I’ve been using the Zettelkasten method for a few months now and am really struggling to get any use out of it. I feel like it should be life-changing and dramatically increase my productivity; I can see how it could do that, yet it’s been so hard for me for some reason.
I’ll provide some details and see if anyone has suggestions.
First of all, I struggle with knowing when to add something to the Zettel vs. not. I think I’m trying to keep it too “sacred” after first struggling with Roam Research as a giant dumping ground for everything (not useful, either).
Second, I struggle with linking ideas together. It seems part of the beauty of the system is in spontaneous linking of ideas; yet, how do you link ideas when you have hundreds or thousands? Do you have to go through each one of your note titles and see if anything stands out as a possible link?
Third, I struggle with creating “outlines” for work. I could simply search for “diversification” (I am very interested in investing), but that will only pull up things that are related to diversification. Perhaps there is something else that would be related to that particular topic. Yet, I don’t know how I can get that outline going in any way with notes that may have been related to diversification, but I didn’t realize it at the time (maybe something from Biology of Physics). And without any word “diversification”, it gets lost in my pile.
And fourth, I seem to be struggling with the titles vs. numbering system vs. date as UID. I know there’s been a lot written about it, but it does seem to me that the 1, 1a, 1a1, 2, 3, 3a, 3a1, etc. would help me create an outline as I go. I realize there may be some parts that would not be related and so am not thinking in a purely linear fashion; still, it seems that some organization around basically similar topics would allow for quick navigation through the system to find (possibly) relevant items.
Does anyone have any thoughts on any of this? Any tips to help me get more use out of my Zettel or structure it in a better way so that it’s more conducive to creative work (i.e.: books, articles, YouTube scripts, etc.)?
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