Zettelkasten Forum


Getting started

Hi everyone.

Michael from Norway here.
I´m halfway through "Taking Smart Notes" and love the idea of starting a Zettelkasten. I plan to create a blog as a platform to write about my learnings.

I want to start right away and hope you can help me. I am reading a lot about blogging and writing, so I thought that would be good first subjects for my Zettelkasten.

There is so much interesting information I´ve written down but I have a hard time writing my first Zettel. Where do I start?

My first literature note is this:

_To start a blog is simple.
To start a blog that will change your life is hard.
But it's something everyone can, and should, do. It doesn't matter what field you're in.

A well-developed site is your resume, your real estate, your time machine, and your second brain. It helps anyone learn more about you, how you think, and why they should care. And for you, it helps clarify your thoughts, shares what you know, and build a reputation._

**Should I write several Zettels of this?
Or should it work as an introduction of sorts?
And how should I branch out:

  • Pros and cons?
  • How to start?
  • What not to do?
  • Setting up?
  • Publishing Frequency?
    Is it OK to create lists as Zettels as well?
    And should all these additional Zettels about blogging be linked to the first Zettle, between each other, or another topic entirely?**

I´m afraid that I would make to many Zettels, and that it would kill my enthusiasm. I plan to either use physical cards or Roam Research.

Thanks a lot!
Can't wait to start!

Comments

    1. Create a structure note to govern the entire topic.
    2. Create notes that branch from the first note (structure note).
    3. As more an more notes are added divide parts of the first structure note into separate notes leaving links behind. You get one main structure note, several lower level structure notes and many notes of actual content at this point.
    4. Rinse and repeat.

    I am a Zettler

  • Hi @sfast Thanks a lot for your reply. So a structure note is like a table of contents?

    That sounds like a good idea.

    And I guess I should just start and see where it leads me. That´s better than forever planing the perfect system and not getting anything done.

  • edited September 15

    @Mikke said:

    And I guess I should just start and see where it leads me. That´s better than forever planing the perfect system and not getting anything done.

    Yes, in this world you can't overdo "trying things out". I've been working on a Zettelkasten for 3 months and have around 150 notes. That is a small Zettelkasten, but it is large enough to evolve a few different lines of thought. Making connections between notes is getting more interesting. I even have a few useful structure notes.

    But what I wanted to share is this: in the beginning, I had many questions and couldn't seem to figure out the right way to proceed. Someone encouraged me to just start writing Zettels. After a few weeks and maybe 20 or so Zettels, I started to get a feeling for what I was doing. Some of the questions answered themselves and the way forward became clearer. I discovered that I didn't have to plan everything in the ZK in fine detail; in fact, it was better to let the ZK evolve in a more organic way. And the discussions on this forum started making a lot more sense.

    And come back to the forum regularly - I found reading other peoples' questions and comments enlightening.

  • edited September 15

    @Mikke, welcome to the forums.

    @sfast offers great advice on how to start. Start with a structure note as a hub for your thinking around a topic of interest.

    I see your first note as stream-of-consciousness writing and something I'd write and keep in a personal journal rather than my zettelkasten. I have a few notes like this in my zettelkasten and I find myself deleting them when I run across them as they add nothing to my thinking. They are like reminiscing about the old me. Interesting to me but not relevant to the present me. Think about stumbling on this note in a year, will it be additive to the knowledge project or just fluff?

    I recommend making a structure note on writing and include links to notes on first-person narratives, third-person narratives, the curse of knowledge, shaping dialog, and such. Make a structure note on blogging with links to notes on blog outline, HTML headers, email code blocks, newsletter topics, writing style, and such.

    You'll discover that these two structure notes can be cross-linked. Maybe you'll discover some hidden gems.

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

  • Thank you for your feedback @GeoEng51

    Do I referece > @GeoEng51 said:

    But what I wanted to share is this: in the beginning, I had many questions and couldn't seem to figure out the right way to proceed. Someone encouraged me to just start writing Zettels. After a few weeks and maybe 20 or so Zettels, I started to get a feeling for what I was doing.

    That is good advice. I will write my first Zettel tonight!

    And the forums seems very helpful. I will be sure to check in regularly. And maybe be of help myself one day.

  • @Will said:
    @Mikke, welcome to the forums.

    Thank you for a warm welcome @Will

    I see your first note as stream-of-consciousness writing and something I'd write and keep in a personal journal rather than my zettelkasten. I have a few notes like this in my zettelkasten and I find myself deleting them when I run across them as they add nothing to my thinking. They are like reminiscing about the old me. Interesting to me but not relevant to the present me. Think about stumbling on this note in a year, will it be additive to the knowledge project or just fluff?

    That made me think. Thank you. I guess practice is the only way to get good and a feeling for ideas versus fluff. I will have this in mind when starting tonight.

    I recommend making a structure note on writing and include links to notes on first-person narratives, third-person narratives, the curse of knowledge, shaping dialog, and such. Make a structure note on blogging with links to notes on blog outline, HTML headers, email code blocks, newsletter topics, writing style, and such.

    Thanks a lot for these suggestions. That sparked inspiration!

    Thanks for great help.

  • You have some beautiful pictures on your blog @Will

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