Why are tags on the Note level instead of Card level?

This is a deck i use to learn the Japanese Alphabet

I had notes with fields for …

  1. Hiragana
  2. Katakana
  3. Romanji

In addition I had two Card types

  1. Hiragana to Romanji
  2. Katakana to Romanji

I Wanted to add tags to Cards with the type «Hiragana to Romanji». To my surprise those were synchronized with those of the second Card type. Therefore separate tags for Cards of the same Note are impossible. I looked this up in the wiki and apparently it is intentional.

I don’t quite get the reason for this and would love to know more.

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Notes carry a lot of arbitrary data, so it makes sense to be able to categorise them. Cards on the other hand only carry highly structured review information. Everything else we think of as part of a card is really just a composition of its note and notetype.
It might help to explain if you told us what kind of tags you would like to add to your cards.
And don’t forget that there are flags, which are like a very limited set of card tags.

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This is more or less the structure I was going for back when I had Hiragana and Katakana as separate Notetypes
This would have allowed me to study (for example) Hiragana-Maru tagged cards.
If all cards were to be from the same Notetype i dont really know how I could accomplish the same thing.

I actually already looked up the possibility of doing this with flags but this seems suboptimal.

Instead Filtered decks look like the way to go. I can select the card type as well as a tag.
"note:Hiragana to Romanji" tag:Japanese::Kana::Hiragana::Maru

I also think that tags would work better at card level, not at note level, the reasons are here and here.

It seems, however, that that request hasn’t a lot of support, so I’m using flags instead of tags in those cases where using tags wouldn’t work.

Yes, flags won’t do the job long-term.

I guess you mean filtered decks compared to a custom study. True, the latter is somewhat more ergonomic, but it’s basically the same thing.
I guess you meant to write "card:Hiragana to Romanji".... That’s the way to go! Also, you can drop the “Hiragana/Katakana” level from your tags.

Also, you can drop the “Hiragana/Katakana” level from your tags

I’m on it, that was an old screenshot ;‍)

Thanks for the explanation!

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One tag that should be at card level in my view is leech.

For instance, take the situation when leaning a language you may well have 2 cards for leaning bi directional translation and another for recognizing the sound. Now say that you have no difficulty with the translation cards, but you confuse the sound with another similar sounding word. Because it uses a tag to record leeches Anki will flag the note as a leech, whereas in reality it is the sound recognition card that is the leech.


I agree that a leech tag doesn’t make much sense and it isn’t used by Anki internally to my knowledge. However, cards have a property “lapses”, which already has all the information one could ever need. The leech tag, be it on a card or note level, only tells you that at some point in the past the card reached the leech threshold at that time. I don’t find this very helpful.