How to represent questions in my reading notes?

I make notes as I read andI create one note for each paper. Questions often arise in the process. Right now, what I do is to make a small entry like the following:

Q: Why is this this?

The problem is that after a while, I tend to forget the questions without reading every line of the note. In a way, though, these questions seem perfect anchor points that can be linked to other topics.

So, my question is, what is the best practice of handling questions that arise when reading?


If I am understanding your usecase correctly, I would create a tag specific to this and only this

Q: Why is this this? #YOUR_TAG

Alternatively you could have a tag for each of your questions if it’s the same questions over and over again:

Either way you can review all of them by searching for that tag

You should be able to transclude that search on a dedicated page and eventually I imagine we will have tag pages.

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I would use tags. When I’m reading papers I use tags for noting authors I want to follow up on, articles or books that I want to follow up on, ideas, words or theories that I want to research a bit more on. When I have these tags I know that I will not forget to follow up on these actions so I can focus on the article that in reading. The trick is to keep the number of different tags to a minimum or you’ll forget them!

Thanks! That works!

Thanks. It is a great idea.

When I go through books, I have two files: One for the book (I name these “:black_medium_square:︎ book title”, which makes it really easy to see that this is the main note for the book. This note includes a summery, best quotes, data, pointers to the book in Kindle, Apple Books, Finder (OS X), dewey numbers etc.

Then another note with the title “book title BOOKNOTES” which is all the notes on the book. I separate every qoute with a full line - the three —

I also add a #### header to each quote.

And if I have thoughts on the qoute (which I ofte do), I do one of two things:

  1. add #tanke (Norwegian for thought) and then what I’m thinking just there in the list.
  2. add #tanke and make my thoughts on this a separate note, which both embeds the original qoute from the book, adds my thoughts and links out to other notes in my vault.

A good book would typically have from 10 to hundreds of quotes, and if there’s lot to think out from it, this generates a great number of separate notes with thoughts.


Amen. This is the single biggest reason tag systems have failed for me throughout my life. I either stop using tags (in macOS), prune but that is time consuming and terrible (Evernote), or declare bankruptcy and start over (OmniFocus)

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