16 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2024
  2. Aug 2023
    1. I could continue a thread anywhere, rather than always picking it up at the end. I could sketch out where I expected things to go, with an outline, rather than keeping all the points I wanted to hit in my head as I wrote. If I got stuck on something, I could write about how I was stuck nested underneath whatever paragraph I was currently writing, but then collapse the meta-thoughts to be invisible later -- so the overall narrative doesn’t feel interrupted.

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

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

    1. Zettelkasten for Normies: What Normies Really Need to Know .t3_15sqiq2._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/SunghoYahng at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/15sqiq2/zettelkasten_for_normies_what_normies_really_need/

      u/SunghoYahng, some of your article sounds like a pared down digital version of a commonplace book which allows for links, so it fits into the older zettelkasten tradition, just not into the more Luhmann-artig version on which this subreddit is generally more focused. Perhaps yours is closer to a digital version of the analog commonplace using index cards that Billy Oppenheimer describes having learned from Ryan Holiday and Robert Greene?

      Often people focus too much on Luhmann's prodigious output and then immediately imply or say you should adopt his very specific system without describing what his system did or why it worked so well for him and his particular needs. Very few focus on what it is that they want to accomplish and how they might use his system or the thousands of variations on it throughout history to come to those goals as quickly and easily as they can.

      You commit a version of this sin in your opening lines:

      The content about Zettelkasten is mostly too long and practically useless. The purpose of this text is to write only what normies really need to know.

      Who are these so-called "normies" and what specifically are they trying to accomplish? You don't define either of them, and possibly worse do it in a negative framing. The system you're describing might be a great one, but for whom? What do you expect them to use it for? What will they get out of it?

      Many people talk about the "magic" of a zettelkasten and then wave their hands at some version of a workflow of what they think it is or what they think it should be. Perhaps what we all really need is a list of potential affordances that different methods allow and how one might leverage those affordances. How might they be mixed and matched? Then users can decide what outcomes they wish to have (writing, thinking, aggregation, bookmarking, collecting, creativity, artificial memory, serendipity, productivity, wiki, spaced repetition, learning, time wasting, etc., etc.) and which affordances are necessary within their workflow/system to effectuate those specific goals? Finally they can pick and choose a specific version of a methodology/workflow and either an analog substrate (index cards, notebooks, memory palace, etc.) or digital tool/application (Obsidian, Roam Research, The Archive, etc.) to save it all in. Of course once you've chosen that analog or digital tool, does it actually have the affordances you want or need in actual practice? Are they easy to use? Practical? Do they save you time? Are they simple or over-engineered? What happens when they scale to a year of regular use or even a lifetime?

      As a simple example, many writers would love a seriously good outliner functionality in their system to pull out the materials they want to work with and then appropriately order them for a potential final written output. In practice, index cards on a big table are fantastic for this process while most (all?) current digital tools are miserable at it. And of course once you've gotten the outline you like in an analog space you have to type it all out to print/publish in a final form, something which the digital affordance of cut and paste would make much simpler. Who wouldn't love a tool that could give you all of these affordances, presuming you needed them?

      While we're on outlining, very few talk about the ease-of-use that some professional outliners like Dave Winer's Drummer or Little Outliner have versus some of the more text-editing focused tools like Obsidian which are generally poor as outliners (if you could even call them that) in comparison.

      If you're interested in folgezettel and outlining, you might appreciate some subtleties in Bob's piece: https://writing.bobdoto.computer/folgezettel-is-not-an-outline-luhmanns-playful-appreciation-of-disfunction/

      cross reference https://hypothes.is/a/OhcWSjxyEe6V8DP9P6WNQQ

  3. Jan 2022
  4. Sep 2021
  5. Aug 2021
    1. Digital garden design can often use the gardening metaphor to focus attention on an active tending and care of one’s personal knowledge base and building toward new knowledge or creations.

      I wonder where outliners fit within this discussion? Are they a flavour or digital gardening? It has been interesting seeing some of Dave Winer's engagements with Roam Research

  6. Mar 2021
    1. It may appear that the outliner approach is narrow, but I don't think it is. I think outliners mirror what's going on in our brains, they reflect the way we organize ideas, concepts and information. I told Engelbart that our success with outliners came with people who understood the process of thinking. Everyone thinks, but only a few are aware of how they do it. This requires a higher level of awareness

      Gem!

