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Using Word docs attached in Notes for better control


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I find the text editing in Evernote to be so inefficient and archaic that I'm tempted to just create a unique Word doc for each Note where I want any significant amount of text.

I'm not doing anything fancy, Just indenting, occasional bolding/italicizing, pasting in URLs, and adding horizontal lines. Yet even that gets unwieldy in Evernote. Actually, my main concern is the lag times when creating a title for a new note and then wanting to start typing in the body, and when actually typing in the body. (Having Evernote today flag "Evernote" as a mis-spelled word in the body of a text may have put me over the top here, but those lags have always really bothered me. Plus, I just posted a question in a different thread here asking why it keeps popping into the title field when I'm typing in the note itself. It's just not nearly as efficient and crisp as typing and formatting in a Word document.)

So, well, I guess my questions are of a very general nature, along the lines of:

- Am I the only one who finds this to be a frustrating issue?

- Is there anything I'm missing, or any hope of an overhaul in an upcoming revision?

- Any pros and cons beyond the obvious to using this approach of attaching Word docs and entering/editing my text in there for each note that will have any meaningful amount of text in it?

Thanks!

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13 minutes ago, AllAndNothing said:

Am I the only one who finds this to be a frustrating issue?

- Is there anything I'm missing, or any hope of an overhaul in an upcoming revision?

- Any pros and cons beyond the obvious to using this approach of attaching Word docs and entering/editing my text in there for each note that will have any meaningful amount of text in it?

My workflow is to use dedicated apps for serious work.
I don't find it frustrating just a fact
- For a short note, I use the Evernote editor
- When needed, I switch to dedicated apps
   Pages/Word for Word Processing
   Numbers/Excel for Spreadsheet
   I like to use Notablility on my iPad in meetings

As to cons; the search feature for office docs is a paid feature

 

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2 minutes ago, DTLow said:

My workflow is to use dedicated apps for serious work.
I don't find it frustrating just a fact
- For a short note, I use the Evernote editor
- When needed, I switch to a dedicated app
   Pages/Word for Word Processing
   Numbers/Excel for Spreadsheet
   I like to use Notablility on my iPad in meetings

As to cons; the search feature for office docs is a paid feature

 

I just found another reason to avoid putting much text into an Evernote note: simple formatting like indents with Ctrl-M are lost when copying and pasting into a Word doc!

I use Word in the Office suite, and Evernote searches do indeed find text within those attached Word documents.

So, when you say you use a dedicated app, do you then attach those docs into the Evernote Note for organizing and syncing?

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, AllAndNothing said:

So, when you say you use a dedicated app, do you then attach those docs into the Evernote Note for organizing and syncing?

For sure - Evernote is my digital filing cabinet
For work in progress, I leave the attachments in their native format
For static data, I convert to pdf format

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21 minutes ago, DTLow said:

For sure - Evernote is my digital filing cabinet
For work in progress, I leave the attachments in their native format
For static data, I convert to pdf format

Right. Got it. (And PDFs are even editable with the right software, and saving them syncs just fine.)

So, with searching Office docs being a paid feature, I assume you mean Office 360, correct?

And once you're paid, does it find text within the attached Word (Office) docs?

 

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7 hours ago, AllAndNothing said:

So, with searching Office docs being a paid feature, I assume you mean Office 360, correct?

And once you're paid, does it find text within the attached Word (Office) docs?

From Evernote's documentation

Now, any attached document, presentation, and spreadsheet created using Microsoft Office and iWork will show up in your search results across almost every version of Evernote that you use.

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8 hours ago, AllAndNothing said:

- Am I the only one who finds this to be a frustrating issue?

- Is there anything I'm missing, or any hope of an overhaul in an upcoming revision?

- Any pros and cons beyond the obvious to using this approach of attaching Word docs and entering/editing my text in there for each note that will have any meaningful amount of text in it?

Definitely not the only one - many people have complained about Evernote's editor. Believe it or not, it's less quirky than it was a couple of years ago. Still has quite a ways to go. The only indenting I do is with bullet points, and that works well enough. I also have no issues with bolding or italicizing. The feature I'd most like to see added to the editor is collapsible outlines.

