Digital gardening is a living process
The most wonderful thing about your garden is that you can do almost anything you want there. In my picture of the world, these gardens, thousands of them, reflect not only the beauty of nature, flowers, vegetables, trees. They reflect, too, our own heart’s desire, a place where we may see the individuality and love of different people expressed in the most ordinary way, a million-fold. It is the least constrained part of our environment, the place where each of us it most free to do what we want. So we can express ourselves; we can have our heart’s desire; we really can do what we want to do.
— Christopher Alexander, The Nature of Order, Book 3, chapter 7, p. 249
Collecting notes over time in the style of a Zettelkasten or Digital Garden is much closer to a than classic note taking:
- Each modification to the digital garden is like an iteration of the fundamental process. A digital garden comes from many repeated applications of it.
- The whole is continuously enhanced with any note which is added or edited. When choosing to add new ideas, the whole needs to be considered to find the appropriate place for them.
- Perception of the whole: it’s hard to ignore the whole as each note (center) is interconnected with many others. It’s much easier to loose sense of the whole if notes are not interconnected.
- Linking notes is like intensifying centers: the more a note gets linked to, the stronger it becomes as a center.
- Links between notes are like latent centers: sometimes they are strong and immediately visible, sometimes they are hidden and emerge over time.