Zettelkasten Forum


What is your preferred metaphor for Zettelkasten? And why?

Here are some of my options:

  • Zettelkasten
  • Evergreen notes
  • Mind garden
  • Second brain
  • Smart notes
  • other

I already asked Google. But there’s no sufficient answer :wink:

Metaphors for Zettelkasten
  1. What is your preferred metaphor for Zettelkasten?7 votes
    1. Zettelkasten
      42.86%
    2. Evergreen notes
        0.00%
    3. Mind garden
      28.57%
    4. Second brain
        0.00%
    5. Smart notes
        0.00%
    6. Other
      28.57%

Comments

  • Here are a few gleaned from my ZK. I'm not sure this is what you are looking for? With your drawing skills, you might find something to play with.

    Metaphors for zettelkasting

    1. Desk/inbox/files
    2. Bakery/proofing oven
      • kneading
      • resting
      • fermenting
    3. Garden/germination/seed bed
      • sunlight
      • fertilizer
      • weeding
      • harvest
      • watering
    4. City/Map
      • Exploring The Map Metaphor [[202104020841]]
      • Think of a web of ideas as a landscape
      • The Characteristics Of ZM As A Place-landscape [[202106121922]]
      • Design Vs Emergence - Cities Vs ZM [[202106121941]]
    5. Beer brewing
      • fermenting
      • resting
      • enjoying after the process
    6. Family
      • sister/brother
      • child/parent
      • birth/death in the family ›[[202106070928]]‹
      • graduation
      • prodigal note
      • crawl, walk, run
    7. Rodeo
      • corral
      • resting in the barn
      • breaking a wild horse
      • wild untamed thing
      • out to pasture with the rest of the herd
      • bucking bull
      • parade
    8. Fruit Tree
      • zettel being the fruit
      • bad fruit dropping
      • slow maturing"lie on a spectrum"
    9. Book
      • TOC
      • Index
      • Chapters
      • Book in a series
      • flash to full on novel
      • fiction/non-fiction
      • length of time to curate
    10. Digestion
      • eat
      • taste
      • catabolic process
      • excretion
      • health
      • cancer
      • posion
      • raw/cooked

    Will Simpson
    “Read Poetry, Listen to Good Music, and Get Exercise”
    kestrelcreek.com

  • Shipping container. See Ahrens, How to Take Smart Notes, 2nd Ed p. 49, 52, 175, 199. Of course you knew this...

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

  • @Will said:
    Here are a few gleaned from my ZK. I'm not sure this is what you are looking for?

    Thank you for sharing this unbelievable list. Just a formal concept, but also a great resource for thinking with visual metaphors.

  • @Edmund said:

    @Will said:
    Here are a few gleaned from my ZK. I'm not sure this is what you are looking for?

    Thank you for sharing this unbelievable list. Just a formal concept, but also a great resource for thinking with visual metaphors.

    I see the garden metaphore everywhere, but it is kind of lame from my point of view. This one just skips the components and process.

    There are two components in the Zettelkasten : the Zettelkasten itself with its set of notes, the inner organisation, the "box" whatever it is a physical or digital… And the user.

    There are at least two cores actions you can make with your Zettelkasten : integrating new knowledges, ideas, insights, observations and all. And asking the Zettelkasten to find them for you. Input, and output.

    I think you should practice and figure out by yourself, otherwise it would always stay to the superficial state. It should come from you, your insights, the vision you develop. Compare how personal ZettelDistraction's Glatanus, Sfast schemas and Will's list are.

    Will's list is awesome but you won't fully understand it. For example, I recognize the catabolism and digestion input coming from my blog article, I wrote this and it hits Will imagination and I'm sure he made it deeper than mine, because he understands ZK much more than me.

    But maybe we can help you to build ideas. What are your reactions from the metaphores that was shared here ? How do you apprehend them ?

  • Tree of Knowledge.

    This pertains to analog Zettelkasten systems, however.

    Scott P. Scheper
    Website | Twitter | Reddit | YouTube

  • edited April 30

    Perhaps the shipping hub is a better analogy for the Zettelkasten than the shipping container (Ahrens, 40). The shipping hub illustrates a counterintuitive principle: sometimes a procedure that includes steps that are inefficient to carry out at small scale will operate more efficiently at scale than a simple direct procedure (Ahrens 39). Express delivery companies such as FedEx handle large volumes of packages by sending them to a central hub where they can be sorted, dispatched, and delivered, instead of delivering them directly.

