In one of @nickmilo’s recent newsletters, there was an idea I keep thinking about:
Like “Highlander”, there can only be one LYT Link per note. This constraint is awesome, because it forces you to think about what you link, which literally strengthens the neural connection in your brain between the two ideas you are linking
(I am actually not sure anymore if @nickmilo wrote that himself, or if he was quoting someone else, so please let me know if I am not giving credit to the right person )
This is basically a train of thought approach, which I find contrary to the way I understand Andy Matuschak’s approach, that Evergreen notes should be densely linked, therefore should have as many meaningful links to related notes as possible to create a network of thoughts.
I can see that a network of thoughts can create a lot of noise, but it also makes us come back to older notes more frequently, which improves retrieval.
I haven’t really experimented with the train of thought approach yet, but I can see the value in making connections more meaningful by following one single strain of ideas/questions that build upon each other. This kind of limitation can force us maybe to focus more on a particular idea, and also the research shows that constraints can nurture creativity.
I wonder how others approach this? Creating a train of thought, by linking an idea to only one other very related idea, or creating a network of thoughts by linking to many other related ideas?
Probably advocating this approach because writing and reading is often linear in nature. So when you are focusing on trains of thoughts, you are essentially building up linear arguments that can be used at a later time.
If you look at how the brain works, we have a network of linked neurons, and the ones that tend to fire together, wire together because that allows for easier repeat usage. But that doesn’t stop other neuronal routes from firing off.
The approach that I would take is a balance between a network and trains of thought, as Andy Matuschak advocated for. The key word in all of that is “Meaningful Links”, not “All Links”. So I don’t do one train of thought, but multiple, while aiming for quality.
The better question is “What is a meaningful link?” (I have my own theory on that).
Check out this thread of workflow demonstration videos I made…
All about threading (aka train of thought) plus the ability to enmesh it within a network using the power of the graph view.
Hey @Kevzen , thanks for sharing this train of thought. I think it’s worth exploring, but I do want to clarify what I meant to avoid some confusion. For context, here was the full quote from the newsletter:
For most notes, I put a link at the top. It’s not an “uplink”. And it’s not just any link. It’s the most relevant link. It’s really a “top link”.
I think of this as the “LYT Link” because by adding this link, you are completing the goal of “Linking Your Thinking” by actually linking your thinking.
Like “Highlander”, there can only be one LYT Link per note. This constraint is awesome, because it forces you to think about what you link, which literally strengthens the neural connection in your brain between the two ideas you are linking.
There can only be “one link at the very top of the note” is what I meant.
But the note itself can still have plenty of other links to remain aligned with idea that evergreen notes should be densely linked. Hope this clarifies my message. Like I said though, considering the extreme case (only one link per note) is interesting, but that’s too much of a restriction for my tastes.
I see, I’ve misunderstood the idea a little. Thank you for clarifying!
It would be cool to have a functional way of visualizing this type of link. If only you could tag a link in some way and it shows up in graph view with a different color than the normal links, or you could have graph view display with only the primary link.
That’s would be cool , I hadn’t considered that. Actually, that would be really cool!