The Zettelkasten method is the most powerful tool for knowledge workers.
The Zettelkasten serves as a second brain, helping its users to better organize and recall notes and assisting them in processing information to generate new and unique ideas.
With this template, I try to offer you the most straightforward and user-friendly Zettelkasten solution for Notion.
Setting up a Zettelkasten can be a tedious process + beginners often overcomplicate their system. This template tries to simplify note-taking and will guide you through the workflow of note processing.
This template is for....
- Undergraduate + PhD students
- Content creators
- Knowledge Workers
- Knowledge Entrepreneurs
In short, for everybody who needs to take notes regularly.
What is a Zettelkasten?
Zettelkasten is a German word and can be translated as slip box. The terms note box or second brain are also often used as synonyms. The Zettelkasten method was originally invented by the German sociologist Niklas Luhmann.
A Zettelkasten is a personal tool for thinking and writing. It has hypertextual features to make a web of thought possible. The difference to other systems is that you create a web of thoughts instead of notes of arbitrary size and form, and emphasize connection, not a collection. https://zettelkasten.de/introduction/
Instead of saving notes in a hierarchical way, as we would do with a notebook, we are saving them non-hierarchical in a slip box. You can do the method analogously with a real slip box and paper notes or digitally with software like Notion.
What kind of notes exist in a Zettelkasten?
- Fleeting Notes:
Thoughts and ideas you are capturing throughout the day. E.g. you are listening to a podcast and writing down an idea you are hearing on a piece of paper or on some simple note-taking app on your phone.
- Literature Notes:
In the next step, you need to decide which of the fleeting notes you want to bring into your Zettelkasten.
Those are literature notes: Short, bullet-point summaries of things you want to remember from the content you've consumed
Remember: Less is more! Make a brief summary of the note and include a reference to its source.
One more thing: Just one idea per note!
- Permanent Notes
Some of the literature notes can be converted into permanent notes, but do this just to ideas and thoughts you want to explore further.
Literature Notes are short summaries while permanent notes are short essays about a single idea (100-300 words). Other people or your future self should be able to understand them without reading the source material.
Each permanent note contains only one single idea. When you create them you don’t write a full article. You write ideas. That’s how they become reusable. - Eva Keiffenheim
How to link between notes?
Ideally, you link to another note, when this note is supporting, challenging, upgrading or contradicting the new permanent note. This way, a web of knowledge will emerge with time.
“Notes are only as vaulable as the note and reference networks they are embedded in.” — Sönke Ahrens
Once you write an article or a book about a specific topic, you don’t start with a blank page. Instead, you search for permanent notes relevant to your topic. - Eva Keiffenheim
PS: Read more about the Zettelkasten Methode and my experience with it here: https://shop.philipp-stelzel.com/notion-zettelkasten-template/
PS: Follow me on Twitter to receive updates about this template: depakes
Note Capturing Pipeline
- Notion Template
- Note Capturing Pipeline
- Zettelkasten Instruction