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Tag Search Behavior Different in Mac vs iOS?



I use a tag hierarchy similar to what user:jbenson2 often describes on the forums, but do not use prefixes the way jbenson2 does because it seems that I can not search for these tags on the Mac client as well as I can on the iPhone. For example let's assume I have these tags:





When I create a new note and want to tag it "Amazon" my brain does not remember that I'm in EN and need to think of Amazon as a company. On the iPhone, I can start typing the word "Amazon" and "COM-Amazon" shows up in my tag cloud. I can select it as my intended tag. On the Mac, though, if I start typing "Amazon" "COM-Amazon" does not come up as a choice in the picker because the first letter is not "A." Does anyone else see this difference in functionality and have some workaround for it? Other than remembering to start typing the Amazon tag as Com? Because I have so many tags, that wouldn't work.




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I'm a Windows guy, so I can't help with the iPhone or Mac, but I'll throw out my comments from the Windows side.


Your issue when you start to type Amazon

  • on the iPhone, you can see the tag Com-Amazon
  • on the Mac, you cannot see the tag Com-Amazon

In the Windows client, I have the same result as the Mac


So how do I get around the issue you brought up that "my brain does not remember that I'm in EN and need to think of Amazon as a company"?


Even though I have over 1,500 tags I follow some strict rules when creating a new tag.

All tags are one word (multiple words are hypenated) hewlett packard becomes hewlett-packard

All tags are lower case: (no upper case) amazon

All tags are shortened as much as possible: no inc. no corporation, no LLC, etc.


These rules help prevent duplicate tags.

I don't want tags such as I.B.M., IBM Corp, International Business Machine, etc.

I just want to automatically think of one possible tag: IBM


Now to address your question:

When it looks like I have to create a new tag, I always pause and think for a moment. I am cautious about adding new tags.


If it does not show up, I ask myself why? With my 1,500 tags, it should be there. Have I ever added a note that contained this subject in the past? If I am not 100% sure, I will close the new note so that it is saved and search for other similar notes. If I find other notes, I'll review their tags to see if I misspelled it or violated one of my rules. I don't do this often, but if I wasn't certain, I'd do this investigation.


And if you forget and end up tagging a few notes with Amazon, Evernote makes it very easy to change those over to com-amazon.


Here are a couple tips I use to avoid mis-tagged items.


1. In the morning, I often collect 25 to 50 notes at one sitting. I keep all new notes in my default notebook until I have time to tag them and move them to an appropriate notebook. When I get around to tagging them later in the day, I try to knock them all off at the same time, so my mind is focused on tags. I used to run Evernote on my Adroid phone, but I always did the note maintenance (tagging, renaming, moving) on my full screen computer at home.


2. Sometimes I want to search my database for mis-tagged items. Let's say I want to find notes that contain the word Amazon, but are not tagged com-amazon. I would run the following search

Amazon -tag:com-amazon

This will find all notes that contain Amazon but are not tagged with com-amazon. Warning: I do not bulk-tag the entire search results. For me, the tag com-amazon only applies to my dealings with Amazon. I do not want to tag news articles that might mention Amazon.


I maintain a large set of specific tags due the wide variety of notes I save in Evernote. I can quickly achieve a very high level of search result accuracy. It might seem like overkill, but I take satisfaction on fast and accurate search results.


And let me toss in another perspective mentioned by others. It can be easier if one takes a different position and uses just a few tags. If you search for a key word or two, the results are still fast and often contain the desired note.

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Thanks for your reply, jbenson2. I wish the search on the desktop apps worked the same as on iOS though. I'm hesitant to make all my tags include their parent name when I know I won't always remember them. I do a similar act of EN housekeeping to what you describe, but really dislike spending my time that way. I know it pays off later with great searches but I prefer less friction in the naming process so that I didn't spend so much time organizing.

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