You're Probably Missing The Most Important Part Of The Zettelkasten

Ev Chapman
June 10, 2021

When was the last time you just sat and thought.

I’ve always loved the concept of setting time aside to just sit and think. So much of our days are filled up with stuff and we rarely get time to just think through things. But even if you have time, what do you even think about? How do take time to think without your mind wandering off in a million different directions?

You apply constraints

Most people assume the Zettelkasten is just another note-taking system. But actually, it's a framework and playground for our minds to 'think things.' The notes are simply triggers that get our brains fired up and thoughts moving forward.

Here's how I use my Zettelkasten to 'think'

Set aside time to think. If you're not intentional about it you won't do it. I try to spend at least some time each week jumping into my permanent notes.

Wander Through Your Notes. The only intention I have when I sit down is to open my permanent notes and wander around with a soft focus. My mind does the rest, it leads me where it wants to go.

Make connections. Once my brain is firing usually I'll make connections to other notes, re-write some paragraphs and add new ideas and concepts to the notes.

Create Out Of The Notes. It's not long before ideas for essays and blogs are bubbling up to the surface and I get them into the creation hub. The permanent notes I've written become the brain dump for the ideas. Most essays are already half written by that time.

The Zettelkasten creates space for your mind to play around with ideas, make new connections and bring new ideas to life as a result.

Liked thIS? Then You Might Like My SPARK Newsletter...

The Spark Newsletter:
Turn Your Personal Knowledge Into Powerful Ideas & Increase Your Income, Opportunities & Authority.

Join 1200+ readers of The Spark Newsletter each Sunday learning how to leverage personal knowledge into powerful ideas.
Or Keep Browsing More Posts Like This...

How to Find and Share Ideas No One Else Is Talking About

Three beliefs held me back from getting started sharing my ideas online. (And the simple shift I made to overcome them) ↓
Read post

Talk It Out: 3 Effective Ways to Capture Ideas with Your Voice

Capturing ideas might be one of the most important practices we can develop as humans. But is writing or typing the only way to capture those ideas? Think again...
Read post

The Unexpected Way to Gain Deep Insights from Social Media

Social media gets a bad wrap these days. And for some good reasons. It's easy to get caught up with the doomscrolling, letting it distract us, getting into arguments we shouldn't, helping us procrastinate, not doing good things for our mental health. And yet. It's still my biggest category of saved items in my knowledge library & serves me up a wealth of new ideas every single day.
Read post

3 Weird Things I Do to Stay Inspired Every Day

One weird habit has kept me consistently writing for the past four years.Before I was known as Ev Chapman, Prolific Creator. I was Ev Chapman, Wannabe creator.
Read post

4 Simple Steps to Make Your Notes More Useful In Real Life Projects

What if you didn't have to start each project with a blank page?
Read post

Forget Book Summaries: This Note-Taking Method Will Change How You Read Books

Unpopular Opinion: You don't need to create a book summary from your notes to make them useful. This isn't Miss Johnson's fifth grade class 🤓
Read post