Topics: Zettelkasten - Personal Knowledge Management

As a mathematician and a very fact-oriented person, I have fallen into the trap of constantly using my Zettelkasten (i.e. my Notkesto) as Wikipedia. Most (if not all) of the notes taken between May 2021 and October 2023 contain hard facts: definitions, concepts, methods, implementations, etc.

That approach has been effective for that kind of knowledge; particularly, it’s been invaluable in university. However, with time, I started to notice that my personal ideas, thoughts and insight got lost and forgotten. All the connections and epiphanies I ever made with them were lost with the passage of time, and the fact that I stored these ideas mainly in my journal did not help at all. When rediscovering past journal entries, I would stumble upon insight and realise I had forgotten about it completely.

After thinking about how to tackle this problem, I quickly realised that I did not need any new and shiny solutions because I already had one: my Zettelkasten. I realised that I could also use it for my own ideas, thoughts and insight, instead of just using it for facts and general concepts, which don’t really belong to one same person. A Zettelkasten is a Personal Knowledge Management system after all, is it not?

In summary, a Zettelkasten can not only be used to manage the knowledge that one obtains, but also the one that one creates.