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Shared notebooks and tags

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16 replies to this topic

#1 smaangit

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 10:18 PM

I created a notebook to be shared with a large group of people. Unfortunately, after setting up my tagging system just perfectly, I found out that tags can't be nested on shared notebooks.

Because of the project setup, it requires the use of tags and it requires a lot of them. Without nested tags, it's all but unusable.

Why is this? Is there anything I can do to make this work? Or at least some sort of alternative to Evernote that will work for this?

#2 gazumped

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:56 AM

Not helpful I know, but always do a small scale pilot before committing to a large-scale launch - it tends to avoid embarrassment of this sort..

Not sure whether the Forum can be of constructive help here, but can you explain why nested tags are so important? We may be able to suggest some alternative approaches or (shock) another application that could help..

Off the top of my head (which is getting quite worn these days) you might be able to set up your 'nested tag' layout as a series of links on a home page, then let your shared users click through to those pages to which the tags are linked.

E.G. on page 1..
  • Tag 1 links to:
    • nested tag (page 1.1)
    • nested tag (page 1.2)
  • Tag 2 links to:
    • etc
  • Tag 3

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#3 Candid

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 12:27 PM

You can also create "nesting" by using tags that include nesting as part of their naming structure. This has at least one advantage which is that you can have two tags with the same last word but in different categories (see below for the two pizza tags).

For instance if I had a food shared notebook I could have tags like the following:

recipe-chicken
recipe-pizza
recipe-vegetable
equipment-pot
equipment-knives
restaurant-delis
restaurant-pizza
Candice

#4 thesab

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:11 PM

I have mentioned this in the forums and to the support people many times. It seems to not be a priority for Evernote to fix this. It's a shame since nested tags are the only way to visually structure a shared notebook. I'm hoping that this will be fixed soon though. I'm glad other users see the need for this too. Maybe this can help to push it up on the developers' list of features.

#5 JMichael

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:16 PM

It seems that nested or hierarchical Tags are more of a tease than anything else.
  • The hierarchy is shown only in the Left Panel and only in the desktop clients (EN Mac, EN Win)
  • Not supported at all on the mobile clients
  • Not supported on Shared NB
  • Have no effect on Note organization


#6 jefito

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:15 PM

The tree structure for tags is for convenience or organizing tags, not notebooks, and has been since they were introduced, and has never been advertised as anything different. Only a tease if you read into them more than they actually are.

The tree structure is slowly making its way onto the mobile clients. It's already available on the Android client, in the left panel.
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#7 EdH

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 04:35 PM

Can someone elaborate on what is mean by you cannot next tags in a shared notebook. I am testing out some things for a few notebooks to share and I've found as long as the tags are USED in a shared notebook, whether or not they are nested in my tag hierarchy, the collaborator can use that tag on my notes. (I am a premium user and have given them editing capabilites)

#8 Jay-Squared

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 06:30 PM

I fully realise the limits of nested tags yet still would welcome it very much if the tag hierarchy would sync in shared notebooks. My usage scenario is a shared notebooks with court cases which I put in a shared notebook so we can comment and annotate them in a group of 10 people. The cases are tagged according to the subject matter they deal with (if you need an example what kind of tags these would be, you can take a look at http://www.canlii.or...nca/rss_new.xml). However, based on the taxonomy of the law, these tags are necessarily in a hierarchical order, eg:
  • Civil Law
    • Law of Civil Procedure
    • Trial Rules
    • Execution
  • Law of Obligations
    • General Law of Obligations
    • Set-Off
    • Assignment
  • Specific Sources of Obligations
    • Sales Contracts
    • Rental Contracts
[*]Criminal Law
[*]Public Law
  • Human and Civil Rights
  • Right to Property
[/list]It would be hugely beneficial if that hierarchy would be visible to everybody, because it immensely helps to navigate to the tag you want and helps lessa active members of the shared notebook group to navigate to the final tag - and thus the cases - they were looking for even when they wouldn't know the precise name of the tag just because the "map of the law" (a potentially Birksian expression) is immediately apparent to them once they are confronted with the hierarchy.

