Zettelkasten Forum

Mohamed from Egypt

Hi everyone,
I am Mohamed from Egypt.
I am brand new to the note-taking world, as I've just been searching for a way to organize my studies as I am studying different topics in different majors, for example, programming, accounting, finance, database...etc.
I found myself forgetting almost everything I read, and after googling I found many facing the same exact problem, so my search started by finding a way to take notes efficiently, and that lead me to the Cornell Note-Taking System.
Later on, I found many recommendations to collect or aggregate this Cornell Note-Taking System and use an electronic Zettelkasten system for everything.
Then I stopped by 2 books that were talking about both, note-taking and Zettelkasten:
1. How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens.
2. Digital Zettelkasten Principles, Methods, & Examples by David Kadavy.
3. This is not a book but a PDF presentation, Introduction to Luhmann’s Zettelkastenthinking and its technical implementation Dr. Daniel Lüdecke.
In the beginning, I thought Zettelkasten is software to use for organizing notes, but it turned out to be a HUGE topic and watched too many videos on Youtube about it and I've set my mind on having a digital Zettelkasten system and syncing it across my computer, mobile, and laptop.
So far I am still looking for which tool to use to build this system because TheArchive software is a MAC version only. By the way, if you may suggest a tool or a scenario to achieve the Zettelkasten system that would be awesome.
I've found some tools like Notion, Obsidian, iAWriter ...etc, and also found some other tools for doing flashcards like Anki which I would like to use as well within the system, and I am still confused between them to pick one and learn it to make the best use of it on the long run.
All opinions and recommendations are highly appreciated.

Post edited by MGadAllah on

Mohamed GadAllah


  • @MGadAllah

    Hey! Welcome to this forum. I hope you will find many good resources here (starting with "Getting Started"). Feel free to ask questions - everyone on the forum is very helpful. But you might want to search past forum discussions to see if the topic has already been explored :wink:

    If you want to create a zettelkasten on a Windows-based machine, Obsidian and Zettlr seem to be the two most popular ways, although there are many others. I found Zettlr to be straight-forward and so we use that at work for collaborative work on zettelkastens. Personally, because I use the Mac, I'm passionate about The Archive.

    Sounds like you are off to a running start, but you will find that there is lots more to learn!

  • Welcome to the forums, Mohamad. I wish you luck with your note-taking adventures.

    I'm not familiar with David Kadavy, but I read Sönke Ahrens's book in 2018, and I've seen many extracts of the PDF produced by Dr. Daniel Lüdecke, not catching the reference. Thank you for the reference to Dr. Daniel Lüdecke's presentation. I think it will be worth focused digestion.

    Now is the time to make a note or two. Pick any tool and start. You can always export and import into another tool after a trial period. The danger is to hesitate until you find that super magical tool. Remember, it's not about the tool but capturing the zettel, which is a proxy for ideas.

    The Archive is a minimalist low, distraction zettelkasting tool incompatible with iOS. Some of us hope that never changes. I've heard good things about Obsidian and its integration with ANKI. Obsidian has a long learning curve, and I've seen people get lost in an endless setup and configuration of the software and its plugins and not become serious about zettelkasting.

    I love Dr. Daniel Lüdecke's pointers about "relationships of notes," "different relationship types," and "relationships of relationships." It is all about relationships. More and varied relationships between ideas create more and varied pathways for remembrance.

    When I first started, I tried Dr. Daniel Lüdecke's zkn3 as the software to host my ZK. I don't think it is compatible with iOS.

    Will Simpson
    My zettelkasten is for my ideas, not the ideas of others. I will try to remember this. I must keep doing my best even though I'm a failure. My peak cognition is behind me. One day soon, I will read my last book, write my last note, eat my last meal, and kiss my sweetie for the last time.

Sign In or Register to comment.