199 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2024
    1. Arber also suggests to Murray in this letter that he should use atypewriter. ‘I am quite certain’, he wrote, ‘that the only way to keep down thecost of corrections is to type-write the copy’, suggesting a model called theIdeal Caligraph, no. 2 price £18. Murray did read The Snake Dance of theMoquis of Arizona but he did not buy a typewriter.
    1. Your zettelkasten, having a perfect memory of your "past self" acts as a ratchet so that when you have a new conversation on a particular topic, your "present self" can quickly remember where you left off and not only advance the arguments but leave an associative trail for your "future self" to continue on again later.

      Many thoughts and associations occur when you're having conversations with any text, whether it's with something you're reading by another author or your own notes in your zettelkasten or commonplace book. For more conversations on this topic, perhaps thumb through: https://hypothes.is/users/chrisaldrich?q=tag%3A%27conversations+with+the+text%27

      If you view conversations broadly as means of finding and collecting information from external sources and naturally associating them together, perhaps you'll appreciate this quote:

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

      (Reply to u/u/Plastic-Lettuce-7150 at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/1ae2qf4/communicating_with_a_zettelkasten/)

  2. 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. 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. Nori January 3 Flag I have two remarks: First, if you instead of an alphanumeric ID use a timestamp-based one, there is no need to “place” the note anywhere

      @Nori said: First, if you instead of an alphanumeric ID use a timestamp-based one, there is no need to “place” the note anywhere.

      Too often I see this generic advice to use a timestamp ID, but no one ever mentions what affordance that practice provides or any direct motivation for doing it. In this context it's suggested to remove the need to place the note anywhere, but if this is the only benefit, why bother having an ID at all? What other tangible benefits does a timestamp ID provide? (If the only benefit is having a record of creation, then why bother to put it into the title, which usually only causes confusion and problem in most digital systems? Digital systems have much better places to store date/time created, modified, etc. if you need them for search.)

      In Luhmann's case the alphanumeric ID gave direct benefits in organically creating neighborhoods of ideas in which one could easily travel and which provided concrete, findable locations for search and linking. This appears to be part of the beneficial structure for what @IvanFerrero has, so why suggest such a change @Nori?

  3. Dec 2023
    1. White highlights the ability to easily shuffle and reshuffle cards in a variety of orders (alphabetical, by source type) and this is one of the benefits of using note cards. (p51)

    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. 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. Also, our own experiences show that when one doesn't use easy-to-recognise IDs, one is less prone to assume stuff, making them better suited to cross-link files.

      Zettlr's maintainer's experience suggests that using complex zettelkasten IDs makes one less likely to assume something about what they mean and thereby making them better suited for cross-linking notes.

      Part of this can be read as a means of disassociating the idea of specific topics from the notes on the cards.

  4. Nov 2023
    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. 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. 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.

  5. Oct 2023
    1. Links are associative. This is a huge deal. Links are there not only as a quick way to get to source material. They aren’t a way to say, hey here’s the interesting thing of the day. They remind you of the questions you need to ask, of the connections that aren’t immediately evident.

      links can be used for search

      links remind you of questions you need to ask

      links can suggest other future potential links of which one isn't yet aware or which haven't fully manifested, this is some of the "magic" of the zettelkasten—it creates easy potential for future links not yet manifest.

    2. “A tool to think with, not a tool to publish with” — this seems to me essential. I feel that I spend a lot of time trying to think with tools meant for publishing.
    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. I've been struggling with duplicate notes within my Zettelkasten. .t3_17ajd34._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/Flubber78769 at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/17ajd34/ive_been_struggling_with_duplicate_notes_within/

      This is the value of actually indexing your content. You can do a quick search around the index entries which provides a natural check against duplication, but importantly it'll let you think about those ideas again and spend your time more profitably by expanding upon them instead.

      Occasionally I'll find duplication from one source to the next which provides some support about an idea's value or spread over time, especially when I'm tracking usage of a thing, so it's not always the case that duplication is automatically a bad thing.

  6. 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. Creating a "signpost user interface" can help to uncover directions to take in digital contexts as out of sight is out of mind. Having things sit in your way within one's note taking workflow can remind them to either link things, or move in particular directions for discovering new avenues of thought.

      Example: it would be interesting if Jerry's The Brain would have links directly to material in Flancian's Agora to remind him to search or find relevant material there. This could help with combinatorial creativity with inputs from others, though it needs to be narrow so as not to result in rabbit holes which draw away attention.

      Link to: https://hypothes.is/a/iQvo7l1zEe6dZ5_9d9rrVw

    1. I wonder what you think of a distinction between the more traditional 'scholar's box', and the proto-databases that were used to write dictionaries and then for projects such as the Mundaneum. I can't help feeling there's a significant difference between a collection of notes meant for a single person, and a collection meant to be used collaboratively. But not sure exactly how to characterize this difference. Seems to me that there's a tradition that ended up with the word processor, and another one that ended up with the database. I feel that the word processor, unlike the database, was a dead end.

      reply to u/atomicnotes at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/16njtfx/comment/k1tuc9c/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      u/atomicnotes, this is an excellent question. (Though I'd still like to come to terms with people who don't think it acts as a knowledge management system, there's obviously something I'm missing.)

      Some of your distinction comes down to how one is using their zettelkasten and what sorts of questions are being asked of it. One of the earliest descriptions I've seen that begins to get at the difference is the description by Beatrice Webb of her notes (appendix C) in My Apprenticeship. As she describes what she's doing, I get the feeling that she's taking the same broad sort of notes we're all used to, but it's obvious from her discussion that she's also using her slips as a traditional database, but is lacking modern vocabulary to describe it as such.

      Early efforts like the OED, TLL, the Wb, and even Gertrud Bauer's Coptic linguistic zettelkasten of the late 1970s were narrow enough in scope and data collected to make them almost dead simple to define, organize and use as databases on paper. Of course how they were used to compile their ultimate reference books was a bit more complex in form than the basic data from which they stemmed.

      The Mundaneum had a much more complex flavor because it required a standardized system for everyone to work in concert against much more freeform as well as more complex forms of collected data and still be able to search for the answers to specific questions. While still somewhat database flavored, it was dramatically different from the others because of it scope and the much broader sorts of questions one could ask of it. I think that if you ask yourself what sorts of affordances you get from the two different groups (databases and word processors (or even their typewriter precursors) you find even more answers.

      Typewriters and word processors allowed one to get words down on paper quicker by a magnitude of order or two faster, and in combination with reproduction equipment, made it easier to spin off copies of the document for small scale and local mass distribution a lot easier. They do allow a few affordances like higher readability (compared with less standardized and slower handwriting), quick search (at least in the digital era), and moving pieces of text around (also in digital). Much beyond this, they aren't tremendously helpful as a composition tool. As a thinking tool, typewriters and word processors aren't significantly better than their analog predecessors, so you don't gain a huge amount of leverage by using them.

      On the other hand, databases and their spreadsheet brethren offer a lot more, particularly in digital realms. Data collection and collation become much easier. One can also form a massive variety of queries on such collected data, not to mention making calculations on those data or subjecting them to statistical analyses. Searching, sorting, and making direct comparisons also become far easier and quicker to do once you've amassed the data you need. Here again, Beatrice Webb's early experience and descriptions are very helpful as are Hollerinth's early work with punch cards and census data and the speed with which the results could be used.

      Now if you compare the affordances by each of these in the digital era and plot their shifts against increasing computer processing power, you'll see that the value of the word processor stays relatively flat while the database shows much more significant movement.

      Surely there is a lot more at play, particularly at scale and when taking network effects into account, but perhaps this quick sketch may explain to you a bit of the difference you've described.

      Another difference you may be seeing/feeling is that of contextualization. Databases usually have much smaller and more discrete amounts of data cross-indexed (for example: a subject's name versus weight with a value in pounds or kilograms.) As a result the amount of context required to use them is dramatically lower compared to the sorts of data you might keep in an average atomic/evergreen note, which may need to be more heavily recontextualized for you when you need to use it in conjunction with other similar notes which may also need you to recontextualize them and then use them against or with one another.

