How do you start a zettelkasten system

  • While we talk about the why and whats of a Zettelkasten one thing that is not so widely discussed it how does one start using a Zettelkasten. The concept isn’t that easy or intuitive from the get go. If some one was to start using it, where would they start it and how would they model
  • Here are some steps that I would suggest
    • Learn the basics
      • You should know what the difference is between a fleeting note and a permanent note
      • You should what literature notes are and how to take it
      • Principle of atomicity is the most simplest to understand but the hardest to practise
    • Make notes
      • Instead of worrying too much about what the Zettelkasten will do for you, for the first few weeks focus on taking notes more
      • It is important to build the process and habit of writing down your thoughts
      • Because that is where the magic happens
    • Find an argument or a question that you want to answer or supplement from the list of interests that you have
      • But, you have to do it to grasp the full potential of Zettelkasten
      • Everything you do here after is aid your thinking to process this central argument
      • You can develop multiple arguments at time in your Zettelkasten. But start with one for now to make it simple for you
    • Consume stuff that correlates with your central argument
      • This is important. But since the question is important to you this should be the natural thing you would be doing.
      • As you make the permanent notes from your literature notes two things have to happen
        • You write the permanent notes in a way that it fits your central argument and the relationship between the two can be understood by someone else (that someone else is future you)
        • Second, you add the notes to the stack in which you have put your central argument down. For digital you link to that argument or other sets of notes you have created in connection to that argument
    • Cross relating the permanent note
      • Well all the things above was made to support one argument. The idea explodes when you have multiple arguments and you are collecting information to aid those questions.
      • And as you make the permanent notes, you start asking where else do this note fit.
      • As you may discover the same note will fit into multiple concepts and that is how Zettelkasten compounds your efforts once you start developing that critical mass of ideas.

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