Posts tagged “concept”

From Fleeting Notes to Project Notes – Concepts of "How to Take Smart Notes" by Sönke Ahrens

Terminological troubles beset the account of note categories in How To Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens (Ahrens 2017). The book reads as though it emerged unedited from the author’s Zettelkasten. The most important type of note doesn’t have a name. This post aims to settle the record.

Ahrens discusses five categories of notes: three main descriptive categories of notes: fleeting note, permanent notes and project notes; and two subcategories of permanent notes: literature notes and Zettels, although the term Zettel occurs nowhere in Ahrens (Ahrens, 41). Italicized terms are defined in "Note categories in detail" below, after some remarks on the components of a Zettekasten and on workflow in the Zettelkasten Method according to Ahrens.

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Don't Dehorsify the Horse

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.

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