      Some of this is why the cards in the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae are easier to use and understand out of the box (presuming you know Latin) than those you might find in the Mundaneum. They'll also be far easier to use than a stranger's notes which will require even larger contextualization for you, especially when you haven't spent the time scaffolding the related and often unstated knowledge around them. This is why others' zettelkasten will be more difficult (but not wholly impossible) for a stranger to use. You might apply the analogy of context gaps between children and adults for a typical Disney animated movie to the situation. If you're using someone else's zettelkasten, you'll potentially be able to follow a base level story the way a child would view a Disney cartoon. Compare this to the zettelkasten's creator who will not only see that same story, but will have a much higher level of associative memory at play to see and understand a huge level of in-jokes, cultural references, and other associations that an adult watching the Disney movie will understand that the child would completely miss.

      I'm curious to hear your thoughts on how this all plays out for your way of conceptualizing it.

    2. But I’m increasingly inclined to the view that the genius of ZK is the simple fact that it forces its user to continually interact with, and create connections among their thoughts and the thoughts of others.To the extent that’s correct, the work that ZK demands is not a drawback at all. It is in fact ZKs primary benefit; it’s a serious feature and not at all a bug.

      reply to u/TeeMcBee and u/taurusnoises at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/16njtfx/comment/k1ic0ot/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      And two more big yeses.

      There is a growing amount of literature in the educational social annotation space in which teachers/professors are using it specifically to encourage their students to interact with class material and readings. The mechanics on the front end are exactly the same as in most ZK set ups, the difference is what happens with the annotations one makes.

      An entry point into some of this research:

    1. "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.

    2. 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. 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

  7. Aug 2023
    1. Whereas ChatGPT may be a bullshitter, Claude can be a co-reader whose output specifically references and works to make “meaning” in response to another author’s words.

      "Reading with an artificial intelligence" seems like a fascinating way to participate in the Great Conversation.

    1. This is a way to make check lists that are more useful. You only fill the box when your all the way done with the task, when you are about half way done you fill the box half way. I learnedabout this from Adam Savage in his book, "Every Tool is a Hammer". He learned about it when he worked at Industrial Light & Magic.Does it have an official name? (screen shots from his book)

      Adam Savage's book Every Tool is a Hammer shows a checklist which has square bullets which can be partially filled in to show the level of completion. He learned the method when working at Industrial Light & Magic.

      via u/AZORIAN_K129 at https://www.reddit.com/r/NoteTaking/comments/15zgbvr/does_this_technique_have_a_name/

    1. Here’s a child node. It could be a comment on the thought -- an aside, a critique, whatever. It could be something which goes under the heading.

      Lone child nodes cry out for siblings.

      When I was in middle school a teacher told me only to put a sub-bullet point in an outline only if it wasn't an orphan (if you had one sub-point it should have at least one sibling, otherwise don't include it). This was miserable advice because it ended trains of thought which might otherwise grow into something.

      On the other hand it could be better framed that if you have only one child, you should brainstorm to come up with others.

    2. 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.

    3. When I was learning to write in my teens, it seemed to me that paper was a prison. Four walls, right? And the ideas were constantly trying to escape. What is a parenthesis but an idea trying to escape? What is a footnote but an idea that tried -- that jumped off the cliff? Because paper enforces single sequence -- and there’s no room for digression -- it imposes a particular kind of order in the very nature of the structure.-- Ted Nelson, demonstration of Xanadu space
    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

    1. Does anyone has it’s Zettelkasten in Google Docs, Microsoft Word or Plain Tex (without a hood app like obsidian or The Archive)? .t3_15fjb97._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/Efficient_Earth_8773 at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/15fjb97/does_anyone_has_its_zettelkasten_in_google_docs/

      Experimenting can be interesting. I've tried using spreadsheet software like Google Sheets or Excel which can be simple and useful methods that don't lose significant functionality. I did separate sheets for zettels, sources, and the index. Each zettel had it's own row with with a number, title, contents, and a link to a source as well as the index.

      Google Docs might be reasonably doable, but the linking portion may be one of the more difficult affordances to accomplish easily or in a very user-centric fashion. It is doable though: https://support.google.com/docs/answer/45893?hl=en&co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop, and one might even mix Google Docs with Google Sheets? I could see Sheets being useful for creating an index and or sources while Docs could be used for individual notes as well. It's all about affordances and ease of use. Text is a major portion of having and maintaining a zettelkasten, so by this logic anything that will allow that could potentially be used as a zettelkasten. However, it helps to think about how one will use it in practice on a day-to-day basis. How hard will it be to create links? Search it? How hard will it be when you've got thousands of "slips"? How much time will these things take as it scales up in size?

      A paper-based example: One of the reasons that many pen and paper users only write on one side of their index cards is that it saves the time of needing to take cards out and check if they do or don't have writing on the back or remembering where something is when it was written on the back of a card. It's a lot easier to tip through your collection if they're written only on the front. If you use an alternate application/software what will all these daily functions look like compounded over time? Does the software make things simpler and easier or will it make them be more difficult or take more time? And is that difficulty and time useful or not to your particular practice? Historian and author David McCullough prefers a manual typewriter over computers with keyboards specifically because it forces him to slow down and take his time. Another affordance to consider is how much or little work one may need to put into using it from a linking (or not) perspective. Using paper forces one to create a minimum of at least one link (made by the simple fact of filing it next to another) while other methods like Obsidian allow you to too easily take notes and place them into an infinitely growing pile of orphaned notes. Is it then more work to create discrete links later when you've lost the context and threads of potential arguments you might make? Will your specific method help you to regularly review through old notes? How hard will it be to mix things up for creativity's sake? How easy/difficult will it be to use your notes for writing/creating new material, if you intend to use it for that?

      Think about how and why you'd want to use it and which affordances you really want/need. Then the only way to tell is to try it out for a bit and see how one likes/doesn't like a particular method and whether or not it helps to motivate you in your work. If you don't like the look of an application and it makes you not want to use it regularly, that obviously is a deal breaker. One might also think about how difficult/easy import/export might be if they intend to hop from one application to another. Finally, switching applications every few months can be self-defeating, so beware of this potential downfall as you make what will eventually need to be your ultimate choice. Beware of shiny object syndrome or software that ceases updating in just a few years without easy export.

  8. Jul 2023
    1. Hello! I've recently encountered the Zettelkasten system and adore the emphasis on connecting ideas. However, I don't want to use the traditional index card way, seeing as I have a ring binder with 90 empty pages thus I don't want it to go to waste. I've researched a lot of methods using a notebook, where some organize their zettels by page number, while others write as usual and connect and index the ideas for every 30 pages or so. But considering that the loose-leaf paper can be in any order I chose, I think there can be a better workaround there. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

      reply to u/SnooPandas3432 at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/158tzk7/zettelkasten_on_a_ring_binder_with_looseleaf_paper/

      She didn't specify a particular dimension, but I recall that Beatrice Webb used larger sheets of paper than traditional index-card sized slips in her practice and likely filed them into something akin to hanging files in a filing cabinet.

      For students, I might suggest using the larger sheets/3-ring binder to make Cornell notes for coursework and then later distilling down one or two of the best ideas from a lecture or related readings into index card form for filing away over time. You could then have a repository of bigger formatted literature notes from books/lectures with more space and still have all the benefits of a more traditional card-based zettelkasten for creativity and writing. You could then have the benefit of questions for spaced repetition for quizzes/tests, while still keeping bigger ideas for writing papers or future research needs.

    1. Overloaded with notes .t3_15218d5._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } A few years ago I moved from Evernote to Obsidian. Evernote had this cool web clipper feature that helped me gather literary quotes, tweets, Wikipedia facts, interview bits, and any kinds of texts all around the web. And now I have a vault with 10k notes.I am trying to review a few every time I open Obsidian (add tags, link it, or delete) but it is still too much.Did someone have the same experience? How did you manage to fix everything and move to a bit more controllable system (zettelkasten or any other)?Cus I feel like I am standing in front of a text tsunami

      reply to u/posh-and-repressed at https://www.reddit.com/r/ObsidianMD/comments/15218d5/overloaded_with_notes/

      Overwhelm of notes always reminds me of this note taking story from 1908: https://boffosocko.com/2022/10/24/death-by-zettelkasten/ If you've not sorted them, tagged/categorized them or other, then search is really your only recourse. One of the benefits of Luhmann's particular structure is that it nudged him to read and review through older cards as he worked and filed new ones. Those with commonplace books would have occasionally picked up their notebooks and paged through them from time to time. Digital methods like Obsidian don't always do a good job of allowing or even forcing this review work on the user, so you may want to look at synthetic means like one of the random note plugins. Otherwise don't worry too much. Fix your tagging/categorizing/indexing now so that things slowly improve in the future. (I'm sitting on a pile of over 50K notes without the worry of overwhelm, primarily as I've managed to figure out how to rely on my index and search.)

