Daniel's working notes


It’s German words means ’slip box’

Developed by German sociologist Niklas Luhmann

With this system, Luhmann could produce more than 70 books and published 400 scholarly articles on various subjects.

The idea is to put notes on your own words in a full sentence and as complete as possible. (Evergreen notes should be atomic)

Then when you read or digest more information, you create notes with connection to the existing notes. In today practice, we could do it with hyperlink. (Evergreen notes should be linked)

The benefit of taking notes is it improves our retention on what we read or learn.

Luhmann method is explained more detail in book titled How to take smart notes and I definitely recommend you to read it.

Zettelkasten method reminds me about Functional programming where we can compose small function into bigger function that do something more.

Zettelkasten will make us break ideas, concepts and store them into our words so we can understand with our own words and later use those building blocks to create new knowledge by putting pieces together.

Andy Matuschak describe that one of the criteria of Evergreen notes is titled like an API because when you read at the title, you can quickly guess what’s the content.

But I’d like to think that evergreen notes’ title are composable. Andy’s notes are the best example of it where he can write a sentence by just using several notes title.

One thing that struck me when reading that book is how we tend to feel like we learn after reading or even only just collecting material. In fact, reading is not equal to understanding. See: The collector’s fallacy

Reading list

Linked Notes: