Zettelkasten Forum

Ideas I'm Grappling With February 23, 2023

This post may inspire you to start your own thread telling us what you are working on currently or ask a question.

Thought for the week

In the classic Greek sense, we should make more time in our lives for leisure. Slow productivity is a combination of incremental work and tangential work. It is incremental because it is made of micro-actions accumulating over time. Tangential, in the sense that it sometimes is work or play that seems unrelated but actually moves the needle forward. A walk in the woods might be an example of tangential productivity.

Writing has taken priority. My course assignment is to write a creative non-fiction essay modeled after the works we discussed in class. My Zk has been a joyous and surprising resource for ideas. I'm using my ZK by creating search queries and using the highlighting feature to find where I've already written answers to the query in my own voice. They become snippets directly into my essay. In a sense, I've already written my essay. I just have to find all the pieces and put them together. In truth, this is only a first draft and still needs work.

What I've found to be key steps to creating a rough draft.
1. Write and outline
2. Craft queries following the outline
3. Spend time looking closely are all the returned results
4. Look for quotes and epigraphs relevant to the paper
5. Look through the draft for ideas that want expansion repeating steps 2-5

My review routine has again surfaced something wonderful in my ZK. I had no idea I was curating ideas on the value of practice. I started a secondary hub with 18 entries, hung off of the main hub titled The Art Of Living A Good Life [[202105102006]].
What got me started was a particular article about the basketball player Steph Curry that resonated with me. Here is how I captured the moment.

  • Basic learning preps. What am I doing that is practice? How else do I expect to improve unless I practice? The best continue practicing even after achieving success to push themselves, not become complacent, and reach new heights. Practice Different - by Stephen Vafier - Carolina Stories

To make a sloppy pun, What's in your Zettelkasten these days?

An image showing my seven-day zettel production

Will Simpson
My peak cognition is behind me. One day I will read my last book, write my last note, eat my last meal, and kiss my sweetie for the last time.


  • I'm doing two things this week which involve my zettelkasten:

    1. writing a design document for work which brings together a lot of different concepts helping other people do their jobs. Over the years, I've been writing notes on both how to write such a design (what's the information I want to convey) as well as in-depth notes about those concepts. Having everything on hand really speeds up writing the design. Outlining is made really easy, as is adding all the bits I already have from my notes;
    2. I'm following an e-learning course about the electrical grid, which just posted parts 3 & 4 (out of 6 total). Parts 1 & 2 already produced around 40 notes, as I don't have a background in electrical engineering. I'm looking forward to doing parts 3 & 4, as I'm really enjoying learning about this.

    I think I'm getting the best of both worlds from my notes right now: practical applicability, as well as making learning fun. Busy week ahead.

  • @r1tger, please share the source of the e-learning course. It sounds fascinating. Your enthusiasm is infectious. You've got a bunch of value from it. I want to check it out, and maybe others might too.

    Will Simpson
    My peak cognition is behind me. One day I will read my last book, write my last note, eat my last meal, and kiss my sweetie for the last time.

  • @Will said:
    @r1tger, please share the source of the e-learning course.

    I would, except the course is completely in Dutch and on my employers e-learning portal, which is not publicly accessible. It's also tailored to the Dutch energy grid from a distribution perspective, which differs quite a bit from national grids in other countries.

    There might be some public resources, but I haven't really looked for any. And the other really good resource I'm aware of is also only in Dutch :/.

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