Zettelkasten Forum

Importing text with metadata to Zettelkasten 3

For a few years now, I have been using Scrivener as a Zettelkasten environment--i.e., I have been collecting tagged notes into a single searchable pool. However I never liked Scrivener's keyword management system. This is becoming particularly problematic now, when my note collection has grown considerably. Meanwhile Zettelkasten (Zkn3) has exactly the kind of keyword (tag) management system I have been looking for (I wish I had discovered Zettelkasten earlier!). I would gladly transfer my whole Scrivener project with all the tagged files with their meta-data (primarily the keywords) to Zettelkasten, but I don't seem to know how to do that. Zettelkasten software seems to accept only .zkx3, .zkn, .csv and BibTex formats (.bib and .txt). It appears that Scrivener does not export its text files with meta-data in a format readable by Zettelkasten. There is no way I can accomplish the transfer manually, there are just too many files. Is there a workaround for this? The platform is Windows 10. Thank you!


  • edited December 2019

    As far as I know, this site has nothing to do with Zkn3, or indeed Windows. The Archive is Mac only. You would probably need to search out a site that deals with Zkn3, or try the Scrivener for Windows Tech Support threads. The Archive works with plain text files, using Markdown, which simplifies cross-platform working.

  • @tomchatter

    I removed your thread to the correct category. Your topic is about a software related problem not about the Zettelkastenproject.

    My recommendation to you is to familiarise yourself with the Zettelkastenmethod itself and its iterations. It seems to me that you want to have a view on your own method but don't anticipate that either the newly chosen software will not match your expectations, your method will change or both will change.

    I am a Zettler

  • hey, @tomchatter, sorry for your situation. i live in fear that i’ll use a tool that locks up my data in a way that makes it difficult or impossible for that data to flow where i need or want it.

    i remember rejecting zkn3 years ago, but can’t recall why. scrivener is really created to write, not store, search, and retrieve data

    if you can’t find any other way to migrate your data, perhaps you can borrow from those who declare email or task “bankruptcy”:

    • isolate the data you have. use it only for reference.
    • create new entries in your app of choice (plain .txt files created in your editor of choice, the archive, devonthink, nvultra, zkn3).


    • option one: when your work takes you into your old zettelkasten, incorporate just those notes or files into your living zettelkasten. eventually you’ll migrate everything and it shouldn’t be too burdensome.
    • option two: set aside a reasonable amount of time every day or week to move as much as you can during that time.

    it goes without saying that a you’re not restricted to only one option; they’re not mutually exclusive. 😜

    good luck correcting course! 😀

    fabricando fabri fimus

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