Building a second brain with Zettelkasten

Seedling 🌱 Planted August 17, 2021 - Last Tended August 17, 2021
#Personal Knowledge

I am starting to play with the idea of moving all my organization, notes, sketches, to-do's to a single application by following the Zettelkasten Method as personal knowledge management.

The main idea is that this organization lasts a lifetime, independently of any platform and application. Just basic pen and paper was enough for Niklas Luhmann, a social scientist, to publish 50 Books and over 600 articles.

The ideas resemble pretty much how Wikipedia is structured, closer to a Web. All articles link to other links and are intertwined. image


A few principles I get from the article Zettelkasten — How One German Scholar Was So Freakishly Productive are:

  • Atomicity
  • Autonomy
  • Connection between notes
  • Using tags instead of categories
  • Use your own words and keep it simple
  • Never delete anything
  • Link Reference pages to connect all the dots, like maps

Writing down the notes

Taking notes to go via:

  1. Fleeting notes: ideas, quotes, references, links, images.
  2. Literature notes extractions from books and papers.

Processing the notes permanently:

  1. Permanent notes: writing with your own words in a way that you will understand in 10 years forward.
  2. Index notes: hyperlinks with notes nodes and mapping.
  3. Keyword notes: Tags list


- Read more from the website: Getting started
- Examples article:
- Principles article:

- Cloudcannon
- Obsidian
- Roam Research, but not working on that