Zettelkasten Forum


How many links?

I’ve just discovered the Zettelkasten approach to notes, so I’m in the process of renaming all my old notes (giving each an ID, adding tags and a title), re-writing many and deleting others, especially quotes that have no accompanying text to give context. The step I’m really struggling with is links? My question seems as naive as asking ‘how long is a piece of string?’, but for any one note, how many links should one make or look for? When is it sensible or advisable to stop? And should all linked notes have back-links?

Comments

  • @chaw I don't focus on the number of links. I try to focus on creating valuable connections and on what is my purpose with the particular note. A small number of my notes have no links. They are orphans. Thankfully The Archive will surface them with an appropriate text search. A few notes are all links, one with 59 links. It is just a note with links. Most of the notes with lots of links are structure notes, sort of an annotated table of contents focused around a book or article.

    Linking can provide diminishing returns and there is an opportunity cost involved. But I don't let these get in the way of doing what feels good in the moments of searching and linking a note. Sometimes I feel like a nut, sometimes I don't.

    I've been thinking and trying to work into my workflow @ctietze advice to start with a link to an existing note that way at least there is one connection. This applies to new notes, not integrating old notes.

    My advice is not to get to hung up on a number but relax and if moved add links, if not, don't. Your archive will change and evolve. Nothing is fixed and unchangeable. That is the best advice I've gotten and can share.

    Will Simpson
    kestrelcreek.com

  • Good advice, because I’ve probably been too hesitant to let things go after only a link or two and instead kept searching for more connections. Not so smart.

  • Think of this process as bottom-up. You don't need to do all the things right directly from the start. Just improve your Zettelkasten one step at a time.

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