4 Essential Concepts to Master Your Tags in Your PKM

3 min read

To master your tags in your PKM, you need to understand and use 4 essential concepts ideally: hierarchy, context, grouping, and mixing.

Let’s dive in!

1. Hierarchy

Hierarchy gives you 2 essential outcomes:

  1. Structure.
  2. Filtering.

Those are two ways to make the best out of a flat PKM system, as it should be because your brain works better on a “flat mode”.

People usually associate hierarchy with folders. It doesn’t go that way.

Hierarchy equals giving structure to chaos, making things comprehensive to you, allowing you to understand your ideas.

Filtering equals finding the things you want in a matter of milliseconds.

If you can’t easily find information, why are you storing it?

2. Context

One of the best ways to begin using and understanding “context” to tag is trying to reply to the question, “When will I need this?”.

That way, you use context based on time, a concrete concept to start “tagging based on context”.

Later on, you can move to more complex approaches to the “tag by context” concept.

Replying to that question allows you to tag using straightforward tags such as “today”, “tomorrow”, or “next week”.

Then, you can move to the following essential concept: “grouping”.

3. Grouping

Grouping tags is another way to accomplish structure and filtering.

By grouping tags, you can better see the information in ways that make sense to you.

I’ll give you 2 examples.

I have created 2 groups of tags:

  1. Batches.
  2. Planning.

Going back to the question, “When will I need this?”, grouping allows me to reply in 2 different and handy ways.

Batches tags reply using “today”, “tomorrow”, or “next week”.

Planning tags reply helping me to identify the exact day of the week I want to do that item: “Monday”, “Tuesday”, or “Sunday”, for example.

4. Mixing

The power of tagging comes from mixing concepts.

For example, when a task or idea pops up in my mind, I tag it as “Batches/Week” if I consider I want to process it this week.

Later on, while I’m planning things, I can add another tag to the item above: “Planning/Thursday”, if I consider I should do it next Thursday.

The power of mixing is endless.

I can add another context approach by deciding that item will be one goal I want to accomplish that week.

Then, I tag the item like this: “Batches/Week/Goal” + “Planning/Thursday”.

Just using those tags, I know that item is something I have to do this “week”, on “Thursday”, and it’s one of my main “goals” for the week.

All that just using a couple of tags that take me one second to write them down.


  • When you understand these concepts, you move your PKM to a whole new world.
  • A world of flexibility, productivity, relaxation, and focus.
  • That’s how your PKM can help you to achieve your goals easily.


Photo by Charlein Gracia on Unsplash.