    1. Zk for analyzing components

      reply to u/graidan at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/14n5131/zk_for_analyzing_components/

      I'm intending to use some of my zk for analysis of components for their uses. Specifically, for looking at materia magica (magical ingredients) across authors / books / systems / etc. For example, all the ways that dandelion is used, looking for consistent commonalities and reasoning.

      How would you do this in a ZK system? Create a branch per items under investigation? I feel like a digital solution like notion might work best, but I'd like to incorporate into my analog if I can figure out a good way to do it.

      I like u/taurusnoises' description and understand it, but perhaps an alternate perspective and some examples of how others have done these things may be helpful?

      One feature/affordance that a Luhmann-esque zettelkasten emphasizes is the ability to build on knowledge from the bottom up while older commonplace book and non-Luhmann zettelkasten traditions have a more top-down and/or categorical-first approach. Either of these methods can be tried in your use case to good benefit, but it helps to think about what is happening over the long run. Bottom up approaches are more useful when you're encountering new material and aren't always sure how to categorize it or know where things may be heading. These also tend to encourage greater admixtures of disparate topics, especially over use with time. Top down approaches are potentially better when you've got a broad idea of fields and sub-fields to begin with and know exactly where new ideas will best fit. Because of this they don't naturally tend to mix disparate fields of knowledge as easily, though this can be done with foresight.

      It sounds like you're well-acquainted with your area (of magical ingredients) already, so you're more likely to appreciate a top down approach as a result. A Luhmann-esque zettelkasten is certainly workable here, but you'll be able to scaffold some of your material more easily from the start. You know in advance some of the structure of where you're going and what sorts of questions you'll want to ask of your notes, so you can structure it to be more helpful from the start.

      As an example, in your materia magica case (for which I'll make some broad assumptions without any knowledge of the field), you might have a branch for dandelion. Under dandelion you can aggregate notes on what various authors have to say about specific uses and features. Over time you'll have a variety of notes which will allow you to quickly compare and contrast what those authors have to say about the topic. You can repeat this for other herbs, mushrooms, etc. This may make your writing on this particular area much easier.

      Of course, potential complications may occur later when you may have different questions about the ideas you've collected. Perhaps you'll ask something like, how did practices differ in different geographical areas? Was practice with dandelions the same across different regions or across time? Did practices for other herbs show similar patterns? This may require additional sets of notes which can cross reference time spans and areas. To better handle this with your initial notes branching according to herbs, you may want to make project notes (maps of content, hub notes, structure notes, or whatever you want to call them) on each of these criteria with links back to the originals for studying and comparing these differences.

      To make this easier, you can pull out all the original notes and reorder them accordingly and then make your project notes by noting the original card identifiers/numbers. Or perhaps you just use them to write the particular section directly. Once you're done, you can use the original numbers to file them back into the appropriate places for later use.

      The broader ZK community doesn't talk as frequently or as in-depth about adding metadata relating to time, place, etc. for sorting/resorting or searching for material. Having actual index cards may make doing all of this a lot easier.

      As illustrative examples, Beatrice Webb talks a bit about her use of collecting notes/data across a variety of dimensions for her sociology work as "scientific notetaking" in Appendix C of her book My Apprenticeship (1926). Broadly speaking, she's using her notes as an early form of searchable database. Similarly, Victor Margolin has a short video about his process for writing about history of design and there he's using his notes along the lines of both location as well as time. In both of these examples, we're looking at non-Luhmann-artig practices (somehow it seems more appropriate to use the German -artig than the French -esque), but I'm sure they would have worked just as well with a Luhmann structured practice as well.

      And of course if none of this still makes any sense, I highly recommend you try it anyway. Your experience will assuredly bear out results and you're sure to find the answers you're looking for, and probably a little more to boot. Let us know what you find.

  9. Jun 2023
    1. Today, you either thrive on that word processor model or you don’t. I really don’t, which is why I’ve invested effort, as you have, in researching previous writing workflows, older than the all-conquering PC of the late 1980s and early 90s. At the same time, new writing tools are challenging the established Microsoft way, but in doing so are drawing attention to the fact that each app locks the user into a particular set of assumptions about the drafting and publishing process.
    1. I'm curious if anyone has ever experimented with making an online Luhmann-esque Zettelkasten using WikiMedia as their platform?

      What were the pros/cons you found for doing so?

      Have you tried other methods (index cards, Obsidian, other(s)?), and if so what affordances did MediaWiki provide or were lacking for what you were attempting to accomplish?

      Did you use transclusion functionality?

      Did you attempt to build or implement backlink functionality? Use the API or plugins for this?

      Did you build some sort of custom index (manually, programatically, other)?

      If you used it for writing, what methods did you attempt with respect to taking the smaller pieces/ideas and building them up into longer written pieces?

      Links to specific public examples are welcome here. I'll also accept links to public versions of commonplace books or similar forms which also use MediaWiki as their infrastructure.

      syndication link: https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/144hzn9/zettelkasten_with_mediawiki/

  10. May 2023
    1. It is unfortunate that the German word for a box of notes is the same as the methodology surrounding Luhmann.

      reply to dandennison84 at https://forum.zettelkasten.de/discussion/comment/17921/#Comment_17921

      I've written a bit before on The Two Definitions of Zettelkasten, the latter of which has been emerging since roughly 2013 in English language contexts. Some of it is similar to or extends @dandennison84's framing along with some additional history.

      Because of the richness of prior annotation and note taking traditions, for those who might mean what we're jokingly calling ZK®, I typically refer to that practice specifically as a "Luhmann-esque zettelkasten", though it might be far more appropriate to name them a (Melvil) "Dewey Zettelkasten" because the underlying idea which makes Luhmann's specific zettelkasten unique is that he was numbering his ideas and filing them next to similar ideas. Luhmann was treating ideas on cards the way Dewey had treated and classified books about 76 years earlier. Luhmann fortunately didn't need to have a standardized set of numbers the way the Mundaneum had with the Universal Decimal Classification system, because his was personal/private and not shared.

      To be clear, I'm presently unaware that Dewey had or kept any specific sort of note taking system, card-based or otherwise. I would suspect, given his context, that if we were to dig into that history, we would find something closer to a Locke-inspired indexed commonplace book, though he may have switched later in life as his Library Bureau came to greater prominence and dominance.

      Some of the value of the Dewey-Luhmann note taking system stems from the same sorts of serendipity one discovers while flipping through ideas that one finds in searching for books on library shelves. You may find the specific book you were looking for, but you're also liable to find some interesting things to read on the shelves around that book or even on a shelf you pass on the way to find your book.

      Perhaps naming it and referring to it as the Dewey-Luhmann note taking system or the Dewey-Luhmann Zettelkasten may help to better ground and/or demystify the specific practices? Co-crediting them for the root idea and an early actual practice, respectively, provides a better framing and understanding, especially for native English speakers who don't have the linguistic context for understanding Zettelkästen on its own. Such a moniker would help to better delineate the expected practices and shape of a note taking practice which could be differentiated from other very similar ones which provide somewhat different affordances.

      Of course, as the history of naming scientific principles and mathematical theorems after people shows us, as soon as such a surname label might catch on, we'll assuredly discover someone earlier in the timeline who had mastered these principles long before (eg: the "Gessner Zettelkasten" anyone?) Caveat emptor.

    1. I get by when I work by accumulating notes—a bit about everything, ideas cap-tured on the fly, summaries of what I have read, references, quotations . . . Andwhen I want to start a project, I pull a packet of notes out of their pigeonhole anddeal them out like a deck of cards. This kind of operation, where chance plays arole, helps me revive my failing memory.16

      via: Didier Eribon, Conversations with Claude Lévi-Strauss (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), vii–viii; Claude Lévi-Strauss, Structural Anthropology (New York: Basic Books, 1963), 129f.

    1. people are great at the collecting and categorizing pieces, but we're less good at going back in and connecting or expressing and this is where the value increases exponentially

    1. Commonplacing, florilegia, anthologies, miscellanies, zettelkasten are such a fascinating tradition. They make a lovely ratchet for thinking.

      Commonplacing, florilegia, anthologies, miscellanies, zettelkasten are a ratchet for thinking.

