Dear DTPO Power Users,
I find the thought of dropping a file into a database that automatically classifies it topically for me rather powerful.
I have read and re-read a number of well written and thought-out posts in this forum, but as a Newbie who needs a much better system to help my disorganized tendencies, I need some clarification as I wrap my little head around such a powerful application.
I’d like to see if I’m on the right track; I’m considering using DT to capture and organize lots of information - i.e. “almost everything” in my Documents folder or that would be heading there (pertinent emails, web pages, screenshots, ideas- text or audio, images, docs…).
I understand DT’s AI auto-classification will not magically classify everything (yet !), but from what I gather– before I go setting up databases and dumping my current and future Mac into DT!), there seems to be some better ways to assist the AI.
So, here it goes…
The classification AI (and Show Also) is based on contextual relationships found in the topics of documents, not their file name or the name of any Groups (folders) they are under hierarchically or their tags (or other metadata if they have any). That is, the AI is concerned with the “what” in the documents and items, not who created or edited them how, when, why or where…
What I think this means for “best practices”:
1. The nomenclature of documents (files) and Groups can be based on my own personal needs for a database and is not related to the topical taxonomy of the AI.
2. The topical structuring of folders (Groups) and subfolders, however, is critical and generally the deeper the hierarchies the better, keeping documents out of parent Groups.
3. It’s best to keep databases organized and separated at as high an unrelated topical level as it fits the purposes of the database.
4. This or that…, which a newbie won’t know to ask.
Good so far?!
What I’m not sure this means for “best practices” (assuming I’m “basically good so far” - lol):
1. If Groups essentially function as Tags and I’ll have lots and lots of Groups and sub-groups in order to assist the AI, why would I want to use Group (folder) Tags? I would end up with– at least it seems to me, a visual plethora of “tag mess”, which one reason I want to keep tags to a minimum and maybe even drop them entirely; It’s too easy for me to end up just tagging the crap out of everything into a meaningless oblivion. (I can see using “ordinary tags” as it fits the purpose and needs of a database, particularly for quickly capturing and labeling an item in order to later remember why I grabbed it in the first place when I organize and classify it, but also to help with future searches and smart folders.)
2. Yet, in order to help me topically organize my thoughts and the database, I could see making some some (but not too many!!!) of the higher parent folders Group Tags. This might also facilitate in quickly tagging captured items to later organize and classify them or find in searches as their child groups would inherit that Group Tag. Two problems, however, arise (I think): A. First, I see no way to visually distinguish between Group Tags and Ordinary Tags (unless I create only two main parent tag groups, one for each, and that’s not too helpful). B. Second, it seems this could make the database a bit “unruly” by mixing non-Tagged Groups with Tagged Groups. (I think I “hung up” a test database when changing the “exclude Groups from Tagging” Preference and changing Groups back and forth between tagged and non-tagged too often?). Are those two problems really problems? If so, how big and are they easily solved? 3. In the place of what could be a “tagging into oblivion” tendency, which is somewhat useful if not overdone in other applications so that a document can be located with a meaningful label rather than in it’s location in the file/directory structure, it seems that perhaps a somewhat generous, but reasoned use of replicants might be helpful for items that have higher-level parents that are either possibly or less-strictly related topically, or not clearly relatable to the AI? (I need to avoid organizing and sorting and cleaning lots of tags, the file structure is more than enough for me already! lol) 4. This and that, which a newbie would miss.
Thanks for any help and advice.