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How to sort the text within a note

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#1 Howard Hill

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 08:54 AM

Evernote doesn't support sorting of the text within a note (alphabetically) and I think this would be a great feature to have.

I have several lists of this and that, and after a while it becomes hard for me to find what I want. I prefer my lists to be alphabetically ordered.

I have seen several requests for this feature, but invariably this feature is misunderstood with the sorting of notebooks or notes. It is neither of these things; these features are already present in Evernote.

I did raise this with Evernote Support, but they just acknowledged my request and then closed the ticket couple of weeks later. Not sure what the status of my request is, or how to find out.

Does anybody know whether this feature is likely to be added, or otherwise, and if not, are there any good workarounds I could try (other than copying and pasting to and from a text editor, which is very time consuming).

Thanks
Howard

#2 Metrodon

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 09:15 AM

I guess that they acknowledged your request so they are aware of it.

Given the relatively small number of users that I think would find this useful, I'm guessing that it is pretty unlikely that it will be implemented.

Evernote staff do read pretty much every post on here, although they don't reply to all so you can be sure that it has been seen. Dlu or gbarry may even thank you for the suggestion....

#3 gazumped

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 12:36 PM

Evernote don't do disclosure (of the nature upcoming changes) and <inside joke alert> they don't do due dates either <kerching> but they do have lots of stuff in the pipeline, so "wait and see" is the only option.

IMHO they are a wonderfully interactive software house (yes, I have a TT in progress) but they have said frequently that they won't reinvent any wheels - like word processors with sorting, formatting etc. If you want that functionality, it's already available externally. And if you get your sorting, what about outlining - and picture resizing - and word counts.. There's lots of none-external-brainiac-style things that users would like, and the one thing we all agree on is that everyone else is wrong about the most important feature to add next.

Having said all of which: while its a pain to export text, sort it and re-import it, why not embed the saved file of your word-processor-of-choice in your note. Double-click the file to open it in the application and re-save to store your updated (and sorted) text. If you worry that the content of the file won't be indexed, just print off an occasional PDF draft and save that in the note too - or cut and paste the content as text, or just include some keywords, or tags so you can find it again easily.

You're gonna have to use a work-around for a while, even if Evernote decided to introduce sorting in the next public update; it's just a question of finding the least hasslefull one for the moment.

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#4 BurgersNFries

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 12:42 PM

I would also add that EN's focus is not to be a list manager. So it's doubtful this feature would be very high on their list, if on the list at all. Another workaround would be to make each item a separate note. You can then sort by title, alphabetically.
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#5 Metrodon

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 02:03 PM

Evernote don't do disclosure (of the nature upcoming changes) and <inside joke alert> they don't do due dates either <kerching> but they do have lots of stuff in the pipeline, so "wait and see" is the only option.



It's the inside joke that keeps on giving :)

#6 Howard Hill

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 03:29 PM

Thanks for the replies.

I didn't appreciate that the presentation of a list in alphabetical order would be considered an unusual feature (list management?).

I think of it as a fairly basic way to make single lines of text easy to read.

Anyway, thanks for all the replies and helpful ideas; I shall take your advice and wait and see.

Howard

#7 BurgersNFries

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 03:31 PM

I didn't appreciate that the presentation of a list in alphabetical order would be considered an unusual feature (list management?).


Sorry you don't appreciate it. But it's a fact, that Evernote has stated they are not striving to be a list manager. (shrug)
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#8 Howard Hill

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 03:37 PM

PS Just thought (ouch) that sorting lines of text satisfies the same need that is met when sorting a list of notebooks or a list of notes.

It simply helps one to find stuff more easily than if it is presented in a random list.

I guess it depends really on whether having that type of information is a fairly common use for Evernote. It is for me :))

#9 Howard Hill

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 03:40 PM

Shrug?

Evernote can sort notebooks.
Evernote can sort notes.
Why not sort the contents of notes?
Just a hierarchy.
Purposes are identical - to find stuff by looking.

#10 JMichael

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 12:47 AM

I would find sorting of text useful.

Sorting is not particularly a "word processing" function. In fact, in the early days of WP, there was no sort feature.

It is more of a text or list function. Evernote does provide for list support. I submit it is a fairly common need to sort a list after having spent some time writing/development.
Sorting text is a well known (ancient) technology, and I can't image that it would be a big burden on development.

IAC, nobody asked for a full-blown word processor.

