1,003 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. Is it worth it to create a Zettelkasten? .t3_10w5rvr._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/10w5rvr/is_it_worth_it_to_create_a_zettelkasten/

      What can zettelkasten/card indexes do or not do?<br /> Can they be used for learning?<br /> What are they for?

    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. According to Shulman, "Cargo-cult is a belief that mock airplanes made of manure and straw-bale may summon the real airplanes who bring canned beef. Reverse cargo-cult is used by the political elites in countries lagging behind who proclaim that, in the developed world, airplanes are also made of manure and straw-bale, and there is also a shortage of canned beef."[29]

      "Екатерина Шульман: Практический Нострадамус, или 12 умственных привычек, которые мешают нам предвидеть будущее". vedomosti/ (in Russian). Retrieved 24 June 2021.


      A Note on the Cargo Cult of Zettelkasten

      Modern cargo cults can be seen in many technology and productivity spaces where people are pulled in by exaggerated (or sometimes even real claims) of productivity or the general "magic" of a technology or method.

      An example is Niklas Luhmann's use of his zettelkasten which has created a cargo cult of zettelkasten aspirants and users who read one or more of the short one page blog posts about his unreasonable productivity and try to mimic it without understanding the system, how it works, or how to make it work for them. They often spend several months collecting notes, and following the motions, but don't realize the promised gains and may eventually give up, sometimes in shame (or as so-called "rubbish men") while watching others still touting its use.

      To prevent one's indoctrination into the zettelkasten cult, I'll make a few recommendations:

      Distance yourself from the one or two page blog posts or the breathless YouTube delineations. Ask yourself very pointedly: what you hope to get out of such a process? What's your goal? Does that goal align with others' prior uses and their outcomes?

      Be careful of the productivity gurus who are selling expensive courses and whose focus may not necessarily be on your particular goals. Some are selling very pointed courses, which is good, while others are selling products which may be so broad that they'll be sure to have some success stories, but their hodge-podge mixture of methods won't suit your particular purpose, or worse, you'll have to experiment with pieces of their courses to discover what may suit your modes of working and hope they'll suffice in the long run. Some are selling other productivity solutions for task management like getting things done (GTD) or bullet journals, which can be a whole other cargo cults in and of themselves. Don't conflate these![^1] The only thing worse than being in a cargo cult is being in multiple at the same time.

      If you go the digital route, be extremely wary of shiny object syndrome. Everyone has a favorite tool and will advocate that it's the one you should be using. (Often their method of use will dictate how much they love it potentially over and above the affordances of the tool itself.) All of these tools can be endlessly configured, tweaked, or extended with plugins or third party services. Everyone wants to show you their workflow and set up, lots of which is based on large amounts of work and experimentation. Ignore 99.999% of this. Most tools are converging to a similar feature set, so pick a reasonable one that seems like it'll be around in 5 years (and which has export, just in case). Try out the very basic features for several months before you change anything. Don't add endless plugins and widgets. You're ultimately using a digital tool to recreate the functionality of index cards, a pencil, and a box. How complicated should this really be? Do you need to spend hundreds of hours tweaking your system to save yourself a few minutes a year? Be aware that far too many people touting the system and marketers talking about the tools are missing several thousands of years of uses of some of these basic literacy-based technologies. Don't join their island cult, but instead figure out how the visiting culture has been doing this for ages.[^2] Recall Will Hunting's admonition against cargo cults in education: “You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for $1.50 in late fees at the public library.”[^3]

      Most people ultimately realize that the output of their own thinking is only as good as the inputs they're consuming. Leverage this from the moment you begin and ignore the short bite-sized advice for longer form or older advice from those with experience. You're much more likely to get more long term value out of reading Umberto Eco or Mortimer J. Adler & Charles van Doren[^4] than you are an equivalent amount of time reading blog posts, watching YouTube videos, or trolling social media like Reddit and Twitter.

      Realize that reaching your goal is going to take honest-to-goodness actual work, though there is potential for fun. No matter how shiny or optimized your system, you've still got to do the daily work of reading, watching, listening and using it to create anything. Focus on this daily work and don't get sidetracked by the minutiae of trying to shave off just a few more seconds.[^5] In short, don't get caught up in the "productivity porn" of it all. Even the high priest at whose altar they worship once wrote on a slip he filed:

      "A ghost in the note card index? Spectators visit [my office to see my notes] and they get to see everything and nothing all at once. Ultimately, like having watched a porn movie, their disappointment is correspondingly high." —Niklas Luhmann. <small>“Geist im Kasten?” ZKII 9/8,3. Niklas Luhmann-Archiv. Accessed December 10, 2021. https://niklas-luhmann-archiv.de/bestand/zettelkasten/zettel/ZK_2_NB_9-8-3_V. (Personal translation from German with context added.)</small>


      [^1] Aldrich, Chris. “Zettelkasten Overreach.” BoffoSocko (blog), February 5, 2022. https://boffosocko.com/2022/02/05/zettelkasten-overreach/.

      [^2]: Blair, Ann M. Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age. Yale University Press, 2010. https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300165395/too-much-know.

      [^3]: Good Will Hunting. Miramax, Lawrence Bender Productions, 1998.

      [^4]: Adler, Mortimer J., and Charles Van Doren. How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading. Revised and Updated edition. 1940. Reprint, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1972.

      [^5]: Munroe, Randall. “Is It Worth the Time?” Web comic. xkcd, April 29, 2013. https://xkcd.com/1205/.


      Recommended resources

      Choose only one of the following and remember you may not need to read the entire work:

      Ahrens, Sönke. How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers. Create Space, 2017.

      Allosso, Dan, and S. F. Allosso. How to Make Notes and Write. Minnesota State Pressbooks, 2022. https://minnstate.pressbooks.pub/write/.

      Bernstein, Mark. Tinderbox: The Tinderbox Way. 3rd ed. Watertown, MA: Eastgate Systems, Inc., 2017. http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/TinderboxWay/index.html.

      Dow, Earle Wilbur. Principles of a Note-System for Historical Studies. New York: Century Company, 1924.

