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List of Search/Filter Problems


Mike P

Idea

I've contributed to various threads about how the new search system works. There are however a number of issues which I, and other people, think need to be addressed beyond "it's different". This is my attempt to pull together all those issues. If I've missed anything (and I'm sure I will have done) then please post a reply.  I'm hoping that the promised replacement of ctrl-Q will address some of the issues.

  • Delay (up to 3 minutes was quoted in the beta) before changes to notes (including tags) are reflected in search
  • Search results are not dynamic. Unlike the legacy version if you change a note so that it no longer meets the search criteria it is not removed. No search refresh to compensate for this
  • You can save a search but not a filter even if they are identical
  • There is no filter in the filter menu for notebooks although they behave like filters in the search menu
  • Stacks can only be searched for using the undocumented advanced search syntax stack:
  • You cannot find any of a list of search terms without using search syntax. i.e. you only get notes that contain all the search terms
  • The number of filters that come up in the search suggestion list are very limited (only 2), compared with 6 wild guesses of where you might want to "goto". Once you have selected one filter you do get a longer list of relevant filters.
  • You cannot easily (ie no suggestions and you have to use the search syntax) add a filter after you have added search text. You can use the filter menu to do this
  • The filter menu has all possible filters even if they are not relevant to the current note list. The search bar on the other hand does only include relevant tags
  • The filter menu has tags within the hierarchy with no option for a simple alphabetical list
  • The inclusion of the list of suggested searches should be an option (never helps me)
  • Cannot easily reset a search. Need to either clear the filters and then manually delete the text or click off search to a notebook or all notes and then back into search
  • The search bar generally ignores punctuation marks etc at the beginning of tags. e.g. I have a few very important tags that begin with $
  • Clicking on a tag in the sidebar filters on the tag and all the child tags which for me always results in no results.

 

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I am reluctant to comment but I was surprised that limiting a search to a notebook is so clunky. First choose the notebook. Then back to search. Click on "add filter". This is the last chances as the add filter pop-up menu does not include notebooks (why?). Then add more filters with the filter pop-up menu to narrow it down with a boolean AND function. This cannot be changed to OR (which some do use). 
Never make the mistake of clicking on the tag at the bottom of the note and adding that as a filter because, unlike 6.25, this resets the search that you have so laboriously gone to construct. 

Here is one approach: 
1. choose the scope of the search: all notes, stack, notebook. Notebooks are often projects. 
2. add keywords 
3. use filter pop-up menu with additional criteria: attachments, URL, tags

The filter pop-up menu must include the option to change the folder of the search.

AND or OR operation for multiple keywords - surely that is for the user to decide. 
With the AND operation the filter pop-up menu should restrict the options to choose from, to that is found/attached to those notes. If we are choosing a tag and there are only 30 tags on the 10 notes in the search, then only those 30 tags should be shown as the others are irrelevant. 
Strangely, these ideas are not new ground as this is pretty much what 6.25 does. 
Advance functionality should be consider - think Google search - to include a term (+) or exclude a term (-).
I think the search function should have documentation to explain what it does and does not. This too seems to be lacking. 

So much could have been done better. It is hard to know where to start.:-(

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On 10/20/2020 at 11:29 AM, Mike P said:
  • Stacks can only be searched for using the undocumented advanced search syntax stack:
  • You cannot find any of a list of search terms without using search syntax. i.e. you only get notes that contain all the search terms

I always used the search syntax of Evernote. Over time Evernote several times changed the way to use client features for search and these features in most cases did not provide the full power of the syntax. I didn't bother with these. I learned the search syntax once more than 10 years ago and use it ever since. But one statement you made is true. "stack:" is not documented and it was not in 2012 when I put the syntax in a note which I just now checked. I am using "stack:" frequently but I cannot remember when I discovered it. Anyway, I would recommend learning the syntax. It is not too complicated but provides the full power of search on all platforms.

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1 hour ago, Stuhrer said:

I always used the search syntax of Evernote. Over time Evernote several times changed the way to use client features for search and these features in most cases did not provide the full power of the syntax. I didn't bother with these. I learned the search syntax once more than 10 years ago and use it ever since. But one statement you made is true. "stack:" is not documented and it was not in 2012 when I put the syntax in a note which I just now checked. I am using "stack:" frequently but I cannot remember when I discovered it. Anyway, I would recommend learning the syntax. It is not too complicated but provides the full power of search on all platforms.

I came across the syntax when I saved a search based on a stack in the legacy version. When you save a search in the legacy version you automatically get to see the search syntax.

I certainly agree that the search syntax is worth learning. I think my point is that if EN are trying to make search easier and more intuitive to use for new users it doesn't make alot of sense to make things which you could do without the search syntax reliant on using the search syntax. If you start from a notebook you now immediately have the option to add a filter for that notebook. Stacks should logically work in the same way.

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1 hour ago, Mike P said:

I came across the syntax when I saved a search based on a stack in the legacy version. When you save a search in the legacy version you automatically get to see the search syntax.

I certainly agree that the search syntax is worth learning. I think my point is that if EN are trying to make search easier and more intuitive to use for new users it doesn't make alot of sense to make things which you could do without the search syntax reliant on using the search syntax. If you start from a notebook you now immediately have the option to add a filter for that notebook. Stacks should logically work in the same way.

I agree. It really would be nice if all search capabilities were available in all clients in a uniform way by means of the user interface. But this never has been the case and the knowledge of the syntax gave me the opportunity to use the search in the same powerful way on all platforms. Since it became natural to me I doubt that I will change this event if the user interface provides a fully featured search.

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1 hour ago, Stacey said:

In addition, the only view for search results is card view. In Legacy Evernote, we had all the options for views on search results in the note list.

I think it is that you can't change the view in the search results. If you start in card view you will get the search in card view and you can't change it. Equally if you start in list view you will get list view. I agree that it should be possible to change the view.

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1 hour ago, Mike P said:

 If you start in card view you will get the search in card view and you can't change it. 

I never use card view (therefore I never begin searches with this view). I believe that currently this is the only view option on search results.

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3 minutes ago, Stacey said:

I believe that currently this is the only view option on search results.

For me I get whatever view I was in before the search. I can't change that view once I have done the search (the view options icon has been replaced by the three dots icon) 

image.png.81ff99c5dd5d6718aa332636a41d1b03.png

image.png.c7499002eb6b1a17665f04b01bed731e.png

image.png.4b5bdfc8b530f0bcdd7ba7d6d3ef207a.png

 

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@MikeP Are you getting those screenshots after either 1) starting your search from the note list or 2) filtering from the note list (refining your search)? I can replicate that when I do that, but if I initiate the search from the search field in the navigation area, my results only appear in card view. I wonder if that is the difference?

 

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3 minutes ago, Stacey said:

@MikeP Are you getting those screenshots after either 1) starting your search from the note list or 2) filtering from the note list (refining your search)? I can replicate that when I do that, but if I initiate the search from the search field in the navigation area, my results only appear in card view. I wonder if that is the difference?

 

All of those screen shots were obtained by using the search bar at the top of the sidebar (alt-ctrl-F) and typing in the word "local". As you can see from the screen shots I haven't filtered at all.

Filtering is just reducing what is in the list in front of you so I'm glad that doesn't spontaneously change the view for you. I have no idea why we seem to be getting different behaviours.

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