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Nesting Multiple Notebooks / Creating Sub-Notebooks


cswsteve

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Could not agree with this feature request more. We need subnotebooks yesterday. This is an absolutely baffling omission from an otherwise great product.

I had a whole series of "2009" notebooks that were labeled as such so they would be at the top of my list. Well, now that I've started a series of 2010 notebooks, they fall beneath the 2009 ones. I've had to go and rename all my old notebooks so they're not at the top of the list. I would much rather move them to an "archived 2009" folder, and not have to do that, and be able to keep them grouped together for easy reference. I now have about 25 notebooks, so my list is getting out of control. I need to nest some of those into logical containers to clean up my sidebar.

Tags DO NOT get the job done. We need hierarchy.

Cultured Code, maker of Things has a similar issue with their task management software in that they will not add sub-projects. But they at least added "Areas of Responsibility" as a way to group projects, and this has gone a long way to adding some hierarchy.

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it sounds like you are saying that every sentence in a word processing document can be in a random order as long as you have a search engine to help you find the sentence you want.

thats great if you want a sentence, but what if you want to read the entire document start to finish by browsing the heirarchy (table of contents)? what if you don't know exactly what you are looking for? what if you know the general area but not the specific search terms? what if a search comes up with too many matches? subfolders solve all of these issues.

i don't agree on the google/web analogy because the next time you search the information may change - the web is dynamic, my information is personal and only i change it, so i like to know where it is exactly so i can jump right to the proper spot when the time comes. This is why i'm having trouble understanding the rigidness of evernote, and why a simple concept like subfolders to tuck items away in their proper place is so unknown.

seems to me you have not decided if you are random or organized information manager. if you are organized - you need folders so we can organize these notes into places where like things stay together, and then use the powerful search when we are looking across all items. if you are random, let us move items anywhere we want to and don't sort them automatically - and again we can use the search or browse as we choose.

I couldn't agree more. This whole discussion reminds me of when Steve Jobs proclaimed that folders would be irrelevant after Spotlight was introduced in Tiger, which of course was nonsense.

The bottom line is that we need both - Hierarchy and Search. For the reason well-stated above that we cannot always remember the search terms.

And if there really are no sub-notebooks planned, and tags really are going to be the only way to organize notes, then there should be a new UI for managing them, such as a HUD. Managing them in the sidebar is just awful, especially if you have as many as I do. I am going to try and reduce the number of tags I have as I have been creating them wily-nilly, but again, with sub-folders, it wouldn't be necessary to limit them.

Lack of subfolders seems utterly bizarre to me, and I'm going to reconsider my Premium subscription as I'm not sure how much more data I want to put into a flat system.

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Following the GTD philosophy, I've always found that Evernote was more suited to being my reference system, not my contexts. In other words, I don't think of it as my "todo list", but rather a kick-butt filing cabinet.

Totally agree - I use Evernote to clip all kinds of stuff and even manage some documents. I did try the Evernote GTD pseudo-functionality, but decided it was much too limited. After trying a bunch of different tools, I'm now using Things from Cultured Code. It's not perfect, and the developers are incredibly slow about putting out updates (nothing like the crew at Evernote that is constantly improving the apps for all platforms), but it works much better for GTD.

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As a new user, i too am utterly befuddled by the lack of subfolders. You have expressed the usefulness of hierarchical folders very well, and this oversight (though since EN has evidently been aware of the shortcoming for a while, it might be more accurately described as willful blindness to customers' needs) may be a dealbreaker for me.

i can't imagine subfolders represent much of a hurdle technically for EN, and those that insist on a flat structure can simply not use a subfolder feature and live happily ever after. In that light, it would seem some explananation by EN would be in order...

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Another vote for subnotebooks. I am a OneNote fan and I could really live without all the other extras in OneNote if this one feature were present in Evernote. My imports from OneNote become an unmanagable mess without a proper place to put OneNote sections. Tags are useful but they aren't a replacement. If this feature were put in place I'd be buying licenses for Evernote Premium for everyone in my company and uninstalling OneNote!

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Hi,

Have sub-notebooks (subfolders) been part of a discussion of improving Evernote. I have a lot of references and divided and organized these is sub notebooks. I do not like that they are always visible in my notebook list and would like them to fold out when needed under a notebook.

Philip

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No, stacks are a single level. If you need a much more complicated hierarchical organizational scheme, we'd recommend using Tags, since you can nest them to any level and have up to 10,000 tags.

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No, stacks are a single level. If you need a much more complicated hierarchical organizational scheme, we'd recommend using Tags, since you can nest them to any level and have up to 10,000 tags.

Thanks. I was just curious really.

When I first came to EN one of my big issues was some way to implement a proper multi-level hierarchy but I've come up with a new way of organising my data that works for me and removes my need for anything more than a single level tag space so I don't think that I'll even use the single level of stacking when it comes to Windows and iDevices.

As jna said though, the fact that "foobar" can't appear under both "foo" and "bar" makes it ugly to implement a proper tag hierarchy even though it is technically possible. The user is left having to disambiguate any tag names that they want to have appear in multiple places in the hierarchy, e.g. "foobar_foo" and "foobar_bar" and the more levels then the worse it can get, e.g. a tag of the form ___ which soon gets very ugly. Allowing the same tag name to appear in multiple places in the tag tree in the UI would be a big step forward. That still leaves people to make sure that, if they tag a note with "foobar", then they also remember to add either the "foo" or the "bar" tag (and any tags for levels in the hierarchy above that) to give the "foobar" tag its full path/context in the hierarchy but at least that's cleaner than forcing tags to be full pathnames as described above.

Luckily this isn't an issue for me anymore but I do feel some sympathy for others that still want a full hierarchy.

- Julian

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Can't help myself; all the discussion about notebook hierarchies in an unstructured, dynamic storage and retrieval system is interesting. Sometimes less is better than more (general search having to be reliable for sure). :(

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You put yourself in this category no doubt, right?

