1,281 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2024
    1. The 1975's Matty Healy uses his phone to take notes. They're more important to him privacy-wise than all the text messages he's ever sent.

      He also uses an A5 sized notebook as one of his 10 most important things. He's placed reward notices in his notebooks ranging from $500 to $5000.

    1. So, how do you actually transfer a book with a systematic theory into your ZK/Evergreen notes?

      reply to u/judugrovee at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/1cb1s8j/so_how_do_you_actually_transfer_a_book_with_a/

      Others here have written some good advice about the note taking portions, but perhaps some of your issue is with your reading method. To reframe this, I recommend you take a look at How to Read a Book: The Classical Guide to Intelligent Reading (Touchstone, 2011) by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren and Adler's earlier article “How to Mark a Book" (Saturday Review of Literature, July 6, 1940. https://www.unz.com/print/SaturdayRev-1940jul06-00011/)

      The careful reader will notice that they recommend a lot of the same sorts of note making and annotation practices as Ahrens does (and by extension Luhmann), though their notes are being written in the margins and in the front and back pages of the book. On the reading front, you may be conflating some of the reading/understanding/learning work with the note taking and sense making portions. If instead, you do a quick inspectional read followed by a read through prior to doing a more analytical read you'll find that you have a stronger understanding of the material conceptually. Some of the material you took expansive notes on before will likely seem basic and not require the sorts of permanent notes you've been making. Your cognitive load will have been lessened and you'll instead spend more productive time making fewer, but more useful permanent notes in the end.

      On the first reads through, reframe your work as coming to a general understanding of what is going on while you're creating a quick-and-dirty personal index of what is interesting in the work. On subsequent focus, you can hone in on the most important pieces of what the author is saying with respect to your own interests and work. It's here that the dovetailing of good reading method and good note making method will shine for you, and importantly help cut down on what may seem like busywork.

      It's not often discussed in some of the ZK space, but reading method can be even more important than note taking method. And at the end of the day, your particular needs and regular practice (practice, and more practice) will eventually help hone your work into something more valuable to you over time. Eventually you'll more quickly rise to the level of what C. Wright Mills called "intellectual craftsmanship" (1952).

    1. I can't replace note taking with Anki – it's too slow, and for many things a poor use of my long-term memory.

      Why not this?: Idea -> Note-taking -> (Filter) -> Anki

      How to optimise for: * Time * Memory

      And what are the opportunity costs?

    2. The act of constructing an Anki card is itself nearly always a form of elaborative encoding

      The same happens when you make atomic notes in Roam or Obsidian, where you can link things. Non-linear note-taking

    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.)

    2. Experiencein dealing with quantities of literature and our special knowledgein our particular field should enable us to discriminate so thaton the one hand no information of value is allowed to slip byand on the other hand we are not burdening ourselves withuseless material.
    3. Words are brought into relation according to recognised rulesand thus give language. Language is that by means of whichwe describe or record intelligently. Records represent know-ledge, they give information, information belongs to our businessmaterials; we use it, we apply it, hence we group it into classesto make it accessible, we index it. Broadly speaking literatureis the result of1 observation of concretes2 translating our observations into language.

      While Kaiser's definition of literature presumes letters and writing, his use of it doesn't narrow it down to require literacy, it speaks only of observations and language.

      Similarly his use of "records" doesn't need to only to require writing.

      As such, the description here of recording information, while applicable to literate cultures, leaves plenty of room for oral cultures who use similar systems to do the same thing.

      Songlines and related mnemonics are certainly means of indexing information.

    4. Classification work is however not quite as simple as it maylook, on the contrary, it is a rather tricky subject, for wemust give our classes a name, we must define them, we mustknow at any rate ourselves where they begin and where theyend. It would never do for the classes to interfere with each,other, they must be defined so that they neither overlap amongthemselves nor leave any ground of the organisation as a wholeuncovered. That is certainly a difficulty but it is not insur-mountable where patience and perseverance are brought to»bear.

      Kaiser's idea of classification work bears close similarity to Mortimer Adler/Charles Van Doren's concept of coming to terms. There are subtle shades between ideas which must be differentiated so as to better situate them with respect to others.

    5. That is not the case.It is true, a variety of published indexes, catalogues and biblio-graphies to periodical and other literature exists, but they donot and cannot meet our individual case, for1 Every individual moves in a sphere of his own and coversindividual ground such as a printed index cannot touch.2 Printed indexes although they give usable information,cannot go sufficiently into details, they must studyabove all the common requirements of a number ofsubscribers sufficiently large to assure their existenceand continuance (apart from the question of adver-tising).

      Kaiser's argument for why building a personal index of notes is more valuable than relying on the indexes of others.

      Note that this is answer still stands firmly even after the advent of both the Mundaneum, Google, and other digital search methods (not to mention his statement about ignoring advertising, which obviously had irksome aspects even in 1911.) Our needs and desires are idiosyncratic, so our personal indexes are going to be imminently more valuable to us over time because of these idiosyncrasies. Sure, you could just Google it, but Google answers stand alone and don't build you toward insight without the added work of creating your own index.

      Some of this is bound up in the idea that your own personal notes are far more valuable than the notes someone else may have taken and passed along to you.

