19 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. “I started my Zettelkasten,because I realized that I had to plan for a life and not for a book.”5

      from Niklas Luhmann, Niklas Luhmann Short Cuts (English Translation), 2002, 22.

  2. Nov 2022
    1. And improving the quality and quantity of material available to your brain when you sit down to create something—that is why we implement The Notecard System.

      Increasing the quantity and quality of ideas and materials one has at their disposal when one desires to create something new is one of the reasons for having a note taking system.

      memory, learning, sense making, improving understanding, improved creativity, and others are also at play... any others? we should have a comprehensive list eventually.

  3. Oct 2022
    1. McMaster's Stephen Girard(1918), he said, was a "series of anecdotes . . . without connection"and with little interpretation or analysis." In Rhodes's last twovolumes the facts rarely appeared "to have meaning or to be partsof a coherent structure." " "No simple theme, like that whichdominated his great work, is apparent here. Mr. Rhodes has notseen any constructive unity in the years he covers. Instead of mak-ing a synthesis that would of itself lead the reader to a clearerunderstanding of American history . . . , he has developed his topicsparagraph by paragraph, with often abrupt transition from themeto theme." 26 His failure in the final product followed,

      Paxson would have considered it a failure in note taking to have only compiled but not to have synthesized one's accumulated knowledge.

      Why take notes if one is not going to use them to some end, whether that be personally in one's life, or to extend and expand the depth and breadth of human knowledge by analyzing and synthesizing the ideas to create something new for others' benefit?

    2. Onesuspected that Paxson's love for his work may have tempted him tolabor too long, and that he established a schedule to protect him-self and the keenness of his mind, to keep himself from his deskinstead of at it, as is some men's purpose.

      Pomeroy suspects that Paxson may have kept to a strict work schedule to keep his mind sharp, but he doesn't propose or suspect that it may have been the case that Paxson's note taking practice was the thing which not only helped to keep his mind sharp, but which allowed him the freedom and flexibility to keep very regular work hours.

    3. None of these notes wasever used in his writing; probably they were taken with no thoughtof specific use, but out of absorption in the American scene.

      It's quite likely that one will take a large number of notes with no immediate goal or plan for use and this is completely acceptable. Often these notes go towards the more immediate goal of forming one's own understanding and setting of a broader tableau for material one will write in the future.

    1. Unfortunately, such diverse topics as literacy, numeracy, gestures, jokes, sexual morality, personal cleanliness or the treatment of animals, though central to my concerns, are hard to pursue systematically. They can’t be investigated in a single archive or repository of information. Progress depends on building up a picture from a mass of casual and unpredictable references accumulated over a long period. That makes them unsuitable subjects for a doctoral thesis, which has to be completed in a few years. But they are just the thing for a lifetime’s reading. So when I read, I am looking out for material relating to several hundred different topics. Even so, I find that, as my interests change, I have to go back to sources I read long ago, with my new preoccupations in mind.

      For a variety of topics and interests there are not archives of information that can be consulted or referenced. As a result one must slowly, but methodically collect this sort of information over a lifetime to be able to analyze it and build theses.

    1. https://gabz.blog/2022/10/27/what-about-them.html

      Why do people not have strong note taking practices or desire to do so? - Some of it may come down to lack of a practice (or model) to follow - some don't have a clearly stated need for why they're doing it in the first place - some spread their notes out over many tools and applications which prevents a quorum of power building up in one place, thus defeating a lot of the purpose. (This is why having all of one's notes in one place is so important as a rule.) - This particular post is a good example of this cardinal sin. - Lack of easy search defeats the ability to extract value back out of having made the notes in the first place. - Note repositories aren't always all of the value proposition. Often the fact of the work that went into making a note to learn and understand ideas is all of the value for a reasonable portion of notes.

    1. A friend of mine, well versed in all sorts of PKM and stuff, was convinced the ZK was beneficial, but took a long time before you started seeing benefits. My experience was completely different. I think I had about 5 permanent cards established when I made my first jump to a new idea... I don't know if the idea is any good at this moment, but I got a chill up my spine when I did it. I have more cards now, and have had a few more "new thoughts" that I would not have had otherwise. Don't put it off.

      The zettelkasten can be a useful educational substrate for thinking in as few as five cards.

      link to: https://hypothes.is/a/Iwy7MGlMEeyztTNgvCXUOA

    1. I’m with Iris (and Jane) about the PoIC system — I don’t understand how the system works once it is set up. It’s a shame as it might be very useful. Ideally, I’d like to set it up with notebooks in Evernote instead of actual index cards and boxes (the last thing I need in my life is more paper clutter). That way it would be easily searchable, too).