Indeed. I have no intimate knowledge of EN code. And unless you work for Evernote, neither do you. However, I am not making bold statements about how easy something should be to implement.

Also, I would be interested to know what search engine you're using to determine who has an intimate knowledge of certain software or programming skills and who doesn't.

Please don't modify my statements to suit your own purpose. It's very bad form. My claim wasn't about who has certain programming skills. And as far as knowing who has an intimate knowledge of the EN code, no search engine required. It's pretty darned easy. If you don't work for Evernote, you don't have intimate knowledge of their code.

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You never mentioned an intimate knowledge of Evernote code. You said, "people who have no intimate knowledge about a particular piece of software."

You're really reaching here. Oh, well, if that's what floats your boat.

i can't imagine subfolders represent much of a hurdle technically for EN, .

when it's so easy to implement.

Neither you or dloebs or me or anyone else who does not work for EN can know what's easy to implement. Period.

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can't we just say we would REALLY like to have this feature and leave it at that? they don't seem willing to say if it is a technical or a management decision, until we do we cannot know. I would really like to be able to group my searchable notes in bundles together so i can find them in groups by browsing in addition to the searching method, i hope others would as well.

brad

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Thanks to those who posted long examples of how they organize/manage with tags & searches, instead of subfolders. I, too, am craving subfolders and find it very awkward to get going without them. It was hard to wrap my mind around how to organize with tags & use searches, so the detailed extended examples were very helpful.

If the Evernote team is reading, I'd love to see the Tips & Tricks blog (& videos) have articles that focus on how exactly people organize their stuff. I'd also, just for the record, love to see subnotebooks too. :?

Thanks,

Karen

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can't we just say we would REALLY like to have this feature and leave it at that? they don't seem willing to say if it is a technical or a management decision, until we do we cannot know. I would really like to be able to group my searchable notes in bundles together so i can find them in groups by browsing in addition to the searching method, i hope others would as well.

Yes, you can say that, and I believe that your opinion is welcomed by Evernote staff. Me, I don't really care to organize my notes in hierarchical folders, as tags are plenty for me. I understand that others want that, but I've seen no interest in providing that in anything I've read by Evernote staff, so it's a moot point for me.

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Hello,

I have just registered and I cannot find option which is necessary for me if I would still be using Evernote.

I'd like to create hierarchical tree (similarly as directories in Windows, Linux or any other operating system) to put my notes to the proper categories, subcategories, sub-subcategories and so on. Is there such a possibility?

Regards!

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Nope. Each note in inside of exactly one notebook. Notebooks can be nested, to one level, inside a Stack, but you cannot nest a notebook inside another notebook. Stacks cannot be nested. Notes can be associated with tags, and tags can be organized in a hierarchical tree, but they are not themselves functionally hierarchical. There's plenty of discussion here on the forums on this topic, if you care to search.

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Thank you for your answer!

I have tried to find topics on the forum with the word "hierarchical" and found this (viewtopic.php?f=56&t=24233&p=104002&hilit=hierarchical#p104002). It looks like this person does with the tags what I'd like to do with them. That's not intuitive way (maybe better, maybe worse, I don't know - using it will answer me if it is good way) from my point of view but at least it offers the same functionality which I'd like to have (and that's the most important).

However, I have also checked the help to find in the most popular questions how to nest the tags. There was no such a question here (http://www.evernote.com/about/kb/search ... ledge+Base) and the most similar topic was "An Introduction to Tags" (http://www.evernote.com/about/kb/articl ... gs?lang=en). Unfortunately, the picture in that article doesn't look like what I see when I log in to my Evernote account. I see tags at the left of the window. I don't see any picture in that article describing how to nest tags. So - how to nest tags?

I don't quite understand the terms which you use. Is it something like default hierarchy which looks like:

-> stack

-> -> notebook

-> -> -> note

I don't see any need to have more than one, default stack.

In other words, please, tell me how to nest tags as shown on this picture (http://i.imgur.com/TlJKX.png) in this thread (viewtopic.php?f=56&t=24233&p=104002&hilit=hierarchical#p104002). I couldn't find the answer here (http://www.evernote.com/about/kb/search ... ledge+Base).

Regards!

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Tags are nested by merely dragging and dropping in the tag tree. Drop a tag onto another tag, and the tag (and all of its children) will become nested under the second tag. Drop a tag on the "Tags" label (it's not a real tag) and the tag and its children will become top-level tags.

Stacks are merely collections of notebooks; they're nice because they allow you to organize your notebook list (you have a max of 250 notebooks -- managing them as a flat list can be onerous) and certain operations, like search can be applied on a stack of notebooks. Notebooks are merely flat collections of notes.Notebooks and stacks appear in the Notebooks list. Stacks cannot be nested: if you drag a stack onto another stack, the notebooks will be moved from the first stack into the second stack, and the first stack will be deleted. Notebooks cannot be nested in other notebooks. However, notebooks and stacks coexist in the root of the Notebooks list; stacks are there to allow you to organize that list better.

The Knowledge Base is a work in progress, and more topics are being added.

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Thank you for your answers!

I have been looking for such a solution for some time and the alternative websites with notes (notebooks) had much lower functionality. I'm glad that I have found this useful website and got good support from the forum. And now I know how to nest the tags.

Now I just wonder if those have to automatically be grouped alphabetically (what I don't want to happen) but perhaps I will check it later. There are two other things which I will check sooner or later, about security of my data (e.g. encryption on server and ability to make backup of the data myself by saving it on the hard disc) and capabilities (limitations in the number of notes, tags etc.). I guess tutorial based on screen shots or, what would be even better, movie on youtube, would be very useful. But for now I know all the things which I need to start using the notebook with hierarchically nested tags. Maybe with exception for alphabetical sorting but I'm going to check it in a moment.

Regards!

