Migration from Bullet Journal to Zettelkasten

Years ago my personal note taking was no longer based on trial and error but on a solid concept called Bullet Journaling. It started on paper with a lovely Moleskin book and a black fine liner from Neuland. Going digital with my Bullet Journal I decided to use a brilliant tool for note taking named OneNote. But time went by. In March 2022 I got my first contact with Obsidian and at the same time with the Zettelkasten method from Niklas Luhmann explained in the mind-blowing book from Sönke Ahrens about “How to take Smart Notes”.

Migration from OneNote to Obsidian was a migration from structured notes to networked notes. But how to migrate a Bullet Journal to a Zettelkasten? Difficult to switch from one concept to another? No, it’s very easy. The Bullet Journal is now a set of Structure Notes in my Zettelkasten. Also Zettelkasten is a Custom Collection in my Bullet Journal.

In other words:

  • my Zettelkasten is a Bullet Journal and
  • my Bullet Journal is a Zettelkasten.

The best of all: I did not need to change the basic concepts from Ryder Caroll (Bullet Journal), neither the concepts from Niklas Luhmann (Zettelkasten). Both concepts support each other in a perfect manner.

What about your experiences with theses methods? Do you use the Dataview plugin to support your Bullet Journal collections?

  • Ahrens, Sönke. How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking, 2022.
  • Carroll, Ryder. The Bullet Journal Method - Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future, 2018.
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