Zettelkasten is a method of note taking developed by Niklas Luhmann, a German scholar. The original sytem predates computers and operated on a sytem of index cards. The intention of Zettelkasten is to produce a system of note taking that allows connections between diverse topics by organizing concepts in a flexible manner that avoids silos and rigid hierarchies. In this manner it prefers the usage of bidirectional linking over tags or folder structures.
- Notes should be atomic, covering only one idea
- Notes should be self contained. Reference external sources, but incorporate them into the note.
- Notes should be densely interlinked
- Allow organization to occur organically rather than through hierarchy
- Notes should be conceptual rather than topical
- Notes should take advantage of the gneration effect, they should sumamrize and not quote.
- Notes are open for addition, not closed.
- As notes grow add narrative notes that link interconnected ideas as well as notes that index related ideas.