who should use Zettelkasten for writing

Zettelkasten for writing

Zettelkasten is not for people who are looking for quick results. It doesn’t promise you unmatched productivity in the short term, not will it be the shortest path if you are writing towards an end goal.

Zettelkasten is insight driven and there is large amount of setting up period it needs to start being useful to you. A zettelkasten can be seen as thinking tool for yourself as your are trying to find answers to the questions you might have.

You will have to invest considerable amount of time in figuring out the mechanics of a zettelkasten - whether it is a digital zettelkasten or an analogue zettelkasten. You might also have to tweak as you better understand the basic principle of it. And it will take committed effort to develop the habit of writing notes as a function of effortful summarisation and then that collection of notes build overtime for you to start making connection out of it.

It is not a quick fix for your writing practise, but a serious tool of thought. And it is incomplete if you cannot make the commitment it is takes to read some thing then the take careful good quality, reusable notes.

Ideal use case is for researchers and academics who is handling large volume of information as they are conducting their research. The system allows them to break ideas away from their parent context, restructure itself into forms that make more sense to them and connect it to other ideas they have already collected.

Zettelkasten can also be used for general non-fiction writing to collect inputs from different sources and then reuse the same concepts creatively in different context.

I have seen examples of digital zettelkasten being used by people for writing fiction - especially fiction that involves complex narratives and world building. Obsidian community will have excellent people who are using obsidian for this specific purpose.

Zettelkasten takes time, it takes more time than others because of the fact that it is a process that needs to have certain build up of notes to start delivering results. In other words if you are in a hurry to pump something out Zettelkasten is not the way. Similar to how Spaced Repetition is not for cramming right before the exam night.

return to Home Note or Zettelkasten

Hey there, my name is Rahul Rajeev and thank you for taking the time to read through my digital garden. This garden is a raw reflection of my explorations - so all the information shared here are versions of my own experiences and assumptions.

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