16 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2022
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ueMHkGljK0

      Robert Greene's method goes back to junior high school when he was practicing something similar. He doesn't say he invented it, and it may be likely that teachers modeled some of the system for him. He revised the system over time to make it work for himself.


      • [x] Revisit this for some pull quotes and fine details of his method. (Done on 2022-11-08)
    2. Origin of Robert Greene's (May 14, 1959 - ) note taking system using index cards:<br /> Greene didn't recall a specific origin of his practices, but did mention that his mom found some index cards at his house from a junior high school class. (Presuming a 12 year old 7th grader, this would be roughly from 1971.) Ultimately when he wrote 48 Laws of Power, he was worried about being overwhelmed with his notes and ideas in notebooks. He naturally navigated to note cards as a solution.

      Uses about 50 cards per chapter.

      His method starts by annotating his books as he reads them. A few weeks later, he revisits these books and notes to transfer his ideas to index cards. He places a theme on the top of each card along with a page number of the original reference.

      He has kept much the same system as he started with though it has changed a bit over time.

      You're either a prisoner of your material or a master of your material.

      This might not be the best system ever created, but it works for me.

      When looking through a corpus of cards for a project, Robert Greene is able to make note of the need to potentially reuse a card within a particular work if necessary. The fact that index cards are inherently mobile within his projects make them easy to move and reuse.

      I haven't heard in either Robert Greene or Ryan Holiday's practices evidence that they reuse notes or note cards from one specific project to the next. Based on all the evidence I've seen, they maintain individual collections for each book project for which they're developing.

      [...] like a chameleon [the index card system is] constantly changing colors or [like] something that's able to change its shape at will. This whole system can change its shape as I direct it.

    3. Robert Greene: (pruriently) "You want to see my index cards?"<br /> Brian Rose: (curiously) Yeah. Can we?? ... This is epic! timestamp

    1. This reminded me of Robert Greene’s definition of creativity, which is that creativity is a function of putting in lots of tedious work. “If you put a lot of hours into thinking and researching and reading,” Robert says, “hour after hour—a very tedious process—creativity will come to you.” 

      Robert Green's definition of creativity sounds like it's related to diffuse thinking processes. read: https://billyoppenheimer.com/august-14-2022/

      Often note taking, and reviewing over those notes is more explicit in form for creating new ideas.

      Come back to explore these.

  2. Oct 2022
    1. Nicht wenige Kästen sind nur für ein einziges Buch angelegt worden, Siegfried Kracauers Sammlungen etwa zu seiner Monographie über Jacques Offenbach, das Bildarchiv des Historikers Reinhart Koselleck mit Abteilungen Tausender Fotos von Reiterdenkmälern beispielsweise oder der Kasten des Romanisten Hans Robert Jauß, in dem er für seine Habilitationsschrift mittelalterliche Tiernamen und -eigenschaften verzettelte.

      machine translation (Google)

      Quite a few boxes have been created for just one book, Siegfried Kracauer's collections for his monograph on Jacques Offenbach, for example, the photo archive of the historian Reinhart Koselleck with sections of thousands of photos of equestrian monuments, for example, or the box by the Romanist Hans Robert Jauß, in which he wrote for his Habilitation dissertation bogged down medieval animal names and characteristics.

      A zettelkasten need not be a lifetime practice and historically many were created for supporting a specific project or ultimate work. Examples can be seen in the work of both Robert Green and his former assistant Ryan Holiday who kept separate collections for each of their books, as well as those displayed at the German Literature Archive in Marbach (2013) including Siegfried Kracauer (for a monograph on Jacques Offenbach), Reinhart Koselleck (equestrian related photos), Hans Robert Jauß (a dissertation on medieval animal names and characteristics).

    1. Index cards for commonplacing?

      I know that Robert Greene and Ryan Holiday have talked about their commonplace methods using index cards before, and Mortimer J. Adler et al. used index cards with commonplacing methods in their Great Books/Syntopicon project, but is anyone else using this method? Where or from whom did you learn/hear about using index cards? What benefits do you feel you're getting over a journal or notebook-based method? Mortimer J. Adler smoking a pipe amidst a sea of index cards in boxes with 102 topic labels (examples: Law, World, Love, Life, Being, Sin, Art, Citizen, Change, etc.)

    1. Goutor doesn't specifically cover the process, but ostensibly after one has categorized content notes, they are filed together in one's box under that heading. (p34) As a result, there is no specific indexing or cross-indexing of cards or ideas which might be filed under multiple headings. In fact, he doesn't approach the idea of filing under multiple headings at all, while authors like Heyde (1931) obsess over it. Goutor's method also presumes that the creation of some of the subject headings is to be done in the planning stages of the project, though in practice some may arise as one works. This process is more similar to that seen in Robert Greene's commonplacing method using index cards.

  3. Aug 2022
    1. I use 4×6 ruled index cards, which Robert Greene introduced me to. I write the information on the card, and the theme/category on the top right corner. As he figured out, being able to shuffle and move the cards into different groups is crucial to getting the most out of them.