      As is apparently often in describing new organizing systems (commonplace books, zettelkasten, PoIC, etc.), not everyone is going to understand it the first time, or even understand what is going on or why one would want to use it.

      This post by Susan is such an example.

      Susan does almost immediately grasp that this might be something one could transfer into a digital system however, particularly for the search functionality.

    1. ...the usefulness of a note-taking system has an ultimate limit beyond which it becomes self-defeating. [...] After all, the ultimate purpose of the exercise is not to produce beautiful notes displaying the researcher's technical prowess, but rather usable notes to build the mosaic.<br /> —Jacques Goutor (p33)

    1. To be able to trustone's own experience, even if it often turns out to beinadequate, is one mark of the mature workman. Suchconfidence in o n e ' s own experience is indispensable tooriginality in any intellectual pursuit, and the file is onetool by which I have tried to develop and justify suchconfidence.

      The function of memory served by having written notes is what allows the serious researcher or thinker to have greater confidence in their work, potentially more free from cognitive bias as one idea can be directly compared and contrasted with another by direct juxtaposition.

  4. Sep 2022
    1. This post is a classic example of phenomenon that occurs universally. One person devises something that works perfectly for them, be it a mouse trap design, a method of teaching reading or … an organisation system. Other people see it in action and ask for the instructions. They try to copy it and … fail. We are all individuals, and what works for one does not work for all. Some people reading this post go “wow, cool!” Others go “What…???” One size does not fit all. Celebrate the difference! The trick is to keep looking for the method that works for you, not give up because someone else’s system makes your eyeballs spin!

      all this, AND...

      some comes down to the explanations given and the reasons. In this case, they're scant and the original is in middling English and large chunks of Japanese without any of the "why".

  5. Aug 2022
    1. It’s recommended that you summarize the information you want to store in your own words, instead of directly copying the information like you would in a commonplace book.

      recommended by whom? for what purpose?

      Too many of these posts skip the important "why?" question

    1. A commonplace book is a way to keep our learning priorities in order. It motivates us to look for and keep only the things we can use.
    2. And if you still need a why–I’ll let this quote from Seneca answer it (which I got from my own reading and notes): “We should hunt out the helpful pieces of teaching and the spirited and noble-minded sayings which are capable of immediate practical application–not far far-fetched or archaic expressions or extravagant metaphors and figures of speech–and learn them so well that words become works.”
  6. Jul 2022
    1. Thewhole point of this note-making process is not only toprovide ourselves with ideas we want to pursue, but toactually show us which ideas we are most interested in.
    1. Beyond the cards mentioned above, you should also capture any hard-to-classify thoughts, questions, and areas for further inquiry on separate cards. Regularly go through these to make sure that you are covering everything and that you don’t forget something.I consider these insurance cards because they won’t get lost in some notebook or scrap of paper, or email to oneself.

      Julius Reizen in reviewing over Umberto Eco's index card system in How to Write a Thesis, defines his own "insurance card" as one which contains "hard-to-classify thoughts, questions, and areas for further inquiry". These he would keep together so that they don't otherwise get lost in the variety of other locations one might keep them

      These might be akin to Ahrens' "fleeting notes" but are ones which may not easily or even immediately be converted in to "permanent notes" for one's zettelkasten. However, given their mission critical importance, they may be some of the most important cards in one's repository.

      link this to - idea of centralizing one's note taking practice to a single location

      Is this idea in Eco's book and Reizen is the one that gives it a name since some of the other categories have names? (examples: bibliographic index cards, reading index cards (aka literature notes), cards for themes, author index cards, quote index cards, idea index cards, connection cards). Were these "officially" named and categorized by Eco?

      May be worthwhile to create a grid of these naming systems and uses amongst some of the broader note taking methods. Where are they similar, where do they differ?


      Multi-search tools that have full access to multiple trusted data stores (ostensibly personal ones across notebooks, hard drives, social media services, etc.) could potentially solve the problem of needing to remember where you noted something.

      Currently, in the social media space especially, this is not a realized service.

  7. Jun 2022
    1. The myth of the writer sitting down before a completely blankpage, or the artist at a completely blank canvas, is just that—a myth.
    2. Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent andoriginal in your work.—Gustave Flaubert

      In addition to this as a standalone quote...


      If nothing else, one should keep a commonplace book so that they have a treasure house of nifty quotes to use as chapter openers for the books they might write.