Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

Organizing Your Notes in Simplenote with Tags


Simplenote is, to me, a very useful and very underrated tool for taking notes and organizing information. That said, there are folks who pooh-pooh Simplenote because it lacks features that they think are essential.

One of the features that Simplenote lacks is the ability to organize notes in folders like you can in, say, Evernote. Instead, Simplenote lists notes in the order in which you create them — newest first.

If you have a lot of notes, it can take a while to scroll through your list to find the note you want. Simplenote has a decent search engine. I prefer to use tags to organize my notes.

It’s easy to do. Let’s take a look at how.

Tagging in Simplenote

In case you’re not familiar with tags, they’re keywords that you assign to notes. You can use the tags to filter and search for your notes.

In Simplenote, you enter them at the top of a note. You can add multiple tags to a note, as you can see here:

Adding tags to a note

To filter your list of notes, click the Tags link in the top-left corner of the Simplenote window. Then, click the tag you want to filter by.

Adding tags to a note

The list of notes on the left side of the Simplenote window will contain only the notes with the tag you specified.

A filtered list of notes

You can further narrow down the number of notes by typing a word to search for in the search box at the top of the list of notes. In this example, I have a tag called blogging which I’ve added to a few dozen posts. To find information about a blog post I plan to write on listicles, I type listicles in the search field and then press Enter.

Further filtering notes

As you can see, I’ve further narrowed the list down to two notes.

Effectively Tagging Notes

Make sure that the tags you add to your notes actually mean something to you. Tagging using a date or someone’s name can be effective, but you’ll also need to remember the context of both the tag and the note. That can be difficult, especially if you created the note a while ago.

Instead, use a simple keyword. The ones I use most often are:

  • blogging
  • writing
  • newsletter
  • drafts

I also create tags based around projects. The project-based tags, as you might have guessed, are named after the projects themselves. For example, the tag I applied to the notes for my book Learning Markdown was markdown-book.

Tagging is a quick and simple way to organize information in Simplenote. Using tags makes it a lot easier to zoom in on the information you need when you need it.

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