Keywords or text for cross-referencing

This isn’t a technical support question, so much as a question on the best way to achieve what I want and whether there is any ‘good practice’ recommendation.

I want to use S (v.3.0.10) for my law library. Currently, the library is spread across different apps: a database whose layout I created using Filemaker and containing circa 8000 records, Devonthink Office Pro for smart folder capabilities, note taking, ability to read content in pdfs, and a Finder folder of approximately 10,000 pdfs (all ocrd). I envisage using S for content management, case analysis, and my own writings.

For case law, I am using folders, with each folder the name of the parties and the year, for example: Oceanbulk Trading & Shipping SA v TMT Asia [2010]. (That case concerns exceptions to the ‘without prejudice’ rule).

Case law often refers to other cases so each folder contain a text file named Cases Referred To into which I am entering the names of other cases referred to. For example: Shield Properties & Investments Ltd v Anglo-Overseas Transport Co Ltd [1984] - (another case involving ‘without prejudice’)

Now let’s assume I have a folder Shield Properties & Investments Ltd v Anglo-Overseas Transport Co Ltd [1984].

For searching, I cannot decide whether to add Oceanbulk Trading & Shipping SA v TMT Asia [2010] as a keyword to the folder Shield Properties & Investments Ltd v Anglo-Overseas Transport Co Ltd [1984], or put it the Cases Referred To text file.

To experiment, I added Oceanbulk Trading & Shipping SA v TMT Asia [2010] as a keyword to a few folders regardless of relevance. Also, to text files in other unrelated folders. A search on keywords results only in the binder listing the folders and any text files where that case appears. A search using Find lists all results regardless.

Currently, I copy and paste case names from the Filemaker database but in future entering details is going to be from scratch. The advantage of using keywords is consistency in spelling and speed of entry. (I have given up tidying the list of keywords into alphabetical order: it’s quicker to scan through the list, The disadvantage is that I shall have to always use Find for searching, as distinct from keywords only, in case Oceanbulk appears anywhere else.

What do think? I’d welcome any suggestions.

Look into the Find by Formatting feature––located at Scrivener Menu > Edit > Find > Find by Formatting. It’s explained at Sec 11.6 in the Scriv. 3 manual.

You could tag items with “Oceanbulk Trading & Shipping SA v TMT Asia [2010] ‘without prejudice’” using the Inline Annotation feature, in example. You can additionally use color to further discriminate the tag.

I don’t use Find by Formatting as extensively as your prospective use would be.The only minor limitation (hardly worth mentioning) to it I’ve found is that it refuses to recognize contractions in the Containing text field.

I’ve experimented with the FindByFormatting: highlight in colour. I have come up against a point that someone else has posted on, namely that the default colours in S do not necessarily sync with the system colours. Which would mean making a note of the RGB or hex numbers for any of the colours I use to ensure consistency. S’s yellow for example is R-229, G-255, B-79 or hex E5FF4F A non-starter for me: I have enough steps to perform without adding another!

On balance, I have opted for keywords for cross-referencing. Something I’ve realised is that because each text file is its own, I must copy and paste the parent folder name into the sibling files. If I don’t then when I search on keyword the results in Binder are disconnected (unless the parent folder is also listed, in which case the siblings are underneath. . I am using the Custom Metadata so in my field name 'Case" I use that to double as an identifier.

Although it would be quicker to duplicate the custom metadata and keywords into sibling text files, rather. than add manually to each file, I haven’t yet found a way to do that whilst preserving my default name for each one of the siblings. I’ve have to rename each sibling, also delete all under-siblings, which I reckon would be more time-consuming than drag and drop the keywords as I go.