Zettelkasten Forum


I signed up two years ago and am finally introducing myself

Hello.

My name is Mike Kramer. Two years ago, I made a very low-effort comment on this forum, but I never introduced myself.

I first heard of the Zettelkasten Method by reading Ahrens's book. Through it, I discovered Christian and Sascha. From studying them, I realized that, just as the hardest part of GTD is processing--deciding which outcomes are worth committing to and which actions will cause those desired outcomes--the hardest part of a high-value Zettelkasten Method is specifying the nature of the connection that links one Zettel to another. GTD deals only with causal connections between items. The Zettelkasten Method can handle both causal and logical connections.

At the most fundamental level, my approach is based on the zettelkasten.de critique that says that a Folgezettel is a variant of the Collector's Fallacy. When I observe the work of other people, they usually cannot specify how a new note relates to its predecessor in the Folgezettel. They have the feeling that they have accomplished something meaningful, but, if they cannot write down the nature of the relation that obtains between connected notes, their thinking is inadequate.

To improve my own thinking, I track the status of the connections between my notes. Lumping a bunch of notes together is a low-effort, low-value kind of link compared to a link that shows how some notes provide reasons that support (or undermine) another note.

In March of this year, I produced a YouTube video of how I implement my method in Roam. Of course, this method could be implemented with other tools.

https://youtu.be/iOsOI09-3A8

I welcome your feedback. I hope to be spending a bit of time in wilderness areas, so it might take me a week or so to respond.

Comments

  • @Nido said:

    Welcome.

    At the most fundamental level, my approach is based on the zettelkasten.de critique that says that a Folgezettel is a variant of the Collector's Fallacy. When I observe the work of other people, they usually cannot specify how a new note relates to its predecessor in the Folgezettel. They have the feeling that they have accomplished something meaningful, but, if they cannot write down the nature of the relation that obtains between connected notes, their thinking is inadequate.

    That should be well-received.

    Erdős #2. ZK software components. “If you’re thinking without writing, you only think you’re thinking.” -- Leslie Lamport. Replies sometimes delayed since life is short.

  • edited July 17

    Talk about burying the lede! These are my initial impressions. @Nido's YouTube video includes valuable references and illustrations of Zettel writing techniques. The techniques will work in software systems other than Roam Research, and include justifying (or refuting) claims in a question and answer format, and reformulating claims in your own words through self-testing. There is extensive use of back-linking--more than I would use, but the techniques are presented clearly and can be adapted as desired. I suspect that Roam Research creates notes if they are linked to, and will show the notes that link to the current note (Obsidian and Zettlr will do this).

    One reference, https://logicguaranteed.com, is an interesting site concerned with clarifying dense legal argumentation for trial jurors, among other applications. The section on presentations includes slides on the argument mapping software Rationale. The author, a trial and appellate lawyer, gives a strong critique of the heuristics in the Rationale software guide on developing argument maps and offers his alternative technique.

    Thete is more of interest in the YouTube video and in the references than I have touched on here.

    Erdős #2. ZK software components. “If you’re thinking without writing, you only think you’re thinking.” -- Leslie Lamport. Replies sometimes delayed since life is short.

  • @ZettelDistraction Thanks for the quick review!

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