Zettelkasten Forum

What routines or behaviors do you think would let the Zettelkasten Method work for you?

The book, Take Smart Notes, suggests daily review of fleeting notes and put useful ones into permanent or project folders. But I think maybe there are other routines or behaviors that Niklas Luhmann adopt to make sense of his piles of notes and write those books and articles during his times.

That could involve a whole new set of skills such as critical thinking.

I look forward to your contribution.

Thank you.


  • Sönke Ahrens' book is not solely about the Zettelkasten Method, to judge from what I have seen of it. So don't make the mistake of thinking that you have to adopt all kinds of special practices and categories to make the method work.

    I do not myself adopt any sort of mechanical routine, because I do not like to work that way. I go as the fit takes me, wherever the needs of the moment lead me. I have wide interests and I am happy to go with the flow. I know that the brain works even when it does not have material in front of it, and that connections and understandings may float into consciousness at any time -- when in the shower, when walking down the street. There is even evidence to suggest that getting away from things is beneficial to understanding: https://bbc.com/worklife/article/20210319-why-procrastination-can-help-fuel-creativity. Routines do not necessarily help you to make sense of material. Nobody can tell you when you will understand something. The understanding will come when it is ready, not when you want it to.

  • @MartinBB - I feel lighter reading your comment. I've just made my first notes. Thank you. 🙏🏼

  • Glad it was a help. Good luck with it!

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