Posts from 2020
The Zettelkasten Method seems to get more and more popular. With popularity of methods there always comes a problem: Overzealous Orthodoxy. Some people, for various reasons, try to state what a Zettelkasten is and what not. A good example is the use of categories: Do you have a Zettelkasten if you use a Zettelkasten? Some people argue that you wouldn’t have a Zettelkasten if you use a Zettelkasten and the very point of a Zettelkasten is to ditch the categories.
TextMate is a free, open-source macOS text editor that we mention on this site since forever. It is also damn good at navigating files in a big folder. So it’s a good alternative to dedicated Zettelkasten software. In this video, I demonstrate the basic interaction patterns for TextMate to get a plain text Zettelkasten working: how to navigate around, make use of the folder-relative “Open Quickly” command, and create new notes. You know, everything you really need to be productive.
If you have a blog, you can use it within a fast feedback workflow: If you have an active community, you can rely on this fast feedback and have many editing iterations for your text. This improves many Zettel in your Zettelkasten, which is especially nice if you plan to craft a book out of them.
I’d like to highlight this article by Joe Pairman: Take notes as online help for your creative future self. The rare feature of this article is that Joe is extracting universal principles by comparing one of my articles with ideas of Mark Baker from Every Page is Page One. (Affiliate link.)
The online course is getting real. We’re very far with the preparations for the first recordings, so now’s a good time to start telling you more about it. The first step is to prepare our course page, so there you go.
Head to the Course Announcement Page and sign-up for news before the release.
Ever wanted to quickly bounce off ideas, get to know the people from the Zettelkasten community better, and hang out with knowledge nerds? There’s now chat rooms for that! Folks from the forums have created places to hang around and chat about all things Zettelkasten, knowledge management principles, and life and stuff.
Please note: This is a post that requires a bit of prior knowledge. There are links for some of the terms. If you are interested in taking knowledge work to the next level, join the forum and become part of the community. This post is directly inspired by the great discussions by the folks over there.
The dominating topic of this month is COVID-19. Nevertheless, The Archive is celebrating. We don’t let pessimism grip us and carry on. Last week, on March 15th, was The Archive‘s 2nd anniversary. Just like we’re all supposed to not celebrate big birthday parties or gather for festivities in general, this year’s app anniversary is toned way down as well. Here’s to what has happened in the past year.
In the forums, @mjknight shared a Marked 2 preprocessor script that you can use to transform non-standard
[[wiki link]] to become regular Markdown links that you can click on. Marked will expand the path, so in my case
/Users/ctm/scripts/marked_wikilink_preprocessor.rb and it shows a faint "OK” next to the path text field.
If your note-taking app of choice doesn’t support auto-completion to suggest links while you type, what can you do? Not all software can implement the exact same feature that I’d like it to have. Then I try to figure out ways to use a tool to do what I want, breaking down the feature into more basic steps, each of which I could do manually, if needed. This works surprisingly well most of the time.
At the turn of the decade, David B. Clear1 wrote a summary about all things Zettelkasten, called “Zettelkasten — How One German Scholar Was So Freakishly Productive”.
Andy Matuschak shared a script called
note-link-janitor with us the other day that maintains a list of backlinks in all of your Markdown notes. And yes, by “maintains” I really mean “maintains”: if it doesn’t exist, it adds a
## Backlinks section at the end of each Zettel with a list of incoming links, and it updates the section on subsequent runs. This means you can run the script as often as you’d like, and it always produces an up-to-date result – as opposed to, say, naively adding a new
## Backlink section time and time again. When you run the script regularly, you’ll always have an up-to-date backlink list in your notes. Neat.