But to answer your questions (I hope), when I started with Evernote, I'd tag emails from my manager. Later, I realized this was redundant b/c he has a fairly unique name. I do still put work emails in a separate notebook. But I just go to that notebook & search on his last name & I get all emails from him. (As well as one that are cc'd to him.)
That makes sense to me, and it's something I should probably internalize. For example, I have a number of tags for people I know. Most of them, of course, have names (at least full names) that are not going to end up in unrelated notes, so that's probably a waste. That said, I guess I stick with it for two reasons:
- Jbenson's Obama example: searching Obama will turn up a lot more than just clips about the president. Similarly, if I want to search for a friend named Tom Johnson, searching "Tom" won't give me what I want (because of false positives), and searching "Tom Johnson" may cut out a note I made in which I didn't use his last name. So I keep tags to be fool-proof—though I guess I could just make sure to be more consistent about keywords in note bodies.
- Since I use lots of tags to pull together topics I'm interested in, I've gotten used to scrolling through my tag list to look back into topics I haven't thought about recently but which I have tagged notes about. I don't have "Eagle" or "Animals," but I do have "Agriculture," "Cities," "Demographics," "Energy," "Immigration," "Photography," "Transportation," and a few hundred more of these general topic tags. Since I'm in the habit of using those to keep things organized, I keep it going even when I don't need to, thanks to unique keywords (such as with people's names).
Another example of overtagging is the first post in this thread. Using folders on a hard drive, I'd have a "cars" folder. But using tags, I have a "cars" parent tag but (normally) only use the specific car (IE Car A) tag. And the Cox bill example I included above...no need to tag it as "cox" or "cable" or "internet", "telephone", etc. Just the notebook "Bills" and the accurate title suffice. Since I include the date of the bill in the title, no year tag is needed.
Hope this makes sense...
Yep, that makes total sense and I, like maybe a lot of Evernoters, have done less of that with time. Again, thanks to all of you for your help and clarifications.
Unrelated note: Jbenson, are you trying to plan your next vacation so you "happen to run into" the first lady?