Zettelkasten Forum

"Commonplace Book" done in a pseudo-zettel style

Just came across this article on how the author keeps his Commonplace Book. Interestingly for us, his "book" is actually a file of a bunch of note cards. It's not a Zettelkasten because there's no notion of linking or unique identifiers, but I find it kind of funny that someone (and apparently several someones, given the popularity of this post) is coming so close to the spirit of Zettelkasten without mentioning it at all.


  • Yes, Ryan Holiday's post was actually what got me thinking on this concept, in which I researched further and then came across this blog and then...voila! I had found it!

    I too am astonished that he doesn't take it one step further...so close, Ryan...yet not quite there...

  • I didn't know the term until 2014, but when I found it, it didn't stay :)


    "Common place"
    places/headings would make sense to everyone
    Renaissance thinkers assumed the world was orderly and you had to discover its order

    Form Manfred Kuehn's description, a commonplace book used to be inflexible by design. That's how the world was perceived, after all. A Zettelkasten, on the other hand, is constructivist in nature, so to speak, and thus more modern.

    That stuff aside, I guess it never hurts to write Ryan the occasional letter ... :)

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

  • A number of authors and scholars seem to have reinvented ways to use collections of paper slips or index cards to organize their thinking, although I'm not aware of any others as elaborate as Luhmann's.

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