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Last post Author Topic: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten  (Read 241777 times)

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1125 on: May 10, 2022, 05:01 PM »
I'm very happy with logseq so far.
That's great. Given the people who like it, I'm sure it's good and is, as you said, developing rapidly. Had more developers than Obsidian even before raising the $4m. The basic structure is very Roam-like. I've simply never go on with it well enough so far, but it's the one Obsidian alternative I check out regularly. Actually, I do keep an eye on Zettlr; I'm not in its core user group (which I see as post-grads and academics) but seems to me to be the most writer biased of the PKM apps.

Plus neovide, a nvim frontend, that does something really interesting with the cursor (check this: https://youtu.be/Vd5AACp6GG0?t=112) because it has better typing latency.
I do see what you mean. Looks very neat. Of course, I don't actually use emacs, vim, neovim or alternatives and use the mouse by preference when I can. And have never typed fast enough to have an issue with latency; even if I did hit an issue, I'd probably be sitting  back thinking while it untangled itself. I'm a fast typist so I assume that I simply spend too much time thinking and not typing.

superboyac

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1126 on: May 10, 2022, 05:47 PM »
Very interesting observations and links everyone!!

update on my end.  All this zettel and markdown efforts has led me ultimately to a place where I use it specifically to make static generated sites out of it with just my curated set of notes and ideas.  It's the best way to make a good looking website, so easy.  And you just open up obsidian, make changes, and website is instantly updated. 

urlwolf

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1127 on: May 11, 2022, 10:16 AM »
Logseg publish exist too, and it's free. I haven't tried it.
The question for me is: what do I need to see to believe that taking notes (and elaborate on them) is beneficial?
We have one outlier, Luhman, and ... well the entirety 'productivity' web (is this a hipster thing?) who are into it. But are they productive?
How much effort is it to keep notes?

Who is measuring this?

superboyac

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1128 on: May 11, 2022, 01:04 PM »
Logseg publish exist too, and it's free. I haven't tried it.
The question for me is: what do I need to see to believe that taking notes (and elaborate on them) is beneficial?
We have one outlier, Luhman, and ... well the entirety 'productivity' web (is this a hipster thing?) who are into it. But are they productive?
How much effort is it to keep notes?

Who is measuring this?
40 was questioning this a few pages back, loll.  RE the productivity.
Being beneficial?  You can look at it in different ways.  I have been notetaking rather heavily since the late 90s.  I can tell you a lot of it is just dealing with my own anxiety/stresses and it is therapeutic in that sense.  I argue with myself in my writings until I come to a conclusion.  Reading it later is not the greatest thing, it is mostly rambling.

But then I have curated notes, more along the lines of Luhman and zettel.  And those definitely are productive, as they lead to tangible results.  Like writing a finished book.  Or using the ideas to put together some other deliverable....a project, a script, etc.  I write all the steps out.

I don't think overall all the notetaking is very productive.  There is an element of OCD going on here.  A lot of paralysis by analysis.  So I am aware of that, and am always trying to be more reasonable with my approach so I'm not just doing OCD things.


Overall, I find great value to the practice of notetaking.  But only if it leads to a finished result, or towards a stated goal that can be accomplished in the short term.  Other than that, I feel like I'm in OCD territory.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1129 on: May 12, 2022, 07:25 AM »
what do I need to see to believe that taking notes (and elaborate on them) is beneficial?
We have one outlier, Luhman, and ... well the entirety 'productivity' web (is this a hipster thing?) who are into it. But are they productive?
In the main, I don't believe that the people doing this are productive, apart from the mass production of notes.
Most appear to be students; probably the most driven and usually highly performing students anyway. Many appear to have the belief that it will help them learn (though that's not what Luhmann was about); and treat Ahrens' Smart Notes book as their bible even though it conflates his own ideas (developed largely around student note-taking) with those of Luhmann.

Luhmann lived an exraordinarily focused and regular life and was extremely disciplined. His system was perfected to optimise his productivity, and building on the usual reading and writing work typical of academics. He turned it into a form of painting-by-numbers (so rapid writing at the end). It was a form of academic mass production where the usual academic clay was sorted and then formed into bricks, with an index so that he could quickly find the bricks he wanted whatever he decided he wanted to build in the future.
It's a system I can see working very productively for any academic with his level of discipline (and ability to spot the best clay and craft good bricks).
But not so much for students, and not at all for anyone who doesn't actually have an intention to produce anything at the end of it.

