I'm Rennan Rieke, and I live in Helena, Montana, United States. I'm the IT guy for our state historical society and museum.
I've arrived here from the opposite end of the simplicity/futureproof spectrum. My first notes were kept in, I think, WordPerfect files, migrating then through (amongst others) Word, OpenOffice, and Evernote. A few times I lost information because the format was discontinued and I couldn't find a suitable reader for it. So often I applied fancy formatting, certainly lost in the migrations. File corruptions were not uncommon. I kept complex and rigid folder hierarchies which thoroughly mapped my brain in July and by September were in a mutually-mangling relationship with the documents I was trying to fit into them.
Now it's all plain text, equal folder level, Markdown for structure, lightly tagged, relying entirely on searching both file name and file contents. The Zettelkasten method has given me something important--the theory of and ability to easily link notes, and to administer and use those linkages through time. It has helped me begin to give shape to the many nebulous and fleeting thoughts that never came to anything.
My use of Zettelkasten seems a little more aimless than many of you. It is primarily just my life's documentation. I don't have a focused purpose with it other than to bring up my car's VIN at the insurance shop, or review that note about how to fix something about myself, or relive those emotionally wonky months after my wife and I blended our families. I won't use it to publish anything, though I wish I had something like that to produce. I sure look up to all y'all and enjoy hearing how you use these ideas and how you think.
I might define my instance of Zettelkasten best by saying it's a world wide web dedicated entirely to me. It might be regretfully simple, but I'm pleased with it.
I'm so pleased to have found this community. I have great respect for the work you're all doing here, and I'm proud that I can be a part of it, however small.
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