Lorelle is getting a little vexed about the the precise semantics and usage of tags and categories.

I must confess this isn’t a subject that keeps me awake at night although I do agree that the WordPress category list tends to get a little verbose with all those pesky tags.

However, due to circumstances outside my control, I have just had to endure some pain and wasted time converting Outlook Tasks and Contacts to use a flat structure with ‘Categories’ (rather than my previous folder structure Contacts-Personal, Contacts-Work etc etc). Forgive me, Father. I do not know what I was thinking of.

This is OK but it does mean that when I actually finish something I now have to reassign the category to ‘Done’ instead of the incredibly satisfying feeling of dragging the Task and dropping it down onto the ‘Done’ folder.

Maybe Lorelle should tell Scoble that Microsoft Outlook is using the term ‘Categories’ when they really mean ‘Tags’. Shock, horror.

I understand that an individual Contact may fall into several categories

  • ‘Friend’, ‘Personal’ and ‘Work’ but part of me still thinks in hierarchies.

When I create a directory, I normally have to think about the parent directory so my brain is forced to think ‘hierarchy’. I simply don’t have 4,563,231 files in the root directory with tags.

When I see an organization chart, I see a hierarchy.

So it is relatively easy to continue to operate in folders and hierarchy mode when organising emails (in fact I still do) and continue in that mindset when dealing with Tasks and Contacts in Outlook. Maybe Foldera will help to change this way of thinking.

Whenever I find myself being lured by the dark side and thinking in terms of hierarchies, directory structures, folders and parents, I remind myself of this excellent technical whitepaper. This document is all about Oracle performance I/O tuning on HP-UX.

Previously I might have saved this PDF to a folder named ‘My Documents-Technical-Whitepapers-Oracle-Performance’.

This would pose a problem when I tried to find it again. Where did I put it ? Was it in ‘Technical-Whitepapers-Oracle’, ‘Technical-Whitepapers-Performance’, ‘Technical-Whitepapers-Unix’ or ‘Technical-Whitepapers-HP’ ? Or did I forget to file it ? Yes. I know all about Google Desktop.

Now I just add it to my BlinkList with the following tags ‘Technical, Whitepaper, Oracle, Performance, Tuning, HP-UX, I/O’.

Consequently, I also have now seen the light and removed the two level hierarchy of WordPress categories on this site into a single flat structure.

Now, what categories/tags/labels shall I use for this wide ranging article: ’tagging’, ’tags’, ‘GTD’, ‘Outlook’, ‘Oracle’, ‘WordPress’, ‘categories’ ‘meta-data’ ? Decisions, decisions.

Oh forget it. This one is ‘Uncategorized’