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(Archived) Entering a Date is cumbersome



Hi all,

that's maybe another issue with language settings to german language, i don't know, but it seems that it is more about the way, people work (enter data), so i think, its about usability.

i have selected english language in my client.

the date-column looks good/correct (DD.MM.YYYY), as seen here:


now, if i want to change the updated-date from 09.09.2010 to the creation date (check here and vote *g*), which is the 31.08.2010,

i cannot do this as i would in "normal" way, because the date-check-routine inside EN blocks me from doing so :-)

(i type in order DD MM but the check seems to go MM DD)

I type 31, but the result is this:

post-21234-131906067401_thumb.png03 instead of 31. i guess, the date-check-routine checks for validity and it seems, that there is no 31.09.2010 ?

anyway, if i skip that day-field, and change the month from 09 to 08, then back again to the day-field, then it is possibe to enter 31.


although i know a workaround, this is a quite inconvenient workflow.

i really prefere the method, the user can type in the date on Windows-Client. Also the user can just copy the whole date-string (31.08.2010) and copy&paste it whereever he/she wants. On the Mac, it seems, the EN-client is for "slow-mo"-users :-)

i would really appreceate it, if the mac client could be improved for that issue.

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  • Level 5*

On the Windows client -- and I suspect in the Mac client as well -- the data control validates according to what exists in the other fields, and also always tries to keep the date in the fields a valid one. 31.09.2010 is not a valid date, so it sets it to something valid (using the '3' you've already entered). My date format is MM.DD.YYYY, so that allows a near-perfect choice of DD when I enter from left-to-right, since I've already entered the MM (it's still not perfect, though: try to enter 2-29 when the year is set to 2010. You can't, but change the year to 2008, and 2/29 is allowed because 2008 is a leap year). Unfortunately, you are entering DD first, so you are subject to whatever MM and YYYY are already in the control, so left-to-right doesn't work as well in this case.

There are a couple of potential fixes that I can think of: Evernote could accept whatever you type and relax the validation until you try to leave the control, or give a visual indication that the date as it's entered is invalid, or just clear out the right-most fields and only validate when all date fields are filled. In any case, you want some sort of visual indication when the date's fields are invalid. Still, this is all a bit subtle, and it's easily worked around, and I'm guessing that a fix would be tricky.


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Thanks Jeff, for putting it in smarter words ;-) my english isnt that good and i'm always having little problems to explain what goes around in my head and on the screen :-)

Evernote could accept whatever you type and relax the validation until you try to leave the control

thats imho the best and effective way for the user (the very important part of every program!), because nobody likes to be interrupted while typing/working.

it would be ok to hear a "mooohhh" or see a blinking light or just underlie the wrong fields with red colour. now, it just happens nothing, and i cannot type. thats irritating (me) and it needed some days to realize, why. (if it makes noises, it wants your attention :-D)

I'm guessing that a fix would be tricky.

hmm.. its always hard to imagine the problems of other people when you far away :-)

but putting the check to the end of a complete given datestring is imho far easier than checking each single field.

but that is only my humble opinion and i'm not coding this program, nor i know the guidlines (using given routines from the OS, make it beauty, etc...).

anyway, as BurgersNFries would say: "its just minor" :-)

thats true, but a lot of minor issues make a major one.


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  • Level 5*

Visual cues like underlining the invalid field, or showing it in red are often helpful. But the usual tricky bit is what to do if the user attempts to leave the control when the date is invalid. Assuming that you cannot have the date be in an invalid state, do you:

* allow the user to leave, and restore the original date (or leave it empty if there was none)?

* allow the user to leave, and restore the last valid date (or leave it empty if there was none)?

* force the user to stay in the control until they make the date valid?

* throw up a dialog that tells the user about the error, and makes them respond?

* Something else?

Granted, some of the above are user-hostile. Personally, I usually dislike UI work, at least the design end of things, because it's filled with annoying choices like this.


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* allow the user to leave, ring a bell, and restore the last valid date (there is *always* a date, because no note is created without)?

its only anonying, because the user isnt in the decision process.

ask the user, let them decide. and then code it. (and then again for other users ;-)) )

always make clear defaults and let the user change it in the settings of the program.

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