Zettelkasten Forum


All notes are malleable: Strive for permanently useful notes, not permanently unchanging notes


All notes are malleable: Strive for permanently useful notes, not permanently unchanging notes

A Zettelkasten is a personal tool for thinking and writing that creates an interconnected web of thought. Its emphasis is on connection and not mere collection of ideas.

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Comments

  • I'm sorry, but I came looking for the answer for a very similar question and this response didn't answer it at all.
    There's a reason why there are "literature notes" and "permanent notes." This tells me to forget that and just call them all "notes." So there's no difference? Why would this method even bother defining two types of notes?

  • "This" method is not a monolyth.

    Those terms are introduced by Sönke Ahrens in his book "How to Take Smart Notes". We, Christian and I, don't use those terms.

    I am a Zettler

  • edited April 18

    That's an important point. We get wrapped up around specific terms introduced in a single text.

    That said, there was a post on reddit earlier from someone who needs an easy and clear distinction between three "types" of notes due to their specific academic needs:

    • notes capturing primary sources: statements and ideas by the person they specialize in studying
    • notes capturing secondary sources: statements and ideas by people criticizing the person they specialize in studying
    • notes capturing their own ideas, which synthesize both of the above and become the basis for their own academic work

    Given their specific academia-related problem I don't think a simple "ignore note types" approach suffices. They need that distinction so they can keep the material straight while they do their analytical work. Regardless of what the "types" of notes are called.

  • @davecan
    Good example; clearly people will need to make distinctions on different kinds of notes depending on how they are using their Zettelkasten and what its purpose is.

    It's also clear that there's no particular meaning to the terms people use for different kinds of notes - the term means whatever the person using it thinks it means. Another reason for not getting too semantically obsessive on the forum. It would help, when people ask questions about note types in the forum, to not assume everyone knows what they are talking about and perhaps define their own useage.

  • So, I guess this terminology - permanent note - comes from the paper based Zettelkasten used by Luhmann. In a software based environment it is very easy to modify your notes as much as you like. However, Luhmann would need to create new cards in order to add new insights over an existing stream of thoughts. I guess this is an important benefit of the software based slip-box over the paper based slip-box.

  • @ulver48 said:
    So, I guess this terminology - permanent note - comes from the paper based Zettelkasten used by Luhmann.

    No. It comes from the interpretation of Ahrens on what is part of the Zettelkasten Method and what is idiosyncratic to him.

    I am a Zettler

  • @sfast said:

    @ulver48 said:
    So, I guess this terminology - permanent note - comes from the paper based Zettelkasten used by Luhmann.

    No. It comes from the interpretation of Ahrens on what is part of the Zettelkasten Method and what is idiosyncratic to him.

    Interesting @sfast - what, if anything, did Luhmann call 'permanent notes'? Just, well, notes?

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