Zettelkasten Forum

Question about the requirement of "one idea only"

Greetings everyone :)

I've trouble understanding the concept of only one idea per note. Let us say that I'm reading a chapter on baking, with the subchapters: Baking techniques, Common mistakes, Bread and Cake. Should I create a separate note for each subchapter, or have one for the whole chapter?



  • The idea of "one idea per note" applies primarily to the ideas you get while reading.
    I see people only partially apply this concept to literary notes, i.e. notes on what you read.

    When I read a book or a paper, I create one literary note with the what of the text and any number of atomic Zettels with the ideas I had when reading.

  • Yes to what @nistude said. Zettels contain your ideas not a collection of facts. The idea is to synthesize your reading and thinking.

    I also create what I call structure notes (sounds much like @nistude's literary note) when reading books or papers combining context with atomic Zettels. I recommend trying to create something that is like a conversation with the author. Argue, question, agree and disagree.

    Here is a rough sample.

    Will Simpson
    I must keep doing my best even though I'm a failure. My peak cognition is behind me. One day soon I will read my last book, write my last note, eat my last meal, and kiss my sweetie for the last time.

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