    6. we shall beginto realise that a more judicious selection may be desirable.Experience alone can guide us in this.

      Only personal experience in your note taking practice will guide you on what is most valuable for excerpting. After time you will come to know and understand what is worth spending your time on and what isn't. You will not learn this from others experience, only your own, and this is why we call it practice.

    7. o businesses of varied sizes are set forth and their working illustrated."We note with appreciation the author's use of "flags" as indic.itors.Our experience of these handy and ingenious little devices datesfrom their first introduction in the States, and we can endorse all that"he says in their favour.

      When were bookmark-like "flags" introduced in America? (Certainly prior to 1908, based on this reference.)

    8. So far as we are aware, this is the first adequatebook on the card system which has been published in this country.In the main, information on the subject has only been procurablefrom the catalogues and booklets (many of them excellent andinforming; issued by the manufacturers of the impedimenta of thesystem,

      anecdotal evidence from Ironmonger (1908) that this is the first card index book and prior versions are only of shorter booklet-like forms.

      (Naturally, I don't trust this in the fullest sense.)

  2. Mar 2024
    1. Frequent re- arrangements are a distinct disadvantage,for with every change the filer loses much time in becoming familiaragain with the new positions.

      While Kaiser recommends against the need to re-arrange physical cards from one drawer to another, which creates the need to refamiliarize oneself with their new locations, the same idea applies to switching from one digital note taking application to another as a similar switch of user interface functionality may cause additional overhead and stress thereby preventing quick use of the system itself.

    2. As the functionof the caU number is separation, so the function of references isconcentration.

      Placing call numbers or location numbers on items to be filed allows them to be separated from other items while placing cross-references or links allows them to be brought back together again. These two affordances allow for divergence as well as convergence of items or ideas.

    3. The card system suffers at presentunder one great disadvantage, it has no fixed terminology.

      Kaiser might be surprised at the overuse and confusing nature of terminology in the modern note taking space now. Somehow the terminology still suffers from lack of consistent and fixed terminology.

    4. 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.

      (¶76)

    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. writing about something you have read or researched should serve at least three purposes: to explore the material; to describe your reactions to it; and to communicate with yourreader.
  3. Feb 2024
    1. https://chat.openai.com/g/g-z5XcnT7cQ-zettel-critique-assistant

      Zettel Critique Assistant<br /> By Florian Lengyel<br /> Critique Zettels following three rules: Zettels should have a single focus, WikiLinks indicate a shift in focus, Zettels should be written for your future self. The GPT will suggest how to split multi-focused notes into separate notes. Create structure note from a list of note titles and abstracts.

      ᔥ[[ZettelDistraction]] in Share with us what is happening in your ZK this week. February 20, 2024

    1. Some weeks ago I explain the philosophy of Antinet Zettelkasten to my girlfriend. She was sceptical at that moment but when she saw my purple metal box full of cards and dividers she started to gather information and with her father made this one. The name is zauberkasten (magic box in german) and this is not the final version. Hope you like folks! :)
    1. Despite a weak constitution, hewould walk several miles a day in the countryside of his native Lincolnshire,spotting plants and making copious notes in his diary, which he carried, alongwith a pen and inkpot, in one of the many special inner pockets that he hadsewn into his jacket.

      Adrian was the son of Edward Peacock.

    2. the outright winner was a mysterious character called Thomas Austin Jnr whosent Dr Murray an incredible total of 165,061 over the span of a decade.Second place goes to William Douglas of Primrose Hill who sent in 151,982slips over twenty-two years; third place to Dr Thomas Nadauld Brushfield ofDevon, with 70,277 over twenty-eight years; with Dr William Chester Minorof Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum coming in fourth place with 62,720slips.

      Top slip contributors to OED: 1. Thomas Austin Jnr. 165,061 slips over 10 years (45.22 notes per day) 2. William Douglas 151,982 over 22 years (18.92 notes per day) 3. Thomas Nadauld Brushfield 70,277 over 28 years (1.98 notes per day) 4. William Chester Minor 62,720 slips over 23 years (to 1906) (7.5 notes per day)

    3. He had written the names and addresses of not just hundreds butthousands of people who had volunteered to contribute to the Dictionary.Finding Dr Murray’s address book

      James Murray kept an address book with the names, addresses, and notations about the thousands of people who had volunteered contributions for the Oxford English Dictionary. Also included were the lists of material they read, the level of their contributions in number of slips and dates sent, as well as various personal details including relationships, marriages, and deaths.

  4. Jan 2024
    1. This note would live among others of the same topic, only to be called upon when the topic was explored.

      Not mentioned here is that with a top-down approach, if a card had related topics on it, then it would have to either be copied to those areas separately, or would need to be carefully cross-indexed to those areas to be able to be found again when needed.

      When the number of topics, n, begins to exceed 2 the amount of additional work and cards can grow quite a bit, though generally only linearly with respect to n. (Don't discount the work on the back side of searching for and finding these easily at later dates.)

