# How Do I get started?

How do I start my notes?

So, I’ve been quite confused on how the zettelkasten method works, don’t get me wrong I do know how the basic works but, I can’t specifically get my hands on how to start a fleeting note...

I hope someone could give me an example of how they got started and what their fleeting notes were like, (ex. This is my fleeting notes before and this is how I do this and do that, etc), (and I know that we all think differently so giving examples may be hard but I am confused about all these things to the point that it's quite overwhelming since it is broad so I wish you could give me an example, I'll greatly appreciate it) cause I’m the type of person that has a lot of things in my head and I'm full of imagination/ideas which I think makes it harder for me since I sincerely don't know what I should or not write about (I know that we should just write about things that we always think of, but that's what's hard for me) my head is full of questions and I'm quite overwhelmed.

So I appreciate it if someone could help me with this, thank you.

• Howdy, @keou !

Assuming that you're coming furr-m Sönke, Fleeting Nyeowtes are remeownders of thoughts. The furr-mat doesn't matter as long as they serve their purr-pose. A few things help, like using keywords if you'll come cat soon or long sentences otherwise.

Also, have you checked these out? Someone might have already purr-sued the same mouse.

• Welcome to zettelkasting.

Beginners and even seasoned veterans get confused about note types.

I'm not sure if I can help or if I'll add to your confusion. I'm sorry the idea of note types has captured you. See my diatribe on note types and how this categorization stymies creativity.

My advice is to forget all you've read about "fleeting" notes and other types. Just take notes and arrange them in a ZK. Keep doing this until you notice two notes express a complementary or contradictory idea, then dig in and link them, explore what the ideas mean, and look for other connections. Notes are proxies for ideas, and ideas are not static ever. When you first make a note, that is your current idea. When your ideas change, you can change your notes. If that is what is meant by "fleeting" notes, I'd refer to them as early drafts and try to capture as many as possible. On my first day of zettelkasting, I captured 12 early drafts of ideas that I have since modified in countless ways.

Here is what my first note looks like this.

The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs
by Patricia B. McConnell, 2003

Kindle
#book
[[201811151036]]The Other End of the Leash


Later, I refactored and added some relevant links, so it looks like this.

The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs
›[[201811151036]]
by Patricia B. McConnell, 2003

- Talking to Zivon [[201811211606]]
- Dominance [[201812022012]]
- Body space [[201811151039]]
- Vocalizations [[201811211743]]

Kindle
#book
[[201811151036]]The Other End of the Leash
@McConnell:2002aa


Will Simpson
“Read Poetry, Listen to Good Music, and Get Exercise”
kestrelcreek.com

• edited May 12

@keou said:
How do I start my notes?

Sorry, I never really answered your question. The 'start' is not the problem but what to do afterward.

What is your area of study? Is it math, geophysics, materials engineering, neurobiology, 4th-century Mongolian art, or something more down to earth like coding, productivity, dog training, or culinary virtuosity? It is helpful to know where your ZK fits in. It is also helpful to know which software package you are looking for to implement your ZK.

I'll assume the most generic.

Let's take a fresh note, and I'll describe what I do to integrate it into my zettelkasten in hopefully practical terms that you can apply on your journey. Maybe this should be a video.

This is the Initial capture of an idea. This is a highlight from Fiona McPherson's book Effective Notetaking. Please don't get hung up on the content of this note but focus on the refactoring process.

Helping you select what’s important
As I’ve said before, selecting what’s important is the first essential step in successful learning. Note-taking is only a tool to help you do this. This function is closely related to the function of focusing attention and, like that, rests heavily on first specifying your goal.

Step 1.

• Rephrase the text assuring you have captured the idea and not just collected it.

This is what I came up with by refactoring the quote.

Selecting the essential points in a learning session rather than a text, conference, or lecture is the first step to success. Focusing attention is the function with an outsized impact.

Congruent with step 1.

• Create an initial title. The title is malleable, so don't get too hung up with coming up with the best at the expense of getting stymied.

This is what I came up with for the initial title.

Focusing attention has an outsized impact.

