Zettelkasten Forum

Reference and Development. That is all. (or not?)

Love this simple idea of distinguishing only 2 different types of notes, by David Spark. You can listen to him on this audio excerpt by the SNIPD app https://share.snipd.com/snip/4ade86c1-2516-4fda-8d76-c56ed5b97253

David Delgado Vendrell


  • edited August 2023

    An example of simplification:

    dragon (reference)

    • literature note
    • reference note
    • voice note
    • meeting note

    jeweller (development)

    • hypothesis
    • evidence
    • claim
    • question
    • thought
    • hub note
    • atomic note
    • action note
    • review note
    • fleeting note

    Notes like evidence, claims, questions, and reviews may not see further manipulation, but they do capture key insights and ideas, not just factual information. So they align more with the "development" intent than pure reference.

    I've been struggling with a mess of Zettelkasten and Evergreen hybrid and customized categories... that ultimately created some paralysis.

    Since most of my work tasks belong to the realm of engineering and consultant projects, I've had doubts about how to take the most out of the notes taken during the performance of such projects. Dragons are there since we reference many things that become resources for those action packages. But at the same time, we develop ideas relying on writing them down. Therefore, Jewellers?

    I feel too influenced by the idea that Jeweller / Development is aimed at notes aspiring to become an essay, rather than a simple room for writing on "work in progress" while working on a project.

    David Delgado Vendrell

  • @daviddelven, please take what I'm saying as the musings of a humble old man who does not want to pile more embarrassment on top of his current compost heap. I hope that I have not misinterpreted the thread of your post. Cast off the contents if they miss the mark.

    I like your metaphor of the Dragon and the Jeweler. I've added to my growing list of zettelkasting metaphors. I'll expand on it more as I see it fitting our quest.

    The Dragon actively gobbles any meal/idea that comes close. He captures them with passion. With a vengeance. He doesn't let any escape.

    The Jeweler refines ideas into gems. The Jeweler slowly and thoughtfully reviews ideas, molding them into something worth sharing. He gives each
    a different level of work. He sees each as unique.

    Important considerations that will alleviate some of the tension:

    1. Not every idea warrants the Jeweler's full attention. Some ideas deserve polishing roughly, and others want to be finely polished for publication.
    2. What classifies as a project/consulting idea that the Dragon scoops up may want a different jeweler's attention than an idea struck via a conversation.
    3. Worrying about the Jeweler's role is not helpful. Time will pass, and skills will be developed if we practice.
    4. The Dragon doesn't discriminate or categorize his meals/ideas, nor should we impose our preconceived notions on capturing ideas. Trying to fit a ZK into our preconceived notions is a recipe for hesitation, procrastination, and paralysis.
    5. Some work projects might be exceptions. I'd suggest working in this arena as work and not classical knowledge growth.

    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.

  • edited August 2023

    @Will Hi! Thanks for taking the time to think about this. It is not my idea, it is David Spark's one shared on the referenced podcast above.

    It's been wonderful reading your reply to the story of a Dragon and a Jeweller.

    The idea of splitting what you call "work projects" from what we could call "classical knowledge growth" might apply to reduce tension. But I never liked to define those silos between personal, work, etc... Knowledge is where our valuable stuff resides, no matter if it is work or thinking-related.

    It seems that a Jeweller is aimed to work only in a pristine ecosystem, rather than involved in a pressured room due to project dynamics.


    David Delgado Vendrell

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