Zettelkasten Forum


Hello from Canada :)

Good afternoon folks! I'm Tracy, from Ontario, Canada.

I've been slowly familiarizing myself with some of the zettel intros, posts, and concepts, while also trying to be realistic and conscious about the way my brain works and what will be a sustainable habit to introduce into my existing notes system. Currently, my notes span across academia, professional work, personal stuff, grocery lists, conceptual ideas, project sketches/outlines, and even video game progress plans.

These notes are captured in Zotero attachments, paper bullet journals, google docs, iOS Notes App, liquidtext pdf editor, the reminders app... I don't think I'll be able to so cleanly bundle everything into one tool, but I like the idea of taking the things that really engage and interest me and giving them their own space in the archive so I can make cross-disciplinary connections or revelations!

I am afflicted with the "it needs to be perfect" to start with, and something I've been working on is just doing something "poorly" or "haphazardly" to get that attitude out of the way. My first zettel in the archive software was just me testing the archive syntax (which is new to me) and reflecting on how it feels with my style of note-taking.

Anyways, looking forward to learning more about zettelkasten, knowledge practices, my own brain processes, and the challenge of sorting, retaining, releasing, and integrating knowledge in a way that is helpful to my own goals :)

Comments

  • Welcome, @tracy_q. I'm originally from Barrie!

    Let me point you to Ira Glass on the secret of success in creative work..

    You could link to all the different apps you mention, and there is a simple way to connect digitally to paper.

    Well welcome. There is a ton to learn here. Following threads that focus on different software and workflows often leads to discoveries in incremental self-improvement. For example, check out @Sascha's discussion Processing: Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte — Zettelkasten Forum. I'm learning a bunch.

    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.
    kestrelcreek.com

  • @tracy_q said:
    Good afternoon folks! I'm Tracy, from Ontario, Canada.

    Hello - from another Canadian (west coast). Welcome to the forum and also to the start of an interesting and I hope enjoyable experience.

    I'm a tiny bit obsessive-compulsive when it comes to new projects, so I have over many years tried to train myself to do the opposite. That is - learn a little, enough to get started, then just get going. That process works well with building a Zettelkasten. You write a few zettels and some question pops up. What do you do? Come to the forum, have a look at the "getting started" section to see if it is a basic concept that is already covered, then search the forum for previous similar questions and discussions. If neither of those work, post a question. Everyone here is quite willing to help out.

    There are also many different and useful perspectives on how to do things, and many helpful tools, like @Will 's Keyboard Maestro macros:

    https://forum.zettelkasten.de/discussion/213/the-archive-keyboard-maestro-alfred-macros

    As the saying goes, "Rinse, repeat". Be patient with yourself. Don't expect overnight, flash in the pan results, but rather build your Zettelkasten and your understanding of ZK processes slowly. Accumulate knowledge, practice, get feedback (there is a post on the forum where you can share a zettel and get feedback on it), try out different things, find out what works for you, and enjoy yourself! I think the worst position a person can be in is to set an unrealistic schedule for developing ZK skills, although many feel forced to do it because of external drivers. But if you control the pace, than take it slow and easy. It's supposed to be fun! (At least, that's my philosophy).

  • I've been slowly familiarizing myself with some of the zettel intros, posts, and concepts, while also trying to be realistic and conscious about the way my brain works and what will be a sustainable habit to introduce into my existing notes system. Currently, my notes span across academia, professional work, personal stuff, grocery lists, conceptual ideas, project sketches/outlines, and even video game progress plans.

    This is perfect for the Zettelkasten since it does not care about the domain of the knowledge you put. :)

    I am afflicted with the "it needs to be perfect" to start with, and something I've been working on is just doing something "poorly" or "haphazardly" to get that attitude out of the way. My first zettel in the archive software was just me testing the archive syntax (which is new to me) and reflecting on how it feels with my style of note-taking.

    A tip for beginners: Don't start by theoretically learning. Start a enjoyable learning or writing project and start to flesh it out in your Zettelkasten. Then couple it with learning about the method and applying it step by step.

    The Zettelkasten scales to infinity. So, you can mess arround in one area with no damage to others. And you can always come back and clean up whatever you feel needs some cleaning up.

    I am a Zettler

  • Hello all, thank you for your warm welcome!

    @Will I'm in Brampton, so only an hour away from Barrie. Thank you for the links, I will have a look at those (once I am done my actual work for today though, that's my resolution haha)

    @Mike_Sanders Hello Mike, thanks for the welcome :)

    @GeoEng51 Hello in the west coast! You've really summarized some of my struggles with starting a project. I put too much pressure on myself to do it "correctly" which often leads to just... never starting. And of course it's always when there's external pressure, for example I'm starting it now with a deadline for a journal submission at the end of the month, and my anxiety about submitting to academic journals is definitely making me freeze up sometimes when it comes to setting and performing the actual small tasks that lead to a completed paper or essay. Thanks for the link I will check out Will's macros, I am still fiddling and figuring out the Archive ones.

    @Sascha Thank you for your tip! Actually, I tried once in the past by beginning to import academic notes into zettels and that attempt didn't last long. This time around I actually just started by writing some reminders, notes for experiments I want to try in the garden or with natural dye, thoughts on knowledge cycles and the way I think, and I am finding it easier to create them and learn as I go. For me, I get stuck in the theory often so I have to remember that understanding the theory is only as helpful as the way it furthers my practical progress. I can spend all my time understanding theory and then not get this submission in on time. Woops!

  • @tracy_q Maybe you shouldn't be trying to learn how to create and use a ZK when you are under pressure to submit a paper for publication. There is always focusing on the "normal" way you would do that and learning about ZK after you submit your paper / when you have less pressure on you.

    I feel your pain - I've published lots of technical papers in my field (geotechnical / geological engineering) and it was always a pressure cooker.

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