Where parallels cross

Interesting bits of life

Moldable Emacs: query your Org Roam notes by tag

Too long; didn't read

I display the Org Roam notes that intersect over a selection of tags (i.e., Org Roam notes titled with a single word).

The problem

Lately I am working on tagging. I recently reworked the way I maintain my agenda and yes, Org Mode tags are amazing! Tags are better than hierarchy because you can interpret tags as hierarchy or something else according to your needs. For example, having a hierarchy like king -> lord -> worker is less flexible than labelling/tagging something king/lord/worker. With hierarchy you enforce the order with structure, while with tags you need an interpreter to do the same. But you can also create other interpreters for the same tags.

Anyway, I got side tracked here... I just meant to say: I found out I have been creating tags consistently in my Org Roam notes. And these tags are notes themselves. For instance, I have a book note. When I add notes I took from a book I read, I link these notes to book. I also have a note management that explains what I believe management is. Moreover I linked to it some notes I collected over time. Now the question: what if I want to find all the notes that link to both book and management?

It is a problem indeed

I thought my enthusiasm for Org Roam would eventually fade. It didn't. Also I simply failed the principle from the book How to take smart notes:

The idea is not to collect, but to develop ideas, arguments and
discussions. Does the new information contradict, correct, support or
add to what you already have (in the slip-box or on your mind)? Can
you combine ideas to generate something new? What questions are
triggered by them?

I got 6k-ish notes at the moment. I hoarded a bit. I can find most of what I need, but better tools for searching are necessary. And the funny thing is that tagging is also a concept in Org Mode. It sounds like whatever we devise, we could reuse for our TODO lists!

And there is a solution

Let me show you where I got so far.

The idea is simple: collect the notes that link to the notes you query. How it works is naive: find the notes containing each tags and return the intersection of these. Then I show them with org-transclusion.

You can find the mold definition in the repository here.

The definition of what is an Org Roam tag is a bit custom to my setup. Probably others use a different approach to it. Showing this I want to both share how helpful is tagging your notes for search and how molds can be also an interface to search your notes. Once you have the notes you can compose other molds to learn more about your notes. Using the Org Roam Elisp API you can gather the notes they link to or when you accessed them last time.


Grab moldable-emacs and start investigating your Org Roam notes! And try out using tags over hierarchy ;)

Happy searching!