    1. Note taking should serve a specific purpose; it should be a means to some end.

    2. Note taking can also be done to create a database (a la Beatrice Webb's scientific note taking).

    3. The few notes I did refer back to frequently where checklists, self-written instructions to complete regular tasks, lists (reading lists, watchlists, etc.) or recipes. Funnily enough the ROI on these notes was a lot higher than all the permanent/evergreen/zettel notes I had written.

      Notes can be used for different purposes.

      • productivity
      • Knowledge
        • basic sense-making
        • knowledge construction and dispersion

      The broad distinction is between productivity goals and knowledge. (Is there a broad range I'm missing here within the traditions?) You can take notes about projects that need to be taken care of, lists of things to do, reminders of what needs to be done. These all fall within productivity and doing and checking them off a list will help one get to a different place or location and this can be an excellent thing, particularly when the project was consciously decided upon and is a worthy goal.

      Notes for knowledge sake can be far more elusive for people. The value here generally comes with far more planning and foresight towards a particular goal. Are you writing a newsletter, article, book, or making a video or performance of some sort (play, movie, music, etc.)? Collecting small pieces of these things on a pathway is then important as you build your ideas and a structure toward some finished product.

      Often times, before getting to this construction phase, one needs to take notes to be able to scaffold their understanding of a particular topic. Once basically understood some of these notes may be useless and not need to be reviewed, or if they are reviewed, it is for the purpose of ensconcing ideas into long term memory. Once this is finished, then the notes may be broadly useless. (This is why it's simple to "hide them with one's references/literature notes.) Other notes are more seminal towards scaffolding ideas towards larger projects for summarization and dissemination to other audiences. If you're researching a topic, a fair number of your notes will be used to help you understand the basics while others will help you to compare/contrast and analyze. Notes you make built on these will help you shape new structures and new, original thoughts. (note taking for paradigm shifts). These then can be used (re-used) when you write your article, book, or other creative project.

  11. Mar 2023
    1. I do my thinking with pen on paper. Digital tools, even (or especially?) the note-taking ones, are just not for me. <br><br>They may be easy to access or carry around, but what’s the point if they constrain the output?

      — Julia Pappas (@JuliaPappasJoy) March 30, 2023
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      A common issue of many digital note taking apps is that while they may have ease for cutting and pasting data into them, moving data around, visualizing it in various forms, and exporting it into a final product may be much more difficult. At the opposite end of the spectrum, physical index cards are much easier to sort, resort, and place into an outline form to create output.

    1. “Normally, a dictionary just tells you what words mean – and of course we do that – but the scale of the project gives us the space and opportunity to say what we’re not sure of too,” he said. “This is important because it leaves the door open for further scholarship and it gives the reader choices rather than dictating to them what to think. The dictionary can be a catalyst for more research and this is what makes the dictionary a living thing.”

      We need more scholarship which leaves open thinking spaces for future scholars.

    1. Auch die Korrektur einer Textstelle ist in der Datenbank sofort global wirksam. Im Zettelarchiv dagegen ist es kaum zu leisten, alle alphabetisch einsortierten Kopien eines bestimmten Zettels zur Korrektur wieder aufzufinden.

      Correcting a text within a digital archive or database allows the change to propagate to all portions of the collection compared with a physical card index which has the hurdle of multiple storage and requires manual changes on all of the associated copies.

      This sort of affordance can be seen in more modern note taking tools like Obsidian which does this sort of work with global search and replace of double bracketed words which change everywhere in the collection.

    1. Writing is rewarding. Writing is empowering. Writing is even fun. As human, we are wired to communicate. We are also wired for “play.” Under the right circumstances, writing allows us to do both of these things at the same time.
    2. In a piece like this, writing is the expression and exploration of an idea (or collection of ideas). It is only through the writing that I can fully understand what I think.
    3. one of the things I value about writing, is the act of writing itself. It is an embodied process that connects me to my own humanity, by putting me in touch with my mind, the same way a vigorous hike through the woods can put me in touch with my body.
    1. The date and time (YYYYMMDD hhmm) form a unique identifier for the note. As I get it using this unique identifier is a way to make the notes "anonymous" so that "surprise" connections between them can be found that we wouldn't otherwise have noticed. In other words, it removes us from getting in our own way and forcing the notes to connect in a certain way by how we name them. A great introduction to the system can be found at zettelkasten.de. The page is written in English. The origional numbering system is discussed in the article. The modern computerized system uses the date and time as the unique identifier. I hope this helps.

      reply to u/OldSkoolVFX at https://www.reddit.com/r/ObsidianMD/comments/11jiein/comment/jb6np3f/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      I've studied (and used) Luhmann and other related systems more closely than most, so I'm aware of zettelkasten.de and the variety of numbering systems available including how Luhmann's likely grew out of governmental conscription numbers in 1770s Vienna. As a result your answer comes close to a generic answer, but not to the level of specificity I was hoping for. (Others who use a timestamp should feel free to chime in here as well.)

      How specifically does the anonymity of the notes identified this way create surprise for you? Can you give me an example and how it worked for you? As an example in my own practice using unique titles in Obsidian, when I type [[ and begin typing a word, I'll often get a list of other notes which are often closely related. This provides a variety of potential links and additional context to which I can write the current note in light of. I also get this same sort of serendipity in the autocomplete functionality of my tagging system which has been incredibly useful and generative to me in the past. This helps me to resurface past notes I hadn't thought of recently and can provide new avenues of growth and expansion.

      I've tried the datetime stamp in the past, but without aliasing them all with other titles, things tend to get lost in a massive list of generally useless numbers in an Obsidian folder—i.e. looking at the list gives me absolutely no information without other actions. Further the aliasing to remedy this just becomes extra administrative work. I've also never experienced the sort of surprise you mention when using datetime stamps, or at least not as the result of the timestamps themselves. As a separate concrete example in this video https://share.tube/w/4ad929jjNYMLc6eRppVQmc?start=49s using Denote, there is a clever naming method which simultaneously uses timestamps, Luhmann IDs, titles, and tags. However in this scheme the timestamps is one of the least useful (other than for simply searching by creation date/time, as in "I remember doing this on my birthday last year", or "it was sometime in Winter 2015"...) compared with the Luhmann identifiers, the title, or the tag for search and discovery within the search functionality. Consequently, I'm looking for concrete reasons why people would use datetime stamps and affordances they provide other than to simply have an identifier.

  12. Feb 2023
    1. I don’t think it is the best choice to realize Luhmann’s principles. Yet it is the best application adapting his techniques I know so far.

      Sascha Fast appreciated Lüdecke's ZKN3 application as one of the best for adapting Luhmann's techniques to a digital space, but felt that it could have gone further in realizing Luhmann's principles.


      Some of the tension in this debate is that between the affordances of analog (paper) versus digital information storage and tagging.

      Paper lacks easy corpus text search while simultaneously requiring additional manual indexing to make up for it. Paper also doesn't have the discovery value of autocomplete. On the opposite end paper forces one to more regularly review physical associative trails through one's past work while digital allows one to skip over some of this review process.

    2. Folgezettel

      Do folgezettel in combination with an index help to prevent over-indexing behaviors? Or the scaling problem of categorization in a personal knowledge management space?

      Where do subject headings within a zettelkasten dovetail with the index? Where do they help relieve the idea of heavy indexing or tagging? How are the neighborhoods of ideas involved in keeping a sense of closeness while still allowing density of ideas and information?

      Having digital search views into small portions of neighborhoods like gxabbo suggested can be a fantastic affordance. see: https://hypothes.is/a/W2vqGLYxEe2qredYNyNu1A

      For example, consider an anthropology student who intends to spend a lifetime in the subject and its many sub-areas. If they begin smartly tagging things with anthropology as they start, eventually the value of the category, any tags, or ideas within their index will eventually grow without bound to the point that the meaning or value as a search affordance within their zettelkasten (digital or analog) will be utterly useless. Let's say they fix part of the issue by sub-categorizing pieces into cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology, archaeology, etc. This problem is fine while they're in undergraduate or graduate school for a bit, but eventually as they specialize, these areas too will become overwhelming in terms of search and the search results. This problem can continue ad-infinitum for areas and sub areas. So how can one solve it?

      Is a living and concatenating index the solution? The index can have anthropology with sub-areas listed with pointers to the beginnings of threads of thought in these areas which will eventually create neighborhoods of these related ideas.

