Zettelkasten Forum

Greetings everyone

Hello everyone,

I'm a German student of cost accounting & Finance in the Netherlands and I'm also involved in my families' business. I also dabble a bit in topics around rationality, logic, human psychology, learning, productivity and decision making. I've adopted the Zettelkasten methods/principles because I needed a way to interconnect my different fields of interests. I also like the fact that a ZK really exposes knowledge much more than plain old (book, paper, lecture) notes do. I'm happy to report that the ZK yielded big benefits in that regard. It's a time intensive but rewarding note taking principle for sure. I'm currently at over 500 ZKs/knowledge atoms that I wrote two months' time. The first 100 or so Zettels actually were about note taking and knowledge management - very meta!

A few of the downsides I noticed with ZK: It's a time intensive process, especially compared to initial work-through of the sources. You have to make the decision between starting taking notes early in a perusal of a source and waiting a bit until making Zettels (both with advantages and disadvantages). Starting from the ground up in a field of study means that the first 50-100 notes are definitions and basics facts that read like a book glossary before you get to the juicy bits. The system also has shortcomings in 'hard science-y' fields (formal logic, (cost) accounting, mathematics) - I noticed that it's more suitable for softer, sociology based fields. Those are all topics I want to talk with you about in the future.

Another part that's a bit unusual about me would be that I'm using Evernote for my ZK - I noticed while scrolling through the forum that we're a minority here :smile: . The main reason for my choice of editor is that Evernote has been my document and knowledge management system for years. My Zettelkasten is just one of a few use cases for the program, and I'm pretty happy with my choice. Maybe that's also a topic for future forum discussions or maybe even a guest review at the Zettelkasten blog.

In any case, thanks for having me. I hope that we can learn a lot from each other.
With kind regards,


  • Welcome! It'd be super interesting to have you share your experience about the "hard" sciences and the Zettelkasten Method with us some day! There must be a way to make it work :)

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

  • Yes, welcome. I have a similar experience and path. ~500 "ZKs/knowledge atoms" of which I too spent the first 100 or so in notetaking metaphase. Been an Evernote user for over 10 years. Decided to separate my "ZKs/knowledge atoms" from Evernote for cleanliness. I am convinced of the plain text/simplicity argument. I love using The Archive app. You're among co-knowledge-aeronauts.

    Welcome and looking forward to your ideas about integrating hard sciences. I mostly study soft sciences like literature, philosophy, mental models, and some math/physics thrown in to keep the mind sharp.

    Will Simpson
    I'm a Zettelnant.
    Research: Rationalism, Zen, Non-fiction Creative Writing

  • Welcome gescho!

    From a meta-perspective, there is no difference between the sciences -- soft or hard. But there is very little work published for more number orientated sciences. This is right. Looking forward to your approach.

    I am a Zettler

  • Welcome @gescho! As someone even farther toward the Soft end (I'm not doing science at all; I'm mostly writing fiction), I'll be interested to hear your opinions on this.

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