Zettelkasten Forum


Eva Thomas on Zettelkasten

(She gets the issue with Folgezettel correct!)

I am a Zettler

Comments

  • edited August 18

    Oh @sfast thank you so much for sharing! I feel so humbled, I've been reading the forum and the blog for quite a while, but never felt competent enough to join the discussion! I hope I will be able to give back to this amazing community more in the future.

    And Folgezettels are a pain point for a lot of us, they deserve a whole separate discussion!

  • You did a great job. So good, that I will reference your part on the Folgezettel issue in some new Zettel. :smile:

    (I planned a continuation of the great Folgezettel War a couple of weeks ago).

    I am a Zettler

  • Yes! Folgezettels are still the most confusing part for me. I thought of ditching the alpha-numerical sequences as IDs just to be able to escape that mindset, to switch to something more neutral like timestamps or just plain numbers with references.

  • @sfast Thanks for providing the reference.
    @ethomasv Appreciate you taking the time to make the video - well done!

    I see that you also have a companion article on Medium that people might enjoy reading - "Understanding Zettelkasten -- What does it mean to communicate with the slip-box" :

    https://medium.com/@ethomasv/understanding-zettelkasten-d0ca5bb1f80e

  • @sfast said:
    You did a great job. So good, that I will reference your part on the Folgezettel issue in some new Zettel. :smile:

    Is a Folgezettel just a sequence of notes expressing a "line of thought" or "thought train"? I apologize if the question seems ignorant, but I'm getting distracted by the German word rather than the concept behind it.

  • @GeoEng51 said:

    @sfast said:
    You did a great job. So good, that I will reference your part on the Folgezettel issue in some new Zettel. :smile:

    Is a Folgezettel just a sequence of notes expressing a "line of thought" or "thought train"? I apologize if the question seems ignorant, but I'm getting distracted by the German word rather than the concept behind it.

    The best translation I know is "note sequence" which robs this technique of all its mystery. Perhaps, I will start to use that.. :smile:

    I am a Zettler

  • @GeoEng51 I am not sure what would be the best translation for Folgezettel term. In the Zettelkasten context I think of Folgezettel as a thread of thoughts. Some people call them thoughts trains, others chain of thoughts, or sequences or something else. Basically, if you are looking at 2 notes and the context of their relationship, folgezettel can help you to find other notes linked to that context even if they are not explicitly linked to the notes you are looking at because you can follow that thread, line, chain, whatever you want to call it, and reach distanced notes and ideas.

  • I agree with your interpretation of the concept Folgezettel.

    For the translation, a sequence has a beginning and an end that is connected like a train. Out of context the word sequence just like the German word Folge can be interpreted in multiple ways.

    follow that thread, line, chain, whatever you want to call it

    this might just be the most accurate translation we can come up with :D .

    my first Zettel uid: 202008120915

  • @sfast @ethomasv @zk_1000

    Follow-up question: So is using a structure note the "right" or "best" way to define a note sequence / thought train in your Zettelkasten? Or would you prefer to just follow a sequence of linked notes?

  • edited August 20

    @GeoEng51 add structure for your present self and add sequences for your future self.

    You need structure to understand the context you are currently working with. Structure adds understanding.

    Sequences do not lead you anywhere. Only your future self can tell you where this sequence is going to. You are lost in thought until you reach an "Eureca" moment.

    You have no control over sequences. There is no added benefit for your current self. In one moment, you are taking a bath and in another you are running naked on the streets.

    disclaimer: I am a beginner.

    Post edited by zk_1000 on

    my first Zettel uid: 202008120915

  • @GeoEng51 said:
    @sfast @ethomasv @zk_1000

    Follow-up question: So is using a structure note the "right" or "best" way to define a note sequence / thought train in your Zettelkasten? Or would you prefer to just follow a sequence of linked notes?

    No. Sequences emerge organically from the link structure. Structure Notes are a more measured approach to capture already existing sequences or actively crafting some.

    But the larger my ZK grows (currently 9400 Zettel) the less I think the suprise element is that relevant for the method. If I think about innovation of thought with my Zettelkasten, it is more that it (he? she?) inspires me and the new comes frome me not from the Zettelkasten giving me something I didn't put in there.

    I am a Zettler

  • @GeoEng51 I actuality decided to collect my thoughts on folgezettels into an article since I got quite a few questions. I described a few problems I stumbled upon while working with traditional ID-nested folgezettels, why I think they are useful and I described what I do now - I just use separate notes to keep track of note sequences. I shared my experience, it is not the ultimate truth, just current state of my skills. I hope it will be beneficial and helpful!

