Many researchers quickly pick up the basics of Zotero, but sometimes they miss some of the really useful features. Tags – a very effective way of categorising and filtering your items with keywords – become even more helpful when you colour-code them.
For instance, you might have a ‘tbr’ (to be read) tag and want to quickly see what’s outstanding on your reading list. Right-click (command-click on Mac) the tag in the Tag Selector and choose Assign Color.
Now you can choose a colour from the palette.
The tag is also assigned a number, which becomes a keyboard shortcut for adding it to one of your items. In this case, pressing 1 adds the ‘tbr’ tag to the highlighted item.
I also use a green-coloured tag called ‘borrow’ so I can quickly display all the books I need to borrow from the library.
Any items with coloured tags assigned to them are flagged with a matching blob in the middle column. It’s then easy to see at a glance anything you need to borrow or read.
This is a really simple feature, but it’s one of the reasons why I love Zotero.
Find out more about what you can do with Zotero in my ebook How to Manage References with Zotero.