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(Archived) Heirarchical Folders for OneNote users in v5 [Solution]

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The subject of hierarchical folders and folders vs tags has been covered many, many times.

This note is not here to dig that one up again. I want to directly address a requirement for users like me, coming from OneNote or similar note taking products that are used to thinking in folder terms, but cant see how to quickly do this in Evernote. This article mostly applies to Evernote for Mac but I think the concept is common across the other desktops.

I read every article I could find on the knowledge base and did a lot of Googling. Lots of discussions about tags vs folders. The answer to folders seemed to be Hierarchical tags. But no matter how much I followed them, I couldnt get tags to be hierarchical when looked at through the Tag component of the side panel. But now I have so to help others having the same problem ...

A simple example. As a technical guy, I have a OneNote Notebook for Technology with sections for Linux, Android and iOS (to name a few). I wanted that structure in Evernote. I realised from the other threads, Evernote doesnt do folders. Not a problem if I can structure tags the same way. The piece of the puzzle was how to create the structured tagging system to match my Notebook/Section (Folder/Subfolder).

The piece missing from all the other articles is simply this. To create a structured tagging system, select the Tag item in the left side bar (or from Menu bar) so you have the tags listed in the right hand side of the screen. Add a New tag to be the root of the Tag Folder structure. In my case, Technology.

Then create a new tag for the second level down (Linux for me). NOW DRAG AND DROP THE SECOND LEVEL TAG ON TO THE TOP LEVEL ONE TAG. This action is what creates the tag heirarchy. Now repeat the same drag and drop process to re-create rest of the OneNote (or whatever) folder structures in tags. Its this piece that was missed of all the other threads and Google references I looked at ..... It's probably classed as intuitive, but after 30 years of IT, I missed that bit ...

The Hierarchy should now appear under the Tags item in the left side bar and resemble the folder structure from other note products.

To use this with notes, create a new note and tag from the top. So for me to create a note that sits in the Technology / Linux folder, I simply add the Technology and Linux tags to the note in that order.

Now I can access the note by selecting the Linux (under technical) tag in the side bar, in exactly the same way I would select a sub folder in other notes products I use.

The only thing to decide is whether you ever bother with more than a couple of notebooks now as now, the tags do the heavy work and most notes can collect in a single folder. But that's for a separate thread...

There are a raft of advantages to using tags (which I'll let the rest of the community expand on or simply search the Knowledge Base, its a VERY heavily commented topic), which I've only now discovered after working out the piece above.

Hope this helps someone else who follows this heavily trodden path from products like OneNote to Evernote.

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Yes, this is pretty well known on the Evernote desktop clients -- it works the same way for the Windows client as well; mobile clients have less support for manipulating the tag tree (I don't think that you can do it in Android currently, can't speak to the iOS products). It's been pretty well discussed in the forums; I know I have described the same process multiple times, probably for the Windows client. After this we generally move on to the topic of whether the hierarchy has semantic content; that is, if I have tag A a parent of B, if I search for tag A, will I find notes that are tagged with B but not A explicitly?

Anyways, moving this to the Knowledge Base section of the forums.

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