Networked Thinking: an update on my Second Brain / Zettelkasten / Mental Garden

Capture, Organize and Connect! Connect! Connect!

Metaphorically speaking, a person’s ideas must be the building he lives in – otherwise, there is something terribly wrong.

― Søren Kierkegaard in Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard

This is my Zettelkasten, my Digital Second Brain, my Mental Garden as it appears now:

A Network Graph rendering the notes in my Zettelkasten. Done in Obsidian.

I’ve been feeding it with notes for about eight months now. While I am not still leveraging on it for writing a full essay, I am quite satisfied with almost having built a habit of feeding it.

Feeding a Zettelkasten means adding your ideas to your Slip-Box, which is your Note Archive.  ‘‘Feeding’ is an exciting word since you are supposed to think while you are creating those notes, and since you need to write notes in a specific way, you are expected to develop novel and useful ideas when working with your notes.

Because you’re writing to your future self, you can consider them a third person. To do that effectively, you should write in clear terms, providing as much contest as possible to make the note/concept self-containing. So, to do that, you need to explain your ideas in a way comprehensible to a six-year-old.

These kinds of notes called ‘zettels’ (don’t worry, it’s just ‘notes’ in German) are the neurons of your second brain. And so, now you will have guessed, the ‘synapses’ are materialized when you connect those notes in every possible way to create something new and useful.

What I find interesting is the scalability of the Zettelkasten Method. The more zettels you add to it, the greater is the network and the potential connections between its nodes.

More notes = more ideas = more potential new ideas connecting them.

Unfortunately, I have no problem whatsoever in capturing and collecting snippets of knowledge. What I need to improve on is the connection between them.

I am a young Zettelkastener, a shy Second Brainer, and a Toddler Mental Gardner.

I just need to have the patience to keep on doing it.

And to make more connections.

Capture, Organize and Connect! Connect! Connect!
Capture, Organize and Connect! Connect! Connect!

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