Suggestions for hashtag improvements!

While I’m a huge fan and advocate of MN3, I strongly recommend changes that will allow users to create and organize their hashtags.

Working with hashtags should allow users to have greater organizational flexibility when setting them up. Hashtags can quickly build up and become unwieldy if you’re using them for multiple projects, and that can create a massive, disorganized mess! Users can better control this by being able to manage hashtags for notebooks and documents – or by projects, even if they don’t belong MN “notebooks” or are part of the “Study” mode.

Right now it seems users can either have generic hashtags (e.g., #questions or #research) or create a set of hashtags for notebooks / “Study” mode.

I suggest another approach!

It would enable user to create specific set of hashtags, per project and / or document – in other words, one that relates to a particular subject / issue, but isn’t necessary tethered to a notebook ( “Study” mode). (I sometimes need to quickly annotate and export documents, and so it’s easier for me to do this in Documents instead of Study mode.)

It seems to me that this would enable users to more easily import and work on one or two thematic topics at a time, then purging those documents – and their corresponding hashtags – and then restarting w/ a new project with hashtags that are particular to that topic. (I also think that having the ability to do a batch PDF export of documents would also improve this process!)

Also, I’m sure other users would love to be able to create folders for hashtag sets (e.g., Names, Places, Organizations, etc.) in order to help us better organize them. Right now there’s no way to segment them, and it’s too unwieldy to find them in a long list.

Finally, and crucially… For users who use MarginNote as part of an inter-application process, we require a kind of hashtag formatting that will ensure MN-create annotations will neatly attach with their respective hashtags, and carry over during exports! Most app users and developers I’ve talked to have said the best way to do this is by creating a “space+hashtag+space” syntax, which works well in other export formats (e.g., OPML, CSV, etc.).

I know the MarginNote team has worked hard on putting together MN3, and I greatly appreciate everything they’ve done for us. I hope they can make these changes as well, since they’d significantly improve MN’s functionality – and our inter-app workflow! Thanks!


Hi jprint,

About Hashtags independence.
Sometimes a series of hashtags as a researching purpose system occurred to our brain before studying/coding the material. And we use the hashtags as the center of study direction. The related material will be constantly in and out.
For these purposes, please establish a blank pdf contains all the tags as Hashtags management which could be named Introduction or Keyword. Thanks for your advice and we will continue to perfect the hashtags system.

Best Regards,
MN Support Team

Thanks, @Lanco_Support-Team - I appreciate your input, but I don’t quite follow what you’re advising me to do. I already rough out my hashtags in a separate document, and even tinker with them before I enter them into MarginNote, just so I can be sure about which hashtags I’ll use for any given project before I start inserting them into a MarginNote document.

Still, the organizational system for hashtags in MarginNote is problematic, both because it doesn’t allow users with any kind of organizational system – and so, I have to use Keyboard Maestro to organize and insert hashtags into MaginNote ! – and because, as far as I can tell, it’s not possible to purge old hashtags, which creates a lot of clutter in MN’s hashtag archive.

I agree that the current scheme to collect hashtags could be improved by allowing two features … tag set hierarchies and local versus global tag groups. I suggest that the developers could look at how Curio allows users to organize tags in exactly this regard. Curio allows local project tags or global project sets. Curio also allows one level of tag hierarchy via tag sets.

FWIW, Curio also allows users to attach emoji to tags. The visual display of information on the idea space frame is significantly improved by having this feature.


Hi jprint and DrJJWMac,

I’ve already figured out your exact requests and fully shared with developer Min as the high-priority problem. We plan to achieve these advanced hashtag features crossing a series of small updates. The next update will just do the first step of hashtags improvement and release in early Sep. with IpadOS which containing new system features.

By the way,I want to establish a forum Guide Index and pin it on top. :alien::alien::alien:Would you please share your Keyboard Maestro workflow Guide with MN Tags management on a new topic post? :alien::alien::alien: I will pin your post Guide together with other perfect Guides. Thanks very much!

Kind regards,
Support Team


Sorry for my late reply to your message, @Lanco_Support-Team. I’ve been on a deadline, and it has totally consumed my time and energy. Anyway, I’ll put something together for you that I think will be helpful. It’ll take me a little bit, but I hope it’ll help. Sound good? Thanks so much for making this a high-priority!


Not urgency.God bless you.May you succeed in your exam~~

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The ideal use case for hashtags is Luhmann’s famous Zettelkasten approach that made him one of the most prolific sociologists of the 20th century.

If you look at the way his Zettelkasten is structured, it could well be replicated in MarginNote with hashtags and links! A more powerful way to display / sort filter these relationships is almost all we need here:

I’m using this great tool to digitally recreate his approach. As it is open source you might be able to look at how to implement this fairly easily. He made a pretty nice presentation to help you understand his approach and the various ways of implementation.


