Zettelkasten

Posts tagged “workflow”

Playing the Zettelkasten RPG Through Arbitrary Constraints

Today, learn about how to game your Zettelkasten like a roguelike RPG – in a guest post by Allen Wilson (University profile; Twitter) aka @pseudoevagrius on the forum. The metaphor alone is cool, but the 3800+ words strong post doesn’t end there and goes on to give practical advice on how to work under self-imposed constraints to make use of “short runs”.

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Book Teaser (2nd Edition): Improved Diagram of the Flow of Value Creation

This is an improved version of the diagram on the flow of value creation. Three comments on that: It goes from bottom to top because this direction reflects the increase of value better. It now shows the idealised boundaries of the Zettelkasten itself. It is possible to have the drafts within the Zettelkasten and the excerpts as well. However, this would detract from understanding the Zettelkasten Method.

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Book Teaser (2nd Edition): Flow Diagram of the Zettelkasten Method

Hi Zettlers.

This is a little flow diagram that illustrates the Zettelkasten Process with the help of one of the principles of the Zettelkasten Method, "Creating Pre-Products".

The concept "excerpt" might be interpreted as "literature note" since both concepts are similar. To me, creating an excerpt is a methodological approach of using tools to understand a text. So it is more than just about creating notes on thoughts and ideas embedded in a source.

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How to Use Wiki Links for Saved Searches in The Archive

You can use [[wiki links]] in The Archive as a clickable shortcut to searches, which support complex logical operators to form very specific expressions. People on the forums seem to enjoy the discovery of clickable complex search expressions in The Archive, so here’s a short explanation of how you can use links like [[#Gardening soil NOT fertilizer]] to create a stored search.

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Eco's 'How to Write a Thesis' Available in English

Finally, after being in print for 38 years in other languages, How to Write a Thesis by Umberto Eco is now available in English!1

I have mentioned the German translation of Eco’s book in the past already (in “Collector’s Fallacy” and “Making Proper Marks in Books”). From his book did I learn that not all Zettel are created equal. If you worked solely with index cards in the 70s, all this mattered a lot.

Remember that it’s possible to have a Zettelkasten without a computer. If you work on paper, you’ll be slow as heck. But you’ll still be more productive than all the other folks not thinking twice about proper knowledge management. Eco’s workflow details will help tremendously if you don’t know how to work with the tools available.

Nowadays, we have reference manager software, note-taking software, PDF annotation software, and whatnot. We tend to think in terms of our tools. But this veils our understanding of the ideas we work with, the texts we read. If we managed everything with index cards (but in different boxes), it’d be easier to look behind the How and see the What instead. Paper is almost never feature-bloated. Software makes it harder, because you can always get stuck at the surface level, switching apps all the time and looking for the next great feature. (Note the book isn’t called What to Write a Thesis With.)

If you care for non-fiction scholarly writing, if you’re a student, or if you’re just trying to figure out what kinds of Zettel notes there are and where they come from – pick up the book! It’s an educational read, but keep in mind most of the tips are outdated since personal computers exist.

(via Manfred of Taking Note; cover image © 2015 The MIT Press)


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