Tinderbox Forum

Keyword equivalence

Hi and special thanks to Michael Bekker, whose videos are proving to be so valuable and Mark’s TbRef, which, now I’m beginning to get my head around Tbx, I’m referring to more and more. Thanks to you both for all your work. It really is appreciated.

I do a lot of reading and research and I have a large number of references in my file - [I use a slightly modified reference prototype] - and individual notes which are highlights, extracts, comments etc related to that key reference. Keywords are an important search tool within and between references, but often the same concept is described using a variety of keywords and phrases e.g. causality, causal effect, causal inference etc. etc. When I search I want to capture all of these. Is there anyway I can create equivalence between such terms, so when I set up a query to search for ‘causality’, it will also capture those keywords/phrases that I’ve created an equivalence with. In this case also bring up 'causal effect, causal inference etc.

Ideally, I’d like somewhere in my file where I can set up these equivalences, and add to them whenever I come across a new term being used, rather than try to remember them every time I do a query.



Hey David, thanks for the appreciation. It is nice to know the effort is paying off.

Actually, what you are asking for is EXACTLY what I do in my work.

My basic setup is this:

My process is actually quite simple:

  1. Create a note
  2. Add a value to one or more “key attribute sets”, i.e., for my work $Terms, $Engity, $Regulation, $Specification, $Initaitive, $Regulation
  3. Action code in the note does two this 1) dynamically creates an appropriate note for the key attribute set, e.g. Trm- XXXX, Ent- XXXX, Reg- XXXX, Spec- XXXX, Inv- XXXX, $Reg- XXXX, if a note with the key attribute set does not already exist, if it does it skips the create steps (this way I don’t have duplicates of terms), and 2) links the newly created note to the focus note.
  4. I can then link the term t to a category.
  5. The categories are linked to themes.

This process lets me individually define and cite each note individually. If I need to, I can create child notes on a term or create ancillary and related terms if there is multiple definitions for a concept.

This process is core to my 5Cs of knowledge management. It lets me:

  1. limit/easily manage duplicates
  2. define each term, category, theme individually and related them all together
  3. cite terms
  4. add images to terms if needed
  5. build an asset library of material I can leverage for future projects (aka “zettlekasten”)
  6. dynamically build index glossaries and figure indexes for all my writing

I also have a strategy for,

  • managing citations across all my writing

  • automatically numbering figures and tables and create a clickable index in HTML, Word out PDF output; build a clickable index and dynamic glossary of terms that only pulls the term if it is in the target article or piece of work I’m working on

  • easily switching between citation styles, e.g. app, Chicago, msl, and properly place the figure and table caption and note notations above or below the figures and tables’

  • dynamically building tables and lists from note attributes

  • building consolidated drafts across hundreds/thousands of notes (I have my Mac say “Michael You’re Awesome, the draft is ready” to give myself a bit of encouragement in the wee hours)

  • publishing my consolidated draft to HTML, Word, PDF

  • incorporate image artifacts throughout all my writing

  • dynamically create a version of my docs for editors and readers (this was something I finally figured out last week)

  • use agents in my writing for structural purposes, e.g. use an agent to pull all the learning objectives from all the chapters in my book and pull them up into front matters (that way I only have to edit content and in one place), or build sidebars of focussed content

  • at an individual note level be able to turn on and off note titles, text, or children based on what I want to come out in the output

  • dynamically build a heading 1~6 scheme that starts at any container depth I’m at when I create my drafts (when I export to Word, Word actually recognizes the heading styles)

  • building word clouds

  • streamline the research process for discovery, re-discover, curation, creation, contribution, and collaboration

  • and, of course, analyzing terms, categories and themes that start emerging

  • …I’m sure there is more but I can’t think of it right now

I’ve been slowly unveiling this process at each weekend meetup, it evolves and gets more crystalized every day.

The seeds for all of the above are in the videos I’ve already created. Maybe you can join this weekend’s call and I can walk through the terms, categories, themes strategy if everyone else is interested. If not, give me a call and I can show you the process.