Zettelkasten Forum

Use of zettelkasten for creative work beyond "knowledge work" - any thoughts?

One big part of my work beyond pure knowledge work is trying to create a new "product", let's say. it is really a solution to a problem that goes beyond pure product but this is good enough for this discussion. Has anyone tried using the zk method to generate insights on how to solve "doing" problems versus "knowing" problems? i.e. where the output is not some new knowledge object such as a research paper, but an actual solution? Sorry if not relevant, but any thoughts would be hugely helpful and much appreciated. AS context, I am following an iterative prototyping approach to solving the problem so there is a huge amount of "knowledge" and insight gathered at every step as I fail with each new prototype and incorporate that into the next version


  • That's the kind of work I mostly do with my notes, which revolve around programming most of the time. "Applied computer science" sounds nicer, but confusing, because I'm not sciencing, I'm practicing :)

    My knowledge work consists of researching solutions and combining them into approaches to solve day-to-day problems, or design architectures for different kinds of applications. If that qualifies -- yes, I think I have tried that!

    Can you share more about what you do? I think I didn't consider product creation of any kind to be a separate field in the past, so you raising this question is interesting: it implies the boundaries of knowledge work in people's understanding could end far earlier than I expected.

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

  • Thank you @ctietze , that helps a lot. Briefly, my work is as follows: I am developing a "solution" (NOT just software but a whole ecosystem) to help people manage their money more actively. I have a very specific demographic in mind that has different characteristics than the mainstream and is under-served.

    The solution is not just about how to manage portfolios and all that stuff (that's not the problem). It is at the intersection of technology, finance and behavior science. So essentially, I am having to cull the right findings from behavior science research, figure out how they apply to the subject at hand (for example, some cover health , or just general biases etc but are very applicable to money management). Next I have to design the solution that aligns with what we know about behavior science and then use technology to serve it up (in addition to a people component which I won't bore you with).

    So I have to track 1) behavior science research 2) personal finance content that I am not yet a master of and 3) how to develop apps (both the design and technology) and 4) product design and development. Perhaps I am biting off more than I can chew but this problem has to be solved and zk was the only method I have come across that allows me to sanely manage and even connect all of these. Hope this provides context and any suggestions, comments and perspectives will be massively appreciated! Thank you! Amazing product and I am already engaging more with the content in three days than I have in the last few months

  • @ctietze , one more comment - my specific question initially had to do with how to capture your own individual learnings of mistakes made with early prototypes in an effective and smart way - these errors are the whole value of the process and are not just that you made a mistake with code, etc. There was a fundamental error in your assumptions and the prototype showed you what it was - e.g., a certain way of presenting information is not how the user thinks about the problem, or your assumptions about how to organize a string of events was not right for some reason. I think the answer is to just make a new note with the right hashtag like #prototypelearnings or something similar and just access through search. Hope this helps, any better solutions welcome

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