Zettelkasten Forum


BASIC use of The Archive

Thus far, I have managed to download "The Archive", fire it up, enter a few notes, and perform a couple of searches. What now? ... Can you point me to a few SIMPLE actions I could attempt? Thank you.

Comments

  • @Canuckistan said:
    Thus far, I have managed to download "The Archive", fire it up, enter a few notes, and perform a couple of searches. What now? ... Can you point me to a few SIMPLE actions I could attempt? Thank you.

    Do you have some existing notes with ideas that you'd like to bring into your ZK? When I started a similar voyage about 6 months ago, I had quite a few notes in Bear, about 20 of which contained (multiple) ideas that I wanted into my ZK. So, I processed each Bear note, typically breaking it down into a few zettels (following the principle of atomicity as laid out in this web site).

    That did three things for me: 1) it gave me practise in writing zettels, i.e., in writing simple, pithy notes, 2) it gave me experience in connecting notes (which sometimes takes more time or effort than writing the note in the first place), and 3) it opened my mind to other ideas that I wanted to include in my ZK.

    Gaining experience with "doing" is really important in this area. Oh, I guess there is one more thing - as I created and connected more and more zettels, I started to understand some of the discussion on the forum that had previously been a bit obtuse to me.

  • Thank you GeoEng51. Alas I am noteless.

  • @Canuckistan said:
    Thus far, I have managed to download "The Archive", fire it up, enter a few notes, and perform a couple of searches. What now? ... Can you point me to a few SIMPLE actions I could attempt? Thank you.

    The most important thing to do is to make more notes.

    A Zettelkasten is really nothing more than a container with notes inside it (either physical, or on a computer). The more notes there are, the more interesting it is likely to be. A Zettelkasten with thirty notes is not something you can do much with. That might be the result of reading ten pages of an interesting book. I see that among my notes I have some 95 that come from reading about 100 pages of a book on narrative psychology. It is when you get a fair number of notes with links between them that a Zetttelkasten begins to get both useful and interesting, because it is the links that cross invisible boundaries that are really one of the benefits of the method. And it is just a method -- one of many, and not magical or mysterious. Like many methods of distilling knowledge, it is hard work, and the results do not come immediately. They emerge over time.

  • edited January 3

    And most importantly: don’t rush yourself. Starting a ZK and finding out how you want to work with it and structure it takes time. It took me six months to realise certain key factors on how I want to structure my ZK and how to use tags or structure notes.

    I am sure my search for the perfect workflow will continue but the more I work with it (doing is the key) the better my Zettelkasten and I communicate with each other.

    Everyone has different principles and methods. Roam through this forum and read what others suggested. Maybe you find something that you want to adopt. And again: don’t pressure yourself to immediately get everything in place.

  • edited January 4

    @Canuckistan Good advice from @MartinBB and @analogue_man .

    If you are "noteless", then it's time to create some (new) notes. Because it is simpler than a book, to begin pick an article that interests you (say from a web site in one of your hobbies or areas of study), break it down into its essential ideas, and then write a zettel for each idea that you want to include in your ZK. Connect each zettel to others (by linking to other UIDs).

    Progress on to several other articles. Then when you are feeling more comfortable, tackle a book - perhaps a short or straightforward one first, and then progress to longer or more complex books.

    Set a goal to write say 2 zettels a day for a week, then pick up the pace to 3 or 4 per day. As you are doing this, continue to read the Getting Started material on this web site and read through items of interest posted in the forum. After two months, you will have started to build a reasonable ZK (~100 zettels?) and have picked up a few tips from the forum - a good start.

    Did you see this post by @ctietze on not sweating your first few notes? It's good:

    https://zettelkasten.de/posts/your-first-note/

    Also, you could learn a lot from @sfast 's October 27, 2020 blog post on "Introduction to the Zettelkasten Method":

    https://zettelkasten.de/introduction/

    I think the sub-section on "The Anatomy of a Zettel" is useful for new-comers:

    https://zettelkasten.de/introduction/#the-anatomy-of-a-zettel

    (But the entire post is excellent and crammed full of practical advice).

    While you can get a lot of good advice by asking questions in the forum, you owe it to other forum members and yourself to search this web site and find out what has already been written about "the basics". Don't worry, though - I am sure I have been guilty of asking questions already addressed elsewhere. Everyone here is patient and happy to help out.

    Post edited by ctietze on
Sign In or Register to comment.