How to handle the same terms in different professional fields?

In the process of learning different software, I often find that the same terms are used between software. The meaning of an “asset” in software Adobe InDesign is not exactly the same as the meaning of an “asset” in software Unreal Engine. Not to mention how different the workflows behind them are.

I used to add " - Unreal" in the file name to specify which software is this note about. Then I add the same file name in my frontmatter alias except for " - Unreal" part. Although it works well, I always feel that it is not intuitive enough.

Until recently I came across a term that has a similar meaning in software Unreal Engine and software Omniverse, but has a different meaning in other domains. If I continue to take note in the original way, I may have to add “Unreal” and “Omniverse” to the file name, which is obviously a bit impractical. Hence, I would like to ask you guys how you handle this kind of situation.

Any comments or sharing, or even some key words, would be appreciated!

I put the app name first: “InDesign asset” instead of “asset - InDesign”. That way notes for an app cluster together alphabetically, and it often works well in running text (“To load an InDesign asset, …”).

In the case of the term that means similar things in 2 apps, I would probably keep a note for each app — maybe with duplicate or similar text, or maybe with one just saying, “X assets work like Y assets”. Or use a more general term that encompasses both (“graphic design asset”).

I do the same thing with naming, too. I have a slew of notes that start with Adobe XD and another set that start with Microsoft.

With Microsoft, I had too many, so I looked for good ways to split it, so now I have a chunk of notes that start with Teams, another that starts with SharePoint, and the rest start with Microsoft.

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After a few days of trying, I believe I have found a workflow that satisfies me. Thank you all for your suggestions.

The Basic Structure of My Vault

I use “ACCESS” folder structure in my vault, so I have many notes with the same file name, and they all save in the “Source” folder.

The way I implement “ACCESS” looks like this:

  • Atlas: MOC, Dashboards
  • Calendar: Daily notes
  • Cards: atomic notes, permanent notes
  • Extra: utility notes, templates, scripts
  • Source: fleet notes, literature notes
  • Space: concepts like “12 favorite question” from Richard Feynman

It is not feasible for me to use folders to further separate notes with the same file name, because I have some notes that may belong to different categories (folders) at the same time. Hence, I had to add some indication in the file name to distinguish these files.

My New Naming Convention - Cluster Classification

Thanks to @CawlinTeffid and @austin for the advice. I hadn’t thought of using alphabetical sorting for notes. It reminds me of how libraries sort books. So I tried to name my notes after the way books are categorized. I hope this naming convention will achieve these two goals:

  1. Be a short and clear way to present the names of the notebooks
  2. Remain flexible and scalable for future changes

In the end I came up with this string: “X-J-00”. The position of the letter X represents the domain to which the note belongs. The position of the letter J represents the subcategory under the domain. Note can belong to multiple subcategories at the same time. (I will explain this later.) Finally, the numeric section serves as another subcategory. But currently I haven’t come up with a subcategory I want to use, so I just leave it as “00”.

Take my current personal classification as an example. I have a field of CG, and there are many concepts in this field that are interchangeable. Then underneath I’ve divided it into different categories according to different software. The structure looks like this:

  • C: Computer Graphic
    • B: Blender
    • D: Substance Designer
    • O: Omniverse
    • P: Substance Painter
    • R: DaVinci Resolve (Fusion)
    • U: Unreal Engine

So a note that belongs to blender will have this string “C-B-00” in its file name. If it also record something concept or implementation about Omniverse, the string will be this “C-BO-00”

The naming of the notes is kept as short as possible. I can see the classification of this note with just a glance. In the future, if a more detailed classification is needed, I have numeric section that can be further customized. Furthermore, with such clear rules, I can always use Regex to readjust the string, and don’t need to worry about affecting irrelevant content.

The Placement of The Code

At first I put the string at the beginning of the file name, yet after trying it for two days, I found that this method may not be suitable for my use.

I rely heavily on Obsidian’s auto-suggestion feature when I’m creating an outgoing link. In most cases, I remember taking this note, but I’m not sure what his name or classification is. So I quite need the help of automatic prompts to discover notes and create the link.

When searching or linking notes, the classification string functions like a filter but works directly in plain text. Type in “cb00” means notes belongs to computer graphic → blender. However, such a search method is very much based on the user’s input order.

In editor, when I try to create links with other note, the prompt I received from inputting “cb00 light” and “light cb00” are very different. Personally, I like to enter keywords first, check all relevant notes, and then use classification string to limit the search results. If I put the classification string at the beginning of the file name, I have to type in “cb00 light” to get the prompt. Then I might have filtered out some notes that might be related from the beginning.

I know that adding the right aliases to each note will ensure the quality of the search results. But I still like to be able to filter the results by my own categories at the end of the search.

At The End

This is my experience in the past few days, so far I am very satisfied. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

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Yea… if you’re going to use a naming system that is dynamic based on the applications referenced, I would definitely put it at the end. You’ll end up with notes that sort by topic and an indication of the apps referenced.