Does MN create permenant link for each highlight/note?

Have a good one,

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Thanks, @Lanco_Support-Team. I’m nearly ready to share the set up I use. I’ll try to post some of it here, but it might be easier to send other parts of it directly. What’s the best way to do that? Thanks.



Please share here, we are all interested in knowing the best way to improve workflow.

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Does MN create permenant link for each highlight/note?

@bart : yes; does Edit > Copy note URL do what you want?

Thanks @mobo. I ask because I also use

and it requires a unique identifier for each note. That can be link, but it should never change. I don’t take long term notes in MN, so I don’t know. I only take reading notes which are very different than my synthesized, long term notes that span months or years of research. I wouldn’t enjoy using a single MN notebook for hundreds or thousands of books. What about notes about notes? Is it possible to create a standalone note in MN? I think it must be tied to a book, and even more specifically to a highlight. All that said, zettelkastens can certainly be implemented on a per book or per smaller project basis.


Funny you should mention Zettelkasten, as I was just now reading and trying to understand the system. There are apps, though the one @Nils mentioned seems no longer to be under development, its wiki is dead, and the Google-translated documentation is rather vague in places.

What app do you use for Zettelkasten?

Trying to answer your questions: I assume the links to notes in MN are unique IDs and will never change, unless you delete your database. I gather the usual workflow is to create a new notebook for each book or article, and then cross-link.

I’m not sure about your other questions. Maybe @Lanco_Support-Team can help us out?

I think the idea is wonderful. For my understanding, the best part about Zettelkasten is that you don’t need to, and shouldn’t catagorize them. That way, you are always free to make new connections to and from them. They are never assumed to have just a single meaning.

The biggest issue with links changing is upon export, should one choose another app in the future or the one being used is not supported anymore. However, any app will work if you give your zettles a number in the title. People use all kinds of different apps for it. For my needs, I prefer something more than a simple hyperlink, wiki style (though wiki links can break). I use Tinderbox and even at its most basic is much more powerful than a list of notes. You can, and most users do, create notes in a visual map view (in the same way a mind map is visual). Other views include outlines, amoung other notable things. Notes can be aliased, meaning they’re copied but directly related to the original. In essance, you can have a single note in multiple places. That note can be linked to other notes, and tagged. You can have a tag. A tag is one kind of attribute given to a note. There are endless others possible, such as publication, year of publication, male or female protagonist, or whatever else. Then there are very powerful ways to search through your notes and attributes, including agents which are basically smart filtered searches that constantly run and copy aliases into them that match the results, for example. So you can have a place that automatically copies any note that has a certain tag, for example. That note can automatically be changed to a different color to differentiate it. The possibilities are endless, but the sofware is a bit geaky and making use of the advanced possibilities involves remembering how to formulate some basic expressions. But even without that, it’s very powerful.

Here’s some nice videos (although a bit long) of Beck Trench using the two together. She’s a teacher and researcher and I happen to love both her presence and her workflow.

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Min and I both think you Native users has more profound Localization culture background. And this make yours description more pellucid.It will be easier to be understood by others.

For the most important one, you guys know the authentic demanding scene.And by study your workflow and guide., the MN could not be developed in fantasy for students and users in both sides of the Atlantic.:smile:

So in my suggestion, the new thread or a serries of posts pined on Forum top about your workflow sharing is best.

Yours sincerely,

Attach Developer Min’s suggestions::alien:

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I‘m not quite sure I know what you mean :man_shrugging::grimacing: Are the workflows so different between China and Europe/US that you couldn‘t implement features for both ways of studying or (what I think) that it really helps to hear about other workflows that you „couldn’t imagine“ and integrating those?

Yes, in the Asian countries especially Korean, Japan and China, mnemonics things is primary one in every Subject. Tons of linguistic missions are needed to be memorized.And it’s different from German study English as EU language is all Fusional Language and has lots of universal etyma. Eastern language is based on Hanzi which is also not a phonogram. Subjects like History and Politics is continued to be studied unitl Master‘s degree etc.

So most of our Asian users is examination scene. That’s why we keep work on Anki-related improvements.

In the other hand, Chinese University is more specialized about Engineering(barely involved with Nvivo Atlas.ti etc. than sociologists). Marginnote’s other primary usage about qualitative research has very little feedback until I found discuss within @mobo ,jprint , JournoProf and DrJJW in this thread .

We hope MN(especially Mac version) could works more professional in Research Fields and Personal Wiki usage in the future. So we’re eager to learn yours using scenes.


2 posts were split to a new topic: 【Guide】My hashtag approach together for users

Done. Please see what I posted.