  7. Dec 2020
    1. Both of these products were abandoned as supported commercial products when the outlining paradigm was incorporated into other products, notably word processors, presentation applications, and personal information managers.

      MORE and Acta were abandoned as commercial pursuits once outliners were incorporated into other products such as word processors and presentation applications.

    2. Outlining is bred in the blood of Mac users. The Finder has an outliner. Nearly every mail client employs an outliner, as do many word processors and Web development tools.

      The outliner paradigm has seeped into many different applications such as the Mac Finder, development tools and word processors.

    1. Folding This is the one function whose name is confusing because many products use the term for what we called “collapsing” above. For this article, collapsing is the process of making whole headers and paragraphs invisible, tucking them up under a “parent.” Folding is a different kind of tucking under; it works on paragraphs and blocks to reduce them to a single line, hiding the rest. A simple case of folding might involve a long paragraph that is reduced to just the first line—plus some indication that it is folded; this shows that a paragraph is there and something about its content without showing the whole thing. Folding is most common in single-pane outline displays, and a common use is to fold everything so that every header and paragraph is reduced to a single line. This can show the overall structure of a huge document, including paragraph leaves in a single view. You can use folding and collapsing independently. At one time, folding was one of the basics of text editors, but it has faded somewhat. Now only about half of the full-featured editors employ folding. One of the most interesting of these is jEdit. It has a very strong implementation of folding, so strong in fact it subsumes outlining. Though intended as a full editor, it can easily be used as an outliner front end to TeX-based systems. jEdit is shown in the example screenshot in both modes. The view on the right shows an outline folded like MORE and NoteBook do it, where the folds correspond to the outline structure. But see on the left we have shifted to “explicit folding” mode where blocks are marked with triple brackets. Then these entire blocks can be folded independent of the outline. Alas, folding is one area where the Mac is weak, but NoteBook has an implementation that is handy. It is like MORE’s was, and is bound to the outline structure, meaning you can only fold headers, not arbitrary blocks. But it has a nice touch: just entering a folded header temporarily expands it.

      Folding is the affordance of being able to limit the space a block of a text (e.g. a paragraph) takes up to one line.

      This is different from collapsing, which hides nested subordinate elements under a parent element.

    1. Among its many other features, Ecco Pro installed an icon (the "Shooter") into other programs so that you can add text highlighted in the other program to your Ecco Pro outline. And better yet, the information stored in Ecco Pro could be synchronized with the then nearly ubiquitous PalmPilot hardware PIMs.

      Echo had a clipper tool which allowed you to add highlighted text from other programs.

      It also synced with the PalmPilot.

    2. The demise of Ecco Pro was blamed by many (including the publishers of Ecco Pro themselves) on Microsoft's decision to bundle Outlook with Office at no extra charge. And while that was undoubtedly part of the problem, Ecco Pro also failed by marketing itself as merely a fancy PIM to lawyers and others then lacking technological sophistication sufficient to permit them to appreciate that the value and functionality of the product went so far beyond that of supposedly "free" Outlook that the two might as well have originated on different planets.

      Ecco Pro's demise was attributed to Microsoft's decision to bundle Outlook with Office at no extra charge.

      This, even though, in terms of products, they could not have been more different.

    1. Those were a few of the problems that could have brought down Ecco Pro. In the end, however, it was one massive problem: There was a company down the street that was developing a product that would make Ecco Pro obsolete. Microsoft would release Office ’97 on November 19th, 1996. Among the many components of the new suite of products was a personal information manager called Outlook. Eight months later, NetManage would release its last update of Ecco Pro, version 4.01. Development of the software effectively ceased after that.

      Price claims ECCO Pro was terminated because it couldn't compete with Microsoft Outlook, released in 1997.

    2. One fundamental issue with Ecco Pro I gleaned from the many phone calls I answered from customers was that people didn’t really know who the product was for. Sales people wanted to use it as a contact manager. Small business owners wanted to use it as a database. Home users wanted to use it to make to-do lists and track appointments. The problem was that it tried to be all those things at once. As a consequence, it did none of them very well. The product was bloated with features and extremely difficult to use. Even seasoned users did not understand its advanced functionality very well. After a year and a half as a phone rep, I still couldn’t offer a good explanation as to who the product was for.

      According to Price, ECCO Pro's problem was that it had so many features, users couldn't figure out who it was for.

  8. Sep 2017
  9. Aug 2017