Contacts: Tag vs Reference

Would you use a TAG or a REFERENCE for the Contact Persons that you refer in your meeting notes, notes taken during phone calls, things to remember to talk about the person on the next call, etc…?

A reference would be more natural, e.g., “spoke with [[Person”, “per [[Person”, etc.

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I prefer typing their name normally, highlighting that text, then pasting a Rem Reference — this lets you be more flexible with how you refer to them, without cluttering with Aliases.

I made a little experiment, structuring it in 3 parts:

  • Pending Work ToDo (with a search portal to everything tagged with this)
  • Clients (with a search portal to everything tagged or linked-to with this)
  • Meetings Notes

I also tried sharing it, but it broke the search portals:

In conclusion, I would suggest using a mixture of tags and references.

References are great for adding inline markup to text, letting you click on the link to go to its target rem. If you have ‘Joe’ and ‘James’ in the same Rem, as tags that could get messy, but inline references on each name keeps it neater.

Tags are better for attributes of an entire Rem. The single most important use from these notes in your work will be “Pending Work ToDo”, which I’ve made a search portal at the top. Once something is complete, you can simply click ‘x’ to un-tag that ToDo.

RemNote isn’t ideal for coordinating across a team — I’d recommend purpose-built tools for that, like Quire.

As soon as things get mixed together, things can get messy, so a helpful approach is to be very clear about what sorts of SOURCES of data you’ll have, and what you intend to DO with that data.

Pending Work ToDo

Can come from anywhere or any meeting. Needs to be collected and acted-upon centrally. Needs to be update-able. → Search by Tags

Individual Client Records

Serves as a static record of all the references/interactions with that specific client. Used to give an overview to remind you what their situation was. Will usually only reference one client per call, but might have overlaps. → Search by References

Meetings Notes

Serves as a static record of all each meeting, including client references and ToDos. Will be a source of multiple references towards different Clients and ToDos. → inline References

I recommend only having one central source of truth that you work from, rather than managing multiple parallel sources of info. I’d keep all info in “Meetings Notes”, and leave “Clients” and “Pending Work ToDo” as self-updating dashboards just for quick overview.

Things can get messy if you mix in a few notes about the client, with their individual client entry. Might as well just include that as content in their ‘first meeting’. If you really want, you could refactor these meeting notes into brief client profiles. But what’s the point? All that info would already be in the Meetings Notes anyway, and time and time again, I catch myself over-working trying to optimize a nice neat system for managing my workload … when doing a simple solution and waiting for 6 months would have worked just fine too.

TL;DR All Data lives in Meetings Notes, tag ToDo’s, collect references to client meeting data as a search filter.


The advantage to having separate client pages would be the ability to create a more complex outliner structure than a Search Query of the same rem would show.

The native powerup ToDos have the advantage of also having “finished” and “unfinished” states, so you could leave some crossed-out todo to serve as history of completed orders or whatever.

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