Zettelkasten Forum

How to streamline the creation of new zettels in The Archive?


Looking for a method to streamline how I create new zettels when working in The Archive. What tools do you recommend for this?

My zettels are named

YYMMDDYYMM Title of the zettel.md

while the template for the zettels is

title: Title of the zettel
zettel content

When creating zettels on my iOS devices, using Drafts, I've automated this process. But on MacOS, it's still a manual process:

  1. Press Cmd-N
  2. Invoke a Textexpander abbrivation that populates the zettel with the template above
  3. Make sure that the uid in the file name matches the uid Textexpander put into the zettel. Not always the case. If I'm moving to fast between two new zettels, it's still the same minute. The Archive automatically increases the uid with 1, while the Textexpander doesn't.
  4. Enter the title in the zettel's content, markit, copy, right click to change name, paste it.

How are you all automating this?


  • @thoresson said:

    Looking for a method to streamline how I create new zettels when working in The Archive. What tools do you recommend for this?

    How are you all automating this?

    This is my template. Keeping it simple is my intention.

    I don't use iOS just macOS, currently Catalina, and Keyboard Maestro macros for note creation.

    Keyboard Maestro will take highlighted text and make it the title and the file name. It will be sure the timestamps match and can be used to create multiple templates in whatever structure you want.

    Keyboard Maestro is an app you have to pay for after a trial. I find it has added value in everything I do on my mac. Alfred could also be used. It is a free app.

    Will Simpson
    My zettelkasten is for my ideas, not the ideas of others. I will try to remember this. 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.

  • @pryley's alfred workflow reduced creation friction to about as minimal as I can imagine it getting. Highly recommended. alfred-the-archive

  • My workflow (usually):

    1. Create WikiLink to new zettel with cmd-U in a note that is supposed to link to it.
    2. Click on the new UID in the link, so it gets into the Omnibar.
    3. Add new note title to the UID in Omnibar.
    4. Trigger the following Keyboard Maestro Macro:

    The cursor will be where you can see %|% in the pasted text, so I can immediately start writing. I don't bother with metadata – want my note head to be simple and minimally cluttered. I hardly use tags – if I do I add them on the right side of the UID-WikiLink in line 1.

  • Thanks, a bunch of good options!

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