What is Zettelkasten

  • We all deal with learning and sharing ideas.
  • Zettelkasten is a framework to help organize your ideas, thoughts, and information.


  • Store your ideas.
  • Find your ideas.
  • Retrieve your ideas.
  • Link your ideas together.


  • Store your fleeting notes in the inbox.
  • Store your long-term durable notes in the Permanent folder.
  • Store your primary source of information in the Reference folder.
  • Store your notes related to a single project in the Projects folder.

What Makes a Good Zettelkasten Notes

  • The note should be in your own words.
  • The note should connect to your existing knowledge.
  • Don’t let yourself fall into the collector fallacy, where you simply collect a bunch of notes without any connection.

Types of Zettelkasten Notes

Fleeting Notes

  • They are your ideas that just as you come across things in life.
  • The ideas come up, and you want to relate it to something.

Literature Notes

  • These are notes you take from books, videos, blogs etc.
  • You take notes about what the resource is saying.
  • You can later connect them to your existing notes.

Durable Notes

  • These are notes that come from your literature and fleeting notes and begins to form your second brain.

Project Notes

  • These are notes you collect, retrieve from your durable notes to produce an outcome.



  • Is this something that deserves moving from your literature/fleeting notes into your durable notes.


  • Is this a unique note?
  • Does this actually contain your own thoughts on the subject?


  • Does this note stand on its own?
  • Is it atomic and self-contained?


  • Does this note help to build your knowledge base?

Choosing Your Zettelkasten Tools

  • A good tool should increase the complexity of the system.
  • Make sure you own the data, or you can easily download your data in a structured format.
  • Choose a tool that is available on all the operating system and devices you use.
  • Choose a tool that can create backlinks/WikiLinks.
  • Obsidian which stores your files in Markdown is a good option.

Basic Zettelkasten Organization

Zettelkasten Organization

  • Inbox: Stores your fleeting notes.
  • Permanent: Stores your durable notes.
  • Projects: Stores your project related notes.
  • References: Stores your literature notes.
  • Resources: Stores assets like images, audio, pdfs etc.
  • Templates: Stores predefined obsidian templates.



  • We will see how to take smart notes using the Zettlekasten method in the next article.