      Eco, Umberto. How to Write a Thesis. Translated by Caterina Mongiat Farina and Geoff Farina. 1977. Reprint, Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press, 2015. https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/how-write-thesis.

      Gessner, Konrad. Pandectarum Sive Partitionum Universalium. 1st Edition. Zurich: Christoph Froschauer, 1548.

      Goutor, Jacques. The Card-File System of Note-Taking. Approaching Ontario’s Past 3. Toronto: Ontario Historical Society, 1980. http://archive.org/details/cardfilesystemof0000gout.

      Sertillanges, Antonin Gilbert, and Mary Ryan. The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods. First English Edition, Fifth printing. 1921. Reprint, Westminster, MD: The Newman Press, 1960. http://archive.org/details/a.d.sertillangestheintellectuallife.

      Webb, Sidney, and Beatrice Webb. Methods of Social Study. London; New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1932. http://archive.org/details/b31357891.

      Weinberg, Gerald M. Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method. New York, N.Y: Dorset House, 2005.

    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.

  2. Feb 2023
  3. Jan 2023
    1. Avoid both very long andvery short paragraphs: the length should usually vary from150 to 860 words. Attend carefully to the unity and correctstructure of the paragraph.

      His description of paragraphs from 150 to 350 words is interesting with respect to the amount of material that will fit on a 3x5" inch card during the note taking process.

    1. I've decided I don't care (too much) where new notes go .t3_10mjwq9._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/jackbaty at https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/10mjwq9/ive_decided_i_dont_care_too_much_where_new_notes/

      u/jackbaty, If it doesn't make sense for you (yet, or for your specific needs), you can always follow in the footsteps of the hundreds of thousands who used a topical subject heading method of the commonplace book before Luhmann's example shifted the space over the last decade. If it worked for Francis Bacon, you'll probably be alright too... (See: https://boffosocko.com/2022/06/10/reframing-and-simplifying-the-idea-of-how-to-keep-a-zettelkasten/)

      I find that sometimes, it is useful to bank up a few dozen cards before filing/linking them together. Other times I'll file them by category in a commonplace book like system to ruminate a bit only later to move them to a separate Luhmann-esque zettelkasten area where they're more tightly linked with the ideas around them. After you've been doing it a while, it will be easier to more tightly integrate the three-way conversation or argument you're having between yourself, your card index, and the sources you're thinking about (or reading, watching, listening to). You mention that "my brain needs at least some level of structure", and I totally get it, as most of us (myself included) are programmed to work that way. I've written some thoughts on this recently which may help provide some motivation to get you around it: https://boffosocko.com/2023/01/19/on-the-interdisciplinarity-of-zettelkasten-card-numbering-topical-headings-and-indices/

      It helps to have a pointed reason for why you're doing all this in the first place and that reason will dramatically help to shape your practice and its ultimate structure.

    1. yeaaaaaaah I'm gonna need a link to purchase these if you got one

      reply to u/pipepistolnoscope at https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/10lqfsn/comment/j62dp7o/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      These are slightly easier to find in a variety of styles, colors, and materials if you're using European A5 or A6 slip sizes. Search for 6 ring binders which usually come in A5 or A6 sizes for a variety of planners, calendars, and general notes with accessories. Franklin Covey has a variety of binders for their 4.25" x 6.75" note pages and planners which will likely work with index cards, but I haven't tried that.

      If you use US standard index cards 4 x 6" or 3 x 5", you'll want an appropriate 6 ring hole punch to pre-punch your cards as appropriate, but keep in mind the two standard sizes can be slightly off with respect to the binder you find but they're probably close enough it shouldn't be a big issue as most of the binders are slightly larger in both directions to protect the paper inside.

      I recently posted about note taking on the go, so you might find some interesting ideas, methods, modifications or even DIY options there or in the comments: https://boffosocko.com/2022/12/01/index-card-accessories-for-note-taking-on-the-go/

    1. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11534762/

      The Good Fight S4 E5 "The Gang Goes to War"

      This episode features Diane chatting with a co-star about her note taking experience. The woman indicates that she took notes incessantly and voraciously, but that she never referred back to them. The experience just caused her extreme stress so she gave it up completely as she felt it never gave her any benefit. She resorted instead to a more zen practice of drawing circles in her notebooks. She showed Diane a pile of notebooks filled with circles in various designs and colors. Later in the episode while in court the woman asked Diane about it and Diane showed her some of her new circle "note" pages.

      [Watched the episode passively sometime in the past two weeks.]

    1. The Compass of Zettelkasten Thinking.

      Notice the naming/productization of this idea: The Compass of Zettelkasten Thinking which Fei-Ling Tseng labels a "method" in the following line.

      The comments on the piece seem to underline this.

      The general idea is also far from new, so people are obviously ignoring the history of the space as they productize it.

    2. Once you somehow got your idea, there’s the task of placing and connecting your idea to your collection of existing ideas. What kind of connection am I looking for? What relationships are worthy of calling a connection? Do any connections work, or do some work better than others? Should I categorize the connections?

      Most only get so far as, what could/should I connect this to and don't get any farther.

      Some good questions for mulling over here though.

    3. 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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds90JeVyKiE

      Review of variety of Boox e-readers.

      • Boox Note 3 - NO (older model)
      • Best 7.8" is probably Note Air for $350
      • 10" Note Air 2 >> Note Air
      • 10" Note Air 2+ is $500 and has a bigger battery and batteries over it's smaller v2
      • 13.3" Max Lumi >> Max Lumi2 especially because of price and heavy reflectivity issues with the Lumi 2
    1. https://www.catholic.org/saints/patron.php

      Potential patron saints of note takers, writers, knowledge workers, tools for thought, etc.