    Multiple-choice question. How does the central repository of interlinked standardized-format notes of a Zettelkasten assist the writer?

    a) It turns the writer into a shipping container.
    b) Without the Zettelkasten, writers would have to ship individual Zettels world-wide directly from their desks.
    c) The Zettelkasten serves as a memory hole for writing projects that go nowhere.
    d) The Zettelkasten introduces eufriction into the writing process (Doto 2022).
    e) It encourages reflection on the important, as opposed to the merely interesting.
    f) It encourages the separation of concerns through "note atomicity."
    g) It provides the writer with a stable collection of notes written as if for publication.
    h) It facilitates schema formation, recall and recombination.
    i) It provides the writer with an all-consuming procrastination tool.
    j) Once the Zettelkasten reaches critical mass, it expostulates with the writer over their writing.
    k) The prolific sociologist Niklas Luhmann claimed that it worked for him.
    l) No one really knows.

    † The notion of eufriction is due to Bob Doto.

    References

    Ahrens, Sönke. 2017. How to take smart notes: one simple technique to boost writing, learning and thinking: for students, academics and nonfiction book writers. North Charleston, SC: CreateSpace.

    Clark, Ruth Colvin, Frank Nguyen, and John Sweller. 2006. Efficiency in learning: evidence-based guidelines to manage cognitive load. Essential resources for training and HR professionals. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer, a Wiley imprint.

    Doto, Bob. 2022. Folgezettel is More than Mechanism.

    Lovell, Oliver, and Oliver Caviglioli. 2020. Sweller’s Cognitive Load Theory in Action. In Action Series. Melton, Woodbridge: John Catt Educational Ltd.

    Post edited by ZettelDistraction on

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

  • @ZettelDistraction said:
    h) It facilitates schema formation, recall and recombination.

    >
    Yes, this answer works for me. :-)

  • @Loni said:
    But maybe we can help you to build ideas. What are your reactions from the metaphores that was shared here ? How do you apprehend them ?

    I started my Zettelkasten a few weeks ago. It wasn‘t the classic one made from wood, I choose the precious Obsidian to build it up. As I could see it takes me a lot of time to let it grow. My idea was to see it as a garden. And I asked you as experienced gardeners, how to manage my work efficiently.

    Speaking with metaphors you were showing me different options to deal with. Maybe the garden will become a forest, a jungle or just a seed bed.

    To my surprise I got an easy answer: „There are two components in the Zettelkasten : the Zettelkasten itself with its set of notes, the inner organisation, the "box" whatever it is a physical or digital… And the user.“

    So I left all the magic behind, came back home from the forest and the jungle, back home to my Zettelkasten. It’s just a precious box. The one made of Obsidian.

    Thank you for this journey.

  • edited April 30

    @Edmund said:

    @ZettelDistraction said:
    h) It facilitates schema formation, recall and recombination.

    >
    Yes, this answer works for me. :-)

    Thanks! I updated the post to include references for schemas and cognitive load in the post, but didn't cite them in text -- the citations would go at that line.

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

  • @Edmund
    To my surprise I got an easy answer: „There are two components in the Zettelkasten : the Zettelkasten itself with its set of notes, the inner organisation, the "box" whatever it is a physical or digital… And the user.“

    So you choose this picture, and pick a suggestion from @ZettelDistraction :)

    And the one you choose is :

    h) It facilitates schema formation, recall and recombination.

    A good starting point ? From here, you really can work with images and metaphor, because a box symbol can carry anything, and you can keep magic as well if it is your wish to do so :

    • If the vegetal thing talks to you as well, we can think about a box with plants inside compartiment, with a user caring for them. You are a gardener using plants and seeds, with implants to make them grow in other soils ?

    box plant

    • A box with crafting materials ?

    box

    • A box… like this one :

    tableau periodique

    Mollecule are an example of "atomic" notes and combination and re-combination too.

    I hope that ZettelDistraction's references will speak to you as well and make ideas evolve !
    From my point of view, the most important thing here is to make sens for you. From here, you will have plenty ideas of drawings, because the main idea will be yours and you'll have plenty ideas to explore and to develop.

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