Zettelkasten Forum

Zkn3 Program Help

Hello! I've just gotten into the Zettlekasten method, and am hoping to use it as an undergraduate and beyond, with other programs like SuperMemo -- hopefully starting young will mean I'll have more time to learn all I can, which I'd love :D
Pardon me for forum etiquette mistakes, and I thank you for your help with a first post!

I've ordered the book "Taking Smart Notes," and downloaded the Zkn3 program by Daniel Ludecke. I know there's a lot of programs but I figured I'd dive in with one, and I can go on to reassess other options later.

Unfortunately, I can't find any how-to guides anywhere, besides a YouTube channel I think made by Ludecke himself (https://www.youtube.com/user/dzkn/videos). The videos look thorough but are in German, and the Autotranslate CC option seems pretty garbage, so I can't make any use of them. I also see that the PDF of Ludecke's slides (https://strengejacke.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/introduction-into-luhmanns-zettelkasten-thinking.pdf) has some screenshots with pointers describing different aspects of the program, but it's not exactly a how-to guide.

Has anyone experience with the program, and could detail how they learned to use the program proficiently? And what, if any, resources they were able to use? Thanks!


  • I learned to use the program by just trying stuff in a test file. It took about a week. I wish I had had some documentation but after a week of using it I felt comfortable. As I learned I put instructions in my Zettelkasten. I'd be happy to share them with you. They are not very extensive as I didn't write up some of the more obvious operations. If you have some specific questions I'd be happy to try to answer them.
    It was equally important to understand the Zettelkasten process. Having some idea of what results I was expecting accelerated the learning process.

  • There is an old wiki for the "Zettelkasten" - which has been destroyed:
    But the Wiki is only in german.

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen / Greetings

    Ich bin ein Westfale, und zwar ein Stockwestfale, nämlich ein Münsterländer – Gott sei Dank! füge ich hinzu...

  • What are your difficulties? I used it (10 years ago... oh, dear) and just fiddled my way in.

    I am a Zettler

  • I'm using ZKn3 on an iMac. I want to upgrade to the newer version but am not technically qualified to set up the Java environment. Can anyone point me to either good documentation or to someone who could guide me through it?

  • @cestjeffici how long have you been using it and how large is your note collection? Curious about your experience. Try leaving a comment on the github page for it, someone there might be able to point you towards how to.

  • @cestjeffici Downloading Java from the website should do the trick already, no need for a developer environment: https://www.java.com/en/

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

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