      • Apothecaries - Cosmas and Damian
      • archives - Laurent (Lawrence)
      • archivists, librarians, libraries - Catherine of Alexandria, Jerome, Laurent (Lawrence)
      • cabinetmakers - Anne, Joseph, Vincent de Paul
      • contemplatives, contemplative life - John of the Cross, Mary Magdalene
      • Craftworkers - Luke
      • Editors John Bosco, Francis de Sales
      • enlightenment - Holy Spirit, Our Lady of Good Counsel
      • file makers - Theodosius the Cenobriarch
      • Information Workers - Archangel Gabriel
      • inquisitors - Peter of Verona
      • Joiners - Joseph, Thomas, Apostle
      • knowledge - Holy Spirit
      • Learning - Ambrose, Catherine of Alexandria
      • liberal arts - Catherine of Bologna
      • linguists - Gotteschalk
      • net makers - Peter the Apostle
      • Notaries - Luke, Mark, Ivo of Kermartin
      • pencil makers - Thomas Aquinas
      • Scholars - Bridgid of Ireland, Thomas Aquinas
      • scribes - Catherine of Alexandria
      • Shorthand writers - Cassian of Imola
      • Students - Catherine of Alexandria, Thomas Aquinas, Gabriel Possenti
      • Students (examinees) - Joseph of Cupertino
    1. http://richardcarter.com/sidelines/converting-my-notes-into-a-chapter/

      A great example of a breakthrough moment in this example.

    2. It’s far more complicated than that, obviously. Different parts of this process are going on all the time. While working on one chapter, I’m also capturing and working on unrelated—for the time being at least—notes on other topics that interest me, including stuff that might well end up in future books.

      Because reading, annotating/note taking, and occasional outlining and writing can be broken down into small, concrete building blocks, each part of the process can be done separately and discretely with relatively easy ability to shift from one part of the process to another.

      Importantly, one can be working on multiple different high level projects (content production: writing, audio, video, etc.) simultaneously in a way which doesn't break the flow of one's immediate reading. While a particular note within a piece may not come to fruition within a current imagined project, it may spark an idea for a future as yet unimagined project.


      Aside: It would seem that Ryan Holiday's descriptions of his process are discrete with respect to each individual project. He's never mentioned using or reusing notes from past projects for current or future projects. He's even gone to the level that he creates custom note cards for his current project which have a title pre-printed on them.

      Does this pre-titling help to provide him with more singular focus for his specific workflow? Some who may be prone to being side-tracked or with specific ADHD issues may need or be helped by these visual and workflow cues to stay on task, and as a result be helped by them. For others it may hinder their workflows and creativity.

      This process may be different for beginning students or single project writers versus career writers (academics, journalists, fiction and non-fiction writers).


      As a concrete example of the above, I personally made a note here about Darwin and Lamarck for a separate interest in evolution which falls outside of my immediate area of interest with respect to note taking and writing output.

    3. The above is an attempt to describe how I went about writing one chapter of my book. I use the same basic approach for all my chapters, namely: make lots of linked notes about stuff I happen to find interesting;continue to develop those notes, splitting them into smaller notes when they become too wide-ranging;write Journal entries and draw mind-maps to explore what I’ve discovered;keep playing with my notes;await a lightbulb moment, when two or more notes suddenly make an unexpected new connection in my brain, and I think, “Oh, that’s interesting!”create a detailed bullet-point outline of my chapter, complete with links to supporting notes and references;write the chapter;compile the chapter references with the help of the chapter outline links;repeat until the first draft of the book is finished;then comes the fun part.

      Summary of Richard Carter's writing process from notes to product.

    4. 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. It is my cup of tea. Now I'm looking for his practical advice

      He's got a collection of ideas around the area with some useful history: https://boffosocko.com/research/zettelkasten-commonplace-books-and-note-taking-collection/

      His practical advice is usually to quit reading about the theory and do the thing. Choose the simplest path and stick with it a while. See what happens. What's useful? What's not? Practice, practice, practice.

    2. I do not care to include the epistemological status (claim, idea, quote etc) anymore as I was not actively searching for it and it was nebulous in practice, as you've found out.

      Sometimes collecting some sorts of data in one's notes (even, and particularly in digital notes) is not a useful practice as one eventually realizes that they remain unsearched and unused.

      One thing which may not come under this heading is the difference in what others say versus what you write yourself, especially as it relates to plagiarism.

    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. It is not a bad plan for two or more students to meet at stated intervals and compare their notes . The lecture can be discussed so that thepoints omitted or not fully understood can be placed correctly in the notebook against the final test . The chance for error is greatly decreased inthis way and, besides , the discussion greatly aids the memory so that thework of studying from the notes is lessened . In at least one instance wherethe speaker delivered his lecture very rapidly several students arrangedto take his points in relays ; that is, since there was scarcely time for oneman to get all, one man could take the first point, another the second, andso on. These men occupied seats close together so that an exchange ofsignals was possible. Afterwards they discussed each lecture and puttheir notes together.

      Apparently sharing/comparing notes was reasonable advice in 1910 including the idea of in-class signals for splitting up note taking amongst multiple people.

      Compare this to shared notes (Google Docs, Etherpad, etc.) in modern context with multiple people doing simultaneous notes.

    2. It may be an advantage to learn shorthand, as many do , and takethe notes verbatim, but there really is no necessity for taking entire lectures ; in fact lectures may be a disadvantage because they make morework to be gone over.

      Notice the advice for shorthand here in 1910. When was it a dead technology for students? Certainly by the 1980s when it was less frequently taught in schools.

      Even with the ability to do shorthand and get things verbatim, he suggests against it for the sheer volume of material to go over.

      Link to/compare with: - https://hypothes.is/a/gqSGbpVaEe2pmiuwPwm8Vw from 1892

    3. The student should become as little conscious of his notebookas possible , that his mind may act reflexively ; that is, from habit, automatically.

      One should strive to become fluent with their note taking materials and tools to the point that both having them at hand and using them them are as second nature as breathing, walking, or speaking.

      When it comes to productivity gains, this one thing can be the most helpful. Have a process; know it intimately enough that it is second nature.

