third person. The choice of words, and the way one thought begets another, belongs to the character, and so we come to know her inner voice. At the same time, the character’s view may not comport with the author’s, and it is the art of the writer to make clear that what the character is seeing is deluded or self-serving or foolish. This “double-voicing” lies at the heart of the 19th-century novelistic enterprise. For Dickens and Trollope, “double-voicing” becomes the vehicle of satire, while George Eliot and Tolstoy use it for masterful psychological exploration. If one misses what is going on, the whole point of a passage can be lost.
  13. Jun 2023
    1. 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. 22:30 Differing environments/context matters. So before giving tricks, hacks, etc. realise that you function within a different environment.

      Historicity is a historical sibling to this: periods have different environments, and thus don't apply 1 on 1.

      But we can still learn from other other people & periods?

    1. The old wisdom "mark it private unless you have a good reason not to" made sense in days when it was written, before open source dominated the developer library space and VCS/dependency mgmt. became hyper collaborative thanks to Github, Maven, etc. Back then there was also money to be made by constraining the way(s) in which a library could be utilized. I spent probably the first 8 or 9 years of my career strictly adhering to this "best practice". Today, I believe it to be bad advice. Sometimes there's a reasonable argument to mark a method private, or a class final but it's exceedingly rare, and even then it's probably not improving anything.
  14. May 2023
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU7efgGEOgk

      I wish he'd gotten into more of the detail of the research and index card making here as that's where most of the work lies. He does show some of his process of laying out and organizing the cards into some sort of sections using 1/3 cut tabbed cards. This is where his system diverges wildly from Luhmann's. He's now got to go through all the cards and do some additional re-reading and organizational work to put them into some sort of order. Luhmann did this as he went linking ideas and organizing them up front. This upfront work makes the back side of laying things out and writing/editing so much easier. It likely also makes one more creative as one is regularly revisiting ideas, juxtaposing them, and potentially generating new ones along the way rather than waiting until the organization stage to have some of this new material "fall out".

    1. Cleaning out a building and found this typewriter. Not in the best shape, the keys push but kind of get stuck on each other sometimes. Don’t know if or how I can fix it or what I can do with it. Looked it up; here’s one that looks like the same on eBay that looks about the same. Thoughts???? Wondering if this is a good find.

      It's got some serious Austin Powers 60s/70s swagger, but obviously will need some TLC and a new ribbon. Is it worth hundreds, even in good shape? Probably not, but I'll bet it could be cleaned up/repaired and bring someone lots of joy (either fixing it or using it regularly). YouTube has lots of starter videos of people cleaning/fixing older machines that will give you some ideas. If it's not your sort of hobby, pass it along to someone who might enjoy it, or sell it to your local repair shop or maybe on eBay for a few dollars. Someone could bring it back to life.

    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. 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. Even three or four words are often worth jotting down if they will evoke a thought, an idea or a mood. In the barren periods, one should browse through the notebooks. Some ideas may suddenly start to move. Two ideas may combine, perhaps because they were meant to combine in the first place. —Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction
    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. 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.

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

    2. 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?

    3. 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.

  15. 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. I think what’s behind “write what you know” is emotion. Like, have you known happiness? Have you ever been truly sad? Have you ever longed for something? And that’s the point, if you’ve longed for an Atari 2600, as I did when I was twelve, all I wanted was that game console, if you have felt that deep longing, that can also be a deep longing for a lost love or for liberation of your country, or to reach Mars. That’s the idea: if you’ve known longing, then you can write longing. And that’s the knowing behind “write what you know.””

      Nathan Englander

    1. Sometimes you must surrender the idea of steering the story toward a predetermined structure and destination. We all know how to do the latter, so it feels secure.
    2. Writing about science means humbling yourself about how little you know, and then writing the story in the authoritative voice of a tentative expert.
    3. 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.

    4. 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.
    5. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Great genial power, one would almost say, consists in not being original at all; in being altogether receptive; in letting the world do all, and suffering the spirit of the hour to pass unobstructed through the mind.”

      original source?

    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. help with shadowed lettering

      In using a typewriter, "shadowed" letters can be remedied by using quicker, short keystrokes. Or as William Forrester said, "Punch the keys for God's sake!"

      Of course it also goes without saying that one should also use a backing sheet which will also help the longevity of the platen.

    1. 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. 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. How best to incorporate a book of terms? .t3_12e2r50._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } questionHi, so my Zettelkasten is mainly based around learning literary/storytelling techniques. There's a book called the Elements of Eloquence (which I can't recommend enough to those interested in language) which lays down a large number of formulas from rhetoric for creating memorable lines. It varies in complexity from alliteration to hendiadys, and contains 39 of these memorable-line-recipes in total.I want to enter them into my vault, but worry that creating 39 new notes for the individual formula might be overkill. I thought I'd ask here as I am worried about irreducibility - do I create a single note that contains brief descriptions of all the recipes, or fill my zettelkasten with them, creating what feels a little bit like spam?I've had the zettelkasten for a while but have been too busy to properly use it until recently, so I thought I'd be better off asking the people with actual experience!

      reply to u/apricotsareweird at r/Zettelkasten - How best to incorporate a book of terms?

