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(Archived) When to use tags and when to use notebooks?

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It seems to me that both notebooks and tags can be used to achieve the same thing in terms of categorizing notes and making it easy to find/browse them. Eg. I have a number of manuals in PDF format, so I create a note for each one, but do I put them all in a notebook called "Manuals", or leave them in my main notebook and tag them with the word "Manuals"? Are there certain situations when a notebook would be more appropriate and others when use of tags would be better, or is it just down to personal preference?

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My general rule-of-thumb is to keep notebooks to a minimum and at a high general level.

Use tags for more specific details. I like to >nest tags to make them easier to review.







Family Member

> Fam-JLB

> Fam-DLB


> Com-IBM

> Com-HP


> MA, Boston

> MN, Minneapolis

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There's no hard & fast rule. It's just whatever works for you. I use a lot of notebooks but each notebook is set up/named such that most notes will only belong to only one notebook. Since you can assign multiple tags to each note, I tend to use tags to further "define" a note. Plus, I'm usually pretty good at using titles & "keywords" (words I'll add into the note that I think I may use in the future when looking for this particular note.) Regarding keywords, I will also use misspellings as keywords. IE, if a note references someone who's last name is Shafer, I will add a keyword of "Shaffer".

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There's no hard & fast rule. It's just whatever works for you.

Good advice...

For me, I was using multiple notebooks, but recently I changed to just two notebooks and heavy use of tags. It took a little getting use to, but I now find it very easy for me to manage things this way.


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Option #3 is to rely more heavily on Evernote's search engine and treat it more like Google to find your notes rather than pre-categorize everything. I personally have fewer than 10 notebooks and 10 tags, and rely on text search or attribute filtering to find my notes. (However, we have plenty of folks at Evernote with thousands of tags ... that's just my personal preference.)

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