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(Archived) REQUEST: Virtual Notebooks based on TAG and/or Search criteria


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I know you can save a search etc. but it would be great to create a notebook that's based on a search criteria and it would be great if you could then share this as you can with a normal notebook.

You could see how many notes match the criteria as you can with TAGs and real Notebooks. (a bit like Outlook search folders)

This would allow a note to be present in more than one 'virtual' notebook at once.

Infact if you fully embraced the idea you could ditch the current idea of notebooks and make them all virtual. When you create a new virtual notebook it would also create a TAG by the same name. So if you manually dropped a note into a virtual notebook it would simply add the TAG to make it match the criteria and thus appear in that notebook.

So a virtual notebook would be based on a master TAG or the result of an optional standard search criteria.

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Hi Mike. Maybe I'm being slow, but what's the difference between what you are proposing and carrying out a search (which you can save); or tagging all the found items in that search with a common tag (which you can pin); or moving all the notes found in a specific search to a shared notebook - where they're still available to the 'owner' as part of the main body of notes; or some combination of the above. Evernote already seems to do all you are suggesting?

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Your virtual notebooks sound like tags to me. If I understand correctly, you are suggesting that we use tags instead of notebooks, and provide tags with the sharing functionality currently enjoyed by notebooks. It is something I have suggested too :)

In other words, you would search, select-all, apply a tag, and then send a link to that "shared" tag. A single note could then exist simltaneously in multiple shared tags.

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@gazumped with a saved search you don't get a number in brackets after it showing how many notes currently match the criteria and you can't share the notes in a search with other users without copying the result to a new notebook etc...

@grumpymonkey it's more like a saved search which obviously can also use a criteria that searches tags.... It means you could create a new note, tag it with a particular tag and it would automatically appear in your 'main' notebook and this virtual notebook or multiple notebooks.

It just strikes me that the experienced users have abandoned the concept of separate notebooks and this re-empowers the concept by making them altogether more powerful.

We are being forced to move, copy and create note links when if we had something like I am describing none of this would be necessary.

There are loads of examples I can think of..... I could create a virtual notebook thats called 'Accounts todo' this would search my notes for notes with unchecked boxes with a tag related to my office accounts dept. I could then share this notebook with the users in that dept and as they complete stuff I can see the number in brackets reducing. I could have another notebook called 'Accounts' which would simply contain everything tagged accounts... So when I add a todo above it appears in this notebook too and it stays there when it's completed.

I think we would still need to keep 'real' seperate notebooks for legacy use... Perhaps call these new ones 'search notebooks' or 'filter notebooks'.

So in simplistic terms it's like an enhanced saved search... Add a number in brackets and allow me to share the result of the search, then you are more or less there.

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@gazumped with a saved search you don't get a number in brackets after it showing how many notes currently match the criteria and you can't share the notes in a search with other users without copying the result to a new notebook etc...

@grumpymonkey it's more like a saved search which obviously can also use a criteria that searches tags.... It means you could create a new note, tag it with a particular tag and it would automatically appear in your 'main' notebook and this virtual notebook or multiple notebooks.

It just strikes me that the experienced users have abandoned the concept of separate notebooks and this re-empowers the concept by making them altogether more powerful.

We are being forced to move, copy and create note links when if we had something like I am describing none of this would be necessary.

There are loads of examples I can think of..... I could create a virtual notebook thats called 'Accounts todo' this would search my notes for notes with unchecked boxes with a tag related to my office accounts dept. I could then share this notebook with the users in that dept and as they complete stuff I can see the number in brackets reducing. I could have another notebook called 'Accounts' which would simply contain everything tagged accounts... So when I add a todo above it appears in this notebook too and it stays there when it's completed.

I think we would still need to keep 'real' seperate notebooks for legacy use... Perhaps call these new ones 'search notebooks' or 'filter notebooks'.

So in simplistic terms it's like an enhanced saved search... Add a number in brackets and allow me to share the result of the search, then you are more or less there.

I think you have convinced me about the benefit in having a shared saved search (as opposed to just shared tags or shared notebooks), because unlike tags and notebooks, it does not need to be manually applied. The list of notes you see in the center pane of your user interface populates itself as each note is added, and whoever you are sharing the search with could experience the same thing.

I think I can see what you are saying about having the note exist in one place in the account, but manifest itself in multiple notebooks. Although it looks like it is in several places at once, you are actually only seeing one note (not multiple copies of it).

Your ideas have merit (if I am understanding them correctly), and are certainly creative. In terms of utility, though, I wonder how useful they would be.

Sensitive notes could easily get caught up in a saved search and accidentally shared with everyone in the world. I feel like the shared notebooks (and hopefully, shared tags someday) at least require the user to designate which notes ought to be shared. But, that might just be my opinion.

