Zettelkasten Forum

Anybody using The Archive also for storing (one's own) full-text articles?

I understand that Zettelkasten system should preferably use atomic notes and why. But I need to cover also my need to store my published full-text articles and I think that I might reference them in my other notes + maybe would like to tag them or include them into buffers/structural notes in similar way as normal notes.

What is your experience? Will it clutter the system? Would you recommend saving full-texts separately and only link to them from ZK? (I am not speaking about huge archive, but only my own published things on webs/blogs - around 100-200)

Thanks a lot


  • Is it important that you store the articles in their full form? Sometimes, I don't compose articles out of zettels. Then I break them up and refactor them as zettel.

  • Until recently, I stored some of my essays in full form.

    Now, I create notes for them, which link to them externally (or include a comment about where they are in the file system). This way I can reference them from other notes in the slipbox.

    In those notes, I summarize the argument or essay, breaking it down into a conceptual summarization for my own use and refactoring.

    I've found this to be helpful. It would be nice not to have to "point" to other places in the file system, but the advantage of reducing text weight and increasing clarity seems to outweigh that concern.

  • One could also make a point for adding published/finished articles to the reference system (e.g. BibDesk, JabRef, Zotero) and leave references around. Also works with "index" notes like the ones @micahredding uses, only you use the reference manager to de-reference the actual file eventually and leave no file system info in your notes. In my mind, coming from software development, that makes for cleaner separation of concerns of the subsystems where the file system and absolute paths are (almost) never mentioned at all.

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

  • edited May 8

    Thanks for your insights, it helped me a lot.

    First, I do not want to use bibliography manager as full-text archive as I want to (re)use text in the future and work with it (annotate etc) - so I want to have it in .md/txt files from the same reason on which ZK philosophy is build on: having future-proof system + being able to open files in different apps.

    What I decided for: I will have my full-text articles in separate folder (different from ZK/The Archive folder), one md file per one article. I will name the files in similar fashion as ZK (with IDs) so that I will be able to reference them from ZK / open them easily in Ulysses/other txt apps. When referencing from ZK, I will denote these links as external (e.g. by using prefix like A-201905080848) so as not to confuse them with internal links.

    As for my actual annotations / various remarks how to re-use the passage of texts in the future: I will surround them by html comment mark and put them inside full-text (in different places). The advantage is that in case I will need to re-publish the original text (or send to other person), I can easily export to rtf/html without these annotations.

    In case I will need to reference to specific place in text, I will use textual anchor at this place, which will be file ID+some other text (e.g. [201905080848:1], [201905080848:exp1] etc) (I will format this anchor also as html comment). I can easily look-up this number/place + reference it from ZK/other places.

    And of course, I will try to transfer important annotations/ideas to ZK system + break up the most important parts of the article into ZK as @sfast suggests.

  • It could get tricky if you have duplicates. One in your article folder and one in your ZK archive.

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