Tagging Notes Request

First, let me say that I really appreciate the recent drop down list feature when inputting tags into our individual notes. But it would be even more helpful to have the feature go a step further and allow the input to search within the whole tag names and not just the first letters of the first word of tag names, in particular within multi word tags. For example, I frequently use hyphenated tag names like “techreviews-“ for reviews of various tech, apps and services i.e, “techreviews-, techreviews-drafts, techreviews-iphone, techreviews-zoom”, etc. (I currently have over 20 of the “techreview-“ tags)

I’d like to be able to just input a few letters of the spelling within any part of the whole tag name so that I can get the tag name faster for input and not have to scroll through a long list of similarly named tags to get to the one I need. I see that we have this ability in the main tag list search section within the Drafts iOS app.

Another reason it would be helpful is for those of us who live with limited hand and wrist functions due to disabilities like arthritis and carpal tunnel. Many days of the week I have very limited function in my hands and wrists and it can be painful to move the fingers and wrists even a inch or less to reach to the other end of the keyboard even on the phone screen so being able to just input something like
“rd” to bring up a “##rdnow” tag name helps a great deal.


Request regarding search noted, and I will consider it. “Starts with” filtering is what most people would expect in an auto-complete scenario, so not sure if I feel like it is a fit.

I do think there are some other ways Drafts might be able to make this easier for you, depending on your exact use cases…a few ideas:

  • Separate your tags. To my mind, organizationally, techreviews-drafts is two tags. techreviews and drafts. This would make it easier to assign the tags, and allow more flexible filtering long term. For example allowing you to filter by techreviews to see all your tech reviews at once.
  • Use Drafts actions to assign tags. Not sure how/if you process any of these items, but if can use the after success options on actions you use to process these drafts to auto-assign appropriate tags.
  • If you do not process them with actions, you could still have a dedicated tagging action that you could keep in the action bar to make tagging easier. A few possible ways to get at this, but may a “TechReview” action that popped up a selection dialog of only the “techreview-*” tags you use and let you select the right one.
  • If you have Workspaces defined for these different options, you could also use the “New in Workspace…” command (File menu on Mac, tap and hold “+” on iOS) to create new drafts for these items with the tags already assigned.
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Attached is an example of part of my tag list, turning 3 words into one whole tag. Separating those words into three different tags would not work for me. I’m already working with well over a hundred different tags within the Drafts app.

Another example, earlier this morning I created a new note for an idea I had and I remembered that I’d already created a specific tag for ideas I have but I couldn’t remember exactly what I initially named the tag, just that it had the word “idea” within the tag name so I had to leave the note to find the tag within the tag search section. It would have been a lot easier to just type “idea” for the note tag and have the drop down tag list within the note give me all the tags with “idea” in the spelling within the tag name. I wouldn’t have had to interrupt my thought flow to go into the tag search section.

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Understood. Just throwing out some ideas that might or might not work for you. Using multiple tags would solve the problem you just described, however, because you would find the “idea” tag more easily.

I’ll put more thought into the tag suggestions. It certainly seems at least in the case where there are no matches for the “starts with” query, it could fall back to showing partial matches.

It also would make filtering smoother. If you use the “Show only tags in current filter” option in the tag filtering list, you could filter for “techreviews” and then only see the tags that are also assigned to those drafts…and it would allow for overlap. e.g. Do you ever have a “techreview” that is both “drafts” and “evernote”, etc.


Not that particularly but I have had similar situations. In this type of case I would use two different tags within the note, “techreview-drafts” & “techreview-evernote”

So you have an enforced HIERARCHY in your tagging. I think what @agiletortoise was alluding to was not to do that. In my own case I would prefer not to enforce a hierarchy.

Looking forward to any developments Greg takes on from this conversation. In the meantime @Tia_Hou, you may or may not be interest in a temporary solution? @derekvan put together an action with the kind of partial-match tag filter you’re asking for. The action currently filters your drafts list on the basis of the tags you select, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to tweak it so you can instead add the tag(s) you select to the current draft. Does that sound like it might be useful?

Where can I find more explanation of this?

I’m going to take a look into this action

I’ll try to put it another way:

Your tagging scheme has tags and subtags - if I can call them that. This is a hierarchy. (Like folders and subfolders.)

Maybe that’s the structure you want. And maybe it isn’t.

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This has been my preferred method but I’m always up to looking and trying the new ways. I just haven’t found anything as yet that’s compatible with my mental workflow


Right. So if your mental workflow is essentially a tree structure hierarchical tagging is appropriate.

(In my case it wouldn’t be - so I don’t naturally have hierarchical anything. Except I do have Drafts workspaces and OmniFocus projects - but even they feel artificial.)


A strict hierarchy can be a great way to organize, and I definitely see how Drafts’ tag suggestions could be improved to work with that approach. Will think about it some more.

The question of whether splitting the tags has any advantages depends on whether you have a lot of multi-dimensional categories. For example, if “drafts” would only ever appear in “techreviews”, then your structure is great. Splitting them is great for the case where you might have other categories. So, if “drafts” might appear in “techreviews” but also “blog posts”, etc. If they are split it easier to filter to see all your notes about “drafts”, or to see all your “techreviews”, without having to filter by multiple tags. If that makes any sense.


Jumping in late to this thread, but a though: GitLab deals with label hierarchies with scoped labels.

These turn out to be useful in practice if you labels for workflow stages, since it let you easily repeat workflow labeling for different projects. It gets really useful if you have project templates, since you don’t have to re-create unique labels for each project or workflow stage.

Not sure how hard/easy this would be to do in Drafts, especially the scripting for labels. But, it’s really powerful if doable.

Scoped labels are interesting. Had not seen that concept before.

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Middle ground = add these extra results (from not “starts with” query) always but at the bottom of searched tags list.

Second, maybe more experimental idea - a way to make tags only assingable only with another tag (e.g. assing a tag “drafts” only when “techreviews” is also assigned).

I independently arrived at the same hierarchical tagging system that OP uses, and also would appreciate substring / fuzzy matching on tags.

Another couple places where tagging could be sped up:

  • In the right click > Tags > Add… dialog, autocomplete would be nice
  • In the tag button on the Processing action bar, a filter box would be nice