Heterarchical Note Taking

Notes can be organized and structured into heterarchies (nodes with multiple relationships without a strict hierarchy) by creating an entry note that encompasses other notes (a note of notes). In Zettelkasten, this is referred to as a ‘structure note’. This has the advantage of late binding, you don’t need to worry about the hierarchy of information up front and multiple associations can be created using the same notes (which would not be possible without duplication in a strictly hierarchical system).

Heterarchies provide a layer of abstraction over the constituent notes which makes it easier to make connections between areas of thinking. For example, when creating a new note you could review a structure note’s contents to spark ideas for how it might be related without doing an O(n) search through every note in the collection to see if there are connections.

  • The Garden and the Stream

    Streams are a metaphor for the majority of the Internet we interact with today characterized by time-ordered events that require context to understand.

  • Hyperfine Village Organizes Ideas Spatially

    I came across the idea of a hyperfine village from Lisa Hardy. It’s a novel way to organize your ideas into a metaphorical “village” so you can more easily recall them in context later. Rather than search or rote memory to recall an idea later, you can go for a stroll in your village.

  • Using Tools for Thought as a Founder

    This is a reflection on using org-roam as a founder in the early stages of starting a company. It’s mostly a draft that I may or may not come back to.

  • Tag Vocabulary

    Tags are used to create heterarchical systems that lets you iterate on retrieval. The tag names are abstractions like categories, projects, or ideas that are encoded on top of a set of items (like notes) to make it easy to find later.