Zettelkasten

Posts tagged “personal”

The Biography of Sascha's Zettelkasten

A proper Zettelkasten should be like a second mind, almost a person on its own. I am not there, yet. My buddy, the Zettelkasten, surprises me a lot but he needs to be filled with a couple thousand more Zettels. That doesn’t prevent me from giving you a small biography. I always was keen to some sort of systematic approach and always liked to put something into order. As a child I was obsessed with encyclopedic dictionaries – most about the animal kingdom, but it was really the idea of a complete system of knowledge which got me hooked. I always started to collect something within a file folder. When I look back, the filing seems to be the durable element of all my childhood projects instead of the topics themselves.

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Make Writing a Part of Your Identity

Brian Crain talked about increasing productivity by tracking progress. To have a continuous metric is both motivating and informative. I, too, buy into the saying that you can only improve what you measure. The corollary is: when you care about something, when you really commit to it, you have to do your best to track it and improve. Writing is one such skill. You become a writer by writing more, and you can shift your identity consciously to make this change stick.

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Lessons Learned from Losing All Routine

We finally finished moving into our new apartment. During the ten days it took to arrange the new place, I noticed how strong I’m bound to my routines, and what it means to lose all of them at once for a period of time. There was a daily workout routine, where I hit the gym twice a day on four days each week for both strength training and cardio. In total, I had at least 10 workout sessions per week. Before the morning workouts, I used to write for at least one fixed hour. In the evening I used to have weekly recurring appointments at work where I help organize a team of student advisors or help students with writing tasks and presentations. Also, the evening was my most productive time: I would either continue writing for a bit or dive straight into programming tasks.

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