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Last post Author Topic: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten  (Read 134038 times)

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #875 on: January 17, 2021, 05:13 PM »
I've not been following the development of Obsidian that closely recently. It continues apace. Multiple plugins and themes now - though I'm aware that some of them on occasion have caused data loss. Many still look for Roam features, implemented exactly the way Roam does it. Hosts of other improvements and tweaks that sometimes catch out even experienced users. If most users use a large number of them, I can foresee the day in a few years where switching to anything else will become very hard because their preferred features aren't all available elsewhere; or they'll gradually give up and start again with another program. I think giving up will be frequent anyway because so many users are students who won't have the same needs once they finish their courses and the system they have built with Obsidian will have been tweaked and fine tuned into inflexibility.

We'll see.
Won't be an issue for me because I'm staying primitive.
I'm limiting my markdown formatting to headings and very occasional text (italic, bold, underline, strikethrough) = and half of that isn't really markdown. Maybe lists. Plus wikilinks. Plus images.
Most of what I do works perfectly well as pure .txt.
Editing and reviewing needs much more than markdown can provide and I will continue to switch to other programs for those.

Dormouse

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Trying a journal again - inspired by Virginia Woolf
« Reply #876 on: January 17, 2021, 05:46 PM »
I'm also having another go at doing a serious journal/diary.
I've been inspired by Virginia Woolf's diaries which I hadn't read until I was recently gifted a copy. (Ebook versions are available for free on the internet, like all of her work.) I've always been impressed by the famous diaries (Pepys etc) , but they'd never seemed relevant to my own potential use. These diaries fit much better. They seem to cover everything. She took them seriously, trying to set aside a small amount of time each day, but there are still many days with no entries. There's description, observation, activities, introspection, planning and recording her reading and her writing programme. Recording and trying to analyse her feelings and emotions and health (frequently poor). Practicing phrasing and style (and reporting her feeling, after some years of use, that it had helped her writing to flow more easily).

In the past, I've often been caught out by the physical methodology getting in my way. And limited time. That led me to focus on what seemed important (with the habit stopping when it no longer was), and books (printed diaries/plain notebooks) which then became inconvenient. And I've tried so many digital methods without ever getting going seriously with any of them. At least with the pen and papers ones, I still find the ones made years ago interesting today. But in recent years I've never been able to do more than a few days at a time in a paper diary, so digital it has to be.

I tried a plain document approach using Obsidian, but that became messy and not very useful. So as my system is opening again, I've returned to Diarium, which I first looked at in March last year before encountering Obsidian. AND I'm having another go with dictation on the phone. The availability suits me well and I'm accustomed to dictating, even if it is never as fast as typing, when it feels as if it ought to be faster. Worked okay so far, but very early days, so mostly likely another false start; maybe not because the Woolf model could easily work for me. And I'm not limited to dictation or the phone. I expect to export regularly into .txt files.

But the dictation works  remarkably well. 'Marques de Riscal, Rioja Reserva 2016' without a hitch. I was well impressed.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2021, 06:52 PM by Dormouse »

superboyac

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #877 on: January 17, 2021, 06:21 PM »
Well, I'm just going to restate what has been working well for me...
I use whatever to edit my files...obsidian zettlr, vs code.  I've lost somewhat interest in features other than the most basic stuff.  I don't plan on living in these tools, just using them to create and edit.

As far as reviewing, and reading the content, and how it looks etc...I'm really sticking with neuron.  So most of my time is being spent reading and navigating my content in neuron. 

Dormouse

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Wikilinks, spreadsheets and tables
« Reply #878 on: January 31, 2021, 03:38 PM »
Wikilinks in Obsidian are a wonderful tool for writing and research. I'm still investigating the best way to use Obsidian (& et al) for my writing, in particular looking for the best method for organising and manipulating longer pieces of writing.

One option is very long documents and using headings. Headings produce outlines and can be linked directly.
Another option is multiple documents with a MOC/Index. This makes manipulating and re-sequencing very easy.
Another is simply using files and nested folders - the way most writer's programs do it.
However, all  are very linear. And I inevitably find linear constricting.

I have always used spreadsheets as part of my planning process, and am aware that many writers have constructed complex systems using multiple spreadsheets.
Tables can help as a cutdown way of doing the same, but their limited functions restrict what can be done. And markdown tables are a PITA (though Typora's are more usable than most).
Ideally I wanted to continue to use spreadsheets. Obsidian allows links to the files which can then be opened in the default spreadsheet program, which is manageable.
But I have worked out a much, much better solution.