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I am interested in other people's alternative solutions to hierarchy trees using Evernote. I am new to the software, and am accustomed to the hierarchical approach. How would you approach the following simple example to keep notes organized...

Art Projects

- Current Projects

* Project Name 1

* Project Name 2

- New Ideas

* Idea 1

* Idea 2

Design Projects

- Bidding

- Concepts

- Resources

and so on...

Thanks for your input.

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I am interested in other people's alternative solutions to hierarchy trees using Evernote. I am new to the software, and am accustomed to the hierarchical approach. How would you approach the following simple example to keep notes organized...

Art Projects

- Current Projects

* Project Name 1

* Project Name 2

- New Ideas

* Idea 1

* Idea 2

Design Projects

- Bidding

- Concepts

- Resources

and so on...

Thanks for your input.

Tags.

(Search the board, if you need more info. This has been discussed a lot, already.)

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Can't help myself; all the discussion about notebook hierarchies in an unstructured, dynamic storage and retrieval system is interesting. Sometimes less is better than more (general search having to be reliable for sure). :)

(Resurrecting an old post from an old thread that someone else resurrected.)

If I'm understanding you correctly, I absolutely agree. I have thousands (literally) of notes in EN & rarely have a problem finding the one I'm looking for. I primarily search all notebooks with "keywords" and sometimes tags. I almost never use saved searches.

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I am interested in other people's alternative solutions to hierarchy trees using Evernote. I am new to the software, and am accustomed to the hierarchical approach. How would you approach the following simple example to keep notes organized...

I would toss the notes for all these subjects into one single notebook and tag the notes accordingly.

Tag examples:

  • Art-current
    Art-job
    Art-idea
    Des-bid
    Des-idea
    Des-ref
    And then some tags to describe the specific jobs or ideas (Metropolitan Museum, Louvre, Tate Museum, etc)

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I'd really love to hear more suggestions on creating "hierarchies". I'm experimenting with Evernote as a permanent solution to my info management project, and not having a fairly intuitive way to build in a structure that mimics an outline format could very well be the showstopper for me. Which I would hate because I really love everything else about Evernote.

And sorry, 10,000 tags is not enough for me IF that is the only way I can create hierarchies. (If Evernote really works for me, I would end up with *at least* 50,000 individual outline elements.) Stacks won't work because I need at least four levels deep for my projects. I have tried the "double naming" concept (Contacts-Work, Contacts-School, etc), but that does not truly express the nuances of why I use hierarchies in my research projects.

I love how OneNote allows for infinite amount of hierarchal organization (which is really the only thing I like about it). Even a free blog on Wordpress allows for very complex hierarchies of "categories", so it's hard for me to believe such a concept is too difficult to do. I'm really surprised and sad that Evernote doesn't have some kind of more robust hierarchy functionality.

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I'd really love to hear more suggestions on creating "hierarchies". I'm experimenting with Evernote as a permanent solution to my info management project, and not having a fairly intuitive way to build in a structure that mimics an outline format could very well be the showstopper for me. Which I would hate because I really love everything else about Evernote.

And sorry, 10,000 tags is not enough for me IF that is the only way I can create hierarchies. (If Evernote really works for me, I would end up with 50,000 individual outline elements.) Stacks won't work because I need at least four levels deep for my projects. I have tried the "double naming" concept (Contacts-Work, Contacts-School, etc), but that does not truly express the nuances of why I use hierarchies in my research projects.

I love how OneNote allows for infinite amount of hierarchal organization (which is really the only thing I like about it). Even a free blog on Wordpress allows for very complex hierarchies of "categories", so it's hard for me to believe such a concept is too difficult to do. I'm really surprised and sad that Evernote doesn't have some kind of more robust hierarchy functionality.

I suggest you read some of the existing threads on tags vs sub-folders/sub-notebooks. Many people (including myself) have posted extensive posts about how to use tags. IMO & IME, if you're using anywhere near 10,000 tags (or more), then you're overtagging. (I have just under 40,000 notes & probably only have ~150 tags.)

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Thank you, I will look at previous posts. If you could, it would help me greatly if you could suggest either some specific threads or good keyword searches to find these posts.

I agree with you that anything over 10,000 in *tags* says that some reanalysis is necessary. However, my scenario assumed I was using tags, in a sense, as a substitute for creating pure hierarchy-based info organization. I would much rather use tags as they are meant to be used in all info management systems. :)

My project work has been going on for 25 years and truly does require tens of thousands of hierarchal levels because the information itself requires that kind of breakdown. Trust me, I am NOT partial to very complex hierarchies or to breaking down information to insignificant detail; my work actually is trying to pull these details up into less complex models. But I have to start with the details. :)

Thanks again!

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I don't use tags or multiple notebooks at all. Instead I use keywords in the titles of all my notes. Here are some example note titles:

myco - TODO = my TODO list at My Company, where I work.

myco - proj1 - mtg notes = all my meeting notes about Project1 at My Company.

myco - proj1 - work notes = my ongoing work notes about how I'm implementing Project1.

etc...

Then I have a saved search for "intitle:myco". I click on that, then I can do a "intitle:proj1" search to get just myco / proj1 notes. Doing a search after clicking on a saved search will search only within the saved search results so it's kind of like a refined search.

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I don't use tags or multiple notebooks at all. Instead I use keywords in the titles of all my notes. Here are some example note titles:

That's fine, but working with tags is generally better supported in Evernote than is working with free text in titles. For example, in the Windows client, you have an easy way to tag multiple notes, which would be difficult to do with keywords in titles. You must be very disciplined. :D

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Or they could add Stacked Stacks for those people (and this topic keeps coming up enough times to indicate its a not-insignificant number) who want to use "notebook level hierarchy" since adding it shouldn't in any way force anyone to change the way they currently use Enote if they don't want to.

Those who want Stacks within stacks (in other words a Project > Section > Subsection way of organising their notes without resorting to tags) are happy.

Those who just want to use Tags are happy as the change in no way effects them.

