For a bit of context: I am a Ph.D. Candidate and Assistant Lecturer in Philosophy, so my professional life is very research heavy. I also am beginning to strongly suspect I have ADHD. One problem I have is missing the forest for the trees; I often get sucked into an interesting line of thought or reasoning, and lose sight of the broader orientation of the project, a given chapter, or an argument.
I’ve recently started using Obsidian for a Zettelkasten (well, two ZK slipboxes). I’ve been aware of the method for some time but only recently committed myself to using it in earnest. One concern or worry that I have is that ZKM seems apt to intensify this proclivity to get sucked in to particular lines of reasoning while losing sight of the whole. This is fine if those threads are immediately relevant to the overall thread of a given project (and, of course, it’s nice to lose oneself once in a while), but I’m wondering if people have any suggestions for how to mitigate this? Perhaps it’s just a misinformed worry, also.
The strategy I’ve adopted thus far has been to (i) organize my vaults according to a PARA organization and (ii) pay more attention to a top-down structure.
I have my projects (chapters, papers, professional stuff, etc.) organized and outlined in a dedicated project folder. I have what I’ve been calling the ‘Master Index’ in a dedicated area folder. The Master Index contains Discipline and Topic Area Notes, which in turn contain Intermediate Topic Notes (e.g., ‘Consciousness, Kierkegaard’s Conception Of’), which in turn contain more granular Topic Notes (e.g., ‘Collision Between Ideal and Real, Consciousness As’). These Topic Notes then link to the Zettels which are tagged with this topic.
This kind of organization seems to be a no-no according to some parties (e.g. Ahrens). I’m trying to have my cake and eat it too by treating the Master Index as emergent, rather than building it and then trying to fit my notes into the ‘perfect’ place. I’m also trying to keep my actual slip-box separate: I keep it in a dedicated Resources folder which just contains (i) a folder for Fleeting Notes, (ii), a folder for Literature Notes, (iii) a folder for Reference Notes, and (iv) the Zettels themselves, where the only organization is their alphanumeric IDs.
Hopefully this is clear; would be happy to hear if anybody has any thoughts.