I can’t recall how I came across this article. But it sure got me thinking long and hard about my set up for storing notes and information related to all the things I do. Andre Chaperon absolutely nailed the description of a problem I still experience from time to time:
The inefficiencies of a system (or lack of a system) don’t become apparent until we need to retrieve the information we’ve previously been exposed to; information we’ve already deemed important.
… and then can’t find the info or recall where you saw it.
Despite efforts to ensure this doesn’t happen, I still find myself having these moments. And so this article inspired me.
In short, Chaperon is making a case for the Zettelkasten method of notekeeping. And he goes into great detail about the entire system and how one can implement it digitally. And while he ends up in a different place than I picture, it sounds fantastic. I can picture this set up with Sublime Text. But I feel like it makes the most sense to use Ulysses in this fashion.
My issue on this topic is that the Zettelkasten method feels a little like overkill for me. I could make better use of keywords (tags) and smart filters in Ulysses to ensure I can find the things I need.
However, if one was to implement the Zettelkasten system, I recommend reading why one would want to use it. In his post Create a Zettelkasten to Improve Thinking and Writing, Christian Tietze from Zettelkasten.de goes into detail on the benefits of this method. At its heart, he talks about how taking notes is good for a knowledge worker; the Zettelkasten method is the method to do so that allows related notes to be more interconnected.
Doing it right, you can move way beyond input/output-based note-taking. You can interact with and communicate with your system of notes. As holds true for every communication, you’ll learn something new when you interact with your Zettelkasten.
Anyway, as you can see, I’m a little infatuated with this idea right now.