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I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten

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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.

Next level:
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 organizse my thoughts.
Temp (for new documents that may still need tagging/renaming/allocating).

Until I read more, I won’t know what type of linking I believe to be important in zettelkasten, should I go in that direction.

Here are some tools I find very useful for storing and retrieving information in plaintext files. I suppose most are very well known to many DC members reading this thread already, but anyway...-Nod5 (October 25, 2019, 05:10 PM)
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Thanks for these and the methodologies. -Dormouse (October 25, 2019, 05:51 PM)
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I am really very grateful for the list and explanations of best usage. It's the details of the best programs and usage tips that I have no idea about at all.

Isn't there a problem with filename tags in that links are broken every time you add or remove a tag?
-Dormouse (October 25, 2019, 05:54 PM)
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2. make .txt plaintext "companion files" with tags in filename and notes inside next to non-plaintext files.-Nod5 (October 25, 2019, 05:10 PM)
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So, same name as companion except .txt ?

Would this be a way of tagging the companion?
-Dormouse (October 25, 2019, 05:57 PM)
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Yeah, there is a trade-off between updating filename tags to reflect changes to file contents and risking breaking links/references elsewhere to that file.

I have no perfect fits-all-cases solution to that.

But here's an approach that works ok for me in many cases. Say we want to keep a photo of something or a screenshot of a webpage. First name the imagefile short but unique through timestamps. The camera likely does this by default and screenshots tools can be set to do that too. Keep that image filename unchanged going forward. Second, make a companion .txt file with additional tags in the filename, tags that can be updated over time.

C:\folder\20191022_181212.png receipt raspberry pi 4.txt

We can then in other plaintext files reliably "quasi link" to the image with the short string 20191022_181212.png .

We can also find the image via Everything fairly quickly in any folder on any harddrive using only the search terms "raspberry receipt", since the .txt file will be among the matches for that search and its filename in turn contains the image filename. That search will work even if we later also add the tags "todo sell ebay" to the companion .txt

.txt companion files can also be created for other purposes, not just for tags that make the "parent" file easy to find with filename search tools. For example if we stick to a format for some companion files, like
C:\folder\20191022_181212.png -- slideshow.txt
for photos then we can make scripts that automatically use the image and that special companion file for some purpose, for example to show an image slideshow overlayed with notes (text in the image's companion).

This idea is a bit like how external .srt subtitle files for video files work in VLC. Place the files video.mp4 and next to each other and VLC will automatically load the .srt subtitle when playing the .mp4 video.

All this said, the tools and approach I sketched above might not be for everybody. I suspect it is more appealing to someone who already uses code editors and writes scripts a lot anyway. But no harm in giving it a look, you might find some part of it that is a fit for you.

Lots of food for thought there.
I've no idea at this point about how much I will use tagging, and in what circumstances. The important thing, if I do, is a quick and easy workflow.


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