Personally, I've never had that regularity, nor that style of discipline. Neverhteless, I can craft the bricks and the system makes it easy to drop and pick up as desired, with no loss of previously done work. So that's great.

How much effort is it to keep notes?
I don't know. People do appear to be producing prodigious quantities of them.
For me, I don't make a fraction of the notes that most seem to make (though I do have a very good memory, and my own workflow has always been heavily based on that). I have only ever made notes as an essential component of doing something, and even then usually only a fraction of what most seem to believe is required. Even when I was a student, I might make 4 lines of notes, and noticed others with 4 pages or even more; I never could understand what they thought they were going to do with them.

Who is measuring this?
I'd like to believe that everyone doing it will be measuring it for themselves. No way of avoiding bias.
Trying to do matched samples for group work would be fraught with problems, and I don''t think it could be made to work. A longidudinal single-case approach to carefully selected groups might work, but would be expensive to conduct.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1130 on: May 12, 2022, 06:09 PM »
Paragraphs, Lines and Enter
This remains an issue. If someone writes paragraphs only (ie no single new lines within the paragraph), then there may be no effective difference between a line and a paragraph - everything will depend on the settings of the export/conversion process. Depending partly on the use of copy/paste and the settings used within that.
Given the lack of a reasonable combine and export option in Obsidian, I decided to do a little testing. Two md files, one with an empty line between the lines (ie markdown definition of a paragraph) and one without (ie lines only), exported into docx

Inspire Writer - exported the no empty line file "correctly" (from my usage point of view) into paragraphs, and the one with markdown paragraphs into paragraphs with an empty space between the paragraphs.
iA Writer - exported the empty line into paragraphs, and the no empty line file was concatenated into a single paragraph.
Typora was the same as iA Writer. As was Writage.

In other words, Inspire Writer interprets markdown lines as if they were paragraphs - which is the way many people intend. But iA Writer and Typora stick rigidly to the markdown standard paragraphs. I was a little surprised by Typora because when I enter directly into it, the Enter = New Paragraph, but quite reasonably it regards that just as a keyboard adjustment for WYSIWYG.

Which means, for me, that I'd have to add an extra process (double spacing lines in text editor) if I wanted genuine paragraphs without adjusting keyboard behaviour to double Enter every time I pressed Enter should I type in Obsidian or iA Writer and export through iA Writer, Writage or Typora. Writing in Typora always exports as I want, as does writing in Inspire Writer. And writing directly into docx obviously works perfectly.

The combining options in Inspire Writer work well; in iA Writer the embed system export requires combining files one at a time - functional but quite high friction if done often, and no preview.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1131 on: May 13, 2022, 04:58 PM »
Given the lack of a reasonable combine and export option in Obsidian
While I was looking at it, I thought I ought to work out what I think is currently the best workflow for longform writing in Obsidian. The lack of tools for a single file approach makes it hard to recommend that purely. So, ..

A separate vault (or folder) for the long project.

Plugins required:
  • Bartender (for manual sequencing of files in the file explorer)
  • Pandoc (possibly + Obsidian Enhancing Export)
  • Novel word count (for visible word or page counts for each file or folder)
  • Better word count or File info panel (for word counts including a count for selected text, in the current note; and other info in the FIP)
  • Note Refactor - (optional - to make files easier to split)
  • Hover Editor (to give the option to do all the editing via the large document rather than the separate notes)

The basic technique is to have a single note that contains all the scenes, chapters etc as embeds, and then to export that document into the desired format.

Workflow(s) - there's a number of options.
One would be to write from the beginning using the large note with embeds and headings. I feel it is likely to be better to only do that at a later stage.
Easier to start in the conventional Scrivener/Ulysses way with separate scene/chapter notes in the explorer. With bartender, and using folders, it's easy to see everything in sequence and with their word count (via Novel Word Count). Once you are ready, you can select all the required notes and paste into a new note as links, and then make those links embeds. The bartender sequence will not be preserved, but, if the embeds are made into headings, the outline will allow them to be moved around.

Export is straightforward, but attention needs to be paid to the line/paragraph distinction.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1132 on: May 13, 2022, 06:27 PM »
Also notice Tangent Notes. Very early stages.
Just updated it. Does feel interesting. Very visual, card style interface. I could imagine working in it. Especially if I wrote many short pieces or short notes.

urlwolf

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1133 on: May 14, 2022, 12:14 PM »
Tangent is awesome. My flirting with logseq and neovide didn't go well. I wasted a lot of time. This is such a crucial app to get right that sometimes I spend too much time searching. But I'm happy I found Tangent. This forum delivers!

