This post is meant for those who are familiar with Luhmann’s Zettelkasten-method.
I have a large number of notecards I created as a student when I was studying literary theory. I’m now experimenting and trying to find out whether I can use DT and Luhmann’s Zettelkasten-method to digitize my old cards.
Luhmann made sure that each of his cards contained only one idea. Related cards (= with similar ideas) were put near each other in a note-box and sorted according to an outline, consisting of digits and text-characters only. If a new related idea popped up, a card with that idea would be added to the box directly after or before a card with a similar idea, depending on whether it was a sub-idea or a leading idea.
The problem I am having is to build this (or a similar) outline in DT. I would like to give each card a unique name which describes the content and precede it by hierarchical numbers (and/or text-characters), like in this example:
- What is literature? Definition of a concept
- Literature and literary scholarship
2.1 The aim of literary scholarship
2.2 The function of literature
As long as I have only few cards, I can to this manually, but if I have hundreds of cards it’s impossible.
I also want the cards (= the files in DT) to reflect the historical development of World Literature. As you can see above, I have
Now suppose I want to add “Horatian ode” and another card about ‘skaldic poetry’ to DT. I would have to place both cards after Metre and before Sonnet, and I would have to change the digits accordingly.
How can this be done automatically?
The ideal solution, as far as I can tell, would be to select the files and execute a [new] menu command in DT which could be called “Refresh numbering”, or something to that effect.
I hope it has become clear that I want to create a sequence of notes, a sequence which can be easily adapted to new cards (= files) and new outline numbering.
In case this is currently not possible, would it perhaps be possible to write an AppleScript to do this?