  • I use a spreadsheet. Scenes, people, places, concepts (anything I choose) get put in wikilinks if I think that I might want to link to them. I can switch and move things around however I want.
  • I copy the spreadsheet and paste it in Typora (doesn't work if I try pasting in Obsidian or WriteMonkey, but haven't tried anything else).
  • I copy the Typora table and paste it into Obsidian.
  • Obsidian will automatically link to any notes that already exist and will offer to create notes for the wikilinked titles that don't already exist.
This gives me a supercharged index that isn't simply sequential. If I hover over the link, I can see the content. I can use the spreadsheet itself (I'll stick a link in as the title of the table) for analysis and development.

The one fly in the ointment is that this seems to be unidirectional - you can't take the markdown table and paste it into a spreadsheet. I assume It might be possible with a few conversions, but that doesn't feel like a productive workflow in normal circumstances. It's not a major issue - it means always making changes in the spreadsheet and copying back into Obsidian, but that's all.

Probably of no interest to most people, but I find the possibilities exciting.

superboyac

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #879 on: January 31, 2021, 04:39 PM »
that's a pretty manual process.  It would drive me nuts lolll...

I also don't like the markdown tables.  So I sort of do something similar now, if i need to insert a table, I make it in excel and paste in the picture of it.  But I'm not doing any functional linking with it, simply inserting tables as graphics.

the unidirectional index thing is a problem always for textual organization.  That's why those graph views are so nice, it's just a visual of webbing links.  It's hard to convert that to text.

For indexing....I would not use tables of any sort, but again I am not doing it as intensively as you are.
Indexing, I basically use the classic zk of idea of creating a note that links to all the sub-topics.  So i create an index note.  Multiple index notes can link to the same sub-note, that's fine.  But in a listed hierarchy, if a note has multiple parents, which is the master?  that's the issue with text...only graph viz will show this properly.

also unrelated...but i often think about 40hz' question above.....what do I intend to do with all this note taking?  For me, my goal is to help me write more books more easily.  That is my primary motivation, and that was my inspiration when reading about the og zk guy luhrman was doing it, he could churn out books like nothing.  So far it is working well for me, however proof is in the pudding and let's see a book come out of it.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #880 on: January 31, 2021, 06:12 PM »
that's a pretty manual process.  It would drive me nuts lolll...
Indexing, I basically use the classic zk of idea of creating a note that links to all the sub-topics.  So i create an index note.  Multiple index notes can link to the same sub-note, that's fine.
I think the  difference here is that this part of my process has nothing to do with note-taking or zettelkasten. It's about planning, writing and organising an MSS. If there will be enough for more than one book, moving parts between them so that each one is well structured. Making it easy to see gaps that need filling. Ditto for generating multiple articles from one research programme. And that's the same for a series of articles on aspects of the same issue. Irrelevant if you're hand-to-mouth but essential when you're in a position to plan the series.

If you're a pantser writing fiction it has no value at all. Though, when I think on it, if you write lots of bits it might help you stitch them into coherence.

Has to be manual because all the decisions require thought.

And at the end, you do have an index. If there’s a book series, and each column is a book, with scenes on the rows, all that's needed is to copy a column, put a ! In front of the wikilinks to insert the transclusions, and then export/print the whole MSS.
You'd have other columns in the spreadsheet of course. Word counts, targets, appearance of characters and locations, whatever it is that's helpful for planning or editing/reviewing. But you probably only want that in the spreadsheet.
Would work for a PhD too. Be overkill for an UG essay, but could help with a thesis.
Or multi-stage business plans. Or years of committee meetings. Any whole that splits into multiple sections, with highly detailed components, where each section has a similar structure.

I wouldn't use it at all for zettelkasten type notes (or the value of using it there hasn't struck me yet).
« Last Edit: January 31, 2021, 06:29 PM by Dormouse »

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #881 on: February 01, 2021, 06:29 AM »
Any whole that splits into multiple sections, with highly detailed components, where each section has a similar structure
I've realised that it works for any whole with detailed (markdown) components. Structure is just the way I've been using it.

You could think of it as a large desk covered in documents.
Or you could have a  structure at the top/left/middle with unpositioned documents lying around it.
You could use it like Scrivener's corkboard (though here the documents won't lie on top of each other or overlap, though more than one document to a cell is possible). For me, it could work better than the corkboard because the space is so much bigger, though I'd miss drag and drop (or I would if I used Scrivener).
 
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 10:52 AM by Dormouse »