15 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2023
    1. The ‘size’ of facts served a dream of information recombination, and was served bythe card form. Other advocates of Zettelkasten like Johann Jacob Moser (1701–1785)remarked that fairly small facts meant the mass of information was broken down to itsindividual components and thus could be constantly reshuffled in a ‘game of cards’(Krajewski, 2011: 53-5).

      suggestion of recombination of individual notes using cards to create something new

      (have I remarked on this in krajewski?) ᔥ Johann Jacob Moser commented on the ability to breakdown bodies of information into smaller pieces that might be reshuffled into new configurations as one might in a 'game of cards'.

    2. Moreover, card indexes give further form to Bruno Latour’s meditations on writing: ifLatour described writing as a kind of ‘flattening’ of knowledge, then card indexes, likevertical files, represent information in three dimensions, making ideas simultaneouslyimmutable and highly mobile, and the smallness of ideas and ‘facts’ forced to fit onpaper slips allowed for reordering (Latour, 1986: 19-20).
    3. However, the miniscule size of ‘facts’ did not neces-sarily reflect Deutsch’s adherence to any theory of information. Instead, it indicated hispersonal interest in distinctions of the smallest scale, vocalized by his motto ‘de minimiscurat historicus’, that history’s minutiae matter.

      Gotthard Deutsch didn't adhere to any particular theory of information when it came to the size of his notes. Instead Jason Lustig indicates that his perspective was influenced by his personal motto 'de minimis curat historicus' (history's minutiae matter), and as a result, he was interested in the smallest of distinctions of fact and evidence. ᔥ

    4. he spoke of the ‘historian’s credo’ that ‘the factscrubbed clean is more eternal than perfumed or rouged words’ (Marcus, 1957:466).17

      Jacob Marcus, ‘The Historian’s Credo’, 1958, AJA Marcus Nearprint File, Box 2.

    1. We know we’re supposed to write one idea per page/card. What constitutes an “idea”? How do I identify what a good idea is? What does an idea that fits on one card feel like?

      Here the writer, who doesn't lay out any of the general principles of a zettelkasten practice, automatically presumes one idea per card (presumes it from where? zeitgeist) and then jumps into the question of note size and other semantics.

  2. Aug 2023
    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]].

  3. Apr 2023
    1. Catalog cards were 2 by 5 inches (5 cm × 13 cm); the Harvard College size.

      Early library card catalogs used cards that were 2 x 5" cards, the Harvard College size, before the standardization of 3 x 5" index cards.

  4. Mar 2023
    1. Can I use a card index for note taking?Yes, you can certainly use a card index for note-taking. Card indexes have been a popular method of note-taking for many years and can be very effective. Here are a few tips to get you started:Choose the right size of card index: Card indexes come in various sizes, so choose one that is comfortable for you to handle and store.Use cards of the same size: Using cards of the same size ensures that they will fit into your index box or file and that they will be easy to handle.Choose a system for organizing your cards: You can organize your cards alphabetically, by subject, by date, or any other system that works for you.Use one card per idea or topic: To keep your notes organized and easy to find, use one card per idea or topic.Keep your notes brief and to the point: Use brief notes that summarize the key points of your topic. This will make it easier to review your notes and find the information you need.Review your notes regularly: Review your notes regularly to keep the information fresh in your mind and to make sure you haven't missed anything important.Overall, a card index can be a very effective method of note-taking, as long as you develop a system that works for you and use it consistently.


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

      Compare with: https://hypothes.is/a/HTqQPrksEe2XdQcSVvzXLQ

    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.

  5. Feb 2023
  6. Oct 2022
    1. Filing is a tedious activity and bundles of unsorted notes accumulate. Some of them get loose and blow around the house, turning up months later under a carpet or a cushion. A few of my most valued envelopes have disappeared altogether. I strongly suspect that they fell into the large basket at the side of my desk full of the waste paper with which they are only too easily confused.

      Relying on cut up slips of paper rather than the standard cards of equal size, Keith Thomas has relayed that his slips often "get loose and blow around the house, turning up months later under a carpet or cushion."

      He also suspects that some of his notes have accidentally been thrown away by falling off his desk and into the nearby waste basket which camouflages his notes amongst similar looking trash.

    1. While he previously recommended using note cards of the same size, the examples in Goutor (1980) have 3x5" cards for bibliographic notes and 5x7" or larger cards for content notes. (p19, 21)

      Is there a reason stated anywhere here for this discrepancy or change? One would ostensibly keep them in different places/sections of one's card index, but does the size difference help to differentiate the two to aid in sorting? Is the larger card intended to hold more long form writing?

      Goutor is in Canada, so were 5x7" cards more common or standardized there in the late 1970s and early 80s?

      A5 measures 148 × 210 millimeters or 5.83 × 8.27 inches, so is a bit larger than 5x7".

      5x7" is a more standard photo size, so was this chosen as the result of storage options from the photography space?

      5x7" is scantly available in America in 2022, but only from Hamilco. A few others make cardstock in that size but not specifically as index cards.

    2. Goutor comments, like many before him, that it is common to take notes on notebook paper in longer form, but that this is inadvisable as it is much harder to impose a useful order or classification on such work. He does mention scissors as a means of cutting up such notes, but comments that "a mass of slips of paper of varying sizes [can be] difficult to arrange and potentially useless unless care has been taken to note the source of each separate entry."

      He also repeats the frequent admonitions that one should take notes only on one side and to use cards of a uniform size.


  7. Sep 2022
    1. Thesheets must always be of equal size, or at least of equal height in order not to get stuck or beoverlooked when manually searching for sheets or adding them.