Zettelkasten Forum


Share with us what is happening in your ZK this week. April 2, 2024

Swimming with Ideas

This is yet another opportunity to share with your friends what you are working on. Add to this discussion by telling us about your zettelkasten journey. Share with us what you're learning. Sharing helps me and, hopefully, you, too. It helps us clarify our goals and visualize our thinking. And sometimes, a conversation sparks a magical moment where we can dive into an idea worth exploring. We'd love to hear more from you. 🫵🏼

Ideas I'm exploring with my ZK:

  • I'm thinking a lot about metaphors and how they shape language. How they are used to communicate ideas. How they are used in ideation.
  • I'm reexamining how I can refactor my structure notes, transforming them into thinking tools. What does this mean, and how can I formalize this for myself?
  • I am integrating the project-driven areas of my life into my ZK. This week, my attention turned to melding my Samu Practice into my ZK, hoping for some serendipitical magic.
  • Time slicing

Books I'm reading:

  • Sertillanges, A. G. and Ryan, Mary. The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods. 1987. PDF https://forum.zettelkasten.de/discussion/comment/19945/#Comment_19945
  • Doty, M. (2010). The art of description: World into word. Graywolf Press. Kindle [[202403201942]]
  • Draper, Sharon M. Out of My Mind. 2012. YAL
  • Inciting Joy. Ross Gay Libby Audiobook [[202403292012]]

Music I'm listening to:

A look at this week's ZK work themes:

3 zettel - meta zettelkasting
4 zettel - metaphoric ideation
2 zettel - Ed-Curriculum & Instruction (EDCI445)
10 zettel - captured new and novel ideas

★★★★★

The "My rolling ten-day zettel production" is produced by a script for attachment to my daily journaling template. I do my journaling in Bear to keep personal journaling separate from my knowledge work.

Let me know if you would like to discuss any of these notes.


My ten day zettel production

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.
kestrelcreek.com

Comments

  • Hi @Will :)

    I'm thinking a lot about metaphors and how they shape language. How they are used to communicate ideas. How they are used in ideation.

    Do you have some examples to share? I am really interested by this subject, it's a symbolic approach of language with the imagination leverage.

    And I love Hania Rani =^^=

    This week, I worked with a new version of my Zettelkasten. I used to hand-write a lot in 2023 on my notebook and I tested Zettelkasten on A6 index cards. I stopped some monthes ago to try another time on computer : writting by hand is quite slow and I lost myself in too much complexity. However I liked the material existence of my notes, the way I can put in on my desk to compare, articulate and play with notes and ideas.

    So, I give a new try. I give myself two monthes to see if paper ZK suits me.

    I choose a folgezettel approach to keep related cards together into my boxes. I make index cards, topic cards. My workflow is straight forwards : I take notes on my notebook, I play with it, I think about Zettels I can make of it and I grab some cards and here I go.

    What my notes were this week?

    • The global thinking about my fictions works and autobiography which leads me to write about awareness of how my mind works and how I grasp this functioning influences my writings.
    • I am writing a videogame scenario, so I make fictions studies and videogames, as an inspiration but also from a marketing point of view. Right now, I am studying Disco Elysium, a really interesting games. I like the way narrator's voice incarnate some parts of the main character's voice. For example, while the MC talks to someone, there is an inner dialogue with Authority, which tells to the MJ to say something, while Empathy tells otherwise.
    • I re-discover a lot of my writings and journaling it is really revelating about my intense last year.
  • @Loni said:
    Hi @Will :)

    I'm thinking a lot about metaphors, how they shape language, how they communicate ideas, and how they are used in ideation.

    Do you have some examples to share? I am really interested in this subject; it's a symbolic approach to language with the imagination leverage.

    >

    I'm not sure if this is what you had in mind. I just asked my ZK to tell me what I could share from the notes I have currently in my 'proofing oven.'