#11 Dz Nutz

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 10:23 PM

Does anyone know if this has been addressed since February 2012?
I recently ran into the same issue when switching from Color Note for Android to Ever Note (Android and Windows)
I too have several notes imported from Color Note that I was able to sort text within the list A-Z, Z-A, numerically, or sort by status, remove completed, ect

I would hate to think with a software as impressive as Ever Note that I would need to make a list in a competitive software and then export it to Ever Note just to sort the data...

D

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#12 Metrodon

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 10:39 PM

This isnt supported

#13 Happy

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:19 AM

I agree, sorting is needed at the content level.

Three different lists as well as tables are supported, but basic products often omit sorting, to me an obvious need. Note and notebook sorting is supported, so sort algorithms exist in the product. It doesn't seem too big a jump to apply them to content.

It's easier for me to stick with a product that sorts and manually solve the "notebook" problem with the file system, than to jump to Evernote and manually solve the sequence problem. BTW, there is no export to excel or other application; the best you can do is copy/paste. None of the other suggestions are feasible for my list needs.

I plan to use a spreadsheet to create and manage my list, then copy/paste into a note. It works pretty well, is easy and I can keep generations.

So I can give EN pretty good marks for my need.

#14 BurgersNFries

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:24 AM

I agree, sorting is needed at the content level.

Three different lists as well as tables are supported, but basic products often omit sorting, to me an obvious need. Note and notebook sorting is supported, so sort algorithms exist in the product. It doesn't seem too big a jump to apply them to content.

It's easier for me to stick with a product that sorts and manually solve the "notebook" problem with the file system, than to jump to Evernote and manually solve the sequence problem. BTW, there is no export to excel or other application; the best you can do is copy/paste. None of the other suggestions are feasible for my list needs.

As is, it is typical of low-end text processors...sadly.


Evernote does not strive to be a "text" processor.

And you can export to HTML, which is really the best way for notes that may contain images, files, etc.
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#15 Happy

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:05 PM

Wow, you were quick. Just a few minutes later, I reposted an edited version, that better expresses my situation. On your points: check, check. :)


I agree, sorting is needed at the content level.

Three different lists as well as tables are supported, but basic products often omit sorting, to me an obvious need. Note and notebook sorting is supported, so sort algorithms exist in the product. It doesn't seem too big a jump to apply them to content.

It's easier for me to stick with a product that sorts and manually solve the "notebook" problem with the file system, than to jump to Evernote and manually solve the sequence problem. BTW, there is no export to excel or other application; the best you can do is copy/paste. None of the other suggestions are feasible for my list needs.

As is, it is typical of low-end text processors...sadly.


Evernote does not strive to be a "text" processor.

And you can export to HTML, which is really the best way for notes that may contain images, files, etc.


Wow, you were quick. Just a minute or two later I posted an edit, that better expresses my situation. On your points: check, check.

#16 wellshaman

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:55 AM

Hi,
Just wanted to add and mine point to the obvious benefits of basic sorting for many users if they use lists of any kind in an EN's note.
I created GTD, or todo list for today, a week, a month etc.

Then, with time some priorities would change.
That's life, obvious, we need to adapt to progress (regress :) ). Plans never go as we usually hope. No perfection exists in this world.
OK.
I go to my list of whatever I created, highlight a line or position of the interest and just move it up or down the list.
New list is created in the split of the second. Perfect! Done...

But not with EverNote, which will make you to cut/copy/paste, delete gaps/tabs spaces etc...
Wasting time, in one word.
Then I use external soft for higher productivity and managing todo lists, priorities, tasks etc.

It's just a pity that EN has lots of sorting features for sorting notes by at least 18 criteria + tags sorting. Some of them by majority of the people are never going to be used. And still, ability to sort quickly and efficiently any of your lists manually, giving a visual prioritization would be a very good feature.
Thanks for reading till the end :).
And then to consider EN program as a master of note keeping, searching and organizing.

PS. sorry for the wrong order of some text - the previous line should be one position higher and the one before last - the last.
My mistake, don't want really to cut/paste or retype again. Tired.

#17 NightStalker

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:50 AM

Given the relatively small number of users that I think would find this useful, I'm guessing that it is pretty unlikely that it will be implemented.


The problem with that, Metrodon, is that it is only your opinion. I'd suggest that there are actually quite lot of people who would find intra-note sorting VERY useful, including all those GTD types (which I'm not), and all those who use EN to store various lists (which I do) from shopping lists to lists of owned DVDs etc. Heck, Evernote is a free-form database, so a list is just one type of note content. And sorting those lists would be a fairly basic need, I'd think.

