Preferred Location of Tags? Top, Bottom, Front Matter/YAML?

Hi all, I see a lot of discussions on why/when/how to use tags, but I’d love to learn from other taggers where they put their tags. I’ve gone between all three options - top of the note, bottom of the note, and in the front matter as YAML. I’d love to hear what you do and why.

I’m unsettled on which to use but here’s my pros/cons for each:

Top

  • Pro: Easy to see when browsing through notes, especially notes longer than one page
  • Con: Disrupts the natural flow between the title and content

Bottom

  • Pro: Natural way to reflect on content when its completed and feels more natural of a location to me
  • Con: Varies in location and can’t see when content longer than one page

Front Matter / YAML

  • Pro: Structured and feels appropriate as “metadata”
  • Con: Obsidian-specific, looks odd when most notes don’t have front matter, wee bit more friction IMO

I look forward to hearing other people’s approach and thoughts. Right now, my notes are organized by a fun Cambrian pot of tags, MOCs, folders, and links. And of course, I just search for most things irregardless of the org structure!

I put my tags at the end of the first paragraph, so I can see the note’s summary when the tag is searched. This is a recent change; in older notes the tags are in a list item below the first paragraph (the list is essentially a YAML block that’s not a YAML block). In older notes with less metadata the tags may be on a line by themselves below the first paragraph.

Sometimes I add tags to the end of a particular paragraph (or other block) that I want it to apply to. Officially tags apply to whole notes, but because search previews show a preview for each line they’re on, they effectively apply to blocks.

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More or less, i try to adopt these “rules”:

  • attributes that are not links (type, status, created,…) go in YAML.
  • some attributes that are links, such parent::, subject::, and a few others not present in all notes, go on top, after the front-matter YAML. Recently I position some of them in a violet callout without title, i like a little of color around them.
  • other attributes that are very relevant links go at the end of note, in a section called ##reference
    for example, in reference section I can have one or more source::[link] or literature::[link] referring to sources that I used for write my note

Sorry, I haven’t read that you refer to tags :slight_smile:

For tags, I don’t use a very large tag system. I prefer linking for subjects, for example, an subject:: [[link1]], [[link2]] goes on top after YAML.

I use some tags in YAML if they refer to the entire note (for example, #progress/evergreen and #inbox), while I use tags in the body when they refer to specific blocks in the note (for example #to-complete if I leave a block of text partially written, #urgent if I need to collect that block in my urgent todo list)

Oh that’s interesting. It’s almost like a preview of the content then the tags. For short notes that might be just a sentence or list, do you just put it at the bottom then?

No worries. I’ve seen a number of people who use the YAML front matter extensively like basically an informally structured database. It’s cool for sure. I like that it’s still portable data and easy to manipulate outside of Obsidian (if need be) with simple scripts.

For a short, single-paragraph note where I used the “notes after the first paragraph” method, then yes, the tags would be at the bottom because there’s no more text after the first paragraph. But in new notes I’m putting tags at the end of the first paragraph instead of after it.