Jump to content
We apologize for the inconvenience, but chat support is currently unavailable. Please feel free to submit an email ticket or reach out at discussion.evernote.com. Thank you for understanding. ×
I'll pay for MultiLevel NB

Why Evernote refuses to implement Multi-Level Notebook ?

Recommended Posts

On 12/29/2019 at 5:18 AM, rob24hrs said:

what people want

There's a story about Henry Ford ignoring what his customers wanted; they wanted faster horses

>>and your point is?

That it's possible that just because people want something, it's not necessarily best

Also quoting Shaw  "“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself"
Of course he goes on to say "Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
8 minutes ago, DTLow said:

There's a story about Henry Ford ignoring what his customers advice; they wanted faster horses

and your point is?

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/17/2019 at 7:08 PM, Scott T. said:

Unfortunately, based on our current architecture and database design, it's NOT an easy change. It comes down to entity relationships (parent-child). Adding multiple levels of notebook nesting in the current architecture is just not doable. We've made certain consolations like Stacks or Spaces (for business customers), but these are basically giving you one additional level via a new entity type (vs. entities being able to relate to entities of the same type). 

We're currently actively rearchitecting a lot of the system. Changes in the system should allow for more flexibility in the future around entity relationships. I can't speak to any specific initiatives to allow for multiple levels of notebooks, but it should theoretically become easier in the future once we've completed our current work.

I would hope nested tree structure is at the top of the list for development in the near future.

I'm baffled why a company has a direct query to its users asking them what features they would like to see in their product, the users #1 request based on it being an active open continuous request since 2008 with the most replies and activity than any other request, and the company asking the users, ignores their most desired feature for 11 years??????

 

2019-12-29_11-09-17.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, DTLow said:

There's a story about Henry Ford ignoring what his customers advice; they wanted faster horses

>>and your point is?

That it's possible that just because people want something, it's not necessarily best

Also quoting Shaw  "“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself"
Of course he goes on to say "Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

Why in the world are you continuously trolling every thread asking for nested structure arguing against it as if it would negatively affect you? What motivation to you have to do this?

Share this post


Link to post
12 hours ago, mikefinleyco said:

Why in the world are you continuously trolling every thread asking for nested structure arguing against it as if it would negatively affect you? What motivation to you have to do this?

For users asking for "nested structure", my motivation is to point them to the organization hierarchy implemented by Evernote (Notebooks and Tags).  My preference is multiple levels for note organization

For users requesting additional notebook levels, my motivation is to point them to this Feature Request and the vote button so they can indicate their support

>>Why do you care if Evernote would implement nested structure? 

For users claiming Evernote has not implemented "nested structure", my motivation is to correct inaccurate information

>>No it's not, your motivation is ...

It seems you're only interested in your own opinion

>>Like any feature, it wouldn't harm you, why do you care? You would simply not use it and keep doing what you do

I'm a user of "nested structure" for note organization    
Notebooks - 2 levels     
and Tags - unlimited levels

Share this post


Link to post
Just now, DTLow said:

For users needing "nested structure", my motivation is to point them to the organization hierarchy implemented by Evernote

No it's not, your motivation is to troll every thread about nested structure and argue with everyone why it can't be done, or most bizzare is to argue WHY it shouldn't be done or why everyone should work around it. Totally bizarre. Why do you care if Evernote would implement nested structure? Like any feature, it wouldn't harm you, why do you care? You would simply not use it and keep doing what you do, so why do you care that others want it and take it upon yourself to troll every thread about the subject?

Share this post


Link to post

Personally I would refrain from blaming somebodies motivation to be trolling on a certain issue. 

It takes more than „trolling“ motivation to serve the forum users since years with good and sound advise, reaching nearly 18.000 posts yet.

But maybe the nearly 4.000 likes were earned from the Everlasting-Troll-Fanclub - whoever knows ???

