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Auto tag items in notebook



I realize this will sound like duplication of the notebook name.  However, I would find it useful if if I could define one or more tags that would automatically be applied when something is put into a notebook.  There are various potential benefits of this.  One is a system I use (suggested in this stream:https://discussion.evernote.com/discover/59/) is to create a tag for each notebook (such as, if the notebook is named "A", create a tag "a-A".  These tags then allow filtering out or in a notebook in a search (something not possible in Evernote search).  There could be other benefits in terms of increasing the quality of your tagging which ultimately means better searching and filtering.

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6 hours ago, eafpres said:

 I think that the main thing I like about notebooks is they are nicely arranged in the left panel.  This allows me to see a "filtered" list of notes without doing a search.

Pseudo notebooks (hierarchical tags) give you the same exact arrangement in the left panel as real notebooks, and you can just as easily filter just by clicking on one (or more) tags (but you can filter by only one NB at a time).  Actually, pseudo notebooks are superior in viewing because they are hierarchical, and you can expand/collapse as shallow or deep as you like.

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Really like this idea. Some of us are less organized with our EN, and end up throwing lots of research, half of an idea here or there, scanned whiteboards, and notes with mixed topics. I would love to use this auto-categorizing as a way to organize handwritten notes into notebooks with tags or symbols. It would be fantastic to have Gmail-style filtering and auto-tagging as an option. Saving a search and adding it as a shortcut to your EN is an option, but it's not as elegant as what op proposes. 

If ever there were a time for EN to push some bold ideas forward to prove their worth, it's 5 years ago. But 2019 isn't a bad time for that, either.  

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Yes, Evernote now automatically puts in some tags. It's a step forward, but not nearly enough. We need auto-tag rules, similar to Gmail's filters, to catch what Evernote doesn't seem to be able to "learn" on its own. Here's why.

In the 15 years I've used Gmail, I've built up literally hundreds of auto-tagging rules (Gmail calls them "filters" but it's the same concept). I've done this because it makes it easier to find stuff in Gmail. All the concepts below that apply to Gmail would also apply to Evernote, to make it easier to find stuff in Evernote.

Here are some categories of auto-tagging:

1) Subset/superset relationships. For instance, when a note from a teacher calls out the name of one of my kids, Gmail automatically attaches the label "family". When a note mentions "401k", Gmail automatically attaches the label "Investments". When I receive a newsletter than mentions one of my company's competitors by name, Gmail attaches the label "competitor". You get the point.

2) Related concepts. When emails come from venmo.com and include the words "you paid", Gmail applies the label "receipt". 

3) Synonyms. My siblings have nicknames and commonly misspelled names. Gmail looks at all these, and applies an appropriate label for the sibling. That way I don't have to search for every permutation of their name or nickname.

Here are some examples of where I go through Evernote and manually tag items. It's a pain. Auto-tagging would save me a lot of time.

1. Apply tag corresponding to notebook name. So for example, everything in my Marketing notebook gets the Marketing tag. Everything in the Career notebook gets the Career tag. And so on. I put notes into one of a couple dozen notebooks. But sometimes a note could go into one of two different notebooks. For example, my career is marketing. So, sometimes I'll use the web clipper to pull in something that could go into the career notebook, and sometimes it goes into the marketing notebook. But to find it later, I'll tag it both "career" and "marketing". That say, since everything has a tag, just search by tag.

2. Tag by person name. Do a search for various spellings of my coworkers names, with quotes, as in "John Doe" or (mispelled) "Jon Doe" or nickname "Doe". Then apply a tag "johndoe". This makes it quicker to find meeting notes for that person. Or an article that was referred by that person. 

3. Tag by content type. Quick, what's the advanced search operator to find all notes with a PDF? It's resource:application/pdf. Not the easiest thing to remember, right? So I'll select all notes, search for resource:application/pdf, and tag as "pdf". Much easier to find PDFs. I'll also search for "docs.google.com/document/", "docs.google.com/spreadsheets/", and "docs.google.com/presentation/", and tag those "google doc", "google sheet", and "google slides", respectively. 

4. Tag by synonym. I take notes for an activity I do, sailboat racing. One type of boat is called a Vanguard 15. But articles I pull in through the web clipper might refer to "V15" or "Vanguard 15". I search for both, and apply the tag "Vanguard 15".

