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Book Teaser (2nd Edition): Flow Diagram of the Zettelkasten Method

imageBook Teaser (2nd Edition): Flow Diagram of the Zettelkasten Method

This is a little flow diagram that illustrates the Zettelkasten Process with the help of one of the principles of the Zettelkasten Method,

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Comments

  • edited February 16

    I am a believer in taking "fleeting notes" as I read material, which helps me to identify and summarize what I think is important. These are later (within a few days) turned into zettels. I could see you adding this concept to your flow chart :wink:

    But I do like the idea of trying to outline a flow to the process - as long as people don't take it as a recipe or use it in an inflexible manner.

  • @GeoEng51 said:
    I am a believer in taking "fleeting notes" as I read material, ... I could see you adding this concept to your flow chart :wink:

    :wink:

    Erdős #2. ZK software components. “If you’re thinking without writing, you only think you’re thinking.” -- Leslie Lamport.

  • @GeoEng51 said:
    I am a believer in taking "fleeting notes" as I read material, which helps me to identify and summarize what I think is important. These are later (within a few days) turned into zettels. I could see you adding this concept to your flow chart :wink:

    But I do like the idea of trying to outline a flow to the process - as long as people don't take it as a recipe or use it in an inflexible manner.

    Mh. I think in my terms I'd say that you are writing non-formal excerpts.

    I am thinking how I could re-write my remark that excerpts are roughly the same as what Ahrens means by literature notes. "Fleeting literature notes" could be added. Excerpts are something that should be disolved and are therefore fleeting in their own right.

    So, your fleeting notes count as excerpts. I think the term is misleading in English. I learned excerpting as a major tool in history. It was way more the excerpt something from the text but to basically transform a text into a tool you can use to learn, write and think.

    I might excerpt an article for a real world example.

    I am a Zettler

  • What I struggle with in this part is the "Promising Sections / Paragraphs". Nonfiction books aimed at the general reader that contains a lot of anecdotes I do fine with, but harder books (e.g. From Darwin to Derrida: Selfish Genes, Social Selves, and the Meanings of Life) and textbooks I get bogged down in figuring out what is actually salient to take notes on. This is in part because everything feels relevant or could be relevant in the future.

    I suspect that part of the issue might be the overall framework I am using. When Luhmann, was taking notes, was he primarily reading as part of a research process? Where what was salient was information pertaining to his immediate research and he would so happen to include other ideas that stood out if they seemed interesting. Versus reading as part of the learning process (e.g. an introductory textbook) where it is dense in information.

  • Why is the flow chart bottom up? Shouldn't it be top to bottom?

  • @Nick said:
    What I struggle with in this part is the "Promising Sections / Paragraphs". Nonfiction books aimed at the general reader that contains a lot of anecdotes I do fine with, but harder books (e.g. From Darwin to Derrida: Selfish Genes, Social Selves, and the Meanings of Life) and textbooks I get bogged down in figuring out what is actually salient to take notes on. This is in part because everything feels relevant or could be relevant in the future.

    It depends on what you goal is. The Zettelkasten is not an end it itself. I think I needed a full dozen workdays to process Taleb's Antifragile. To me, it is a central text to my work. But the central ideas could be captured in a couple of hours.

    I suspect that part of the issue might be the overall framework I am using. When Luhmann, was taking notes, was he primarily reading as part of a research process? Where what was salient was information pertaining to his immediate research and he would so happen to include other ideas that stood out if they seemed interesting. Versus reading as part of the learning process (e.g. an introductory textbook) where it is dense in information.

    I think you are right. Learning takes time when it is done the right way. But I think the amount of time invested is misleading:

    A frequent complaint is that the Zettelkasten Method takes too much time. Either each book takes to much time to process or the linking process of each note or what not.

    Most of the time, there is an underlying misconception about how to measure efficiency. If you measure the amount of books you can process then you will be dissatisfied. But if you measure the amount of individual ideas and thoughts captured and the amount of connections, abstractions and relationship built between the individual ideas and thoughts you could come to a different conclusion.

    Dense sources require more time because there is more to unpack. That does not make you less efficient.


    @Perikles said:
    Why is the flow chart bottom up? Shouldn't it be top to bottom?

    There is an arrow missing from bottom to top that says "Value Increase". I like it that way better.

    I am a Zettler

  • This is really valuable and I think it’s very helpful to see diagrams explaining the process of Zettelkasten. I think the concept of Zettelkasten will grow more if we see more helpful diagrams like these.

    Scott P. Scheper
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  • @sfast said:
    There is an arrow missing from bottom to top that says "Value Increase". I like it that way better.

    Okay, I can see that. I can even feel it!

    "Value goes up" hard to say without the book what exactly you mean with value and how this relates to the reading direction and so forth, but baring any of that, by using that indication, you are making the diagram about value creation.

    It is more a diagram then on "how the zk method helps you to create value," than "how the zk method worklflow works."

  • edited February 19

    @sfast I imagine you could take a bunch of zettelkasten notes from a textbook you are learning from and essentially map out the concepts from a field of study and how they are all related. While I see that as useful from a learning perspective, it looks less valuable from a knowledge creation perspective because you are essentially just recreating what is already well understood and mapped out by the textbook itself.

    The alternative would be to become more selective in the information you are turning into notes from a textbook and only take notes on concepts you think that you'll expand upon or definitely revisit.

    I think part of the issue is when you are first learning about a topic, it is hard to know what information is going to be most relevant down the line and there is the desire to not waste a bunch of time creating what will become a bunch of useless notes from a textbook.

  • @Nick said:
    @sfast I imagine you could take a bunch of zettelkasten notes from a textbook you are learning from and essentially map out the concepts from a field of study and how they are all related. While I see that as useful from a learning perspective, it looks less valuable from a knowledge creation perspective because you are essentially just recreating what is already well understood and mapped out by the textbook itself.

    Sure. But it is still a valuable process to lay the foundational notes and connections in your Zettelkasten. :) You shouldn't just recreate what you read but create your own version of it.

    There is an article about links in the pipe. There I use the hero's journey as an example. I didn't just re-create what already was said about it. I taimed this beast my own way. Like this, even in basic learning a little bit of knowledge creation is happening and in the long-run you lay out the foundation for knowledge creation big time .

    I think part of the issue is when you are first learning about a topic, it is hard to know what information is going to be most relevant down the line and there is the desire to not waste a bunch of time creating what will become a bunch of useless notes from a textbook.

    I don't think that is an issue at all. If something is relevant to you you process it. Imagine you want to learn about something and create cards for spaced repetitions. You could just process them into your Zettelkasten and benefit from the depth of processing effect.

    I am a Zettler

  • @Perikles said:
    It is more a diagram then on "how the zk method helps you to create value," than "how the zk method workflow works."

    Almost. It is the workflow filtered through a different lense then through the lense of "what should I do?"

    I am a Zettler

  • @sfast Thanks for correcting my typo! I like your concept of a lense, what would be another alternative lense that is applicable to the zk workflow diagram?

  • @Perikles said:
    @sfast Thanks for correcting my typo! I like your concept of a lense, what would be another alternative lense that is applicable to the zk workflow diagram?

    There are two other that I use now:

    1. Criteria for action and action itself (classical flow diagram)
    2. Stock-Flow (like Meadows in Thinking in Systems)

    Keep in mind my second remark:

    Flow diagrams can distract from the actual sites of value creation. They are mostly for superficial overview.

    I never saw any person whose bottle neck is workflow.

    I am a Zettler

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