How do you feel about the Concept/Descriptor framework?

After using RemNote for a few months, I have gradually moved away from the Concept/Descriptor framework and started adopting a more free-flowing notetaking style along with making most of my cards Cloze deletions. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but sticking to the Concept/Descriptor framework sometimes felt kind of oppressive, not letting me develop my thoughts to the full extent.

Fortunately, RemNote is really flexible, so this hasn’t been an issue at all. I’m just wondering if there is someone out there with a similar experience.


I just want to have a feature or flag to one click disable Concept/Descriptor framework.
Then I could just use RemNote as other roam-like tools


Moved away from it as well because I found it to be too limiting for me and strictly following it just took too much time. Right now I use questions for pretty much everything because it’s less ambiguous and feels more natural. For things like tables though I still use the concept descriptor framework because it’s fast and easy.


I use it for everything. It’s especially great for Math study somehow. The only downside is page can get super long.

This Frame work might be really useful with a more advance “Rem Cluster” feature where concepts intervals influence/define intervals of their descriptors don’t you think ?
(Sorry for my broken english)

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It’s definitely an interesting idea, although I’m not sure it would be that helpful. One of the main tenets of spaced repetition is to break down concepts into smallest possible pieces (“atomicity” principle) and then let the algorithm separate those parts you remember well from those you remember poorly. Practicing all parts of a single concept together or having the intervals influenced by each other would, in my opinion, break this core principle and ultimately lead to lower learning efficiency. However, this is just my suspicion, I never actually had a chance to test something like this out - I’d be very interested in hearing other opinions!


I’m using remnote to learn language, so it doesn’t make too much sense to manuelly define each “new word::definition” is a concept or a descriptor. But one thing this c/d system bothers me is that when I make reference to a word, the parent of this word (if this word was defined by the software as a descriptor due to the lower case of its first letter) will also show up in the reference, it breaks up the structure of my sentence. So to avoid this, I used a css snippet to hide the hierarchy of all the reference, no matter it’s a concept or a descriptor. Then the referecing could be quite freely handeled, just like in other roam like software.


this this… I feel like it mess with my workflow

I don’t use it either… But it never gets in the way.

Why would you want/need to disable it?

(Just out of curiosity… Maybe I’m missing something and could learn from your workflow)

I’d like to update my last reply. Actually after several weeks’ trying to use this concept/descriptor structure to organise my notes, I have gragually got used to it and have got to feel the advantage of this structure especially when you want to “learn” something. I’ve kinda fallen love to it! :laughing:
It is not only useful when making cards. Moreover, in the graph viewer (pro feature), you could find that the concepts are the dots, descriptors are lines, which makes more sense to view your notes in the graph. The relationship of each notes is so clearly to understand and retrieve.
I highly recomemnd remnote to keep this special system, add more tutorial to teach and encourage users to try this system (users’ habit training is quite important for any software), to let users see what exact benefit they can get from using remnote’s philosophy.


So interesting!
Could you please show a picture of your notes graph for our better imagination?

You don’t need to imagine, you just need to realise it with your own study material. :slight_smile: Find a piece/chapter of your study material/book, restructure it using concept/descriptor logic, and observe it in graph view. Then you’ll have a clear impression what this method means.

It autoformat things!!!

For example I didnt use the concept descriptor framework for the reasons other mentioned, but I may not give it a try because it seems like a text based concept map or text based mind map. a concept map is something familiar

I think there’s two reasons why the concept is indeed really useful:

  1. look at the Feynman method: you have to ask a lot of additional questions when you really want to understand things. Descriptors is where these detail questions go. In schools it’s most of the time just demanded to reproduce what the textbook says. But that’s just parrot talk not understanding.

  2. Applying that concept to your thinking would result in more thought-out concepts and ideas. If anyone had applied this to the idea battery-electric cars, they would have come up with a different idea. It’s a nice concept that sells well - but no one asked what’s the carbon footprint of electricity? how and where are people gonna charge street-parked cars? how are the raw materials for batteries obtained? how can cais be recycled at the end of their lifespan?

Applying the concept forces you to think things through fully instead of selling just superficial headlines and mere ideas without any depths or doability.

Only deconstructing things leads to full understanding. Schools are admittedly not interested in you really understanding fully - but maybe you yourself are.