Obviously, the actual hierarchy is way more complex than what I have just described. If you take a look at the table of contents of the Civil Code of Québec (http://ccq.lexum.org...home.do?lang=en) and its division in books, chapters, titles, divisions, sections and articles, it gives a more accurate impression of the complexity of the hierarchy of tags in the Civil Law section alone.

(As an addendum, it should be noted that picking a tag in one branch does not exclude the possibility that a case be tagged with tags from other branches. A case might very well have to be tagged with the tags "Civil Law", "Law of Obligations", "General Law of Obligations", "Set-Off", "Law of Civil Procedure", "Execution", "Public Law", "Human and Civil Rights", "Right to Property".)

#9 gazumped

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 02:00 PM

@Jay-Squared - your example seems perfectly suited to a combination of tags and note-links which would provide a better and faster means of allowing your users to find the law they need, and would work in currently shared notebooks.
  • Create a hierarchy of index pages much as I described in an earlier post, and somewhat like creating a website for your material, with (perhaps) a separate note page each for Civil, Criminal and Public Law.
  • Add links to further note pages under each of those headings until you get down to 'article' level, which final link will go to the actual note page with that content.
  • If your pages are more than one screen long, add more pages.
  • Tag your content with the full string of tags for that branch of the 'map'.
Then, your visitors will be able to navigate from the 'home' index page through the "map of the law" to their target case(s); search on a tag or tag(s) if they're more legally proficient users, or carry out a general search if they have Evernote smarts too.

I'm not saying the tag system shouldn't be upgraded - it's been pretty much the same (apart from nesting) for practically ever, and colours, fonts and some degree of consistency across clients and shares would be welcome; but IMHO tags are there to assist with searches, not take the place of an index for the stored material. They should assist the 'owner' of the data, without starting out on a slippery path of indexing and referencing according to the many -and probably conflcting- Codes of different professions in however many languages EN currently services.

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#10 Jay-Squared

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 02:11 PM

@gazumped I don't quite see how your idea accounts for the fact that notes will be tagged with tags from a variety of different branches. Under your system, I would need to create a multitude of links to the same note at each end of the branch that corresponds to the tag. Also, it takes away from the convenience of the tagging system if I have to update 20 pages with links to a note just because a note will be tagged with 20 different tags from several diverging branches.

#11 gazumped

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 02:45 PM

Sorry if I misunderstood, but I imagined that you'd see a long list of links set out in a hierarchy like

Branch
<sub branch>
<sub branch>
<sub branch>

-and sub branch pages would have further sub-sub pages as necessary, but all these would stay pretty much the same. At it's lowest level -1 you'd have a case page that lists the individual articles, and it's only here that you'd have to add new pages as they arise.

If you're careful with the naming conventions for your tags, the fact that each article has two or more sets of branch tags should be a help to the person reading that page where it's relevant.

I don't manage your data however, so all of this was only a suggestion.. sorry if it didn't help.

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#12 Jay-Squared

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 03:20 PM

@gazumped Thank you for your suggestion. I hope my reply didn't sound ungrateful or mean. However, I do think that the non-syncing of tag nesting is a design flaw and an obstacle I can't quite overcome.

Some tags are just necessarily hierarchical (I can easily see the same in a notebook that tags articles on history, for instance, or probably any academic discipline) which seems to have been recognised by the Evernote team, which is why they introduced nesting in the first place. Furthermore, a certain class of notes will necessarily relate to more than one branch of the necessarily hierarchical tag system (in law, cases will almost always relate to more than one branch of the law because life is just to complex to neatly fit into an effort of a taxonomy). Lastly, any notebook that is truly collaborative will immensely benefit from a system that easily allows each notebook user to both have access to the tagging hierarchy (which your system would account for, although not quite as easy as I would wish for) and easily place notes into several branches of the tag hierarchy (which I think requires a syncing of the nesting).

