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(Archived) [Wishlist] Elastic Tag Searching / Facet Browsing / Drill Down


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I would like to see note searching/browsing by a method known as Elastic Lists or Elastic Searching or Facet Browsing - there's a famous example on the web under "elastic lists nobel prize winners"


The interface would start with a list of your Tags.  You select a Tag (becomes the parent), then the Tag list is hierarch-ically narrowed to show only the Tags shared (children) with the parent Tag.  The user continues to select each drill-down level of tagging.


This gives you the ability to browse your notes by "pivoting" your data based on any combination of tags, and starting with any tag.  It does not require a predefined tag hierarchy and allows you to browse your data elastically by whatever mood (Tag) you are in.


For example, an interior decorator, or home owner might have the following tags:











Let's assume the user has several notes tagged with: bedrooms, master, furniture

And there are also note(s) tagged with: projects, paint, bathrooms, master


The user could start their note browsing by clicking on any one of these tags (just as Evernote works now).  Let's say the user is in a master bedroom suite enhancement mood.  But they don't know what they want to do yet, they just want to browse notes related to this area of the house.  So they click on "master".  The not-existing-now browsing feature would then only display the resulting Tags that are shared with the parent Tag.  The user then sees Tags for "paint, projects, furniture, master, bedrooms, bathrooms" in a hierarchy order indented under the parent Tag.  User then selects, "paint" because they are in a painting mood... the resulting list of shared Tags is then limited no deeper because there are no more shared tags.


Why this method of browsing?  Let's say next weekend the user is in a furniture buying mood, but they just want to browse notes in general and let the possibilities unfold organically for inspiration from their notes database.


I realize you can select multiple tags at once, but if you have 1000's of notes, or hundreds of tags, you don't always know what tags are shared with others.  Also, this assumes you KNOW in advance what you want to see - perhaps you just want to be INSPIRED by the notes you have collected over the years for this very day years later. 


I have other day-to-day examples of this pivoting or elasticity that we encounter, for example an employee manual. The employee can click on "sales", then see related Tags "introductions, scripts, leads, fabrics"... but they could also have started their drill-down with "fabrics" depending on what they are searching for. 


- sorry this was a little hard to explain by text example only.  I'll be glad to explain in more detail if there is some curiosity as to how or more examples of why.





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  • Level 5*

Unless I'm missing the point entirely,  isn't this already covered - at least in desktop clients - by the notes list?  If I search on one tag I get a list of all notes with that tag.  If I sort on the tag column I can see all the other tags for all the other notes with that first tag.  If I choose 'sales' then I can scroll down to see the other choices available and get a list of all notes with 'sales + fabrics' ...


Nice idea though - hopefully the team are looking at ways to improve tag management!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Actually, gazumped...I believe what timbatt is after is indeed already in Evernote, but not the way you mentioned.  If you go to the tags view and click on a tag, then you'll see all the other tags highlighted that it also shares a note with....command-clicking on one of those tags will narrow the search to those notes that have both tags (I have a Mac...I don't know what the corresponding key/mouse combo is on Windows).  Option-clicking does something too, but its not clear what.  


Which really raises the point timbatt was making in the first place: it would be nice if the tags view were more sophisticated than it is now, and the faceted searcher at http://well-formed-data.net/experiments/elastic_lists/ would be a great improvement.


But I'd like to take it a step further still.  I can see by poking around in the Evernote software that it is using Lucene.  Well, Elasticsearch is also built on top of Lucene, and it offers faceted searching, topicalization (via the Carrot2 plugin), similarity searching, "rivers" of external source data, a very sophisticated query language, and a whole lot more.  I'd love to see Evernote either use Elasticsearch under the covers (and give me access to it so I can hack it), or let me point it at my own Elasticsearch server.

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  • Level 5*

The way that you do this with the Windows Evernote client is this:

* Find the search control at the top of the note list

* At the far right, there is a tag icon. Click on it, and you should see a drop-down of tags available in your current context (All Notes, a notebook, a stack, or any search filter)

* At that point, you should see the text "Click to filter by tag...". Click on it, and you should see a narrowed list of tags that are relevant to your current search

* Keep clicking selecting tags, and the resultant tag list gets smaller and smaller

One caveat: if you run out of horizontal space in the control (such that you don't see the "Click to filter by tag..." prompt), you'll be going to a popup tag dialog, which doesn't maintain that search / tag context, unfortunately.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the suggestions gazumped and jefito - that does cover the functionality.  Thanks also to Teknomad who seems to fully understands and appreciates the power of elastic and faceted searching...  and an easier way to do this should certainly be incorporated into EN since the point is to use EN for powerful data recall.

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  • Level 5*

This was also covered to some extent by Bitqwik, but Evernote "killed" that project when they changed the API without telling the developer what they had done. Bitqwik was great for looking for things that you didn't know what exactly the tag was. The use of Bitqwik and Evernote's search capabilities made finding particular notes very much easier.

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