jschnur 4 Posted January 22, 2011 Share Posted January 22, 2011 I've been using EN almost daily since late 2005 (EN 2?), at both work and home. Only recently, however, have I begun using EN in a way that I believe takes full advantage of its capabilities. I've accomplished this by transforming myself from a "specialist" to a "generalist," terms I've chosen that are very rough equivalents to the "filers" and "pilers" I've seen some use in this forum. By specialist, I'm referring to EN users who rely heavily on many hundreds (or more) of very narrowly-defined and perhaps deeply-nested tags to organizing their notes. They may also use many notebooks for this purpose. Generalists, on the other hand, use fewer and more general tags (that lend themselves to easy cross-referencing), and carefully designed note titles, along with EN's powerful search features to find what they need.Even with many thousands of notes, I find the generalist approach yields much faster and more accurate results than trying to locate a single, deeply nested tag among many hundreds. I now have many fewer tags, most of which are "single purpose" and intuitive. For example, I no longer have an "auto insurance" tag; rather, I have an "auto" tag which for searches I can combine with other general tags (e.g., "insurance," "repair," "receipt," "research," "magazine," "wishlist"). And I have an "insurance" tag that I can combine for searches with tags like "auto," "home," or "medical."I also no longer nest tags; instead, I leave all my tags alphabetized, and use a level of specificity appropriate for each note. For example, I have tags for "entertainment," "music," and "jazz." If the note relates to jazz, I tag it "jazz," but not also "music" and "entertainment." If the note relates more generally to music, then I tag it "music." These tags I might cross reference with tags such as "venue," "recording," or "book." For a note with a link to "things to do in NJ," I may use the most general tag, "entertainment." I limit every tag to a single word or "compound word" (i.e., "ToDo") to reduce the need for quotation marks in my searches.Note titles play a much more important role for me than they did during my specialist days; they help me to focus the results of my tag-based searches. In fashioning note titles I try to use terms consistently. And I may also throw some keywords into a title in lieu of creating additional tags. I admit that I very rarely search note contents, which I find often snares too much unrelated information.When I first tried my new generalist approach, I was afraid I'd miss important notes for which I didn't specifically search because I'd forgotten I had them. But I find that I'm much more likely to come across these forgotten gems using the generalist method.When EN 3.5 was released, I was appalled that the new version didn't contain the tag searching feature present in EN 3.1 and earlier versions that smart searched through my 500+ tags as I typed any part of a tag's string. How was I going to locate all my tags short of memorizing their names? But now as a generalist I have many fewer tags, and their names are much more intuitive. So I will no longer be subjecting the good folks at Evernote to regular rants about this abandoned tag search feature. I finally moved up from EN 3.1 to 4.2, and I'm a happy EN camper.I welcome your comments.J. SchnurRockaway, NJ Link to comment
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