Zettelkasten Forum

Views of a ZK

I've come to like different views of my ZK. With digital tools there is more than a list of zettels to a ZK.

This is a useful view, of course. But it's not my default view. I don't find plain list of titles very inspiring. It does not draw me into my ZK to work with it.

Rather, I switch between different views to jog my memory and to use my zettels like lego blogs to build thoughts, theories, concepts, texts from.

A card view lets me browse my ZK with more information at a glance. Images stick out and trigger memories. I can rearrange zettels to form clusters.

Or I look at zettels through a tag lens. That helps clustering, too. And it gives me a topical overview.

Or, for a moment, I enjoy a calendar view of my ZK to see how productive I have been. When were the days of many ideas, when was I slow at coming up with new ones? What's the flow of my "zettel production"? Any patterns?

Digital tools can and should help us to go beyond what the father of the ZK was able to do. And these views are just the tip of the iceberg of what's possible.

Why not arrange zettels spatially, for example?

Or show their connectedness?

Their are tools for all that - but, alas, so far not all of these views have come together in a single ZK tools. I'm optimistic, though, that this can and will improve. We should stop digitizing notes, and start going digital first with our ZKs.


  • This looks great! I'm also searching for an easy way to be more visually/spatially freeform with a subset of a zettelkasten. Trying a bit with importing/exporting to mindmaps or index card style interfaces (for example in Manuskript).

    I take it that the first images are from notion.so, but are the last two just mockups?

  • Yes, notion.so. Yes, the last two are mockups :-) But I suggested the "mural" so notion.so - and they liked it.

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