The state of your Note Archive at the end of 2021
I haven't found a particular "blog-type" topic, so I'm making one.
I'm going to share my experience working with personal ZK at the moment. Maybe you'll find something useful about it (especially if you're newbie). Maybe you'd like to share in the same manner.
I was very inspired about ZK last March, when I found out about it. My first idea was to migrate all my notes there (and get information superpowers).
Very soon I've stumbled upon a lack of time and desire to do it - I had thousands of unsorted notes (pretty much from newsfeeds). Migrating them to ZK properly would've been a herculean task. So I've changed the tactic (guided by advice on this forum - https://forum.zettelkasten.de/discussion/1839/inbox-overflow). Most of my archive remained as it is, I've refactored old notes into ZK only when need arose. I still have a still growing infodump with those "fleeting" notes. I'm pretty sure that I'm enforcing my collector's fallacy this way. But those notes come handy for my job from time to time, so I can't completely give up on them either.
So right now I have three "note archives": weakly structured feed with current info, fleeting notes on the phone or pieces of paper and ZK with notes structured into topics.
The second topic I wanted to mention is ZK structure. I came up with three main sections in my ZK: archive, inbox and ready (details are here - https://forum.zettelkasten.de/discussion/comment/12683#Comment_12683).
I find that this structure helps me to handle my collector's inclination, as well as control what I was going to work at even when I don't touch ZK for several weeks.
Only recently did I began actively using structure notes. Before that I connected notes with individual hyperlinks and that was enough. As the number of notes increased I felt that it becomes easier to cluster them into coherent arguments that might warrant a structure note.
Third topic is a workflow. I don't have one. I found that I find enough interest to work with ZK only when worthy topics are available (and I manage to "fight lazyness" to do so). For me working on notes is a tiresome process, akin to work - so the notes have to be interesting enough to be worthwhile spending time on. Also I tend to gather data little by little and then make a bunch of notes in one go when those notes begin to form a wholesome something. Then I think about connecting that group of notes to the ones that already exist in ZK archive.
I know that some people here work on their ZK daily. I can't find enough motivation to do so - as I said, addition of new notes occurs in leaps, and I find that my ZK is too small now to produce a proper "network effect" with weak connections leading to unexpected conclusions. It occurs sometimes, but definitely not every day. It might be a consequence of having notes spread among many topics or a consequence of the size of the note archive.
The size is the fourth topic. After 9 months I have about 700 notes worth about 3.6 MB (so 3.6 mln symbols; ~1200 A4 pages). I'd say that 50-60% of that text are quotations and 20% are notes in progress or "trash data" (unfinished notes, headers, household notes, etc.), so I wrote about 200 pages of "pure notes" in a year. It looks significantly more than the volume Luhmann wrote (see https://forum.zettelkasten.de/discussion/comment/12531#Comment_12531).
OTOH, Luhmann made significantly more notes (~5 notes daily vs mine ~2) - his notes were more granular. I think that's the consequence of the chosen notemaking medium - he was forced to fit smaller notes on index cards and be more concise in writing while I often dump a paragraph-long quotation and then cut meaning out of it.
Luhmann's granularity might lead to clearer thinking. Or maybe not. I found that I tend to think "in blocks", so I don't necessarily need to split an argument into very short statements.
I'm comparing myself to Luhmann, because I don't have any other note archive to compare to (I remember seeing some numbers somewhere on this forum but I wasn't able to find them). If you'll share your numbers, they might be interesting to compare.
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