Appending a letter code to an ID for location

Just starting to work on collection design of my systems, and thinking thru how to handle material distributed across multiple locations. In my case, I have multiple “cloud” locations: Onedrive, G-drive, Dropbox, iCloud, and also materials in my electronic file system, in DevonThink and possibly Obsidian. If I have material pertaining to the same ID, say 12.25, I see that the canonical approach is to record the locations of all the material in the index “card” entry (using the one note per ID method). But I wonder if an alternative approach is to append a letter:

say 12.25o for material in One Drive, 12.25g for G-drive, etc. And perhaps for physical hard copies 12.25h for hard copy at home and 12.25w for hard copy at work.

What is prompting my thought is “future proofing” if I want to move the locations of material, this would make it easier to update the index - say if I get rid of G-drive and move files to onedrive, I’d simply need to copy the files over, and copy the intex entry of 12.25g into the index entry for 12.25o

Thoughts? I think this would still allow the searching on the JD ID, 12.25, which would now pop up all the “subscripted” entries.

Certainly an interesting idea.

An alternative would be to standardise the recording of locations-in-notes, perhaps using tags. The key is the standardisation: pick something and stick to it.

Bear makes this nice with its nested tags (which build a hierarchy in the sidebar) but any app should match these in a search, which is all you really need. In Bear I might do something like this:

  • #location/gdrive
  • #location/onedrive

If you don’t care about nesting you might use #loc-onedrive and #loc-gdrive. The words don’t matter.

If you’re just using this as a search target, the ‘hash’ symbol doesn’t matter either. @location will work just as well.

I was going to say that this is functionally the same as your letter-after-ID idea but I think tagging should work better because it’s more searchable. You might have a hard time finding ‘all of the things on my g-drive’ because that g on your ID isn’t very searchable.

This has inspired me to improve my own tagging-of-locations which to date have been a bit ad-hoc, so, thanks. :slight_smile:

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good point about just using a letter as a tag

I think I’d want to avoid # and @ because of their special meanings in many contexts. But doing a quick search of my file system for names, I could append \a or |a (backslash or pipe) to the entry title and that would seem to work. The one card per entry - where an entry include the JD ID and the location descriptor intrigues me since it could be used in a number of settings:

Lets say I have some files that get archived (earlier terms of a class, meeting minutes from a prior year, etc.) off to another location, I could write the card with the pipe symbol to the appropriate location. Then it becomes simpler to change the notation on the index entry to reflect the new location.

Yeah, or if you want to go crazy there are all sorts of special characters easily accessible on a Mac keyboard. Hold ‘option’ and mash the pad:


Random tip: Ω, which is option+z, sorts last. So I sometimes call a cheeky subfolder Ω Archive.

Sorry, Windows people. You have that alt+numpad thing going on which is a bit 90s and not very useful. :wink:

Hmm ¬ is option+l for ‘location’ and I kinda like that as an indicator for ‘where a thing is’.

It’s actually a logical ‘not’ as in mathematics. I didn’t know that.