Zettelkasten Forum


"Daily Notes" in a Zettelkasten

I did a little searching on the forum and didn't find a whole lot about this idea. (the main thing I found was someone's setup for creating journal entries) A lot of new note-taking applications (e.g.: Roam, Craft) have the idea of creating a dedicated note for specific days of the year when you access the application. This allows for easy access to journaling, creating stuff that you'll see on specific days, idea entry that you can sort later, etc. which I personally find to be quite nice. I don't necessarily always have some specific title in mind for something I want to write about, or even links to other things.

This seems to be a bit at odds with how The Archive wants to nudge you into adding to your Zettelkasten. And just basically somewhat opposed to the idea of creating atomic notes that are heavily interlinked, since it's more of a scattered "note" that might just have thoughts about stuff on a specific day. But I also wouldn't want to give up the ability to link to things in my Zettelkasten (and have stuff in separate locations, because goodness knows I've used a lot of applications and have notes scattered everywhere), or searchability across everything, because I want to write stuff related to specific days. (I have made at least one note in the style of the linked post, using just YYYYmmdd, which maybe just solves the issue but I haven't done much with that idea yet so I'm not sure how it might work out long term)

Does anybody have experience working with "Daily Notes" in The Archive/Zettelkastens in general? Is there something specific you do to make it work well? Is this discouraged? etc.

Comments

  • edited November 15

    I create a "thinking note" not every day but most days. I do this for the same reasons you do. searchability, interconnection with the rest of my zettelkasten, and capturing the gifts from the universe quickly and as seamlessly as possible. This is separate from journaling and idea specific.

    I put these notes in my Proofing Oven by tagging them #proofing. I also tag them #mule and treat them as a work in progress. They are the first thing I refactor in the next zettelkasting session. Once refactored into atomic notes they are discarded. This helps keep the zettelkasten a bit tidy.

    The following "thinking note" was refactored into two atomic notes in the screenshots that follow.

    How Can Thoughts Have So Much Power? 202111071350

    Capturing Prompts As Zettel 202111071349

    Will Simpson
    I'm a futzing, second-guessing, backtracking, compulsive oversharing, ZK-maniac, in other words, your typical zettelnant.
    Research areas: Attention Horizon, Productive Procrastination, Dzogchen, Non-fiction Creative Writing, Cognitive Workload, Python, Data Science
    kestrelcreek.com

  • Does anybody have experience working with "Daily Notes" in The Archive/Zettelkastens in general? Is there something specific you do to make it work well? Is this discouraged? etc.

    With the usual disclaimer what I'm doing isn't a Zettelkasten though it borrows various ideas, my typical workflow in VimWiki involves a daily page with a few general notes and a scripted summary of more fine-grained log entries that are usually tagged with other concepts. Here's a slightly redacted entry for a recent day:

    = Sunday, November  7, 2021 =
    
    %% exec-raw auto
    %% nowrap
    
    == log ==
    
    {{{exec-raw cd ~/notes && find ./vimwiki/log -name '2021-11-07*.wiki' | sort | xargs grep --with-filename '%title'
    ./vimwiki/log/2021-11-07-1707-33.wiki:%title travel: Back home yesterday from build project 
    ./vimwiki/log/2021-11-07-1749-56.wiki:%title gear: 1010 Blackbox sampler came while I was on the road
    ./vimwiki/log/2021-11-07-1808-31.wiki:%title idealogging: do-nothing scripting
    }}}
    
    == calendar ==
    
    {{{exec-raw cd ~/notes && calendar -t "20211107" # calendar
    Nov 07* Daylight Savings Time ends in USA; clocks move back (1st Sunday of November)
    }}}
    
    == MUSIC ==
    
    [[/tickets]] to [[/dr-dog]].
    }}}
    

    The log entries are stored in filenames like log/2021-03-02-1009-14.wiki, and are typically of the form:

    %date 2021-03-02 10:09:14.361452624-07:00
    %title idealogging: Mature software systems are ones where nobody understands changes
    
    [[/idealogging]] [[/software]] [[/systems]]
    
    Thesis: Mature software systems mostly have the following properties:
    
      - Nobody who uses the software fully understands the nature of most changes to the system
      - Neither does anybody who changes the code
      - Neither does anybody who reviews changes to the code
    
    A _healthy_ mature software system is one in which all of the above are true,
    and somehow things mostly keep working ok anyway, even improving incrementally
    over time.
    

    Links to pages at the top double as tags for the log entry, and log entries can be found from those pages with a hotkey.

    If I were striving for a more Zettelkasten-like layout, I'd probably be using sequence IDs or date strings or whatever here instead of the named pages, but even if that were a goal, I'd probably retain the log structure and the diary pages that summarize it, since I want to be able to index into everything both by topic and by time. It seems like a useful general pattern.

  • " This allows for easy access to journaling, creating stuff that you'll see on specific days, idea entry that you can sort later, etc. which I personally find to be quite nice. "

    I use a daily format similar to what you describe. Each morning I create a note in the YYYY-MM-DD format. Inside this daily routine, I keep track of Pomodoro's and their associated projects. I track journal entries via hyperlinks to relationships, i.e., [Linda, Journal & Pictures 2021]: "Linda and I attended the Warren Miller movie 'Winter Start Now.' etc." I capture my prose ramblings via UIDs YYYYMMDD and attach them via hyperlink to nonlinear Zettel notes that thread throughout my Zettelkasten. I purposely try to give my prose the same time, space, and attention as I do every other author. I like to capture unique thoughts and pictures each day (although not every day) and link to a "Daily Unforgettable Journal." The Daily Unforgettable Journal lets me highlight a day of the year, i.e., 11-17, and I can see each picture and journal entry attached to that day by year. I love having everything in one place. My Zettel notes weave and dance through news articles, personal prose, book authors, and back again. I use a program called TheBrain; however, I believe any reasonable system of hyperlinks can replicate this dual format of Journal entry and Zettelkasten.

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