Zettelkasten Forum

Do reminders of processes become permanent notes ?


I'm new on the forum but been reading the articles and the forum since I discovered ZK not long ago. I love it and it already changed my life and the way I work and the way I see what I do. I find the philosophy of it life changing.

Anyway, I have a question I can't find the answer too.

Quite some times I read articles that provide a step by step for something, and acronym immediately useful. I don't see how I can "put it in my own words". I could but I feel like it's spending time on stuff I really do understand and use. It's more like reminders of processes than "knowledge". The subject fits already into my train of thoughts and the stuff I'm working on.

What do you do with that kind of notes ? Do they go into the permanent folder ? Do they stay as some kind of literature notes ? How one would find those reminders / process / short tips in a ZK ?



  • edited February 2022

    Welcome to the forums, @LaurentB!

    Can you give an example? I'm thinking of "OODA loop", where there is a process and an acronym: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_loop -- But I'm not sure I understand your trouble what to do with these in particular.

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

  • edited February 2022

    Yes, OODA loop is a good example.

    It's "good, as is", and I have quite some of those, that comes from literature notes and good "as is". I link them to things here and there (the HICC below is linked to storytelling and marketing MOCs).

    All those methods / acronyms are like an Index of good practices to keep in mind, but they are different from the notes I take and think deeply about. I don't know if I'm very clear (and english it not my mother language so I'm doing my best :D)


    I have for example the HICC Video structure for YT Videos :

    Your hook is something that grabs people’s attention quickly… so they don’t click away.

    Now that you’ve hooked your viewers, it’s time to quickly introduce your topic.

    This is the main content of your video.

    C=Call To Action
    End your video with a call to action to like your video, comment, subscribe, watch another one of your videos and follow you on social media.

  • So it sounds like it troubles you that the acronyms just stand on their own. If I look for acronyms in my Zettelkasten, the few I find are "slapped" onto more complex topics most of the time. Hm.

    Take "DRY" - Don't Repeat Yourself -, a programming mantra. As a principle, it can be discussed. When is repetition (i.e. writing the same code twice) good? When is it bad? Why? -- Years later I found a source that explained repetition in source code isn't bad per se, but repetition and thus scattering of knowledge is. This gave the whole thing an important twist. From the simple meaning of step-by-step instructions, "if you see the same code twice, remove one of the occurrences and reuse the other", this is now much more complex.

    I picked DRY because that's about the only principle I can name from the top of my head where this shift in perspective happened -- where I was able to work on the acronym's content.

    Most of the time, and all other uses of DRY in my notes, I find that I just point towards the principles/acronyms. "X is better than Y in the long run because it's DRY", for example.

    But most of my notes with code in general are dead-ends: I point at them, link to them, but there the links stop. (In graph theory terms, I have a lot of leaf nodes.) That's because I don't know what else I would do with a note that is just three lines like the command line instructions I shared the other day. Complex code can be discussed, so I can create links to underlying principles and other, competing approaches. But not always.

    So my personal acronym-related situation doesn't sound special to me at all, I have dead ends all over the place :) It's in the nature of some (boring?) things.

    A way out of this is to relate them with each other and write about that. For example, if you find another acronym for YouTube video production, you would have to make sense of the two. How do they differ? When should you adhere to one workflow, when to the other? The depth then stems from writing about these, in notes and maybe checklists about video preparation and things like that. Capturing definitions of terms can start quite plain, too, but once you have competing definitions and have to think about the underlying problem more and make sense of the differences, the interesting things will start to happen.

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

  • Thanks a lot, it's clearer now for me.

    Kinda hard to get my head around all the concepts, some of them that contradict themselves (folders or not, tags or not, what is a "permanent" notes etc.).

    It's pretty hard for me to let go of the folder way of sorting things that sometimes I get confused on things like in this post.

    Thanks :)

  • Welcome to the forums.

    @ctietze explained nicely the role acronyms could play in a ZK. As he mentioned, in graph theory, these are often "leaves," terminal nodes in a tree-like structure. Sometimes the links don't stop at the acronym note (see The Official Luhmann Certified 100 Note Categories™ — Zettelkasten Forum).

    Here is an example that shows how the m and r in SMART are expanded in linked notes. My example might be an exception, but step by step for something, and acronyms fit your ZK if you don't have rigid ideas about note types. Notes are just proxies for ideas.

    Mix and match.

    Will Simpson
    I must keep doing my best even though I'm a failure. My peak cognition is behind me. One day soon I will read my last book, write my last note, eat my last meal, and kiss my sweetie for the last time.

  • Thanks, that's what I do now :)

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