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Rules you can use to create effective tags and find what you need

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I would like some practical advice if possible with examples or screens of how you organize your notes and the rules you give yourself to avoid errors, ambiguities or redundancies.
The system must work mostly on ios systems ( iphone and ipad ) because they are my personal scanner and the main tools I will use to find my notes.
At the moment I am trying to use few notebooks and many tags. basically I use 3 notebooks: PERSONAL - FAMILY - WORK.
I am using hierarchical tags ( parent tags and child tags ) also inserting monotags ( which I explain later ) at the moment I have the following tag structure:
  • - ? categories
  • - ? document type
  • - ? when
  • - ? who and what 
the question mark allows me to have the tags I force myself to use at the top of the list; that way when I open evernote from iphone, ipad or windows I try to follow this priority and ask myself these questions.
within the parent tag - ? categories - I put the following " macro tags " purchases \ personal \ home \ car \ health \ suppliers etc..
  • - ?categories
    • home
    • -work
    • - projects
    • - Suppliers
      • - Services
        • water services
        • light services
        • telephone services
        • tv and streaming services
I actually renamed them with this unique mono tag that defines the subcategories. for example: .sup.services.water sup.services.light etc.. - ( just enter sup.services. and evernote automatically suggests to me everything within the suppliers \ services \ hierarchy )
in this way I can enter all the documents that pertain to the electricity service supply category without worrying about the document type.
The second macro tag - ? document type - helps me find the document I actually need
  • - ? document type
    • - DT.Bills
    • - DT.Payment receipts
    • - DT.Contracts etc.
this way if I want to search for bills related to water supply service I refine the search using DT.bills
at this point I use the tag - ? when - like this
  • - ? when
    • - AA.2020
    • - AA.2022
    • - TR.1 January - February - March
    • - TR.2 April - May - June etc..
Finally in the tag - ? who and what - where I create only tags with lists of people, restaurants, places, companies entities or associations. In short everything that has a certain name and the tag always starts with the special character ^.
  • - ? who and what ?
    • - ^doctor. last name and first name
    • - ^city. city name
    • - ^amazon - ^evernote ^ name company providing electricity or telephone service etc..
What rules do you use to define your tags?
In my case I am trying to set up a hierarchical tag and monotag system that immediately helps me find tags on ios and forces me to use existing tags.
For example, typing ^doctor. evernote returns me all the surnames and first names of health professionals
Except in exceptional cases, I try not to use more than 5 tags per note.
However, I believe that this system can and should be further refined.
For example let's say I want to search for a medical report related to a knee problem; trying not to use more than 5 tags if I have a medical report I use the following tags:
1. health
2. dt. medical report
3. :an.2020
4. ^doctor.name and surname
if for the same knee problem, I have been seen by several doctors the problem arises; how do I find the note I want ? I should use another tag for example - knees - however in this way I think I can start using many redundant tags.
I need another property that can be used for all categories. I gave an example that relates to health but the same thing applies to all existing topics. So how do you guys set up your tags? what rules do you give yourself to be consistent? have you found a method that actually allows you to find everything you are looking for? I welcome your advice, opinions, suggestions or criticism. Let me know if you find this method useful. thank you all




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On 9/8/2023 at 5:28 PM, FrancescoB86 said:

if for the same knee problem, I have been seen by several doctors the problem arises; how do I find the note I want ?

Using the advanced search syntax may give you some extra flexibility. So for example


wil find all note containing a tag beginning with doctor

You can also exclude tags by putting a - infront. So

tag:knee -tag:doctor*

will find all notes with the tag knee which don't also have a tag beginning with doctor.

You can also add 


into your search string to find notes that contain any of the tags listed.

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  • Solution
10 minutes ago, FrancescoB86 said:

Do you also organize tags this way?

Some special tags. I have some tags that describe the type of note (paper, my notes, reading list, blog article etc)  . Each of them begins with a +. I can then quickly check whether I have filed something (with the tag "R") but forgotten to add a "type of note" tag.

tag:R -tag:+*


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thanks, let's try it then :) it all seems so complicated to me. because I'm trying to archive a series of personal documents. and I created categories that answer the question what?... example: house and there are a series of categories in it; Work; Health; personal. Every time I try to tag a note I have difficulty... and where do I insert this document? So I'm starting to get a little discouraged. thanks for your suggestions

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