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Or they could add Stacked Stacks

I'd guess they would have done this from the get go, if it were feasible. As you can see from Dave Engberg's post above, EN has suggested using tags, instead of the "sub notebook" way of organizing notes.

Additonally, stacks currently aren't even rolled out on all platforms. Since the iPhone app has been totally redone since stacks were rolled out on the Windows/Mac desktops and it does not have stacks, I'd guess that stacks aren't that easy to implement on the various platforms that EN supports. I would imagine stacked stacks would be at least as problematic.

As has been said multiple times before on the board, if you plan on using Evernote very much, you need to learn to be comfortable with using notebooks, tags, keywords & stacks (single level) for organizing your notes. Otherwise, you should find another app.

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Thank you, I will look at previous posts. If you could, it would help me greatly if you could suggest either some specific threads or good keyword searches to find these posts.

I agree with you that anything over 10,000 in *tags* says that some reanalysis is necessary. However, my scenario assumed I was using tags, in a sense, as a substitute for creating pure hierarchy-based info organization. I would much rather use tags as they are meant to be used in all info management systems. :D

My project work has been going on for 25 years and truly does require tens of thousands of hierarchal levels because the information itself requires that kind of breakdown. Trust me, I am NOT partial to very complex hierarchies or to breaking down information to insignificant detail; my work actually is trying to pull these details up into less complex models. But I have to start with the details. :)

I understand where you are coming from. I am in the same boat as you of liking what it does, while being disappointed with what it does not do. My professional work is also very project oriented and personally I would never attempt to use EN for it, but maybe you'll be able to adapt it to your work. I don't know what is driving you to EN but IF you only need a desktop application you may want to take a look at InfoQube. InfoQube has no mobile client of any type though, it is strictly a desktop app. From a power users standpoint it makes EN look like a toy, but like everything it has its own shortcomings, and the GUI is not as beautiful as EN's. OneNote, EN and InfoQube are the three PIM's/info managers I like. IQ is the most powerful by far but also the most obtuse.

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Evernote is a very handy tool but to ever gain the corporate market, tags will never suffice for folders & sub-folders. Tags are a great search tool but not an organization structure. Really Evernote boys... how difficult can sub-folders be? So please consider sub-folders or sub-stacks... even Google gave up with tags in email and went imap and the folders route!

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Evernote is a very handy tool but to ever gain the corporate market, tags will never suffice for folders & sub-folders. Tags are a great search tool but not an organization structure. Really Evernote boys... how difficult can sub-folders be? So please consider sub-folders or sub-stacks... even Google gave up with tags in email and went imap and the folders route!

First, Evernote is not trying to be in the corporate market. As an aside, there's no reason the corporate world couldn't adjust to tags, which function pretty much the same way as nested folders do. (shrug)

Second, I don't know how difficult it would be to implement sub-notebooks/stacks, nor do you. However, I think it's safe to assume that if it were all that easy to implement across all the platforms EN lives on, that either they or someone else would have done it.

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Evernote is a very handy tool but to ever gain the corporate market...

Some comments from the Evernote CTO about their past experiences with corporate software issues found at this link.

  • "Basically, a bunch of the people who built Evernote have a lot of experience in the "Enterprise software sales" business, and it's completely 180-degree different than Evernote's "freemium" personal memory service. It's hard to do both business models under the same roof, in my experience."
http://forum.evernote.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=24540&p=105140&hilit=experience#p105140

And Phil Libin, the Evernote CEO said:

  • "You're right about corporate being the revenue stream for most tech vendors, but happily that's not the case for us. Our direct consumer revenues from premium subscriptions and partner products are more than enough to make us a profitable and sustainable long-term company. The consumer business is booming for us and we have no financial incentive to switch focus."

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Evernote is a very handy tool but to ever gain the corporate market, tags will never suffice for folders & sub-folders.

Interestingly, I'm currently working on some software for a multi-national, multi-billion dollar enterprise customer that is completely tag driven.

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  • Evernote Employee

Mahesh,

Yes, you can have more than 2 notebooks in a stack. Just right-click on the stack and choose "Create Notebook in ..."

For existing notebooks, just drag the notebook onto the stack.

Thanks,

Max

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Thanks Max.

I'm not sure if I conveyed the message properly. What I meant by 'multiple notebooks in a stack' is having multiple levels of notebooks. When I do 'right click' on a notebook it gives the option of adding the notebook at the top level 'notebook'.

NB1

|

+----NB2

.......|

.......+----NB3

............. |

..............+----NB4

(ignore the dots, I had to insert there to get the right format)

I know following works:

NB1

|

+---- NB2

|

+---- NB3

|

+---- NB4

Thanks

Mahesh

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Mahesh,

From what I understand, you are asking for multiple levels of notebook stacks. Evernote does not support it. You can only have notebooks in a stack, you cannot have another stack inside a stack.

Thanks,

Max

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Interestingly, I'm currently working on some software for a multi-national, multi-billion dollar enterprise customer that is completely tag driven.

You forgot to mention what you are working on. A CRM system? Maybe on the LHR? So even it is "enterprise" and "multi-billion dollar" it is not necessarily justifies not having a tree structure in information organizing.

Facts: people usually use computers, and those computer organize information in file-systems, and it is logical. Therefore it is no wonder these people would like to use the same information organizing method they have been used to for ages.

Why these people don't accept the logic behind the "we have only tags instead of notebook hierarchy"? Because Evernote has hierarchy, although it is 1 level deep.

A flat level tag system will never be able to organize information like a file-system or a tree hieararchy would do, because the tags currently used in Evernote have no hierarchy, so you can't reproduce this in Evernote: foo/bar/foo/bar.

Not to mention that small work I have to do when I want to move a bunch of my notes form one place to another. Currently it has to be done by renaming tags (for the missing depth in hieararchy) and moving those notes (because Evernote has that 1 level deep hierarchy).

