I’ve long since had a love affair with tags and tag indexes. Today I’d like to narrow things down and talk about using tag indexes to easily access “contexts within contexts”… and announce that fate and fortune have favored all of WorkFlowydom – by giving us a way to automate the creation of these tag indexes: rawbytz has just come out – deus ex machina – with his TagIndex bookmarklet. I suggested the name IndexFlowy… but hey, it’s not my brainchild.
Contexts within contexts
Last year I wrote a post on how I used WorkFlowy to help with the behind-the-scenes of moving apartments.
I needed to draw up a mega list of most of my possessions and organize them into discrete contexts that I could act upon. I wanted to do this systematically, room by room – yet also be able to easily view that same list according to specific categories, such as the things that I wanted to throw out, the things I needed to disassemble, donate, measure, etc.
I created my main parent list… and under that, a tag index of all the actions I had to take:
Next, a separate list for each room:
With my iPhone in hand it took just a wee bit over an hour to whiz through the apartment, room by room, and complete my list – most of the action decisions being made on the spot. I used iOS’ dictation to speak my list out item by item in WorkFlowy, including the hashtag (#) command when creating tags. Here’s a portion of my “Classroom” list:
Now with a full inventory of tagged items, I could then go ahead and hit any of the tags in my tag index and filter for like tags dispersed across my sublists. In so doing, I was able to batch my tasks and focus on like tasks one at a time… and still have them listed by room:
You can drill down to more specifics if you give your items more than one tag and then subsequently filter by 2 or more of those tags:
Oh the power of having a simple tag index!
A WorkFlowy blog tag index
There are relatively few tag “categories” in the tag index pictured above, so the setup is not that much of a headache. You’ll also notice that the tags are not in any particular order. But how about a significantly larger tag index? I dunno… how about this one:
That right there is an alphabetized tag index of topics from all the WorkFlowy blog posts since day one. You can take a look at it right here.
I put together a really smart workflow to create that tag index. Originally, it took quite a bit of elbow grease to set up. Recently I decided to update that outline… and take rawbytz’s TagIndex bookmarklet for a spin. You know how long it took to recreate an updated tag index from scratch? … The time it took for me to click on the TagIndex bookmarklet.
Rawbytz’s TagIndex bookmarklet
- Follow this link and set up your bookmarklet (drag and drop).
- Zoom into whatever context you want to gather all tags from.
- Hit the TagIndex Bookmarklet.
- Copy the string of tags generated in your WorkFlowy search box and paste them into a note (or a list) just below a zoomed-in parent list.
- The TagIndex bookmarklet will grab all tags from a zoomed-in list’s outline – even from those children lists that are collapsed.
- The TagIndex bookmarklet is also designed to grab only visible tags once you’ve already initiated a search… so, for example, if you’re already filtering for all tags that are prefixed with “#2016-09-”, the bookmarklet will only grab those. That way you get to be more selective.
- You can change the “|” delimiter (separator) to anything you want. I went with “::”.
- As it says on rawbytz’s TagIndex bookmarklet page: “For instructions: Create an empty bullet in WorkFlowy, zoom on it, and click the bookmarklet.”
You can follow rawbytz on twitter and give him some love for the dozens of WorkFlowy tools he’s created that have boosted our workflows significantly.
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Is there a way to make an index of the notes with specific tags based on a pre-selected tag?
Kind of like making a “due today” note. Rather than clicking the tag each time, make an index of the notes already tagged, and then just refer to the note throughout the day or the week.
Ever considered a bookmark?
○ Make a list of all those tags that you use to identify as “due today” (e.g. #daily, #routines, etc.).
○ Then put all those tags in one search attempt.
○ Lastly, save the URL of the search *results* as a bookmark.
Later, just use the “saved search” by clicking on that bookmark/URL.
Hope this helps.
I’m probably one of the few folks that has this issue, but I’m sure I’m not the only one:
I can use Workflowy at my work, and this site is in our trusted listed of sites. However, ours is one of a number of organizations in certain industries that blocks traffic to and from Dropbox (and other cloud-based file storage/sharing sites) for security reasons. Because the images within the blog originate from “www.dropbox.com”, I cannot see any of the images on any of your blog posts. Yes, I can access from home to see the page as intended, which is fine, but I thought I might point it out in case you weren’t aware of this.
[…] It simply creates a list of all your WorkFlowy tags from your entire outline, or confine things to just a bullet and its descendents. You paste the tag index into a bullet or note, giving you quick-clicking access to your tags via the index. Read about it in this WorkFlowy blog post. […]
Another thank you. I am even more appreciative of your suggestion for using a personal tag index at the top of the WF list. It is making access to and placement of new entries much quicker. I am finding that I am using it more frequently than starred pages
Exactly. And to reiterate… it’s not a workaround… it can become one’s primary M.O. And it’s far superior than having a hierarchy of “important” lists in some separate feature somewhere… because you decide where to place your tags (it’s structured, but very much organic at the same time)… AND tags are unlimited 🙂
I have missed not having starred pages on my Android WF. I just noticed that if I use the tag index for important lists that do not appear on the home page, the tag index at the top of the page serves that purpose.