  • @ethomasv said:
    @GeoEng51 I actuality decided to collect my thoughts on folgezettels into an article since I got quite a few questions. I described a few problems I stumbled upon while working with traditional ID-nested folgezettels, why I think they are useful and I described what I do now - I just use separate notes to keep track of note sequences. I shared my experience, it is not the ultimate truth, just current state of my skills. I hope it will be beneficial and helpful!

    Yes, thank you for providing the reference to your Medium article. What you express there is exactly the way I think of a sequence of Zettels, which you capture on a "sequence note". I believe this is the same as what I call a "structure note". Perhaps people use the latter term for something else, i.e., some people define a "structure note" as being more fixed in its intent - as described by @sfast in a recent post on this thread:

    No. Sequences emerge organically from the link structure. Structure Notes are a more measured approach to capture already existing sequences or actively crafting some.

    (And who am I to argue with @sfast who knows much more about this than I do?)

    However, in my simplicity, I use the terms "structure note" and "sequence note" interchangeably. To me, they are just a separate note that defines a sequence of other notes that form some sort of thought chain or that are otherwise related to one another. They can capture a pre-existing thought chain that you already had in mind or they can define a new thought chain that evolves organically within your Zettelkasten.

    It seems to me that, as the number of Zettels increases, structure / sequence notes are a more efficient way of defining thought chains than relying on direct links from one note to the next. Direct links would of course function properly but they would be more work to maintain properly and potentially could cause confusion (e.g., if one Zettel belonged to 2 or more thought chains). So you might start linking some Zettels together, and then as your thought chain grew, at some point you might decide to add a structure / sequence note.

  • @GeoEng51 Yes I think what you described is essentially what I call sequence note. I think we still don't have a definitive terminology for a lot of things in English, so it is common to see different people using different names for the same thing :smile:

    I keep adding new sequences - branches all the time. Sometimes I merge parts of 2 sequences into new one. Evolving is okay, I am trying to embrace it.

    As the number of notes increases it is definitely harder to keep track of sequences only through direct links. I find myself sidetracked very often because in the middle of the sequence something unrelated to my initial query will capture my attention. I look at direct links as diverging roads, I can which one I want to take today, and sequence is more like a pre-decided route.

    When I want to see the sequence, I go to the separate sequence notes, if I want to explore connections I will follow links, I think both approaches are good, just not equally good for every situation.

  • @ethomasv said:
    I keep adding new sequences - branches all the time. Sometimes I merge parts of 2 sequences into new one. Evolving is okay, I am trying to embrace it.

    As the number of notes increases it is definitely harder to keep track of sequences only through direct links. I find myself sidetracked very often because in the middle of the sequence something unrelated to my initial query will capture my attention. I look at direct links as diverging roads, I can which one I want to take today, and sequence is more like a pre-decided route.

    When I want to see the sequence, I go to the separate sequence notes, if I want to explore connections I will follow links, I think both approaches are good, just not equally good for every situation.

    Go girl go! You are an inspiration. You have an eloquent way of writing and using metaphor.

    ... look at direct links as diverging roads, I can which one I want to take today ...

    Will Simpson
    I'm a Zettelnant.
    Research: Rationalism, Zen, Non-fiction Creative Writing
    kestrelcreek.com

  • @ethomasv said:

    When I want to see the sequence, I go to the separate sequence notes, if I want to explore connections I will follow links, I think both approaches are good, just not equally good for every situation.

    Yes, nicely said. I use both methods, but particularly direct links for short sequences or "radial connections" (as you mention in your article) and then sequence notes for longer thought chains. I like the following illustration, which I am borrowing from an article by Al Khan (reference below). It shows that one can have as many thought chains in a Zettelkasten as one wants, and some notes can be parts of several different thought chains (e.g., note E or N in the figure).

    Al's article is at: https://leananki.com/zettelkasten-method-smart-notes/

  • @Will sticky note really made me smile, thank you for the compliments :blush:

    @GeoEng51 Yes! This illustration is what I tried to express verbally. And the article is great, I just discovered his blog the other day, great read!

  • @GeoEng51 wrote:
    (And who am I to argue with @sfast who knows much more about this than I do?)

    Perhaps, a person with a sound argument and good evidence? :smiley:

    However, in my simplicity, I use the terms "structure note" and "sequence note" interchangeably.

    Structure is just a broader term. Think of of chicken and bird. A chicken as a bird but a bird is not a chicken: There are other structures than sequence that can be captured. Hierarchy, causality, argument structure. And different forms like table of content style notes, tables or even mind maps.

    I am a Zettler

  • @sfast said:

    Structure is just a broader term. Think of of chicken and bird. A chicken as a bird but a bird is not a chicken: There are other structures than sequence that can be captured. Hierarchy, causality, argument structure. And different forms like table of content style notes, tables or even mind maps.

    Got it; thanks!

Sign In or Register to comment.