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Instruction on the Zettelkasten method for beginners
The smart note-taking method that popularized personalized knowledge management
The massive amount of data that is produced per day is insane. We consume so much information every day that it's no wonder many suffer from information overload.
A tour of our brains would be like wandering aimlessly through a gigantic archive of information, files, and references. It's no wonder that when we come across interesting information that we want to keep, we either write it down on a notepad, stick it on a sticky note on our desk, or save it to a digital file on our computer.
What's the problem with taking notes?
Unfortunately, more often than not, these ideas and information get forgotten and lost. Without a proper organizational structure, your data can quickly become a pile of chaos and due to the overwhelming amount, regularly sorting and organizing your notes is the only way to keep them usable.
How often do we make notes with the intention of using the information in the future and later forget it even exists? Information without a clear description of the original intent to keep or collect it in the first place leads to a hodgepodge of different information with no connection to a train of thought.
For those who want to master knowledge building and change their thinking, the slip box system is a good place to start.
What is the slip box method?
what is the slip box method
The notebox method is a personal strategic process for thinking and writing. One of the most effective knowledge management methods, it is best described as an organizational system that helps you organize your knowledge as you work (study or research).
What makes the slip box method so great is that the system not only helps you store and organize your knowledge, but it also improves your memory and knowledge retention. Developing knowledge relationships greatly improves knowledge recall, and forming relationships also trains your mind to recognize patterns.
We need to understand how our minds work so that we can work better with our minds.
- Jim Kwik, mind coach and author of Mindvalley's Superbrain Program
The note box method encourages you to connect the dots between different thought processes and insights. The steps facilitate our intrinsic ability to make new connections between ideas, increasing our knowledge and productive output.
The note box method is good if that's what you want:
Systematically organize important information
want to find information again, even years later
want to develop your own ideas
In short, the slip box method is an integrated system for managing knowledge in your life and acts as an amplifier of your writing and knowledge management efforts.
What is a knowledge management system?
Knowledge management (KM) is the process of creating, sharing, using and managing knowledge and information. The main goal is to make the best use of existing knowledge.
When you create a personal knowledge management system, you end up developing a system and structure to organize your ideas, thoughts, and information in a way that suits you. In a sense, you are developing a web of knowledge and building a "second brain" with all the information you gather to foster an emergent thinking approach.
Definition of the note box index cars in the note box drawer
Zettelkasten is a German word that can be translated as 'slip box'. The definition explains what material is used and what filing system is used. Let us break down the Zettelkasten into its component parts:
A 'note' is a piece of paper or a note on paper. Information that we want to keep is written on a slip of paper. The classic form of a slip of paper is a sticky note, an index card, or a piece of notebook paper on which you jot down your thoughts.
The word 'box' literally means box. However, in this context, it specifically refers to an index box. Index boxes allow for an organized filing system where like-minded notes or pieces of paper can be grouped and categorized in one place.
Following the definition, the card box method can be explained as an index card knowledge management system that helps you store, organize, identify, and categorize information that is important to you, ultimately turning it into creative output.
In short, a notebook is simply a framework that helps you organize your ideas, thoughts, and information. By relating pieces of knowledge and linking information together (through hyperlinks), you map out a thought process. By creating relationships between pieces of knowledge, you help retain stale information so that your thought process can grow organically.