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.

When adding tags to a note, you will see a drop-down list with any existing tags that match the entered keyword. If you wish to categorize the new note in an existing tag, select the tag from the drop-down.

linkDeleting tags from notes

To remove a tag from a note, simply click the gray "x" next to the tag in the note header.


linkTag naming rules to prevent duplicate hierarchies

One of the most frustrating long-term problems felt by long-term, avid note takers is the problem of duplicate hierarchies. For example, on the first day you use the app, you're inclined to tag your blog draft as tech-blog/drafts. But maybe a month later, you create another blog post and apply the tag Tech_Blog/Draft. Now there are two possible places that you might need to look when you want to see drafts of your tech blog posts. As creators of Amplenote, we suffered through this problem enough times to know that early measures would be necessary to avoid it ending up in a haunted house of dead ends and false leads.

These are the rules & tactics we apply to prevent 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.

Auto-suggest always available. Whether you're probing for the right tag to apply on web or mobile, in the note header or in the double-bracket note creation, we will always provide suggestions for existing tags that match some portion of the tag name you are currently entering.

We have found this set of tactics work together effectively to minimize the duplication of tag hierarchies.

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 the best 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.

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:











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).

linkFinding nested tags to be applied

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

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

Then you can browse through your note hierarchy to see all notes with the 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

When using "Jots mode" or "Tasks mode," tags can be set as "Shortcuts" that make it easy to jump straight into a desired productivity context. Here's what it looks like in Tasks mode as of September 2020:

To create a new Shortcut, navigate your tag hierarchy as usual, then click the empty star next to the hierarchy name that you want to add as a Shortcut:

Once you have added a tag hierarchy as a Shortcut, you can click it in the left sidebar to set it as the Default Shortcut:

Adding shortcuts and default shortcuts is compatible with multi-tag selection too.

The significance of the Default Shortcut is that when you switch between modes in Amplenote, the Default Shortcut is the first tag selected. This makes it a very high leverage target if you're trying to compel yourself to focus on a particular area of your life. Set it as the Default Shortcut for Tasks or Jots and you will be reminded of the recent tasks and notes (respectively) that have been created surrounding that topic.

As of September 2020, Shortcuts are stored on a per-device basis. Feel free to email if you'd like to see us increase the priority of persisting Shortcuts across devices. It's on our roadmap, so user guidance will help drive how rapidly it becomes available.

As od December 2020, Shortcuts are now synced between all devices.

Creating a new note with tag hierarchy

As described in the Double Bracket Note Link Syntax 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: