My Zettelkasten Workflow in Obsidian (feedback requested)

Some context:
a. My Zettelkasten journey has just begun as of 3 days ago, so I openly welcome any views from those who have interacted with the approach and philosophy more deeply than I presently have.
b. My purpose is not academic publishing, so I have kept my tools to just Obsidian and a “Reading Inbox” (i.e., a list of all the things I intend to read >> presently, I’m testing out Notion for this purpose).
c. Because of ‘b’ above, I have not spent time figuring out how to integrate a RMS like Zotero into my flow because it may simply be overbuilt for my purposes. Instead, I’m modifying my system to simply jot down the bibliographic / citation information within Obsidian itself, in what I call an Extraction Note (more below).

As one just getting into the flow of Zettelkasten + Obsidian, would love any feedback from powerusers on any aspects of the below given what you know about my purpose/background above.

Evolving System Design

Note Types and Syntax

  • Fleeting Notes. Handwritten jots while reading that remain encased in physical book, not in Obsidian.
  • Phrase Notes. | P-Note
    • These P-notes contain metaphors, one-liners, quotes. '#persuasion '#pitch tags.
    • Syntax: 01_subject
  • Extraction Notes. | X-Note
    • These are my “literature notes” / “reference notes” or elaborations of my Fleeting Notes, along with images and quote blocks.
    • Syntax: 02_Author, Title, Year
  • Zettel. | Z
    • These are atomic notes and the “final” elaboration of the preceding notes.
    • Syntax: 03_Subject

Workflow / Process
If material is high-yield, then RMS --> Fleeting Notes --> X-Notes --> P-Notes (if any) --> Z; else, Fleeting Notes --> P-Note (if any) --> Z

In high-yield case, X-Note births the Z, which is then linked to existing Zs that are relevant.
In low-yield case, an existing Z births the new Z.

Individual Note Structure
‘[full source]’


‘[atomic elaboration]’
'[breadcrumbs / note links]
Constraint: 150 words


After exploring @nickmilo’s IMF Starter Kit, I’m updating my early + evolving system to introduce some structure that can contain what I can also sense might turn into a mess. Will share any experience that may benefit others in @nickmilo’s thread on this topic.

1 Like

Cool to hear. Take what works. Make it your own. And Maps of Content are the key.


This looks interesting! I might use some of your workflow ideas…

I do wonder what’s the difference between a phase note and a short zettel? Is this the amount of “authenticity” within the note?