    1. here are I think some of the reasons why DIY 00:32:44 beats AI um I noticed one or two of you taking notes on the computer now I don't want to pick in anybody out but it is scientifically demonstra ated that 00:32:57 handwritten notes go into your brain better than typed notes because you have to think a little bit more about what you write on the page just like in consecutive interpreting and because you 00:33:11 think about where it is on the page you remember it if you don't process you can't remember there's also a very human element of sort of geospatial if you write with your hand 00:33:24 you can actually remember oh yeah I wrote that at the top right hand corner I wrote that bottom left when you type on a computer even on a I find even writing on an iPad you lose the 00:33:36 geospatial element of where you put things

      physically writing, memory "geospatial" tactile

    1. Hiya - I'm just curious about how people use Obsidian in academia. I guess you could say I'm looking for examples of what it's used for (e.g. to take short notes or to link ideas) and in what kind of systems may guide people's vaults (e.g. Zettelkasten). I'm also just keen on connecting with other PhD candidates through these blogs. No one at my uni that I know of is currently using Obsidian for academic work

      Reply to Couscous at https://discord.com/channels/686053708261228577/722584061087842365/1197392837952684052


      A quick survey of currently active academics, teachers, and researchers who are blogging about note taking practices and zettelkasten-based methods.

      Individuals

      Dan Allosso is a history professor at Bemidji State University who has used Obsidian in his courses in the past. He frequently writes about related topics on his Substack channels. One can also find related videos about reading, writing, and research process as well as zettelkasten on his YouTube channel. In addition to this, Dan has a book on note taking and writing which focuses on using a card index or zettelkasten centric process.

      Shawn Graham has both a blog as well as a prior course on the history of the internet using Obsidian. In the course materials he has compiled significant details and suggestions for setting up an Obsidian vault for students interested in using the tool.

      Kathleen Fitzpatrick has a significant blog which covers a variety of topics centered around her work and research. Her current course Peculiar Genres of Academic Writing (2024) focuses on writing, note taking (including Zettelkasten) and encourages students to try out Obsidian, which she's been using herself. A syllabus for an earlier version of the course includes some big name bloggers in academia whose sites might serve as examples of academic writing in the public. The syllabus also includes a section on being an academic blogger and creating platform as a public intellectual.

      Morganeua is a Ph.D. candidate who has a fairly popular YouTube channel on note taking within the academic setting (broadly using Obsidian, though she does touch on other tools from time to time).

      Chris Aldrich is independent research who does work at the intersection of intellectual history and note taking methods and practices. He's got an active website along with a large collection of note taking, zettelkasten, commonplace books, and sense-making related articles. His practice is a hybrid one using both analog and digital methods including Obsidian and Hypothes.is.

      Bob Doto is a teacher and independent researcher who focuses on Luhmann-artig zettelkasten practice and writing. He uses Obsidian and also operates a private Discord server focused on general Zettelkasten practice.

      Manfred Kuehn, a professor of philosophy at Boston University, had an influential blog on note taking practices and culture from 2007 to 2018 on Blogspot. While he's taken the site down, the majority of his work there can be found on the Internet Archive.

      Andy Matuschak is an independent researcher who is working at the intersection of learning, knowledge management, reading and related topics. He's got a Patreon, YouTube Channel and a public wiki.

      Broader community-based efforts

      Here are some tool-specific as well as tool-agnostic web-based fora, chat rooms, etc. which are focused on academic-related note taking and will have a variety of people to follow and interact with.

      Obsidian runs a large and diverse Discord server. In addition to many others, they have channels for #Academia and #Academic-tools as well as #Knowledge-management and #zettelkasten.

      Tinderbox hosts regular meetups (see their forum for details on upcoming events and how to join). While their events are often product-focused (ways to use it, Q&A, etc.), frequently they've got invited speakers who talk about their work, processes, and methods of working. Past recorded sessions can be found on YouTube. While this is tool-specific, much of what is discussed in their meetups can broadly be applied to any tool set. Because Tinderbox has been around since the early 00s and heavily focused on academic use, the majority of participants in the community are highly tech literate academics whose age skews to the over 40 set.

      A variety of Zettelkasten practitioners including several current and retired academicians using a variety of platforms can be found at https://forum.zettelkasten.de/.

      Boris Mann and others held Tools for Thought meetups which had been regularly held through 2023. They may have some interesting archived material for perusal on both theory, practice, and a wide variety of tools.

      Others?

      I've tried to quickly tip out my own zettelkasten on this topic with a focus on larger repositories of active publicly available web-based material. Surely there is a much wider variety of people and resources not listed here, but it should be a reasonable primer for beginners. Feel free to reply with additional suggestions and resources of which you may be aware.

    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. But, to rephrase my concern, I am not really interested in creating a set of broadly shared or minimum required characteristics by which to define a Zettelkasten in general, rather I would be interested in coming to agreement on what the essential characteristics of the specific Luhmann Zettelkasten are in particular. Then, would be able to compare those essential criteria against other kasten both analog and digital to discern the differences and deficiencies.

      reply to JasperMcFly at https://forum.zettelkasten.de/discussion/comment/19282/#Comment_19282

      I've been working towards this goal for some time. The idea isn't simply delineating the characteristics of Luhmann's system and its comparison to others, but to discern what the broadest characteristics of all of these systems are and what sorts of affordances those pieces and forms provide as tools for organizing and thinking. This will allow a broader range of people with different needs and different abilities to pick and choose which characteristics and methods might work best for them to reach those particular goals. Too many are approaching zettelkasten with a surface level understanding and somehow hoping that it will magically solve all their problems. When it doesn't, "consequently," as Luhmann would say, "just like in porn movies, they leave disappointed." [ZK II note 9/8.3]

    1. Über die Karteikartentechnik wurde sogar ein wunderbares Buch geschrieben: Karteikunde, Das Handbuch der Karteikartentechnik von Dr. Walter Porstmann.