      Ryan Holiday keeps a commonplace book on 4x6 inch ruled index cards with a theme or category written in the top right corner. He learned his system from Robert Greene.

      Of crucial importance to him was the ability to shuffle the cards and move them around.

    1. It's several thousand 4x6 notecards—based on a system taught to by my mentor Robert Greene when I was his research assistant—that have ideas, notes on books I liked, quotes that caught my attention, research for projects or phrases I am kicking around.

      Ryan Holiday learned his index card-based commonplace book system from writer Robert Greene for whom he worked as an assistant.

  4. Jul 2022
    1. I think this one will be of interest to you

      Thanks! Robert Greene's method has also been heavily written about by Ryan Holiday who worked for him, used it subsequently, and has delineated the process in reasonable detail in several posts on his own blog and in Lifehacker in 2013/2014: - https://lifehacker.com/im-ryan-holiday-and-this-is-how-i-work-1485776137 - https://ryanholiday.net/how-and-why-to-keep-a-commonplace-book/ - https://ryanholiday.net/the-notecard-system-the-key-for-remembering-organizing-and-using-everything-you-read/

      Commonplacing goes back over two millenia and was very popular in the 1500-1800s. I'm specifically more interested in examples of refined heavily linked zk techniques as one "comes down the stretch". Thus far there are incredibly few public examples in the space...

    1. Realizing that my prior separate advice wasn't as actionable or specific, I thought I'd take another crack at your question.

      Some seem to miss the older techniques and names for this sort of practice and get too wound up in words like categories, tags, #hashtags, [[wikilinks]], or other related taxonomies and ontologies. Some become confounded about how to implement these into digital systems. Simplify things and index your ideas/notes the way one would have indexed books in a library card catalog, generally using subject, author and title.

      Since you're using an approach more grounded in the commonplace book tradition rather than a zettelkasten one, put an easy identifier on your note (this can be a unique title or number) and then cross reference it with any related subject headings or topical category words you find useful.

      Here's a concrete example, hopefully in reasonable detail that one can easily follow. Let's say you have a quote you want to save:

      No piece of information is superior to any other. Power lies in having them all on file and then finding the connections. There are always connections; you have only to want to find them.—Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum

      In a paper system you might give this card the identification number #237. (This is analogous to the Dewey Decimal number that might be put on a book to find it on the shelves.) You want to be able to find this quote in the future using the topical words "power", "information", "connections", and "quotes" for example. (Which topical headings you choose and why can be up to you, the goal is to make it easier to dig up for potential reuse in future contexts). So create a separate paper index with alphabetical headings (A-Z) and then write cards for your topical headings. Your card with "power" at the top will have the number #237 on it to indicate that that card is related to the word power. You'll ultimately have other cards that relate and can easily find everything related to "power" within your system by using this subject index.

      You might also want to file that quote under two other "topics" which will make it easy to find: primarily the author of the quote "Umberto Eco" and the title of the source Foucault's Pendulum. You can add these to your index the same way you did "power", "information", etc., but it may be easier or more logical to keep a bibliographic index separately for footnoting your material, so you might want a separate bibliographic index for authors and sources. If you do this, then create a card with Umberto Eco at the top and then put the number #237 on it. Later you'll add other numbers for other related ideas to Eco. You can then keep your card "Eco, Umberto" alphabetized with all the other authors you cite. You'll effect a similar process with the title.

      With this done, you now have a system in which you don't have to categorize a single idea in a single place. Regardless of what project or thing you're working on, you can find lots of related notes. If you're juggling multiple projects you can have an index file or document outline for these as well. So your book project on the History of Information could have a rough outline of the book on which you've got the number #237 in the chapter or place where you might use the quote.

      Hopefully this will be even more flexible than Holiday's system because that was broadly project based. In practice, if you're keeping notes over a lifetime, you're unlikely to be interested in dramatically different areas the way Ryan Holiday or Robert Greene were for disparate book projects, but will find more overlapping areas. Having a more flexible system that will allow you to reuse your notes for multiple settings or projects will be highly valuable.

      For those who are using digital systems, ask yourself: "what functions and features allow you to do these analog patterns most easily?" If you're using something like Obsidian which has #tagging functionality that automatically creates an index of all your tags, then leverage that and remove some of the manual process. The goal is to make sure the digital system is creating the structure to allow you to easily find and use your notes when you need them. If your note taking system doesn't have custom functionalities for any of these things, then you'll need to do more portions of them manually.

  5. Jun 2022
  6. danallosso.substack.com danallosso.substack.com
    1. https://danallosso.substack.com/p/note-cards?s=r

      Outline of one of Dan's experiments writing a handbook about reading, thinking, and writing. He's taking a zettelkasten-like approach, but doing it as a stand-alone project with little indexing and crosslinking of ideas or creating card addresses.

      This sounds more akin to the processes of Vladimir Nabokov and Ryan Holiday/Robert Greene.

  7. Dec 2021