An alternative would be to reflect on ones arguments and accept that other (maybe more experienced) users have other positions. We don’t have to agree here on everything, and a good exchange never ever did any harm to any of us, besides cutting oversized egos to shape.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post

Folks, maybe time to back up a bit from the finger pointing; it's irrelevant to the case for notebooks.

Fact: Evernote doesn't implement nested notebooks, for whatever reason. At least one Evernote employee has posted about level-of-effort to implement being a big factor; you may choose to believe it or not, but you should consider the publicly available Evernote API and implications on the search language, sharing and other UI (which must be implemented on five separate platforms, at least currently), not to mention the server and sync stuff, to really gauge the impact that that change would necessitate before making a judgment on their sincerity.

Fact: nested notebook support is undeniably a very popular feature request. Frustration at the situation is real, and sometimes expressed politely and sometimes not so much, but adding support for nested notebooks would make a lot of Evernote users really happy.

Fact: regardless of the lack of nested notebook support, Evernote is an extremely popular software application. How much more popular it would be with nested notebooks is anyone's guess.

My take: I accept the level-of-effort explanation, particularly in a time when they're publicly aiming at something else (see the videos in the Behind the Scenes series: https://discussion.evernote.com/forum/306-behind-the-scenes-series/). It's a familiar notion to me, as it's something that I often face in the software development work that I do (in my case, a 20+ year old architecture, though implemented solely on Windows rather than multiple platforms); re-architecting a large and aged and entrenched code base is not always (or even often) a trivial undertaking, no matter how much you want it to happen or what other new improvements it might unlock.

Beyond that, adding nested notebook support probably wouldn't influence my use of Evernote a whole lot -- I don't use a lot of notebooks to start with, so nesting the few that I have would be pretty useless for my needs; stacks suffice just fine (hack through they are). But I'll tell you what: if they were implemented, I'd make sure I knew how they worked because 1) I'm interested in the Evernote architecture and range of usage in general, and 2) so that I could help out other users who might be having difficulty with them, just as I'm sure all of the other regulars participating here would, regardless of how they feel about the feature, just as we do with other features that we don't use or use infrequently.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
10 hours ago, jefito said:

Folks, maybe time to back up a bit from the finger pointing

Ok maybe time for arm waving not finger pointing- my expectation would be basic options like merging notes that are available on some platforms be available on others- if complexity is an issue just make it work on web version then at least ALL users could use it.

Then start listening to paying customers -

It seems to be a case of EN THINK they know what you want as opposed to EN are LISTING to what you NEED.  I don't accept the argument re ageing software....if you cannot innovate and update then you will loose customers and then it is bye bye business. It is apparent many are looking for a viable Evernote alternative- when one appears ( and it will) the stakes will be raised and many will re consider their use of EN if EN team do not listen to current long term users.

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, rob24hrs said:

Ok maybe time for arm waving not finger pointing- my expectation would be basic options like merging notes that are available on some platforms be available on others- if complexity is an issue just make it work on web version then at least ALL users could use it.

Again, I think that at least part of the focus will be on feature parity among the various Evernote applications, including the web. For example, see the Behind the Scenes video on feature parity in the web version: https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/120633-behind-the-scenes-achieving-feature-parity-in-evernote-web/. Note that I have no inside information; I'm just going by what's been posted publicly, plus anything I pick up from various betas. Nothing yet on note merging that I've seen for the web or mobile clients, though. I definitely agree that having the web client having feature parity with the desktop clients makes a lot of sense. 

BTW, the rest of the Behind the Scenes videos are worth the time to watch as well.

The crux of it current situation, as best I can tell, is that Evernote has focused on (and achieved, I think) financial stability and sustainability as a company, and is currently making sure that its technologies are something that they can more easily build on for the future.

7 hours ago, rob24hrs said:

Then start listening to paying customers -

They listen to all customers, paying and non-paying. They don't always feed back.They don't always do what everyone asks.