5. Tag by superclass. Also in the realm of sailing, I'll put in articles on boats that are called Knarrs, J/70s (also written J70, without the slash), J/105s, (and, J105), and so forth. All of these are a type of boat called a keelboat. So I'll do all those searches and apply the tag "keelboat". In the realm of work, when I clip an article that contains the word "GDPR" or "HIPAA", I'll add the tag "compliance", againn to make things easier to find.

6. Tag by related concept. Someday I'd love to race a boat to Hawaii, and I use Evernote to gather information I'll need to do those, since you're pretty much on your own in terms of packing food, surviving a gear failure (or worse, sunken boat), and so on. There are two main races, Pacific Cup on even years, and Transpac on odd years. They pretty much have the same challenges. When I use web clipper to pull an article with "Pacific Cup" in it, I apply the tag "transpac". Vice-versa when the article contains the word "Transpac". 

Yes, that's a lot of tagging. And I do even more. All to make it possible to locate notes among the thousands I have in Evernote. Hopefully this shows how auto-tagging would be useful.

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8 hours ago, Drivers.TreasureValley said:

AND If I could AUTO tag these notes upon arrival in their respective notebooks the time savings would be incalculable.  I currently use Folder import rules to create the vast majority of the 2500 notes each month. 

Auto tagging is not an Evernote feature but you could make use of third party solutions.

Filterize has an auto tagging solution.

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I've wished for better automation tools in Evernote for a long time. Triggers and actions (like IFTTT), all inside the Windows client would help solve the ACK/POD/INV problem easily, I'd think.


Upvoted the topic.

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A quick hack would be to precede the ACK POD and INV tags with the same unique character, say exclamation.  Then tag:!* ponumber should return the three notes.  

Another would be to put the three notes in their own notebook and limit the search to that notebook.  Or if already in their own notebook put the three notebooks in a stack and search the stack.  FWIW

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I am surprised to see this topic has died over a year ago.  I am using EN as a document repository where I generate upwards of 2500 note per month. Here is a scenario where auto tagging coupled with the ability to include and or exclude specific tags in a search (whole 'nother topic) could save me tremendous amounts of time.

In my repository there are , acknowledgements (ACK), proofs of delivery (POD) and Invoices (INV).  Each of these documents share a common unique identifier a purchase order number (PO).  When I search that PO, the desired results delivered would include all three of those documents in order for me to do a comparison. 

As my accounting system ages I am finding that the numbering scheme used by these various document types are being duplicated in my SO's, WO's PO's CR's and INV's.  All are starting to share this same "Unique" identifier (a limitation of my accounting software).  In addition other document types FWO, SWO, RMA, FSO, CM, INVOICE, CREDIT etc. etc. could potentially have that number typed on the document.  This creates a situation where a search on the single "unique" number generates a vast list of notes. (I only want 3)

If I could search the "unique" number then exclude or include notes based on their tags it would result in a great improvement to the productivity of my research.  AND If I could AUTO tag these notes upon arrival in their respective notebooks the time savings would be incalculable.  I currently use Folder import rules to create the vast majority of the 2500 notes each month.  Then I need to manually tag each item...if auto tagging could be associated with the folder import that would be cool too.

There is the possibility that I am overthinking this and I am not making full use of search syntax that is currently available...if that is the case I welcome a revised education.  I just want to make my time in EN the most productive it can be.

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I agree with the OP's request for ability to automatically add tag based on notebook for the following use case:

Other applications outside of Evernote allow you to use Evernote's search functionality to view items across several Notebooks. Evernote doesn't allow a multiple Notebook search query (according to documentation - perhaps there is a work around?) By automatically tagging items that land in a set of Notebooks, they could then be grouped together through the search query, but remain in separate Notebooks within Evernote. 

Yes, the alternative listed above is to instead use pseudo notebooks, which is another way to go. But for those who have the Notebook structure already and capture all their notes this way and/or prefer it that way, autotagging all notes in a Notebook would be nice.

Also, agree it's easy to go in and select all and tag a set of notebooks, but the point is to automate it so the use case can then be expanded upon. 


