Post: The Zettelkasten Method
Late last night I discovered something called The Zettelkasten Method, and I do believe, after having read extensively about it, that it has the ability to change forever how I store, sort, and retrieve knowledge. You can think of it as a way to associate related bits of data like notes or grains of knowledge via inline links that are named in some meaningful way. For example, I can take a note on PostgreSQL database user management and link it inline to other notes about MariaDB user management and so on. By doing so I am creating connections of a kind and forming strings of thought. In addition, links need not connect to knowledge that is explicitly the same. Indeed, you can and should link to notes that are similar and that might impart useful knowledge at a later date. By doing so you are creating a three-dimensional lattice of ideas that is a Zettelkasten.
After wrapping my head around the whole concept I soon realized that I could use an app called DEVONthink as the basis for my own Zettelkasten. You can think of DEVONthink as an application that allows you to store almost any kind of file and/or bit of knowledge in individual databases. These files can be normal ASCII text, Rich Text, Markdown, PDF, images, spreadsheets, etc. Pretty much anything that you can create can be stored in a DEVONthink database. It works well as the basis for a Zettelkasten because it lets you link and associate notes together inline. In fact, I've been using it for years to store all of my most precious data. However, up until today, I had never thought about taking advantage of the robust inline linking mechanism, let alone naming those links in a meaningful way.
My short term goal is to develop a unique naming convention that resonates with me and then implement it along with inline links inside my existing cache of knowledge-based data. Long term goal is the development of a proper three-dimensional lattice of linked, categorized, and easily searchable data. Over the years I have tried many data organizational systems and none of them have stuck. The best that can be said is that I picked up bits and pieces from each to form what I have today. Could it be that a combination of DEVONthink and the Zettelkasten method is all that I need to finally bring things together? Only time will tell.
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