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The Benefit of Nested Tags

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Posted by Simon
Dec 17, 2020 at 11:32 AM


I recently watched a YouTube video extolling the virtues of Obsidian/Roam/Notion. The video (and it’s not alone) highlighted the amazing benefits of links and the graphics browser. I’ve had a play around with Obisdian and can’t see what all the fuss is about. What was interesting in the video was the cursory glance at Bear and it’s dismissal in favour of these new apps—the next generation of note taking is now here!

I wanted to highlight a great feature in Bear that these apps do not seem to have, and that is nested tags. I’ve come to rely heavily on Bear using nested tags and they solve the problem of a graphical map and reduce the amount of linking needed, plus allowing the same document to be in more than one place at once. I can have a general tag #productivity and then nest under that #productivity/time/templates/pdf and so on. The beauty of this is that clicking on the first tag shows me everything and I can then narrow down the list to more specific tags. The other great benefit is that a document can appear in more than one place. I can tag:


in the same document and it will appear in both places.

I find nested tags are not much spoken about, but find they are more useful than a graphical map. It also means entering new information is fast and easy and once your tags grow you naturally see clusters that can be put into a new main topic. Nested tags are allowing me to organically grow my notes and just about anything else I through at it.

Does anyone else find nested tags indispensable?


Posted by Christoph
Dec 17, 2020 at 02:30 PM


Why do the tags need to be nested? For me it suffices if I can combine tags in a search.

E.g. in Obsidian, you can search for “tag:productivity tag:#pdf” to find all notes tagged with both tags, or you can search for “tag:productivity OR tag:#pdf” to find all notes with one of these tags.You can also search for “tag:#productivity -tag:#pdf” to find all notes about productivity not tagges with “pdf”. Of course you can also add or exclude plaintext to the same search expression.


Posted by Pierre Paul Landry
Dec 17, 2020 at 05:18 PM


Simon wrote:
(...) >Does anyone else find nested tags indispensable?
Christoph wrote:
>Why do the tags need to be nested? For me it suffices if I can combine tags in a search.

Hi Simon and Christoph,

Hierarchical Tags are extremely useful, when inheritance is properly implemented.

And this is why it was added it to InfoQube in what I believe is the most powerful implementation of all information management apps currently available (with search operators, multiple inheritance paths, auto-tagging, bulk tag operations, shown throughout the various UIs, etc.)

Details here:
(available to both regular IQ and the free *simplified* IQ Outliner)

Pierre Paul Landry
IQ Designer


Posted by Lb
Dec 17, 2020 at 05:45 PM


It seems Nested Tags and Hierarchical Tags are the same to some of us but not sure if that’s definite.  Maybe depends on the program or code being used?

Here’s some discussion on it if that’s the case.



Posted by Pierre Paul Landry
Dec 17, 2020 at 06:02 PM


LB wrote:
> It seems Nested Tags and Hierarchical Tags are the same to some of us

Indeed, the two can be used interchangeably.

My previous post sounded more “sales-pitch” than I originally intended. Sorry. The point I wanted to get through is that not all tagging systems are equal, and in particular, nested tag ones.

If users see the usefulness of the IQ’s tagging system and perhaps want something similar implemented in other apps, I can share the details.



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