Zettelkasten Forum


Storing references and references with the minimal content

Hi all

I am just starting with the Zettlekasten, don't even have a dozen zettels yet. Checked online what I could easily find including awesome https://zettelkasten.de/introduction/ by @sfast. I understand that Zettlekasten is for my own thoughts, zettels are better to be about the knowledge and information shall be stored elsewhere, but could I ask about what people with lots of experience do especially with things on the border of information and knowledge?

For example, this week I was looking at my photo-video archive, figured that I want to recompress some long videos. I do it approximately once a year and each year I pretty much google out the proper ffmpeg tool command line, figure procedure for moving files out of Photos app library, converting, assigning same date as the original file and putting it back to library.

  • Is it a piece of knowledge (and thus command line + possibly a procedure description) to be kept in a separate reference database (such as DevonThink) and that's it?
  • Or shall it be a piece of knowledge + a zettel on why/when I need it (as in "here's what I do when running out of disk space, here's a link to procedure)?
  • Or would procedure deserve a zettel as it is sort of my idea on how to deal with the particular situation (and command line maybe to be a part of it right away)?
  • Or shall that be kept out of Zettelkasten (in the reference database?) at all as something very unlikely to be related to any possible focused work of mine ever?

Comments

  • I would (and do) include such things in my notes/slipbox/zettelkasten. In this case, you can create a note to answer a specific need—"How do I do this specific task?"

    As you collect such tasks, perhaps you will find reasons to connect them together into larger patterns, or to extract particular patterns from them. But you should start with the practical use case, and work your way from there.

  • @Artem @micahredding said:
    I would (and do) include such things in my notes/slipbox/zettelkasten. In this case, you can create a note to answer a specific need—"How do I do this specific task?"

    As you collect such tasks, perhaps you will find reasons to connect them together into larger patterns, or to extract particular patterns from them. But you should start with the practical use case, and work your way from there.

    Yes, I do the same thing. I only have a few such zettels, but they are extremely useful.

  • On of the aspects of knowledge is usefulness. So, I'd create a note that servers you as a tool to solve this problem.

    I am a Zettler

  • edited January 13

    In case it's any consolence, this is what I have:

    # 201301281318 Convert screen capture video to Gif
    #screencapture #gif #film #imagemagick #ffmpeg
    
    
        $ ffmpeg -i capture.mov -pix_fmt rgb8 -r 8 output.gif
        $ convert -layers Optimize output.gif output_optimized.gif
    
    `-r 8` sets the frame rate. Low FPS increase playback speed.
    

    I also have ~10 notes for #ffmpeg, some grouped in a structure note about using a Raspberry Pi to encode video, which in turn is linked to from a Raspberry Pi useful projects overview note. That's what I found useful. This GIF snippet I look up from time to time as a copy-paste-template.

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

  • Thank you, guys, it helps!
    Indeed, if it is "to answer a specific need—"How do I do this specific task?"" - then it can be a part of Zettlekasten and possibly some not expected patterns will emerge some time later such as "hey, here's how ffmpeg is similar to avconv and we could use them together" - will try!

    Small info - large info
    On including the technical things such as command lines, may I ask where do you tend to draw the line between reference and zettel (and where do you store such references)?

    Just one command line certainly can fit to a small atomic zettel and as @ctietze shows I can comment on what parameters are for and why they are there. But then I found a relevant Apple script that helps to find exactly the huge videos (for further conversion). It is couple of pages long and I am only interested in how to use it, not in how it works (for now at least).

    Is it then normal to put such scripts to some reference place and link to it e.g. from zettel on "Here's how I save space when video library is too big: run [linktoref]this script for finding the videos[/linktoref] and this ffmpeg line to convert to something smaller"?

    References storage
    If I may ask, what do you tend to use as a storage for such references (scripts, article pdfs, scans of your job contract and travel tickets) - just a flat directory with many-many files somewhere next to your Zettelkasten, more specialized storages (DevonThink, Tinderbox, Evernote even) or many tools simultaneously including e.g. links to webmail entries?

  • edited January 14

    Welcome @Artem. I think that kind of encoding solution should be inside your Zettelkasten.

    Part of my structure notes are workflows. For example; I have a workflow for photography that I developed over the years from watching tutorials, articles, and books. That note contains the best practices that I'm able to replicate without having to figure it out again. It gives me a step-by-step of how to ingest, what filenaming convention I decided, which tags to use, how to post-process images, where to store them and where to backup, and what formats and resolutions are good to export based on my experience. Which cameras I use and what settings I use the most. If I have a question I know I have this note, and when my workflow evolves or I get a new camera I update my settings in this note.

    Regarding the reference storage. I do editorial and graphic design in my Zettelkasten with iA Writer (images in-notes are supported) and I keep an image folder on my Zettelkasten; notes-Projects/, (2) notes-My-Work/, (3) notes-Collected/, (4) notes_grafik/. This last folder stores only images used in my ZK.

    This is an example of how the image gets referenced in the note as in code and a web preview;

    I always read my Zettelkasten as a web preview showing images. I only used the code view for editing.

    For PDFs or other resources I just write their unique filename with extension or URL inside the note, for example I write a bullet point;

    • See more examples at reference-article.pdf.

    My folders are notes-Projects/ for structure notes such as plans, lists, and workflows. The folder notes-My-Work/ for anything I've wrote. For things I didn't write, notes-Collected/, and has quotes, it has an ffmpeg script I used a year ago, and other reference information such as text from a manual or things like "how to repair something". (Note: this last folder isn't a pack-rat home, just stuff I've used and might use again).

    Have you ever been doing something in your computer, and have opened several programs and have windows arranged in your screen as to work from and using multiple windows? Lately, I've been taking a screenshot of that arrangement as to be able to recreate that setting the next time I need to do those actions, and briefly documenting a note with that screenshot and some text.

    Post edited by Splattack on
  • edited January 14

    Thank you for the example, @Splattack !

    Do you ever have issues with searches and link navigation returning you reference material and your own work instead of just zettels? Or maybe you somehow search just zettels and always clearly see which link is to zettels and which - to references?

    Just thinking that one of zettelkasten powers seems to be in letting you browse-navigate-search between your own atomic and autonomous thinking bits (building a train of thoughts) and then sudden references (and even your own work that is great, but not atomic) looking almost like zettels may or may not be harmful.

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