Zettels is a personal organizer on the Web. Simply use this service with any notebook, smartphone or desktop-computer and a browser. The contents of your notes organizer are restricted to your own private use. Your privacy will be maintained. The service is also usable without an own computer.

Once you register using your e-mail address, you may store any texts, images, music or videos. In short, whatever you like. Store easily such things as addresses, quotes, recipes or an article you have copied from a website. If you work scientifically, we have practical functions for you to use, such as reference information, which automatically alphabetizes lists or makes available the display of the relative cross references frequency.

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Niklas Luhmann's note box

Many users have been inspired by Niklas Luhmann's note system. Read a few quotes from his famous essay. Just as it is necessary for an open structure notes system, it is possible to create cross references among all notes in Zettels.

Professional knowledge management

Zettels is a communication system for informal or implicit knowledge. There is much knowledge that may not be stored in documents, but which is anyway necessary for fulfilling the respective task at hand. Such knowledge results from practical work. Everyone knows such questions as: „Who is the right person for this or that problem? How can I note where certain administrative processes and organization procedures are stored? What must be taken into consideration, in order to prevent difficulties? This informal knowledge has been stored in the heads of the co-workers, but isn’t available if someone is ill, on vacation, or has left his job. New colleagues must be familiarized with these things each time they start somewhere new. Zettels note organizers combines this personal informal knowledge with the respective task of an organization.

The space „Title” - headline and print version

Give your note a recognizable title in order to be able to identify it in your notes list. If you enter a date at the beginning of a title, the note will be stored accordingly as a date. Within the categories, your notes are sorted in alphabetical order. You may attain a print version by clicking on the title of the note.

The space „Text” - contents of a note

A memo note can store various contents. You may type in pure texts or links, e-mail addresses, keywords, references and cross-references.

The space „Link” – external links to websites, images, audio and video

The space „Link” is for linking external contents. The contents linked are automatically opened. Depending on the type of file, you may need a browser plug-in, which you may download free of charge: Flash, Quicktime. Enter the complete path in the space marked „Link”:



In order to activate your Zettels calendar, write a date at the beginning of the title space of a note:

6/22/2024 10:00-12:00 (Title of the note)

Uploading Files

Websites are frequently updated, their contents constantly changing. Not all interesting contents that you would like to access in the future remain preserved here. If a link does not suffice for this reason, it pays off to download images, videos and podcasts, storing them on your personal Zettels account.

Each note may store its own file. Thus, files may also be accessed while you are underway somewhere. Since only you may access the uploaded files, also material protected by copyright may be stored simply as a private copy in Zettels.

Images, videos and audio formats may be directly shown or listened to on a note without additional player-software.

Watching videos

In order to link a video with a note, enter the „Embed Code” into the field „Link”.

Listening to music

Upload your music or a podcast as a .mp3 file. The audio file will play directly on your note using audio streaming.

You may also link a .mp3 file. It will then be loaded by the server, on which the original file is stored. Please note the copyright regulations.

Creating Categories

Create your own categories for organizing your notes. And of course, you may change the designation of the category or the categorization at a later date as well. The notes are arranged in alphabetical order by title within the categories.

Adding a rating to a note

Each note may be stored with a rating. Notes considered to be important are easy to find, since they may be found on a separate list.

Defining memo notes

If you often work with a particular note, we recommend that you mar this specifically as a memo note. This way you do not always have to search for it, but can simply call up the page with all of your marked memo notes. If you log out from this page, it will appear again immediately the next time you log in.

Creating keywords

If you wish to find a note using a certain search term, cite a keyword. You may enter one or more keywords into the field labeled „Text”. Simply click on the button add keyword or write the characters „vertical line” (Windows: Alt+124) before and after any term. The keyword will automatically be linked and listed in alphabetical order.

Listing references

To insert a reference in the space marked „Text” click the button insert reference

Cross references

You can insert a cross reference to another note in your organizer. Click the button designate note as the cross reference's target note on the note that will receive the cross reference.

Now you can work on the note which should contain the cross reference. Click the button marked insert marked note as cross reference. A cross reference with the title of the target note is created.

Survey of images, references, cross references, keywords and links

It is possible to receive an overview of the functional contents of your notes with surveys of images, references, keywords, links and cross references (links from one note to another).

The relative frequency of cross references may also be displayed in graphics. The greater the number of cross references a note has, the more important the note is. If you call up these lists from a category or after a search, the selection is limited to the respective category or the search results.

If you select lists from a category or after a search, the results are restricted to the respective category or the search results.

