Alternative to tracking how done a note is (eg: seed/sapling/evergreen tree)

One of the chief uses of tags to indicate how “done” a note is, is so you can do a quick search to find notes that your love and attention. I’ve been using a different approach to track done-ness in terms of how well I understand and apply the knowledge instead of how complete a note is.

My system has two founding principles:

  1. Purpose is to learn, remember what I’ve learned, and apply what I’ve learned
  2. No note is ever done

As no note is ever done, the idea of to-do, in process, and done isn’t useful. (Same for seed/sapling/tree, etc.)

In my process, I capture new notes in an in-box. These can be super fleeting notes, almost immediately or rough notes that need clean up before I move them to my main folder (eg: slipbox). My Inbox folder is my to-do with high maintenance notes in one place.

For notes that move to the main area and do need some help, I tag them with #touch, so I can search for notes that I need to touch and work on. In practice, I never use this tag. I also have a #bench tag for notes that need a lot more thinking and processing (they’re on my virtual workbench). I also never use this tag.

I imagine if I want to finish and share some notes in a specific topic (like #design or #psychology), I would search for #touch and #bench to know what notes to work on. In reality, I would go through every note tagged tagged with that topic to review and edit them.


I do something similar, with #active, #percolating and #waitingfor. I took these from my GTD approach, as I tend to links tasks and reference material between Omnifocus and Obsidian.

I technically have a #stalled take, but this never gets used - I tag the project as stalled, not the reference material.

I love the idea for waiting for.

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A good 50% of my job is project management, so waiting for is kind of my default state :slight_smile: