Help with a way to use tags as prompts in daily journal template, but only count the entry for that tag if content is added to it

What I’m trying to do

I would like to create a list of categories in my daily journal template. and have each new day prompt for each category to journal about what may have happened during the day, or something I read, watched or plan to do to develop myself in each category. I would like it if Obsidian only kept track of that entry when I put content under each category/tag. This way the count on the side panel to the right would only increment if something was entered into that category/tag.

Is this possible?

Or, maybe others here have had a similar want in their journaling and have come up with a better solution.

Things I have tried

I’m currently working on the category list and tried searching a few terms, but most of the results are leaning toward a task list. Whereas I’d like to keep these tags/categories as general text entries. POssibly I would use tasks within the categories when making goals.

You could put a backslash before the tag to escape it (mark it as not a tag) — \#health — and remove it when you add content.

Or you could mark the tag as code:


but then you’d have to delete 2 symbols in 2 places.

EDIT: Another way would be to add the tag text by itself and only add the # when you need it.

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I do believe in using tasks, and not have empty tags dangling around would be a better option. Using custom checklists (or decorated task) is also an option, as it then wouldn’t clutter up your task lists.

Given that the tags are defined somewhere, they should popup when doing auto-completion on the tags. In other words, define your category tags in some document, and use auto-completion on your tasks.

A little precision on word usage, a tag doesn’t actually hold any value in either case, if you do something like #myTag:: a value, it’s creating an inline field for myTag not for #myTag.

If you want to see the count of tags increased when you use it, or add some text related to it I would go the route CawlinTeffid suggests. Or as an alternative, use _ (or similar) at the end to mark that this is an “unused”/“undocumented” tag.

Finally, using tasks would also make it a whole lot easier to query your progress later on, if that would be of any interest. I do a similar use case in my vault where my different interesting “categories” have a dedicated status letter in the task declaration, so that later on I can just query any tasks with that status, and the text is the actual content (without any clutter in the form of tags or similar).

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