Regarding lag, how large is your EN database (number of notes and size of 'databases' folder)?

Attaching Word docs and editing those docs seems like extra work, and something I'd reserve for those notes that need formatting that I can't readily do in Evernote (like collapsible outlines). 

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3 hours ago, tavor said:

Definitely not the only one - many people have complained about Evernote's editor. Believe it or not, it's less quirky than it was a couple of years ago. Still has quite a ways to go. The only indenting I do is with bullet points, and that works well enough. I also have no issues with bolding or italicizing. The feature I'd most like to see added to the editor is collapsible outlines.

Regarding lag, how large is your EN database (number of notes and size of 'databases' folder)?

Attaching Word docs and editing those docs seems like extra work, and something I'd reserve for those notes that need formatting that I can't readily do in Evernote (like collapsible outlines). 

My exb file is half a gig. (I don't know how to find the number of notes).

I agree adding those Word docs is extra work, no question, and shouldn't be done unless the basics in EN are too limiting. Which they become pretty quickly.

And I, too, have no problem doing bold and italics in an EN note. Highlighting works fine, too.

But indenting for me is a basic that I use very often for a simplified outline structure, and it concerns me a lot that I can't copy-paste that elsewhere without losing the indents I crated in EN. It's not just lost when pasting into Word, it's also other apps -- I tested it with a Comment in Smartsheet and it's lost there as well. Not cool to be that incompatible.

(And you reminded me of something I almost forgot, which is the outlining feature in Word. Plus, in Word I can go to Web view for a full-screen layout similar to the EN window.)

 

 

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3 minutes ago, AllAndNothing said:

(I don't know how to find the number of notes).

Make sure that the search information panel is enabled (View / Search Information). Click on the Notebooks item in the left panel. You should see the number of notes in the search information panel.

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13 minutes ago, AllAndNothing said:

But indenting for me is a basic that I use very often for a simplified outline structure, and it concerns me a lot that I can't copy-paste that elsewhere without losing the indents I crated in EN. It's not just lost when pasting into Word, it's also other apps -- I tested it with a Comment in Smartsheet and it's lost there as well. Not cool to be that incompatible.

Copy/paste of formatted text can be a problem in many situations. When copying from Evernote, the copied fragment is put on the clipboard in several formats: ENML (Evernote's own), HTML, and some text formats (CF_UNICODETEXT, CF_LOCALE, CF_TEXT). The application that you paste into needs to recognize at least one of these; in Word's case, it's almost certainly HTML. In a clip from Evernote that contains mixed bullet points and indented text (done via Ctrl+M), for the indented text I see the following for the indented line:

<div style="margin-left:120px;"><span><i>SCE</i> = (Sum(CE) * <i>FR</i> * <i>RRF</i>) / Count(CE)</span></div>

Looks like the margin-left directive isn't being noticed / honored by Word. Not sure who's to blame for that (is Evernote doing the right thing? Is Word reading it correctly?), but in the copy/paste situation, both sides must be talking the same language to have things work correctly.

 

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23 minutes ago, jefito said:

Make sure that the search information panel is enabled (View / Search Information). Click on the Notebooks item in the left panel. You should see the number of notes in the search information panel.

I have 585 notes (and half-a-gif enx file). I assume none of that even remotely approaches the levels that could start to become unwieldy or explain the lags I experience. (Those lags have always been there. I'm sure it's just the nature of the beast, until a major upgrade is released.)

 

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5 minutes ago, jefito said:

Copy/paste of formatted text can be a problem in many situations. When copying from Evernote, the copied fragment is put on the clipboard in several formats: ENML (Evernote's own), HTML, and some text formats (CF_UNICODETEXT, CF_LOCALE, CF_TEXT). The application that you paste into needs to recognize at least one of these; in Word's case, it's almost certainly HTML. In a clip from Evernote that contains mixed bullet points and indented text (done via Ctrl+M), for the indented text I see the following for the indented line:


<div style="margin-left:120px;"><span><i>SCE</i> = (Sum(CE) * <i>FR</i> * <i>RRF</i>) / Count(CE)</span></div>

Looks like the margin-left directive isn't being noticed / honored by Word. Not sure who's to blame for that (is Evernote doing the right thing? Is Word reading it correctly?), but in the copy/paste situation, both sides must be talking the same language to have things work correctly.

