Hashtag Hierarchy: groups and sub-tags

Hashtags are an incredibly powerful feature, as they allow for the kind of qualitative data analysis found in programmes like MaxQDA, NVivo, and Atlas.ti. i.e. You can tag each individual quote in your research materials, and then retrieve those quotes using search filters.

BUT, in their current form, hashtags are just a massive list with no hierarchy or differentiation. This makes things messy when working with hundreds of hashtags, as you end up with a completely disorganised list.

I would recommend two features:

  1. hashtag groups: folders that you can add hashtags to.

  2. sub-tags: a hashtag within a hashtag. When searching/filtering, there would be an option to “Include Sub-Tags” - e.g. Let’s say you have the hashtag “Philosophy” and the sub tag “Plato”; if you search for the hashtag “Philosophy” and select “Include Sub-Tags”, the results will include quotes tagged with “Plato”. That way, you don’t have to add a large number of hashtags to each quote; you can just add the lowest sub-tag in the hierarchy.

For an example, see the Keywords feature in Scrivener, where you can nest tags within a hierarchy:


That’s an elegant solution, and recommendation.

It dovetails nicely to what I put together for the MarginNote forum some time ago in this post.

Thanks for post!


It looks like you have a good workaround figured out - if the developers could integrate them as a core feature in MN3, it would really bring the programme up to speed.


Thanks, and agreed. It’s been one of the major requests we’ve been making on the forum, so I’m hopeful that MN’s developers will incorporate this feature into their app. It’s desperately needed! That along with fixing their inter-app syncing issues and solving the How best to archive MarginNote-annotated files? solution – those represent the most urgent things that MarginNote developers need to address, to my mind.

BTW, I liked your approach a lot, esp. through the nested-heirchy you sketched out. I hope @marginnote implements that kind of approach since it would be much easier to manage a complex system of hashtags. That’s a terrific idea… Even though I’ve found a kind of hack, interim solution, it lacks your nested-heirchy, and so it’s a real pain to navigate a large KeyboardMaestro pane to find & select tags for my MarginNote annotations.

Anyway, thanks again for your helpful input!


You are most welcome. The nested hierarchy is a really important feature, as it saves having to tag every quote with 5+ hashtags just to make sure it appears in the right searches/filters.


I’m in total agreement, and hope that @Lanco_Support-Team & @marginnote developers take note – and develop, accordingly! Thanks again…

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