Marking ownership/availability of items (as PDF or hard copies, partly or in full)

Dear fellow Zotero users,

I hope to receive some suggestions for organizing my library regarding ownership (and thus availability) of its items.

I have been using Zotero for years and have amassed an enormous amount of digital items (mainly PDFs) as attachments. I also own many thousands of books. Unfortunately, I have many entries in Zotero that do not have attachments and that I do not own. With the size of the Zotero database growing, I wonder increasingly often whether I own an item (whether digital or as a hard copy) or not.

I am thus asking for help in organizing my Zotero collection in a way that would help me recognize first, whether I own an item, and if yes, whether i own it digitally (a PDF attachment to the Zotero item) or as a hard copy (preferably with a hint at where it is in my home), and second, whether I own the items completely, or only in part (selected section scanned to copied).

Ideally, all items in my Zotero collection would be colored with one of five different background colors.

I am already making use of collections, so that is no good way. I am not using tags, but there is too much tag-related cruft in my database (form the early days of automatic import) to use tags (at least without removing the old ones). Also, I am still hoping to use tags one day for other purposes. If tags are indeed the best solution, I would be thankful for pointers at how to remove them all at once.

What are your ways of organizing ownership, or what are your ideas about an ideal system?

Thank you in advance for your suggestions.
  • why not use colored tags - they always appear at the top of the tag list and you can assign them with keyboard shortcuts, so even if you do have a lot of tag clutter that wouldn't really bother you:

    Depending on how automatic tags were added, you can choose to _not_ display them by clicking on the little color-palette icon next to the search field for the tag selector at the bottom left.
  • Wow, thanks, adamsmith! This really is the solution. I remember reading about colored tags, but it didn't seem that useful to me at the time (given my tag mess), so I didn't look into it again. This is perfect. :)
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