Some days ago I was questioning myself about the utility of tagging everything we find. Today I found a good application of tags when I was reading Getting Things Done. There is what David Allen wrote in his explanation of “The Next Actions List(s)”:
“[…] If you have only twenty or thirty of these, it may be fine to keep them all on one list labeled “Next Actions,” which you’ll review whenever you have any free time. For most of us, however, the number is more likely to be fifty to 150. In that case it makes sense to subdivide your “Next Actions” list into categories, such as “Calls” to make when you?re at a phone or “Project Head Questions” to be asked at your weekly briefing”.
There is a good utility of tags: a way to dynamically categorize or multi-categorize resources.
- Resources. Anything; in this case the resources are items list.
- Categorize. A way to classify a resource under a tag, a keyword or a folder name.
- Multi-categorize. A way to classify a resource under multiple tags, keywords or folders names.
- Dynamically. The system, and not the user, will put the resource in the good categorize(s)
GTD software that manages “Next Actions” lists would probably benefit by implementing a tagging system to handle this feature. The users’ experience would be enhanced. They would only have to put some keywords to a “Next Action” and this “Next Action” would by classified automatically by the GTD system. This is, I think, the good way to use tags. However, I beg you not to share these tags over the Internet. I do not think that I really want to know what is the most popular “Next Action” that Internet users have to do today or yesterday.
However, it is just the perception I have of this tagging hype. Am I right or totally off the track?