You’re welcome Bob!
After Frank’s webinar Jan 12, I decided to put a tag index on my home page. I am finding the tag index helpful in getting to lists quickly. Thanks to Rawbytz and Frank (and others) for making WorkFlowy so great!
Thanks — I’d forgotten that WorkFlowy was case-insensitive.
(I apologize for ‘hijacking’ this blog, but I can’t see where/how to address RawBytz through his WordPress pages concerning the TagIndex bookmarklet.)
RawBytz: Can you explain your decision to include the .toLowerCase() function in this bookmarklet? (I think that I’d prefer to maintain the mixed case that I use in tagging, and have removed .toLowerCase() from my copy of your code — but I respect your work, and would like to know if there’s some aspect which I haven’t considered…
[…] Another one by Rawbytz. This gives you a paste-able list of all the tags in the current list. Handy if you’ve gone wild with tags and forgotten them all: See Frank’s post on this here. […]
Hey rawbytz, can this tagging bookmarklet be edited so it just grabs #tags or @tags? Might be useful in some cases to just grab one or the other, but not both.
Also would be cool if there was a way to automatically insert the headers of each letter of the alphabet, like Franks’ tag index for the blog posts. But I suspect that probably would be pushing the envelope of a bookmarklet.
You could just initiate a search for either “@” or “#” individually and then hit the bookmarklet. That should do the trick… although, if you have any items that are tagged with both “types” of tag, both will be included… BUT, either way, the tags are generated in alphabetic order: first all of the “#” tags and then the “@” tags. It shouldn’t be too difficult to select a batch of tags and delete one or the other all in one go.
kingsinger, all of the above are doable, but my allotted time on this project is all used up 🙂 As far as splitting tags, Frank has great advice and it shouldn’t take but few extra seconds.
Makes sense. It’s definitely very helpful as is. Thanks again for making it!
Just tried a -@ search to remove items with the @ tag. Then, I actuated the bookmarklet. That mostly worked, but I still had a few straggling @ tags. Prior to my -@ search, a chrome word search yielded 502 instances of @ in my WF outline (mostly @ tags). After the -@ search it still shows 9 instances, of which 6 were @tags (I have a total of 45 @tags).
Shouldn’t the -@ search remove every item with an @ in it?
Those @ tags are the parents of your # hits… which probably include a lot of non tags like “#1”.
Another method of splitting: use the browser Ctrl+F to search for “@” while the tag index search is in the WorkFlowy search box. It will scroll right to your split point. Click at your split point and then drag and delete/BS (or press Ctrl+Shft+End then delete). Then copy what’s left.
If all “@” tags (or any keyword) were in one flat list, yes. Hierarchies (parent and children lists) make it more complex and befuddling.
From what I can gather: if the tag/ word you’re wanting to exclude from a search contains any child list that does not include that tag/ word you want to exclude, it will still show up… because you’re asking for *everything* that does not have that tag/ word… and if you excluded a parent list that had something you wanted to filter out, you’d exclude a child list that should be included.
In other words, if a list with a tag you want to exclude has a child list that does not contain the same tag, the entire hierarchy of the outline will remain (except bottom-most items that all include the tag to be excluded… all in sequence).
Just try to filter out @qwerty (-@qwerty) in the following shared list and you’ll see what I mean:
Sounds great. I use @ for action items that will change, while # tags are attributes that are fixed.
Looks like the reverse of what I do… but the logic behind it is that there’s a distinction between use cases 🙂
WAY TO GO rawbytz!! What a great helpful tool!
Another possible use case: Since this bookmarklet automagically sorts tags alphabetically – you can use to view a list of all your date tags in order! (Assuming you used a tag like: #d-yymmdd )
For me this is brilliant. Rather than having to check my date tags each day, I can run this bookmarklet and see all my #d tags arranged in order.
Thanks for the work rawbytz! Frank thanks for highlighting the tool!
Laura – great use! I’m so going to steal it.
Frank – I liked “IndexFlowy” too!
Rawbytz – Listen to Frank, he’s a published author. :smirk:
Actually… it’s rawbytz who came out with the FlatFlowy bookmarklet and the WorkFindy bookmarklet/ Chrome Extension amongst other tools… then there’s HandyFlowy and MemoFlowy… so if anything, my stab at a name bears a total resemblance to other creators’ great ideas 🙂
As far as being a (self) published author… that’s most likely a once-off thing, ha!
do you have a preference in how you use # and @ when using tags?
Great question…it’s exactly that – a preference.
I use “@” tags for people, “List Title Tags” (Navigating) and Workflow Tags:
I use “#” tags to form new categories out of multiple tagged items that are spread out across an outline/ several outlines.
thank you for the reply
Just last week I created a huge tag index for a research section I have in Workflowy. This would have saved me a ton of time! It works awesome, thank you rawbytz!