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Question about zettelkasten numbering

Hi, I'm just getting started with the ZK system. I have a question about numbering: I get that the numbering sequence should proceed 1 2 2a 2b 2b1 2b2 etc. according to whether notes are roughly related to one another. If I had a note that wanted to insert between 2 and 2a in that sequence, because I thought it was very closely related to 2, how would I label it (or perhaps it doesn't really matter and I'm overthinking it and should just stick it in as 2c )?

Thanks!

Comments

  • This only really matters if you are using a paper method. Search the blog for "folgezettel" and you will find a lot on the topic, or you could start here: https://zettelkasten.de/posts/kinds-of-ties/

    I use The Archive (Mac application), and have my notes numbered using the time-date stamp that is default in that program. I've never used the 1, 1a, 1b system.

  • With the numbering system you describe, the notecard could be labeled 2+a to indicate that it was behind 2 and in front of 2a.

    You are not overthinking note labeling. This is an important step in a physical notecards system. Not so much in a digital system.

    Will Simpson
    I'm a zettelnant.
    Research areas: Attention Horizon, Productive Procrastination, Dzogchen, Non-fiction Creative Writing
    kestrelcreek.com

  • Thanks for your help! I'm using a digital system, so I also have unique date stamps, but I thought it would be useful to also have a numbering system, to get an immediate sense of where a note is in the whole database. I'll mess around with a few ideas and see what works best

  • Oh! I thought you were using note cards. In a digital system, I wouldn't categorize or try to order my notes, giving them a preordained "immediate sense of where a note is in the whole database." Too much cognitive overhead and a distraction from spontaneous ideation. I'd rely on links, full-text search, tags, sorting, and bracket tags to slice and dice notes at the moments of questioning rather than spending time organizing notes in advance. I'd put one note after the previous, labeled with a date-based UUID. The file system actually "places" them scattered all over the SD drive anyway, physically managing the bits, putting parts here and there. I don't have to manage that database at all. I can't and am glad I don't have to think about it. I'm so glad I live in this modern era.

    Will Simpson
    I'm a zettelnant.
    Research areas: Attention Horizon, Productive Procrastination, Dzogchen, Non-fiction Creative Writing
    kestrelcreek.com

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