      The solution is far easier when the ideas are done top-down after-the-fact like in the Dewey Decimal System when the broad areas are preknown and pre-delineated. But in a Luhmann-esque zettelkasten, things grow from the bottom up and thus present different difficulties from a scaling up perspective.

      How do we classify first, second, and third order effects which emerge out of the complexity of a zettelkasten? - Sparse indexing can be a useful long term affordance in the second or third order space. - Combinatorial creativity and ideas of serendipity emerge out of at least the third order. - Using ZK for writing is a second order affordance - Storage is a first order affordance - Memory is a first order affordance (related to storage) - Productivity is a second+ order (because solely spending the time to save and store ideas is a drag at the first order and doesn't show value until retrieval at a later date). - Poor organization can be non-affordance or deterrent which results in a scrap heap - lack of a reason why can be a non-affordance or deterrence as well - cross reference this list and continue on with other pieces and affordances

    1. Part 2: Search & Inspect. Denote as a Zettelkasten, 2023. https://share.tube/w/4ad929jjNYMLc6eRppVQmc.

      His file naming convention and search operation in this is really fantastic:

      20230226155400==51a3b--note-title__tag1_tag2.org

      This allows one to search the file by date/time, signature, title or tags, by using the =, - or _ along with text.

      Beyond this however, there's a fair amount of context to build to use this system including using regex search.

    1. level 2A_Dull_SignificanceOp · 2 hr. agoYes! When I run across a comment on a book I haven’t read yet but seems interesting I make a little card with the comment and book title2ReplyGive AwardShareReportSaveFollowlevel 2taurusnoises · 2 hr. agoObsidianSo, you keep the titles of books you want to read organized in folgezettel (you give them an alphanumeric ID?) among your ZK notes? That's really interesting!

      I've done something like this when I think a particular reference(s) can answer a question related to a train of thought. But I keep cards of unread sources at the front of my sources section so that it's easier to pull it out frequently to prioritize and decide what I should be reading or working on next. These will then have links to the open questions I've noted, so that I can go back to those sections either as I'm reading/writing or to add those ideas into the appropriate folgezettel. These sorts of small amounts of work documented briefly can add up quickly over time. Source cards with indications of multiple open questions that might be answered is sometimes a good measure of desire to read, though other factors can also be at play.

      That to-read pile of bibliographic source notes (a mini antilibrary) is akin to walking into a party and surveying a room. I may be aware of some of the people I haven't met yet and the conversations we might have, but if there are interesting questions I know I want to ask of specific ones or conversations I already know I want to have, it can be more productive to visit those first.

      This sort of practice has been particularly helpful for times when I want to double check someone's sources or an original context, but don't have the time to do it immediately, don't want to break another extended train of thought, have to wait on materials, or may have to make a trip to consult physical materials that are singular or rare. For quick consultative reading, this can be a boon when I know I don't want or need to read an entire work, but skimming a chapter or a few pages for a close reading of a particular passage. I'll often keep a pile of these sorts of sources at hand so that I can make a short trip to a library, pick them up, find what I need and move on without having to recreate large portions of context to get the thing done because I've already laid most of the groundwork.

    1. I started capturing everything directly in Obsidian but it has two major drawbacks. The first is that I will inevitably end up taking a lot of fleeting notes that I don't want to be included in the literature note. By taking the fleeting notes and highlights in Zotero, and then exporting a copy to Obsidian, I have the piece of mind that much raw material (that I might possibly need one day) is in Zotero, but that a more polished and reduced version is in my literature notes. The clutter stays in Zotero, in other words, while Obsidian is the home of the more processed notes.

      Keeping one's fleeting notes separate from their permanent notes can be useful for managing the idea of clutter.

      Luhmann generally did this by keeping things in different boxes. Modern academics may use different digital applications (Zotero/Obsidian, Hypothes.is/Zettlr, etc.as examples) for each as long as there is some reasonable dovetail between the two for data transfer when necessary.

    1. Döring, Tanja, and Steffi Beckhaus. “The Card Box at Hand: Exploring the Potentials of a Paper-Based Tangible Interface for Education and Research in Art History.” In Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction, 87–90. TEI ’07. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery, 2007. https://doi.org/10.1145/1226969.1226986.

      This looks fascinating with respect to note taking and subsequent arranging, outlining, and use of notes in human computer interaction space for creating usable user interfaces.

    1. Certainly, computerizationmight seem to resolve some of the limitations of systems like Deutsch’s, allowing forfull-text search or multiple tagging of individual data points, but an exchange of cardsfor bits only changes the method of recording, leaving behind the reality that one muststill determine what to catalogue, how to relate it to the whole, and the overarchingsystem.

      Despite the affordances of recording, searching, tagging made by computerized note taking systems, the problem still remains what to search for or collect and how to relate the smaller parts to the whole.


      customer relationship management vs. personal knowledge management (or perhaps more important knowledge relationship management, the relationship between individual facts to the overall whole) suggested by autocomplete on "knowl..."

    2. Deutsch’s close friendJoseph Stolz, writing of the Chicago rabbi Bernard Felsenthal (1822–1908) who hadpenned a history of that city’s Jews and was instrumental in the 1892 formation of theAmerican Jewish Historical Society, noted that Felsenthal ‘was not the systematic orga-nizer who worked with a stenographer and card-index’ (Stolz, 1922: 259).

      Great example of a historian implying the benefit of not only a card index, but of potentially how commonplace it was to not only have one, but to have stenographers or secretaries to help manage them.

      Link this to the reference in Heyde about historians and others who were pushed to employ stenographers or copyists to keep their card indexes in order.


      Given the cost of employing secretaries to manage our information, one of the affordances that computers might focus on as tools for thought is lowering the barrier for management and maintenance. If they can't make this easier/simpler, then what are they really doing beyond their shininess? Search is obviously important in this context.

      What was the reference to employing one person full time to manage every 11 or 12 filing cabinets' worth of documents? Perhaps Duguid in the paper piece?

    1. Some systems require a unique identifier, but the people who are using a datetime stamp or random number anywhere in their (Luhmann-esque) zettelkasten title (here's a good example) are leading you astray. Doubly so if it occurs at the beginning of the title. There are no affordances in this practice and it's more likely to cause problems at scale. Just say no! (Note this is not the same as using a Luhmann-esque identifier at the start of a title as a means of providing a sort order of one's notes held in an individual folder.)

      Are there any reasons for someone to do this?! - perhaps for file name conflicts when digitally inserting notes into a system using third party clients with titles which may cause conflicts (though these could/should be removed later for easier reading); - counterexample: https://hypothes.is/a/Jux0pq7yEe2Uqj9mFXS3nQ - Another potential issue is in shared or collaborative note taking spaces where collision is more likely because others don't have the shared context. - perhaps for forcing sort orders on daily notes or recurring meetings MeetingA YYYY-MM-DD, etc., though these are probably in a separate area of one's box and not in their zettelkasten section.

      The point of a zettelkasten is to provide one help in ordering and building their knowledge, not in ordering their notes by time created. This will rarely (sans database-related use cases perhaps) provide any insight and digital systems have other easier and better ways of doing this if you need it.

      Worse, some systems may not do autocompletion on words in the middle of titles, so starting a card with a datetime can hamper this functionality. One should check this against their particular system.

    1. Beginner question .t3_112wup1._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } I see that a lot of people have the main categories as natural sciences. Social sciences etcCan I switch it toReligionActivitiesFoodOrganizationMad weird thoughtsCommunication

      reply to u/Turbulent-Focus-1389 at https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/112wup1/beginner_question/

      I'd recommend you do your best to stay away from rigid category-like classifications and see what develops. For specifics see: https://boffosocko.com/2023/01/19/on-the-interdisciplinarity-of-zettelkasten-card-numbering-topical-headings-and-indices/

      If it's easier to conceptualize, think of it all like a map which may have place names, but also has numerical coordinates. Sometimes a specific name like Richard Macksey's house is useful, but other times thinking about a specific coordinate and the general neighborhoods around them will be far more useful in your community development plan. A religion-only neighborhood without religious activities, religious food, religious organization or communication will be a a sad one indeed. If you segregate your communities, they're likely not to be very happy places for co-mingling of ideas and the potential resultant creativity you'll get out of them.

      Bob Doto also suggests a similar philosophy in some of his work, particularly with respect to folgezettel: https://writing.bobdoto.computer/zettelkasten/

      I'll note that this is an incredibly hard thing to do at the start, but it's one which you may very well wish you had done from the beginning.