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A flat level tag system will never be able to organize information like a file-system or a tree hieararchy would do, because the tags currently used in Evernote have no hierarchy, so you can't reproduce this in Evernote: foo/bar/foo/bar

You can't have that exact wording but you can replicate it enough to be at least as useful while being so more flexible than sub folders, which end up being restrictive when you have thousands of notes. You do have to think outside the box. This has been already discussed in depth many times on the board, so please use the search function for more info.

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And yet, the topic of structure (be it sub notebooks or stacked stacks) keeps coming up. That in and of itself says something.

As is the case with so many new ideas, that some people are opposed to change or learning a newer, better way of doing something. :)

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In the end I think you have to accept that Evernote are not going to implement a deeper hierarchy than Stacks and Notebooks. They have been very very clear about this.

If this design doesn't work for you, well then maybe Evernote is not the right application for you.

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As is the case with so many new ideas, that some people are opposed to change or learning a newer, better way of doing something. :)

That is an incredibly arrogant and insulting position to take. Even with the smiley. I suggest you look in a mirror. Your way is not the ONLY correct way of doing things. It is painfully obvious that the virtual organisation that tagging employs is simply not enough for some people. And insulting people with opposing viewpoints is not the way to evangelise a product. :-x

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As is the case with so many new ideas, that some people are opposed to change or learning a newer, better way of doing something. :)

That is an incredibly arrogant and insulting position to take. Even with the smiley. I suggest you look in a mirror. Your way is not the ONLY correct way of doing things. It is painfully obvious that the virtual organisation that tagging employs is simply not enough for some people. And insulting people with opposing viewpoints is not the way to evangelise a product. :-x

It's not my way. It's Evernote's way. I didn't invent it & I had a bit of trouble adapting at first, too. But once I realized the tags are every bit as useful as nested sub folders and yet offered so much more flexibility, then I was sold.

And, IMO, the best way to evangelize a product is to show people how to use it as it is, rather than gnash their teeth, wring their hands & lament the lack of a feature that does not exist & (from all indications) may never exist in the product. Of course, for some people, that will be a deal killer & that's why there are other apps out there.

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That is an incredibly arrogant and insulting position to take. Even with the smiley. I suggest you look in a mirror. Your way is not the ONLY correct way of doing things. It is painfully obvious that the virtual organisation that tagging employs is simply not enough for some people. And insulting people with opposing viewpoints is not the way to evangelise a product. :-x

Funny, I keep getting the sense that people who want a more defined hierarchy seem to think that their way is the only valid way. If how EN has chosen to do things doesn't work for you AND they've said they don't really intend to change, why are you continuing to frustrate yourself by trying to use the wrong tool?

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I do not believe I have EVER in insinuated that tags are wrong, that hierarchical organisation is the only solution to all organisational issues, nor have ever insinuated that people who believe differently are ignorant luddites who refuse to adapt.

And for the record, I do use Tags. I just would like the option to mix and match tags and stacks to suit the particular need I have at the time. Tags are not the answer in every case. Stacks are not the answer in every case. Sometimes, it helps to use both.

Edit: I'm not saying the Enote is a piece of poo, or far from perfect. Out of all the software solutions I've tried, its comes close to being perfect. I adapted to not having Onotes "write anywhere" method, and no prefer Enotes. I find the cross-platform existence of clients incredibly useful when sharing notes. There are just a few features I wish it had that would bring it just that one step closer to perfection. Stacked stacks is just one, having a button on the toolbar (desktop, mobile and web to strip the formatting from selected text (or the entire note) is another.

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And yet, the topic of structure (be it sub notebooks or stacked stacks) keeps coming up. That in and of itself says something.

Coming from a marketing background, I agree with your comment. For every written comment, there are dozens of unwritten, but similar supporting views.

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which end up being restrictive when you have thousands of notes.

How can "having more depth in hierarchy" be more restictive than having 1? :D

I understand your point and it works well for people who have so much information that they have to use search functionality all the time. They really need to categorize the data (tagging), that data can be anywhere, because its location just doesn't matter. These people wouldn't be harassed by even a totally flat note structure.

However project managers like me (and around me) are cursed with some data organizing habit. So I keep my projects in folders (named by the project's name), and when I want to work with something I can usually pinpont it, I don't need to search. This makes tags completely useless to me.

Then I tried to think outside the box, as you suggested :D , because the file-system example is wrong if we look at the fact that file-systems don't support tagging functionality at all and that's why we are used to use folders. But I immediately missed features which would ease the pain on tags:

Introducing tags in the note creation process very early: There are a lot of people arguing about the missing stacked notebook feature, and the answer is usually 'use tags'. So these people need to be taught to use tags. But - for example - if I select a tag (or more tags), the right-click menu does not contain a "Create note with tags" entry. I don't know how much of the documents are automatically imported into Evernote instead of creating it in Evernote, but I usually do the second (and not scan, send a document into Evernote, or whatever).

The illusion of usefulness of nested tags: adding the deepest entry of nested tags won't add its parents. Which makes tag nesting useless and confusing. A simple tag grouping would have been better to understand, although useless as well. Even if there were some "auto-adding nested tag's parents" feature, it would be still useless, as when tags are added to a note, they immediately loose their child/parent hierarchy (so why create them in the first place?).

I hope I wasn't nitpicking too hard, I might have done lot of UX and UI projects this year :)

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Like others, I've wished for the ability to have deeper hierarchy of notes. I have to think harder about using tags to achieve this; it just hasn't been a "natural" approach for me.

For those looking for an alternative, check out PersonalBrain - http://www.thebrain.com/products/personalbrain/. Actually, I'm a heavy user of both apps, so maybe alternative isn't the right word. Frankly, I've been struggling with how to either 1) create a workflow leveraging both apps or 2) settle on one over the other. I don't have the inclination to go into a detailed comparison of the two atm, but here are a few top of mind thoughts...

