Read The Two Forms of a Zettel (Zettelkasten Method)
In this post I try to dig into the nature of a Zettel. When philosophers speak about the nature of something they refer to its most basic qualities. If you substract one of those you would have something different.

I’ll construct two forms of a Zettel:
The Outer Form
The Inner Form
The outer form refers to entities that are necessary for its existence.
The inner form refers to entities that compose its inner structure. 

Annotated on March 23, 2020 at 05:16PM

Read The Difference Between Good and Bad Tags (Zettelkasten Method)
When I search in my archive for the tag I get really annoying results. I don’t only get notes on diet. I get notes on carbohydrates, insulin sensitivity and many other. “Why is that a problem?”, you might ask. “All the above topics are relevant for diet, aren’t they?” No, and here is why.

There are two different types of tags:
Tags for topics. You use tags to group notes under a topic.
Tags for objects. You use tags to group notes around an object, real or conceptual. 

Annotated on March 23, 2020 at 05:06PM

The tags for objects are much more precise and reveal real connections. They narrow down the search way more which is hugely important if your archive grows. They only give you what you want, and not the topic which also contains what you want. 

Annotated on March 23, 2020 at 05:07PM

Read Different Kinds of Ties Between Notes (Zettelkasten Method)
After the awesome discussion of Sascha’s latest blog post, I meditated about all the different kinds of ties between notes. Here’s what I came up with.

You can translate “Folgezettel” (literally: “subsequent note”) as “note sequence”. 

Annotated on March 23, 2020 at 04:47PM

Our brain can only hold to so much information at a time. 

of course this is why I like mnemonics and specific techniques like the method of loci. We can not only retain more but the memories can be stored in interesting ways that increase their potentially creativity like creating a Zettelkasten in the brain.
Annotated on March 23, 2020 at 04:53PM

Read Create Zettel from Reading Notes According to the Principle of Atomicity (Zettelkasten Method)
As I said in my last post, my reading workflow consists of GTD-like phases: collect, process and write. While I wrote about collecting before, this post is about the three phases of processing notes. In the last section you’ll find a few example Zettels I wrote.
Read Overview: Zettelkasten Method (

Using a Zettelkasten is about optimizing a workflow of learning and producing knowledge. The products are texts, mostly. The categories we find fit the process well at the moment are the following:

Knowledge Management: general information about what it means to work and learn efficiently.
Writing: posts on the production of lasting knowledge, and about sharing it with others through your own texts.
Reading: posts about the process of acquisition of new things and the organization of sources.

👓 Ponderance 8/6 – EDU 522 | Cooper Kean

Read Ponderance 8/6 by Cooper Kean (
I am still working out the kinks of the website, so i had trouble connecting my reading to my annotations, (I had made a hard copy in a lined notebook to feel like I had stepped back in time). I think there is a very big difference between free reading and reading for a purpose. In my cl...

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

I believe, and I try to emphasize to the students, that annotation is a deeply personal activity, my annotations may look different from yours because we think differently.  

We often think differently even on different readings. Sometimes upon re-reading pieces, I’ll find and annotate completely different things than I would have on the first pass. Sometimes (often with more experience and new eyes) I’ll even disagree with what I’d written on prior passes.

This process reminds me a bit of the Barbell Method of Reading
August 06, 2018 at 04:39PM

They did that to the point where  there were more asterisks on the page than stars in the sky. Despite all this, the annotations did not mean anything to the students.  

Keeping in mind that different people learn in different ways, there’s another possible way of looking at this.

Some people learn better aurally than visually. Some remember things better by writing them down. I know a few synaesthetes who likely might learn better by using various highlighting colors. Perhaps those who highlight everything are actually helping their own brains to learn by doing this?

This said, I myself still don’t understand people who are highlighting everything in their books this way. I suspect that some are just trying and imitating what they’ve seen before and just haven’t learned to read and annotate actively.

Helping students to discover how they best learn can be a great hurdle to cross, particularly at a young age. Of course, this being said, we also need to help them exercise the other modalities and pathways to help make them more well-rounded and understanding as well.
August 06, 2018 at 04:47PM

👓 The Barbell Method of Reading | Zettelkasten Method

Read The Barbell Method of Reading (Zettelkasten Method)
Our reading habit is one of the corner stones of our knowledge work habits. Reading is the most efficient way to create an influx of information that can transform into knowledge. Therefore, we should devote some thought and energy in the optimization of our reading habits. One decision we have to make is whether to read fast or thorough. Yes, this is a decision. There are a couple of techniques that could enhance your reading speed and don’t decrease comprehension. But most of the so-called “speed reading” techniques either decrease comprehension for the sake of speed or even involve skipping large parts of the text.