    4. The first injunction is then : Do not try to take the lecture verbatim.
    5. ned the art of notetaking for themselves that this pamphletis prepared. It does not seem wise to attempt to lay down any verystringent rules on the subject. We can only suggest the more generalmethods from which every man can work out his own particular system.
    6. Maxfield, Ezra Kempton. “Suggestions for Note Taking.” Delaware College Bulletin 6, no. 4 (December 1910).

      https://www.google.com/books/edition/Suggestions_for_Note_Taking/pacaAAAAYAAJ?hl=en

    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. https://omnivore.app/<br /> Open source version of readwise

      Originally bookmarked from phone on Sun 2023-01-15 11:25 PM

      updated: 2023-01-17 with tag: "accounts"

    1. After browsing through a variety of the cards in Gertrud Bauer's Zettelkasten Online it becomes obvious that the collection was created specifically as a paper-based database for search, retrieval, and research. The examples and data within it are much more narrowly circumscribed for a specific use than those of other researchers like Niklas Luhmann whose collection spanned a much broader variety of topics and areas of knowledge.

      This particular use case makes the database nature of zettelkasten more apparent than some others, particularly in modern (post-2013 zettelkasten of a more personal nature).

      I'm reminded here of the use case(s) described by Beatrice Webb in My Apprenticeship for scientific note taking, by which she more broadly meant database creation and use.

    1. Withtheotherpiece ofpracticaladviceinthearticleinthe Lancet,namely,that studentsshould securewellboundsubstantialnote-books,wethoroughly concur.Theyshouldbewellbound andsubstantialinorder tobeavailableforreferencein futureyears

      Interesting advice...

      Were notebooks of the time generally poorly bound and prone to falling apart? The focus on longevity of notes is interesting here...

    2. Tobeuseful,thenotestakenatmedicallecturesshouldbeasummaryonly;noattempt shouldbemadetotakeaverbatimreport

      Verbatim notes are not the goal.

      The idea of note taking as a means of sensemaking and understanding is underlined in an 1892 article in a shorthand magazine whose general purpose was to encourage shorthand and increasing one's writing speed, often to create verbatim records:

      To be useful, the notes taken at medical lectures should be a summary only; no attempt should be made to take a verbatim report.

    3. This independent confirmation ofthe testimonythat Dr Gowers has personally borne to the helpfulness ofPhonography in his professional career, is peculiarlyvaluable, because there are still some able men in themedical world who discourage the practice of note- takingby students . Professor Struthers, for instance, is reportedto have said before the General Medical Council that" the student takes his notes, puts his book in his pocket,and walks out, knowing no more about the subject than amere reporter would do."

      There's an interesting parallel between this example and that of the character of Socrates in Plato with respect to writing and memory.

      Some take notes to increase understanding, while others might suggest that note taking decreases understanding. The answer to remedying the discrepancy is in using the proper process.

    4. He points out that the power of takingnotes efficiently does not come by nature, but that,it is an art that improves with cultivation,
    5. NOTE-TAKING IN MEDICAL STUDYAND PRACTICE

      “Note-Taking in Medical Study and Practice.” The Phonetic Journal, September 24, 1892, in The Phonetic Journal for the Year of 1892, Volume 51, 609–10.

    1. reply to u/IamOkei https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/10bjqjq/how_do_you_generate_unique_notes_i_feel_weird_to/

      You may find value in re-framing your active reading and note taking/annotating as "having a conversation with the text". Adler's essay How to Mark a Book is a good short introduction. If you try this for a while and still have trouble, watch the movie Finding Forrester and try again. If you're still having trouble after this, read through Adler and Van Doren's How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading with a pen(cil) in hand and then try a third time.

    2. How do you generate unique notes? I feel weird to just copying ideas from books
    1. I began by committing the basic error of writing my notes on both sides of the page. I soon learned not to do that, but I continued to copy excerpts into notebooks in the order in which I encountered them.
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYj1jneBUQo

      Forrest Perry shows part of his note taking and idea development process in his hybrid digital-analog zettelkasten practice. He's read a book and written down some brief fleeting notes on an index card. He then chooses a few key ideas he wants to expand upon, finds the physical index card he's going to link his new idea to, then reviews the relevant portion of the book and writes a draft of a card in his notebook. Once satisfied with it, he transfers his draft from his notebook into Obsidian (ostensibly for search and as a digital back up) where he may also be refining the note further. Finally he writes a final draft of his "permanent" (my framing, not his) note on a physical index card, numbers it with respect to his earlier card, and then (presumably) installs it into his card collection.

      In comparison to my own practice, it seems like he's spending a lot of time after-the-fact in reviewing over the original material to write and rewrite an awful lot of material for what seems (at least to me—and perhaps some of it is as a result of lack of interest in the proximal topic), not much substance. For things like this that I've got more direct interest in, I'll usually have a more direct (written) conversation with the text and work out more of the details while reading directly. This saves me from re-contextualizing the author's original words and arguments while I'm making my arguments and writing against the substrate of the author's thoughts. Putting this work in up front is often more productive at least for areas of direct interest. I would suspect that in Perry's case, he was generally interested in the book, but it doesn't impinge on his immediate areas of research and he only got three or four solid ideas out of it as opposed to a dozen or so.

      The level of one's conversation with the text will obviously depend on their interest and goals, a topic which is relatively well laid out by Adler & Van Doren (1940).

    2. Definitely the mate is the most fundamental intellectual aim, I was wandering from the beginning if that was a mate hahah. How is it that you are drinking mate? I’m guessing you are not from Argentina since you speak and write in english and for english-speaking students… Also, I really like this series about the zettelkasten, you explain things clearly and with great humor. I like videos like this one where you show the actual process.

      Process is important and I suspect we need more concrete examples for people to see. I'm reminded of Andy Matuschak's note taking live stream a while back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGcs4tyey18 though some editing, time compression, and inserted images can make it a bit more interesting than watching paint dry.

      Anecdotally, I feel like mate has become at least marginally more popular in the United States in the last few years, or at least enough to enter the consciousness of the cultural zeitgeist at a liminal level.

    3. Forrest Perry shows an example of one of his zettels which has evidence of his having renumbered at least one card.

      The image of the card has a strip of white out tape in the upper right hand corner with about 6 characters' worth of text covered over and the identifier "4b" written in black ink over it.

