Creating a Conceptual Search

How might a user want to search their old notes? * With keywords, or similar sounding words (classic search - trained this way) * Through similar conceptual meaning - Find words that mean the same thing (thesaurus) - Possibly similar word structures * Through traits (e.g. fire engine may come up for "red" and "loud" * Emotional similarity - not sure how to input this one.
How could we analyze users notes to find conceptually similar ones? * Could search their structure for similar words, phrases, or "concepts" * Could create an index of things that *might* be related by finding words that are frequently used in context with other phrases - maybe index those phrases? Concepts?