# Zettels should be linked
You need to connect and build on top of other concepts to generate insights. To connect one concept to another, you’ll need a mechanism to remember the previous concepts that you have written before. Links are good cues to finding your previous notes (Remembering can be improved by deliberately creating cues). Your cues will be even stronger with contextual backlinks.
Especially when your zettelkasten is no longer empty, you should always link new notes to previous notes. By deliberately finding links to your previous notes, you’ll make sure that the previous notes are not lost, and understand better of how they’re interconnected together.
Ahrens, How to Take Smart Notes (p. 101).
What does help for true, useful learning is to connect a piece of information to as many meaningful contexts as possible, which is what we do when we connect our notes in the slip-box with other notes. Making these connections deliberately means building up a self-supporting network of interconnected ideas and facts that work reciprocally as cues for each other.
Always link your notes: Whenever you add a note, make sure to link it to already existing notes. Avoid notes that are disconnected from other notes. As Luhmann himself put it, “each note is just an element that derives its quality from the network of links in the system. A note that is not connected to the network will be lost, will be forgotten by the Zettelkasten” ( original in German )
- Zettels should be optimised for retrieval strength
- Zettels should be linked. Links provide contextual cues as it'll be included in a sentence. Extra cues are generated when you generate backlinks.
- Zettels should be tagged
- I have not found a good way to tag zettels yet. For now, the better approach is linkage: Zettels should be linked