    1. Right now I am building my zettelkasten on my PC but I want to integrate my paper written notes And still add more paper notes in the future. Any ideas how to do this efficiently? I mean a way to make my written notes discoverable from my PC system and keep them organized.

      Usual advice is to move PRN, but what does the spectrum here look like? Collect examples.

    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. Over time, they have been expanded and organized: it is the scaffolding of our conversation, left behind as a structure to think in. 

      "they" = "notes"

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    1. Kakeibo (Japanese: 家計 簿, Hepburn: kakei-bo), is a Japanese saving method. The word "kakeibo" can be translated as Household ledger and is literally meant for household financial management. Kakeibos vary in structure, but the basic idea is the same. At the beginning of the month, the kakeibo writes down the income and necessary expenses for the beginning month and decides some kind of savings target. The user then records their own expenses on a daily basis, which are added together first at the end of the week and later at the end of the month. At the end of the month, a summary of the month's spending is written in kakeibo. In addition to expenses and income, thoughts and observations are written in kakeibo with the aim of raising awareness of one's own consumption.[1] Kakeibo can be a finished book or self-made.

      There are some interesting parallels with kakeibo and note taking methods. Some have used envelopes to save away their notes in a similar sort of structure.

      Link to https://hyp.is/RVP-plQaEe2t_7Pt7pyTgA/www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v32/n11/keith-thomas/diary<br /> Historian Keith Thomas used envelopes for storing/maintaining his notes

    1. “Of all the books I have delivered to the presses, none, I think, is as personal as the straggling collection mustered for this hodgepodge, precisely because it abounds in reflections and interpolations. Few things have happened to me, and I have read a great many. Or rather, few things have happened to me more worth remembering than Schopenhauer’s thought or the music of England’s words. A man sets himself the task of portraying the world. Through the years he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and people. Shortly before his death, he discovers that that patient labyrinth of lines traces the image of his face.”
    1. ) That a small group is a powerful way of thinking, and of creating action. That repetition matters, and informality. 2) It might be possible to help with strategy without providing original thought or even active facilitation: To consult without consulting. The answers and even ways of working are inherent in the group itself.
    1. If we put our own voice on each note (as opposed to quoting by copy/pasting), then the most part of the work is done.

      rielaborare le informazioni lette, non solo citare

    1. In the end, I've reached a compromise: I take most notes using Obsidian because it feels quick and unintrusive. But if I need to take literature notes on papers that require more equations and proper handling of citations, I use Zettlr directly. After a while, I got used to referencing sources just by looking at the citation key in Zotero, and I use Zettlr even more sporadically, just for equation-heavy work.
    1. Requesting antinet hivemind assistance: ANALOG ACCOUNTING/BUDGETING/BOOKKEEPING .t3_103r4j0._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } Does anyone have any cards or know of any books/chapters/quotes that pertain to analog accounting, budgeting, and/or bookkeeping? For example, In "Paper Machines" Krajewski mentions how Melvil Dewey invented a personal analog bookkeeping system that was... disastrous...and he went bankrupt. That was really good information! Anyone have any leads?

      reply to u/Echo_Delta17 at https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/103r4j0/requesting_antinet_hivemind_assistance_analog/

      You should read Paper Machines closer as the accounting uses of Library Bureau products are what made it fantastically profitable in the early 1900s. Ann Blair has some useful references in Too Much to Know. Broadly there is lots of heavy influence of accounting principles in history as applied to note taking evolution, and particularly that of double entry bookkeeping. The idea of waste books plays particularly heavy here.

      I've previously posted some early 1900s photos from Yawman & Erbe of uses of index card filing systems for CRM and other business related purposes: https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/yka3ro/vintage_yawman_and_erbe_card_index_filing_systems/

      Melvil Dewey/Library Bureau ultimately partnered up with Herman Hollerith in a predecessor of what became IBM to supply early versions of punch cards for government contracts. (See Krajewski for this.)

      Feel free to troll some of my other notes for some related references across time: https://hypothes.is/users/chrisaldrich?q=accounting

      Curious what you're looking to discover here? A hard target library search for references should get you swimming in details pretty quickly here. I'd love to see what you come up with.

    1. The first book I’m processing is Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy, which seemed appropriate.

      https://dice.camp/@brennenreece/109622279965144935

      example of someone "processing" a book and doing so in the context of having read Ahrens

  4. Dec 2022
    1. 9/8,3 Geist im Kasten? Zuschauer kommen. Sie bekommen alles zusehen, und nichts als das – wie beimPornofilm. Und entsprechend ist dieEnttäuschung.

      https://niklas-luhmann-archiv.de/bestand/zettelkasten/zettel/ZK_2_NB_9-8-3_V

      I've read and referenced this several times, but never bothered to log it into my notes.

      Sasha Fast's translation:

      Ghost in the box? Spectators visit. They get to see everything, and nothing but that - like in a porn movie. And the disappointment is correspondingly high.

    1. Klaus Kusanowsky uses the ideas of witchcraft or fascination to describe the sort of magic created by zettelkasten use. [0:09:15]

    1. Is the ZK method worth it? and how it helped you in your projects? .t3_zwgeas._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } questionI am new to ZK method and I'd like to use it for my literature review paper. Altho the method is described as simple, watching all those YT videos about the ZK and softwares make it very complex to me. I want to know how it changed your writing??

      reply to u/Subject_Industry1633 at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/zwgeas/is_the_zk_method_worth_it_and_how_it_helped_you/ (and further down)

      ZK is an excellent tool for literature reviews! It is a relative neologism (with a slightly shifted meaning in English over the past decade with respect to its prior historical use in German) for a specific form of note taking or commonplacing that has generally existed in academia for centuries. Excellent descriptions of it can be found littered around, though not under a specific easily searchable key word or phrase, though perhaps phrases like "historical method" or "wissenschaftlichen arbeitens" may come closest.

      Some of the more interesting examples of it being spelled out in academe include:

      For academic use, anecdotally I've seen very strong recent use of the general methods most compellingly demonstrated in Obsidian (they've also got a Discord server with an academic-focused channel) though many have profitably used DevonThink and Tinderbox (which has a strong, well-established community of academics around it) as much more established products with dovetails into a variety of other academic tools. Obviously there are several dozens of newer tools for doing this since about 2018, though for a lifetime's work, one might worry about their longevity as products.

