Best app for organizing MN hashtags?


Is there an app that others can recommend that will enable users to group and sort through MN-annotated files by hashtag?

Thank you.

1 Like

Sorry, I can’t recommend such an app, but maybe others can.

Personally, I would like to see this feature in MarginNote itself. I gather it uses a SQL database for storage, so complex searches should not be complicated. In this regard, Bookends is exemplary. The whole idea of using a bunch of different apps is not very appealing. Already I have to use Acrobat to prepare PDFs for MarginNote and some other app for organizing notes. Fewer apps in the workflow sounds better than more.

FWIW, I recently showed MarginNote to a researcher-friend. She was initially impressed, and then asked about searching, and whether it was possible to search for several different terms and/or a hashtag together. When I said that MarginNote didn’t have a good way to do this, she immediately and totally lost all interest. (Developers, are you reading this?)


I find the ability to set hashtags on annotations and then sort them is already a great benefit over other markup apps.

I prefer apps to focus on doing well for their core strengths and inter-operability with other apps than trying to spread thinly across everything.

In this respect, I would prefer when MN would export its annotations rather than flattening them into the document. We could then use other apps (e.g. DevonThink) to search and categorize.


Thank you. I appreciate your responses and perspectives.

Like @DrJJWMac I, too, want MarginNote to perform well on its core strengths, and export its annotations. Having said that, like other users I’d certainly appreciate it if MN provided certain features such as a “Find Next” function; creating an UID in annotated files (so as best to find files that need to be amended); and improved outputs – both better PDF output formats (such as some of the suggestions in this post), improvements to the RTF outputs (so that they’re not rendered with so many elements to correct), and additional output formats so that users can make better use of MN-created annotations.

Having said all of that, I’m curious how @DrJJWMac and other users might advise me to use DEVONthink and/or other apps to compile and sort MN-produced annotations by hashtag.

Many thanks…


I’ve been trying to find the same solution! Maybe the folks from @marginnote have some ideas…? If so, please weigh in – we’re desperate for you input!

Naturally, I agree with there other app feature suggestions that you made, and truly hope that @marginnote can heed them!

Thanks again @JournoProf – we appreciate your post, question, and input!

Until MN can export annotations, nothing can be done with its sources. I refer otherwise to the online forum and manual for DevonThink to learn more about the methods to compile and sort documents with tags.


I thought you said…

Doesn’t that suggest you had an idea in mind for how to do organize MN exports by hashtag in DEVONthink?

BTW, what about OmniOutliner? Has anyone had success using OmniOutliner for organizing MN-produced annotations by hashtag categories? I don’t have much experience with it, but it seems like one approach…

My feeling is this: in fact, MN already stores everything in a SQL database, but right now it is limited to very simple text string queries through a single input field. Boolean search? No. Search for an exact string using quotation marks? No. Etc.

Why should I have to pay $100 for another app and then export/import a file to do that?

The existing MN database can already do all kinds of searching, grouping, and sorting — that just comes for free with the SQL technology that is used inside MN — and we could make use of that right inside MN… if the developer(s) would add a UI.


All good and fair points. Thank you. But I don’t think the developer even looks at this forum. I hope they prove me wrong, though…

Hi mobo, actually MarginNote 3 can perform multi-tag searches and we have not included this in any guide in that it is more of beta level. 2nd-gen MarginNote app can do AND/OR select of tags and MarginNote 3 has no such buttons, at least not in the current build.

This is the default setting for multi-tag select and it is an AND syntax.

For an OR syntax, add a “|” (shift+"|/" key) line should do the work.

We understand the potentials of a full-blown tag engine and would keep this in mind for future devs.

Support Team


Hi Support Team,

Thanks much for clarifying this. I hope you will choose to promote this functionality into an enhanced search UI for MarginNote, but for now this reveal is welcome news!

Glad to see this response, on many levels. Is there some way to export notes based on a certain selection of hashtags? And there is a way to do an export that’s organized by hashtags (i.e., as a kind of grouping taxonomy)? Thanks.


Yes, this is precisely the question I was raising, and was hoping to get an answer – or some kind of guidance / suggestions. Please advise whenever possible. I welcome the advise of @marginnote and other users.

Thank you.


I wonder if MarginNote will answer the question you raised…

BTW, @JournoProf’s post somewhat relates to this post, and the question I raised…

Hi jprint,

MN3 export is based on certain complete Notebook. Based on this,we could use this way(in pic.) to generate a temporary Notebook containing certain hashtags based cards as a compromise.

Best regards,
MN Support Team

Thanks so much for your reply - I greatly appreciate it! Yes, we discussed this in another post. It’s a decent, but somewhat cumbersome, workaround solution.

But many users here on this forum are asking something a little different, namely (as @JournoProf put it) :

(1) If there some way to export notes (i.e., Export to another file format – not just to another Notebook) based on a certain selection of hashtags?

(2) And is there is a way to do an Export that’s organized by hashtags? That is, a way that a MarginNote Export can sort / group notes by their hashtags (i.e., in which the hostages become organized groups)?

Thanks very much, again…

1 Like

Precisely right. Thanks very much, @jprint - you summed it up perfectly.

I have delivered your request to dev. suggest board.

Well, I eager to learn more about the utility of this function and your intentions behind .So if you guys export your notes selectively just for printing and reviewing? if not for printing,you can use Filter to chose contents you’d like to go over.What’s more,Filter allows for more efficient mnemonics — generating cards — just like anki,superior to reciting printed notes .

Hi Lanco,

Thanks much for your message.

Here’s my view…

I suspect that many users of MarginNote are academic researchers engaged in writing articles. We have a work process, and we want tools to help with that, e.g., by helping to take reading notes and organize our thinking and research. We work with large numbers of articles/books, and we really need tools to help manage them.

This is not really about mnemonics. The goal is generally not to memorize a lot of detail using, for example, flashcards. We’re not trying to remember all of this — there’s too much material.

Rather, the goal is first to be able to analyze and integrate concepts across many different passages of text, probably in different books/articles. Often, we are looking at relationships between concepts, and for this a multiple-term search is obviously pretty important.

As a first step, we need ways to code passages of text in documents with notes, tags, colors, etc. MarginNote can do this nicely. The reason we do this, is for the next step, which involves the kind of searching that a SQL database can do. I.e., searching for more than one term, hashtags, boolean operators, grouping, etc. The goals here are to integrate/condense a large number of notes, and to identify the main concepts/issues/debates, etc. There’s too much raw data, so we need to condense/compress it before we can analyze it.

For example, MarginNote lets us create a bunch of note cards, each one with a title, body text, and our own comments at the end. The comments might include hashtags or keywords. (I think of a hashtag as a kind of keyword.) We can do free-text searches on these, but it would be very useful if we could create and save more complex searches. Being able to specifically search the titles, the note bodies, and the comments could be good (this could be easy to implement if these are separate columns in a database table). Being able to search for hashtags/keywords separately from the text is important, because we use them to tag specific notes that are more relevant than others.

As @jprint says, the ability to sort/group the search results is also important, and to export these filtered/grouped/sorted results in Word or RTF. This is to help with the next phase of research, which is the synthesis of conclusions or new concepts.

We are using different text editors for the actual writing (the phase of synthesis), and we need to be able to pull the filtered/sorted/grouped search results directly into a text editor without too much fuss. This means additional control over how notes get exported is very important, too.

I could say more, but I hope @jprint, @JournoProf, and others will share their thoughts too.