Zettelkasten Forum


[REQUEST] sort options, distinguish between UID and Note Title

When following the recommended titling conventions (UID Title) the Archive's "sort by Title" option effectively operates as a "sort by UID" option.

Would it be possible to distinguish between the two? To have a proper "sort by Title" option that ignores the UID and sorts by the actual title of the note?

Thanks for considering it. :)

Comments

  • Just to explain the thought behind this request:

    I am experimenting in The Archive with blending the use of UID numbering [ie, "202001241723"] with Luhmann numbering [ie "2,2a1"].

    While I am keen to maintain all of the benefits of using UIDs in The Archive, I also find that using Luhmann numbering helps me to conceptualize the "building" of my archive. An ordered list of Luhmann-numbered notes gives me a "bird's-eye view" (above) of the sections and branches (and so on) that a list of UIDs on its own does not offer.

    I wonder if anyone else has similar experience with UID vs. Luhmann numbers?

    Anyway, the problem comes in with The Archive's mode of sorting, by UID rather than by Note Title. In this case the title is the Luhmann number. When sorting by UID, going back to insert a note between {2,2a} and {2,2b}, for example, would result in that note having later UID time stamp, meaning that the note---"{2,2a1}"---would be at the bottom of the list, rather than in right after {2,2a}. And so, bye bye bird's-eye view. :disappointed:

    I realize this is a specific use case, and may not warrant any changes to The Archive program, but at the very least I thought others might weigh in on the idea of blending of UID and Luhmann numbers.

    Thoughts? :smile:

  • To explain the thought behind this request a bit:

    I have been experimenting in The Archive with blending UID numbering ("202001241712") and Luhmann numbering ("2,2a1").

    While I am keen to maintain the benefits of using UID numbering in The Archive, I find that using Luhmann numbering gives me a better sense of the structure of the archive as a whole as I am "building" it. Per the image above, I can easily see a "bird's-eye view" of the various sections and branches, in a way that a list of UID numbers alone does not offer. (Making structure notes can help with this certain cases, but they are made on an ad hoc basis and do not show the structure of the archive overall in the same way.)

    The problem comes in with the "Title" sorting option in The Archive, which sorts notes by UID rather than Note Title. In this case, the note title is the Luhmann number, ie, "{2,2a}". When sorting by UID, if I go back later to add a note between {2,2a} and {2,2b}, that note "{2,2a1}" will be given a later UID time stamp, meaning it will go to the bottom of the list of all notes, instead of after {2,2a}. So, bye-bye bird's-eye view. :disappointed:

    I realize that this is a specific use-case, and may not warrant changes to The Archive itself, but I thought at the very least some of you might have some thoughts about UID numbering vs. Luhmann numbering, and the possible benefits/dangers of blending them.

    Thoughts? :)

  • I don't think you are going to have much of a bird's eye view when you have two hundred notes, and even less of one when you have a thousand, or five thousand. I would think that a better method is the one that has been described somewhere here, in which you create a few notes that are a kind of "table of contents" covering a particular field or topic. It is easy to make these notes sort to the top by giving them a prefix such as an asterisk or section mark, and opening the note will give you a view of all the notes that are relevant to the subject, with links to them. You can add to those notes as the collection grows, and there is the bonus that any particular note can appear in more than one table of contents. Much more flexible than sorting. And I think one has to beware of the idea that physical proximity = relevance. Not always the case. Anyway, Luhmann had to do certain things because he didn't have a computer. It is not always a good idea to translate methods from the analogue era into the digital one.

  • Thanks for the comments.

    With a seven hundred note archive now, I don't have a bird's-eye view anyway, so I'm trying a different method (but an entirely compatible one), so I guess I'll see what happens when it scales up.

    Also, by entering the beginning of a Luhmann number into the search bar, like "{2" or "{2,2", The Archive shows only that sub-section or branch of the archive. Bird's-eye-view restored! 😁

  • @MartinBB said:
    ... I would think that a better method is the one that has been described somewhere here, in which you create a few notes that are a kind of "table of contents" covering a particular field or topic. It is easy to make these notes sort to the top by giving them a prefix such as an asterisk or section mark, and opening the note will give you a view of all the notes that are relevant to the subject, with links to them. You can add to those notes as the collection grows, and there is the bonus that any particular note can appear in more than one table of contents. ...

    The tagging of notes has this same functionality only no fussing with remembering to and taking the time to maintain a TOC note. Sure in focused domains this adds value. Structure notes are this fancy TOC note but to get notes to appear in associated relevant contexts a well thought out tag seems far easier to maintain in the long term. Easy to use multiple tags associating a note with multiple domains.

    A TOC note or special numbering system that shows note relationships is helpful or almost demanded in some situations but for me, I'll keep those techniques in reserve for those occasions and not try to apply this to my entire archive. An onerous maintenance task with dubious returns.

    This points to the power of tagging. I honestly hadn't considered tagging in this light. Tagging as a way to group notes by relevant knowledge domain for the purpose of creating a TOC like structure. Growing over time. This points to the importance of choosing relevant and cogent tagging language.

    Will Simpson
    I'm a Zettelnant.
    Research: Rationalism, Zen, Non-fiction Creative Writing
    kestrelcreek.com

  • edited January 27

    I wouldn't dream of trying to create a table of contents for more than about a dozen notes! And I concur about tagging. That is precisely what I use them for. Much better than folders, in the long run. Both inside applications, and in the file system.

    Brett Terpstra has written quite a bit about tagging, and so has Macdrifter. Worth reading them both.

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