# [First Zettel] The reading of a text must be accompanied by notes and writing

Hey guys! I'm new to the forum and to all this Zettelkasten method. I've tried writing my first Zettel and I would apreciate if you could tell me what I can improve in it!

I've written it in Portuguese and auto-translated it to English using Google Translator (imma be honest here, I'm too lazy to translate it manually lol).

As a first try I used a post from this Zettelkasten website as a reference to it and based on what I understood, I wrote this:

**UUID:** 30122022224925
**Creation Date:** 12/30/2022 - 10:49 PM

# The reading of a text must be accompanied by notes and writing

Understanding the content of a text and absorbing the knowledge present in it only happens during the active stage of reading, which is taking notes and writing about the ideas that the text presents. In a passive reading, where the text is just read, the information is retained for a much smaller amount and time, in addition to the fact that the main ideas are not worked through the reader's knowledge.

Annotations allow ideas to flow and solidify in the reader's mind, allowing them to retain longer and be able to question them to lead to new questions and answers. Writing allows the connections of ideas to be transmitted in words to paper or document so that others can read, understand and process these ideas so that new connections are established.

---
Christian: **The Collector's Fallacy**. Zettelkasten. 2014, January 20. Available at: <https://zettelkasten.de/posts/collectors-fallacy/


• edited December 2022

@Iacillo

First off, I too am very new to zettelkasten, and am ill-equipped to offer advice, so please take my comment with a healthy dose of skepticism.

The one thing that I notice about this zettel, is a lack of [[cross links]]. You do have #tags in there which is good.

• It's difficoult to judge the zettelkasten of others :-)

Simply every zettelkasten has its own meaning and relevance for the person he write it.

Anyway, I think It'ok.

Maybe, maybe...

"Annotations allow ideas to flow and solidify in the reader's mind"

It could be the title of a note of its own. An independent thought.

But is a subjective issue, of course. You need not to follow this way :-).
Maybe your note will evolve on this way in the future, will evolve in another way.

• @Perry_Clayton

First off, I too am very new to zettelkasten, and am ill-equipped to offer advice, so please take my comment with a healthy dose of skepticism.

The one thing that I notice about this zettel, is a lack of [[cross links]]. You do have #tags in there which is good.

I appreciate your help. Don't be afraid at trying to help. It's not like I'm going to criticize you because of your response. I'm here as well to fail and learn from it.

I see what you mentioned: the lack of [[cross links]]. That's indeed true, there is like, none in my Zettel. I believe the way Zettelkasten works is by finding relationships between your Zettels and I'm looking forward to that. I'm still trying to improve my "idea fetch" skill to turn paragraphs into more notes and develop them more.

Yeah! I do find tags cool and I'm loving the way this works. I don't need to actually build an entire hierarchy system in order to select and organize my thoughts. They by themselves build the structure.

@andang76

@andang76 said:
It's difficoult to judge the zettelkasten of others :-)

Simply every zettelkasten has its own meaning and relevance for the person he write it.

Anyway, I think It'ok.

Maybe, maybe...

"Annotations allow ideas to flow and solidify in the reader's mind"

It could be the title of a note of its own. An independent thought.

But is a subjective issue, of course. You need not to follow this way :-).
Maybe your note will evolve on this way in the future, will evolve in another way.

Thank you for your help! ^-^

At first when I wrote it, it didn't mean a lot to me, I just put it there because I thought it would sound cool. But now that you mentioned it, it kinda gives a great note about how neural connections bennefit from notes.

And yeah! I did evolved it to something else actually, just so I could create others notes (which by now are 4!). The main purpose of this note was to mention active reading, so I made the title more clear and direct and also rewrote the entire note just so I could work around other subjects that are connected. Maybe I'm turning those as well into notes.

This is how it is now:

**UUID:** 30122022224925
**Creation Date:** 12/30/2022 - 10:49 PM

# The reading of a text must be actively developed

The active reading of a text allows a greater absorption of its knowledge. Working actively means rescuing the ideas related to that content, assimilating them and producing something with them, so that they become more solidified.

The action of taking notes activates brain connections and allows the reader to assimilate the contents. With this, ideas can have more connection strength, and therefore are retained for longer.

The ability to question these ideas only becomes possible when the reader assimilates them with some already known idea, which can generate a conflict or agreement between them. The presence of this imbalance or balance can cause new connections to be formed, as the reader begins to reflect on the causes, characteristics and consequences of this event.

---
Christian: **The Collector's Fallacy**. Zettelkasten. 2014, January 20. Available at: <<https://zettelkasten.de/posts/collectors-fallacy/>>.

• Wow! it is Nicely done. We are all beginners here. I only make these suggestions because you asked and intend only to stimulate ideas. It's funny how looking closely at your note encourages ideas in my brain bucket.

