Evergreen Notes

An approach to note-taking that seems to have deep parallels with Federated Wiki

Via a now-deleted tweet from Paul Cook I was led to Andy Matuschack’s idea of Evergreen Notes:

Evergreen notes are written and organized to evolve, contribute, and accumulate over time, across projects

  • Evergreen notes should be atomic
  • Evergreen notes should be concept-oriented
  • Evergreen notes should be densely linked
  • Prefer associative ontologies to hierarchical taxonomies

As I tweeted in reply, a lot about that reminds me of the natural writing style of Federated Wiki, and when you look at Andy’s site in a desktop browser and start clicking links, concepts open up to the side in a way reminiscent of the FedWiki approach.

How Andy Matuschak's notes tool opens up linked notes
How Andy Matuschak’s notes tool opens up linked notes

Another nice feature is the popout summary of another note when you mouseover a link. Notable is the lack of mention of federation, or any concept of multi-user use, however as Andy states “it’s still an early research environment”

More interesting than the tool is the note-taking approach and it’s sources. Andy cites a major influence as Niklas Luhmann’s Zettelkasten approach.

Christian Tietze maintains The Zettlekasten Project which contains some interesting material to mine later. Clearly there are links here to Vannevar Bush’s work in As We May Think but again, something to mine later.

Proactive application of technology to business

My interests include technology, personal knowledge management, social change