I want to control what stuff is local and what is on the net. I want to control access. I want to be able to use my stuff on Linux, Android, iOS. Maybe even Mac. I want to be able to work on all my devices. I don't want my workflows constantly disrupted by software updates or bugs.
It just about does this.
All devices, tick.
Control what is local - not so easy, but that's down to switching to Android; possible but more effort because the default is web.
Undisruptable workflows. Not under my control but likely to happen in practice - too many paying corporates depending on stable workflows.
I appreciate the advantage of database based programs, which is why I have stuck with them and tried and bought so many. And I don't discount using them. But I'm considering having them only for an active use rather than stuff in general.
With files, I can use virtually any program to create them, and to modify them; I can use them on all devices, access them from the internet and never have to worry about import or export.
Probably does tick this. Everything in files and documents. Trello is just an active working bit. But it is very core.
One other thought I had, triggered by some zettelkasten reading, was the possibility of being more productive if I was working with fewer programs and more simply focused on files and links. Working on files, it's easy to switch to a different program for a particular feature (and back again) without disruption. Trying to do that with database programs is definitely not like that. It leads to doing one set of things in one program and another in another etc. And there's permanent feature dissatisfaction.
Does tick this one.
I remain not even slightly persuaded of the need to go full Markdown though.
I feel as if I might have stumbled on to a very slippery slope and am gathering speed, with Markdown the next bump in the road, and no clear idea of an end zone.
And so it came to pass.
my view of zettelkasten is that it is a workflow with a process that aids remembering and thinking. Index cards are incredibly flexible.
I recognise a number of key concepts:
Atomicity. One thing, free standing.
Linking. I appreciate the types of links: direct (card-to-card), positional. Also that cards can be removed and mixed and used with a group of other cards and then replaced exactly where they came from.
I think it does this too.
Each card is for a thought, not information - information is external in the sources.
And definitely offers this.
I can see that his system meant that he collected his thoughts when he was reading in a format that made future thinking and use easier. When he was working things out, he played with his cards, making new ones when he had new thoughts. And when he came to write something up, he just went through the selected cards and wrote them out. Simples.
Dormouse link=topic=48938.msg433261#msg433261 date=1572036464
I want to keep folder structures as simple as possible.
That's entirely possible.
Initial system plan (file based & text, not necessarily zettelkasten).
Two top level folders – General and Local. Identically named subfolders.
General to be available to other devices through Dropbox or equivalent. Local not.
Thoughts (as in zettel, because I can see that it’s a good idea)
Sources (including facts I record or material I devise myself)
Writing (any output using material in the first two). To include an In Progress folder (I’d intend to use this to temporarily copy files I’m using, and anything used to help organise my thoughts.
Temp (for new documents that may still need tagging/renaming/allocating).
There's no need for folder organisation because all related functions are managed in Trello. Only exception is local stuff.
For me it's all about workflow. My understanding of the zettelkasten process produces high easy output that will allow me to keep my eye on the ball all the time (and should be effective whether it is really zettelkasten or not). That will mean quickly producing and saving new documents. I think everything else can be done later as a batch process, but, if not, it has to be something I can do without thought because otherwise the workflow gain has gone.
The Trello system is super good for workflow.
Luhmann went into an office and did his academic stuff - I do many things (and quite a lot of quick switching) and I can't see why the system would not work for anything that requires thinking. Creative writing, building a garage, organising holidays. One input system is so much easier than working out where everything should go.
Absolutely. Trello system does this.
I think that some of the key zettel principles for this are:-
That you have a single integrated workflow, that you become expert in using
That notes have to sustain repeated iterative processing, potentially with new notes for new thoughts. If information/thoughts/notes aren't worth this degree of processing, then they don't deserve to be in the zettel.
The processing should produce growth in your understanding, but will also duplicate that understanding in the zettel
Which means that you can go away from that part of the zettel for ten years and still pick up from where you left off, long after you will have forgotten most of the detail of what you had learned
Trello system should work well for this.
I intend to put everything in - creative, practical, academic - and I cover many fields. My potential productivity gains come from having one system for everything.
Trello should do this particularly well.
I've not decided what to do about snippets.
The defining feature of a snippet is that it is short. And individual snippets are disparate and unconnected.
It could be a brief description
An interesting word usage
An interesting fact
A nice phrase
It could be something I've written myself or have read.
I'm not happy with my webclip and snippets system.
This is what ultimately broke the pure documents approach. Trello should handle this well. Something much easier done in a database system.
One of the things that I have noticed in this process is that the user interface suiting me is much more important than features. There's a minimum feature set, but otherwise it is the user interface all the way.
And the visual approach of Trello suits me well.
Trello, for example, will probably go even though it's a good personal fit.
Strange how quickly things change.
Paradoxically I can envision the possibility of using Evernote more not less. It's quite good at merging notes for saving into documents.
No longer need to merge notes.
In my mind, the zettelkasten works like having my own room in the Bodleian, with my current activities laid out on a large table in the middle, surrounded by small bookcases with the books needed for immediate references.
If I want more, or am moving on, then I can wander round the main library collecting books and other materials as I need. And if I need to do a detailed trawl into less familiar materials, I can ask the librarians to bring me stuff that might be relevant from the stacks.
Should work well. Tags will be manual, but I'd started tending in that direction anyway as it seemed less effortful. Many options for document search.
Two things struck me that could be enhancements to a zettelkasten program/process for some people for some usages.
Coloured or labelled links like spider diagrams or mind maps.
A limitation is that it imposes a consistency in the use of the concepts behind the links.
Doesn't suit my approach but would really help some.
Tiny notes attached to other notes.
I use stickies attached to documents, but the method is irrelevant.
These mostly arise from subconscious thinking, or something read in passing, rather than deliberate cogitation. Small thoughts, nothing complicated, so if I'm developing a character it might be 'Douglas Firbrae' or 'red hair'; I'm not going to actively think about it at the time - probably actively working on something else - but I don't want to lose the idea and I need it to be where I need it when I do actively work on the topic.
I think even this should be possible with a variety options.
No system copes well with independent small thoughts and small notes. Database systems work best (The Journal is okay). I simply combine them to create documents to put into the archive. Time will tell whether this is effective. I think it will work where the combination is on a single topic, but thoughts aren’t always like that.
And the Trello system should cope fine.
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