      This sounds a bit like it might fit into the mold of an example like Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt's "Oblique Strategies" which are bits of creative advice that one draws out at random to help improve their work. You could have a custom deck for potential writing work and attempt the recipes at random to see where it takes you. At worst a collection of them could be used for spaced repetition to memorize or familiarize yourself with them. At a later date you could give them numbers and install them into a larger collection, but keeping them as a stand alone collection certainly couldn't hurt at least to start.

    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.

    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.

  16. Mar 2023
    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...

    1. Note-taking techniques I: The index card method<br /> by Raul Pacheco-Vega

      What does his full collection look like? Does he have a larger filing cabinet or boxes or are they all smaller modular boxes?

      How does he handle the variety of sizes here? Particularly the differences between 4 x 6 and 5 x 8 as it sounds like he may use them similarly outside of their size difference.

    1. Value the process, rather than the product.

      Good writing is often about practices and process to arrive at an end product and not just the end product itself.

      Writing is a means to an end, but most don't have the means to begin with.

      Writing with a card index, zettelkasten, commonplace book or other related tools can dramatically help almost any writer because it provides them with a means from the start rather than facing a blank page and having to produce whole cloth in bulk.

    1. Poem from the inside back cover of a 1913 Memindex Catalog:


      If you’re going to meet a man<br /> Jot it down<br /> If you’ve got a little plan<br /> Jot it down<br /> If you never can remember<br /> Your requirements for September<br /> ’Till October or November<br /> Jot ’em down.

      If you’ve got a note to pay<br /> Jot it down<br /> If its due the first of May<br /> Jot it down<br /> If collections are so slow<br /> That to meet the note you know<br /> You must dun old Richard Roe<br /> Jot it down

      If you have a happy thought<br /> Jot it down<br /> If there’s something to be bought<br /> Jot it down<br /> Whether duty calls or pleasure<br /> If you’re busy or at leisure<br /> It will help you beyond measure<br /> Jot it down

      If there’re facts that you’d retain<br /> Jot ’em down<br /> If you’ve got to meet a train<br /> Jot it down<br /> If at work or only play<br /> If at home or far away<br /> In the night or in the day<br /> Jot it down

    1. A sentence "this is furthered by note xy." is almost as good of an indicator that the opportunity was passed on as "reminds me of" if there is not exploration. On the contrary, if there is "reminds me of" and a thorough exploration of the connection follows it is perfectly fine.

      One can make links between ideas more explicit using words like x ["supports", "contradicts", "supports", "challenges", "extends", "contradicts", etc] y. However it can be even more useful and beneficial to not only state the connection in the loosest of terms, but to explore and develop what that connection is and how it works. The more explicit one can be, the better.

      If it's a metaphor, analogy, or abstraction, how far can one push those relationships before they collapse? Can the abstraction be encompassed in a mathematical sense that one case completely consumes another?

    1. a Structure Note can make use of a TOC form, a normal table, a mind map, a flow diagram, a straight list, or even a picture.

      Structure notes can take a variety of forms including lists, diagrams, mind maps, tables, and tables of contents.

    1. Yes, you can definitely use a card index for note-taking. In fact, many people find card indexes to be a useful and convenient tool for organizing and storing notes. Here are some tips for using a card index for note-taking:Choose a system: Decide on a system for organizing your cards. You could organize them alphabetically, by topic, by date, or by any other method that works for you.Choose the size of cards: Choose the size of cards that works best for your needs. Common sizes include 3" x 5", 4" x 6", and 5" x 8".Use one card per idea: Write one idea or piece of information on each card. This will help keep your notes organized and easy to reference.Include keywords: Include keywords on each card to make it easier to find relevant information later.Use dividers: Use dividers to separate different topics or sections in your card index. This will help keep your notes organized and easy to navigate.Carry it with you: A card index is a portable tool, so you can take it with you wherever you go. This makes it easy to take notes on the go and to refer to your notes when you need them.Overall, a card index can be a useful and efficient tool for note-taking, especially if you prefer a physical, tangible way of organizing and storing information.

      Q: Can I use a card index for note taking?

      ChatGPT does a reasonable bit of advice on how one would use a card index for note taking.

  17. Feb 2023
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwKjuBvNi40

      Ben Rowland uses index cards to outline the plot of his screenplays. This is a common practice among screenwriters. Interestingly he only uses it for plot outlining and not for actual writing the way other writers like Vladimir Nabokov may have. Both Benjamin Rowland and Duston Lance Black use cards for outlining but not at the actual writing stage.