    1. In my line of work as a writer, there’s a near endless stream of new applications coming out that touch different stages in my workflow: e-book readers, notetaking apps, tools for managing PDFs, word processors, bibliographic databases. The problem is that it’s very tricky to switch horses midstream with these kinds of tools, which means you have a natural tendency to get locked into a particular configuration, potentially missing out on better approaches.

      Steven Johnson indicates that it can be difficult to change workflows, tools, apps, etc.

    1. My day to day notebook is a soft 5 inch by 3.5 inch pocket notebook as shown below. I use a mechanical pencil when out and about (no breakage or sharpening) and take a small eraser (in this case an eraser shaped like Lego). This book is good for notes and ideas. Notice I cross them out when I have acted on them in some way (done the work, or given up on the idea). The goal of the daily notebook is to eventually throw it away (not save it). So all work needs to move out and I need to be able to know it has been moved.
    1. even Socrates himself, we learnby way of his followers, derided the emerging popularity of taking physicalnotes.

      I recall portions about Socrates deriding "writing" as a mode of expression, but I don't recall specific sections on note taking. What is Ann Blair's referent for this?

      The "emerging popularity of taking physical notes" seems not to be in evidence with only one exemplar of a student who lost their notes within the Blair text.

    2. There’s magic within the analog medium incapable of beingreproduced in digital tools.

      A side reference here to magic, but he defers what this is... why mention it if you're not going to back it up here?

    3. 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.

    4. Even thoughsuch apps are thought of as a Zettelkasten, the magic that Luhmann builtinto his system is lost.

      I'm not a fan of the magic framing here and I'm not really sure that Luhmann consciously designed or built his system to do this. Prior systems had these "magical" features before Luhmann's.

    5. 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/

    6. “I started my Zettelkasten,because I realized that I had to plan for a life and not for a book.”5

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

    1. However, most of the stuff I read about personal knowledge management is about systems, apps, setups or plugins, and never really about its purpose. Why bother doing all this?

      The crucial question to the whole enterprise. They should have asked this question from the start of the essay or the start of their journey, not at the end.

      Again shiny object syndrome seems to have gotten them...

    2. Fact-based disciplines such as natural sciences have less potential for deeply linked, atomic zettel notes than arts and humanities. There is not much to discuss about or 'generate insight' on photosynthesis, algebra or network protocols if you are not a scientist.

      Again note taking is the wrong tool for fact-based acquisition. Apparently this is not advice given in most sources. Spaced repetition and mnemonic methods are far better suited for memorizing and remembering basic facts.

      Take notes on the surprising and unique. Take notes as writing you'll reuse later. Take notes to understand.

    3. There are different kinds of information, some of which don't make sense being recorded at all. I was struggling with what to record and what not to record for a long time. For example, I took notes on programming syntax that are just useless (most of these things can be googled in seconds and they are usually decently documented already).

      How was this not obvious from the jump? Was the author of the essay so distracted by shiny object syndrome they failed to see the obvious?

      It's like taking notes in a language class... the goal is to read and write with fluency, so you practice these things regularly and gain fluency over time. Taking notes about the grammar and syntax of a language is highly unlikely to get you to fluency. Note taking is the wrong tool for a number of processes and the user should very quickly get a gut feeling for what's useful and what is not.

      This author obviously missed the boat here.

    4. Writing permanent notes was time consuming as f***. On one side writing them helped me grasp the concepts they described on a deep level. One the other side I think this would have been possible without putting an emphasis on referencing, atomicity, deep linking, etc.

      The time it takes to make notes is an important investment. If it's not worth the time, what were you actually doing? Evergreen/permanent notes are only useful if you're going to use them later in some sort of output. Beyond this they may be useful for later search.

      But if you're not going to search them or review them, which the writer says they didn't, then what was the point?

      Have a reason for taking a note is of supreme importance. Otherwise, you're just collecting scraps...

      People who have this problem shouldn't be using digital tools they should be spending even more time writing by hand. This will force them into being more parsimonious.

    5. Funnily enough the ROI on these notes was a lot higher than all the permanent/evergreen/zettel notes I had written.

      The missing context here: Why were they writing permanent/evergreen notes in the first place?

    6. 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!

    7. Although some of them took a lot of time to create (I literally wrote whole book summaries for a while), their value was negligible in hindsight.

      What was the purpose of these summaries? Were they of areas which weren't readily apparent in hindsight? Often most people's long summaries are really just encapsulalizations of what is apparent from the book jacket. Why bother with this? If they're just summaries of the obvious, then they're usually useless for review specifically because they're obvious. This is must make-work.

      You want to pull out the specific hard-core insights that weren't obvious to you from the jump.

      Most self-help books can be motivating while reading them and the motivation can be helpful, but generally they will only contain one or two useful ideas

    8. I barely, if ever, looked at or refered back to the bulk of notes I had created.

      If you don't refer back to your notes for any reason, why bother taking them? Were they so boring? Was there nothing of surprise in them for having taken them in the first place?

      Often note taking (writing) for understanding can be initially useful, but reviewing over these can be less useful in a larger corpus of notes. File the boring and un-useful things away. Center the important and the surprising.

    9. 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. On my own website(s) I'm looking to write more content and share more of my experiences. I'm at a time in my life that documenting what is going on so I can recall things easier would be helpful, a place to publicly share my notes in hopes that it will help someone else.

      Hints of personal website as commonplace book.

    1. Both albums are perverse, slightly agitated, and playful, with many of the lyrics generated randomly and cut together from various sources (mostly Eno’s own notebooks).

      Brian Eno had a notebook-based practice of some sort.

