Zettelkasten Forum


note archive vs slip-box vs Zettelkasten

What is a slip-box?

A slip-box contains processed information. It can be used as a reference system or a collection of ideas.

What is a note archive?

A note archive is part of the Zettelkasten. It contains processed information.

There seem to exist multiple definitions for a Zettelkasten:

@sfast said:

@zk_1000 said:
could someone clarify what a note archive is?

Your Zettelkasten. (Or your note archive if you don't adhere to the Zettelkasten Method)

What is a Zettelkasten?

A Zettelkasten consists of inbox, archive and reference system.

A Zettelkasten contains processed information. The inbox and reference system are not part of it.

I know my definitions here are rather brief, please don't be pedantic. My concern here is the fact that we have two definitions for Zettelkasten: one that involves an inbox and one that doesn't. This doesn't make sense to me. I am fine with the idea that Zettelkasten Method (ZKM) may involve other concepts such as an inbox. That doesn't mean these are parts of a Zettelkasten.

my first Zettel uid: 202008120915

Comments

  • The inbox can't be part of the Zettelkasten because each note becomes a Zettel when it is processed properly.

    If you apply the criteria Luhmann applied:

    1. It has a unique adress.
    2. It has at least one reference from another note.

    This criteria are consistent (I guess by design) with his systems theory. There seems no English wikipedia article for "Anschluss" (GER) which is the key point of understanding what Luhmann proposed of inside and outside a system.

    The Zettelkasten Method is a term for the whole process from research over processing and finally text.

    Compare it to the brain.

    1. "Anschluss" means connection. Imagine a part of your brain that has no connection to any other part of the brain. Functionally, it is not part of your brain, inspite of being in your head.
    2. Your brain needs nutrients. Thinking does not work in isolation but works on systems that it depends on. You brain infers from your heart and breathing how much stress you might have in an interesting feedback loop. Different parts of your brain have different ways to access information. Partly from other brain regions and partly from your bodily status. But that does not mean that the dependence of your thinking from your livers ability to regulate glucose levels in your blood make the liver part of the brain.

    I am a Zettler

  • edited September 8

    @sfast said:
    The inbox can't be part of the Zettelkasten because each note becomes a Zettel when it is processed properly.

    I understand this concept so far. Also, reading my sources one more time i can see it matches this concept.

    Taking this forum post as an example, there are some misconceptions:

    • the title is called "Building Blocks of a Zettelkasten". The building blocks are inbox, archive and resources. So maybe changing the title into "Building Blocks for a Zettelkasten".

    • "Zettelkasten as a Dynamic System" should be changed into "Zettelkasten for a Dynamic System", as the text talks about the Zettelkasten within a system. The drawing illustrates a system. I am unsure if it describes a Zettelkasten system. I would prefer with a Zettelkasten system to refer to a system dedicated to the Zettelkasten, that is branching, linking, UIDs and everything within the universe of this concept. So this could be the example for an "Overall workflow with the Zettelkasten system".

    Then, finally (i couldn't understand it at first):

    the note archive is Your Zettelkasten. (Or your note archive if you don't adhere to the Zettelkasten Method)

    I've never thought about this, but of course a note archive can be something else, as well. The Zettelkasten Method is what makes it a Zettelkasten, some other method makes it to something else (for example, my own system). Very nice :* !

    my first Zettel uid: 202008120915

  • Edit to my comment: i should have read the comments section on the blog. The author states:

    The "Zettelkasten Method" is about working with the pieces necessary for writing efficiently. The "Zettelkasten note archive" is about the primary part, the digital slip box. I prefer to call the whole system "Zettelkasten", consisting of the note archive, managing drafts/projects, and organizing references. Notes without the rest usually don't make sense, and the point of using a Zettelkasten is being able to write texts in a clever way.

    So there certainly are multiple definitions of the term "Zettelkasten".

    my first Zettel uid: 202008120915

  • @zk_1000 said:
    Edit to my comment: i should have read the comments section on the blog. The author states:

    The "Zettelkasten Method" is about working with the pieces necessary for writing efficiently. The "Zettelkasten note archive" is about the primary part, the digital slip box. I prefer to call the whole system "Zettelkasten", consisting of the note archive, managing drafts/projects, and organizing references. Notes without the rest usually don't make sense, and the point of using a Zettelkasten is being able to write texts in a clever way.

    So there certainly are multiple definitions of the term "Zettelkasten".

    It is not the author. It is Christian who shot from the hips six yeas ago making a technical mistake. :) He should comment on this himself. I consider this a fault.

    It does not change a thing about practicing the Zettelkasten Method. But on the level of theory, it is wrong.

    (2014 could be a year I proof-read this article. So, it might be that I was mistaken back then, too).

    I am a Zettler

  • edited September 10

    This old article could be of help to understand the issue: https://zettelkasten.de/posts/luhmanns-second-zettelkasten/

    I am a Zettler

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