# Folgezettel and how to implement it in Obsidian?

edited August 11

Hi, I was reading "A System for Writing" by Bob Doto and in the book, he specifically introduce the Folgezettel system.

I totally understand it was probably another name for sequence notes in Zettel, my question is, if I were to do this, and how do I know if the number I give to a note is occupied? He wrote in the book that "There are no “occupied slots,” because there is no prescribed order." but if that's the case, does it mean I can have two note share the same number , say "1.1 apple is edible" and "1.1 Elephant is large mammal"? My current thought on a work around is to put that number after a UID, say yyyyMMddHHmmss and a "-" and after that begin the number sequence.

Not sure If I explain my question properly, wish you all good luck.

• In a paper-system, you would write the card, leaf through your notes until you find a good spot, then put the ID on it to denote its location right there.

On computers in general, we're far too keen on creating a new file and saving it, out of context, with a unique name that identifies the file by its contents. With a Zettelkasten you get better results when you look for contexts to weave the new knowledge in, first. With Folgezettel-IDs, that's a must, even.

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

• @ctietze said:
With Folgezettel-IDs, that's a must, even.

To add to that: It is a weak must. Not having a clear idea on the scope of your ZK means that you might tend to start a lot of categories. I can't remember how my own analog ZK looked like. But I used it to a very narrow and focussed set of topics.

But if you take Luhmann as a use case: His first ZK had over a 100 first notes (~categories) and his second only had 11 (10 if you don't count "ad hoc notes"). This leads me to the hypothesis that the forcing function is rather weak. It fits to the character of the type of connection created by the Folgezettel: It is rather a connection that represents an at the moment association. This is temporary context that will get lost over time (most of the time, within weeks): You always need to re-construct why you put the note at this particular place.

This is fine for quite some use cases, I think Luhmann's use of the ZK is a good use case for that. The Folgezettel structure is pretty chaotic. Chaos is a relational trait between the entity you are observing and yourself.

how do I know if the number I give to a note is occupied?

I am a Zettler

• @Jackhansonc This is very easy to do in digital systems. Preface your note with your UID, list all of them by filename order and you will immediately see where things can go.

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

PKM: Bear + DEVONthink, tasks: OmniFocus, production: Scrivener / Ableton Live.

• @Jackhansonc said:
I totally understand it was probably another name for sequence notes in Zettel, my question is, if I were to do this, and how do I know if the number I give to a note is occupied?

In Obsidian you don't need UIDs to capture the Folgezettel structure. You could do it with links in YAML frontmatter:





When you open the previous Zettel, you can see all the following Zettels as backlinks (requires core plugin Backlinks.)

This approach doesn't require a particular numbering scheme. It works with UUIDs, date IDs, Luhmann numbers, … And it works with filenames that are just words or phrases.

But it does require unique filenames. In Obsidian you can use the Quick Switcher to quickly check if a filename exists already.