Templates allow you to define and add boilerplate content underneath new Rems.

Soren Bjornstad avatar
Written by Soren Bjornstad
Updated over a week ago

Oftentimes, we want to use the same structure for notes in many places across our knowledge base. The structures we want to repeat might be for individual ideas or objects (chemical elements, people, pharmaceutical drugs) or kinds of notes (prompts to fill out in the journal page for a particular day, information to record about a new project we have to complete). Templates allow you to define such structures and conveniently duplicate them on demand.

Recall that in RemNote, we use tags to indicate that different things are of the same type. To make it easier to keep track of your templates, templates are associated with tags, so you can find all the templates you might use for a particular type of thing in one place.

Creating a template

Once you've created a tag, either on the Tags Page or by applying it to some Rem using ## tag search, you can add a template to it by zooming into the tag and choosing the Create Template button in the tag configuration section (you might have to expand this section by clicking the Show/Hide Configuration toggle).

This will open a popup window where you can edit the template just like a normal RemNote document. Any content you add here becomes part of the template. When you apply the template to a Rem, all of the Rems in the template will be pasted as children of the Rem to which you applied the tag.

If you already have one or more templates on the tag, you can add more using the New template option in the tag configuration.

Applying a template

There are several ways to apply a template.

With ## tag search

You can search for the name of the template in ## tag search. Selecting a template here will both apply the tag associated with the template and paste the contents of the template.

With auto-apply

You can set one template of each tag to auto-apply. In many if not most cases, a particular tag will only have a single template, so this is a convenient choice. When you add a tag that has an auto-applying template attached to it, the content associated with that template is immediately pasted.

Using the templates/properties indicator

When you've applied a tag to some Rems, and some properties or templates are available on that tag but have not yet been used on this Rem, a blue indicator appears to the right of the Rem. Click here to add templates or properties.

Using the top-of-document template selector

After applying a tag to a Rem, you can choose its template by zooming into the instance and selecting from the tag menu at the top of the page. This is particularly useful if you've already selected a template and want to change to a different one.

Templates and properties

Along with arbitrary Rems, templates can contain properties.

For instance, suppose we have a tag for Authors. We might want to keep track of many properties about authors, but some properties won't be relevant to all authors. For instance, the author's typical genre is useful for authors of fiction, but likely not useful for authors of scientific papers.

We can handle this by creating several templates and moving some of the properties from directly underneath the tag into these templates. Let's create a “Fiction Author” template and a “Scientific Author” template here.

We'll leave birth year and nationality as “As Bullet” properties directly on the Author tag, since these will be relevant for all authors. Then, for Fiction Authors, we'll add additional genre and style properties and start a to-do list of Works to Read:

And for Scientific Authors, we'll add additional institution and main field of study properties and start a list of Important Discoveries:

Note that even when you place properties within a specific template, they're still part of the associated tag, and you'll still see them in the tag's configuration:

As such, you have the freedom to use any of them for any Author. By placing them on a specific template, we're only controlling which instances of Author they're added to automatically. For instance, a Fiction Author might well have an associated institution, or a Scientific Author might have a specific style worth noting, and we're free to add that property to such an author if we wish. But we won't be automatically prompted to fill it out; we'll add it ourselves manually for those cases where it does make sense.

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