      A wonderful book has even been written about the index card technique: Index Cardology, The Handbook of Index Card Technique by Dr. Walter Porstmann.

      Looks like there's three editions from 1928 to the 1950s: Porstmann, Walter. Kartei - Kunde: das Handbuch der Karteitechnik. Stuttgart: Verlag für Wirtschaft und Verkehr, 1928. https://search.worldcat.org/formats-editions/58666432?limit=50&offset=1&orderBy=publicationDateAsc

  5. Dec 2023
    1. “I do all my own research,” she said, “though reviewers have speculatedthat I must have a band of hirelings. I like to be led by a footnote ontosomething I never thought of. I rarely photocopy research materials because, for me, note-taking is learning, distilling. That’s the whole essence ofthe business. In taking notes, you have to discard what you don’t need. If you[photocopy] it, you haven’t chewed it.”

      Sounds similar to Umberto Eco's admonition about photocopying: https://hypothes.is/a/U3Sg_r0ZEe25T2tD3U-nmw

    1. 735: _Nen_Kumi Name______ : 2006/03/04 (Sat) 23:35:55 ​​ID:??? >>732  5×3 was used as a book search card. (Almost all electronic now) It 's a little smaller than the popular version of the productivity notebook, making it ideal for portable notes. Other purposes include memorization cards and information retrieval. However, B7 and mini 6-hole system notebooks are almost the same size, so they are being pushed out and are not widely used in Japan.   How to do it in a book called How to Write an American-style Essay. 1.Write a tentative table of contents. 2.Write out the required literature on 5x3 cards.   a Classification code in the upper right corner b Author name and book title in the middle. c Assign a serial number to the top left. d Below is where you can get information.Finally,   write down all the information necessary for the paper's citation list. (4-a) 3. Rewrite the literature cards into a list. (It's a pain twice, but he says to do it.) 4. Write the information on 5x3 cards.   a Prepare literature cards and literature. Finish your bibliography cards. (2-e)   bWrite an information card ① One memo per card, information is the golden rule ② Write it in your own words ③ When copying, enclose it in quotation marks.   ⑤ Serial number of the literature card in the upper left ⑥ Tentative table of contents and card keyword in the upper right 5. Once all the literature cards are checked, rearrange them in the order of the table of contents. Elaboration. 6. The rest is drafting, footnotes, reviewing, citing, proofreading, and finishing.

      https://web.archive.org/web/20060422014759/http://that4.2ch.net/test/read.cgi/stationery/1021438965/l50

      Apparently there is a Japanese text with the title "How to Write and American-style Essay" which recommends using classification codes in the upper right and an assigned serial number in the top left.

      How was this related (or not) to Luhmann's practice or to the practices of the Dewey Decimal System? [Update: not related at all, see: https://hypothes.is/a/bDEoiqT3Ee6lAeNajBBsjw]

    2. I have summarized what is written about information cards in the book I have. ・Four Heavenly Kings Tadao Umesao, “Technology of intellectual production”, Iwanami Shinsho F93 Jiro Kawakita, “Idea method”, Chuko Shinsho 136 Shoichi Watabe, “Method of intellectual life”, Kodansha Gendai Shinsho 436 Hajime Itasaka, “Technology of thinking” "Writing Techniques", Kodansha Gendai Shinsho 327 /Derivative Yoshiyasu Ogasawara, "Report/Essay Techniques for University Students", Kodansha Gendai Shinsho 1603 Akira Aizawa, "Kyoto University Style Logical Thinking", Sunmark Publishing Nishio Tadahisa, "Word Processing Study Techniques" ”, Kodansha Gendai Shinsho 767 /Others Umberto Eco, “Essay Writing”, Jiritshobo Hayashi Nozomi, “Living with Mr. Limbaugh's Study”, Chie no Mori Bunko
    1. How to link between Cards The "date" and "time" stamp of a cards define their "absolute name". This is why the time stamp must be unique, but not necessary to be accurate. In addition, it is easy to find a specific card, according to the stamp, if all cards are kept in chronological order. This technique was first introduced on the 2-channel.

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/hawkexpress/192480328/in/album-72157594200490122/

      The PoIC system allows linking of cards using date/timestamps for indexing/finding. Interestingly they were all kept in chronological order rather than in idea order as in Luhmann's zettelkasten.

      What are the pros/cons of this?<br /> - more searching and hunting through cards certainly is a drawback for lack of "threaded" ideas - others...

      hawkexpress apparently learned this technique on the 2-channel.

      (Edited 2022-10-13, 2023-12-27)

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

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/hawkexpress/189972899/in/album-72157594200490122/

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

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

    1. Summary

      1. 📚 Second Edition Overview: This is the second, revised and expanded edition of the book. The first edition was titled "Como Fazer Anotações Inteligentes. Uma Técnica Simples para Impulsionar a Escrita, Aprendizado e Pensamento - para Estudantes, Acadêmicos e Escritores de Livros de Não Ficção".

