Posts written by Guest Authors

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Field Report #6: The Zettelkasten Method Works for PhD Students Very Well!

August 2022 by Jeannel King (@jeannelking)

This is a guest post by Jeannel King (@jeannelking on our forums), a follow up to her Zettelkasten use in class from 2 years ago. Enjoy! Update now that I’m three years in to my PhD program and am about to start on my lit reviews and dissertation research…

Introducing the Antinet Zettelkasten

March 2022 by Scott P. Scheper (@scottscheper)

My goal is twofold: (1) I hope to motivate those who prefer paper-based thinking systems, and (2) I hope to present an alternative perspective for those who use digital Zettelkasten systems. I hope my perspective will add one or two valuable insights you can add to your Zettelkasten workflow (even a digital one).

Field Report #4: I spent six months using a Zettelkasten to write my thesis. Here's what I learned

January 2022 by Caleb Winebrenner (@Sociopoetic)

We users of a Zettelkasten strive for a set of ideals: that we don't only collect knowledge but integrate it and use it in the service of our own knowledge work; that use of a Zettelkasten generates new connections and insights for us in that work (as Luhmann said, as a conversation partner); that our organization of notes allows for clear thinking and organized ideas.


Field Report #2: Lessons Learned From Processing "Team of Rivals"

June 2021 by @boxcariii

My research area is machine learning. My first zettel was created on 02/23/2020 and most of them focus on my research area or research in general. This mostly consists of extra the key ideas in short 4-10 page article. Throughout my life I have read many books, but I remember little about them. For instance, I say books like “The Double Helix” or “The Art of Learning” made a big impact on me, but outside of a few anecdotes, I remember nothing. More than that, I have no notes to go back and refer to. My plan this year was to change this and systematically process any book I read.

Field Report #1: A PhD About Writing with His Zettelkasten

May 2021 by @henrikenggaard

It is not difficult to find articles that herald the benefits of using a Zettelkasten and because of this, a dose of skepticism is perhaps healthy. Do you really get magically productive? Produce world-class research? Uncover secret connections for elevated understanding? Write 10 books spontaneously?


PhD Student Reporting What It's Like to Use a Zettelkasten for Classes

September 2020 by @jeannelking

This is a recent highlight from the forums: Jeannel King reported how the Zettelkasten Method and preparing for a PhD at university work together. This is the first semester where I’m using my Zettelkasten for my courses (PhD program in humanistic psychology, creativity studies specialization). Now that I’ve got some reps under my belt, here’s how it’s working so far:


The Zettelkasten as a Lattice of Thought Strings

September 2019 by @gescho

Please welcome Gerrit Scholle, aka gescho from the forums! Gerrit kindly took the time to write up his recent thoughts as a self-contained blog post, with colored pencil drawings and all! Enjoy.

Trust the Process

August 2019 by @nickmilo22

This is a recent highlight from the forums. Nick Milo posted this the other day; we’d like to feature his essay on the blog so you don’t miss it. The following is a verbatim copy of his forum post, plus a link to @daneb’s post that @nickmilo22 added for context.


Using Trello as a Zettel Note Archive

January 2017 by Nick

If you paid attention to the comments feed of the past couple of months, you will know Nick already. He’s tinkering with interesting plain text stuff – I won’t spoil anything right now; I hope Nick will some day show us the power of plumber, instead.


OneNote Review

December 2015 by DutchPete

Today DutchPete, one of the most avid commenters on this blog, will help us fill the gap in software reviews for Windows by talking about OneNote as a Zettelkasten note archive. OneNote is part of the Microsoft Office family and thus available for a lot of different platforms, too, so this is not strictly speaking a PC-centered review. Now let’s see which conventions and techniques make DutchPete productive.


DEVONthink as a Zettelkasten Note Archive

December 2014 by Marko Wenzel

Today we host our good friend Marko as he tells us of the basic note-taking capabilities of DEVONthink and its appliance to the Zettelkasten method. The Zettelkasten method propagates heavy use of the note archive, stuffed with your own interpretations of things you have learned. The user we have in mind usually is a student of humanities, reading a lot and writing a lot. DEVONthink is capable of doing far more than managing notes, though. It can also in part replace a reference manager. Or you may benefit from its ability to deal with large amounts of files when it comes to seeking similarities in original sources. This can become really interesting for historians, for example.