    1. Reply to:

      Who is Zettelkasten note-taking system for? <br /> u/Beens__<br /> https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/zhyu5i/who_is_zettelkasten_notetaking_system_for/

      Perhaps your use case may benefit from knowing the longer term outcomes of such processes, particularly as they relate to idea generation and innovation within your areas of interest? Keeping notes which you review over periodically and between which you create potential links will help to foster more productive long term combinatorial creativity, which will help you create new and potentially useful ideas much more quickly than blank page-based brainstorming.

      Her method was much more ad hoc than the more highly refined methods of Luhmann which allowed him to write, but perhaps there's something you might appreciate from the example of the character Tess McGill in the movie Working Girl. Even more base in practice is that of Eminem, which shows far less structure, but could still have interesting long term creativity effects, though again, it bears repeating that one should occasionally revisit their notes (even if they're only in "headline form") in attempts to refresh their memory and link old ideas to new to generate completely new ideas.

    1. His note taking technique has a high distraction potential and is time consuming.

      highlight from https://www.reddit.com/user/ManuelRodriguez331/ <br /> https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/zigwo3

      Anecdotal evidence of how some might view zettelkasten note-taking practices, particularly when they have no end goal or needs in mind.

      Form follows function

      /comment/izs0u3b/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

    1. Then there were the three lots of blank notebooks, tied with twine. They went for $9,000, $11,000, and $11,000 each. They were empty, some still wrapped in plastic, yet they were totally talismanic. I wondered: Would you write in these notebooks, having paid that price? Perhaps that’s the whole appeal—to write in a blank space that Didion might once have intended to use herself. Maybe the buyer had a hidden wish that somehow her intent might infiltrate their own work—that in owning these notebooks they might crack some secret code to making sentences like hers. There are sillier superstitions. But more likely, I think, you would have paid too much for these notebooks to ever touch them, and they would sit in a drawer or on a desk, unused and empty, just as they sat on hers.
    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. No es magia.

      I love that he points this out explicitly.

      Some don't see the underlying processes of complexity within note taking methods and as a result ascribe magical properties to what are emergent properties or combinatorial creativity.

      See also: The Ghost in the Machine zettel from Luhmann

      Somehow there's an odd dichotomy between the boredom of such a simple method and people seeing magic within it at the same time. This is very similar to those who feel that life must be divinely created despite the evidence brought by evolutionary and complexity theory. In this arena, there is a lot more evolved complexity which makes the system harder to see compared to the simpler zettelkasten process.

    2. 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. Duolingo or whatever French and I had this idea well basically what it reminds me of is Stefan's Vig the Austrian

      https://youtu.be/r9idbh-U2kM?t=3544

      Stefan Zweig (reference? his memoir?) apparently suggested that students translate authors as a means of becoming more intimately acquainted with their work. This is similar to restating an author in one's own words as a means of improving one's understanding. It's a lower level of processing that osculates on the idea of having a conversation with a text.

      tk: track this reference down. appropriate context?

    1. I no longer remember the name of the 7th grade English teacher (Toms River Intermediate School West, c. 1980–1981) who taught me this method, but if she is out there: thanks!
    2. https://edward-slingerland.medium.com/there-is-only-one-way-to-write-a-book-637535ef5bde

      Example of someone's research, note taking, and writing process using index cards.

      Broadly, this is very similar to the process used by Ryan Holiday, Robert Green, and Victor Margolin.

      While he can't recall the name of the teacher, he credits his 7th grade English teacher (1980-1981) for teaching him the method.


      Edward Slingerland is represented by Brockman Inc.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. I have a very specific method for organizing my research and thoughts whenever I’m writing anything longer than a short article. I learned this method from a teacher in middle school, and I cannot imagine how a human being could write a book any other way.

      Example of someone who learned an index card based commonplace book method for note taking and writing.

  5. Nov 2022
    1. Whenever I read about the various ideas, I feel like I do not necessarily belong. Thinking about my practice, I never quite feel that it is deliberate enough.

      https://readwriterespond.com/2022/11/commonplace-book-a-verb-or-a-noun/

      Sometimes the root question is "what to I want to do this for?" Having an underlying reason can be hugely motivating.

      Are you collecting examples of things for students? (seeing examples can be incredibly powerful, especially for defining spaces) for yourself? Are you using them for exploring a particular space? To clarify your thinking/thought process? To think more critically? To write an article, blog, or book? To make videos or other content?

      Your own website is a version of many of these things in itself. You read, you collect, you write, you interlink ideas and expand on them. You're doing it much more naturally than you think.


      I find that having an idea of the broader space, what various practices look like, and use cases for them provides me a lot more flexibility for what may work or not work for my particular use case. I can then pick and choose for what suits me best, knowing that I don't have to spend as much time and effort experimenting to invent a system from scratch but can evolve something pre-existing to suit my current needs best.

      It's like learning to cook. There are thousands of methods (not even counting cuisine specific portions) for cooking a variety of meals. Knowing what these are and their outcomes can be incredibly helpful for creatively coming up with new meals. By analogy students are often only learning to heat water to boil an egg, but with some additional techniques they can bake complicated French pâtissier. Often if you know a handful of cooking methods you can go much further and farther using combinations of techniques and ingredients.

      What I'm looking for in the reading, note taking, and creation space is a baseline version of Peter Hertzmann's 50 Ways to Cook a Carrot combined with Michael Ruhlman's Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking. Generally cooking is seen as an overly complex and difficult topic, something that is emphasized on most aspirational cooking shows. But cooking schools break the material down into small pieces which makes the processes much easier and more broadly applicable. Once you've got these building blocks mastered, you can be much more creative with what you can create.

      How can we combine these small building blocks of reading and note taking practices for students in the 4th - 8th grades so that they can begin to leverage them in high school and certainly by college? Is there a way to frame them within teaching rhetoric and critical thinking to improve not only learning outcomes, but to improve lifelong learning and thinking?

    1. Victor Margolin's note taking and writing process

      • Collecting materials and bibliographies in files based on categories (for chapters)
      • Reads material, excerpts/note making on 5 x 7" note cards
        • Generally with a title (based on visual in video)
        • excerpts have page number references (much like literature notes, the refinement linking and outlining happens separately later in his mapping and writing processes)
        • filed in a box with tabbed index cards by chapter number with name
        • video indicates that he does write on both sides of cards breaking the usual rule to write only on one side
      • Uses large pad of newsprint (roughly 18" x 24" based on visualization) to map out each chapter in visual form using his cards in a non-linear way. Out of the diagrams and clusters he creates a linear narrative form.
      • Tapes diagrams to wall
      • Writes in text editor on computer as he references the index cards and the visual map.