      2. 🖋️ Key Focus: The book emphasizes the importance of organizing ideas and notes for effective writing. It's a guide for students, academics, and knowledge professionals to enhance their writing, learning, and long-term knowledge retention.

      3. 🧠 Smart Notes Methodology: It introduces the concept of Smart Notes, based on psychological insights and the proven Zettelkasten note-taking technique, offering a comprehensive guide in English for the first time.

      4. 🎯 Target Audience: The book is particularly useful for students and academics in social sciences and humanities, non-fiction writers, and anyone engaged in reading, thinking, and writing.

      5. Time Efficiency: Focuses on saving time spent searching for notes, quotes, or references, allowing more time for thinking, understanding, and developing new ideas in writing.

      6. 👤 Author's Background: Written by Dr. Sönke Ahrens, a writer and researcher in education and social sciences, known for the award-winning book "Experimento e Exploração: Formas de Revelação do Mundo" (Springer).

      7. 🌍 Global Reach: Since its initial release, "Como Fazer Anotações Inteligentes" has sold over 10,000 copies and has been translated into seven languages.

    1. I don't use private personal wikis, so my interpretation is: Zettelkasten is the private work space, personal wiki is a form of publication. Maybe not polished for publishing, but edited and redacted where needed, so I can trust that I can be stupid in my Zettelkasten without anyone noticing.

      reply to ctietze at https://forum.zettelkasten.de/discussion/comment/15201/#Comment_15201

      I can be stupid in my [private] Zettelkasten without anyone noticing.

      I too have a private space exactly for this purpose. On the other hand, writing and publishing in public spaces forces me to do some additional thinking/polishing work that I might not otherwise, and that often provides some spectacular results as well as useful feedback for improvement over time.

    1. A GNU Emacs major mode for convenient plain text markup — and much more. Org mode is for keeping notes, maintaining to-do lists, planning projects, authoring documents, computational notebooks, literate programming and more — in a fast and effective plain text system.

      A note taking tool discussed by [[Bastien Guerry]] at I Annotate 2021.

    1. Test-Driving a New Generation of Second Brain Apps: Obsidian, Tana, and Mem

      I'm a bit surprised at the conclusion: Evernote still the best and can't be supplanted easily. Seriously?

      But there are some naked truths about Tana and Mem (and Mem X). The Second Brain guy didn't mince words.

      I think he is too harsh on Obsidian. You can't have your cake and eat it. If local-first philosophy is of utmost importance to you, you've got to learn where the vaults are stored locally. Duh!

  6. 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'.

    1. Live-Roaming: Using Roam to teach students in college

      I'd listened to this whole episode sometime since 2022-04-05, but didn't put it in my notes.

      Mark Robertson delineates how he actively models the use of his note taking practice (using Roam Research) while teaching/lecturing in the classroom. This sort of modeling can be useful for showing students how academics read, gather, and actively use their knowledge. It does miss the portion about using the knowledge to create papers, articles, books, etc., but the use of this mode of reading and notes within a discussion setting isn't terribly different.

      Use of the system for conversation/discussion with the authors of various texts as you read, with your (past) self as you consult your own notes, or your students in classroom lectures/discussion sections is close to creating your own discussion for new audiences (by way of the work your write yourself.)

      https://www.buzzsprout.com/1194506/4875515-mark-robertson-history-socratic-dialogue-live-roaming.mp3

    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. Macaulay claimed that his memory was good enough to enable him to write out the whole of Paradise Lost. But when preparing his History of England, he made extensive notes in a multitude of pocketbooks of every shape and colour.

      Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, PC, FRS, FRSE 25 October 1800 – 28 December 1859) was a British historian and Whig politician, who served as the Secretary at War between 1839 and 1841, and as the Paymaster General between 1846 and 1848. Macaulay's The History of England, which expressed his contention of the superiority of the Western European culture and of the inevitability of its sociopolitical progress, is a seminal example of Whig history that remains commended for its prose style.

    1. Grabe, Mark. “Student and Professional Note-Taking.” Substack newsletter. Mark’s Substack (blog), November 10, 2023. https://markgrabe.substack.com/p/student-and-professional-note-taking?publication_id=1857743&utm_campaign=email-post-title&r=77i35.

      Educator Mark Grabe looks at some different forms of note taking with respect to learning compared lightly with note taking for productivity or knowledge management purposes.

      Note taking for: - learning / sensemaking - personal knowledge management - productivity / projects - thesis creation/writing/other creative output (music, dance, etc.)

      Not taken into account here is the diversity of cognitive abilities, extent of practice (those who've practiced at note taking for longer are likely to be better at it), or even neurodiversity, which becomes an additional layer (potentially noise) on top of the research methodologies.

    2. With more notes, you have more to work with and what a learner does with this content is where the more significant benefits are produced.

      Yes, this by itself, but note that it also requires that one put in additional work—something many don't want to do in the first place.

    3. Things that have no interest to you can be ignored without anxiety.

      This is one of the primary keys.