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1134 on: May 16, 2022, 10:44 AM »
Tangent is awesome
Once you have spent enough time with it, I'd be interested in your ideas of its strengths and weaknesses.
It feels too early in its development for me to use it (and my current use cases don't seem ideally suited ot it), but I have liked the look and feel when I've looked it over.

Dormouse

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I've noticed a little quirk in using outlines and headings.

Functionally they are the same, apart from heading levels being limited where outlines are not - and OPML translates them as if they are the same. But they don't ever feel the same, especially in markdown.

I've realised that's because my mind - and, I believe, most minds - pick up on the numbers in the headings and allocate some type of category. Outlines are just like folgezettel - they have parents, and maybe children, but no absolute number. Markdown headings are very fixed 1-6 and are usually directly written. Interestingly, headings in Word aren't quite like that - although they are 1-9, the most recommended workflow seems to manage them by increasing or decreasing their level rather than allocating one; and the number is rarely mentioned - it's all just styling. This make WP headings much more like an outline. Some markdown based programs also go for the increase/decrease workflow but the number always takes mental precedence over the hierarchical relationship.

I know better than to fight such embedded unconscious thought patterns and henceforth will stick to using outlines & WP headings, except where having an absolute level and number makes sense.

urlwolf

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1136 on: May 19, 2022, 05:42 PM »
This one is also interesting: https://www.flowpilot.co/
'Start with the end in mind' sounds solid. Didn't try it for a project.
Tangent feels extremely good. They have solved a giant problem: graph view is useless on other tools. Not here. You build up the graph as you think. And see only the  parts you have just used.

It's very similar to how I used big paper to think.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1137 on: May 19, 2022, 06:41 PM »
Also saw this one: https://app.flowtelic.com. Haven't tried it at all. If I can't immediately see what I'd get out of it, I tend to make a note and pass on, maybe to revisit later. But I'm not keen on web apps and rather dubious about PWA for anything important, which has put me off wavemaker.

Glad to hear you are getting something out of Tangent. I'm content to use the tools I have for now (they're working well enough to be productive and I need to spend some time actually doing rather than constantly exploring new), but I like to keep my eyes open. Your comment about the graph is interesting - I've not found them useful previously and tbh never really tried them seriously as I wasn't clear what I'd get from using them. Makes sense that it's more useful if it's an active part of working.

One irritation I'm still having is the lack of hoisting in markdown programs. Folding appears to be standard, but hoisting much less so. And yet focus requires both.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2022, 06:50 PM by Dormouse »

Dormouse

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superboyac

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1139 on: May 22, 2022, 09:06 PM »
Video of a plugin being developed for Obsidian
From the Obsidian discord.
that's pretty cool

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive; Summertime - all change
« Reply #1140 on: May 27, 2022, 05:41 AM »
Nothing quite works as well as it did. My eyes have reacted to the higher light levels (or just decided to have a change), and most of the dark modes are too stark, and the light modes too light. I can manage with them, but it's harder.

And that's one advantage of Obsidian. There are so many themes and colour settings and the Style Settings plugin that switching from one to the other - even multiple times a day - is pretty easy. So I will use it more. Back to the Boox too.


Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1141 on: May 27, 2022, 05:45 AM »
I'd have to add an extra process (double spacing lines in text editor) if I wanted genuine paragraphs without adjusting keyboard behaviour to double Enter every time I pressed Enter should I type in Obsidian or iA Writer and export through iA Writer, Writage or Typora. Writing in Typora always exports as I want, as does writing in Inspire Writer. And writing directly into docx obviously works perfectly
I've decided, for now, that I need to use the text editor more - as a final process before my daily commit. That allows me to be agnostic about the programs I write in. And I have even realised that there can be compositional advantages from writing in bullets. Sometimes.

urlwolf

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1142 on: May 30, 2022, 06:40 AM »
The more I use Tangent, the more I realize what Taylor Hadden is building is truly revolutionary. It really is a bike for the brain. He has a knack for investing on the right things, and for designing an UX that produces clearer thinking

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive- Obsidian update 0.15
« Reply #1143 on: June 14, 2022, 07:29 PM »
There has been a new Insider update 0.15 tonight. I'm sure that many of the bugs will be caught while it stays inside, but I'd warn that it's a major change that breaks quite a few workflows (and I'm sure themes and plugins) with more UI changes to come. So, if you like the workflow you have, its worth turning automatic updates off until everything is ironed out (at least once you have moved onto 0.14.15).

