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(Archived) Nested tags are good for... ?

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Maybe the swine flu has damaged my brain... I (newbie) see no functionality to "nested tags" beyond organizing tags themselves, sort of like having a "filing system for pre-printed labels".

No parent-daughter functionality at all (daughter tag fails to propagate parent properties)? Am I missing something? Does nesting exist only as a rudimentary provision for a feature yet to come?


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I guess the idea is that notes are grouped together for easier browsing, as with nested folders in Windows Explorer. And when the tag hierarchy is 'closed', it occupies less space down the left column than if the tags were not nested.

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No parent-daughter functionality at all (daughter tag fails to propagate parent properties)?

ACDSee Photo Manager works the same way (applying a nested tag does not apply the parent tag.) It's NBD if you simply think of the parent tag as a "miscellaneous" or "other" tag. IE, say you have a parent tag of "friends" and nested tags of "Hiltons", "Fosters", "Smiths". If you have a note pertaining to Hiltons, Fosters and/or Smiths, you apply the nested tags. Then if you have a note pertaining to someone you rarely deal with, you don't have to create a new tag for them, just use the generic "friends" tag. Then when looking for something pertaining to Hiltons, Fosters or Smiths, you simply use the correct nested tag(s). If you're looking for everyone else, you simply use the generic "Friends" tag. If "Friends" were automatically populated for all the nested tags & you wanted to find something pertaining to a friend who is not a Hilton, Foster or Smith, and you don't remember their name or simply want to browse through the notes pertaining to friends who are not Hiltons, Fosters or Smiths, you'd have to either search through all the notes tagged with friends, looking for the one(s) you want or else do a search on "tag:Friends -tag:Hiltons -tag:Fosters -tag:Smiths". This last option could be pretty complex if you have very many nested tags & would need to be updated each time you'd add a new nested tag.

It really does make perfect sense to not auto populate the parent tag. In fact, it works the way sub notebooks would. If you had a notebook called "Friends" & sub notebooks of "Hiltons", "Fosters" & "Smiths" & put all the notes pertaining to Hiltons, Fosters & Smiths in the appropriate sub notebooks, then going to the Friends notebook would not bring up the notes filed in the Hiltons, Fosters or Smiths, sub notebooks. You'd have to drill down to the appropriate sub notebook.

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It really does make perfect sense to not auto populate the parent tag.

I don't agree with you.

I also was puzzled first, that parent tags are not automatically populated, when I apply a daughter tag. I'm used to that kind of auto population in most of the programs that use nested keywording (i.e. Aperture).

Back to your example: In my feeling, the "logically correct" way to tag someone, who is not "Hiltons", "Fosters" or "Smiths", is to apply a daughter tag "others" below the parent "friends". All those people are actually friends, so all should be found, when I search for the parent tag "friends", and not only the one friend, who is not a "Hiltons", "Fosters" or "Smiths".

Unfortunately Evernote decided, not to auto populate the parent tags (probably because it was easier to implement it this way ;-)). And now as many users have arranged themselves with this lame implementation of nested tags, Evernote probably hesitates to change this behavior, as it would brake the old style tagging schema.

Well, in case they bite the bullet and fix nested tagging (I hope they do it sooner than later), they could automatically add the parent tag as a daughter tag in case the parent is assigned at least to one note. In your example, all people would additionally get the parent tag "friends" and the others, who previously were the only ones tagged with the parent tag "friends" would now be tagged with a daughter tag "friends" -> "friends", which you could rename to "friends" -> "others". Obviously Evernote cannot do this renaming automatically, as the new name to choose depends on what the parent tag previously was really used for. In your example, you named the parent tag "friends" but used it not really for "friends". Instead you used it only for a subset of friends, who are not "Hiltons", "Fosters" or "Smiths" (aka "Others"). That's why I call it "wrong" usage.

Well a bit complicated to explain, but quite effective and easy to implement.


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In fact, I would be happier with auto-populate, but at least there was someone using the way it is as a "feature" :)

Since there may be a lot of users already using nested tags for other things, future versions of EN could include auto-populate as an option, I think (and hope :))

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I agree with Pete248 - you don't use the Parent tag as a catch-all for those without child tags - you create an "other families" folder - that's the way every other tagging/foldering program works

That way you get everyone who has a families tag - i.e ALL families, and if you want specific families you drop a level

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