Zettelkasten Forum

Use Case: How would you capture this finding in your Zettelkasten?

I have a specific example for a concept I want to capture within my Zettelkasten, but I'm having a hard time identifying how to go about it.


I'm reading my book on product management when I encounter this infographic which essentially summarizes the entire book in one image.

I'm ECSTATIC! This contains each of the individual pieces of the system (atomic ideas). But then my enthusiasm dies down as I realize this image is essentially MULTIPLE ideas in one graphic, triggering analysis paralysis as I consider how to capture this within my Obsidian-based Zettelkasten.


Before you read on, pretend you ran into this information. Your goal is to use your Zettelkasten to help you write strategy documents for your company AND to write articles for product managers in startups to help them launch better products.

How would YOU capture the gold within this infographic within your Zettelkasten?


Now that you've considered your own solutions, here's a few I thought of.

  1. Create one Obsidian Canvas, capturing the entire infographic (a Card for each part of the flowchart and each checklist). Then begin creating Zettels or linking existing Zettels for each individual component, replacing each Card with a Note instead as I go.
    • Technically, this option violates the "Atomic Notes" rule since my first Zettel would be this full infographic - I'd be essentially capturing a contextualized idea, then breaking it down, which may not yield surprise insights as going bottom-up should.
  2. Create an Overview Zettel (simple text file) with each item written out, then use this Overview Zettel to create individual Zettels from there.
    • Same concept as #1, but in a text file rather than a Canvas.
  3. Keep this infographic in my Lit Note (aka Reference) and create individual zettels as I go.

Does one of these align with what you would do? If so, which one and why? If not, how would your approach differ from any of mine?

Thanks in advance!


  • edited May 2023


    Post edited by ceaf on
  • I would copy the image into a literature note (on Google drive) and then list the important things from it I wanted to find later. (Super easy by searching the Zettelkasten file in my Google drive!) Any particularly important idea that popped into my mind while doing that would probably become a fleeting note linked to the lit note.

  • @Mach3Maelstrom, I use The Archive to house my ZK, so you'd have to extrapolate from what I show.

    I'd make a MOC note with the infographic attached. This becomes a group note sequence that, over time, becomes more and more integrated into my ZK. Below is the MOC note and the Idea Explorer for Availability Heuristic 201910291924, one of the notes in this MOC note, which shows the deep and ongoing integration this type of refactoring of an idea leads to.

    If the ideas are exciting enough, this treatment is fun and rewarding.

    Will Simpson
    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.

  • If I wouldn't be able to improve on this infographic, I'd use it directly on a note as a guiding structure (Just copy and paste as it is) and then use it to branch out to explore the individual concepts brought together by this infographic.

    I am a Zettler

  • edited May 2023

    How would YOU capture the gold within this infographic within your Zettelkasten?

    I'd use OCR to extract texts from the image. (CleanShot X, TextSniper, free TRex all work.)

    I'd start with the simple parts: the 5 lists at the bottom, copying what they contain.
    Because I don't know the rest of the book and personally have nothing to add, I'd to this in a blockquote to make sure future-me knows it's not mine.

    If I had something to add, I'd likely do so as a level-two list item, and opt for not quoting the lists for cleanliness, but add citations to each line instead.

    ## Plan & Prioritize  ➊
    - Prioritize Opportunities[][#foomcbar12334] ➋
    - Produce Opportunity Statement[][#foomcbar12334]
        - An "opportunity statement" is a positive reframing[[123456789012]] of the problem analysis[[9876123347755]] ➌
    - Shape Value Proposition[][#foomcbar12334]

    ➊ is the heading, verbatim. I'd maybe not add a citation here and instead at the top of the note add a table-of-content like list of the 5 section headings according to the graphic by Foo McBar or whatshername and cite there;
    ➋ is one of the items taken from the list, with citation; and
    ➌ is something from me I want to add to this overview to dig deeper and link to existing ideas.

    This structure note (overview) would likely grow as I add more and more details.

    The graphic at the top of the photo would be a nice "header" to the note. I'd keep that as a picture -- just the rounded rectangle with the arrows.

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

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