    1. Stop Procrastinating With Note-Taking Apps Like Obsidian, Roam, Logseq https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baKCC2uTbRc by Sam Matla

      sophisticated procrastination - tweaking one's system(s) or workflow with the anticipation it will help them in the long run when it is generally almost always make-work which helps them feel smart and/or productive. Having measurable results which can be used against specific goals will help weed this problem out.

    1. If you want one final piece of (unsolicited) advice: if you bulk-import those Kindle highlights, please do not try to create literature Zettels out of everything. I did it and I DO NOT RECOMMEND. It was just too much work to rehash stuff that I had already (kind of) assimilated. Reserve that energy to write permanent notes (you probably know much more than you give yourself credit for) and just use the search function (or [^^]) to search for relevant quotes or notes. Only key and new papers/chapters you could (and should, I think) take literature notes on. Keep it fun!

      Most veteran note takers will advise against importing old notes into a new digital space for the extra amount of administrative overhead and refactoring it can create.

      Often old notes may be: - well assimilated into your memory already - poorly sourced or require lots of work and refactoring to use or reuse them - become a time suck trying to make them "perfect"

      Better advice is potentially pull them into your system in a different spot so they're searchable and potentially linkable/usable as you need them. If this seems like excessive work, and it very well may be, then just pull in individual notes as you need or remember them.

      With any luck the old notes are easily searchable/findable in whichever old system they happen to be in, so they're still accessible.

      I'll note here the conflicting definitions of multiple storage in my tags to mean: - storing a single note under multiple subject headings or index terms - storing notes in various different (uncentralized locations), so having multiple different zettelkasten at home/office, storing some notes in social media locations, in various notebooks, etc. This means you have to search across multiple different interfaces to find the thing you're looking at.

      I should create a new term to distinguish these two, but for now they're reasonably different within their own contexts that it's not a big problem unless one or the other scales.

    1. Of course the metaphor of the bees and their honey is the biggest which we've all failed to mention! It's my favorite because of its age, its location within the tradition of rhetoric and sententiae/ars excerpendi, its prolific use through history, and the way it frames collecting and arranging for the use of creativity and writing.

      In the his classic on rhetoric, Seneca gave an account of his ideas about note-taking in the 84th letter to Luculius ("On Gathering Ideas"). It begins from ut aiunt: "men say", that we should imitate the bees in our reading practice. For as they produce honey from the flowers they visit and then "assort in their cells all that they have brought in", so we should, "sift (separate) whatever we have gathered from a varied course of reading" because things keep better in isolation from one another, an idea which dovetails with ars memoria, the 4th canon of rhetoric.

      "We should follow, men say, the example of the bees, who flit about and cull the flowers that are suitable for producing honey, and then arrange and assort in their cells all that they have brought in; these bees, as our Vergil says: 'pack close the flowering honey And swell their cells with nectar sweet.' "

      Generations later in ~430 CE, Macrobius in his Saturnalia repeated the same idea (he assuredly read Seneca, though he obviously didn't acknowledge him):

      "You should not count it a fault if I shall set out the borrowings from a miscellaneous reading in the authors' own words... sometimes set out plainly in my own words and sometimes faithfully recorded in the actual words of the old writers... We ought in some sort to imitate bees; and just as they, in their wandering to and fro, sip the flowers, then arrange their spoil and distribute it among the honeycombs, and transform the various juices to a single flavor by some mixing with them a property of their own being, so I too shall put into writing all that I have acquired in the varied course of my reading... For not only does arrangement help the memory, but the actual process of arrangement, accompanied by a kind of mental fermentation which serves to season the whole, blends the diverse extracts to make a single flavor; with the result that, even if the sources are evident, what we get in the end is still something clearly different from those known sources."

      Often in manuscripts writers in the middle ages to the Renaissance would draw bees or write 'apes' (Latin for bees) in the margins of their books almost as bookmarks for things they wished to remember or excerpt for their own notes.

      Of course, neither of these classical writers mentions the added benefit that the bees were simultaneously helping to pollenate the flowers, which also enhances the ecosystem.

      • Seneca (2006) Epistles 66-92. With an English translation by Richard G. Gummere. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (Loeb Classical Library), 277-285.
      • Havens, Earle. Commonplace Books: A History of Manuscripts and Printed Books from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century. New Haven, CT: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 2001.
    1. Some systems require a unique identifier, but the people who are using a datetime stamp or random number anywhere in their (Luhmann-esque) zettelkasten title (here's a good example) are leading you astray. Doubly so if it occurs at the beginning of the title. There are no affordances in this practice and it's more likely to cause problems at scale. Just say no! (Note this is not the same as using a Luhmann-esque identifier at the start of a title as a means of providing a sort order of one's notes held in an individual folder.)

