Zettelkasten Forum

How to tie the title with the note's idea

This is a companion zettel to my video below.

You get all my stuttering and stammering all on the first take. I'm trying not to obsess about production quality an try and focus more on the content. This is the zettel as it appears in my zettelkasten with the links and formating. I removed the YAML frontmatter as it was distracting in the format.


  • If using the UUID for linking the zettel title and the file name does not have to be the same.
  • In the note there is space and sometimes it might be appropriate to have a subtitle.

  1. Why titling a note is a superpower.

    • I'm calling titling a superpower from now on.
    • It adds value to the note

      • Subtitling too! My Evolving Workflow [[202008230753]]
    • It provides the first impression. Think of a note title as being an introduction you might give. You will be introducing this idea to a friend, your best friend, your future self.

      • Notes to the future selves [[202008111645]]
    • A note title is the idea's elevator pitch. It is the hook that catches the fish.

    • A creative, appropriate title "sells" the future you. It should attract your attention, drive your interest, make you want to explore.
    • Find the phrasing for a title is hard work but the work it takes to come up with a stellar title has lots of learning power.
      • Titling Zettels [[202004202105]]
        • trigger and sandbox for further exploration.
  2. How to tell an okay title from a suitable tile from a title the sparkles. There is a spectrum to how much a title sparkles. Some will shine like a flame and some will flood the world with 25K lumens.

    • think of the distance between Wikipedia section titles and poetry
    • think of the difference between rout memorization of the times tables and dancing in the dark with a lover
    • think of the distance between your picture in your high school yearbook and a physical meetup with friends.
    • think of the difference between 480p and 8K
  3. How to develop the titling superpower.

    • Practice, practice, practice

      • Everyone's work sucks at the beginning. It will get better only if you begin and keep at it.
        • Creative Work - Ira Glass [[201902141904]]
    • Ask yourself, does it have a technical pull, mental charisma? Does it tug at your heartstrings and your mindstrings?

    • Use explicit and inviting terms when titling.

15 skills that will supercharge your titling

(These all can't be implemented at the same time. Some are contradictory.)

  1. Encapsulate the idea of the note
    • Spanning different contexts [[201812221638]]
  2. Don't obscure the idea of the note
  3. Use powerful verb phrases vs. weak noun phrases
    • Strong Verbs List
      • bear://x-callback-url/open-note?id=B1B9C558-E9B8-467A-9946-34668325121C-12365-000078D0B6632CBC
  4. Tell what the idea in the note is about
  5. Use keywords not found in the note
  6. Use the title as a way to expose your understanding of the idea. Relate the quality of the title to the quality of your understanding of the idea expressed in the note. Dissatisfaction with the note title equates with a poor understanding of the idea. Refactoring the idea will surface a more satisfying and more precise title.
  7. Make titles a grammatically complete phrase
  8. Use declarative or imperative language.
  9. Use a question to be answered by the note as its title.
  10. Spread the heavy work of idea capture over time. When in doubt, create a "working title, " put the note in an "in process" status, and sleep on it, letting your subconscious work on the titling problem.
  11. Refactor the title with the same enthusiasm as you refactor the idea in the note. I'm calling this 'Progressive Titleization'
    - Phrasing Ideas Clearly Is Work And Has Learning Value [[202105310648]]
  12. Write titles not as link-bait but as exciting preludes to the idea in the note.
  13. Titles should be refactored together with the note.
  14. The Future You has to be sold on the idea of reviewing a given note. This is done through titling - salesmanship and skilled writing technique; gaining attention, inspiring interest, establishing credibility, stoking desire, and making a case for immediate action—all the usual methods of writing influence.
    - Take notes for your future self [[202008111359]]
  15. Cultivate skills in succinct communication, stating the core of the idea. Titling is a transferable skill.
    - Note first approach [[201901261658]]
    - Cultivating An Ability To Imagine [[202101150821]]


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.

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