Post - My Method of Zettelkasten

I mentioned in my previous post1, that I wanted to use zettelkasten for 3 main purposes.

  • Notes attached to resources I have found
  • Freeform thoughts
  • Distilled principles

This roughly describes the information flow in my brain as I attempt to refine and distill information and add to my zettelkasten. As such, I’ll title any zettels in one of five categories

  • Ref
  • Notes
  • Post
  • Principle
  • Tag

The first four markers exist irrespective of tags or links. They serve as an additional marker to indicate the refinement similar to Coal vs Graphite vs Diamond. Generally, notes are interpreted as ideas mostly from others with a few personal insights. Posts are my struggles in combining these ideas in a medium-form microblog post. Principles are succinct atomic2 and autonomous ideas. My conjecture is that principles will be powerful connection points in the topology of my notes. References are primary sources that I have not yet distilled/refined into my own words.

From reading a bit on zettels, I’ve realized that both tags and links are very important3 in forming an effective zettelkasten. As such, I have defined some key tags4

Additionally, I may have other tags more narrow5 in scope,

I manually create links when I find two notes are related. This might be done at the time of writing, or later when I go back and read my notes. This idea has strong parallels to neuroplasticity for me.

I also don’t impose structure as I store these notes. This means that my directory full of zettels is completely flat and randomly named. Thus, zettels should have their dependencies modeled solely in terms of links and tags and not directory structure.

  1. Post - Zettelkasten

  2. Atomic and Autonomous Notes

  3. There is a mathematical justification here that I’m distilling and will link here.

  4. In practice I’m using neuron’s folgezettel links to connect tags to their “hub” page. This is merely for convenience and display. There is a one-to-one correspondence to tags (not named hub) and these “landing pages”.

  5. Practically, this looks like another tag. E.g. for programming languages I’d have the tag pl and for C++ specific information it would be pl-cpp