Thus my hope is that the syncing of the tag hierarchy will go up further on the agenda of the Evernote team.

Finally, it seems to me that the Evernote for Mac client does partially sync the tag nesting, but not completely.

#13 GrumpyMonkey

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 03:42 PM

Hi. I think it is fair to say that Evernote is not aimed at the user who wants to categorize a realm of knowledge for many people in a discipline (in this case, law), but rather targets individuals by working as an external brain: eschewing nested hierarchies and categories in favor of tools that associate one note with another (tags). Maybe Evernote will revisit the nested tags and notebooks. I don't know.

If you want to achieve what you have in mind using the tools currently available, I would recommend following some of the other methods that have been proposed for naming tags. I am partial to jbenson2's, but there are others (see http://www.princeton...ernote-tag.html). In your case, maybe:

civil
civil-procedure
civil-procedure-trial
civil-procedure-execution

A note about execution would get three tags (civil, civil-procedure, and civil-procedure-execution) while one about civil law in general would get just one (civil). I don't tag my notes too much, but when I do, I use this method.

#14 Jay-Squared

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 03:50 PM

@GrumpyMonkey (love the user name!) Your's is a fair suggestion as well. More for the benefit of any Evernote employee than for you though I would like to point out that such a system is not a a real alternative once you have a vast repertoire of notes and a wide variety of tags. I would assume to have around 150 tags currently and in a flat hierarchy, even when using a naming convention as proposed by GrumpyMonkey, such a variety of tags are not easily navigable unless they are grouped in a a hierarchy which is collapsable and expandable. Furthermore, while Evernote as it stands right now is a great product, the potential collaborative nature of notebooks was a selling point for me to go premium and I was a bit surprised to see that tag nesting does not in fact sync (I know I could have tested that in advance in read-only mode, but hey, I was stupid and hopeful).

#15 GrumpyMonkey

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 04:04 PM

@GrumpyMonkey (love the user name!) Your's is a fair suggestion as well. More for the benefit of any Evernote employee than for you though I would like to point out that such a system is not a a real alternative once you have a vast repertoire of notes and a wide variety of tags. I would assume to have around 150 tags currently and in a flat hierarchy, even when using a naming convention as proposed by GrumpyMonkey, such a variety of tags are not easily navigable unless they are grouped in a a hierarchy which is collapsable and expandable. Furthermore, while Evernote as it stands right now is a great product, the potential collaborative nature of notebooks was a selling point for me to go premium and I was a bit surprised to see that tag nesting does not in fact sync (I know I could have tested that in advance in read-only mode, but hey, I was stupid and hopeful).


I think tag nesting will eventually be supported across all of the platforms, and in the shared notebooks, but it is not available everywhere yet, and I don't know when Evernote will implement it. You didn't do anything stupid, and if you want a refund, I am sure Evernote will refund you the five dollars. I think there are other benefits to being premium, though :)

Evernote has grown to the point where it has moved well beyond personal use (which can flourish without much categorization, because you get to augment your external brain with your meat brain) and they will have to start developing more tools for professional collaboration. These kinds of things take time. It is good that you have raised the issue for developers and provided details about your use case. This will at least give them the data they need to make informed decisions.

#16 Jay-Squared

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 04:09 PM

@GrumpyMonkey Oh no, I myself will most likely stay premium, I just wanted to point out to the EN team that they have an even stronger selling point for others to make the investment if tag nesting would sync properly.

#17 GrumpyMonkey

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 04:11 PM

@GrumpyMonkey Oh now, I myself will most likely stay premium, I just wanted to point out to the EN team that they have an even stronger selling point for others to make the investment if tag nesting would sync properly.


I agree :)

The more options and features the better, and of course, we all want to see parity across the clients. I think we'll get there eventually, and hopefully, your comments will help move the process along.





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