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gazumped

To Tag, or not to Tag; that is the question... Tiago Forte has a view.

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If you're uncertain about tagging,  or looking at systems,  here's 6,000 words or so on why you should.  Carefully.

https://praxis.fortelabs.co/a-complete-guide-to-tagging-for-personal-knowledge-management/

I "tag" with keywords in my document titles,  because a lot of my content is scanned to a hard drive folder as PDF files,  and to allow me to batch move them to an Import Folder when I finish messing with the content,  it's easier to add longer titles than it would be to go after the imported note in Evernote and add tags.

Given my own specific use case(s) I think I roughly follow these principles already - but without actual tags.  They come later as part of ongoing note curation when I tidy up the notes I'm finding in various searches so they'll be in- or excluded from future searches.

Still - whatever works for you.

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Evernote's tag process seems a lot easier than your external processing.
All my imports are sent directly to my Inbox notebook (collect*);
title/tags are addressed in a single "tidy up" step  (process*)

The article discussed hirearchy and network; in database terms hierarchical and relational.
Evernote's tag database is hierachical, but I implemented relational aspects using scripting (Mac).

Evernote's tag process is at the note level, or in your use at the note title level.
I also specify the tags within the note contents
Advantages are:
- Not locked into Evernote's metadata storage
- Allows extracting the text into a summary note; I can do this with scripting (Mac)

*collect/process = GTDspeak

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7 hours ago, DTLow said:

Evernote's tag process seems a lot easier than your external processing.

Probably not for me - but I'm sticking with what works (and what I know).  😎

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For me, a discussion about „to tag or not to tag“ makes no sense. Because the content of the notes is created from multiple sources, just relying on the plain  text search is not secure enough (valid hits not found) and not precise enough (hits found not valid).

Tagging from my view is a necessity, because the relation „note to notebook“ is set as 1:1, which does not reflect real world complexity. Technically the notebook-assignment of a note is only a kind of “super-tag”, that is allowed only once per note, and has a lot of code and GUI build around it.

My current problem is that I am already loosing my overview over the tags I have created up to now, and we are talking about a low 3-digit total only. So I often create a new tag (synonym or close, sometimes more or less granular than another one already there) instead of reusing one I have.

Now I have started grouping them, but on mobile devices (where I live a major part of my EN presence) the groups do not show. Further I ran into some difficulties finding „good“ group titels for quite a number of tags (other than „miscellaneous“, I mean).

My 80%-Solution up to now is from time to time to review the tags in existance using the windows client. Then I am purging tags with little usage, and reassign others, or create new ones that help to permanently restructure the tagging in itself (for example one tag that replaces 3 others that I am purging).

Here the groups help because they create a logical substructure for the review. But the review is a pain in the ass ... I hate do redo work that was already done before.

Any ideas that could help ?

 

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58 minutes ago, PinkElephant said:

My current problem is that I am already loosing my overview over the tags I have created up to now, and we are talking about a low 3-digit total only. So I often create a new tag (synonym or close, sometimes more or less granular than another one already there) instead of reusing one I have.

I found it helps to have a strong naming standard in place so the filter triggers when selecting tags

I prefix my  tagnames so the hierarcy is reflected in the shortlist presented when typing a tagname.  For example colour tags are Colour-Red, Colour-Blue, Colour-White...; my types are Type-Receipt,  Type-Project, Type-Actionable, ...

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I think @DTLow posted a link to another tagging item - https://zapier.com/blog/how-to-use-tags-and-labels/#pc (I Evernoted the link but not the thread!)

As I said above,  I'm not a natural fan of tags - my note titles include dates, names, keywords... all of which are effectively tags.  It allows me to concentrate on getting the note classified by date / document / content / and extra keywords.  I search on intitle:<keyword> to start most searches,  then winnow through the list with more detailed content searches.

I'm now using Filterize which can update Table of Content dashboards from the tags on notes so I'm revising my own system.  I'll keep the titles going,  but I now have a series of tags for Now / Soon etc for to-do's,  which automatically populate the lists on separate notes.  I can keep some more specialized lists going too - 'to be read' and 'locations' (places for photography or chilling out);  a 'wish list' for the stuff I want to buy,  local places ro eat... - and so on.

The thing about a classification scheme is that it depends totally on your own preferences,  the information you're handling,  and the use to which it will be put.  So I don't believe we can suggest anything that will satisfy you off the bat,  but maybe you can string together something from the ideas in this thread.

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Thank you all for the input.

Including some hierarchical Info into the tagging was a thought , especially because groups of tags are not supported everywhere.

@jefito: A proverb says “At night all cats are grey ...”

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3 hours ago, PinkElephant said:

@jefito: A proverb says “At night all cats are grey ...”

Or  perhaps in this case, birds, as we both have avian avatars. Coincidence? Hmmm...

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1 hour ago, jefito said:

Or  perhaps in this case, birds, as we both have avian avatars. Coincidence? Hmmm...

