A few questions from a beginner about taking notes, Zettelkasten and creating a PKM

Hello. I just recently started creating my own PKM, using Zettelkasten, Evergreen Notes, and LYT, so there’s still a lot I don’t understand. Can I ask you a few questions, please? :sweat_smile:

  1. Do I always have to write notes in my own words? It’s just that I often write down some useful recommendations, terms, rules and tips from the Internet and everything is set out there very briefly and clearly, and I can’t even think of how to write it in another way (((
  2. I don’t understand what to do if I study information on the same topic from different sources. Let’s say I read about healthy eating and look at several different sites on this topic. Each of them has its own “definitions of healthy eating”, but they may differ slightly from each other, and sometimes even contradict each other. What should I do in this case? Should I write down each definition in my own words in a separate note or create one for everyone, where to combine them into one thought? And in this case, how can I create a link to the source, if it is not one?
  3. How would you advise to write a note if it contains several points and each of them has an explanation?
    For example:
  • Point 1
  • Point 2
  • Point 3

Should I create a separate note for each point and write a description in it (to make the system more atomic), or just make each point a drop-down title and write this description in it? What would you do?

Hey Romy! Welcome to the community!

Let me first start by stating there is no wrong way to take notes or build a PKM. Zettelkasten/Evergreen/LYT there to give you a framework, but what’s important is you take the ideas from them that work for you.

Nope! It’s a good way to repeat information which helps you retain it better, but if it doesn’t make sense, you don’t have to.

What I’d do in this instance is:

  • Create a permanent note listing down my thoughts on each source.
  • If I realize there’s competing definitions, then I could create another note, maybe something like “Definitions of Healthy Eating”, and write out what I’ve learned and note the contradictions. This would link to the different source/permanent notes.

If you’re going for more of a Zettelkasten approach, you’d likely put each point in a separate note. For me, I’d take a similar approach if I found the points interesting to write out my own thoughts on. Again, it’s what works for you!

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Hi, Justin, thank you so much for your answer and I’m sorry that I answered so late.
I think you are right about the fact that everyone should create their own PKM, which will be convenient for him. And what do you think, is it effective if I create 2 notes: in one I will write my thoughts on the topic in my own words, and in the other I will simply copy the text of this topic without changing, and then link these notes? I’m just afraid that when I write information in my own words, I might miss something important. This way, I’ll be able to look at a note with the source text and maybe even find a new idea that I didn’t notice before. What do you think about it?
It is possible, of course, that this is because before that I only copied and pasted the information and never wrote my understanding for it.:joy_cat:
I realized that the rules and methods of PKM are individual, but I just want to know if you would have done it like this, or if you would have found a better way)

I think this is reasonable!

It is nice to have a reference back to the source material if you think you’ll have a reason to use it. I use DEVONthink for this, personally, and keep my own/synthesized thoughts in Obsidian.

Another idea to keep in mind is this: write notes for your future self. In other words, think about what you might want to find in that note in the future, then write the note so it fits that need. Be sure to explain concepts that you might forget otherwise.

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Yes, I do so)))
And can I ask you another question, please?
I’ve watched almost all of your videos, but I still don’t fully understand how permanent notes differ from literary notes.
As I understand it, literary notes are notes that you write all your thoughts and ideas on, say, an article you read or a video you watched. But I still don’t understand how permanent notes differ from them((( Are they just more refined and less messy, or is that not the point? And do you try to make each literary note permanent, or only from some specific ones?

Yeah they’re basically a single thought expounded upon, usually derived from something that stood out in the source text. You can check out my notes if you want to see examples!


And can it happens that a literary note is written very well from the very beginning and you do not want to change or edit anything in it? Then, do you change her tag to #permanent or leave her the #literature tag?

A literature note is a kind of permanent note, to be honest. I simply like delineating between something directly influenced by a source work and something that’s a synthesis of my own thoughts.

I understand everything, thank you very much! That was the most useful thing I’ve learned in a while=)

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