Zettelkasten Forum


Beginners' Guide to Newbie to the Zettelkasten Method

Hi, I hope this post will kick start conversations that make sense to me and other new students of the Zettelkasten Method.

Specifically, these topics would be interesting:

  • A simple introduction to the method. It doesn't have to be easy. Simplicity is paramount in the Zettelkasten Method, though.
  • Examples of Zettelkasten notes (Zettels?). I'd very much appreciate it if you can share your notes here.
  • Examples of how business executives can/should use the method. So far, I have not found a good case for that but believe that this community have them.
  • Recommended Apps (and why you recommend them). I've looked into a few apps and felt that IA Writer would be a great choice. Reason? They work on on both mobile and pc.

Thank you very much in advance for sharing!

Talk soon!

Comments

  • What follows is just personal opinion -- others will have different views.

    The Zettelkasten Method

    1. Take short notes -- ideally one idea or topic per note.
    2. Link the note to other notes which contain associated ideas.

    That is all there is to it. Beware of those who introduce unnecessary complexity into the method. You will end up agonising about categories and theoretical questions that will probably not help you in the long run.

    I have not read Sönke Ahrens' book How to Take Smart Notes, but as far as I can tell from having seen samples and read discussions of the work, the author introduces ideas that come from psychology and are not strictly part of the Zettelkasten method. (Nothing wrong with psychology -- I am a psychologist myself.) Some of those ideas may well be useful, but do not make the mistake of thinking that they are essential to the Zettelkasten method.

    Example Zettel

    One of mine looks like this:

    # Psychosynthesis - 7 core principles of    
    
    There are seven core principles underlying the approach.  
    
    "- transpersonal self or ‘Self’ often written with a capital ‘S’  
    - #superconscious  
    - dis-identification  
    - personal self or ‘I’  
    - the will  
    - ideal model  
    - synthesis."  
    
    {Sieroda, 2012, #69042@292}  
    
    [[201912212312]] Psychosynthesis builds on Eastern and Western philosophy
    
    ---  
    ID: 201912212317  
    

    Use in business

    No idea -- I'm not a businessman.

    Software

    Use something you like. It hardly matters what it is.

    On Mac I use The Archive (very smooth, and uncluttered -- never gets in the way). On iPhone I use 1Writer (very fast search and ability to create Zettels very fast).

    Best of luck with it.

  • Did you read the introduction and the related articles on the Getting Started-Site on this very domain?

    I am a Zettler

  • @MartinBB - Thank you very much for sharing. Do The Archive and 1Writer work together?

  • @sfast said:
    Did you read the introduction and the related articles on the Getting Started-Site on this very domain?

    Thank you for your comment. I did but wanted to see how people here use their own language to explain the method, simply.

    Sorry if my discussion here is making you annoyed but I hope that this comment clarified my intention. Again, thank you.

  • edited April 23

    @ysamphy said:

    • A simple introduction to the method. It doesn't have to be easy. Simplicity is paramount in the Zettelkasten Method, though.

    I guess the simplified version of ZKM is covered under "Principles" in the getting started guide, but if you then continue on "Common Questions" you'll notice it doesn't end there. The guide is highly interconnected like a Zettelkasten. If you are not used to it and follow the links you can get lost. But the whole point is not to read everything at once. Read through the main page to get an overview, then follow a link that interests you. Simply starting with your Zettelkasten makes it easy to decide what to read next. You don't need to master ZKM before you write your first note.

    There is also a book available in German: "Die Zettelkastenmethode: Kontrolliere dein Wissen".

    my first Zettel uid: 202008120915

  • @zk_1000 said:

    @ysamphy said:

    • A simple introduction to the method. It doesn't have to be easy. Simplicity is paramount in the Zettelkasten Method, though.

    I guess the simplified version of ZKM is covered under "Principles" in the getting started guide, but if you then continue on "Common Questions" you'll notice it doesn't end there. The guide is highly interconnected like a Zettelkasten. If you are not used to it and follow the links you can get lost. But the whole point is not to read everything at once. Read through the main page to get an overview, then follow a link that interests you. Simply starting with your Zettelkasten makes it easy to decide what to read next. You don't need to master ZKM before you write your first note.

    There is also a book available in German: "Die Zettelkastenmethode: Kontrolliere dein Wissen".

    Thank you! Can you share your own note for an example too? 🙏🏼

  • @ysamphy said:
    Do The Archive and 1Writer work together?

    Very well. They can both access the same folder of Zettels. In my case I keep them on Dropbox. Hashtags in the text files are understood as tags by 1Writer, and Wikilinks also work.

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