Sending notes or categories to other Zettels users

It is very easy to make a note accessible to another Zettels user. All you have to do is copy your note in his or her account. For this, you need his or her registered e-mail address.

If you have stored your note on a certain topic in a category, you may also send the entire category to another Zettels user. If you send it and activate the „Live” option, all notes will be sent as live notes.

Using live/dialogue options when sending

Certain information has to be kept alive. And there are notes contents that, if changed, should be immediately updated for all news recipients. How does this work? When sending a note, activate the option "Live note". Here’s an example: You send out a live note to all your friends that contains your address. If you move or change your phone number, your live note is updated automatically for all your friends' notes with a single click.

When sending a note that uses the „dialogue” option, the sender and the receiver can both work on the note. The person writing what and when is noted on the note.

Providing or booking a subscription

Are you interested in an exciting subject? Share your discovery with others. Simply provide a subscription to other users of Zettels. Describe your theme in as much detail as possible and send your notes to your subscribers. In order to prevent a flood of notes being sent out, only one new note may be submitted per day. From this point of view it is obvious that quality goes before quantity. Of course, it remains your decision what you consider as quality.

Are you interested in what others have explored? Subscribe to the subscription offers provided by other Zettels users. You’ll be surprised by what shows up. If you are not satisfied with this offer, simply unsubscribe.

Pinboard, the Zettels public space

Do you have a good idea, or have you hit upon something interesting? Maybe it has nothing to do with any particular context, but you feel that it is of interest not only to you, but to others as well? Do it like in real life. Attach the Zettel to the pinboard. All Zettels users can access this.


You can import a MS Access database or a xml formatted file into Zettels.

Your browser bookmarks may also be imported into your Zettels account. First export your bookmarks as a Html-File from the bookmark manager of your browser. On the personal account configuration page you will find the corresponding option for the bookmark import into Zettels.

Backing up or exporting your data

Zettels is not a dead end. Of course, you can export all notes at any time, for example, to a local database. You will find the export functions on the account configuration page.

Services and prices

Free of ads++
Secured Connection (SSL)++
Memo notes, Ratings
Keywords, Cross references
Storage space50 MB1.000 MB
Additional storage-unlimited*
Media Streaming++
*Additional space may be provided, or canceled in increments of 1 GB.
Image, Audio, Video++
Cross references++
Send notes/categories++
Live-/Dialogue notes++
Google Notebook++
MS Access Database++
Browser Bookmarks++
Text, Database, XML++
Payment monthly
Zettelsfree5.00 USD
Additional storage space
pro 1.000 MB = 1 GB
-0.25 USD
Payment annually
Zettelsfree45.00 USD
Additional storage space
pro 1.000 MB = 1 GB
-2.88 USD

Why pay?

Storing personal data on Zettels only makes sense if you can be sure that this data remains private. Any indirect financing through the sale of anonymous information or advertising is therefore ruled out. By paying to use the service directly, you ensure that the data you have stored in Zettels will not end up in the hands of others. By setting up a Zettels Basic or Zettels Plus account, you can be 100% sure that only you have access to your personal data.

How to pay?

Pay by Sepa Bank Transfer, Paypal or Lightning Bitcoin (LBTC).

Terminating your contract

If you no longer wish to use the Zettels service, it is not necessary to terminate your contract. If you are a Zettels PLUS user, simply delete your Zettels account. A refund of payment already made is not possible.

Users of the cost-free Zettels BASIC service will receive an e-mail if they have not visited Zettels for more than 150 days. We will ask you whether you desire to keep your Zettels account. If you decide that your user account and all files should be deleted, you do not need to do anything else. After another 60 days from receiving the mail, your account and all contents will be deleted automatically. If you would like to continue using Zettels, it is enough if you log in once again. We then know that you desire to keep your user account.


Improve your web service by adding the Zettels button. The visitors of your website will be able to copy interesting content into their personal Zettels account. Insert this code within the <body></body> tag:

Required parameter are [url=] and [title=], [text=] and [link=] are optional.


Umberto Eco: The Infinity of Lists

Markus Krajewski: Zettelwirtschaft: Die Geburt der Kartei aus dem Geiste der Bibliothek, Kulturverlag Kadmos, Berlin: 2002

Niklas Luhmann: Kommunikation mit Zettelkästen. Ein Erfahrungsbericht. (Communication using note boxes. An experience report.) In: ders.: Universität als Milieu. Kleine Schriften. Haux Verlag, Bielefeld: 1992, S.53-61. (Excerpts)

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