Zettelkasten Forum

Could The Archive Access More Than One Directory Simultaneously?

@ctietze and @sfast (My apologies if this has been hashed over previously).

Over the last couple of days, I've been thinking about how to organize notes that aren't in my ZK (and which I don't want in my ZK). A lot are in Bear and some are in iA Writer. I've also been playing around with NotePlan to see what it has to offer.

An idea that came to mind was that it would be nice if I could store notes that I don't want directly in my ZK in another directory, but still be able to link them to notes in my ZK, or vice versa. An example is a note giving background to an idea in my ZK. Thus, it would be useful if The Archive could keep an eye on not just my ZK directory, but also at least one if not a few other directories. It might show the separate directories in the left-most pane and they could be expanded or collapsed to list the notes each contained. If I clicked on a link in one note, it would list all connected notes in any of the directories accessed by The Archive. It would also be useful to have the same inter-play with the tags in the notes in different directories.

If it was too cumbersome to access an additional directory, then perhaps it would be possible to accomplish the same thing by having sub-directories within the zettelkasten directory, each of which contains notes - one would contain official zettels and others would contain other types of notes.

I'm not sure how clearly I'm stating this; hopefully, you get a correct understanding of what I am asking.


  • I do something like this manually.

    I have a "Journal" directory, and a "Notes" directory.

    Journal is all of my ephemeral notes, of any kind. It contains logs, quick captures, temporary todo lists, stream-of-consciousness writing, and so on. I consider it all important, but I don't intend to revise these things, and I don't intend to use them as building blocks for something else.

    Notes is everything I intend to build on, revise, or hold close for quick access.

    Sometimes I remove things from 'Notes' and drop them into 'Journal'. Usually this is because I no longer find that note useful, or it's ill-conceived, or I can create one that's less ambiguous. Sometimes it's because the note has become a simple connection between a few ideas, and that connection is no longer needed.

    Other times, I write long-form thoughts, that I then process into atomic notes. In those cases, the long-form thought goes into the Journal, while the atomic notes go into Notes. Usually, I "cite this source", putting a link in the atomic notes back to the long-form writing session.

    Other times, these ephemeral notes or long-form thoughts need to reference something in Notes, and so I'll end up with a link from Journal into Notes.

    For all of these reasons, I end up with links back and forth between these two directories.

    Sometimes I stumble across these links in the Archive, click them, and see that nothing comes up from my Notes folder. In that case, I copy the ID, and do a system-wide search for the relevant file. Alternatively, if I am looking back at a Journal file, and see a link, I'll copy it and search in the Archive.

  • @micahredding So how do you link from a zettel (say) in your Notes folder to a note in your Journal folder. Do you just use a normal file reference in The Archive? That would just open Finder and show you where the note is located.

    I was hoping for something more integrated into the Archive, where a link to a note in say your Journal folder was treated in the same manner as a link to a zettel in your Notes folder.

    Or am I missing some aspect of the Archive that is more capable than I think?

  • Mh. If you want, send me a mail with the exact use case and all context (notes, your goals, etc.). I think the issue is not technical (using more folders) but methodological (using the tools of the ZKM instead of using two sets of tools).

    I am a Zettler

  • I've recently been experimenting with Hook -- https://hookproductivity.com. I'm still a bit uncertain about it, but it does allow you to link all sorts of things that you would not otherwise be able to link (or not easily).

  • @GeoEng51 said:
    So how do you link from a zettel (say) in your Notes folder to a note in your Journal folder. Do you just use a normal file reference in The Archive? That would just open Finder and show you where the note is located.

    No, I just use IDs everywhere. If the file doesn't show up in the Archive, I know it's elsewhere in my system, and just switch to a system-wide search (I use Alfred, but Spotlight should be fine).

    A file reference would be liable to break, but an ID is resilient.

    The Archive could automate this for me, if they supported a link that would trigger file-system-wide search, or allowed that as a fallback for regular search.

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