    The poet Mark Doty, in his book The Art of Description described some deep and penetrating ideas about the metaphor experience:

    • Metaphor introduces tension and polarity to language. (80)
    • Metaphor’s distancing aspect may allow us to speak more freely. (80)
    • A metaphor is an act of inquiry (not an expression of what we already know). (81)

    Metaphoric levers. Things get pushed on and pulled here and there by the actions of levers. Ideas are metaphorically acted on by various push and pull, positive and negative, virtuous and evil 'levers.'

    In literature, metaphoric levers are pulled by authors to do a variety of things.
    1. Change narrative direction
    2. Highlight undercurrents
    3. Develop characters
    4. Switch between key events

    • A lever is not just a rigid beam pivoting on a fixed fulcrum but a metaphor that can imply action.

    • The etymology of the word lever reflects not only the physical act of lifting but also hints at the elevation of ideas.

    • The ideation lever is an insight that can be used to elevate or shift thinking. Finding the idea's pivotal point can elevate the endeavor with minimal effort.

    • Metaphors give structure to our ideas, perceptions, and interactions.

    • The Iceberg Theory of the Zettelkasten Method—Exploring the Depths—Zettelkasten Forum led me here. Something triggered my spider senses when I saw the table showing the mapping of metaphors using Love is a Journey from Vyvyan Evans's Cognitive Linguistics: A Complete Guide (2019).

    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.
    kestrelcreek.com

  • edited April 4

    I am experimenting with a more agile journaling / random thought capture process akin to Roam's daily notes to free my thinking and alleviate any kind of Zettelkasten maintenance. I love writing on anything but my mind has too many ideas for rigorous Zettelling. And yet Zettelling is fabulous for accruing insight. So I'm trying to find a way to Zettel stuff properly while reducing as much friction as possible, also while capturing stuff in a dedicated diary, akin to writer's classical notebooks, but digital, like an incubation chamber for ulterior, proper Zettels. I think in writing, so I need to write a ton to distill ideas concisely.

    In the same vein, I am thinking of going Folgezettel, because it implies at least one link in an easier way that what I'm doing with UIDs.

    "A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it." - Ernest Hemingway

    Zettelkasten: Bear + DEVONthink, GTD: OmniFocus, production: Scrivener / Ableton Live.

  • @KillerWhale

    I am experimenting with a more agile journaling / random thought capture process akin to Roam's daily notes to free my thinking and alleviate any kind of Zettelkasten maintenan

    I'm home alone for a few short weeks and picked up a daily note as a capturing target.

    Not in my Zettelkasten, but in a different folder (and with a different tool) just to make sure I capture things that nag me, quickly, lest they tug on my consciousness all the time. Includes short exercise logs, private matters that pop up when they pop up. Have only produced one Zettel from these, though, after a conversation :)

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

  • @ctietze said:

    I'm home alone for a few short weeks and picked up a daily note as a capturing target.

    Thanks for sharing! You never get that feeling of wanting to ramble a bit more, like in journaling? I find that I often get beginnings of snippets of concepts about things that nag me and I can't help but keep thinking about (I can't for the life of me meditate 😆). And I want to capture them. Often, they're just bits of thinking that move me forward, but sorting them and making sense of them is huge work. I'm kind of hoping that a daily note gives me a place to put all of that and, if I tag it correctly, I can get back to it and over time make sense of it, instead of having it all lost or totally unprocessed.

    Does your daily note want to become more sometimes?

    "A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it." - Ernest Hemingway

    Zettelkasten: Bear + DEVONthink, GTD: OmniFocus, production: Scrivener / Ableton Live.

  • @KillerWhale yes.

    @KillerWhale said:
    Does your daily note want to become more sometimes?

    I'm an incurable journaler. I used paper back in the day when it was cool to be seen scribbling in a notebook. Then, around 2007, I upgraded to Evernote, following all the cool kids in my tech shop. Evernote and I had a falling out in 2020, so I switched to Bear. Now, who cares what others think? This is where I choose to keep all my daily journaling vomit. Most of the mess I call journaling is best kept out of my ZK.

    I can freely link specific notes back and forth between Bear and my ZK. This is super important. There are many examples, but one is in the post above. The rolling 10-day zettel production is used as part of my review process and is a zettel listing in my Bear journaling template.

