Zettelkasten Forum

Align Usefulness and Relevancy to move forward

This discussion was created from comments split from: Call for "Critique my Zettel"-Notes.


  • edited April 8

    Hmpf. It will take longer to chew on. Here's a recently-modified Zettel instead. Happy commenting!

    # 202201290957 Align usefulness and relevancy to move forward
    #progress #usefulness #relevancy

    Relevancy helps to know whether something applies to a project or next action[[202201280850]]. Usefulness tells you if something is of use[[202201280823]]. Thus, the alignment of usefulness and relevancy is the stuff that allows you to move projects or next actions forward. One way to do that is by using an appropriate reading method[[202202031612]]. Conversely, the misalignment could keep you from making progress, [[202106011026 | as it happens in collecting]].

    This is like Synchro Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh! 1 or more Tuner Monsters combine with 1 or more non-Tuner Monsters to form a new, powerful Monster: a Synchro Monster. Here, relevancy would be Tuner Monsters because both are directly linked to the bigger thing: Projects or next actions, and Synchro Monsters respectively. Then, usefulness would be non-Tuner Monsters because both can be useful for more than just projects or next actions, and Synchro Monsters respectively.

  • Content

    • The content is awesomely developed. You have: The central thought, examples of success and failure (since it is about a principle for action) and even a metaphor that gives you a feeling access which is all to often neglected.

    • However, the note suffers a bit from the abstract nature of the concept of relevancy and usefulness. So, my advice is that you enrich you note with very concrete and unambiguous examples after each statement if they are not provided in the referenced notes. But even if they are: This kind of redundancy will help your future self to use the note because it would it make more self contained.

    • The last two statements of the first paragraph are factual statements. To mature them you should make sure that you explain the "how".

      • Example: If appropriate reading methods align relevancy and usefulness how do they do it?
    • The relationship between "relevancy" and "usefulness" is still a bit in the fog. The relationship between those concepts should be explored more before you can make a value judgement. For example:

      • If something is useful, how can it be not relevant?
      • If something is relevant, how can it be not useful?
      • You could run into the issue that usefulness could imply relevancy already: The relevancy would be caused by usefulness. Usefulness would be a test for relevancy. The following statement would be true: X is relevant because it is useful.
    • The central thought is a tat underdevoped. "To be aligned" is in itself abstract if you apply it to something like action.

    • The comparison to Yu-Gi-Oh! is awesome. It gives you (not me. I just watched YGO! sporadically in my adolescence) a feeling approach to the matter. However, I think you instinct already shows you that the first paragraph is to abstract to be truly actionable but a feeling approach is not the full solution but one step of a multi-step solution. To further increase your understanding of the central thought you can
      • My advice would be to produce a metaphor that is not disconnected from the world like a game. Feeling needs to be rooted in the factual world to be an effective epistemic approach.


    • The title is great.
    • It might be changed if you work on the content. My guess is that "to move forward" could be changed to make more specific what moving forward is.


    • The one tag that is a bit off, if you want to use purely object tags, is "#progress". Since the note is highly developed you have now the opportunity to really pinpoint the tags. In this case, "#progress" is too broad. In my opinion, the note is about a specific aspect of progress: It is about something like the correct direction. I cannot find a good word for The Direction (capital D). But this is the specific part of progress I think it is about. To find the exact aspect of progress is an adventure that I don't want to rob you from.


    • I don't know what your conventions are. I like to place the ID right after the period if the ID refers to the content of the sentence (or: dependent clause). If the ID is placed behind a word and before the period or colon it refers to the word or clause. (I hope I get the grammar concepts right..)
    • I wonder why there are no links to YGO!.. :)


    This is already a very developed thought.

    On the flip side it suffers a bit from the abstract nature of its content. Your metaphor is connected to another abstraction which is YGO! Psychologically speaking: It seems that you express your desire for authentic feeling by the power of your intellect. This results in the disconnect from the world as a place. The cure is -- as always -- connection. In this case, my recommendation would be to go into nature and try to accomplish something that is very haptic and gives you a real world feeling access to this abstract problem:

    Find a creek and build a dam. Take note and reflect on the concepts of relevancy and usefulness of each action. What is useful to you and what is useful for the project. The overlap and the disconnect will give you an opportunity for a different kind of insight into that matter. (Release the water afterwards..)

    If you don't have any access to nature build something with your hands. This something should be geared towards an unmediated improvement. Neither build something for a feeling (like art) nor for the intellect. Build something for a very basic need. Example from my life: My woman has a dust allergy (and is paranoid about it which doesn't help..). My next (bigger) gift to my her is an self-made air purifier which is build into an indoor well. I have different challenges of course, so I do build it for feeling (I make it pretty) but the goal is to purify the air to increase her health.

    I might be a bit eccentric in my advice here. Perhaps, I am not properly separating my psychological-existential work and the Zettelkasten Method thing. It is what it is. :)

    I am a Zettler

  • edited April 14


    I don't know what your conventions are. I like to place the ID right after the period if the ID refers to the content of the sentence (or: dependent clause). If the ID is placed behind a word and before the period or colon it refers to the word or clause.

    That's my convention, except that links are always placed before periods. I should've made this clear.

    I wonder why there are no links to YGO!.. :)

    Because there are no Zettels. And there will never be because the game is nothing but a coping mechanism to me, a temporary hobby with no value.

    To everyone's disappointment, I changed the Zettel to simply explaining the relationship between the concepts. I came up with the initial idea because I thought it was cool, but not because it had any real value to me. As with anything lacking value, it was banished to the Shadow Realm. Maybe I should've taken my own advice, if there was any to begin with. Still, I appreciate your advice. I'll keep it in mind.

    # 202204141521 Usefulness and relevancy relationship
    #usefulness #relevancy

    Usefulness[[202201280823]] is a test for relevancy[[202201280850]][\@Sascha-2022-Re-Usefulness-Relevancy]. Relevancy already implies usefulness[\@Sascha-2022-Re-Usefulness-Relevancy]. What is related to a project or next action is of use to it. E.g., a cake recipe allows you to bake the cake you need to celebrate someone's birthday. By contrast, usefulness doesn't necessarily mean that there's relevancy. Something could be useful for some things, but none of them would move a project or next action forward. E.g., a funny meme may make you laugh, but that'd be about it. None of your projects or next actions would gain any value from that meme. At most, you'd have a nice little break from work.

    Side note: Certain Zettels are formulaic and this is one of them. In this case, you have "[Concept 1] and [concept 2] relationship" as the title convention. The content begins by claiming the relationship. The rest is premises each with an example. The examples is a new addition as per your advice, although the Zettels on the concepts provide lots already.

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