Zettelkasten Forum

Is Zettelkasten for every useful entry?


I'm quite new to Zettelkasten, and have some questions for the using areas of it. I'm wondering that should I use Zettelkasten for every useful notes that I take?
For example, should I include even my workout program into my Zettelkasten and link it to my nutrition plan or to fit recipes? I'm also wondering that what is the place of to'do lists in Zettelkasten? Should I use Zettelkasten just for the ideas or for all the things that matter?

Thank you.

Post edited by melato777 on


  • As an addition;

    Let's say I'm studying the requirements for uptrend charts in an investing book. Should I transfer all the knowledge that I've acquired from the book to my Zettelkasten or should I use it, in a more compact form, as an idea web? I wonder how was the process of Luhmann's book writing. How did he use his Zettels to combine the knowledge and create a book?

  • Welcome to the forums @melato777. Your question about what could be included in your zettelkasten is a common one. The big picture answer is, it's your's and you can do what you want. Some things will work and some won't. Just be flexible and make changes as they present. Some of us have traveled this path and have seen for ourselves things that work and things that don't. We can give you some advice that might help. Your mileage may vary.

    The two use cases you mention. Fitness and studies on investment trending charts are both super topics for broad and deep integration with each other which might not be apparent at the onset. Putting these into your zettelkasten would very fruitful. You are lucky to have these interests as a starting place.

    @melato777 said:
    Should I transfer all the knowledge that I've acquired from the book to my Zettelkasten or should I use it, in a more compact form, as an idea web?

    Yes, yes, and yes. Transfer knowledge into zettelkasten in a compact form (atomized) creating webs of ideas, both by add the structure you think is appropriate and letting the webs emerge organically.

    As far as "to'do lists", there are so many other apps that handle personal productivity so much better. Zettelkasten software is not designed for this, even though you could force this knowledge tool into the personal productivity hole. Not recommended.

    Will Simpson
    I must keep doing my best even though I'm a failure. My peak cognition is behind me. One day soon I will read my last book, write my last note, eat my last meal, and kiss my sweetie for the last time.

  • Hello @melato777 and welcome to the forum!

    I am a relative newcomer to Zettelkasten as well (a few months). I clearly remember having similar questions. I suggest you just start and you will find as you gain experience with writing "atomic" notes and building your ZK, that you will naturally find a rhythm on how to do it and what to include. I know that is a bit vague but it turns out that doing is more instructive in the early stages than thinking too much.

    I agree with @Will that a ZK is not the right tool for a todo list.

    And keep reading in the forum - it is a rich source of information.

  • Thank you, @Will that made everything clearer.
    Thank you, @GeoEng51 for the valuable suggestions.

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