Zettelkasten Forum

Questions around physical ZK and structure notes

After a few months working with my ZK, I’ve had a couple of occurrences where I’ve already created a number of notes under their own block, that should really belong under another specific subject.
In my example, a note about black holes has led to another about black holes merging. These really “belong” under the Astrophysics “section”, where I have a couple of other notes.
Obviously I can just link to them from a structure note, or from some other note where they do actually link without a structure note, but in the physical ZK realm, this means you lose the ability to see where you have big clusters of notes, as the content could be scattered about all over your ZK.
Am I overthinking it?

This problem clearly doesn’t exist in the archive, as I can search, use tags, or as some others do - create purely unique ID’s, that are there just for links and not to denote any clusters of Zettels.

Is this an issue with having to have some kind of hierarchy in a physical ZK? And if so, how do those of you who use physical ZK’s get round this?
Or am I just trying to add hierarchy where it’s not necessary?


  • @sepuku Maybe someone with a physical ZK should answer your question. It seems to me, though, that you shouldn't rely on physical proximity to locate related zettels, otherwise, what's the point of a ZK?

  • I'm struggling explaining what I mean, as obviously the benefit of the ZK is exactly that you can connect disparate knowledge and ideas, and I fully understand that.
    I don't rely on physical proximity, but I remember reading somewhere that Luhmann was able to see when he had clusters of notes that he could turn into a new article/paper/book.
    Maybe I understood the word "see" too literally, and he really just "knew" that he had a big enough cluster of content on a specific subject - with the ZK being the storage mechanism for the ideas instead of him having to store it all in his head, and his head being where he came up for the idea for the article.

    Reminds me of the David Allen quote, "Your head is for having ideas, not holding them."

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