What I like about PersonalBrain is that it allows me to be more organized (with parent / child hierarchical relationships). What's nice, though, is that you can have multiple parents for any though, so it's much more powerful than the traditional folder structure people are used to. You can also have "jump" thoughts to connect one thought to another ("sideways") without making either one a parent or child to the other.

PB also allows you to assign both multiple tags AND thought types to any thought. It's incredibly flexible.

What I've been trying most recently is to use EN as the initial repository, dumping everything into it. And then seeing if how it works to put what I think is the more powerful PB interface on top of it: i.e., copying EN hyperlinks and pasting them into PB. Ideally, though, I would just use one app to reduce the amount of time spent organizing data. It sometimes feels like I'm doing double the work.

While PB lets you publish your brains to the cloud, this means I need to have connectivity in order to access. I appreciate that I can store notebooks locally with EN and access them from anywhere regardless of whether I'm connected.

Anyway, if you haven't checked out PB, I would encourage you to do so. There's a free version. I think it will give you some interesting thoughts (no pun intended) on how you organize your data. Perhaps when I have more time, I'll show some examples of how I would tackle the same activity in either app... and what I see as the pros and cons of each for my own usage.

Any other joint PB and EN users out there? I would definitely like to hear how you're managing the relationship between the two apps.

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Funny, I keep getting the sense that people who want a more defined hierarchy seem to think that their way is the only valid way. If how EN has chosen to do things doesn't work for you AND they've said they don't really intend to change, why are you continuing to frustrate yourself by trying to use the wrong tool?

You need to get to now Set theory deeper :D . If you want exactly 1 level of stacks and I want unlimited level of it, my "valid" way contains your "valid" way. If the software knew unlimited levels of stacks you could still use only 1 and we could both have our "valid" ways without clashing. Those "valid" ways would collide only if we wanted the same thing but with a different predefined property (you want 1 level, I want 2).

And you are generalizing that the whole tool is wrong just because one of its - smaller - functionality is wrong. Evernote has problem, but for this one there are no workarounds. Take "Paste as Text" as an example. A very simple function, yet it is a *****. I don't know what it does wrong, because it is irreproducible. Every time I try it, the text looks good in Evernote, but if I copy/paste it into another software, it becomes garbage. So I paste text first into Notepad++, then copy it from there, then paste it into Evernote. Then it will be good everywhere. But I'm lazy to file a ticket, because this workaround solution is fine for me.

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You need to get to now Set theory deeper :D . If you want exactly 1 level of stacks and I want unlimited level of it, my "valid" way contains your "valid" way. If the software knew unlimited levels of stacks you could still use only 1 and we could both have our "valid" ways without clashing. Those "valid" ways would collide only if we wanted the same thing but with a different predefined property (you want 1 level, I want 2).

All of which might be a valid point if EN had infinite resources. You apparently missed the rest of my post where I stated that I didn't care if they added additional levels of hierarchy unless the time spent on that detracted from other things. They're a small company. I'd hate to see them waste time becoming like other programs when the direction they're going in suits me so well.

We will have to agree to disagree.

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The illusion of usefulness of nested tags: adding the deepest entry of nested tags won't add its parents. Which makes tag nesting useless and confusing. A simple tag grouping would have been better to understand, although useless as well. Even if there were some "auto-adding nested tag's parents" feature, it would be still useless, as when tags are added to a note, they immediately loose their child/parent hierarchy (so why create them in the first place?).

Nested tags in Evernote are mainly for organizational purposes, and not for exposing semantic hierarchies. It's been that way since Evernote added the nesting capabilities, and was acknowledged by them at the time. And they understand the difference. That tag nesting exists doesn't make them non-useful; they are exactly as useful as before nesting came around, but now you can organize them, which makes them more manageable, so long as you don't fall into the trap of assuming that they behave hierarchically with respect to searching. Auto adding tag parents is problematic; in my opinion; it's coming at the problem from the wrong end. I think that enhancing search to allow for hierarchical functionality would be the way to go: i.e., the ability to search for notes labelled by a tag and any of its subtags would give users the ability to treat their tag trees as semantic hierarchies, which seems to be what some of them want.

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I think that enhancing search to allow for hierarchical functionality would be the way to go: i.e., the ability to search for notes labelled by a tag and any of its subtags would give users the ability to treat their tag trees as semantic hierarchies, which seems to be what some of them want.

Agreed. I ended up using prefixed tags to get around this problem.

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And yet, the topic of structure (be it sub notebooks or stacked stacks) keeps coming up. That in and of itself says something.

Coming from a marketing background, I agree with your comment. For every written comment, there are dozens of unwritten, but similar supporting views.

+1

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Agreed. I ended up using prefixed tags to get around this problem.

This is the proper sign of an underlying architectural problem. These "tags" are tied together on the wrong level, which results in tags like "project_documents" and "project_info" and you'll have "project" duplicated. Although the Search functionality is smart enough to find text fragments, that way searching for "projec" will work.

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Agreed. I ended up using prefixed tags to get around this problem.

This is the proper sign of an underlying architectural problem.

Not necessarily.

The prefixed tags are a helpful mnemonic device to remember the tag name.

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I think that enhancing search to allow for hierarchical functionality would be the way to go: i.e., the ability to search for notes labelled by a tag and any of its subtags would give users the ability to treat their tag trees as semantic hierarchies, which seems to be what some of them want.

If I understand properly, this would result in multiple levels of notebooks represented by tag hierarchy.

Which leads back to my original question (which popped in my mind, reading a lot about the tagging system): If the tagging system is to be enhanced (and not the notebook hierarchy), why there is a one level depth at all?

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I think that enhancing search to allow for hierarchical functionality would be the way to go: i.e., the ability to search for notes labelled by a tag and any of its subtags would give users the ability to treat their tag trees as semantic hierarchies, which seems to be what some of them want.

If I understand properly, this would result in multiple levels of notebooks represented by tag hierarchy.