7 hours ago, rob24hrs said:

It seems to be a case of EN THINK they know what you want as opposed to EN are LISTING to what you NEED.  I don't accept the argument re ageing software....if you cannot innovate and update then you will loose customers and then it is bye bye business. It is apparent many are looking for a viable Evernote alternative- when one appears ( and it will) the stakes will be raised and many will re consider their use of EN if EN team do not listen to current long term users.

Evernote has a large and diverse user base. Not everything that you think you need is something that I'd ever use, and probably vice-versa. For example, I was shocked to find that only 1% of Evernoters use reminders (this came from the Evernote CEO); to me, reminders are critical to my Evernote usage. This is an age-old software development problem: with limited developer resources, what should be put in and what should be left out? 

A note on aging software: sometimes it takes a lateral step to get into position to move forward again. Lateral steps cost developer resources (time, money) and take away from innovation. It looks like the current focus is on taking a lateral step of sorts before that can get back into innovation. We'll see how that plays out.

In any case, sure, lots of people are looking for/at Evernote alternatives -- heck, I (a 11+ year Evernote user) look myself, just to keep up with what's out there. But for my use case, Evernote seems to remain the best application available. Some folks fudge around with the Notions/OneNotes/Joplins/Bears/WhatHaveYouNotes of the world (all viable alternatives in some fashion, but all with drawbacks too) and move on from Evernote, but some come back. Evernote remains a hugely popular application/service in a software realm where there are diverse needs and use cases for note-taking and note-keeping applications. No single application solves them all, as far as I can tell.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
56 minutes ago, jefito said:

Evernote remains a hugely popular application/service in a software realm where there are diverse needs and use cases for note-taking and note-keeping applications. No single application solves them all, as far as I can tell.

Agreed - but there is a hell of an opportunity for someone to build `EN2020........and make a killing. From a commercial/marketing point of view EN miss the boat on a regular basis- how many times have you looked at some new software and thought  "yes but evernote can do that" trouble is many are not aware of the potential of EN.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, rob24hrs said:

Agreed - but there is a hell of an opportunity for someone to build `EN2020........and make a killing.

Yah, sure. Any number have already tried; some do ok, some probably not so much. I don't see how anyone "makes a killing" in a crowded, diverse field, much less kills Evernote off.

Edit: Afterthought: remember what Evernote is. It's a web service that lets you access your notes anywhere. It's a set of applications for the web and 4 separate operating systems. It's a web clipping service. It's a service that lets you forward emails into your Evernote note collection. It's an OCR service for your images. There's some AI (or some such facility) that determines related notes. It's an API for accessing note data, used by Evernote clients as well as 3rd party developers. It's a formal for encoding your note content. And more...

I think that the cross-platform stuff is easier to manage these days, rather than going native on each device, but even so, creating an Evernote clone from scratch is not exactly a low bar.

Share this post


Link to post
22 minutes ago, rob24hrs said:

there is a hell of an opportunity for someone to build `EN2020........and make a killing.

I'd echo @jefito - new developers don't 'make a killing' unless they're unbelievably lucky or talented (or probably both) because no matter how talented they are and how relevant their design,  there are always aspects of the single-developer problem that get in the way: what happens with security / lightning strikes / being hit by a bus?  Can I totally rely on a sole provider to keep my data safe - as well as: does the app pretty much do what I want. 

Not to mention that some huge corporates now control big chunks of the market (looking at you Google and Apple),  and Evernote is still a go-to product for millions of users.

Like jeff I'm always looking around to see what's on offer,  and occasionally I get quite excited...  and then I start to find the potholes in someone else's master plan,  and give up looking for a while. 

For all its current glitches,  Evernote is still the only app that I can use anytime, anywhere to run a system that totally suits me.  I know that they're financially stable,  as secure as a web-based service can be,  and constantly working on ways to improve.  I'll work around the rest until they catch up.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

EN works well for me.  Could improvements be made, sure.  Particularly around productivity - not improved of late as options get hidden behind menus and fonts get bigger.  IAC I'd vote for feature parity and no bugs across platforms before I asked for new stuff.  🤷‍♂️

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, rob24hrs said:

but there is a hell of an opportunity for someone to build `EN2020.

