Zettelkasten Is a Mind Map Where Nodes Are Notes

An easy way to explain a Zettelkasten system of taking notes would be to explain it as a mind map (connections between discrete concepts) combined with atomic notes (each note has a single topic). Rather than a node being a word or phrase as in a mind map, each node is a note.

See also:

  • How to Take Smart Notes (Literature Notes)

    A book by Sönke Ahrens about taking notes to improve productivity and writing which is incredibly convincing but extremely impractical in describing what to actually do.

  • 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).