How to Make Notes and Write, a handbook by Dan Allosso and S.F. Allosso
As there aren't many modern manuals on zettelkasten-style note making, its always interesting to see new ones pop up in the space.
Dan Allosso has finished a major rewrite on his and S.F. Allosso’s earlier edition of A Short Handbook for writing essays in the Humanities and Social Sciences. This expanded edition has several new chapters on note making (notice that this is dramatically different than note taking) using a zettelkasten-based (or card index or fichier boîte if you prefer) approach similar to that practiced by Beatrice Webb, Marcel Mauss, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Roland Barthes, Hans Blumenberg, Mortimer J. Adler, and Walter Benjamin among many others.
The focus of the book is on note making for actively producing tangible outputs (essays, papers, theses, monographs, books, etc.). The first half discusses note making practice while the second half focuses more on writing, style, clarity, etc. While ostensibly focused on the humanities and social sciences in terms of examples, the methods broadly apply to all fields.
His presentation of zettelkasten method is briefer and potentially a bit clearer than that in Ahrens' text. Allosso also provides a somewhat different, but useful framing (source notes, point notes) and set of definitions to Ahrens (fleeting notes, literature notes, permanent notes) and others. Allosso’s version may be more easily realized by new practitioners.
How to Make Notes and Write is available at Minnesota State’s Pressbooks site for reading online, or download as a .pdf or .epub. If you’d like a physical copy, they’re also available for purchase on Amazon.
Dr. Allosso has also been making a series of YouTube videos of himself reading the book aloud for those who'd prefer to watch/listen to the book.
(Chapter 2 is on Vimeo)
For those in the educational spaces, Dr. Allosso has given the book a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0), so that people can use it as an Open Educational Resource (OER) in their classes and work.
For teachers who are using social annotation with tools like Hypothes.is in their classrooms, Allosso’s book is an excellent resource for what students can actively do with all those annotations once they’ve made them.