      When taking college-like courses now later in life, I can do so with a much broader perspective. I can focus on the broader shape of the course and the information that intrigues me and place less focus on the nitty-gritty details that a high school or college student might be expected to memorize.

      Of course, some of this would depend on the professor and the evaluations they planned on giving. If it was a humanities course where creating a paper or two was primary over memorizing details, then students might be able to get away with something closer to "professional" notes versus "student" notes. Depending on a syllabus, there could definitely be some overlap between the two.

    1. One of the primary problems with note taking in most of the mid-twentieth century (and potentially well before, particularly as framed in most educational settings) was that students would take notes, potentially review them once or twice for a test, but then not have easy access to them for later review or reuse.

      People collected piles of notes without any ability to reuse or review them. Perhaps we should reframe the collector's fallacy as this: collection without reuse has dramatically decreasing returns. Certainly there may be some small initial benefit in writing it down as a means of sense making, but not reviewing it past a short period of two weeks or even several months and not being able to reuse it in the long term is a travesty, especially in a world of information overload.

    1. A lot of info here on Protolyst, the tool I'm developing, to help you take and organise your notes so that you can retrieve and apply your knowledge to your personal and collaborative projects

      Protolyst (collaborative note taking tool) is a product that Dr. Maddy is developing and showcasing in her YouTube Channel playlists.

    1. Protolyst <br /> https://protolyst.org/

      • Freemium model
      • Focus on group collaboration over individual use

      You can export Pages in your workspace as PDFs with more export formats to be added in the future (I did see one other snippet that indicated .csv format export, but it doesn't appear to have .md support to dovetail with all the other tools which use this as a baseline)

      Found ᔥDr. Maddy in the description from Want a Simplified Zettelkasten? For Beginners

    1. The same information could have been recordedin a notebook or on slips of paper and then heaped togetherhaphazardly, but this would not have accomplished the samething.

      I take issue with this statement from the translators. Do they come about it themselves or does it stem from Eco?

      The general affordances of many modalities are very similar, though the ease of use and speed in arrival at a destination may be slightly different. (That is, cards can be ordered more quickly perhaps, but a similar function can be done using notebooks or slips.)

    1. An interesting looking Obsidian/Zotero plugin

      Ton Zijlstra (@ton@m.tzyl.eu) on Nov 01, 2023, 04:15

      @richardcarter @geffrey I 2nd Richard here, prefer to keep them separate. I currently use https://zotlit.aidenlx.top/ as a plugin in both Zotero and Obsidian to handle the copying of annotations into Obsidian, rather than copy/pasting by hand. Outside of Zotero I also use hypothes.is for annotations that I grab into Obsidian through the h. API.

    1. Do digital note taking tools extend the ranges of affordances versus their analog counterparts with respect to the SAMR model?

      On the augmentation front, they allow one to capture things faster, but may do so at the loss of understanding due to the lack of active learning (versus passive as the tool may be robbing them of the interaction with the material).

      There may be some workflow modification, but it's modest at best. Is it measurably better?

      I'm unaware of anyone talking about technological redefinition of digital note taking affordances, though some of the surface level AI-related things may emerge here.

      In some sense, I still think that the ease of remapping and rearranging/linking/relinking/outlining ideas in digital spaces doesn't exist, so digital note taking tools aren't doing very well even at the root substitution level.

      I suspect that some people weren't exposed to the general process of good note taking and their subsequent use for linking, developing, and then creating and as a result of learning this, they're attributing their advances to the digital nature of their tools rather than the original analog process which was always there and isn't necessarily improved measurably by the digital modality.

  7. Oct 2023
    1. Here is Alter’s version of the well-known opening of Genesis 21, part of the story of Isaac, the miracle baby of 90-year-old Sarah, and her 99-year-old husband, Abraham: “And the Lord singled out Sarah.” The word Alter is translating as “singled out” is pakad. The King James, and most others after it, translate it as “visited.” The Jewish Publication Society has it as “remembered.” Others translate it as “kept his word,” “took note of,” “was gracious to,” “was attentive to” or “blessed.” A good literal version, provided by the canny contemporary translator Everett Fox, has it as “took account of” — and there is something numerical and even administrative about pakad. (Elsewhere in the Bible, in the context of describing a public census, pakad means “to number”; in modern Hebrew, it is related to the words for “officer,” “clerk” and “roll-call.”) Weaving together its numerical dimensions with a thread of bureaucratic banality, Alter yields the anxious verb “singled out” and with it, reveals new layers of tension in this story.

      translation of pakad, an administrative word literally translated as "took account of" as "took note of"

    1. What is it with index cards ? .t3_17ck5la._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } So I posted a while ago about my journey into the zettlekasten and I have to admit I still enjoy using this system for notes.I must say, I am an avid note taker for a long time. I write ideas, notes from books, novels, poems and so much more. I mainly used to use notebooks, struggle a while with note taking apps and now I mainly use two kind of things : index cards (A6) and an e-ink tablet (the supernote) for different purpose of course, the index cards for the zettelkasten and the e-ink tablet for organization and my work. To be honest I used to consider myself more a notebooks kind of person than an index cards one (and I am from France we don't use index cards but "fiche bristol" which are bigger than A6 notecards, closer to an A5 format)Still, there is something about index cards, I cannot tell what it is, but it feels something else to write on this, like my mind is at ease and I could write about ideas, life and so many stuff covering dozens of cards. I realize that after not touching my zettelkasten for a few week (lack of time) and coming back to it. It feels so much easier to write on notecards than on notebooks (or any other place) and I can't explain it.Anyone feeling the same thing ?

