Simplifying capture of ideas

I have for too long relied on my memory for things. I am both getting older and my responsibilities are growing, so I need to deal with this in a better way.

Rather than setting a goal to capture notes every day, I’m going to build a system so it’s unavoidable. I’ve never found goals to really work for me — I easily defer or water down said goals to the point where achieving them feels unsatisfying, if I even achieve anything at all. Systems, on the other hand, seem to work well for me. The blogpost Goals vs. systems by seemed to capture why well.

Some goals and requirements:

  • Must be possible across all platforms: macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS if possible
  • Must be in as few clicks/taps/steps as possible; ideally, the writing of the idea is the first of those steps as to avoid distraction or loss
  • Make it easy to leverage the zettelkasten to link related ideas later. Any text editor will work to allow for this, but ideally one that recognizes backlinks

Evolving ecosystem

I’m trying a Zettelkasten approach, leveraging an open-source framework called Neuron. Of course I’m adopting a method championed by Germany, with my love for both structure and an extremely thoughtful approach to it.

Tools in use:

  • GitHub for hosting the Zettelkasten (currently called brain)
  • Ulysses for long-form writing and Zettel (atomic idea) processing
  • Working Copy for publishing to the brain from iOS
  • Shortcuts for quick capture on iOS/iPadOS/watchOS — TODO: publish shortcut
  • Alfred 4 for quick capture on macOS
  • GitHub Desktop for publishing from macOS. I don’t love this currently and am looking for a different approach