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csihilling - 

Before eafpres mentioned excluding a Notebook from a search, I had never tried. I tried it 3 times and it seem to work fine. So, I posted a reply to his. Given your reply to me, I tried it again. It worked again. However, what I decided is that it worked for me in those 4 instances because of the syntax structure and content I use in the Titles of my Notes. So, I stand corrected. I agree with you (and eafpres) that EN doesn't provide that capability.



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If it is the same list of tags or a list of tags per notebook you could try creating a hotkey per notebook using a text expander like PhaseExpress.  A fairly simple deployment of that app:  F3 followed by whatever keystrokes to id a tag followed by carriage return.  I took a minute and created an example, see below.  Gave it a hot key of Shift-Alt-W or autotext of nb-s.  So now whenever I invoke it I will add Statement and Wells.Fargo to the note in context.  FWIW.



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Thanks for your feedback.  A few thoughts.

Analyst444: Search cannot exclude a notebook name.  That is the basic thing I'm working around.  Your comment has to do with the search of things within notebooks.  This is what csihilling was commenting on.

jbenson2:  I understand the process you mention and use it frequently.  My request would be an efficiency improvement for a workaround caused by the major limitations of Evernote search grammar.  I do use clipper extensively in my research, and it is somewhat trainable as  you note.  I like it as it is correct about 50% (considering its choice of notebook and tags; for notebooks alone it is probably 75%).

JMichaelTX:   I have read and participated (in the 2nd) the threads you note, but thank you.  I appreciate your dedication to Evernote, and your frequent suggestions.  I'll look again at eliminating notebooks.  I think that the main thing I like about notebooks is they are nicely arranged in the left panel.  This allows me to see a "filtered" list of notes without doing a search.  Other than that they are not too important (but I"m used to them :) )


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8 minutes ago, Analyst444 said:

If I do a search for "xxxxxxxxxx -yyyyyyyyyy" (no quotes in the actual search), EN gives me a list of all Notes with xxxxxxxxxx, but excludes those in Notebook yyyyyyyyyy.


To be clear here, are you talking about a notebook named yyyyyyyyyy?  AFAIK, EN Windows does not allow elimination of notebooks from searches via minus notebook.  The above would only work if every note in notebook yyyyyyyyyy contained the text yyyyyyyyyy.  More of a text based elimination than a notebook based elimination.

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eafpres - I run EN Premium on Windows 7. If I do a search for xxxxxxxxxx where xxxxxxxxxx is a word, EN gives me a list of all Notes with the word. If I do a search for "xxxxxxxxxx -yyyyyyyyyy" (no quotes in the actual search), EN gives me a list of all Notes with xxxxxxxxxx, but excludes those in Notebook yyyyyyyyyy.

I can't imagine another need for a Tag to be "automatically applied when a Note is put into a Notebook".

Think of a Notebook name as though it were a Tag. Call it a "pseudo-tag" if that helps. (I'd call that a JMichaelTXism!).

I guess you might respond to my comments with something like, "I have a Notebook named 'Horses' and every time I add a Note to it, I want the Tag 'Pig' to be added to the Note. Well, if the Tag 'Pig' only applies when the subject Note is in the Notebook "Horses" (and would have to be removed if the Note to taken out of that Notebook), then that Note is really a 'Horse', not a 'Pig'.

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55 minutes ago, eafpres said:

I realize this will sound like duplication of the notebook name.  However, I would find it useful if if I could define one or more tags that would automatically be applied when something is put into a notebook.

Then why use Notebooks?  With the exception of sharing and offline mobile storage, I believe there is little need for notebooks.
You can use tags as pseudo Notebooks.  For more info see:

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In my opinion, I don't think there is enough customer demand for this auto-tagging requirement, especially when Evernote has easy work-arounds currently available.

Adding a tag to every note in a specific notebook can be done in less than 10 seconds.

1.) Select the notebook
2.) Ctrl A to select all the notes
3.) Add tag

Once a week, this can be done again to ensure all the notes are tagged.

On the other hand, Evernote Clipper does have a "smart" tagging feature, so perhaps an auto-tagging option for specific notebooks might be possible. Based on my experience, however, the"smart" tagging feature can be erratic.

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