I use The Archive for zettelkasting. You might use different software.
Here is a screenshot of the note with some additions that I use. YMMV.

1. I include YAML frontmatter at the head.
2. There is a 'Subatomic:' tag that I'll fill in with a 5-8 word summary of the note or the reason for its connection to the book.
3. I've also added a citation and a reference.

1. Now, I'll search for ideas that connect with the idea expressed in this note.
• I enter Focusing attention in the search field (OMNI Bar) and get 17 hits to review.

1. I didn't find many of the hits particularly relevant. Here is how this note has been left for today. This will rest in my "proofing oven" for a few days. I'll review it each morning, and will it receive refinements before it gets turned loose into the ZK herd.

Do you have any questions?

Post edited by Will on

Will Simpson
“Read Poetry, Listen to Good Music, and Get Exercise”
kestrelcreek.com

• edited May 12

@Will good points. A question arises: where do you focus your attention? In my case, in the direction of increasing pain in the service of something larger more important than myself. Daniel Dennet said, "[f]ind something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it." Well, practically everything else is more important than I am, and virtually nothing is more self-important, but this is beside the point.

Erdős #2. ZK software components. “If you’re thinking without writing, you only think you’re thinking.” -- Leslie Lamport. Replies sometimes delayed since life is short.

• edited May 12

@ZettelDistraction said:
@Will good points. A question arises: where do you focus your attention? In my case, in the direction of increasing pain in the service of something larger more important than myself. Daniel Dennet said, "[f]ind something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it." Well, practically everything else is more important than I am, and virtually nothing is more self-important, but this is beside the point.

Would you mind if your self depecriation leads me to create a character ? An absurd one, between Monty Python characters from "Holy Graal" and Diderot's Jacques the Fatalist, sad self-nihilistic with a glorious touch. Tragic and comic at the same time. 100% pure treat for me.

@Will said :
My advice is to forget all you've read about "fleeting" notes and other types. Just take notes and arrange them in a ZK. Keep doing this until you notice two notes express a complementary or contradictory idea, then dig in and link them, explore what the ideas mean, and look for other connections. Notes are proxies for ideas, and ideas are not static ever. When you first make a note, that is your current idea. When your ideas change, you can change your notes. If that is what is meant by "fleeting" notes, I'd refer to them as early drafts and try to capture as many as possible. On my first day of zettelkasting, I captured 12 early drafts of ideas that I have since modified in countless ways.

I totaly agree with Will here. "How" does not matter at first, don't worry yourself about making fleeting, permanent notes, just write with atomicity in mind. At first, your notes will be clumsy and they will refine with time and experience. Then you'll see yourself discriminate "mature" notes from "younger" ones.

You'll see your own set of kind of note will grow as your use will define itself. For example, I have "exploratory" and "outline" notes for writing my novels, "lexicon" notes, "writer" and "artist"…

Let's take an example.

I have a young note in my ZK, a "fleeting" one.

# The chouquette syndrom

## Definition :

* Chouquette syndrom : when something seems awesome, fabulous, riche in possibilities, vast and rich, yummy… But it is nothing but air inside, empty as we eat it.
* Fake, and deceptive.


I've come back later to my note and add some new ideas yesterday :

# The chouquette syndrom

## Definition :

* Chouquette syndrom : when something seems awesome, fabulous, riche in possibilities, vast and rich, yummy… But it is nothing but air inside, empty as we eat it.
* Fake, and deceptive.

## Specifications :

* For example : creating many planets, species or characters with a fake depth impression but they are individualy empty with no substance and can be resumed with only one word : "the desertic planet", "the dumb guy who makes jokes", "the guys with big ears who lives in forrest".
|-- * (I will not insert my example here,  but I have one and I am fairly critic.)
* When a plot begins many branchs, seems intensive, but every "opened" doors close quickly and anything is just "cool".
|-- * Percy Jackson film. Fake and dumb. Zeus, loosing the thunder ? The sword ? ALL OF THIS SHIT WITH HADES ?
* When heros is empty, but the plot enforces the reader to find him/her/them cool with artifical ways.
|-- * Terry Goodking. Fake and dumb, artificial plot to make the "choosen one" brightfull. Such a bad reading.
|-- * Mary and Gary Sue. There is a circle of Hell for those writers.

