Daniel Lemire's blog

, 2 min read

Tagging as a new information retrieval paradigm

2 thoughts on “Tagging as a new information retrieval paradigm”

  1. I use tags in combination with a hierarchical organization system. For example, my repository of research papers exist a single folder, with the name of the file being the paper. I find setting the name to the title is useful for the times that I search via browsing.

    Beyond that single folder, I don’t organize them; I use tags. The tags aren’t meant to so much as an organizational tool so much as a useful “search hook”. If I need a document, I almost always search for it via Spotlight. Any tags I assign beyond the text indexing that Spotlight does are for “meta” terms that may not appear in the paper itself.

    Music, photos and video clips are all managed via iTunes, where I make extensive use of the metadata. Importing can be time consuming, but it’s worth it later on. I tried the hierarchical approach and I didn’t care for it, mainly because I was too pedantic about making things fit together “just right”. I resigned myself to the “lump it all on one place” approach and I find I think about it a lot less.

    I don’t think tags are a replacement for a folder system, but together they can be very useful.

  2. Vali says:

    I use tags to organize my files in Obsidian, a note-taking app that works as an offline wiki written in markdown.

    For example, I have a lot of files for books I take notes from and I add metadata at the beginning of the file with author, title, tag, status (reading, to edit notes, etc). I can use a plugin that scans the metadata and allows me to build tables with a stripped-down version of SQL. I have tables for each status and tag used