      reply to u/Sensitive-Binding at https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/17ck5la/what_is_it_with_index_cards/

      Some of it may involve the difference in available space versus other forms of writing on larger pages of paper. Similarly, many find that there is less pressure to write something short on Twitter or similar social media platforms because there is less space in the user interface that your mind feels the need to fill up. One can become paralyzed by looking at the larger open space on a platform like WordPress with the need to feel like they should write more.

      With index cards you fill one up easily enough, and if there's more, you just grab another card and repeat.


      cross reference with Fermat's Last Theorem being easier to suggest in a margin than actually writing it out in full.

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_6BjUzwJX8

      via https://everbookforever.com/

      Leather sheet folded into four sections onto itself like a book cover. It holds six folders of pieces of paper (most of them folded in half making mini-booklet pages): - blank paper for future note taking use - templates (project pack, weekly schedule/to do template, project list, project templates) - logbook, journal like, dated, - contains notes, outlines, brain storms, and scratch pad - next actions/workstation (to do lists for email, home, work, calls ) - Project Pack (9 projects for the quarter, each has their own page or mini folder with details) - Work Week or the Weekly Review Folder (areas of focus/project list, yearly calendar on a page for planning, whatever folder, wild ideas,

      When done, all the pages of folders are packed up and wrapped with an elastic band for easy carrying. It's like a paper (looks like A5) notebook deconstructed and filed into paper folders and wrapped in a pretty leather cover.

      As sections are finished/done they can be archived into small booklets and presumably filed.

      This looks shockingly like my own index-card productivity system based on a variety of Memindex/Bullet Journal/GTD.

    1. It's been burning in my mind all day: you're right that too often, for reasons likely hidden in the folds of of educational reform, some of our most powerful methods of working, researching, and writing are lost or seem like magic when they're rediscovered. Rarely are classes on the subject taught, thereby leaving the student to find their own way in the dark. Thank you for pulling back the curtain covering the proverbial proscenium arch on Act I of research methods.

      For those flailing in the dark, Keith Thomas's brief essay (2010) discusses some of the basic problem along with solutions, while Adler and Van Doren (1972) talk about the levels of reading which are now rarely taught or reached (and how to reach them), and finally, imminent scholars/researchers like Umberto Eco or Jacques Barzun & Henry Graff reveal alternate versions of what you're already doing. Others certainly exist, often in piecemeal form, but this short set in combination with your YouTube channel for examples provides one royal road to the destination many seek.

      • Thomas, Keith. “Diary: Working Methods.” London Review of Books, June 10, 2010.
      • Adler, Mortimer J., and Charles Van Doren. How to Read a Book: The Classical Guide to Intelligent Reading. Revised and Updated edition. 1940. Reprint, Touchstone, 2011.
      • Eco, Umberto. How to Write a Thesis. Translated by Caterina Mongiat Farina and Geoff Farina. 1977. Reprint, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2015.
      • Barzun, Jacques, and Henry F. Graff. The Modern Researcher. New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1957.
    2. FULL note-taking session for my PhD with DETAILED commentary! by morganeua https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf4T2MuOI8I

    1. Father emptied a card le for Margot and me and lled it withindex cards that are blank on one side. This is to become ourreading le, in which Margot and I are supposed to note down thebooks we’ve read, the author and the date.

      Anne Frank (June 12, 1929-1945)<br /> Niklas Luhmann (December 8, 1927-1998)

      Niklas Luhmann was a year and a half older than Anne Frank who received her first card index file in February 1943 (likely between the 27th, the date of her diary entry mentioning it and the prior diary entry on February 5th), from her father at the age of 13. She was intended to use it as a "reading file" to note down the books she'd read along with the author and the date.

      One can only wonder at how many entries she would have made over the span of her life had it not come to such an abrupt end.

    1. In these instances, he could outsource partsof the work process to his personal amanuenses, his youngest children,Martha and Friedrich, who acted as scribes and copied book passagesthat he had marked.

      Many writers and excerpters had amanuenses as helpers to copy out passages or to copy material over for them. Theodor Fontane would mark passages in books for his children to excerpt and copy over for him.

      Compare this manual labor to that of more modern tools like Hypothes.is which allow one to digitally highlight and then excerpt almost automatically.

    2. To this end, the study follows Fontane into theengine room of his text production.

      In industrial terms and fashion, Petra McGillen describes Fontane's "workshop" containing his sixty-seven notebooks, cardboard boxes, file folders, and envelopes the "engine room of his text production".

    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...

  8. Sep 2023
    1. ID's or Common names for Notes? .t3_16vgxy7._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/pakizh at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/16vgxy7/ids_or_common_names_for_notes/

      Keyword search was definitely available in Luhmann's lifetime. Here's the link to the digitized version of Luhmann's keyword index: https://niklas-luhmann-archiv.de/bestand/zettelkasten/zettel/ZK_2_SW1_001_V. Versions of this sort of indexing go back at least to John Locke's method for indexing commonplace books in 1685 (in French) and 1706 (in English). See: https://archive.org/details/13925922180LockeCommonplaceBook/mode/2up for the 1706 version. In a zettelkasten context, instead of indexing page numbers, one simply numbers their index cards and the method works exactly the same. (One could also think of it as creating a library card catalog for one's ideas instead of their books—again, using a personalized numbering system instead of the standardized Dewey Decimal System which is used for books.)

      In paper versions, the numbers serve two purposes:

      • Allowing the ideas to be indexed and searched for and found again. Full text search in digital contexts may be easier in some instances, but these sorts of searches may not scale well over thousands of notes and may return hundreds of results which need to be looked through to find the correct one. As a result, even good indexing in digital can pay off well in the long run.
      • Placing similar ideas next to each other (when filed using numbers) allows areas of interest to build up in one's note collection. This also creates what one might call "soft links" between ideas (versus more direct, hard links using [[WikiLinks]] or explicit links to specific numbered cards). These neighborhoods of ideas eventually build up to something interesting in aggregation. Without these sorts of (decimal or alpha-numeric) numbers, it's more difficult to create this affordance in digital applications (and one has to be more vigilant for orphaned notes). One can use tags or category names in Obsidian along with the graph view to approximate some of this affordance, but it requires more work on the part of the user. Prepending sortable numbers onto the titles of notes can allow these neighborhoods to be more visible in the sidebar folder view found in many digital tools.

      Some will suggest or use some sort of date/timestamp number as a unique identifier, but doing this generally has little or no value and most digital systems will automatically add date/time creation and modification timestamps to notes anyway if those are of interest or value.

      More details: https://boffosocko.com/2022/10/27/thoughts-on-zettelkasten-numbering-systems/

      Knowing these potential affordances, try things out for a while to see how they work for you and then decide to continue or change your practice to suit your own needs.

    1. I'm a huge fan of digital over paper but what would you want on the custom stationary. A typical paper Zettle has:A unique identifier line or boxA content section (I'd assume that can be most of the front and all the backA related notes section.I'd think a typical 5x7 index card with (3) in the top area, (1) in the lower left and (2) on all the rest does the trick.The main place I could see stationary helping is if you want the identifier to have distinguished sections. For example lots of people are using the Dewey Decimal System or Britanica Propedia classification for simplicity ... while I think Library of Congress classification makes more sense since it is available and agreed by the publisher. You could potentially use both in the ID section.

      reply to u/JeffB1517 at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/16ulsye/comment/k2mb8s2/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      I've only seen some modest discussion of DDC and outside of Joseph Voros, vanishingly little discussion (much less usage) of Propædia as classification systems for zettelkasten id numbering. I'm wholly unaware of anyone actively using the Universal Decimal Classification, but would love to see examples of it in action if they exist. From where are you drawing your sampling of "lots of people"? Do you use Library of Congress classification for your own, and if so, can you provide an example of numbers and titles of half a dozen cards to demonstrate your specific method? Given the prevalence of its use in filing/ordering, I'd more likely place the ID at the top of the card over the bottom and put other links at the bottom. Is there a particular affordance that would encourage you to do it the opposite?

      Perhaps you're including it in the idea of "related notes", but I also keep a separate reference section on each card for the source or related context of the main idea or excerpted quotation.

    1. Pulling this back on topic by querying my own zettelkasten...

      I've got versions of most of @Will's excellent list in my notes as well, but here are a few other metaphors (and analogies) which I don't think have been mentioned:

    1. t may be that in using his system hedeveloped his mind and his knowledge of history to the point wherehe expected his readers to draw more inferences from the facts heselected than most modern readers are accustomed to doing, in thisday of the predigested book.

      It's possible that the process of note taking and excerpting may impose levels of analysis and synthesis on their users such that when writing and synthesizing their works that they more subtly expect their readers to do the same thing when their audiences may require more handholding and explanation.

      Here, both the authors' experiences and that of the cultures in which they're writing will determine the relationship.


      There's lots of analogies between thinking and digesting (rumination, consumption, etc), in reading and understanding contexts.

      Source: https://hypothes.is/a/hhCGsljeEe2QlccJUQ55fA

    1. Merchants have their waste book, Sudelbuch or Klitterbuch in German I believe, in which they list all that they have sold or bought every single day, everything as it comes and in no particular order. The waste book’s content is then transferred to the Journal in a more systematic fashion, and at last it ends up in the “Leidger [sic] at double entrance,” following the Italian way of bookkeeping. […] This is a process worthy of imitation by the learned.”(See Ulrich Joost’s analysis in this volume, 24-35.)

      I've seen this quote earlier today, but interesting seeing another source quote it.

    1. https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/16ilfgj/my_antinet_zettelkasten_setup/

      A great walkthrough of the physical pieces that a zettelkasten user is using.

      It almost borders on some of the productivity porn that is seen in the planner/productivity space.

      Not seen before: some pre-made templates for placing data on physical cards.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

      Strong agree with Bob here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    1. Anyone thriving with a paper based GTD system?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  9. Aug 2023