Zettelkasten Forum


A subtle look into how Luhmann likely made references between his two slip-boxes

At first this was gonna be a question, but I looked a little further and realized the subtleties:

You ever notice in the two ZKs Luhmann worked on he indexed notes in both of his boxes 1-N?

Ex. So, a card labeled 1 or 1-6 can essentially be found in both boxes.

What's different, fascinatingly, is how he wrote them.

In his first ZK, we saw him use a comma "," (or in English, the period ".") to branch his notes, but with the second one he used the slash "/". That way he can account for notecards 1.6 and 1/6 to co-exist in his wider note-card system.

Luhmann probably would have changed it up if he wanted in a digital system, but I cannot blame him for taking the easy way out in that switch up. It was a good way to start over but leave no zettels behind. With that being said, even if he lived a lot longer, I'm not sure he would have opted to start a 3rd physical box.


(Rather minor, but I wasn't sure if this fits more in "Workflows" or "The Zettelkasten Method" category. It was kind of a toss up for me.)

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