Zettelkasten Forum

Greetings, Zettlers!

I've been around in this forum for quite a while now, but I just realized that I haven't properly introduced myself yet.

Howdy! I'm Dilan Zelsky, an 18 years old trans woman possibly with ADHD, and a writer as a side-effect of maintaining a Zettelkasten. My pronouns are she/her.

I've been a workaholic for a few years now, but a couple of days ago I decided that I want to quit. I have a lot of interests, but I choose to take up a few to keep things simple until I can do proper research on hobbies. My current hobbies are:

  • Reading. I love learning new things. However, it wasn't enjoyable until I met the Zettelkasten Method, so I had always procrastinated on it. Thanks @sfast and @ctietze for all the effort you put into the blog and this forum! In specific, reading to me boils down to: 1) Reading non-fiction books. They are a great source of interesting stuff, and I even get to improve my life greatly in one way or another. 2) Processing my reading list. 3) Putting ideas into practice. E.g.: If I read the book on GTD, I'll want to set up a system as described in the book. 4) Other learning projects that don't fit into the other activities, such as learning how to research or learning about the Zettelkasten Method.
  • Running. To be fair, I'd rather do parkour instead. I love making stunts, running at crazy speeds, jumping around, and exploring. Alas, I'm stuck with running for the time being.
  • Hanging out in online communities. I've always seen myself as an extrovert person, but escapism and workaholism kept me from socializing. While socializing online sucks, it's a start for me.

I'd like to include gaming into my hobbies, but I have mixed feelings about it. To be honest with all of you, I'm not having much fun with the other hobbies. Also, I love retro games and there are many great games that I'd like to play. But, I'd need to do research to sort this out and my research skills are meh at the moment, so I'm sticking to what I have for now.

In regards to my journey, I've had a pretty rough and chaotic one.

I spent all of my time before the last two years of high school endulging in escapism. Anime, movies, manga, the occassional fiction book, comics, and gaming.

Then, there were the last two years of high school. I became a workaholic because school got demanding.

And now here I am, taking a year off pre-college or whatever I pursue next. While it's been a messy year, I'm happy about taking a year off. I came across the Zettelkasten Method, solved a few of my medical problems, and discovered that I'm trans.

In regards to my experience with the Zettelkasten Method, I've had two Zettelkasten iterations.

My first iteration began with Evernote, then later migrated to Notion. During this time, I still had a poor learning workflow, so I had a hard time wrapping my head around the method. As a result, my Zettelkasten was terrible. I got frustrated with both the programs and my Zettelkasten, so I gave up on them.

My second iteration, and probably the last, is with Obsidian. My Zettelkasten is still a work-in-progress. I haven't fully wrapped my head around the method, so there are plenty of gaps I'm trying to fill before I can call it a reliable tool. E.g.: Creating mental models through Structure Notes, using the second and third layers of evidence, tags that are actual object tags, etc. Either way, I'm happy with it.

And that's it! Thanks for making it this far. Wish you all the best.


  • @Dilan_Zelsky

    Welcome to the forum! I hope you find some good advice about the ZK method here, as well as experience the community feeling.

  • Welcome aboard! The Zettelkasten Method boils down to a few very simple practices -- that doesn't mean it's easy to do the work, it's still The Work, but in general I'm confident that people can get a hang of things, and so I'll hope you will, too :)

    When you write you don't enjoy your hobbies much, this struck a chord, because with the work I do, I have a hard time doing other stuff for a prolonged time or with proper passion. I still try, but can't really lose myself in other activities much. I do miss this from when I was a teen :) My problem with computer gaming becomes that I can't bear to sink dozens and dozens of hours into what I used to value as a compelling story line anymore. Real life is calling loud, I guess. It might not be a bad thing to experience this, could also be a sign of shifting priorities.

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

  • Welcome to the forums!

    I'd like to include gaming into my hobbies, but I have mixed feelings about it. To be honest with all of you, I'm not having much fun with the other hobbies.

    Hobbies are overrated. :) I'd rather do other productive stuff if I don't work instead of wasting the short life-time of mine.

    I am a Zettler

  • @GeoEng51 Thank you for the kind welcome! There's great advice about the method here indeed, and in general, I like the community so far.

  • @ctietze Thanks for the comment!

    Yes! I'll get the hangs of things. It's just a matter of learning the right things and practicing.

    As for what you said about hobbies, I'd like to put some thought into this when I can. I feel like there's something I'm missing here and I can't figure out why. Either way, thanks for sharing your experience.

  • edited August 2021

    @Sascha Thanks for the welcome!

    I don't intend to spend all of my time doing my hobbies. Work comes first. Then, hobbies second for enjoyment. I'm still being productive. If anything, I'm more productive than when I was a workaholic.

    But, I agree that it's important to be productive rather than waste your life away.

Sign In or Register to comment.