Impressive to have already edited the note. Let's talk about the second note.
I have a couple of formatting suggestions.
1. The header block, formally called the 'front matter' can be formatted within a YAML block. This block has specific formatting rules, but if formatted correctly, it does not print when the note is rendered.
2. I need clarification on your UID. First is the day, then the month, then the year; then what is '224925'? Is this a quarter of a second after 10:49 PM? These UIDs are busy enough without adding extras. Anyway, it is well past my bedtime.
3. The last section should be led with something other than three '-' because when the note is rendered, and you have correctly formatted YAML front matter, the three '-' fools with the preprocessing of the note.
4. I label this section of my notes "Works Cited" or "References" for future clarity.

I am looking at the meat of the note.
1. The title is better than the first. You started with the title and then forgot to ensure it matched the contents. The title is in the form of an admonishment which might be what you are after, but consider making the title an emphatic claim. Maybe Active Reading is Connecting Ideas'
2. The theme that runs through the three paragraphs is the power of ideas. Reading, capturing, and connecting them. Each of these could be linked to a more profound note with more ideas.

Will Simpson
The quality of our thinking is directly proportional to the quality of our reading. To think better, we must read better. - Rohan
kestrelcreek.com

• Hey there @Will! Thank you for taking your time to help me develop my note-taking skills and to improve my ZK, haha

There are some things on your response I would like to answer:

First, the software I use is Obsidian, and because of that there's no really use of a UUID, neither a header. I use it, however, because I think it's a good way for me to get organized.

The UUID is composed of the following informations: day, month, year, hour, minute and second. The 22 it's because I use the 24-hour system. When the note went trough the translator, it might have converted the time in the date section into the 12-hour system.

I understand what you mentioned about the last section to be better readable with a heading and I already did the modification. To be honest, it now looks better than before. Thank you for the tip

Oh, and I didn't quite undertand what you meant in the second item. What do you mean by "power of ideas", could you please explain me so I can understand better?

• edited January 1

@Iacillo said:
Oh, and I didn't quite understand what you meant by the second item. What do you mean by "power of ideas", could you please explain to me so I can understand better?

"The theme that runs through the three paragraphs is the power of ideas. Reading, capturing, and connecting them. Each of these could be linked to a more profound note with more ideas."

In your first paragraph, you talk about the power of reading, in the next, you talk about the power of assimilation (capturing); and in the last, you speak about the power of connection. This is how I read this note. All these ideas fit under the "power of ideas" umbrella.

This is a great note as-is. The future will bring detailed links in each of these areas—no need to worry about this now. Yesterday I linked a note that I was in the process of creating to a note from 2018! Who knew back then about the 2018's note potential?

First, the software I use is Obsidian, and because of that there's no really use of a UUID, neither a header. I use it, however, because I think it's a good way for me to get organized.

Obsidian does use a UUID but it hides it from the user. As an application is tracks a lot of meta data bout your notes.

Will Simpson
The quality of our thinking is directly proportional to the quality of our reading. To think better, we must read better. - Rohan
kestrelcreek.com

• First: Welcome to the Zettelkasten world!

With your Zettel updated already, I would like to point out the future potential for references in this note.

If there's only 1 note, then you can't add links to any other, of course. But if you are curious about the topic and want to go deeper, each of your paragraphs contains claims that you could checked and harden.

Maybe me pointing at some factual statements that would have a [needs citation]` tag on Wikipedia can help you recognize how to grow an organic information network. Recognizing such opportunities makes it easier to continue writing and researching.

Take this one:

The action of taking notes activates brain connections and allows the reader to assimilate the contents. With this, ideas can have more connection strength, and therefore are retained for longer.

There is potential to go deeper on any of these, and with your growing knowledge, rewrite them in more technical terms:

• retain time correlates with brain connection strength
• note-taking enables content assimilation
• note-taking activates brain connections

That's not a must, because your Zettelkasten doesn't care if you put in a cooking recipe that doesn't need explanation what a "banana" is, or if you do top of the field research. So if you're into that kind of stuff, you will eventually have notes that provide some kind of evidence or refutation of your note here, and then you can come back and add links to them.

Nevermind that my original article doesn't have any of that sort

Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

• In Luhmann's essay on reading, he states

This leads to another question: what are we to do with what we have written down? Certainly, at first we will produce mostly garbage. But we have been educated to expect something useful from our activities and soon lose confidence if nothing useful seems to result. We should therefore reflect on whether and how we arrange our notes so that they are available for later access.

I would be aware that you will likely produce garbage as you get the hang of things, so don't give up!

• Luhmann likened the ordered disorder of his Zettelkaste to a garbage bin. So, it is a bit more optimistic behind the curtain.

I am a Zettler