    1. he research skills that Eco teaches areperhaps even more relevant today. Eco’s system demandscritical thinking, resourcefulness, creativity, attention todetail, and academic pride and humility; these are preciselythe skills that aid students overwhelmed by the ever-grow-ing demands made on their time and resources, and confusedby the seemingly endless torrents of information availableto them.

      In addition to "critical thinking, resourcefulness, creativity, attention to detail, and academic pride and humility", the ability to use a note card-based research system like Umberto Eco's is the key to overcoming information overload.

    2. Things were changing quickly.Eco’s methods of organizing and filing information werestill effective, but word processors and the Internet werebeginning to offer exciting alternatives to long-establishedresearch and writing techniques.

      Esparmer is correct that research and writing did change with the advent of word processors and the internet in the 1990s and early 2000s (p xi), but these were primarily changes to the front and the back of the process. Esparmer and far too many others seem to miss the difference in which affordances were shifting here. The note taking and organization portions still remained the same, so Eco's advice is still tremendously important. Even if one were to do long form notes in notebook format or in digital documents, they would profitably advised to still properly cross-index their notes or have them in a form that allows them to rearrange them most simply with respect to the structuring and creative processes.

      Losing the ability to move ideas around easily, restructure them, link them together and outline them was a tremendous blow in going from the old methods to the new digital ones.

      Did we accidentally become enamored of the new technologies and forget that their affordances didn't completely replace those of the old methods?

    1. The novel workflows that a technology enables are fundamental to how the technology is used, but these workflows need to be discovered and refined before the underlying technology can be truly useful.

      This is, in part, why the tools for thought space should be looking at intellectual history to see how people have worked in the past.


      Rather than looking at how writers have previously worked and building something specific that supports those methods, they've taken a tool designed for something else and just thrown it into the mix. Perhaps useful creativity stems from it in a new and unique way, but most likely writers are going to continue their old methods.

    2. Several participants noted the occasionally surreal quality of Wordcraft's suggestions.

      Wordcraft's hallucinations can create interesting and creatively surreal suggestions.

      How might one dial up or down the ability to hallucinate or create surrealism within an artificial intelligence used for thinking, writing, etc.?

    1. “multiple storage”

      Within the history of personal knowledge management, one was often faced with where to store their notes so that it would be easy to find and use them again. Often this was done using slip methods by means of "multiple storage" by making multiple copies and filing them under various headings. This copying process was onerous and breaks the modern database principle "don't repeat yourself" (DRY).

      Alternate means of doing this include storing it in one place and then linking that location to multiple subject headings in an index, though this may cause issues of remembering which subject heading when there are many appropriate potential synonyms.

      Modern digital methods allow one to store a note in one location and refer to it in multiple ways electronically as well as with aliases.

    1. Only then do I start writing. Compared with the labour of making, sorting and arranging notes, this is a relatively speedy business. But it is followed by a much more time-consuming task, that of travelling round the libraries to check the references in my footnotes, only too many of which, thanks to poor handwriting, carelessness and an innate tendency to ‘improve’ what I have read, turn out to be either slightly wrong or taken out of context.That one hit a little close to home. lol.

      We should also acknowledge that when revisiting some of our references again later, we're doing so with a dramatically increased knowledge and context of a particular problem which we may not have had when we first read a piece or took the notes.

      Not many here are writing or talking about these small sorts of insights into learning and writing or generating new work. Perhaps we should do more to acknowledge this hermeneutic cycle in our work?


      reply to u/stjeromeslibido at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/10wj6tv/comment/j7uexbk/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

    1. Rookie question: Part of my knowledge database is based on the Zettelkasten method, i.e. I have concept-oriented, atomic notes that are linked to each other. I don't, however, however use IDs and neither the Folgezettel method.

      Example of someone (u/HerrRey) who defines zettelkasten as "concept oriented, atomic notes that are linked to each other", but who doesn't use or exclude "IDs or the folgezettel method". Interestingly they feel like they're not getting the "big picture" of their work.

      Is there an affordance in these missing pieces that prevents them from seeing the big picture because of what they're missing? Is it just neurodiversity? Are they not creating outputs which connect the small to the big, and thus missing it that way?

    1. https://cathieleblanc.com/2023/02/05/choosing-learning-materials/

      Cathie notices that students skip materials about the theoretical "why" of assignments to get to the simpler assignments.

      This seems to be an issue with some in the personal knowledge management space who want to jump into the technology, the terminology, and moving things about without always understanding what they're doing or why. Many end up giving up as a result. Few books provide reasoning behind the terminologies or building blocks they describe to provide the theoretical why. As a result some may figure it out from long, fraught practice, but it's likely that more are not seeing the results they expect and thus giving up.

    1. Using an alphanumeric identification system for your notes is a workout. By having to situate new notes among previously imported ones, folgezettel forces at least one connection between ideas. It's mental calisthenics,8 acting as a check against capture bloat—that is, importing "all the things."

      Those who practice analog note taking have a high level of friction which prevents them from over-collecting (or "capture bloat", importing "all the things", or "collector's fallacy") ideas, which may not rise to a certain level of value. Beyond this, the requirement to find at least one other note to link each idea to provides a smaller hurdle against these hoarding practices.

    1. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incremental_reading

      Incremental reading is spaced parallel reading of multiple sources with note taking and spaced repetition.


      It's not far from how I read and take notes myself, though I place less emphasis on the spaced repetition piece as I tend to run across things naturally within my note collection anyway.


      One of the major potential benefits of incremental reading (not mentioned in the Wikipedia article; is it in Wozniak's work?) is the increase of combinatorial creativity created by mixing a variety of topics simultaneously.

      There is also likely a useful diffuse thinking effect happening between reading sessions.

    1. Are there symbols for 'supported by' or 'contradicted by' etc. to show not quite formal logical relations in a short hand?

      reply to u/stjeromeslibido at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/10qw4l5/are_there_symbols_for_supported_by_or/

      In addition to the other excellent suggestions, I don't think you'll find anything specific that that was used historically for these, but there are certainly lots of old annotation symbols you might be able to co-opt for your personal use.

      Evina Steinova has a great free cheat sheet list of annotation symbols: The Most Common Annotation Symbols in Early Medieval Western Manuscripts (a cheat sheet).

      More of this rabbit hole:

      (Nota bene: most of my brief research here only extends to Western traditions, primarily in Latin and Greek. Obviously other languages and eras will have potential ideas as well.)

      Tironian shorthand may have something you could repurpose as well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tironian_notes

      Some may find the auxiliary signs of the Universal Decimal Classification useful for some of these sorts of notations for conjoining ideas.


      Given the past history of these sorts of symbols and their uses, perhaps it might be useful for us all to aggregate a list of common ones we all use as a means of re-standardizing some of them in modern contexts? Which ones does everyone use?

      Here are some I commonly use:

      Often for quotations, citations, and provenance of ideas, I'll use Maria Popova and Tina Roth Eisenberg's Curator's Code:

      • ᔥ for "via" to denote a direct quotation/source— something found elsewhere and written with little or no modification or elaboration (reformulation notes)
      • ↬ for "hat tip" to stand for indirect discovery — something for which you got the idea at a source, but modified or elaborated on significantly (inspiration by a source, but which needn't be cited)

      Occasionally I'll use a few nanoformats, from the microblogging space, particularly

      • L: to indicate location

      For mathematical proofs, in addition to their usual meanings, I'll use two symbols to separate biconditionals (necessary/sufficient conditions)

      • (⇒) as a heading for the "if" portion of the proof
      • (⇐) for the "only if" portion

      Some historians may write 19c to indicate 19th Century, often I'll abbreviate using Roman numerals instead, so "XIX".

      Occasionally, I'll also throw drolleries or other symbols into my margins to indicate idiosyncratic things that may only mean something specifically to me. This follows in the medieval traditions of the ars memoria, some of which are suggested in Cornwell, Hilarie, and James Cornwell. Saints, Signs, and Symbols: The Symbolic Language of Christian Art 3rd Edition. Church Publishing, Inc., 2009. The modern day equivalent of this might be the use of emoji with slang meanings or 1337 (leet) speak.

  13. Jan 2023
    1. The Compass of Zettelkasten Thinking.

      The Brain in some of its views (see for eg: Jerry Michalski's default brain view) instantiates this sort of directional semantics for ideas.

      Note too, that The Brain makes it much easier to help create connections between multiple ideas as a basic functionality.