      Are there any reasons for someone to do this?! - perhaps for file name conflicts when digitally inserting notes into a system using third party clients with titles which may cause conflicts (though these could/should be removed later for easier reading); - counterexample: https://hypothes.is/a/Jux0pq7yEe2Uqj9mFXS3nQ - Another potential issue is in shared or collaborative note taking spaces where collision is more likely because others don't have the shared context. - perhaps for forcing sort orders on daily notes or recurring meetings MeetingA YYYY-MM-DD, etc., though these are probably in a separate area of one's box and not in their zettelkasten section.

      The point of a zettelkasten is to provide one help in ordering and building their knowledge, not in ordering their notes by time created. This will rarely (sans database-related use cases perhaps) provide any insight and digital systems have other easier and better ways of doing this if you need it.

      Worse, some systems may not do autocompletion on words in the middle of titles, so starting a card with a datetime can hamper this functionality. One should check this against their particular system.

    1. To cover my knowledge management process would distract you from what works for you. Your question needs more context to be actionable.TL;DR; Whichever knowledge management system gets you paid.I've got 13 notes with the term "knowledge management," 15 with "information gathering," and 7 with "strategic intelligence." Without finishing a MOC, here's off the top of my head:Have a purpose or reason for learning.Ask helpful questions that solve problems.Answer questions as stand-alone notes.Learn from primary sources. Even boring ones.Take notes for your intended audience.Serve a specific audience (get paid.)Write about what people care about.Become a subject matter expert in target areas.Deliver what you know as a service first.Build on your strengths. Knowledge is cheap.It's not a process. More like tips. If demand exists, I'll write a book on the topic in a few years. Might be a good podcast topic.“No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.” -- Samuel Johnson, The Life of Samuel JohnsonRemember, there is no shortage of knowledge. Managing information is like masturbation; it feels good but doesn't do much. Focus on making information drive goal achievement.

      Some useful and solid advice here.

    1. Beginner question .t3_112wup1._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } I see that a lot of people have the main categories as natural sciences. Social sciences etcCan I switch it toReligionActivitiesFoodOrganizationMad weird thoughtsCommunication

      reply to u/Turbulent-Focus-1389 at https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/112wup1/beginner_question/

      I'd recommend you do your best to stay away from rigid category-like classifications and see what develops. For specifics see: https://boffosocko.com/2023/01/19/on-the-interdisciplinarity-of-zettelkasten-card-numbering-topical-headings-and-indices/

      If it's easier to conceptualize, think of it all like a map which may have place names, but also has numerical coordinates. Sometimes a specific name like Richard Macksey's house is useful, but other times thinking about a specific coordinate and the general neighborhoods around them will be far more useful in your community development plan. A religion-only neighborhood without religious activities, religious food, religious organization or communication will be a a sad one indeed. If you segregate your communities, they're likely not to be very happy places for co-mingling of ideas and the potential resultant creativity you'll get out of them.

      Bob Doto also suggests a similar philosophy in some of his work, particularly with respect to folgezettel: https://writing.bobdoto.computer/zettelkasten/

      I'll note that this is an incredibly hard thing to do at the start, but it's one which you may very well wish you had done from the beginning.

    1. Should you copy a method just because Luhmann used it? No, indeed it doesn’t make sense to copy a method just because it appears sexy. One should find the best fitting method for himself.

      Some in the current zettelkasten space come close to this (Bob Doto comes to mind) while others seem to be more dogmatic. I think people generally ultimately do this in practice, but there is still a lingering sense of orthodoxy.

    1. Rebecca Spang: Stuff and Money in the Time of the French Revolution (book)

      Part of Sprang's process (per conversation with DeDeo) is reading each line out loud and revising it until it sounds good.

  18. Jan 2023
    1. Avoid both very long andvery short paragraphs: the length should usually vary from150 to 860 words. Attend carefully to the unity and correctstructure of the paragraph.

      His description of paragraphs from 150 to 350 words is interesting with respect to the amount of material that will fit on a 3x5" inch card during the note taking process.

    1. I've decided I don't care (too much) where new notes go .t3_10mjwq9._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/jackbaty at https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/10mjwq9/ive_decided_i_dont_care_too_much_where_new_notes/

      u/jackbaty, If it doesn't make sense for you (yet, or for your specific needs), you can always follow in the footsteps of the hundreds of thousands who used a topical subject heading method of the commonplace book before Luhmann's example shifted the space over the last decade. If it worked for Francis Bacon, you'll probably be alright too... (See: https://boffosocko.com/2022/06/10/reframing-and-simplifying-the-idea-of-how-to-keep-a-zettelkasten/)

      I find that sometimes, it is useful to bank up a fe