Best simple tool for tagging quotes and comments
August 10, 2018 12:11 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a simple tool that will allow me to create a list of comments with tags, with the speaker and date for each comment. I'd like something similar to an Excel spreadsheet but with the ability to add easily searchable hashtags or keywords for each row.

For example, it should be able to show that Joe said "I like mint ice cream when it's sunny." on Friday 10 August with the following searchable tags: icecream, mint, positive, sunshine. And on for each row.

What's the best, simple tool for this these days?
posted by iamkimiam to Work & Money (7 answers total)
If it can be online I’d make a google form to populate a spreadsheet

The spreadsheet is searchable or you can add a feild for keywords
posted by tilde at 3:34 AM on August 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Could you just use web browser bookmarks, by putting the text of the quote as the title of the bookmark? In my version of Firefox bookmarks are put into one particular folder in a folder tree and appear to be able to have an unlimited number of tags attached to them (So perhaps date and speaker could be attached as tags?) I've also come across Chrome browser extensions which appear designed to attach all sorts of metadata to bookmarks, though I've never tried installing that sort of thing.
posted by XMLicious at 4:13 AM on August 10, 2018

Airtable is a neat website/app/thing for this, if you're up for free usage of a mysteriously VC-funded platform you have no control of.

I would possibly point at something like Drafts or possibly Workflow on iOS which would allow you (or someone you know in geographic proximity) to generate a simple interface to prompt you for details and then add them to a google spreadsheet or markdown document, which may be a more contemporary approach, using the cloud as a synchronisation medium.

If you want to go over-the-top, I'm a massive fan of DEVONthink's tools for this kind of thing.
posted by davemee at 5:40 AM on August 10, 2018

could you explain what context you are wanting to use this in?
posted by iNfo.Pump at 7:41 PM on August 10, 2018

could you explain what context you are wanting to use this in?

This is for work purposes … I'm a User Experience researcher and so I spend a lot of time doing interviews, usability tests, contextual enquiries and email, so much email. I keep an Excel spreadsheet of quotes and comments about various aspects of the participants' jobs, workflows and how they feel about the product. I need my Excel sheet to be better, ideally not an Excel sheet, and to easily add tags and search/filter. Also, the information I collect is not public, so while a cloud-based tool may be ok, a browser bookmark or Google sheet is probably not ok.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:22 AM on August 11, 2018

Unless you create some kind of sync account and set up the browser you're using to sync everything everywhere, a browser bookmark is no more public than an Excel spreadsheet on your hard drive would be. (And less public than a cloud-based tool, insofar as it just stays on your own computer.)
posted by XMLicious at 3:31 AM on August 11, 2018

I don't know about simple but one good tool for this is probably Emacs' Org mode if you're willing to learn it. Brief introduction to its capabilities.

Seems like you could create a capture template to type the user comments to a file then add it to the agenda list for quick searching. Timestamps are added automatically by the template and tags can be added when capturing with C-c C-q, or by editing the entry at any time.

If none of this made any sense but sounds promising, the compact guide (direct link to pdf) might help, items of special interest for your use case would be 6, 9 and 10 from the toc.
posted by Bangaioh at 11:19 AM on August 11, 2018

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