Zettelkasten Forum

Any time is enough time for a note

I learn so much from my daughter. Tonight I told her she had a few minutes to watch a program on her tablet. She asked "how much time do I have..." and then she caught herself and said "Nevermind, any time is enough time". then she walked off with her tablet to watch her program.

Between meetings, after work, before bed, I have an idea for a note and I ask myself "How much time do I have for this right now?" and if its only a few minutes I convince myself that its not enough for a decent note. So I don't bother writing it all. So silly!

I hear often that the zettelkasten method is too time-consuming, and when you're doing it in a disciplined way it is. But there is always time for a note, and someday that note may become a zettel. Any time is enough time.


  • @TRumnell, you have a wise daughter.

    Some days we have time to be leisurely, wondering among our ideas, harvesting them slowly with no concerns about the time. This is a mythical fairy tale. We live in a world that keeps us revved up. It finds new and novel ways to steal our attention.

    Grab those interstitial moments and increment your ideas. We'll be surprised at the process, especially if we don't wait for that mythical leisure time when we can focus undistracted for hours.

    Not that we shouldn't be grateful and relish any long periods of Deep Work©.

    "Nevermind, any time is enough time." This would make a great tattoo.

    Will Simpson
    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.

  • The only thing I need for a note to make it into my archive is a bit of context: why the note exists. This means there are plenty of minimally-baked ideas in there. I don’t use an #inbox tag to mark them to process later; I’m not trying to make another todo list for myself. I revisit them and refine them as they come up naturally in my work and thinking.

    I am a big fan of the Drafts app for quickly capturing something written, to sort it out later. A pretty common one is capturing web links that look like they have useful information. I don’t want some random link in my archive. So I add it to Drafts, and then when I process the Drafts inbox I can either add the link to a reference list, or jot a sentence or two on what it’s about. That plants the seed, and I can explore it more full at some point when it comes up.

    When I’m working in The Archive, I often make notes directly in there. But if I’m working on other stuff, I put them in Drafts, because I often don’t know (or don’t want to devote energy to determining) whether it is destined for The Archive or a project plan.

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