Zettelkasten Forum


I am an solopreneur dividing my time between music (a guitarist and a guitar teacher) and IT (sysadmin, consulting, teaching IT and electronic music stuff).

I stumbled upon Zettelkasten by discovering Sönke Ahrens' book How To Take Smart Notes. I did some googling and found zettelkasten.de and have been a reader of the site for a month or so.

Sönke Ahrens' book was an eye-opener in the sense that I understood two things: a) that I had to formulate my own notes in my own words - that reading alone would not cut it anymore (I have been having too much vain pride in my memory, which of course as I get older is not so super anymore) so highlighting was out, and b) categories and hierarchical folders don't work (that great, anyway) for notes, hence Zettelkasten. I looked into Ahrens' recommended software, but decided against it as Zkn3 uses java (which I actively do not like) and also because Zkn3 seems to have stopped updating.

My previous foray into systematic notetaking was with Tiago Forte's system Building A Second Brain. I still like it a lot, but the categories became a bit unwieldy for me and I found that I had too much stuff going on in Evernote - too much clippings and highlights. I found myself using the system less and less. Prior to BASB, my notes were mostly scattered around the computer, in different locations and notebooks. I have dabbled in plaintext before, with nvalt and Byword.

Now I have a growing Zettelkasten kept with TheArchive, around 130 notes in 21 days. TheArchive is a really nice tool, it is simple to learn (as I had used nvAlt) and simple to use - so thanks to Christian and Sascha (and the nvalt-core developers and and...). I have found it rather easy to learn Zettel ID usage, I'm still grappling with proper tags and keywords, although the search function within TheArchive is super good and Mac Spotlight can find any and everything. I'm still figuring out how to get overviews, search is specific. At the moment I have structure Zettels.

One thing I would like to find is a good Android app (as a nostalgic Finn, I have switched back to a Nokia phone - the once pride of our ICT industry...actually the new Nokias are extremely good Android phones for the money) to work with Zettelkasten away from my Macs. I do have an iPad with 1Writer, but a nice Android app, anyone? At the moment I glance at the notes inside Dropbox with the included txtviewer.

So thanks to Sascha and Christian for this site and forum! I am looking forward to deepen my understanding and knowledge of personal knowledge management in this forum.


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