My reliance on Evernote has obviously blunted (or should that be diluted) my wetware memory.  Sorry both.  I might have been channeling my STP (Sir Terry Pratchett) addiction too - "The significant owl hoots in the night." He doesn't mention anything about Ravens (?) though a lot of other people do...  Anyhoo. <_<

 

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1 hour ago, gazumped said:

I might have been channeling my STP (Sir Terry Pratchett) addiction too

I was guessing that you might be channeling a bit of single malt, myself... :) 

Um, this is wildly off-topic. In re tags: I am a casual but persistent tagger, by which I mean that I tag early & often, but I don't have a rigorous tagging discipline in place, and don't use hierarchical tags; my tag tree is roughly organized but since I overload tag names with different meaning depending on context, there's no sense in making a rigorously structured tree. Just doesn't seem necessary to me. Tags are just a little descriptive language that I use. I don't take a lot of time organizing them, and don't make much effort to prune unused or rarely used tags, much as I don't black out word in my dictionary that I don't use.

But I do tag, yes indeed. And if tagging / tag search in the file system were as simple as it is in Evernote, I'd use that there, too.

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2 hours ago, jefito said:

I was guessing that you might be channeling a bit of single malt, myself..

Tush.  I'm shocked.  Never on a school night.  However Friday isn't...  😉

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11 hours ago, PinkElephant said:

Thank you all for the input.

A bit late to the party.  I tag everything.  My tags tend to be broad not specific in meaning.  400 tags across 41k notes, don't add many tags any more.  Use the tag tree structure to organize tags, eg, Accounts is a parent tag for the tags representing companies with which I do business.  Purpose of tags for me is to end up with a brief list of notes in a multi tag search.  Occasionally have to add text to the search to refine.  Use case is predominantly paperless, history, and my own version of GTD/TSW.  

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Sorry it is still to be invented to share single malt through a chat. A startup offering this feature would become a unicorn in a blink.

Did you know elefants turn pink when they had a good share of that stuff ...

@CalS Luckily I am still in my diapers regarding the number of notes (appr. 2.500]. This is why I am thinking loud about what to do. Probably I am far enough to understand some implications, and still small enough to correct it.

I just got myself into GTD - maybe my “here-and-then” pursing of the tags should be part of the weekly mopping-up of loose ends.

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20 hours ago, PinkElephant said:

Luckily I am still in my diapers regarding the number of notes (appr. 2.500]. This is why I am thinking loud about what to do. Probably I am far enough to understand some implications, and still small enough to correct it.

Yeah, I made a few adjustments across time.  Good thing is that it is pretty easy to make adjustments using the tools that EN provides.  Good luck and enjoy!

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On 1/31/2019 at 4:06 PM, gazumped said:

I'm not a natural fan of tags - my note titles include dates, names, keywords...all of which are effectively tags. 

A rose by any other name ....

Just wondering about the aversion to actual tags.  
I consider the Tags feature a fundamental Evernote benefit.

Are you preparing for the "after Evernote" world?
I've given it some consideration; with data backups I have a parallel platform external to Evernote.

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2 hours ago, DTLow said:

Just wondering about the aversion to actual tags.

Some reservations after getting over 1K tags with variations on spelling, plurals, and most of my tags only having about 2 related notes.  In the interests of forcing myself to be consistent I set up a note - which has since transformed into a Workflowy page - and saved a unique 'title' for all my suppliers and customers.  I needed to add a date too,  because being busy (and stunningly lazy) I don't always (hah!) get around to scanning on the day a document arrives - and in any event it always has a 'created date',  when the document was printed,  or when I ordered something,  which is some days earlier.

I wound up with lots of entries like this:  20180902 receipt - RAF Cosford - guidebook - expenses

The nice thing being that if I type 'RAF' into the search box in Workflowy,  that line will jump onto my screen.  If I go to another air museum I'll need to type "RAF C" or something...

Anyway now,  any time I have a note to do with my Cosford day I can just update the date,  copy the line and paste into my Clipper or scan title.

There's another plus in that I always scan to folder,  so having a lot of pre-digested titles available that only require a couple of changes means I avoid a lot of typing.

If I incur other expenses or use more keywords on that job I just add another line to the Cosford entry with different details.

It's a lot less complicated than it probably sounds,  and it works for me!

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50 minutes ago, gazumped said:

Some reservations after getting over 1K tags with variations on spelling, plurals, and most of my tags only having about 2 related notes.

Yeah, my view the key to a tagging strategy is as few tags as possible, broadly defined, and easy to remember.  So the name of the business, the name of the contact, Statement, Receipt, PC.Stuff, Workout, and the like (including Wine, one of my favorites).  Then tags can be used to effectively cull to a list of notes wherein text search can be added if need be.  Not everyone's cup of tea though, as exhibited by your most excellent process.  

download.jpg.0be06b1d42b615d4c6562389849b96c1.jpg

 

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