What is your preferred metaphor for Zettelkasten? And why?

Here are some of my options:

  • Zettelkasten
  • Evergreen notes
  • Mind garden
  • Second brain
  • Smart notes
  • other

I already asked Google. But there’s no sufficient answer :wink:

You also have Digital Garden. I mostly use Second Brain.


Sounds good. I like the “Garden” concept. :slight_smile:

I always use Second Brain or Zettelkasten. Admittedly sometimes it’s hard to choose because some people would associate the name and assume you’re following that specific method that someone designed ™

I guess I say Atomic Notes too

I like the idea of the garden but I always associate it with an obligation of taking care of it + having to classify my notes into seedlings, growing, etc, which is both unnecessary to me and gives me anxiety :sweat_smile:


I like to call it Digital Mind Palace bc of the Sherlock reference lol

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Yes, there are a lot of different methods. And I do not even know if there is a real difference between. I mean different concept not different wording.

Thank you for your “Atomic notes” I lost in my list.

Great idea. A valuable place for your thoughts :+1::clap:

More than a garden. Mine is wild and lush and untamed and expansive…a brain forest.

Lots of things living at different levels—above, on, and below the ground—and yet all interconnected and interdependent.

Things in there yet to be discovered or understood. Millions of different paths yet to be explored. Some darkness, some light, some ancient civilisations, some new life forms emerging.

Not a neat garden for me. Not a collection of things known but of things waiting to be newly interpreted and connected. Wilder the better.


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Thank for your personal perspective :grinning:. Hopefully my own garden will develop to healthy forest. Seeing a forest as nature’s most efficient ecosystem with a series of complex organic relationships is a great metaphor for Zettelkasten.

While each of those words evoke different ideas, I think in truth they are all the same system, or at the very least based off of the same principles. Evergreen notes and smart notes are just interpretations of Zettelkasten. Mind garden and second brain aren’t even firmly defined, but most interpretations resemble Zettelkasten in some way. Even Zettelkasten is not a strict system, and there are constant arguments about how best it should be used. This is the beauty of personal knowledge management, it is a system personalized to you and your brain and is inherently unique. I started with and point people to Andy Matuschak’s Evergreen notes because it is accessible, and I think it is the best explanation of the principles of knowledge management, but personally I just use whatever terms feels most relevant at the time.

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