    I also recommend doing a specific targeted type of journaling in your ZK. I call mine a "Deep Think Retreat." I hope you get the idea from the title. I time these and used to try to do them once a week for an hour. Now, I do them more frequently in less time. This is a thinking tool I adopted from Cal Newport and his book Deep Work. This is the only "journaling" that makes it into my ZK. I try to follow a prompt for each session and avoid as much stream-of-consciousness diarrhea as possible. I shouldn't be surprised that deep thinking messes with, and helps cement what is active in my ZK.

    I use prompts like:
    1. Which of my projects currently brings me the most joy and fulfillment? Why?
    2. What new skills or knowledge do I need to acquire to further my interests, and how can I learn them?
    3. What is the common thread that connects my current interests in young adult literature, woodworking, and writing?

    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.
    kestrelcreek.com

  • edited April 5

    @KillerWhale said:
    Thanks for sharing! You never get that feeling of wanting to ramble a bit more, like in journaling? ...

    Does your daily note want to become more sometimes?

    Not really, at least not at the moment.

    I tried "morning pages" for a couple of months and just let it flow, and overall it was awful. I tended to focus more on negative things and that ruined the mood for the day actually.

    I go more into detail when something emotional/private/family stuff needs to be clarified in my head.

    Here's an example of a whole day of nothing but 2 notes, one gratitude thingie and a short reminder to myself to tell other developers when I like their work:

    This goes on for longer than I remembered :) One with more items, just short technical ones:

    The topics there after a couple of days culminated in a Zoom call and then a Zettel about all the insights.

    The rendition is super ugly because I increased the font to use these first level items as headings in almost all other cases, but here it doesn't really work. But I don't mind, I'm just ashamed to share these typography crimes ;)

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

  • @Will said:

    @Loni said:
    Hi @Will :)

    I'm thinking a lot about metaphors, how they shape language, how they communicate ideas, and how they are used in ideation.

    Do you have some examples to share? I am really interested in this subject; it's a symbolic approach to language with the imagination leverage.

    >

    I'm not sure if this is what you had in mind. I just asked my ZK to tell me what I could share from the notes I have currently in my 'proofing oven.'

    The poet Mark Doty, in his book The Art of Description described some deep and penetrating ideas about the metaphor experience:

    • Metaphor introduces tension and polarity to language. (80)
    • Metaphor’s distancing aspect may allow us to speak more freely. (80)
    • A metaphor is an act of inquiry (not an expression of what we already know). (81)

    Metaphoric levers. Things get pushed on and pulled here and there by the actions of levers. Ideas are metaphorically acted on by various push and pull, positive and negative, virtuous and evil 'levers.'

    In literature, metaphoric levers are pulled by authors to do a variety of things.
    1. Change narrative direction
    2. Highlight undercurrents
    3. Develop characters
    4. Switch between key events

    • A lever is not just a rigid beam pivoting on a fixed fulcrum but a metaphor that can imply action.

    • The etymology of the word lever reflects not only the physical act of lifting but also hints at the elevation of ideas.

    • The ideation lever is an insight that can be used to elevate or shift thinking. Finding the idea's pivotal point can elevate the endeavor with minimal effort.

    • Metaphors give structure to our ideas, perceptions, and interactions.

    • The Iceberg Theory of the Zettelkasten Method—Exploring the Depths—Zettelkasten Forum led me here. Something triggered my spider senses when I saw the table showing the mapping of metaphors using Love is a Journey from Vyvyan Evans's Cognitive Linguistics: A Complete Guide (2019).

    Thank you a lot for sharing!
    As I can see, you talk about metaphors as models to conceptualize the world or a situation, functional levers into fiction. I also like the table you share from the forum. It rings a bell!

    I like to work with metaphors from a symbolic point of view, as it can be really visual and calling for spirituality. For examples, some central american tribes saw butterflies as souls of fallen warriors. We can see totems animals as metaphor of the social role and place of someone, and their characterisation.