## Go Further :

- [[Ec.220511010203.How to escape from Chouquette Syndrom]] - Is it possible to escape from it ? How ? Is it mandatory to go in depth for anything ?
- [[Ec.220511175135.Example of Chouquette and Non-Chouquette Syndrom - Analyses]] - Star Wars, Avatar, Lord of the Ring, the Expanse, My Hero Academia


Post edited by Loni on
• @Loni said:

@ZettelDistraction said:
@Will good points. A question arises: where do you focus your attention? In my case, in the direction of increasing pain in the service of something larger more important than myself. Daniel Dennet said, "[f]ind something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it." Well, practically everything else is more important than I am, and virtually nothing is more self-important, but this is beside the point.

Would you mind if your self depecriation leads me to create a character ? An absurd one, between Monty Python characters from "Holy Graal" and Diderot's Jacques the Fatalist, sad self-nihilistic with a glorious touch. Tragic and comic at the same time. 100% pure treat for me.

By all means. I hope the character isn't killed off too soon, but the author may write what she pleases.

Erdős #2. ZK software components. “If you’re thinking without writing, you only think you’re thinking.” -- Leslie Lamport. Replies sometimes delayed since life is short.

• edited May 13

@Will said:

@keou said:
How do I start my notes?

Sorry, I never really answered your question. The 'start' is not the problem but what to do afterward.

What is your area of study? Is it math, geophysics, materials engineering, neurobiology, 4th-century Mongolian art, or something more down to earth like coding, productivity, dog training, or culinary virtuosity? It is helpful to know where your ZK fits in. It is also helpful to know which software package you are looking for to implement your ZK.

I'll assume the most generic.

Greatly appreciated thanks for the tips it definitely helped me on “how to get started” since it has been difficult, thank you so much.

Currently reading a book titled “how to take smart notes” written by S. Ahrens.

I’ll surely ask a question when i need to thank you very much

• @Loni said:
Let's take an example.

I have a young note in my ZK, a "fleeting" one.

# The chouquette syndrom

## Definition :

* Chouquette syndrom : when something seems awesome, fabulous, riche in possibilities, vast and rich, yummy… But it is nothing but air inside, empty as we eat it.
* Fake, and deceptive.


I've come back later to my note and add some new ideas yesterday :

# The chouquette syndrom

## Definition :

* Chouquette syndrom : when something seems awesome, fabulous, riche in possibilities, vast and rich, yummy… But it is nothing but air inside, empty as we eat it.
* Fake, and deceptive.

## Specifications :

* For example : creating many planets, species or characters with a fake depth impression but they are individualy empty with no substance and can be resumed with only one word : "the desertic planet", "the dumb guy who makes jokes", "the guys with big ears who lives in forrest".
|-- * (I will not insert my example here,  but I have one and I am fairly critic.)
* When a plot begins many branchs, seems intensive, but every "opened" doors close quickly and anything is just "cool".
|-- * Percy Jackson film. Fake and dumb. Zeus, loosing the thunder ? The sword ? ALL OF THIS SHIT WITH HADES ?
* When heros is empty, but the plot enforces the reader to find him/her/them cool with artifical ways.
|-- * Terry Goodking. Fake and dumb, artificial plot to make the "choosen one" brightfull. Such a bad reading.
|-- * Mary and Gary Sue. There is a circle of Hell for those writers.

## Go Further :

- [[Ec.220511010203.How to escape from Chouquette Syndrom]] - Is it possible to escape from it ? How ? Is it mandatory to go in depth for anything ?
- [[Ec.220511175135.Example of Chouquette and Non-Chouquette Syndrom - Analyses]] - Star Wars, Avatar, Lord of the Ring, the Expanse, My Hero Academia



I see, I didn’t think like this before i read these replies, I'll definitely apply this things in the future.

Thank you very much