My Zettelkasten workflow from start to finish


In response to Friday’s video session, I wrote up my Zettelkasten workflow. This post includes both the templates and queries I use, should people want to use them.

On my digital garden website: My Zettelkasten workflow from start to finish | jay l. colbert

On my published graph:

I hope this is helpful!


I LOVE THIS! Totally going to steal this idea of creating one or more queries for my Journals page. You’ve also given me an idea to write part 2 of this article: How to Set Up an Automated Daily Template in Logseq

I’ve added your article to the simple query resources.

Hi :wave:t3:
I’m still trying to learn how to work with Logseq and have not dared to participate in the Query Learning Sprints, mainly because of my lack of fluency in English, especially with videos.
Your article has inspired me a lot, especially in two aspects that I need to work on:

  • the use of Zotero
  • move my content creation to Hugo

I really liked the block/query based approach which I think is very close to the idea of atomic notes.
I hope to learn more about Logseq soon.
If you could write me some references to start studying the process of publishing with Hugo and creating content from Logseq.
:blush: Thanks for sharing and teaching, I would appreciate it.

Hi! Yes, I would be more than happy to curate some resources for you. I would also be more than happy to set up a video chat sometime to demonstrate my workflows and to get a sense of what you’re wanting to do, if that would be helpful! I also, in general, offer Zotero coaching/consultation, if that’s something you would be interested in.


Hi Ramses, the example query you shared breaks my config.edn, which then gets replaced by the default version. Is there a way to debug this kind of query?

We don’t have a query debugger yet, but I hope to sketch something out soon with @cldwalker.

@TookiTheGreat do you get any errors? It would help if you posted a screenshot or gif of what happens. If it’s a typo of some sorts, maybe @thatgothlibrarian can spot it.

No error messages, just a messages that config.edn got broken. I am now debugging this thing by placing it directly in a journal page and seeing what happens. I have already discovered that the moment I use a “between” operator, things seem to go wrong.

Getting there. Slowly.

Weird things keep happening. I must be missing something. This what works on the journal page:

{:title “Activities”
:query (and (not (property template)) (property type “activity”))
:collapsed? false
:breadcrumb-show? false
:result-transform (fn [result]
(sort-by (fn [h]
(get-in h [:block/properties :client])) > result))

As you see, a variation on what you gave as an example. It makes a neat table of all blocks with the ‘type’ property set to “activity” that are not a template, and then sort the results by the “client” property. So far, so good. But I can get this block of code to work from the config.edn file (without the #+BEGIN_QUERY and #+END_QUERY markers, of course. Something breaks and my config.edn gets restored to its previous version.

I am going to sleep on this. I don’t expect you to solve this for me, by the way - it’s just me trying to figure out what is going on, so I can settle on the best way to solve my “time tracking client activities and totalling them at the end of each month” use case I’m trying to automate. A debugger of some sort would be very helpful.

And some advanced programming in Clojure, perhaps. I would love to have a function that converts duration in the hh:mm:ss format into total seconds, so I can add up the seconds tracked over the whole table, and then convert them back to the hh:mm:ss (or maybe even dd:hh:mm:ss) format. As it stands now, I don’t even know where to begin. The Clojure manuals online were less than helpful. And to learn another language from scratch just to solve this minor issue? Even though LISP was my first programming language, I think learning Clojure now would be too much to ask.

Just saying: I appreciate all the helpful responses, but please don’t feel obliged to solve things for me. I will survive either way :slight_smile:

Off to bed now hoping I will dream of the perfect solution.

First of all thank you for your response :blush:-
I’d be happy to look into any resources you feel are important.
The video chat thing I can’t do until September because there is no connection for that where I’m, but we can look at it then, although I don’t know if my English and/or your Spanish will work for that, but I hope I can get an interpreter.
For the moment I am going to study Zotero with an introductory course from a university that I hope will help me.
As I study your flow I will ask you more specific questions.
Best regards and thanks