It incorporates a major update in Codemirror and effectively gives warning that the legacy (non-Live Preview) editor is entering its final weeks/months.

superboyac

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1144 on: June 14, 2022, 10:08 PM »
The more I use Tangent, the more I realize what Taylor Hadden is building is truly revolutionary. It really is a bike for the brain. He has a knack for investing on the right things, and for designing an UX that produces clearer thinking

Whoa nice rec there!  Tangent is VERY nice, indeed.  Damn.

Attronarch

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1145 on: June 15, 2022, 02:29 PM »
The question for me is: what do I need to see to believe that taking notes (and elaborate on them) is beneficial?
We have one outlier, Luhman, and ... well the entirety 'productivity' web (is this a hipster thing?) who are into it. But are they productive?
How much effort is it to keep notes?

Who is measuring this?

I can only speak for myself. At the beginning of my doctorate I decided that I want to read any paper or book only once. I take copious notes of key arguments, my thoughts, feelings, etc. All of these are compiled in a master note for that reading piece. All notes are tagged. Every few months I'll be looking at new connections, sometimes writing a new note summarising my new insight. The biggest value is in making those connections. Is it worth it? For me it is, since I use my notes when writing papers. For example, I wrote a high-quality academic paper of 10 000 words in two days. I could write fast because I knew I already have good sources for my claims and arguments.

superboyac

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1146 on: June 15, 2022, 03:02 PM »
The question for me is: what do I need to see to believe that taking notes (and elaborate on them) is beneficial?
We have one outlier, Luhman, and ... well the entirety 'productivity' web (is this a hipster thing?) who are into it. But are they productive?
How much effort is it to keep notes?

Who is measuring this?

I can only speak for myself. At the beginning of my doctorate I decided that I want to read any paper or book only once. I take copious notes of key arguments, my thoughts, feelings, etc. All of these are compiled in a master note for that reading piece. All notes are tagged. Every few months I'll be looking at new connections, sometimes writing a new note summarising my new insight. The biggest value is in making those connections. Is it worth it? For me it is, since I use my notes when writing papers. For example, I wrote a high-quality academic paper of 10 000 words in two days. I could write fast because I knew I already have good sources for my claims and arguments.
If you do it as you have described with your discipline, it is totally worth it!  I agree.  The ability to churn out a coherent and detailed document is the best value IMO.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1147 on: June 16, 2022, 03:34 AM »
So iA Writer (Mac/iOS) now has wikilinks.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1148 on: June 16, 2022, 04:23 PM »
I was checking out the details of the breaks in the Bartender plugin since the Obsidian update to 0.15 (now 0.15.1)
Editing the json works, but mouse doesn't work when moving folders.

It then occurred to me that I was wasting my time. I shouldn't be using this plugin (which allows a custom sort order for files/folders) anyway! Reason being that it's an Obsidian only solution to a problem that exists for all programs. XYplorer has this function, but again it only works in that program.

I mulled a number of solutions, which all appeared to be based on links and concluded that the simplest solution would be the best - ie adding numbers and letters before the file name. Oh so Luhmann! That give a consistent sort sequence (assuming alphabetical sort) for all programs and all OSs. It's pretty flexible too, but just doesn't allow sorting by mouse which is my preferred system when I'm changing the sequence.

superboyac

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1149 on: June 16, 2022, 10:12 PM »
I was checking out the details of the breaks in the Bartender plugin since the Obsidian update to 0.15 (now 0.15.1)
Editing the json works, but mouse doesn't work when moving folders.

It then occurred to me that I was wasting my time. I shouldn't be using this plugin (which allows a custom sort order for files/folders) anyway! Reason being that it's an Obsidian only solution to a problem that exists for all programs. XYplorer has this function, but again it only works in that program.

I mulled a number of solutions, which all appeared to be based on links and concluded that the simplest solution would be the best - ie adding numbers and letters before the file name. Oh so Luhmann! That give a consistent sort sequence (assuming alphabetical sort) for all programs and all OSs. It's pretty flexible too, but just doesn't allow sorting by mouse which is my preferred system when I'm changing the sequence.
i use yaml and slugs to solve this issue.