Difference between Tags and Categories

(Charles de Dreuille) #1

Hi everyone,

Tags is indeed a great step forward to help the organisation of your spending but my initial feeling was that the experience of creating tags is quite fastidious and not really pleasant compared to categories. Tags are hidden in the note section and doesn’t have any validate action to save it.

Why not transforming categories into tags? You have a pre-selected selection of categories but you can add custom categories. Why not also have multiple categories per spending.

As an example I still don’t know where to put all my internet subscriptions like Spotify, Netflix, … It would be amazing if I could just create a new category called subscriptions instead of going into nots and add a tag on top of a non ideal category.

Perhaps there is future developments in the app that I’m missing but for now, tags doesn’t make sense to me.

(Kenneth C Lawrence) #2

It looks like Tags will be more prevalent in the Spending update at the end of the month (and beyond), but it is a sneak peak at the moment. As well as talks about changing some of the categories.

For now we only have this hidden #tags to work with, but will be integrated in search menus and a heading in the Spending tab by the looks of it :slight_smile: Hopefully it’ll save and remember tags for quick picks then too :slight_smile:

At the moment a Category is just that, and a Tag is a Sub-category, so I’d probably say your subscriptions best under Bills or Entertainment, with maybe tag InternetSubscription ?

(Charles de Dreuille) #3

That’s what I’m doing, but the UX seems a bit odd. It really looks like an over kill to have to categorise + Tag your spendings. I love the auto-categorise feature. It’s for me a big thing to help me understand how I spend in a simple manner. Tags is creating a level of complexity that doesn’t seem mandatory.

As I said I would love to be able to add more categories that will be automatically added based of what I do. If I want to categories Spotify and Netflix as a subscription category, the system will auto assign it the next time.

(Nick) #4

I agree, I find the tag feature useful, a more personal way to see where your money goes. One thing that would be great, and maybe it is coming as part of the spending review, is to see how much you have spent in a particular period. Say for example you have tagged lots of transactions #lunch within the eating out category. Clicking on a tag or searching it should display total spending in a period, much like the overall categories do.


You can get that in the search (if you’re on iOS) but just not on the spending/targets screen

(Charles de Dreuille) #6

“much like the overall categories do.” - That’s the thing. To me the two serves the same purpose. It would be just great to have only extensible categories and being able to had multiple categories on a transaction.

(Alex Sherwood) #7

Categories & Tags are solving two different problems; Categories are high level groups that mean roughly the same thing to most users (& to Monzo), whereas Tags enable users to add custom groups.

Since Categories are automatically assigned, you should find that you only need to add Tags to select transactions that fall within a sub-group. I do this with coffee, takeaways, excercise & recurring payments aka subscriptions. The latter will soon be grouped automatically anyway, when the Breakdown launches.

It sounds like if Monzo improved the UX for Tags (I assume they will, if they’re used), that would solve your problem or am I missing something?

(Charles de Dreuille) #8

Thanks for the reply Alex. I kind of disagree with that. They both serve the same purpose which is organising your spendings in groups to visualise how you spend your money in an easy way. You can call them groups, categories, tags…

I truly believe you can achieve a more holistic approach by creating a more clever category system that has a set of predefined categories and the possibility to create new ones to enable the experience to be more personal.

Tags are hidden in notes, no validation button and they are not that clever.

Monzo is known to create a simple bank deleting the complexity of traditional banks. I still believe tags is a cool thing but not clever and categories are super simple and powerful but too restrictive.

I’m a designer so this is me being picky.

(Alex Sherwood) #9

Right but you’re not considering Monzo’s use case for the standard categories which will enable them to give us insights & make better lending decisions.

I don’t think that that would work because users would create categories that overlap with the existing categories. The split between Categories & Tags enables users to create whichever Tags they want, without impacting the use cases for Categories.

Yes, we agree that the Tags UX needs to be better.