Concrete example of Literature notes

I am quite new to ZK method but I thought I understand the basic types of zettels, e.g. literature notes. While watching a workflow video about ZK I saw literature notes that make me wonder that I did not understand it yet.

This is how I do it

When reading a text and "marking important" parts I make a zettel of each part. Here are two examples from the same book but different:

# Shape of the world

The world is a ball.

Source: Bob (1876). The world. p.47


A second one.

# Alternative Shape of the world

Others think the world is a cube.

Source: Bob (1876). The world. p.419


You see: Two informations from two pages of the same book. This is how I would do this.

But in the video I saw two other interesting approaches. I would like to know how do you do this.

Alternative approach A

Approach one is to separate the source itself as zettel.

# Book: Bob 1876 The world

Full Reference:
Bob (1876). The world


Then the two informations

# Shape of the world

The world is a ball.

[link to "Book: Bob 1876 The world"] p.47


A second one.

# Alternative Shape of the world

Others think the world is a cube.

[link to "Book: Bob 1876 The world"] p.419


Alternative approach B

This is the other way around. The bibliographic zettel also holds the TOC of the book and link to the informations zettel form there.

   # Book: Bob 1876 The world

Full Reference:
Bob (1876). The world

TOC
1. Introduction
2. Chapter X
[link to "Book: Bob 1876 The world"] p.47

3. Chapter A
3.5. sub
[link to "Book: Bob 1876 The world"] p.419


And the other two zettel.

• edited October 2021

To keep each note as self contained as possible, I copy literature references into every note. I can easier work with that, e.g. to publish as a blog post. Also acts as a failsafe. Because when you change Book: Bob 1876 The world in Alternate Approach A, and remove the reference there for whatever reason, it's just gone. That's kinda weird, I think, although I understand how this approach is intending to avoid redundancy. But it's not like our multi-terabyte-drives are suddenly going to fill up because of that, so I don't see a real benefit

I think I'm doing a combo of B and what you do; maybe B just has a typo in the TOC list? -- Anyway, I'd be making notes for the 2 claims like you did originally, with full reference, and then link to these from the book overview note. Sticking to your example:

   # Book: Bob 1876 The world

Full Reference:
Bob (1876). The world

TOC
1. Introduction (I'd probably skip that in practice)
2. Chapter X
Main takeaway of chapter X
[link to "Shape of the world"] p.47 + commentary

3. Chapter A
Main takeaway of chapter A
3.5. sub, and what makes it special
[link to "Alternative Shape of the world"] p.419 + commentary


Now everyone could chime and and show us theirs -- but I'd also like to hear about the reasoning behind the decisions. Taste? Practicality? Please share yours too, @buhtz, to provide some context

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

• edited October 2021

Yes.

These are just different formats for capture. Different sources for zettel scream out for different formats. Your approach is acceptable. You may find the Alt-A a practical approach for an in-depth study where the reference note has unique properties. Alt-B's approach is a structure note approach to the source.

In the end, this is a style choice. None of the methods here are wrong. They all include title, idea, reference. These methods cover the basics.

I've used them all. I've used your method to capture serendipitous bits and Alt-A in a slightly more elevated mood and Alt-B when I dig in and squeeze out every last tidbit from a source. Alt-B is the method I use when processing books that are in my areas of focus. Although sometimes an article or paper will stimulate me with many ideas, I'll use this format.

You've not included the Idea Index workflow alternative. Again, this is purely optional but might be worth exploring.

Will Simpson
My zettelkasten is for my ideas, not the ideas of others. I will try to remember this. 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.
kestrelcreek.com

• I have not much to share currently. There are round about 20 zettel in my Emacs zetteldeft folder I and still try to become warm with zetteldeft.

• Here's mine...

 # B-Bob 1876 The world

**The world is an exciting place.** (Synopsis)

## Ideas of the shape of the world [[202110150656]]
- people have varying ideas on the shape of the world.

## Weather influences [[202110150657]]
- culture is shaped by weather patterns.

---
Works Cited:
Bob (1876). The world



I have created this following the ideas that captured me rather than the chronological order of the author's thinking. This alternative is more challenging than following the TOC, but I find it richly rewarding when I pull it off. I have to confess that I use @ctietze's method 93% of the time processing books and the Idea Index workflow alternative only 16% of the time.

Will Simpson
My zettelkasten is for my ideas, not the ideas of others. I will try to remember this. 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.
kestrelcreek.com

• I fear that you fall into the trap of attributing something to the ZKM (notes) that is specific to the underlying substance (knowledge).

Each note that you create outside of your Zettelkasten just has to have the reference of the source. That's it. Based on your alternative Approach B you I suspect that you benefit from googling "how to excerpt". I don't know if it is a thing in English. In German it is big part of dealing with knowledge.

I am a Zettler

• Here's what mine look like – a summary of the text, and any particular salient points, plus bibliographic details.

I have no concern that individual notes should be "self-contained" – they exist within the Zettelkasten, and refer to other notes, much like they refer to the bibliographic/literature notes. I see no problem there, and I don't see the point in copying out full bibliographic details for every note.

This note has the title "Weiser 1996 – Calm tech" and I refer to it from other notes by citing the source: (Weiser 1996).

# The Coming Age of Calm Technology (1996)
#design #interfaces

Weiser, Mark and John Seely Brown. "The Coming Age of Calm Technology." Xerox PARC, October 5, 1996. Accessed October 14, 2021. https://web.archive.org/web/19971011215148/http://www.ubiq.com/hypertext/weiser/acmfuture2endnote.htm

If computers are everywhere they better stay out of the way.

- Trends in computing: mainframe → pers computer → internet (we share many computers) → ubiquitous computing (many computers share each of us)
- UC brought about by tiny affordable microprocessors, and plentiful internet connectivity
- Ubiquitous computing requires new approach to tech design: "calm technology"
- Calm tech moves between centre of attention and periphery – attuning to a product, but not attending to it (as opposed to "affordance" which implies active use)
- Also enhances "peripheral reach" by putting more details away from centre of attention

Examples

- Inner office windows (ambient data)
- Internet multicast (ambient live streaming)
- Dangling string (representing intangible data in sensible, physical, tangible way)

• @buhtz

@buhtz said:
When reading a text and "marking important" parts I make a zettel of each part.

Based on your opening post, I'm assuming that by "literature note," you're alluding to Sonke Ahrens' term.

If so, then shouldn't you be creating permanent notes too? You're losing on the opportunity to capture the big ideas, like user @boxcariii when they processed Team of Rivals. See the section "No Organization of Fleeting Notes" for the issue.

• Thank you very much for your approaches and your thoughts. I am still confused and maybe I just need to start and look how it goes for me.

I read a bout how Luhmann did this. A card with bibliographic infos in front and the "content" on the back. I think about how to "transform" that into a digital approach.

I think I will start with approach A just because it makes less work.