Getting started with Tana

Watch this video to get off to a good start using Tana. You'll get an overview of the features and concepts of Tana


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Tana is changing at a rapid pace πŸš€ While many concepts remain the same, some user interface and features have changed a lot since they first were documented here! Please keep this in mind while browsing.


Hi and welcome to Getting Started with Tana!

Everything in Tana is connected in a Knowledge Graph so you can easily find and extract exactly what you’re looking for.

With Supertags, text can be turned into in real objects. Your meeting notes is connected to customers, people and projects in your meeting. These objects flow to where they're useful. Tasks, bugs and follow-ups from your meeting automatically flows to where they are processed so you can stay on top of everything.

Basic Editing Concepts

Tana is as simple to use as a text editor, simply type like you're used to, but notice that each line has a bullet on it. We call this a node.

A node is a powerful concept, but for now, think of it as a magic bullet in a bulleted list. And just like a bulleted list, you can write multiple nodes after one another, and you can indent using the tab key or outdent using shift-tab. You can also re-organize bullets using the keyboard or dragging them with the mouse.

Nodes can be expanded and collapsed, and you can zoom in to nodes at any level, and when you click the back button, you're back to where you started.


Supertags turn plain text into real objects.

They work just like normal tags, so you can connect information by just adding tags to a node, but they are far more capable than normal tags. Think of them as templates or tables in a database to build objects like #persons, #companies and anything you can imagine, without having to know a single thing about databases.

Clicking on a tag lets you find every node with the same tag or to configure the tag - more about that in our video about Supertags.


All nodes can be viewed in different ways, like a table for overview and quickly adding information multiple nodes. They can viewed as cards so you can manage your information like in a kanban setup and many more views to come. Nodes can also be opened in a new panel, so you can work on multiple things at the same time.

Tana UI

On your left you have your Sidebar. This is a list of all the nodes that live at the very top of your workspace.

The sidebar can be edited by clicking your avatar to open your home area. Anything you add here will show up in the sidebar, so it's a good idea to keep things you use often, here. You can add new nodes directly into your home area, or you can drag any node to your sidebar for convenient access. You can use it to navigate your graph, but the simplest way to find stuff is by using the search bar.

In the top right you'll find the Help where you can find videos and articles on how to get the most out of Tana.


The first thing that greets you in Tana, is the Today node. You can also click the Today icon in the top-bar.

Every day has a #day tag so you can get a custom template for all your days – check out the video on Day to Day work in Tana to learn how to set it up and automate your day.

We've also included a #todo-tag, so you can tag any task you need to get done and easily keep track of them by clicking on the Todo-search in the sidebar – this shows you all Todos that are not yet completed.


This behaviour is key to Tana and something we call a flow. It's essentially a live search where data automatically flows from anywhere in your Graph, so you can view and manage it in an efficient way. Learn more about flows in our video about Search, filtering and views.

Quick Add

If you're working on something deep in your graph, you can click "Quick add" to add any information without moving away from where you are. What you add here ends up in your Today node and in any flow set up to listen for nodes that match.

Refs, mentions and Emojis:

Another way to connect information is to link it using our @ dialogue.

If you want to create a shortcut to a node, simply type @ and search for your node. If you do this inside a text, you create a an inline link to a node. When you zoom into a node, you get an overview of everywhere this node is mentioned or linked.

You can even mention dates and persons using the @ dialogue. If you open your Today for that date, you will see the reference to where it was mentioned.

You can also create new nodes using the @-dialogue. Use this to create a link to objects that doesn't exist yet. These nodes end up in the Library, a collection of everything that doesn't live anywhere specific in your graph.

Where to put things

So where should you put things? The short answer is that there's no rule for where to put things, and you can always move things around later, but generally it works best if you follow these guidelines:

Today is where you put your day to day information. Many use it to create all their content, since Tana objects can flow to where they're useful.

You home node and sidebar is useful for organizing things that have a natural treestructure or to put shortcuts for things you want quick access to.

The library is used for things that are object-like, such as people, companies, cities etc.

To illustrate, take this example of how to organize books:

  • In your Today node, you can add a todo about buying a specific book.

  • By @-mentioning the book-title, you are creating that book-object in the Library

  • In your Home Area and therefore the sidebar, is where you typically add the search of all your books:

[Example illustration - Books]What goes where 
Order How Civil Wars Start
Home Area
πŸ“• My #books
How Civil Wars Start


To get the full Tana experience, we suggest you download our Chrome app simply by clicking the Download-button in the location-bar in Chrome. This makes it easer to use Tana every day.


Learning Tana takes a bit of effort, but once you do, you'll be working faster than ever before!

A good next step is to watch our videos linked below and to sign up to our Slack Community where you can get a lot of help and inspiration from us and our vibrant community of Tanarians.

Until next time, take care and go with the flow!

Next steps

Introduction to Supertags

Supertags are the backbone of Tana, it's how you can give structure and context to item lightning fast, keeping your flow.

In this video you'll get an introduction to Supertags, how to create, change and use them.

Command Line

In this video, you'll learn about commands, the command line and the most useful commands like find nodes, remind me and more

Search, Filters & Views

Searches, filters and views is one of the fundamental building blocks in Tana. Get a good overview and learn how you can build flows for pretty much anything you can imagine

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