    1. http://richardcarter.com/sidelines/converting-my-notes-into-a-chapter/

      A great example of a breakthrough moment in this example.

    2. All that remained was the small matter of actually writing the chapter. I don’t do this in Obsidian: I think it would be asking for trouble to mix notes and their end-products in the same place.

      I've not seen this explicitly laid out as advice before though in most contexts people's note taking spaces have historically been divorced from their writing spaces for publication because slips and notes are usually kept physically separate from the working spaces or finished parts, but Richard Carter specifically separates the digital spaces in which he takes his notes and then uses them for creating end products. While he could both take notes in Obsidian, his tool of choice for notes, as well as write his finished pieces there, he actively changes contexts to use a different digital app to compose his notes into final pieces.

      What affordances does this context shift provide? <br /> - blank slate may encourage reworking and expansion of original notes - is there a blank slate effect and what would it entail? - potentially moves the piece into a longer format space or tool which provides additional writing, formatting or other affordances (which? there don't seem to be any in this case aside from a potential "distraction free mode" which may tend to force one to focus only on the piece at hand rather than the thousands of other pieces (notes) hiding within the app)

      What affordances does this remove?<br /> - He's forced to repeat himself (cut & paste / DRY violation)

      Is it easier or harder (from a time/effort perspective) to provide citations with such a workflow? Carter does indicate that for him:

      Having links to original sources in my outline makes the compilation of references for the chapter far easier than it used to be.

    1. Anybody using this approach to manage contacts? How?

      reply to IvanFerrero at https://forum.zettelkasten.de/discussion/1740/anybody-using-this-approach-to-manage-contacts-how#latest

      Many of the digital note taking tools that run off of text allow you to add metadata to your basic text files (as YAML headers, inline with a key:: value pair, or via #tags). Many of them have search functionality or use other programmatic means like query blocks, DataView, DataViewJS, etc. for doing queries on your files to get back lists, tables, charts, etc. of the data you're looking for.

      The DataView repository has some good examples of how this works with something like Obsidian. Fortunately if you're using simple text files you can usually put them into one or more platforms to get the data and affordances you want out of them individually.

      As an example, I have a script block in my daily note in Obsidian for birthdays in my notes that fall on today's date:

      ```dataview LIST birthday FROM "Lists/People" WHERE birthday.day = date(2023-01-18).day ```

      If I put the text birthday:: 1927-12-08 into a note about Niklas Luhmann, his name and birthday would appear in my daily note on his birthday. One can use similar functionality to create tables of books they read with titles, authors, ratings, dates read, etc. or a variety of other data input which parses through your plaintext files. Services like Obsidian, Logseq, et al. are getting better about allowing these types of programmatic searches for users without backgrounds in programming and various communities usually provide help for pre-made little snippets like the one above that one can cut and paste into their notes to get the outputs that they need. Another Obsidian based example that uses text files for tracking academic journal articles can be found at https://nataliekraneiss.com/your-academic-reading-list-in-obsidian/; I'm sure there are similar versions for other text-based platforms.

      In pre-digital times, for a manual version of a rolodex like this in paper, one could use different color cards as pseudo-tags (doctors are on yellow cards, family members on blue cards, friends on green cards, etc.) or adding edge notches or even tabs to represent different types of metadata. See for example the edge colored cards in Hawkexpress' Pile of Index Cards: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hawkexpress/albums/72157594200490122

    1. Hints for Preparing Documents Most documents go through several versions (always more than you expected) before they are finally finished. Accordingly, you should do whatever possible to make the job of changing them easy. First, when you do the purely mechanical operations of typing, type so subsequent editing will be easy. Start each sentence on a new line. Make lines short, and break lines at natural places, such as after commas and semicolons, rather than randomly. Since most people change documents by rewriting phrases and adding, deleting and rearranging sentences, these precautions simplify any editing you have to do later. — Brian W. Kernighan, 1974

      —Brian W. Kernighan, 1974 “UNIX for Beginners” [PDF] as Bell Labs Technical Memorandum 74-1273-18 on 29 October 1974.

      For easier editing and reuse of sentences, or even portions of lines of text, one can (and should) write sentences or sentence fragments on their own lines in digital contexts.

      This way future edits or the ability to more easily cut and paste will far easier in addition to keeping your version control files simpler and easier to read and visually track your changes. (That is in many version control systems, instead of a change appearing to affect an entire paragraph, it will only show on the single line that was changed thereby making the change easier to see.)

      This particular affordance may be a particularly useful one for note takers who expect to regularly reuse their notes in other contexts. Many forms of software (including Tex, LaTeX, and even markdown) will autowrap newlines so that a sentence broken up into clauses on multiple lines will properly wrap back into a proper looking single line when printed. Take care that in many Markdown versions adding two spaces at the end of a line will automatically create a newline in your text.

    1. Jan. 22. To set down such choice experiences that my own writingsmay inspire me and at last I may make wholes of parts. Certainly it isa distinct profession to rescue from oblivion and to fix the sentimentsand thoughts which visit all men more or less generally, that thecontemplation of the unfinished picture may suggest its harmoniouscompletion. Associate reverently and as much as you can with yourloftiest thoughts. Each thought that is welcomed and recorded is anest egg, by the side of which more will be laid. Thoughts accidentallythrown together become a frame in which more may be developedand exhibited. Perhaps this is the main value of a habit of writing, ofkeeping a journal,—that so we remember our best hours and stimulateourselves. My thoughts are my company. They have a certainindividuality and separate existence, aye, personality. Having bychance recorded a few disconnected thoughts and then brought theminto juxtaposition, they suggest a whole new field in which it waspossible to labor and to think. Thought begat thought.

      !!!!

      Henry David Thoreau from 1852

    1. But keeping a notebook with someone else is hard. The few times I’ve tried with people not married to me, the notebooks have degenerated into slums. People will usually build their own corners, afraid to mess with the words others have put in. And so the thoughts are not properly integrated, they just sprawl, and are not tended to with love. And if someone does try to integrate the collective thoughts, if someone edits other people’s notes when they are away—well, there are few things as frustrating as having someone mess up your structure of thought so it becomes less useful to you.

      Shared group note taking can be difficult as the notes one makes are often very personal and geared toward one's own particular path and needs.

      Group note taking may be easier within a marriage or a company or custom group (particularly as actors are closer to each other in a shared unit) as actors are striving to increase both their shared context as well as their shared priorities and goals.

    2. This priority list, which was added to deal with the mess the notes became after a few weeks, turned out to be important. It was a ratchet—whenever we happened on a good train of thought, the priority list ensured that we would not drift back down to a lower-quality conversation path. 

      Well made notes, revisited can act as a ratchet to elevate and expand a conversation rather than devolving back to the mundane.

    3. First, I mixed the conversational notes in with my other thoughts. But I’ve since found that keeping the conversational notes separate from other notes is better—it creates a stronger sense of place. Now, I enter the Torbjörn notes, and all past conversations flow up. Mixed in with the other notes, they were diluted.

      Like the affordances with respect to memory, giving notes a "place" can give them additional power.

  14. Dec 2022
    1. "Queer people built the Fediverse," she said, adding that four of the five authors of the ActivityPub standard identify as queer. As a result, protections against undesired interaction are built into ActivityPub and the various front ends. Systems for blocking entire instances with a culture of trolling can save users the exhausting process of blocking one troll at a time. If a post includes a “summary” field, Mastodon uses that summary as a content warning.
    1. I’m not against progress; however, it becomes confusing when a new concept(i.e. digital notetaking apps with linking capabilities) ensconces itself in aterm used by an entirely different concept (i.e. Niklas Luhmann’sZettelkasten).

      I'm hoping he'll discuss and compare/contrast the affordances of each of these systems, but I suspect that he won't.

    2. the Antinet can serve both states. It can assist someone who’s in thegrowth state (without a clear end goal), and it can also assist someone who’sin the contribution state (with a clearly defined book or project).

      This could be clearer and "growth state" and "contribution state" feel like jargon which muddles:

      two of the broad benefits/affordances of having a zettelkasten: - learning and scaffolding knowledge (writing for understanding) - collecting and arranging material for general output

      see also: https://boffosocko.com/2022/04/01/the-zettelkasten-method-of-note-taking-mirrors-most-of-the-levels-of-blooms-taxonomy/

    1. But then life went on and nothing really happened.

      https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/zl2hwh/is_the_concept_of_personal_knowledge_management/

      This essay seems to be more about shiny object syndrome. The writer doesn't seem to realize any problems they've created. Way too much digging into tools and processes. Note the switching and trying out dozens of applications. (Dear god, why??!!) Also looks like a lot of collecting digitally for no clear goal. As a result of this sort of process it appears that many of the usual affordances were completely blocked, unrealized, and thus useless.