Not sure there's funding for this.      
The majority of users are unwilling to fund development for the current Evernote

>>....and make a killing

Also, not sure there's a "killing" to be made   
Perhaps in the business market

My hope is for continued operations for the future

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

About killing for a living: The last figure I’ve learned is that appr. 13% of all EN users are paying for the service.

This means that every paying user is funding 8 non-paying with their use of EN. What is left over after this is used for development, improvement and a little shareholder value.

There are 2 explanations possible:

  1. The free service is so good that most users do not need to pay
  2. Most users are not willing to pay for the Premium / Business features of a note taking / information keeping system

Both explanations do not promote this to be a field of getting rich, fast track. It does sound more like hard work, money earned by serious effort.

And believe me: The business application segment of the market is even worse, because there must be more than 1$ earned for each nickel spent. Show it, prove it, or you are not even in the race for the order. Cost of introducing or switching software is so high that you really need to be way ahead of everybody else to win new customers.

Share this post


Link to post
On 12/28/2019 at 2:20 PM, PinkElephant said:

If you go nesting, this changes to n:m, which in a database is the most complex relation, in need of an additional table that contains the links / relations  between the objects. It is much more difficult to read by software, and performance sucks if you do not take additional measures.

This is exactly the implementation we are working on. We're building a separate system for maintaining entity relationships. This would allow complex, multi-tier relationships like nested notebooks. Performance is a factor that we are very aware of and working on improving. Calculating the full relationship graph/tree is quite complex. We're evaluating calculating and caching the graph based on initial access of one entity such that accesses of related entities would have a pre-calculated relationship graph.

When we've completed and launched this service (pretty soon), we will be able to build the more complex features like multi-level nested notebooks on top of it. But, you first have to build the next generation architecture and its various components. That's what we've been working on this past year and will continue in 2020. This is balanced with launching new features and clients.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

Shiny things!!  ^_^  Sounds interesting.... 

Share this post


Link to post
15 minutes ago, Scott T. said:

This would allow complex, multi-tier relationships like nested notebooks.

Multi tier is hierarchical and not that bad if the note lives in only one notebook.  Let a note live in multiple notebooks or a notebook live in multiple tiers, now that is (adjective deleted by poster) ugly.

Share this post


Link to post
3 minutes ago, CalS said:

Multi tier is hierarchical and not that bad if the note lives in only one notebook.  Let a note live in multiple notebooks or a notebook live in multiple tiers, now that is (adjective deleted by poster) ugly.

This is something we've discussed at a high level, though I don't know where it lies on the priority list. We thought about having the equivalent of a symbolic link or shortcut for a note. A note would truly live in one notebook, but could be included in other notebooks via a shortcut. This would just be another entry in our entity database. The design starts to look a lot more like a typical directory structure like in Windows or Unix.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, CalS said:

notebook live in multiple tiers .. ugly

That's a useful concept; I don't see it as "ugly"
I'm more interested in Tags than Notebooks
The current tag hierarchy is restricted to a single parent; I'd like to see this expanded

>>Let a note live in multiple notebooks
Another useful concept
Again, I'm more interested in Tags which currently have this feature

>>Pretty to the user, it's just the plumbing for many to many relationships is more work.

Right, the plumbing gets ugly: changes to the database, the UI of each client, ...       

The last time Evernote went through this exercise, they implemented Notebook Stacks

Share this post


Link to post
25 minutes ago, Scott T. said:

We thought about having the equivalent of a symbolic link or shortcut for a note. A note would truly live in one notebook, but could be included in other notebooks via a shortcut. This would just be another entry in our entity database. The design starts to look a lot more like a typical directory structure like in Windows or Unix.

That would be my preference, rather than having notebooks or notes being able to reside in multiple containers. Probably because of symbolic links in file systems.

How about links to notebooks that could be contained in another notebook or a note?

