Have fun. Zettelkasten Gamification

Today my Zettelkasten turns 2 years and 25 days old. He’s already a real toddler.

You can probably still remember the first steps with your own Zettelkasten. It was really fun to get to know the many functions of Obsidian and especially the great plugins. A big thank you to the community here in the Obsidian Forum. She supported us excellently. And often without realizing it, we have used and appreciated many gamification functions of our Zettelkasten.

The time has passed extremely quickly. Many of us have now left the “discovery” and “onboarding” phases of Zettelkasten behind us. Having fun at the beginning has become a habit.

But will it be boring to work with the Zettelkasten now? What is your experience?

The “8 core drivers of gamification” applied to Zettelkasten are shown in the so-called Octalysis diagram [1] above.

Which elements of gamification do you particularly like to use at the moment to keep your Zettelkasten fun and motivated?

Thank you for sharing.

[1] Chou, Yu-Kai. Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards . Packt Publishing, 2019.

Gamification is the craft of deriving all the fun and engaging elements found in games and applying them to real-world or productive activities.

More about the 12 Principles For Using Zettelkasten


I don’t know the exact principles contained in the gamification theory, but I think too that the combination of Zettelkasten and Obsidian (or equivalent tool) develops many benefic gaming dynamics.

A well done process can develop as a game and move away negative effects such boredom, sense of labor, and so on.

I’ve only a single note about Zettelkasten and gamification, it is not yet developed, I’ve only drafted some ideas to develop in the future:

  • Zettelkasten seen like a dance
  • Zettelkasten seen like sculpture, the knowledge seen as a statue that I’ve to free from the exceeding marble time after time (like Michelangelo saw his work)
  • Knowledge development seen like a puzzle to compose, or Lego bricks to build
  • A Knowledge domain to face like an adventure game quest to accomplish
  • The progress effect, you easily notice that you become as better as you practice, is very engaging (what you’ve called sense of growth)
  • The challenging effect, the need to resolve tasks and problems pursuing a goal, is engaging
  • Zettelkasting develops in me a creative capability I thought I didn’t have, even this is very engaging
  • the community effect you already cited
  • the eureka moments and serendipity effects have a very important impact in motivating you
  • the process need not only the operative level of writing notes, but developing tactics and strategy too just like games

Thank you for your amazing insights :slight_smile: . Two of your metaphors I love most:

  • Lego bricks to build
  • adventure game quest to accomplish

And here is some new stuff I just found about gamification and Obsidian: GitHub - saertna/obsidian-gamified-pkm: Obsidian Gamified PKM: Supercharge your knowledge management experience through gamification with this Obsidian plugin.

Do you already know the Obsidian Gamification Plugin designed by Andreas Trebing? It’s a tool designed to harness the motivating power of game techniques and apply it to our pursuit of knowledge.

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