What are you using tags for?

Many people seem to advocate for using links in place of tags. This argument does seem to make sense to me (mainly because links can be turned into Maps of Content later on).

I’m curious, what uses did people find for the tags? What kind of tags do you have in your vault? Which ones do you use most often?


I use Obsidian to track daily work, projects, and atomic notes for things of interest. It’s like two vaults in one. I use tags in three ways:

  1. A default tag of #topic tells me a note was dashed off in a hurry and needs some help.

  2. Tags to mark what something is “about”. When these build up a bit in the graph, I can see where an MOC might be useful. It isn’t always. Tags are bottom up and MOCs are top down.

  3. I use tags to identify the type of content. Is it a #concept? A #principle? A #fact or a #process or a #template? If I can take a #concept and derive ideas all the way until I have process or a template, then I’ve probably mastered that info as well as made actually useful.

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Like austin, I use tags to mark the type of note and sometimes I mark status:

Types: MOC, personal, literature, experiment

Status (mostly for projects/experiments): planned, ongoing, analyzing, accomplished

I also merged notes from Evernote and tagged these with EN.

Right now I use tags mainly as a kind of an inbox. If I state something I am actually unsure about, I use #perhaps. I come from OneNote, so when migrating notes I tag them with #onenote to know that they need to be rewritten. #org is being used for when I need to do reorganize certain things in the vault. When I need to look up something or do research I use #learn and when I need the definition of a word I mark it with #lexicon if I can’t or don’t want to do it now.

So when working in the vault, my goal is to minimize the amount of those tags.
My vault is relatively new, so there might be new kinds coming in future. I imagine using them for things like filtering (for example when I have a couple of notes where dialogues between people are documented; I would like to view all that involve #person_a).

I have a bunch of tags nested under #Concept such as

I have a bunch for books

Some ‘utility’ ones like

Personal things like

So for me, links are specific and tags are general.
I might have the note [[Neuroplasticity is one of the most important products of evolution]] and tag this with #Concept/Psychology #Concept/Neurology #Concept/Evolution

As an example of what that lets me do: when I am setting up/working on an MoC, I use dataview to list all the tags I want to include, e.g. #Concept/Buddhism for a Buddhism MoC. Then I use that to see all notes with that tag and I list those under headings on the MoC.

I like Tag Wrangler a lot as it lets you bulk update/edit tags.


You can use tags to give structure to your general graphic view if those recreate the hierarchy of folders in which you have your notes contained. What’s better, a note cannot be in two folders at the same time but it can have two (or more) different tags that are used to simulate folders. This can also be simulated with MoCs, but MoCs will look like normal nodes in your graphic view (because they are .md notes of course) whereas using tags adds a new category of nodes which I like to call ‘tag nodes’. I’m developing a system (and a workflow) to structure my content based on this strategy, but it’s too early to tell how it works and if it’s worth it. Any insight is welcome.