To me, having notes appear in multiple notebooks is essentially what we can currently do with tags. If you are on the Windows client, you can sort by tags and see the same note appear (just as it would in multiple notebooks) in multiple tag sorts. This, of course, brings us back to the hallowed practice of declaring our allegiance to notebooks or tags by engaging in ritual battle over the merits of each :)

Apologies if I am still not quite getting it. It is July 4, but rainy, so we are unlikely to see any fireworks today, and I am a little grumpy about that!

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@grumpy Yes you understand me correctly... And I understand your concern about sharing something accidently... you would need a serious health warning with this feature and perhaps limit sharing to other registered EN users only rather than anybody?

The issue I have with the way TAGS work at present is you can't combine a group of TAGs together. If you want 3 different TAGs to appear together you would have to filter for them and apply a new common TAG etc.... or do I misunderstand 'the power' of TAGS?

Obviously I can save a search to select this group of TAGS (+other more advance criteria) but I don't get a quantity in brackets next to the saved search (Windows client)... This would be a good 1st step before attempting the sharing issue.

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@grumpy Yes you understand me correctly... And I understand your concern about sharing something accidently... you would need a serious health warning with this feature and perhaps limit sharing to other registered EN users only rather than anybody?

The issue I have with the way TAGS work at present is you can't combine a group of TAGs together. If you want 3 different TAGs to appear together you would have to filter for them and apply a new common TAG etc.... or do I misunderstand 'the power' of TAGS?

Obviously I can save a search to select this group of TAGS (+other more advance criteria) but I don't get a quantity in brackets next to the saved search (Windows client)... This would be a good 1st step before attempting the sharing issue.

I am glad I got it right!

Well, the shared search idea is interesting, but anything like this deployed to 30 million + users makes it seem like something we'd want to think through very carefully. Again, it is intriguing.

As for the tags, you are correct. You cannot filter for tag1, tag2, and tag3. They would have to share a common tag. In my opinion, rather than introducing a new feature like a virtual notebook, I'd like to see the advanced search options made more robust.

I like your idea about putting the quantity in brackets. The more information we have, the better!

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To be honest I hadn't noticed that the 'any' operator didn't work with TAGs?#! they definately need to sort that!

When you have thousands of notes is there a speed difference between clicking a saved search and clicking a tag (on the windows client)?

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@grumpy I've just checked you can search on multiple TAGs... syntax is "any: TAG:LCD TAG:Clydesdale" this finds all notes that are either TAGed LCD or Clydesdale.

So assuming there isn't a performance problem with SAVED Searches? then this works.... just give me the number in brackets and start to consider allowing us to share the result! :)

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The question was "how do they compare to each other?", not "how fast are they?". I answered the first question. For the answer to "how fast are they?" you should be able to test that yourself, on your machine (assuming that you have 10,000 notes), which will be much more accurate than me testing on my machine (I don't have 10K notes anyways).

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The use of any: should work fine with tags. It's certainly allowed by the search grammar. If it doesn't work, then it's a bug in your client -- it works fine in the Windows client..

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On the topic of 'virtual notebooks': in Evernote's current architecture, a note belongs to exactly one notebook. I don't see that changing any time soon, so I have doubts about whether virtual notebooks would exist.. But a note can be labelled by more than one tag, so that's closer to the concept of 'virtual notebook', or even more powerful, a saved search allows you to filter your notes based on any Evernote-searchable criteria, which sounds a lot closer to the concept behind virtual notebooks. In a system where there is already a clearly defined concept of 'notebook', having a separate and different concept of a 'virtual' notebook would be confusing, but saved searches are what Evernote provides and work similarly.

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Let's forget 'virtual notebooks' its a confusing name.

What I want is for saved searches to work like notebooks.... If we had this multiple issues I see in these forums would be solved:

The AND, OR searches could be completed as you could search on a search.

We could see how many notes match our criteria without clicking it (number in brackets).

We wouldn't need to repeatedly apply a search assign a TAG etc...

Or copy notes to a new notebook.... Much of this tagging/copying isn't done because we want to, its an accepted botch/workaround.

Let's face it, I'm sure all our notes are actually in one database, 'notebooks' are a construct achieved by a form of search.

AND once we have saved searches working as above, I personally would like to be able to share the notes that match that criteria automatically, without duplicating into a new notebook. This last bit is all about collaboration perhaps few EN users do this much?

I work on planning applications a lot... So I'm adding photos, plans, comments to my notebook constantly; I tag these notes with the reference unique to each app. I'd like to share notes associated with individual apps to groups of different people. Presently I'm forced to use seperate notebooks and often I have to duplicate material which applies to multiple apps... It's silly.

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  • 6 months later...

I'm late to the party, but I support this request.

I want the ability to use saved searches as RSS feeds, just like regular shared notes.

I have a To Do list scheme based on saved searches. I would like to display my current To Do items in tools outside of Evernote.

Glenn

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