    @KillerWhale

    Thanks for sharing! You never get that feeling of wanting to ramble a bit more, like in journaling? I find that I often get beginnings of snippets of concepts about things that nag me and I can't help but keep thinking about (I can't for the life of me meditate 😆). And I want to capture them. Often, they're just bits of thinking that move me forward, but sorting them and making sense of them is huge work. I'm kind of hoping that a daily note gives me a place to put all of that and, if I tag it correctly, I can get back to it and over time make sense of it, instead of having it all lost or totally unprocessed.

    Does your daily note want to become more sometimes?

    I use journals a lot. I often scribble some burning questions, observations, lead or insights in there. I write to solve problems I can encounter in my everyday life. Some of this scribblings become beginning of zettels.

  • Things are changing in my goals and in my work. I am aiming to bring structure and discipline to my gap year studies. My mind's chatter finally decreased a little bit.

    Ideas I'm exploring with my ZK:

    • Building a narrative in my ZK for my writing sample about DID and additive consciousness: fMRI studies and network analyses for DID, current controversies in consciousness research & the easy problem of Chalmers'
    • Meta-Research: How philosophical psychology differ from philosophy and psychology
    • Meta-ZK: Analytic philosophy analysis method and Bianca's Objects of Attention idea to write better.

    Books I'm reading:

    • Analytic Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction
    • Consciousness (SEP)
    • Attention: Philosophical & Psychological Essays
    • Antifragile

    Selen. Psychology freak. https://twitter.com/neuro__flow

    “You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.”

    ― Ursula K. Le Guin

  • edited April 6

    I took two-three days for recover my old notes about use of folders, tags and links for building a solid guideline principles map for information architecture of my note system.

    It has been a shock to notice the very different results I've obtained restarting from the same sources and developing thoughts in this second try.
    Many months ago I had a couple of notes full of cut and paste of texts and links from articles and forums posts, now I've built a network of 209 notes counting zettels and structure notes. More important, now I think I've reached a great mastery about the use of these constructs (even I think is still very personal, tailored about my own context).

    Zettelkasten is like throwing 1kg of yeast in a tub full of flour

  • @andang76 said:
    It has been a shock to notice the very different results I've obtained restarting from the same sources and developing thoughts in this second try.
    Many months ago I had a couple of notes full of cut and paste of texts and links from articles and forums posts, now I've built a network of 209 notes counting zettels and structure notes. More important, now I think I've reached a great mastery about the use of these constructs (even I think is still very personal, tailored about my own context).

    Congratulations! 😎 This sounds like a huge win. I'm a bit jealous.

    Zettelkasten is like throwing 1kg of yeast in a tub full of flour.

    I love this metaphor for a ZK. This is how I feel about my ZK. So much so that I labeled my inbox as "#proofing," a nod to the bread baker's proofing oven, where the dough rises, I reserve this area for immature zettel.

    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.
    kestrelcreek.com

  • Thank you @ctietze @Loni and @Will . I'm increasingly getting the feeling some kind of that workflow is what I need to achieve the balance between structured and roaming (pun intended) thinking.

    I am getting to that (although it makes me reconsider my software choices to do best at this). My issue has never been getting to write or think, but rather where to put the endless wanderings and attempt to leverage them later. Regarding this:

    @Will said:

    I can freely link specific notes back and forth between Bear and my ZK. This is super important.

    What are you doing software-wise, is everything stored in Bear? I am seeing a lot of potential value of having on app for all, with distinct areas of course (journal Vs. Zettelkasten) as it allows for reflexion and Zettels to grow organically from the fertile ground of journaling.

    "A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it." - Ernest Hemingway

    Zettelkasten: Bear + DEVONthink, GTD: OmniFocus, production: Scrivener / Ableton Live.

  • @KillerWhale said:
    What are you doing software-wise, is everything stored in Bear?

    No.

    What do you mean by 'everything'?

    Keep all your knowledge work separate from your personal journaling and life dashboard. Pick applications that allow your notes and journal entries to link freely. Bear has a pretty good web clipper.

    Use the best application for the task at hand.

    I constantly keep these apps open.

