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How to Organize Your Tags with I.A.R.P
Each tag is not born equal. Some tags may become the main trunk(e.g. #marketing, #design), while the others may become the branches (e.g. #MarketingManagement). A few flomoers may be concerned about whether they should use tags as the categories of folders or use tags as content supplements. But tags should work for facilitating our indexing. And who says a MEMO can only contain one tag? The core of adding tags is not to create a perfect category but to find the MEMO we need.
At least Steve Jobs didnโ€™t have a neat desk
So after introducing these two types of tags (there are many more, but I wonโ€™t go into them), I would like to introduce a method of using tags as Navigation. It is inspired by the P.A.R.A from Tiago Forte. But in flomo, I choose to index the content with a simpler way of I.A.R.P.
The information is digested by individuals, added tags to build connections, and then becomes knowledge. So each person may differentiate in his or her customized tagging system. So there is no perfect plan. There only exists YOUR plan.
I.A.R.P goes for a set of acronyms, that is:
  • Inbox: I put all the temporary, undigested content here. I archive, organize, or delete them regularly. It can be seen as a cache of information for your brain when you are not sure where to put them.
  • Area: An area is important because you need to make progress in this area. For example, keeping fit is an area, while running is a project which belongs to this area. Writing is an area while writing a blog is a project.
  • Resource: It can be regarded as the permanent notes in Luhmannโ€™s Zettelkasten method. Normally, it contains all the digested content in your interests, topics, or assets rather than the content clipper.
  • Project: It means a forthcoming event which you canโ€™t finish at one time. For example, writing a book can be a project. You need to collect materials, make outlines, and write passages. Similar projects can be organizing a trip, or recording an episode of the podcast.
The hardest part is Area, which means you have to know what areas you are concerned about most. Our lives are chained with a series of events. For most of us, we donโ€™t have a precise list of our projects in life and work. But we may feel like we are burdened with tons of projects. After years of working busy, we may find we have done many things but not been professional at anything. That is the problem caused by only focusing on projects. Well, you can check here to have a better understanding of the area.
The following is a screenshot of my pinned tags. You may see a few adjustments.
  • Inbox is my information cache for my brain.
  • Area contains all the areas I am concerned about. I regularly organize them, of course.
  • Project includes a few relevant materials about ongoing projects.
  • Weekly is my most important project.
  • ESL is my most-concerned area.
  • GreatMinds is the most important resource.
Except the pinned tags, most tags donโ€™t work as navigation but as supplements for MEMO. So even there are hundreds of tags, I wonโ€™t feel hard to organize them.
This is only a personal usage of tags. I wrote down this article only in order to share a new perspective.
If you have some ideas to share, please join our discord here.
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