 

I don't suppose that knowing all this provides a way to use some kind of "converter" to make it carry over. Probably can't be done, at least not in a practical way. Agreed?

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Biggest downside to using Word docs is you can't see them natively in the app, you would have to open them every time.  

Hate to say it, but you may have to adjust you expectations and how you use the editor relative to indenting.  The format stuff works okay for me.  But I don't have large text notes nor do I export to Word.  No Twinkie dust here, the editor has been in one forum thread or another for as long as I can remember.  Don't know when new and improved is supposed to arrive.  

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4 minutes ago, csihilling said:

Biggest downside to using Word docs is you can't see them natively in the app, you would have to open them every time.  

I know you are referring to EN Win, which is what the OP apparently uses.

But if you are a Mac user, then you're in luck.  EN Mac shows Apple and MS Office Documents inline, just like PDFs.
I have no idea why this feature has not been added to EN Win.

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2 minutes ago, JMichaelTX said:

I know you are referring to EN Win, which is what the OP apparently uses.

But if you are a Mac user, then you're in luck.  EN Mac shows Apple and MS Office Documents inline, just like PDFs.
I have no idea why this feature has not been added to EN Win.

Yes, I'm the OP and I'm on Windows. And it does show PDFs inline, but I have never found that to be useful, so I always have them show as icons, which is the same with Word and is fine for my purposes. Using Word in a local Office install, it opens almost instantly.

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10 minutes ago, csihilling said:

Biggest downside to using Word docs is you can't see them natively in the app, you would have to open them every time.  

Hate to say it, but you may have to adjust you expectations and how you use the editor relative to indenting.  The format stuff works okay for me.  But I don't have large text notes nor do I export to Word.  No Twinkie dust here, the editor has been in one forum thread or another for as long as I can remember.  Don't know when new and improved is supposed to arrive.  

I agree: do limited, more basic work in the Evernote note, and go to a Word doc for indent capabilities and such as desired.

That's where the rub is for me, though: once I decide an EN note should evolve to a Word doc, it would be nice to copy what's in there into the Word doc -- meaning, what, try to remember to never use indenting in an Evernote note? It's just awkward. Oh, well.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, AllAndNothing said:

And it does show PDFs inline, but I have never found that to be useful, so I always have them show as icons, which is the same with Word and is fine for my purposes.

Different strokes for different folks.  Personally, I find it very useful to display PDFs, Word, and Excel documents inline.

  • For complicated formats, displays very well
  • I use Excel for maintaining lists, which I often just want to view.
  • When you do a EN Search, it highlights the found words in the attachment.

The macOS has one other very cool feature which works system-wide, including Evernote.  It is called "Quick View", and for any file you have selected, just press SPACE to quickly get a great view of your document.  It even allows you to page through the document.  And it has a button to open in the default app.

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8 minutes ago, JMichaelTX said:

Different strokes for different folks.  Personally, I find it very useful to display PDFs, Word, and Excel documents inline.

  • For complicated formats, displays very well
  • I use Excel for maintaining lists, which I often just want to view.
  • When you do a EN Search, it highlights the found words in the attachment.

 

That actually does sound pretty interesting. I could have only one Word doc in the given note and that would essentially be the note. Unfortunately, though, given that I'm using Windows, I don't have that option anyway, so I'm limited to seeing the Word attachment as an icon. Same for Excel, of course. The only document type that can be viewed inline with the Windows version of EN is PDF (which I have thus far found to be more convenient for me as icons).

 

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6 hours ago, AllAndNothing said:

I agree: do limited, more basic work in the Evernote note, and go to a Word doc for indent capabilities and such as desired.

That's where the rub is for me, though: once I decide an EN note should evolve to a Word doc, it would be nice to copy what's in there into the Word doc -- meaning, what, try to remember to never use indenting in an Evernote note? It's just awkward. Oh, well.

 

 

Maybe use bullets for indenting.  Might be an easy format change if transported to Word.  Still a workaround.  

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