I have been thinking a lot about tagging during the last few days, both
about how to do the actually tagging and what I need to have to actually
use it. Close to any type of information management app and or service
have some kind of tagging these days.
Lets start with what I need to have, to actually spend the time to do
the tagging. First and foremost, I need to be able to export the data I
store, including the tags, to a format that I can parse with a scripting
language. I will never invest the time, if the tags is just something
that is, and will continue to be stuck inside that container.
I do also need good tools to manage it all. How do I add, edit and
delete the tags, these are all important questions for me. All of this
need to be both simple and easy to use.
And last, the tools for searching the tags need to be in place.
Types of tags. My opinions is that there are two kinds of tags, these
days. There are native tags, like you will find in Evernote, Simpletnote
and Mavericks. Its an integrated part of what ever system you are using.
And then you have the hacky way. I have used tags in nvALT in a weird
way during the last years. I just wrote for example
@blogdraft somewhere in a blog post
draft, to be able to search for that string, with anything that had full
The end result is often bettter than what you have in Mavericks today.
Because that would work on anything. Something the built in os level
There are three places I use tags in my day to day life, today. I use
them in Day One, where I just assign one tag to each jounral entry. This
is more like a category system, than tagging.
And then you have how I now do it in Simplenote, as native tags, and
used to do as a “in the text”-keyword or tag in nvALT(nvALT support the
same type of tagging, but dont have any good way to search them).
And I also use, a few Mavericks tags. These are tags that I apply to
certain files, with hazel, at certain locations, to signyfi that I have
to do some kind of processing on them.
Like clearing out my Downloads or Desktop folder.
One of the most important things about any tagging system is that you
need to have a purpose. I never tag stuff, without having a real reason
for them. I do it in Day One to be able to find everything of a certain
kind of journaling in a simple way.
I dont tag most of my notes. But I do tag notes like published blog
posts, drafts for blog posts and other kind of writing that is not a
draft but something that is either in draft form, or is pubished / sent
Remember find a real need before you go crazy with any kind of tagging.