      No clear goal in mind for anything other than a nebulous being "better".

      One goal was to "retain what I read", but nothing was actively used toward this stated goal. Notes can help a little, but one would need mnemonic methods and possibly spaced repetition neither of which was mentioned.

      A list of specific building blocks within the methods and expected outcomes would have helped this person (and likely others), but to my knowledge this doesn't exist as a thing yet though bits and pieces are obviously floating around.<br /> TK: building blocks of note taking

      Evidence here for what we'll call the "perfect system fallacy", an illness which often goes hand in hand with "shiny object syndrome".

      Too many systems bound together will create so much immediate complexity that there isn't any chance for future complexity or emergence as the proximal system is doomed to failure. One should instead strive for immediate and excessive simplicity which might then build with time, use, and practice into something more rich and complex. This idea seems to be either completely missed or lost in the online literature and especially the blogosphere and social media.


      people had come up with solutions Sadly, despite thousands of variations on some patterns, people don't seem to be able to settle on either "one solution" or their "own solution" and in trying to do everything all at once they become lost, set adrift, and lose focus on any particular thing they've got as their own goal.

      In this particular instance, "retaining what they read" was totally ignored. Worse, they didn't seem to ever review over their notes of what they read.


      I was pondering about different note types, fleeting, permanent, different organisational systems, hierarchical, non-hierarchical, you know the deal.

      Why worry about all the types of notes?! This is the problem with these multi-various definitions and types. They end up confusing people without giving them clear cut use cases and methods by which to use them. They get lost in definitional overload and aren't connecting the names with actual use cases and affordances.


      I often felt lost about what to takes notes on and what not to take notes on.

      Why? Most sources seem to have reasonable guidance on this. Make notes on things that interest you, things which surprise you.

      They seem to have gotten lost in all the other moving pieces. Perhaps advice on this should come first, again in the middle, and a third time at the end of these processes.

      I'm curious how deeply they read sources and which sources they read to come to these conclusions? Did they read a lot of one page blog posts with summarizations or did they read book length works by Ahrens, Forte, Allosso, Scheper, et al? Or did they read all of these and watch lots of crazy videos as well. Doing it "all" will likely lead into the shiny object syndrome as well.

      This seems to outline a list of specifically what not to do and how not to approach these systems and "popular" blog posts that are an inch deep and a mile wide rather than some which have more depth.

      Worst of all, I spent so much time taking notes and figuring out a personal knowledge management system that I neglected the things I actually wanted to learn about. And even though I kind of always knew this, I kept falling into the same trap.

      Definitely a symptom of shiny object syndrome!

    2. IMO ZK has always been a tool for writers - who are writing complex things for other people to read - to gather and organize information for that expressed purpose. They could be book writers, essay writers, academic paper/thesis writers, speech writers, bloggers, etc, but they've gotta be output-focused.

      via an anecdotal reply from /deltadeep

      Many have frequently provided this advice, but they're missing a number of other affordances, one of the key one's being combinatorial creativity, and this often, because they're not consciously aware of it as a concept or a useful affordance or it's potential outcomes.

    1. ephemeral sources .t3_znbvw3._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to: https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/znbvw3/ephemeral_sources/

      If it makes you feel better, this is a long standing problem of document and source loss. As just a small historical example from a fellow, but very early, note taker and practitioner of the ars excerpendi (art of excerpting):

      Presumed to have been written in the fifth century Stobaeus compiled an extensive two volume manuscript commonly known as The Anthologies of excerpts containing 1,430 poetry and prose quotations of classical ancient works from Greece and Rome of which only 315 original sources are still extant in the 21st century.[1] Large portions of our knowledge of many famous classical texts and plays are the result of his notes. Perhaps your notes will one day serve as the only references to famous documents of our time?

      Often for digital copies of things, I'll use a browser bookmarklet to quickly save archive copies of pages to the Internet Archive as I'm excerpting or annotating them. See https://help.archive.org/help/save-pages-in-the-wayback-machine/ for some ways of doing this.


      [1] Moller, Violet. The Map of Knowledge: A Thousand-Year History of How Classical Ideas Were Lost and Found. 1st ed. New York: Doubleday, 2019. https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/546484/the-map-of-knowledge-by-violet-moller/.

    1. Thinking about the circular relationship between UX and human behaviour - how they shape each other. The affordances of the system determine certain usage patterns, but people subvert those affordances, turn them to unexpected ends, and the system is often changed (if not directly by the designers, then indirectly through reinterpretation by the users) as a result.

      We shape our tools and thereafter they shape us....

    1. I also know that I have um effectively eclectomania in terms of I can click and capture stuff or clip it clip out stuff 01:26:48 faster than I can really as a minimum process it's such that oh that's an interesting link right I've read the abstract or I've read this 01:27:00 intro paragraph Yes I want that so I capture it with its URL as a minimum and I know I captured it today kleptomania that is great yeah

      Quote timestamp 01:26:36 from Obsidian Book Club checkin on 2022-12-04

      Context: talking about note taking methods; note that the autogenerated transcription actually misses the word as eclectoamania which is interesting in itself as a potential word.

      cliptomania<br /> definition: an excessive enthusiasm or desire to clip interesting material into one's notes. It often manifests itself in online settings where digital tools allow one to easily highlight and keep information including a URL or permalink to revisit that information in the future; a portmanteau of "clip" and "mania"

      Examples of tools that allow or encourage this collection of material include Evernote and Hypothes.is.

      a phenomenon which is related to the so-called "collector's fallacy"

    1. Después de esta historia superficialmente narrada por mí, usted se preguntará, "Y entonces, a cual debo seguir?" A ninguno. Hay un problema en nuestra sociedad, que también se extiende hasta el Zettelkasten: nos hemos fanatizado. Hemos hecho nuestras decisiones políticas, sociales, sexuales, etc., como la esencia de nuestra persona. Me gustaría expandir en ese tema en un futuro artículo, pero por ahora nos importa como eso se relaciona con la elección del zettelkasten: hay peleas y discusiones violentas entre los seguidores de Scheper, los de Ahrens, los digitales, etc. Hay una gran radicalización y tribalismo, evitando la discusión crítica y el discordar intelectual. Y no podemos ser así. Personalmente, el zettelkasten que uso actualmente es más basado en el de Scheper, pero aún así veo a los otros, leo a Ahrens, etc., todo para tener una visión completa y variada de lo que es el Zettelkasten.

      Facundo Macías notices, as have I, a semblance of internecine almost religious/fanatical war between various note taking camps.

      To get away from these we should instead on specific processes, their affordances, and their potential emergent outcomes in individual use. Most people begin these entrenched thoughts based on complete lack of knowledge. Few have practiced some of the broader methods for long enough to get to potential emergent properties.

    1. I’ve also got a vague sense in my head of how they should be organized — that is, what the structure of the book is going to be. This is generally when I write the formal book proposal. I know enough about the topic, now, that I have a good idea of what my central arguments are going to be and how I am going to organize the chapters.

      At what point in the process does one have a conceptualization for the overall outline of what they're writing?

      In cases where it's earlier than others, then heavy linking and organization may not be as necessary.

    2. As my research methods became more and more digital, the ease of pasting quotations and references in this way (instead of copying them by hand) has really speeded things up.

      Example of someone who felt that speeding up their note taking by using digital tools rather than analog ones.

    1. I have about fourteen or sixteen weeks to do this, so I'm breaking the course into an "intro" section that covers some basic stuff like affordances, and other insights into how tech functions. There's a section on AI which is nothing but critical appraisals on AI from a variety of areas. And there's a section on Social Media, which is the most well formed section in terms of readings.

      https://zirk.us/@shengokai/109440759945863989

      If the individuals in an environment don't understand or perceive the affordances available to them, can the interactions between them and the environment make it seem as if the environment possesses agency?

      cross reference: James J. Gibson book The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems (1966)


      People often indicate that social media "causes" outcomes among groups of people who use it. Eg: Social media (via algorithmic suggestions of fringe content) causes people to become radicalized.

  15. Nov 2022