I'll be curious to see how this all plays out with the search language. I'm going to assume that a search in a notebook will return matches from linked notes as well as contained notes.  Doesn't make sense otherwise. With nested notebooks, can we search an entire notebook subtree? (I have syntax for that, btw: *notebook:SomeNotebook searches SomeNotebook and all of its subnotebooks, similar to my old old proposed syntax for seaching tag subtrees: *tag:SomeTag. No problem, happy to help out. :) ).

This is going to make my oft-parroted Evernote Structure Rules a bit more complicated though...

Appreciate the comments, Scott. No actual need to reply, just stuff that's been rumbling around in my head for awhile.

Share this post


Link to post
13 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Another useful concept; I don't see it as "ugly"
Again, I'm more interested in Tags which currently have this feature

Pretty to the user, it's just the plumbing for many to many relationships is more work.  Worth it in my view, best way to separate data from process to facilitate long term ease of enhancement and maintenance.  Links are more of the network data base model.  Good for speed but don't break a link.  Though may be a better solution from a speed basis for the one offs.

Share this post


Link to post

Another comment about complexity of multi-tier nested notebooks. It becomes a very complex problem when you are trying to calculate and apply permissions. For example, imagine a simple structure where you have "notebook A" that contains "notebook B" that contains "notebook C". You grant a user read access to "notebook C", but later grant the user edit access to "notebook A". Given that "notebook C" is contained within "notebook A", the write permissions should apply recursively down. So when the user tries to access something in "notebook C", we would walk the tree (notebook C --> notebook B --> notebook A), find the highest privilege in the tree structure (in this case: edit, not read), and apply it to the note they are editing in "notebook C". This same calculation would need to be done when displaying sharing information to the owner of the notebooks when viewing the "share sheet". Ideally, we would indicate when viewing "Notebook C" that the user has view permission on "notebook C", but inherits edit permissions from "notebook A".

This is just one of many considerations when supporting nested notebooks. This isn't an issue in the current system since you can't set sharing permissions on a stack. So you only have notebook permissions or specific note permissions. We only need to check the permissions on the containing notebook when checking note permissions.

Share this post


Link to post
33 minutes ago, Scott T. said:

It becomes a very complex problem when you are trying to calculate and apply permissions...the write permissions should apply recursively down ...

I'm thinking it would be simpler if there were none of this "apply recursively down" or "inherit"
So no change to the current process; "only need to check the permissions on the containing notebook"

Local Notebooks will be a problem, if there are child sync'd notebooks    
It would be difficult to maintain  hierarchy on other devices when the parent notebook is missing

Share this post


Link to post
9 minutes ago, DTLow said:

I'm thinking it would be simpler if there were none of this "apply recursively down" or "inherit"

This might be simpler in a personal account situation, but the problem is more of a concern in an Evernote Business account. You could have the opposite issue from above where a user already has write access to a notebook, but then somebody in the business directly shares a note inside the notebook with read-only access, not knowing the user already had notebook permissions. We wouldn't want to restrict the user to read-only access if they have write access to the containing notebook. In this case, we could let the user trying to share the note know the recipient user already has higher privileged access to the note.

Lots of things to consider. This is all still under development.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
19 hours ago, Scott T. said:

Another comment about complexity of multi-tier nested notebooks. It becomes a very complex problem when you are trying to calculate and apply permissions.

Interesting. Raymond Chen just wrote about a similar scenario (access control for nested registry entries) a couple of days ago: https://devblogs.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20200102-00/?p=103287. Just another reason why seemingly simple tech problems can have much deeper implications that is easily apparent. 

Like @DTLow, my instinctual preference would be to make things more granular; i.e., that read-only properties not be inheritable in the case of contained notebooks. But I know that I haven't thought through this -- as you folks are in the process of doing -- so I'd be wary of pushing my opinion too hard either way.

As always, I appreciate your comments here on the forums and the insights you give us as to (at least some of) what you folks are thinking. Cheers and Happy New Year to all the Evernote folks!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...