But, that is only my opinion, just as yours is only yours. I have to agree though that it IS odd that we can sort notes and notebooks, but not intranotes, particularly lists. Could be lists of anything from shopping to learning lists. The advantage of doing ALL of that in Evernote, of course, is that the data is synced across platforms. I can pull up EN on my iPhone while in the supermarket and grab the shopping list. I can search the list of DVDs if I see one that I'm not sure if we have it or not. Insurance lists of house contents. Lists of camera lenses, jewellery, books, etc etc. LOTS of instances where being able to sort those lists would be very handy.

Sorting has been around since the beginning of computing. I remember programming bubble sorts way back in the assembly-language days of 8-bit Z80 programming. I'm sure there are so many sort routines available now, virtually off the shelf, that incorporating one into a note that is plain text and separated by new lines (i.e lists) should be a piece of cake.

But I'm not holding my breath - Evernote still haven't got the ability to do reverse sort order for notes yet, on either the title or the date created or date modified.

Wonder just WHY they have so much of a problem with sorts?

#18 GrumpyMonkey

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:13 AM

This seems like a valuable feature, though I don't know how one would easily achieve this within XHTML, which is what Evernote uses to create each note. Generally speaking, the desire for the "feature" is totally understandable, and I can see why someone would expect a list (because that is what we see on the surface) to be sortable, but if XHTML is underneath and it is (to my inexpert eyes) difficult or impossible to achieve without the introduction of javascript or some other entirely new element, then the seemingly simple issue becomes quite complex. All of this (if I am correct) is therefore one of the tradeoffs for using XHTML. Every design decision requires tradeoffs, and this might just be one of them.

In answer to the OP, I would guess it will never come. But, it could come tomorrow. No one outside of Evernote really knows. It is just my guess. How likely is it that I am correct in my prognostication? Personally, like NightStalker, I want to see Evernote achieve parity with their sorts across all clients. On iOS we have a paltry 3 (up from a low of 2). On Windows we have an amazing 17, and reverse sorts. Other clients fall somewhere in-between these two extremes. In other words, the sorts exist, but are not everywhere. If you think about that, then a sort that doesn't yet exist (the sortable content of notes) seems like something that may take quite a while, if it ever comes.

#19 Metrodon

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:06 PM


Given the relatively small number of users that I think would find this useful, I'm guessing that it is pretty unlikely that it will be implemented.


The problem with that, Metrodon, is that it is only your opinion. I'd suggest that there are actually quite lot of people who would find intra-note sorting VERY useful, including all those GTD types (which I'm not), and all those who use EN to store various lists (which I do) from shopping lists to lists of owned DVDs etc. Heck, Evernote is a free-form database, so a list is just one type of note content. And sorting those lists would be a fairly basic need, I'd think.

But, that is only my opinion, just as yours is only yours. I have to agree though that it IS odd that we can sort notes and notebooks, but not intranotes, particularly lists. Could be lists of anything from shopping to learning lists. The advantage of doing ALL of that in Evernote, of course, is that the data is synced across platforms. I can pull up EN on my iPhone while in the supermarket and grab the shopping list. I can search the list of DVDs if I see one that I'm not sure if we have it or not. Insurance lists of house contents. Lists of camera lenses, jewellery, books, etc etc. LOTS of instances where being able to sort those lists would be very handy.

Sorting has been around since the beginning of computing. I remember programming bubble sorts way back in the assembly-language days of 8-bit Z80 programming. I'm sure there are so many sort routines available now, virtually off the shelf, that incorporating one into a note that is plain text and separated by new lines (i.e lists) should be a piece of cake.

But I'm not holding my breath - Evernote still haven't got the ability to do reverse sort order for notes yet, on either the title or the date created or date modified.

Wonder just WHY they have so much of a problem with sorts?


Evernote's direction is really very clear. They are attempting to create a very general tool based around a cross platform syncing service.

The apps that Evernote create themselves rarely meet a use case such as the one asked for in this thread. This isn't some disrespectful of its users nasty master plan, it's just the reality of building a solution that 45m+ people use in a myriad of different ways. Building complex functionality that will only be used by a small subset of users (and that then must be maintained) just doesn't make technical or business sense.



#20 jefito

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:00 PM

But I'm not holding my breath - Evernote still haven't got the ability to do reverse sort order for notes yet, on either the title or the date created or date modified.

Actually, they do. Just not on all clients.
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