Zettelkasten Forum

Meta-tags for categories of Zettel (e.g. in zetteldeft)

I am new to Zettelkasten Method.

I want to use tags not only to specify the content of a Zettel but also the type of the Zettel itself. It is like a meta-information. e.g. I want to categories the type of content like this


Question 1
What kind of such meta tags do you use in your Zettelkasten?

Question 2
What syntax do you use? I have the problem that the : does not work out of the box with zetteldeft. So I look for something else because I do not want to modify the default settings.


  • edited September 2021

    Yes I do something similar, using the haskell :: syntax. However, I only have three, well four, note types:
    1. ::structure
    2. ::manuscript
    3. ::zettle
    4. ::buffer (which really is more of a holding-tank to be drained)

    They all however go into the same folder.

    • I then use double-hashtags for domains of knowledge (a finite set which I've settled on)
    • I usually am extremely sparing with tags only as an entry point to an idea. Most notes stay untagged as I find the curation overhead to be high.
    • Finally I do have inline "tags" which I notate as item# for things that are not easily searchable directly (code, music recordings etc).

    note: I'd ask yourself what the difference is between an idea, and a "permanent" note, and likewise ask what is the difference between a keyword note and an index note?

  • edited September 2021

    ##Ü1 or ##Ü2 = Structure Note
    ##TL = Tool

    Edited by @ctietze: fixed ## being shown as heading

    Post edited by ctietze on

    I am a Zettler

  • I prepend a letter abreviating the type. I've gotten a bit carried away with this. Here is the legend.


    PRO = Project Structure note (⌃⌘8)

    Books, etc

    B = Books
    A = Journal/Magazine/Web/Youtube Articles
    (this could be broken down more?)

    Writing Projects

    BO = "Being Ordinary" Lojong

    Interest Hubs

    G = Garden level 1
    S = Level 2

    University/Online classes

    U = University class Structure note
    C = Class Notes
    OV = Office Visit


    » - Waking Up Moment transcription
    T - Daily Ideation Log - scratch note - mule
    P - People
    000000 - Help Notes

    This is how it looks in my note list.

    P-Scott Slovic 202102170655
    U-ENGL473 202012212010
    PRO-Jekyll Static Website 202011250546
    A-Fox And Hedgehog World Views 202103280716
    T-April 28, 2021 202104280503
    » We Often Form An Opinion 202010282137
    C-February 4, 2020 202002041511
    A-Senolytics 201905151707
    T-April 25, 2021 202104250610
    OV-ENGL473 April 8, 2021 202104081603
    A-The Children Of Lidice 202002121325
    B-The Time Being 201909280707
    B-The Art of Doing Science and Engineering 201903112051
    B-The Desert 202005281724
    G-Conversation Skills 202104222023

    Will Simpson
    I must keep doing my best even though I'm a failure. My peak cognition is behind me. One day soon I will read my last book, write my last note, eat my last meal, and kiss my sweetie for the last time.

  • edited September 2021

    Similarly to @Sascha, I use ##!1 and ##!2 for Structure Notes. I don't use Ü because I don't know how to type it in my keyboard, I'm too lazy to figure it out, and like ! more.

    My other meta tags:

    • ##!0. A shortcut to my Inbox Note and my Idea Index.
    • ##proofread. A Zettel to proofread.
    • ##uncompiled. A Zettel that I was writing up but stopped working on for some reason. E.g.: Had to turn off the laptop because battery was low.
    • ##unlinked. A Zettel that I finished writing up and I have to make connections for, or that I want to add more connections to.
    • ##backfill. A Zettel with knowledge gaps I want to fill in.
    • ##analogyze. A Zettel that I want to make an analogy for.
    • ##visualize. Ditto as above but for a visualization.

    I'm working towards cleaning my workflow, so for now I'm stuck with these tags.

    I hope that you find my answer helpful. Please, let me know!

    EDIT: A typo.

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