Zettelkasten Forum

About local structure

This is a bit tangential issue to the various folgezettel-discussions. How do you prefer to lay out the local link-structure of your zettels? Say that you have new zettels of topics A,B,C and D, and you have the option of arranging them like this:

 └─ B
    └─ C
       └─ D

or like this:

 ├─ A
 ├─ B
 ├─ C
 └─ D

which would you prefer and in which situations?

In the pictures the texts represent zettels and the lines are links/connecting note ids. Although other links between topics are not shown here, but they may exist.


  • edited April 2020

    I'll give a concrete example. I have a note titled "Nonlinearity compensation for optical fiber communication" which, apart from some general descriptions, then link to notes on several techniques/methods worthy of having their own notes.

    I only link between the notes if there explicitly is something which would be relevant. For example, the notes on techniques refer to notes on various observations about fiber nonlinearity. So instead of it being a tree, it is much more like a general graph or network.

    Amazing illustration follows:

    In this case, their connection (as techniques for a certain problem) is better captured by a note which mostly acts as a hub. But they are also connected in another manner, which is the physical effects they use.

    This last point, is btw. one of the big strengths for me with ZK. This relationship between methods and physical effects is something I could sit down and enumerate, but in the ZK it simply happened gradually and naturally as a part of the ZK method.

  • Thank you for the detailed answer @henrikenggaard. I think, what you drew is a better illustration on what I meant with the second option. That is, you have a topic node, which lists the elements in a flat list. Then the listed elements gain connections between each other and elsewhere.

    But, would it be equivalent to just build a string of notes each linking to next one, and then add the additional connections?

    I'm asking because, I'd fathom that you could always convert from one form to another without loss, but regarding navigation and discovery these are not the same.

  • @discordian I haven't tried to connect notes in "string". Maybe there is something worthwhile in it. It reminds me a bit of Webrings, which were definitely a fun way to discover new content.

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