I don't think that you have. The suggestion is to allow (but not force) search to be able to honor the tag hierarchy, without affecting the current system of stacks, notebooks or tags. In other words, this mode of search would allow you to search for tag "A", and match not only explicit matches of tag "A" (which is what it does now), but also notes tagged with subtags of "A".

Note that this is something I'm suggesting could be useful, but I've never see any posting by Evernote folks that would lead me to think that they're considering it.

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This discussion forced me to look harder at how I'm using Evernote and how I'm using PersonalBrain. I use both programs on a daily basis and have struggled with getting ONE of them to do everything I want. I think I've decided that PB is better for general projects and data that needs a bit more organization, and EN is better for the stream of consciousness stuff that I just want to quickly capture. For those unfamiliar with PB, I made some screen captures tonight that highlight some of the differentiating features that I wish could be done in EN.

At first, I tried to share the note from EN but the page looked blank to me.... so I sent it to my Posterous instead.

http://supherb.posterous.com/some-featu ... lbrain-vis

http://www.evernote.com/shard/s1/sh/689 ... 388dec00e6

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This discussion forced me to look harder at how I'm using Evernote and how I'm using PersonalBrain. I use both programs on a daily basis and have struggled with getting ONE of them to do everything I want. I think I've decided that PB is better for general projects and data that needs a bit more organization, and EN is better for the stream of consciousness stuff that I just want to quickly capture. For those unfamiliar with PB, I made some screen captures tonight that highlight some of the differentiating features that I wish could be done in EN.

At first, I tried to share the note from EN but the page looked blank to me.... so I sent it to my Posterous instead.

http://supherb.posterous.com/some-featu ... lbrain-vis

http://www.evernote.com/shard/s1/sh/689 ... 388dec00e6

You know, a lot of people seem to want/be searching for a single app that does it all. I don't think such an animal exists. I've been writing/using software for over 35 years & IMO, it boils down to some apps do some things amazingly well but no app is going to do it all (or do it all well.) Fact of life. I don't know why some people seem to think they need to decide between OneNote & EN. I use both. OneNote I use occasionally. EN I use pretty much every hour of every day. Do I use either one for budgeting/balancing our books? No. Use the app that's best suited to the task.

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I tried to share the note from EN but the page looked blank to me

Current bug in web client/service.

I don't think such an animal exists.

Agreed. Evernote does a great job of replacing Delicious and Browser bookmarks. My use of browser tabs is way down now, clip and close. But, I still use other apps e.g. Google Docs/Spreadsheets, Remember the Milk, etc. for what they do best. Evernote is a good repository but it is not, and should not be, a swiss army knife.

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The drawback on tag structuring in flat collections is that you only see the immanent structure by searching and not by showing.

If you want to share structured information, like projects/circumstances where the structure of presentation is part of the information itself

a) it forces you to put all information/notes into a single notebook, because there are no overall tags once shared

B) the structure within has to be outlined by a "keynote" or people won't know the structure inferred otherwise by obvious organisation

This means that Evernote generally is more applicable for sharing collections than constructions.

P.S. The concept of "inheriting" context by nesting entities of understanding is quite a real world model and natural, not so much just "old" thinking habit.

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I usually put structure into my note titles. e.g "Hardware - Scanner - ...", "Evernote - Web -..", "Client - Project -.." etc.

Thanks for the proposal. You're right, flattening out the directory path into the title is a feasible workaround and probably my means of choice.

Nevertheless it's a bit of a drag with growing complexity and only of moderate elegancy ;-). Just imagine a little adjustment in "directory structure" leading to editing all of the titles.

Harald

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I usually put structure into my note titles. e.g "Hardware - Scanner - ...", "Evernote - Web -..", "Client - Project -.." etc.

Thanks for the proposal. You're right, flattening out the directory path into the title is a feasible workaround and probably my means of choice.

Nevertheless it's a bit of a drag with growing complexity and only of moderate elegancy ;-). Just imagine a little adjustment in "directory structure" leading to editing all of the titles.

Harald

Yep. There are times I would kill for a regexp find & replace for a collection of note titles.

On the other hand, the adjustment in structure may not be that useful. What you are talking about is essentially a view problem. Tags and/or saved searches may be an adequate alternative.

If I need an elegant solution to a specific data management problem then in all probability Evernote may not be a perfect solution. The issue becomes one of is it good enough. In many cases the answer is yes. In some cases the answer is that some other tool is needed for the job. e.g. I have very large media libraries. I would not even think of using Evernote to manage those libraries, however, I do use Evernote to keep track of potential acquisitions for those libraries.

The art of the possible.

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Some people expose a hierarchy in their tag naming schemes. See this earlier post from this thread: http://forum.evernote.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=20719#p116181, for example. Again, not necessarily convenient, but possible.

Quite OK, one could tag each "subdirectory" accordingly so notes of that level will show up when clicking on the tag.

Drawback again: In a client visualizing the shared tag tree the hierarchy of the original is lost and not displayed. Also the introduction of tags by the co-users is not supported.

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Drawback again: In a client visualizing the shared tag tree the hierarchy of the original is lost and not displayed.

Actually, the hierarchy is embodied in the name of the tag, so long as you mirror the hierarchical structure or the original tag tree in the name. Which is sorta the point: you see the tag, you see the implied hierarchy.

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Hi 99lives, welcome to the forum :)

Currently, there is only the possibility to have one level of notebooks within stacks

i.e.

Notebook Stack 1

- Notebook 1

- Notebook 2

Notebook Stack 2

- Notebook 3

- Notebook 4

Whether this will change or not in the future, I don't know. I think that the general consensus is that it wont.

One option would be to try a similar thing with tags, and there are various threads about this on the forum.

One example:

http://discussion.ev...nested-folders/

Scott

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and there are various threads about this on the forum.

Indeed. In addition to the thread Scott posted, please use the search function to find other threads as this has already been discussed at great length. As Scott pointed out, there is no indication sub-notebooks will be added any time soon, if at all.

