# Why You Should Set Links Manually and Not Rely on Search Alone

edited June 23

Why You Should Set Links Manually and Not Rely on Search Alone

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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• I'm sure it's mostly because I'm only about a dozen notes into my Zettelkasten but I do find it difficult to link my notes. Hopefully as it fills with more zettels it will be easier to find those links.

I'm wondering if I should make large leaps to find links between my small number of zettels or just leave them floating alone until I see future links that seem to make more sense.

• @mwwagoner said:
I'm sure it's mostly because I'm only about a dozen notes into my Zettelkasten but I do find it difficult to link my notes. Hopefully as it fills with more zettels it will be easier to find those links.

I'm wondering if I should make large leaps to find links between my small number of zettels or just leave them floating alone until I see future links that seem to make more sense.

I suggest being patient and also not to force your links. Make them when it makes sense; otherwise, wait until you get more zettels. You may need a few hundred zettels before connections become "easier".

• @mwwagoner, here's what I did when I started. With the first few notes in 2018, which were on the subject of dog training, I felt I could only link them with a unifying tag. (#Zivon). When I look at these notes now, I find I've linked to them with notes created in 2019. If an idea is worthy, a link will come. I guess the worthiness of an idea is in some way related to its likability.

With a dozen ideas (notes) captured, I'd think there would be a few connections possible unless the ideas were in wildly different domains. Maybe we can refine the criteria for our connection candidates.

What is your area of study?
What are the topics of your dozen ideas (notes)?

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

• @mwwagoner If no candidate for inter-linking the notes presents itself, maybe preparing "overviews" (aka structure notes) is an option. To pick up @Will's example, there could be a 202206301611 Dog Training overview to group the collected information. Then you can re-order the notes on this overview, and sub-divide with headings, and annotate with comments.

Example where I knew I was going to collect more info and started with an overview that grew into sub-sections:

But!

That doesn't mean you need any of this. There's no Zettel police enforcing links, no matter how stupid the link might be. I found increasing value in overviews as my ZK grew, so now I create them far more proactively than ~10 years ago.

Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/