Zettelkasten

What is it?

Terms

Zettelkasten is German for ‘slip box’ or ‘card index’.

Zettelkasten
slip/note/file/card-box/index
plural: Zettelkästen
Zettel
note/card
plural: Zettel

Concepts

  • The Zettelkasten method enables users to store and organize knowledge, extend their memory, and generate new connections and ideas.
  • The original system that we refer to was developed by the prolific German social theorist, Niklas Luhmann, who viewed it as a “partner” in his writing process.1
  • Luhmann’s Zettelkasten consisted of wooden boxes containing over 60,000 notes written on small slips of paper.
  • In the modern age, we can use digital tools to emulate this system.
  • Why is it different from taking regular notes? - The difference between regular note-taking and the Zettelkasten system.
  • How to implement - How you can use digital tools to create your own Zettelkasten.

Explore

Resources

Community

  • Examples - Explore what others are doing with their Zettelkasten.
  • Discussion Forums - Discuss and ask questions about the method.
  1. Luhmann’s explanation

    ↩︎
Created on: