Similarities and differences between evergreen note-writing and Zettelkasten

My practice of writing Evergreen notes is heavily inspired by Niklas Luhmann’s Zettelkasten practice and its contemporary advocates. I use a different term both because there are some distinctions and because I want to give myself space to explore ideas in this space apart from the culture surrounding Zettelkasten, which has its own prior values and proclivities.

Key similarities:

Key differences:

One final difference, this one a touch pointy: the primary purpose of my system is to develop ideas in my core creative projects. Most people in the contemporary Zettelkasten culture seem to use their systems primarily to write notes about others’ ideas. If they’re developing their own ideas with them, those ideas are an interesting hobby, not their core creative work. All this falls afoul of the issues around People who write extensively about note-writing rarely have a serious context of use. I don’t know how, exactly, but my context of use substantially shapes the note-writing practice.

Last updated 2023-07-13.