Digital paper

If somebody has read my old stuff in the last 20~ years online, then you know, that I like knowledge solutions and the collection of digital stuff, because I'm a curious person and I love to discover many things.

I had multiple websites online for that reason and also a lot of different approaches - wiki solutions, different versions of discussion boards, blogs, databases, self made website engine tools and so on. Endless. I also switched and replaced them like shirts, because I always loved to play around with this stuff and learn things - until today.

That is also the reason, why I delete my contents after a while again most of the time. It makes fun, to create and try out new things, but sometimes I'm also not happy with the stuff anymore, that I collected in the past and sometimes I have the feeling, that I reached another level and view of the topics - and have to delete it. Or sometimes I just search for an excuse for a new project.

But since a long time I wanted to create a kind of standard, classic Zettelkasten. My Zettelkasten.

I know, that as soon as your are reading this word, you are bored, because it's a mix of old school stuff, but also hipster stuff. Again since many years.

"Oh, you don't have a Zettelkasten? Do you have a life concept at least?!".

Today there are thousands of books around "How to create your own digital/analog knowledge brain", "How to write efficient notes" and so many videos on Youtube and people in it, who sell this concept like a new car or vegan drink, that it is annoying somehow. In this form it gets the taste of buzzy, cheap and trash trend stuff, but without the real context behind it.

Anyway... another direction. In the last weeks, I read a lot of material about old computers, DOS, Amiga and so on - childhood memories - and I'm watching this stuff in the evening and then suddenly I read some blogs and watch videos about punch hole cards and then on the next day about analog databases, made out of paper, and then I work on my Raspberry Pi because of that and then I read about work processes of historical car companies and then look at photos from lost places and then... we will see. I'm still on this road.

Everybody know this kind of journeys, maybe from endless Instagram, TikTok or Youtube streams... You start with a video of a sweet, sneezing hamster and in the end you reading about the history of ballet.

I'm now 41 years old and also starting to forget stuff from time to time, daily office life is sometimes difficult and also swallows (brain) energy during the week, because of complex challenges, and on private level there are so many things too, that it's difficult to stay on track with so many thoughts, ideas, opinions and so on.

And there is another thing. Maybe it's connected to my growing age or the life phase now, but I also started to stop collecting technical things. Or also tutorials or similar material. Why? Because it's already there. Today you can find more or less... everything online.

If you don't know, how things work, just google it. You want to see images of your vacation destination? Google it. You car has troubles? Google it. You need some receipts? Google it. You want to learn a language? Google it. You want to read about the legs of ants? Google it. Or Bing it or use DuckDuckGo, Yandex or whatever search engine.

If you need some descriptions or documentation, then it's most of the time already there somewhere.

So nowadays it feels somehow useless to do that again and again on a private level. Sure, sometimes it makes sense, to have it by hand without searching the content again somewhere, but most of the time it's just copy existing content from A to B.

But I like the journeys and collecting. The flow of information.

So I will change my approach a little bit and this is something, that I wanted since a long time. I really want to start to collect my thoughts instead of (technical) descriptions, but not as blog entries like here - because this is my personal therapy and way of self reflection and also more a kind of "stories" about my daily life. A kind of log file.

But I never collected independent - but wired - pieces of random thoughts, ideas and opinions, without direct context or main frames of specific topics. Always connected to something, but this limits the possibilities of a digital, second brain and new understanding.

So Luhmanns concept and all the other ones from different people have a good point: do not collect existing thoughts, collect and combine your own.

Blablabla blabla bla, yes, you can also read that in every stupid life motivation book next to "Live your life like you want to live" and "The inner calm with tea".

What is really interesting: "How?"

There are so many tools out there for Zettelkasten approaches today, but none of them solve my problem - and I tried them all. What I want is to use the analog form in a digital and mobile (!) way. BUT independent from apps, specific online services, accounts or complex, split systems with synchronization between local and remote access and servers and so on. And I want to access it in different forms - like inside the terminal, but also via standard browsers. So all possibilities together.

Sure, just writing the stuff on analog papers would be the best and somewhow "cool" way, but it's not flexible and portable enough for me and my handwriting is definitely not readable anymore as digital early adapter from 1981 - for nobody, also myself.

So I invested 60 minutes of life time and restructured my online wiki on the other server, cleaned it and worked on some template things and finally I have something like my personal, small, central Zettelkasten, that follows more or less the same approach of the real ones (image).

My Muli Zettelkasten.

Sure, it's missing contents for now and the interface is ugly and raw, but it feels like a good approach and better solution & usage for that page in the future. And it is also (again) a new project to relax for some minutes here and there and save some stuff. And I can use, read and edit it from all devices everywhere.

It will be interesting, how the content will grow and if the concept is working for me.

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Last update of this page: 25.09.2022

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