Literature notes are lightweight highlights and annotations collected while reading or consuming information. Their extensiveness depend on the complexity of the text and our ability to write concisely. They should serve only as reminders and should not be too broad. They just have to be “good enough” notes that could recreate your mental context when you are reading.

In Ahren’s Zettelkasten Manual, literature notes are separated from the evergreens and stored in a Reference management system like Zotero together with bibliographic details. In my talahardin, I separate them from permanent notes by putting them in a separate folder: the writing inbox.

To collect them based on media, see how to write literature notes. To use them to write permanent notes, see how to convert literature notes to permanent notes.


Matuschak, A. (n.d.). Literature notes are secondary and separate. Andyʼs Working Notes. Retrieved September 3, 2021, from