Excluding groups from tagging, a second look

I am trying to piece together a very tangled tale of corporate greed, theft, unethical behavior, and lawyers gone wild. A mind map of the misdeeds would test Escher’s sanity.

Turning off “exclude groups from tagging” seems to be making the whole incestuous mess a lot easier to sort out. I don’t think I’ve used that feature much because it seemed messy. In this case, it’s working nicely and acting like back-linking.

The idea is that every person, place, thing, or event has a group even if at the moment there’s only one note I want to create, or even if there are no notes I want to write. A person who is a member of an organization gets tagged with the organization’s enclosing group. Mentions in the note for things in other notes get tagged with the other note, mentions of groups or people get those tags applied to the note.

Groups containing nothing but groups can be individually excluded from tagging. That keeps the tag lists shorter if I want groups for People, Places, and Events, for example.

If I add a container group’s tag to another container group, for instance tagging the Wile E. Coyote group with Acme, then Wile E. appears as a subgroup under Acme.

When I write a note about something I tag it with every tag that matters, and, it’s true. The navigation pane with all the groups and member documents replicated willy-nilly looks hopeless, but it’s actually so hopeless it makes sense.

Between “Reveal tag” on any particular tag and the option to open a group in a separate window on double-click it’s pretty easy to fly through the notes despite the cousins-marrying-cousins complexity of the corporate family trees.

No matter how I navigate to a note, I can edit it and the updates are everywhere. It’s either a single instance of a note or it’s automatically a replicant.

If I wrote a book about this, not likely but nice to dream about, I would create tags for chapter 1, chapter 2, etc., and tag the notes and groups with the chapter I wanted them to appear in. Set the sort order to “unsorted” so documents and groups can be rearranged, both in the conventional groups and in the tags area.

Organization by connections, solved, organization for linear story-telling accomplished in the same file. Cool.

As a rule, I don’t like to include groups for tagging. In this case, it’s how Escher meets his match.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. It really is a great example of how DEVONthink can accommodate different perspectives and how our individual cognitive biases let us see something others may not (like viewing Kandinsky versus Rafael :wink: ).

This works for me, and coincides with my view of notes as containers, which hold items.
I generally assign name, tags etc. to the group/container with little concern for the items

Do you have a workflow that enforces this standard?

notes as containers?

Hey @DTLow,

First up, I’m not a prolific writer. I try to write all the time. Work, life, and sloth all get in the way.

I"m afraid I don’t have an enforced workflow. Right now I’m still discovering what I can do with a little different perspective on tagging.

The situation I’m using this idea in right now is a non-profit corporation with all kinds of greed issues, misdirected funds, and things like (hypothetically) the non-profit’s chief lawyer’s wife is head of the non-profit’s outside auditing firm and owes huge debts to a bookie who’s her husband’s biggest client and also on the board of the non-profit. I may find Teapot Dome mixed up in it somewhere if I dig deep enough.

Basically, if I have a group for Acme Widgets and discover John Doe works for them, I can tag the John Doe group with Acme Widgets. John Doe now appears as a subgroup under Acme Widgets.

Later, I discover Elliot Ness raided Acme Widgets. Under Elliot Ness, I put a note about the raid and tag it with Acme Widgets. Now that note from Elliot Ness’s group appears as a member of the Acme Widgets group.

If I later dive into Elliot Ness’s group to read about his raids, I see a note with a tag for Acme Widgets. “Reveal tag” on that takes me to Acme Widgets where I see the John Doe subgroup. From there I can remind myself all about John Doe, his favorite beer, whatever.

I can follow a thread through the data. The perspective from one individual’s point of view will be different from another’s, and that strikes me as a worthy goal. At any point I see a note needing modification or another tag, those changes appear for every instance of the note.

The fact that adding or removing a tag to a replicant alters the tag inventory for every instance of the replicant is genius.

The other thing I think may be valuable here is that I can’t write without an outline. Unfortunately, an outline is a hierarchy and a story is a linear thing. Tags let me do both against the same inventory of notes.

We’ll see if it really works. Even if it doesn’t, the journey is entertaining. I’d rather mess with writing techniques than play computer games. I think that’s a given. I mess with Devonthink and some other tools but I never play computer games. Ipso facto, or c’est la vie, or something like that.

I sense a need to do a Youtube video about tagging. That could be fun.

Ooh, Kandinsky and his sailing vessels, nice stuff.

I would study a wider range of artistic expression, but my art appreciation found an unswerving focus when I discovered Don Martin’s genius, particularly his work during his unmedicated years. :slight_smile:

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