Zettelkasten Forum

First research notes in use with Zotero

I did some light searching on the forum but quickly got overwhelmed with information. I am just starting out and I've only written one idea note in "The Archive". I have a bunch of documents saved in Zotero as research that I want to begin reading and taking notes on but I'm not sure how to begin in the archive.

Does anyone have a template note to get me started or can point me in the direction of a workflow that might help?

I believe I need to read an article and take "notes" as ideas and put them in my zettlekasten, and at the same time I should go ahead and put a full citation on the note.

Am I missing something?


  • @petowkerjem said:
    Am I missing something?

    Not really. It is a good idea to start simply, in my view. And it is my firm belief that it is a good idea to develop one's own workflow. There are often ideas that are worth taking from what other people do, but I believe that nothing can replace developing one's own. However, I think tagging and linking are good things to incorporated into one's work. It is better to have a network than a pile of disconnected items.

  • @petowkerjem Welcome to the forum! You will find a lot of good information in the forum and the Zettelkasten.de web site.

    For example, have you looked at the "Getting Started" section of https://zettelkasten.de/posts/overview/ ?

    I've been building a Zettelkasten for about 6 months. When I first started, I was similarly overwhelmed. I would read and re-read things, but it was only after building my ZK for a month or so, and accumulating say 20 or 30 zettels (atomic notes) that what I was reading in Getting Started and in the forum started to make sense. That process has continued; I'm still learning from the comments and perspectives of others.

    A good resource that is often referenced here (which I have read and highly recommend) is Sonke Ahrens book "How to Take Smart Notes". You can get it as a Kindle e-book for minimal cost.

    I don't want to suggest that getting into the ZK world is difficult. It's probably similar to learning any new concept. But your learning does benefit from doing, i.e., from trying to create zettels and then connect them (with links). As time goes on, you'll figure out whether you want to use tags (probably) and structure notes (maybe). Plus if you need to produce lists of citations for technical papers that you are writing, then you may want to search on how some people in the forum do that, (I don't have a great need to create citations, so I just add any references that I have onto the end of a zettel).

    Hope some of this helps. Just leap into the water and enjoy the swim!! :)

  • @petowkerjem said:
    Does anyone have a template note to get me started or can point me in the direction of a workflow that might help?

    Honestly, its better to develop your own workflow but the gist is to 1) read and capture 2) make notes in your own words using your ideas and experiences and 3) to link notes so as to develop knowledge.

    You can find several posts online in this context.
    Few that I would suggest to give you start:




    P.S: Though you'll find the word 'Permanent notes' in several posts, I'll like to clarify that nothing in this method is permanent and all of the notes grow with time.

  • WOW a great practical guide.
    Thank you for posting!

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