      "I've developed a way of working to make this huge project of a world history of design manageable."<br /> —Victor Margolin

      Notice here that Victor Margolin doesn't indicate that it was a process that he was taught, but rather "I've developed". Of course he was likely taught or influenced on the method, particularly as a historian, and that what he really means to communicate is that this is how he's evolved that process.

      "I begin with a large amount of information." <br /> —Victor Margolin

      "As I begin to write a story begins to emerge because, in fact, I've already rehearsed this story in several different ways by getting the information for the cards, mapping it out and of course the writing is then the third way of telling the story the one that will ultimately result in the finished chapters."<br /> —Victor Margolin

    1. danielsantos @chrisaldrich @jean I second this. It would be very nice to have a tagmoji for PKM and it’s apps… I instantly thought about a brain 🧠, though.

      @danielsantos @jean I almost included the brain emoji, but I feel like it's far too closely associated with Tiago Forte's commercial/paid Second Brain courses and book, and doesn't have the feel of written (or even typed/digital) representation of note taking the way the card file box 🗃️ does historically. I've seen many in the zettelkasten space use the card file box emoji regularly and it generally doesn't have any negative connotations that I've seen or am aware of. I've also seen some in the digital gardening spaces make use of some of the plant-related emoji for their notes, but those generally have a more clear cut gardening use case on the web and might otherwise cause confusion. Some of the other logical choices of pens, pencils, and journals are already either in use for those topics or ought to be kept for them if necessary.

    1. Athens Research is winding down their note taking application.

      Potentially the first of more to come?

      Athens the OSS project is winding down. The company is still operating, but taking time to reset and explore new ideas. Open to chats and convos. Thanks all ❤️ https://t.co/Y7ROM86WSy

      — Jeff Tang 🏛 (Ohio) (@tangjeff0) November 11, 2022
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ueMHkGljK0

      Robert Greene's method goes back to junior high school when he was practicing something similar. He doesn't say he invented it, and it may be likely that teachers modeled some of the system for him. He revised the system over time to make it work for himself.


      • [x] Revisit this for some pull quotes and fine details of his method. (Done on 2022-11-08)
    1. https://www.obsidianroundup.org/the-konik-method-for-making-notes/

      Eleanor Konik explores, in reasonable depth, how she makes notes and uses Obsidian to manage them. She doesn't talk much about the philosophy of her method in a prescriptive manner so much as she looks directly at her process.

      This isn't so much a "rules" set, but takes some pre-existing rules (unstated) and shows how she bends them to her particular needs for outputs primarily in non-academic settings.

    2. Not every highlight needs to become a "card" — and having things in my notes that are highlighted but don't need to be turned into further notes does not mean that I have failed by "over-highlighting." Useful notes are messy, and time is valuable. A sense of completionism is nice for some things but mostly just gets in the way when it comes to learning. I read about 10% of the articles that show up in my feed. I take highlight about 50% of those, and affirmatively take notes on about 10% of those. This doesn't mean I wasted my time reading, or that I failed at notetaking because I should have done a better job of taking comprehensive notes. It means I used judgment, and used my time wisely, and focused on things that were worthwhile from a return on investment perspective.

      While there are rules and processes for taking notes, it's small personal tidbits like this that are harder fought knowledge for the beginner who generally only learns these bits through work and experience.

    3. Inevitably, I read and highlight more articles than I have time to fully process in Obsidian. There are currently 483 files in the Readwise/Articles folder and 527 files marked as needing to be processed. I have, depending on how you count, between 3 and 5 jobs right now. I am not going to neatly format all of those files. I am going to focus on the important ones, when I have time.

      I suspect that this example of Eleanor Konik's is incredibly common among note takers. They may have vast repositories of collected material which they can reference or use, but typically don't.

      In digital contexts it's probably much more common that one will have a larger commonplace book-style collection of notes (either in folders or with tags), and a smaller subsection of more highly processed notes (a la Luhmann's practice perhaps) which are more tightly worked and interlinked.

      To a great extent this mirrors much of my own practice as well.

    4. I never want to be one of those people who who write extensively about note-writing but rarely have a serious context of use.

      She's probably right that too many" influencers" in the space don't have actual context for use.

      Love that she links to Andy Matuschak's admonishment about this...

    1. You cannot followrules you do not know. Nor can you acquire an artistic habitany craft or skill-without following rules. The art as something that can be taught consists of rules to be followed inoperation. The art as something learned and possessed consists of the habit that results from operating according to therules.

      This is why one has some broad general rules for keeping and maintaining a zettelkasten. It helps to have some rules to practice and make a habit.

      Unmentioned here is that true artists known all the rules and can then more profitably break those rules for expanding and improving upon their own practice. This is dramatically different from what is seen by some of those who want to have a commonplace or zettelkasten practice, but begin without any clear rules. They often begin breaking the rules to their detriment without having the benefit of long practice to see and know the affordances of such systems before going out of their way to break those rules.

      By breaking the rules before they've even practiced them, many get confused or lost and quit their practice before they see any of the benefits or affordances of them.

      Of course one should have some clear cut end reasons which answer the "why" question for having such practices, or else they'll also lose the motivation to stick with the practice, particularly when they don't see any light at the end of the tunnel. Pure hope may not be enough for most.

    1. https://notebookofghosts.com/2018/02/25/a-brief-guide-to-keeping-a-commonplace-book/

      very loose and hands-off on dictating others' practices

      nothing new to me really...

    2. I also suggest letting your first commonplace be a trial run.

      Because your note taking practices will grow and evolve, don't get over-involved in too many specifics up front. Start somewhere and see where it goes.

    3. This is one compiler’s approach to keeping a commonplace book.

      Commonplacing is a personal practice.