    • The Archive
    • Bear
    • Zotero
    • Keyboard Maestro
    • Taskpaper
    • PDF Expert
    • Chrome
    • Spotify
    • Finder

    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.
    kestrelcreek.com

  • @Will said:

    What do you mean by 'everything'?

    Journaling and knowledge work. So you answered; you don't – thanks for that.

    I have long thought that way. But I use my notes mostly for two things: art (which is my job) and personal development (which is also my job, albeit in a vastly different way 😆)

    I am increasingly believing that having both in the same place fosters serendipity, freedom of thought and therefore accrues knowledge in the end… In a Roam-esque way. At least I find myself thirsting for such a workflow at the moment, so as to be more agile. Like emulating the writers' notebooks of old.

    Maybe I'm mistaken: I will report back.

    "A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it." - Ernest Hemingway

    Zettelkasten: Bear + DEVONthink, GTD: OmniFocus, production: Scrivener / Ableton Live.

  • @KillerWhale said:

    @Will said:

    What do you mean by 'everything'?

    Journaling and knowledge work. So you answered; you don't – thanks for that.

    I have long thought that way. But I use my notes mostly for two things: art (which is my job) and personal development (which is also my job, albeit in a vastly different way 😆)

    I am increasingly believing that having both in the same place fosters serendipity, freedom of thought and therefore accrues knowledge in the end… In a Roam-esque way. At least I find myself thirsting for such a workflow at the moment, so as to be more agile. Like emulating the writers' notebooks of old.

    Maybe I'm mistaken: I will report back.

    If I can give an paper example : I don't keep my journal with me notes. Even when I didn't have time to Zettelkastening, I kept my journal separated from my more formal notes.

    However, I always have a "weekly check up" to scan my journal and see if something sparkle. I open the journal, I take my ZK and I create something from here.

    As an artist and a writer myself, I also have "mood notes" about how something makes me feel, if I like it or why I dislike it, if I can re-use it as a reference, an example, an inspiration, if some artist triggers ideas and ideas as well. Maybe you have this kind of thinking while thinking "out of loud" in your journal and you see their potential as Zettels, and if this is the case, I totally agree with you.

    What I would do is creating a new format into my Zettelkasten as a "daily page" where I put every single thoughts, like a journal entry. This is kind of similar of my "stream of thoughts" I have, but a SoT is related to a particular subject, not a daily entry, but this is a sister idea.

  • @KillerWhale said:

    I am increasingly believing that having both in the same place fosters serendipity, freedom of thought and therefore accrues knowledge in the end… In a Roam-esque way. At least I find myself thirsting for such a workflow at the moment, so as to be more agile. Like emulating the writers' notebooks of old.

    I started journaling in the Archive and initial had two archives but found the switching back and forth an impediment to cross-pollination. I often explore ideas and insights in my journal that seem more properly to belong in my 'actual' ZK,' and so, with inspiration and courage derived from this post by Sascha, I put both ZK and journal into the same archive.

    So far I've been pleased with the results.

    Started ZK 4.2018. "The path is at your feet, see? Now carry on."

  • @Phil said:
    I started journaling in the Archive and initial had two archives but found the switching back and forth an impediment to cross-pollination. I often explore ideas and insights in my journal that seem more properly to belong in my 'actual' ZK,' and so, with inspiration and courage derived from this post by Sascha, I put both ZK and journal into the same archive.

    So far I've been pleased with the results.

    Good for you, @Phil - that seems to me to be a most reasonable and effective approach, and I'm happy to hear it is working well for you.

  • Thanks, @Phil and @Loni . Loni: this is exactly what I was thinking about – snippets of ideas, reflexions on works I've just experienced, which may not be worth the work for a proper Zettel (and I don't even know what the idea is yet anyway) but, by making the effort of writing them down, they remain somewhat and can somewhat be built upon.

    I'm very intent in building that kind of workflow at the moment, but I want to be something extremely fast and easy to retrieve. Will report back in the next weeks 🙂

    "A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it." - Ernest Hemingway

    Zettelkasten: Bear + DEVONthink, GTD: OmniFocus, production: Scrivener / Ableton Live.

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