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I think Luhmann's Zettelkasten implementation reflects the limitations of available technology at the time, just pen and paper. But his ideas were simple. Each idea in its own card and a flat structure, so that ideas can be composed in many ways. People tend to overthink how to implement this, and forget about the basics.

In my case, I just use one Org file per card. I don't use internal links. I prefer search (ripgrep) and index files, where I list sequences and entry points to topics. This also allows restructuring my Zettelkasten more easily once new ideas emerge, or once I realize my old ideas were wrong.

In other words, I am trying to go one step further by decoupling cards (ideas) from links (relationships).

I do use external links, and in particular DOI links to publications. But I keep these in footnotes. Hence, my zettels look really spartan. It's just plain text plus footnotes.

Aside from Org and Markdown, TiddlyWiki is pretty neat. It's pretty good for transclusion. That can also be achieved in single-file Org Zettelkastens / wikis.

I use TiddlyWiki [0] but I haven't found a need for transclusion. What would you use it for?

[0] http://beza1e1.tuxen.de/tiddlywiki_notes.html

If you create small articles, transclusion helps creating bigger meta articles with selected chunks from the small ones.

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