Zettelkasten Forum



My name is Erich. I found this forum about a year ago when I came across the concept of Zettelkasten in a YouTube video. I have learned much from entries in this forum, other online sites, and the book entitled, How to Take Smart Notes.

I am not sure why I am so drawn to the Zettelkasten method other than to help me retain and build upon my thinking. I am a Program and Management Analyst within my organization and feel I can also use this capability in research and writing efforts.

I currently use my iPad Pro with iA Writer for my Zettelkasten. So far, I have about 10 notes and my goal is to add a few each week.

  1. My current structure for Permanent notes is:


Note Title -

Note body text

Tags: #Name of tag

Links: YYYYMMDDHHMM - Title of note [I hand type the link but do not use the Markdown hyperlink capability. I visit the link by copying and pasting it into the find text feature.]

References: YYYYMMDDHHMMR - Last name

  1. My current structure for Reference notes is:

YYYYMMDDHHMMR [UID - R is added to the end to denote reference]

APA cited reference

Optional high-level notes about the reference text.

  1. I have a Zk_Vault directory with 3 sub-folders including:

Zk_Fleeting - [I use a similar UID naming structure like other notes but add an F to the end of the date-time stamp]



Look forward to learning from the group.


  • Welcome aboard, @Erich!

    I don't think we have any iPad-first (and only?) user here, so it'll be interesting to hear about your workflows!

    With recent iPad OS versions, the stuff one can do with Shortcuts is amazing. I bet it'll become useful to e.g. send the currently viewed note in iA Writer to Shortcuts to extract the YYYYMMDDHHMM ID from the filename and put it into the clipboard, so you can paste a link in another place quickly. Stuff like that. But I haven't immersed myself in that kind of things, so please do share your customizations over time!

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

  • @Erich

    Welcome. Welcome, to the furm. You have chosen, or been chosen, to join to one of the finest Zettelkasten furms on the Internet. I thought so meowch of it that I chose to join it, so thoughtfully purrovided by Our Supurrvisors. I have been purroud to call the furm meow home. And so, whether you are here to stay, or passing through on your way to purrts unknown, welcome to the furm. It's enlightening here.


    By the way, why are you using an iPad Pro rather than something with a keyboard? It must be hella slow in compurrison, unless you've unlocked a hidden ability fur that that doesn't apurr in meow cataracter sheet.

  • @Annabella

    I use an Apple Magic keyboard w/ built in trackpad to make entries into my zettelkasten. The iPad Pro and keyboard coupled with iCloud has worked fairly well.

    One minor issue I have experienced so far with using iA Writer as my zettelkasten is after a number of copy/pastes, I have to restart the app to allow pasting to continue. I imagine it has something to do with freeing up memory/cache.

    Nice to meet you!

  • Welcome @Erich

    You are my namesake in German!

    I also have both notes and references in my ZK. I do not distinguish between permanent and fleeting notes, though. Everything is always in flux :smile:

    Seriously, until a year ago I used Drafts to make "fleeting notes" that I would subsequently import into The Archive and the result was giant inbox of unprocessed and unconnected stuff. My current ZK is still suffering from that.

    I believe that on the forum there are several threads with discussions about fleeting vs permanent notes.

    My references notes are named Lastname_Year_Title (identical to the related pdf in the Finder). I'm not using a timestamp for them, but that may be an academic deformation: academics communicate in author-year combinations like theologians communicate in bible verses. A tip maybe: when I make a new reference note, I immediately put it on at least 1 "literature list", kind of hub that collects all literature on a specific topic. Doing that + keeping the APA reference in the note substitutes for a reference management software!

    All my notes are the same ZK folder though. I don't like to switch directories and you can easily simulate the effect by giving your notes a tag, like #p for your permanent note #f for your fleeting notes and #r for your references.

    Good luck with your ZK!

  • @ctietze

    I keep life interesting by claiming to use iPad only for my Zk solution :smile:

    You gave me some homework to start looking into the Shortcut capability. I have seen reference to this on the web, but never gave it a real look. Appreciate the thought!

  • Welcome @Erich  ! I can't wait to see how your Zettelkasten will evolve with a Pad, it's unusual :) You'll see how your notes will evolve through time ! Have a nice journey among us ! \o/

  • @erikh

    I hesitated to even reference that I have a Zk_Fleeting (notes) folder as I just created this. I plan to investigate how others use this type of note, but for now I use it as a short form To Do list. When I come up with a new idea/task I add it to the list. As I complete things, the note may end up getting deleted.

    I don’t imagine I will suffer from the situation you face with fleeting notes because I am a man of few ideas :smile:

    I like the tip you mentioned about literature notes and will take this into consideration. I also hear your point about limiting the need for directory switching.


  • I made one change in my Zk tonight related to my first post. For permanent note links, I no longer list them separately in a note section called “Links. ” I now include links/connections directly within the body of my note. I not only list the Note Name and [[UID]] but also indicate how a particular note relates to another. This seems to give more depth to each note.

    Thanks to all who commented thus far. I plan to check out some other categories/discussions in the next few days. Take care

  • @Erich

    Oh, so if Meow understand you correctly, you have a kind of purrtable laptop, yes? Meow thought you just used a tablet. The thought was uncatfurabell. /ᐠ𝅒_𝅒ᐟ\

    Also, thanks for reading through the comments to this post, thinking about them, and replying. That's the cattitude Meow'd like to see meowre often.

    And glad to meet ya too! ฅ/ᐠ。ᆽ。ᐟ \

  • @Annabella

    Yes, I use the iPad basically as a laptop. This works well with the basic iA Writer Zk I am working on. Minimalist is key for me. I previously had a 4 x 6 notecard based Zk with about 50 notes and 20+ references. Went electronic for portability and so I would not have to do double work with writing notecards and then typing them for something I am working on.

    Earlier today, I reported to Apple the issue I continue to have with the iA Writer Paste feature suddenly not working after copy/pasting a number of times. Probably won’t hear back from them but at least I reported the issue.


  • @Erich Cool setup. And I hope the issue gets resolved.

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