Additional tools for implementing the Zettelkasten method?

I’m not sure if this is he right place to post this question - please forgive me, if not.
I’m reading “How to take smart notes” right now and I’m quite intrigued by the system that is described by Soenke Ahrens. I’ve hoped to implement the zettelkasten in Remnote. Up to now I’ve been a regular reader without ever taking notes and haven’t worked with any citation or bibliographic assistants(english is not my native language, I hope you’ll understand).

So what I desperately would like to know:
Have you already adapted the Zettelkasten system with Remnote and additional tools for your fits? I couldn’t find a description yet and it would help me very much.


I’m using RemNote for the zettelkasten itself (with sparse source pages as described), Zotero for managing the actual literature notes (just appending raw annotations and highlights to books as notes by isbn and papers by doi), Memex for web content highlights and annotations, YiNote for slides and video notes. Writing you could do anywhere with history.

Main advantage of doing it this way is you only have stuff you know is up to standard in the actual zettelkasten, main disadvantage you may have to fulltext search the raw literature notes every once in a while. For now I find that having only the actual zettels be the children of zettels is more valuable than ready access to verbatim sources.

I am not 100% set on this, it’s just what seems to make the most sense to me so far. It’s entirely possible that there is a way to cleanly separate all the “precursors” from the resulting zettels that I am just not seeing. Possibly some way to have two separate “tiers” of toggleable notes, with some only being opened on ctrl+click (like I mention, at the moment I try to use tag portals to keep links to source pages, as distinct from reference portals, which are for actual meaningful backlinks).


I am trying to implement the Zettelkasten mostly in Remnote as compared to your separated fashion (which I think is worth trying as well, since there is no clear better way yet). I still use Zotero for managing the references, but not so much for the literature notes since I don’t really like the editor in Zotero.

From the book how to take smart notes, there are two layers of set up, one being the entire system (here we focus mainly on the reference management system, i.e. Zotero, and the slip-box), and the other one within the slip-box, such that the permanent note (zettel) itself must be put in number sequence in branching manner and contain links. Remnote works well with links but the numbering in Remnote needs extra work.

I am currently trying to use the template feature in Remnote, so that the precedent and decedents of a zettel can be entered once a #zettel tag is put in place. A separated index Rem document is used to keep track of cards based on index.

It seems to me that the organization part of Zettelkasten can be better implemented in Notion given its database-like style, but I still like the flow of Remnote, though the process feels mechanic in entering the zettel.

If this thread is still alive I would love to keep up the conversation and we can continue the discussion.


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I have never used Zotero to actually write or edit anything, just store the extracted notes and annotations before going through them in a note attached to the item and then again in a separate note after cleaning them up and outlining in RemNote (you have to export as text and manually shift+select the entire text and then paste it so it will stay pre-formatted, i.e. outlined in case you want to import some parts of it back into RemNote).

I’ve also taken to using concept titles for my notes a la Evergreen notes by Andy Matuschak. In my opinion, there is no need to use manual numbering in a digital Zettelkasten: if your notes are short enough, you may create entry-notes or indices by referencing them wholly; if they get too long, try using titles and again referencing them. Of course, Pro users can mix and match both approaches using aliases.

Can’t say I’ve messed around with Notion much, but the crucial part of Zettelkastening is that all permanent notes are considered to be equal, and the links between them can and should be made and destroyed on the fly as the primary mode of organisation. In other words, the only schema necessary are a list of permanent notes and a list of links between them (the outliner taking care of basic “behind” links and with entry-notes and the index eventually arising as an organised collection of links). Of course, you may augment that if you choose, but trying to go organisation first (top-down) rather than allow the links to build up before formalising them would go against the insight-creation portion of Zettelkasten.

If you are interested in discussing this further, there is a learner group starting up over on Discord, I would say this thread is a bit more specific to the apps involved in Zettelkasten rather than its principles.