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My Amplenote tagging structure

In my previous post I mentioned how I extensively used tags in Amplenote (AN), but didn't spend too much time on it. However after getting asked about it a couple times I thought it might be a good idea to do just that.

What's great about using tags instead of folders is that I could have a multiple tags on one note, enabling me to find or correlate that data in different contexts. Here are a couple pointers I find helpful with tagging as well as examples of my own tag structure.

First and foremost, you must read the paragraph Traditional vs Inline Tags. The AN team does a great job with their docs! The most powerful part of this concept is that traditional tags are not containers, they're designators or attributes. 

Secondly: Inline Tags = Note References = links to other notes. Super easy! ๐Ÿ™‚

The genius IMO of inline tags being just a link to another note, is that you can use them how you want. For instance, I have a note named @Isaiah, and my wife drops tasks into it for me to review. In this context, the note is really container of tasks. However, I can also filter by that note to find references to me in other notes, which in this context the note is a tag! 

First way of using @Isaiah would be as a tasks filter. I personally don't use this as much, but nice to have as an option.

The way I like to use it is as a notes container + backlink finder. This makes it a dual purpose note, enabling me to be assigned tasks, but also find where I have been explicitly referenced in other notes or tasks.

Lastly, here is a screenshot of my traditional tag structure. Keep in mind this is still a work in progress and I am continually refining as I use them:

A couple of notes about how I use them.

  • I put numbers in the titles of my most used tags so they float to the top of my tag list
  • I use the -1-pin tag for a couple different categories of notes. I use it very sparingly and continually move notes in and out of this grouping
    • Important
    • Recurring
    • In progress
      • Example: if I have a -3-shared/house note titled kitchen remodel, I would also tag that with  -1-pin if I am actively working on that as a primary focus. Once done or put on hold, I would remove the pin tag
      • Caveat here is my note ⏳In Progress that I use to inline tag tasks. My process here has not been 100% decided, as I am using both strategies
  • -5-ingest is the tag for notes that I create when consuming non entertainment content and want to take notes. These notes sometimes are also tagged as research or wiki depending on their relevance and progress of completion. A research tagged note could eventually be a full fledged wiki note after I am done researching.
    •  The sub categories are:
      • articles
      • books
      • podcasts
      • videos
  • daily-jots notes get tagged often, but not always, with journal. Or I just rename the note title to something more specific or migrate the data to a more appropriate note  
  • learning is for formal classes, certifications or professional development
  • wiki is my knowledge database
  • collections are notes with eclectic information in them, such as ✒️ Quotes or ๐Ÿบbeer to try
Feel free to ask me any questions! ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. What an insightful piece! Lots to learn from here.

    Do you also use tags to mark the "domain of interest" of a note? For example do you tag your "book" notes with "dev-ops" or "fiction"? Same question could go for "projects" and how you categorize them based on the area of interest.

    1. Hey Lucian, thanks so much for dropping by again and the encouragement!

      Yes, I use sub tags for domains of interest. However, I have been playing around with the idea of creating a new root tag of "-7-genres" for cross pollinating broader categories of content together. For example "-7-genres/philosophy" might be on notes that are tagged in "wiki", "research", or "writing".

      However If I wanted only philosophy content in my books tag, I do not like the friction of manually typing a tag filter, as it's long and slow e.g.--> "in:-5-ingest/books,-7-genres/philosophy" ..... works but is cumbersome

      Can't decide on a global genre tag, or whether I should repeat subtags in each root tag, i.e.
      - 5-ingest/books/philosophy
      - 7-genres/philosophy

      Any thoughts?

    2. Funnily enough, your solution is pretty much precisely what I arrived at. I have a "genres" tag to qualify what kind of "interest" (I call my tag "interest") the note pertains to.

      I'm still playing around with this notion, though, so it's very much in beta. But so far, it comes with the advantage of avoiding duplicate tags (eg "books/philosophy" and "writing/philosophy").

      In addition to the "genre" tag, I also have the "kind" tag. It helps me determine what purpose a note serves, so for example it could be a "kind/project" note or it could be a "kind/wiki" note.

      So with this pair of tags I qualify notes by why they exist and what they relate to. So if I want to see all of my music-related projects (but don't want to see my notes on music theory), I can select "kind/projects" and "interests/music". This is good enough.

      But at some point I found that it still caused some duplicate tags. For example, if I have a note that describes a "writing" "project" about "development", it seems like it needs 3 qualifiers. The "genre" is "development" and the "kind" is "project", but this is writing about development, not actually developing.

      And ideally, I want to avoid having an "interests/writing/development" tag and an "interests/development" tag, because we're causing the same problem we want to solve in the same place.

      So these edge cases made me come up with the third qualifier called "activity". Which allows me to have "project + writing + development" notes as well as "project + career + development" as well as "wiki + learning + development".

      All of this is maybe overkill, but contrary to what it looks like, it's the most frictionless method I've found so far.

    3. Re: tag selection - in case you haven't discovered it yet, you can use Shift-Click to select multiple tags in the sidebar (and also add multi-tag selections to shortcuts to avoid doing it again).