Organizing with tags

Amplenote uses tags to help categorize and prioritize notes. With tags, you can easily organize, search your notes by tag, quickly return to important items, or filter on notes you’d like to share with others.

linkAdding tags to notes

Click the "Add a tag" link in the note header and enter the word or phrase you wish to use to categorize the note

Hit the Enter or Return key to save the tag

You can add multiple tags to a single note.

Click on the # icon next to the tag to change the tag color for at-a-glance organization.

Applicable tag suggestions will be shown as you enter your hierarchy:

Suggestions are given while typing tag so as to prevent duplicate hierarchies

linkAdding tags to notes using drag-and-drop

It is also possible to assign tags to notes by dragging and dropping from the sidebar to the note list.

linkDeleting tags from notes

To remove a tag from a note, click the triple-dot to the right of the tag name, then select "Remove tag"


linkTag naming rules to prevent duplicate hierarchies

One of the most frustrating long-term problems experienced by note taking enthusiasts is redundant tag/folder hierarchies.

For example, on the first day you use the app, you're inclined to tag your blog draft as tech-blog/drafts. But then, a month later, you create another blog post and apply the tag Tech_Blog/Draft. An innocent mistake like this can forever muddy the waters about which path is the "real" home of draft blog posts? We, the builders of Amplenote, suffered through this problem frequently enough that we have built you a tool designed specifically to escape this lamentable end.

These are the Amplenote "tag rules" that minimize the potential for duplicate tags in your Amplenote notebook:

Tag hierarchy names are always lower-cased. If you type in Blog/Draft, we'll automatically convert that to blog/draft so that you don't end up with a bunch of tag names like Blog/Draft, blog/Draft, Blog/draft to consolidate as your collection of notes grows.

All spacing and punctuation is replaced by "-". For example, if you type Tech Blog/Drafts, we will automatically convert that to tech-blog/drafts. Ditto Tech_Blog/Drafts, which also becomes tech-blog/drafts.

Along with these rules, we always auto-suggest existing tag names as you're entering a tag, to maximize your odds to reuse-vs-recreate your organization hierarchy.

We have found this set of tactics work together effectively to minimize the duplication of tag hierarchies. See Five recommendations for choosing hierarchy/nested tag names for more ideas on how to choose tag names that scale.

linkHow do nested/hierarchical tags work? How can I manage multiple projects with them?

Nested tags, sometimes called "hierarchical tags" are tags like hobby-projects/golf-tournament or todo/dev/client-a are a reliable way to juggle many project-specific tasks. One or more nested tags can be applied to any note, and all of the tasks within a note can be found via any of the note's nested tags.

Since nested tags are such an integral part of an effective Amplenote experience, we recommend taking a couple minutes to understand how they work and how they can benefit you.

If you are going to use Amplenote to manage multiple projects, we strongly recommend also checking out Five recommendations for choosing hierarchy/nested tag names.

linkTwo common types of nested tags

Users with evolving lives have evolving needs for nested tags. However, there are two types of nested tags that Amplenote users gravitate toward. Amplenote Founder Bill Harding discusses this idea in this Youtube video, around the 5:15 mark.

linkKnowledge Management collections and Project Knowledge notes

When you collect notes around evergreen topics that you will want to refer to later. Examples (inspired by our recommendations for naming tags):











These notes may or may not contain tasks. To the extent they do contain tasks, they're assumed to be ephemeral tasks that were only useful in the context of the day that research was being done.

linkProject Tasks

These are tag hierarchies that are destined to become Tag Shortcuts within the Task View hierarchy, or within Task Domains. Examples:








Why not just use the same nested tag structure for Knowledge Management and Project Tasks? It's certainly possible to do so, especially if you don't create many notes. The reason we separate these is that it's not uncommon that a Knowledge Management system can have notes that contain ephemeral to-dos. For instance, while researching Roman architecture, you might have a list of additional cities to look up. But you probably don't want those tasks to show up when you're scheduling your week.

linkWhen a note is knowledge and tasks

Often a note contains knowledge to be remembered and tasks to follow up on. That's when it can become very handy that Amplenote allows you to tag any note with as many tags as you please. If you're creating a note that compiles the best Indian cooking recipes, you could tag it with recipes/indian, todo/grocery and personal/recipes/favorites. It's not common that you actually want to apply 3+ tags to a particular note, but for expert Zettelkasten note takers, their hierarchies can grow rich and numerous.

linkManaging tasks across multiple projects with nested tags

After you have identified which notes contain the tasks you want to work on, choose a tag to apply to them. If you're not feeling creative, just tag the note with todo/project-a and todo/project-b. Then, when you visit Tasks View mode, you will have a list of all your tasks for project-a, extracted from the notes that had that tag applied.

Or, if you use the Amplenote Calendar with Task Domains, the nested tags that you use to indicate work tasks can be grouped together in a "Work" Task Domain. Then, when you're ready to schedule your day, just hold shift and click to select the particular project tag from the list of possibilities:

Within a single task domain, holding shift and clicking a nested tag will show only tasks from notes that contain that tag

This makes it very convenient to get a list of tags that pertain only to a specific project (work or personal) and see a list of applicable tasks to be dragged on to your calendar (which syncs to your Google or Outlook calendar, if desired).

linkBrowsing notes by tag

You can browse through your note hierarchy to see all notes with a certain tag:

You can also reference notes that match your hierarchy by using Quick Open:

This will allow you to see note titles that match the query, plus a holistic filter to view all notes with the nested tag in a row, alongside each other. In tasks mode, nested tags is the primary means to move from one productivity context to another.

linkMulti-tag selection

In some scenarios, it is useful to list all the notes that are tagged with a combination of tags. To achieve this, Shift-click on every tag name you want to include (and Shift-click again to exclude).

Filtering by multiple tags might prove especially useful for browsing your tasks, for instance when you want a list of all your work-related tasks that are also part of collaborative notes (tagged with shared-with-me).

Filtering notes by combinations of tags can also be achieved by using the in: selector and a comma-separated list of tags in the search bar. For example, to search for Amplenote help pages that haven't been updated recently, I would type in: amplenote/help-pages, auto-archived.

linkTag Shortcuts, and the Default Shortcut

Tag Shortcuts offer a means by which to affix a particularly important tag within your leftmost-pane. Then, when you click that tag later, you can immediately return to a view showing all of the note content that has received said tag.

This help page on Tag Shortcuts and the Default Shortcut discusses how to create and rename Tag Shortcuts, as well as how to define a "Default Shortcut" (a tag or note that is always opened first when entering a mode).

Creating a new note with tag hierarchy

As described in the Note linking guide (at @ and double-bracket [[ notation) help article, you can specify a tag hierarchy when you're creating a new note by prefacing the note title with its hierarchy. For example @recipes/pizza/BBQ Hawaiian Pizza will show as:

linkRenaming, merging, and deleting tags

This topic earns its own help page 🙂