Zettelkasten Forum

Visual Zettel Experiment

After @Splattack shared the amazing app Monodraw, @ctietze also mentioned something about using those flowcharts in The Archive to include links.

Reading today, I cam across a flowchart in a textbook that was exactly the sort of thing I would use Monodraw for. I soon realized that the chart lent itself to "annotation" with links to other Zetteln.

First, here's the chart in Monodraw, with links copied as text:

The chart itself is from my textbook, the links added later. Copied into my ZK, it looks like this:

A few notes:
1. Getting this to all format nice took some tinkering in Monodraw. The red line shows the 80 character maximum width.
2. As I added one link, I kept finding more. A note like this won't be static (as @Will often remarks). In this case, I will likely have several notes related to the "sensor data" in the course this is drawn from, so a link or hub link of some kind will be put there.
4. Several of the links (especially the one marked "Other data models") also have similar charts and abundant links, so this single chart is by no means a complete reference framework.

This feels like a leap forward for me in seeing how pieces of knowledge interact in my ZK, not just as atomic texts but as more robust systems of ideas. Representing the relationships visually (even in plain-text, as here), has solidified not only that aspect of the ZK Method, but also of this specific concept for my studies.

I hope sharing this moment of learning is of benefit for others here.


  • edited January 2021

    This looks really well thought. If the diagrams get complicated you could always draw (in the same zettel) some components in detail as another diagram for clarity. Sort of a zoom view where you can see the details. I've seen that in lab books for circuit configurations but I don't have any example in-hand.

    Maybe is a good idea to reference those .monopic files inside the notes and keep them in a monodraw folder in case you need to edit them later.

    Glad to see your diagrams coming well. The beauty of your approach is that you can even view on a phone screen your notes with that level of detail and edit them if needed.

  • Thanks, @Splattack. I will keep singing your praises for linking me to Monodraw.

    Regarding the .monopic files, I have a subfolder in my Zettel folder called notes.figures where I keep those. Linking them in the Zettel itself is a sound idea, though.

    The inlay chart is a good idea, too. Now that I have several different diagrams on these subjects, it's bound to get complicated, like you say.

  • @Sociopoetic Thanks for sharing that example. I too am impressed by Monodraw and its potential use in a ZK.

  • Very sweet diagrams! Thanks for sharing!

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

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