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Notes from Crashcourse Zettelkaste for Beginners

Source Step 1..4 from Zettelkasten - Taking Smart Notes - Notes from a video by Joshua Meyer

Comment: Why does it matter to have a separate Literature note and a permanent note?

  • to capture where a thought came from

Further note types beside Literature notes and permanent notes

Fleeting Notes

  • throw away notes/thoughts that just came on the fly
  • difference to literature notes is more that they are more our own thoughts
  • and they are note yet permanent notes because they are note yet phrased in high quality
  • also for notes that just act as reminders…
  • the can be thrown away after processing

Project Notes

  • Notes connected with projects.
  • Later on one can recheck and extract further permanent notes
  • used to not pollute my permanent notes

Map of Content

MOCs Overview

Some guidlines

  • write the note for yourself
  • write for long term usage
  • be consistent in processing
  • make notes atomic
  • extract the common concept
    • comment: makes the note more compatible with other notes (but might also dilute the note)
  • use sentences as titles
    • forces to bring key insight to the surface and enforces concept of atomic notes
    • makes it better embeddable in floating text
  • use links inside the text (so my chapter with Linking is not yet the best approach)
  • think of connections with other notes
  • ensure each notes is easily reachable

Templates, tags, folders

Chapter 4


  • to distinguish private and public areas
  • to bundle topics
  • to have project related topics
  • see PARA Method Notes


  • for note type (Fleeting, Permanent, Literature,…)
  • for status
  • work with nested tags eg. note type/status


  • When working with tags I can better visualize that in the graph view of Obsidian (vs. working with folders)
    • to further improve that beside using tags on can also add something like }b for book note to the notes title


Notes from Beginners

📖 Beginners

Introduction Source

  • the drive to pick up new skills wanes in adulthood

Chapter 1: Life-long learning keeps your mind engaged, whatever your age. Source

  • He challenged himself to learn a few completely new things
  • Life-long learning keeps your mind engaged, whatever your age.
  • procedural knowledge. It helps us actually do something: speak a language, play an instrument
  • As we grow older, we tend to learn fewer and fewer procedural things
  • society doesn’t expect children to be experts at anything
  • continuing to learn new skills as you age is fantastic for your mental health

Chapter 2: Singing is a skill that can be learned with practice. Source

  • hitting the right notes and carrying a melody is merely a matter of coordinating your muscles and breathing correctly
  • most vocal lessons begin with exercises designed to help students reconsider their bodies
  • you, too, want a voice that really resonates, you’ll have to give it your all.

Chapter 3: Developing new skills works best as a social practice. Source

  • Developing new skills works best as a social practice.
  • When people work together to harmonize and breathe in unison, their stress levels drop. And they also benefit from an increase in the production of oxytocin, a hormone connected to happiness. 
  • Practicing in front of others, or in a group, can also boost your performance. Humans learn best by observing others and getting feedback.
  • The increase in ability that comes from working in a group is called social facilitation.
  • professional cyclists always achieved their best times when riding together with others

Chapter 4: Learning the basic rules is just the first step in a long journey. Source

  • People start as novices and then progress through the stages. First, you’re an advanced beginner, then come competence, proficiency, and finally, expertise.
  • novice, all you need to do is get the basic rules right.
  • beginner, you must begin to use your new skills in the complex and messy real world
  • people learning any new skill often become frustrated by their sudden lack of progress and give up early

Chapter 5: To master a skill, practice it until the movements become automatic. Source

  • To master a skill, practice it until the movements become automatic.
  • over-thinking can be a strong barrier to acquiring skills
  • the best way to learn? The answer is, observing and doing. They are so much more beneficial than simply receiving instruction. 
  • Watching someone else fulfill a task, and then trying it out for yourself, engages the brain in a special way
  • muscle memory.

Chapter 6: Learning to draw is all about learning how to see the world with fresh eyes. Source

  • Learning to draw is all about learning how to see the world with fresh eyes.
  • novices often draw their idea of a face rather than how it actually looks
  • They overemphasize features to which the human brain pays more attention.

Chapter 7: It’s never too late to try something new. Source

  • As we age, it’s important to remain a beginner at something.

Chapter 8: Final summary Source

  • However, there’s a certain value in learning something just because it brings you joy. Never feel guilty if you spend time on a hobby even if it’s not professional.
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