Zettelkasten Forum

What you put in your Zettelkasten

I want a note taking system that works for me... So far, it seems that my Zettelkasten is right for me. But really only for thoughts it seems. Not facts. The system seems to break down when I want to put reference material in there.

I feel as though there are 3 types of information I want to store as they're the types of information relevant to me:

  • Thoughts/Concepts/Ideas: The Zettelkasten method.
  • Processes/Procedures (How to do something right): Maybe Zettelkasten?
  • Reference Material: Maybe Zettelkasten?

My conundrum can be broken down into a few questions:

  • Am I using Zettelkasten wrong? Should these types of notes be able to live in a Zettelkasten?
  • If not, what setups would you use? (By setups I don't mean software, I'm using Obsidian which can pretty much support any hierarchal or network type setup, I'm looking for principles to follow)

I'm just getting started with all this so I'm not too deep into my Zettelkasten yet. So please forgive my ignorance.


  • Can you give a couple examples of things that clearly work for you and those which don't? That makes providing help easier and could also be a quite educating exercise for everyone! :)

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

  • I don't see why not, I store all those within my obsidian vault. Anything that is information can be stored and managed in a digital system. You can even store PDFs in the attachments folder. I'm not sure about other types of files though.

  • edited February 2021

    With similar questions, I cam across this thread a few weeks ago. There are some pretty helpful posts near the top. https://forum.zettelkasten.de/discussion/1364/how-often-are-you-making-permanent-notes

    I think the three categories you ask about have their place in a ZK. Facts like processes and procedures can reflect concepts (why is the process the way it is?) and then can connect to other notes eventually. As long as notes are written with an eye to being 'permanently useful' then it adds value to your zk.

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