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Manual reordering of tags and notes


bobc

Idea

I would like the ability to manually reorder sub tags within a parent tag. Also, the ability to manually reorder notes within a tag (that is, in a note list that is filtered by a tag). 

Here is why I think these are good ideas:

In an information storage & retrieval system, there are two general themes, or approaches, to storing and retrieving data.

  1. Search based. The data itself can be unstructured, just a pile of notes, pages, documents, whatever. The users get the information they want by constructing search filters.
  2. Structured. The data is pre-organized by the user (or someone else) into sections, folders, etc, so that information is grouped and ordered in a meaningful way that adds to the usefulness of the information. In a paper world, think of pages of a book being grouped into chapters, and the pages ordered within each chapter.

Which of these approaches is better? They are both good -- a good information retrieval system ideally would support both. Sometimes one approach meets the user's needs, sometimes the other. Note that the two approaches ar not mutually exclusive. The data can be structured, but still support flexible searches.

People often say that Evernote is focused on the search-based approach. But really, with the hierarchical tag structure already in place, it also goes a long way toward the structure based approach, and extending it as I'm describing would be a great enhancement. It might be a lot for a casual user, but for a lot of more advanced users, it might be enough to push them to upgrade to premium. And I don't think it would be all that complex to implement, as I describe next...

Here's how I think you could implement this in Evernote:

For sub-tags under a parent tag: Somewhere in the Evernote database, there must be a table linking each sub-tag to its parent. You just need to add a property (column?) to this table with a Sequence Number. So that if a parent tag has 10 sub-tags, the sub-tags would be numbered 1 to 10. When the user drags and drops a tag to a new position within the parent tag, it's Sequence Number would be updated to that position, and all other sub-tags within the parent would be incremented.

You already have the ability to drag and drop tags into different parent tags, so as for the UI, this would just leverage off of that. In fact, I see that when you drag a tag, there is already a horizontal insertion line as you move the tag -- it just doesn't do anything currently if you drop between tags (as opposed to onto a tag.)

For notes filtered by a tag it could work in a similar way. But I would start with the tag-sub-tag structure, that would address a major part of the issue.

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