Zettelkasten Forum

Starting Young

I'm a big fan of the ZettelKasten/Slip-Box method, and think it is the best way to study and work with knowledge. I also have children, and my oldest is now in 3rd Grade, which is starting to pick up with the subjects the child is expected to study, and learn things about. I'm wondering if it is too early to start this child out with a simplified slip-box system (at least making the notes for themselves to keep, and write them as individual notes). And, if so, do I go fully digital (the child has a laptop on Windows), or start analog and digitize later as they grow up and let them reprocess older notes (with perhaps more details).

Has anyone tried starting such practices with children (or related practices like Getting Things Done in combination)? Any tips to help my child are greatly appreciated.


  • If you start that young I'd surely go with a analog slipbox style. I am not sure how well a brain of such a young child is developed. And it depends on your child, too.

    My best guess is to start a slip box with something your child really likes. Especially, if he/she is more on the systemising brain type. Don't make session to long. Always end them before the fun stopps and concentration buckles a bit.

    Example: Start processing books on dinosaurs or the first mammals. Those are more bad ass and therefore more entertaining.

    If your child is more of a empathizing type I'd start with processing something like social groups with individuals. Like crafting a slip box sociogram of groups perhaps of a novella.

    For skill development you will have a better depth of processing if you go with something that is tangible (cards), requires complex motor skills (long-hand and drawing) and is accessable through multiple means (if creating a animal related slip box you can always go to the zoo and process some experiences there).

    I'd design it like a game of playing detective.

  • This reminds me of creating a herbarium for school, but with dinosaurs. (Only that it was not fun at all back then.) The fun thing with a paper-based approach is that children could intersperse drawings or fantasy maps of dinosaur land. James Gurney made a whole business of this. :)

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

Sign In or Register to comment.