May 21, 2024

Luhman’s Zettelkastern

A review of Niklas Luhmann’s note-taking technique, by Jillian Hess (author of the excellent How Romantics and Victorians Organized Information)

Luhmann saw his notes as communication partners. In order to have better conversations, he had to equip his partners with interesting ideas. Throughout, he refers to his notes as though they are sentient beings: “I, of course, do not think everything by myself. It happens mainly within the Zettelkasten.”