Critic Markup for Note Tags

Readers of this blog may have guessed it, but I don’t do a whole lot of copy editing these days. That means I don’t have a lot of need for CriticMarkup (CM) in my daily life. But, I do still use one feature of the syntax almost everyday: comments.

My meeting notes often have annotations like this:

1{>>Q<<} Does this guarantee FIFO ordering
2{>>A<<} No. The order is maintained by the time stamp

The {>>Q<<} comment is a reminder that I had a question while meeting or working. The adjacent {>>A<<} comment is the answer to my question.

Here’s another common thing I use in my notes and my task list:

1{>>Res<<} Cell painting protocol

That line tells me that I need to research something. It’s short enough to type while writing but easy enough for me to understand what I want.

I use these comments like tags. While reading the notes later, I can see where I had questions without an answer or I can find the items I want to research more. Because CM is just a syntax, it works everywhere. Because the syntax is relatively unique, it’s easy to search from any editor. It even works to search in my Todoist task list.

Sure, tags are probably a more attractive way to annotate my notes, but applications have different tagging syntax, or they don’t support tags at all. Just about all applications support plain text. I don’t often care if the application has special affordances for CriticMarkup. I just care that I can find and read the comment.