Zettelkasten Forum

Zettelkasten Blog Hybrid

I'd wondered about the veracity of doing a Zettelkasten in a static-blog generator style. It had many of the pieces needed for a Zettelkasten already, just needed some search indexes built during page generation with Javascript, and then an easier way to access/update the pages when needed. Seems I wasn't alone in this idea, and someone went and figured out how to do it:

Creating a Zettelkasten with Hugo

I look forward to seeing more details about it. I like the private submodule idea as well, as that lends itself well to being close to a sharable setup: just publish a "note" as a blog entry (cleaning up as desired), and you can share just what you want, not an all or nothing approach a lot of other setups seem to only support.


  • Hmm, interesting setup!

    I love static site generators, but I wonder if the performance is good enough in the long term. I guess anyone could try their hands with our 10k notes test repository and measure performance. I heard that Gatsby in particular works well for delta updates of larger websites (i.e. not re-rendering al 10k notes but only the ones that did change).

    • With a M5Stack module, you could run the Zettelkasten web server on a portable device (it can be battery powered) with a small screen and Bluetooth/WiFi. Like a real, physical Zettelkasten, only minuscule :) That'd be cute, albeit I don't know how useful that is.
    • You can compile the website for every git commit in hooks. You can add all kinds of automated scripts/services to such changes to the website core.
    • With a Zettelkasten git repository, you can embed the folder of contents in a private web preview of all your notes, be it on your computer, phone, or whatever, and on a blog separately via the submodule method mentioned above.
    • Technically, you can set all contents from the Zettelkasten import to publish: false and selectively publish some via metadata flags. Static site generators often support YAML frontmatter for this.

    The portable generated Zettelkasten sounds like a fun experiment. The blogging part, I think, is less useful. When you find a note particularly interesting and want to publish it, but it has 10 outgoing links and 3 incoming links, what'd you do? If you assemble a draft as a form of an "export" from your Zettelkasten, then you'd have to pull all relevant notes from your archive and create a consecutive text. Finish the draft, publish, done. It's a selection of the web of notes that starts somewhere, ends somewhere, and has a story of sorts. If you just publish a node of the web, context will be missing unless you publish large chunks of the hypertext that you built.

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

  • I see your point about needing to actually write the blog post from the note contents themselves, with links actually pulled for relevance. It's not as easy as "share", though nothing ever really is with a Zettelkasten that you don't "share" everything in one shot anyway.

    The portable generated Zettelkasten does indeed sound fun. I tend to sync everything to the mobile phone now anyway, but the idea of a purpose-built Zettelkasten device sounds good. Sort of a Memex portable.

  • If you use Netlify and GitHub, you can put the ZettelKästen part in a separate branch which Netlify will automatically create a preview of. Designed mainly for testing/staging, might be useful...

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