@Nato, here are some random thoughts on the problem from my perspective:
Imagine today that I write down my thoughts about an object-A.
I title my file “29 My thoughts on Object A”, and I put it under 2020/10.
Three days later, I have a new thought for object-A.
What to do?
There are no absolutes to this problem because it depends on several factors:
- Do dates represent creation or modification? Can it be either?
- Is the note anchored in time? (Does it represent an event?)
- Does a later thought serve a purpose being a separate note?
- When is it important to have a trail of modifications?
On creation and modification dates
The importance of either creation or modification date depends on the context. I think that both are important; sometimes creation date is fairly meaningless, and sometimes it’s critically important. If the note represents things that should be “maintained” in some way (for example, a packing list,) then modification date is more important to me because I don’t really care when I started the packing list, but I do care when I last updated it. In your specific example, for me personally, it wouldn’t matter that I had the thought three days later if it serves no real purpose to separate that one thought.
On notes anchored in time (representing an event)
Let’s use the example of going to a doctor appointment. You’d have a note for that visit with all of your thoughts. If something occurred to you three days later about that visit, what you’ll do with it depends entirely on the relationship to the visit. If the thought really is about the visit (for example, you forgot one thing the doctor said,) I would absolutely add it to the existing note. By my way of thinking, it doesn’t matter that the thought came three days later. It’s about an event anchored to a specific place in the timeline. I think that it would serve a disservice to do otherwise. However if the thought is at all tangential, it would be a separate note with perhaps a link in the original note. Again following the same example, let’s say the doctor told you your Triglycerides are too high. You recorded this in your visit note. Three days later, you remembered that you read an article saying that there’s preliminary evidence that Cinnamon lowers Triglycerides. This would be a separate note with the details / citation. You could link this to the visit note if you want the association to be stronger than simply having similar keywords. In this way, when you revisit the original note, the train of thought leads you right there.
On later thoughts being separate notes
I think that part of this decision is intuition. You must ask yourself if that later thought really serves a separate purpose. Using the phrase I used above, is the additional thought at all tangential to the original note? If yes, it might need to be separate.
I could add this additional thought in 2020/10/29.
Yes, but this thought arrived on 2020/11/01.
And if I put it in 2020/10/29, I betray the rule of time.
I don’t believe in a rule of time. The thought is either strongly associated to the original note, or it isn’t. Unless you’re doing research into how long after you’re exposed to a concept do you continue to have novel thoughts about that concept, I don’t see the value in an absolute rule that says every thought must be timestamped when you have the thought.
On the importance of modification audit trail
There may be contexts in which it is important to you to see modifications to a note over time. If the changes tend to be singular and not often, these can be managed in the note itself if the data is amenable to being date-stamped within the note. But if it is expected that there will be many changes at once, it might be better to strike a new note as a copy of the previous one, with a new timestamp, containing that latest version. The version list could be maintained in a MoC, or the versions could be a linked list forward and backward, or both.
I hope this helps.