Basic Principles of a Zettelkasten


no hurry, no pause.


  1. Start with clear goals. Determine what you want to achieve with your Zettelkasten and use this to guide your note-taking and organization.
  2. Use templates. Consistently use a consistent format for your notes to make them easy to read and navigate.
  3. Make connections. Link related notes together to create a web of interconnected ideas.
  4. Use tags. Use tags to categorize and organize your notes and make it easier to find related information.
  5. Use for creative thinking. Allow the connections between your notes to spark new ideas and facilitate creative thinking.
  6. Review and revise. Regularly review and revise your notes to ensure they are up to date and accurate.
  7. Keep up to date. Consistently add new notes and make connections between them to keep your Zettelkasten current and valuable.
  8. Inspect and adapt. Continually evaluate and refine the organization and use of your Zettelkasten to maximize its effectiveness and efficiency.
  9. Use for learning. Use your Zettelkasten to capture and organize new information as you learn, and to facilitate lifelong learning.
  10. Encourage collaboration. Invite others to contribute to and review your Zettelkasten to facilitate collaboration and shared learning.
  11. Support your work. Use your Zettelkasten as a tool to support and enhance your work, whether that’s writing, research, or something else.
  12. Have fun. Enjoy the process of building and using your Zettelkasten!

From Obsidian Zettelkasten Starter Kit and (Ahrens, 2022)


Ahrens, S. (2022). How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking (2nd ed. edition). Sönke Ahrens.