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Just recently started using Evernote again after having installed it several years ago and not really getting into it. But things have changed in the way I manage my files and I find I am loving Evernote now after having used Catch for a few months after getting an Android.

Anyway, I am unclear about one thing regarding notebooks. I know there is a limit of 250 synced notebooks including stacks. That's where I'm not sure if a stack with 10 notebooks inside it counts as 1, 10, or 11 notebooks of your total Can anyone clear this up.

BTW, this limit is what finally swayed me to switch over from Catch. I actually did like that app, even though it didn't have a desktop application - only phone and web. But the free account only allows 3 streams (their equivalent of notebooks). Now I'm finding Evernote vastly superior in almost every way as i use it more and more.

Thanks for any help,

Rick

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Anyway, I am unclear about one thing regarding notebooks. I know there is a limit of 250 synced notebooks including stacks. That's where I'm not sure if a stack with 10 notebooks inside it counts as 1, 10, or 11 notebooks of your total Can anyone clear this up.

A stack of 10 notebooks = 11 notebooks

A word of caution - many of the Evernote power users have found fewer notebooks are more useful than many notebooks.

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OK. Thanks!

I'll keep your advice in mind as I continue to decide how I really want my Evernote set up in the long term. I currently have 28 notebooks but am still trying to decide if that number should be more, less, or is about right for the number of subjects. It's kind of a balancing act between the effective use of stacks, notebooks, and tags.

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I have ~9,000 notes in one notebook, and I recommend trying out that setup. Notebooks are very weak for searching, since you can't search more than one notebook, and you can't remove individual notebooks from your search. (That is, of your 28 notebooks you can only search in one of them or in all of them, not in 2 through 27, unless you create stacks just for the purpose of searching.) Tags let you search any number of combinations that you want. And you never have to think, "Does this note belong in Notebook A or Notebook B?" With tags, you just tag it with both.

If you're interested in trying to switch to a tag-heavy, notebook-light structure, we're happy to answer any questions you have about this. You might also want to search the forums for more about this. Here's one conversation to start with:

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That being said, notebooks are still the smallest granularity for offline notes (sets of notes that stay always resident on a mobile device, e.g. Android) and for local notes (sets of notes that reside only one a local machine, and not synced to the Evernote cloud), and are also the containers used for sharing sets of notes all at once. They're also useful as the targets of import operations or other external source that add untagged items to Evernote, like Google Reader via IFTTT or auto-forwarded emails, giving you an Inbox of sorts that you can paw through and categorize at your leisure. Those may be considerations for how you structure your Evernote note database.

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Notebooks are very weak for searching, since you can't search more than one notebook

For people with more than one notebook:

When "All Notes" are selected in the Left Panel, all notebooks are searched.

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They're still weak with respect to searching: you can only use a single Notebook, a single Stack, or All Notebooks as your search scope. A stack lets you get multiple notebooks into a search, but it's not particularly flexible, but not bad if you don't have a lot of notebooks and you don't really care all that much about how they're structured -- just make an ad hoc stack and search away (but you can't really then persist that search, since it's ad hoc).

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Notebooks are very weak for searching, since you can't search more than one notebook

For people with more than one notebook:

When "All Notes" are selected in the Left Panel, all notebooks are searched.

Yes, that's what I hoped to make clear in the next sentence:

Notebooks are very weak for searching, since you can't search more than one notebook, and you can't remove individual notebooks from your search. (That is, of your 28 notebooks you can only search in one of them or in all of them, not in 2 through 27, unless you create stacks just for the purpose of searching.)

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They're also useful as the targets of import operations or other external source that add untagged items to Evernote, like Google Reader via IFTTT or auto-forwarded emails, giving you an Inbox of sorts that you can paw through and categorize at your leisure. Those may be considerations for how you structure your Evernote note database.

What do you mean? I use ifttt, and it adds tags automatically, which is how I organize my different feeds.

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They're also useful as the targets of import operations or other external source that add untagged items to Evernote, like Google Reader via IFTTT or auto-forwarded emails, giving you an Inbox of sorts that you can paw through and categorize at your leisure. Those may be considerations for how you structure your Evernote note database.

What do you mean? I use ifttt, and it adds tags automatically, which is how I organize my different feeds.

You're right -- I guess what I wrote was a little misleading; since I read articles in Google Reader that I would wish to tag differently, based on content, I don't add any tags at all, I just send them to my Inbox notebook, for later winnowing. So yeah, you can add tags; I just don't find it very useful for my purposes.

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Wow! Lots of food for thought. These are all valid considerations for me to mull over.

I had perhaps 100 notes in Catch so far with only two streams and had not yet had a problem finding anything but it just seemed too limiting knowing that I could only create one more stream for free. But one concern I have with a too tag heavy approach is not wanting to have to spend 5 minutes on every note looking through a huge list of tags trying to decide how many are truly applicable and important to a single notebook approach. Perhaps I am overthinking it tough or getting the wrong idea about this approach?

I'm not praising Catch or criticizing Evernote but simply trying to complete my transition - but there was one feature in Catch I really liked that I have not yet figured out how to do in Evernote - or if I even can. That was an easy way to narrow results with multiple tags. For an exaggerated but realistic example, let's say I had 500 notes in a "Hiking" notebook. 250 have a "trails" tag and 25 of those have a "New Hampshire" tag. Other trail notes may have tags of "Virginia", "Tennessee", etc. for trails in those states. 20 of the 25 trail notes tagged "New Hampshire" are tagged "peaks" and 10 of those 25 are tagged "waterfalls" Many of the VA and TN trails notes have varying mixtures of these two tags as well. Now, let's say there are several other notes in this notebook also tagged "New Hampshire" but not "trails". In Catch, while on either All Notes or the Hiking stream, if I pulled up the tag interface and selected trails, it would show all 250 notes tagged "trails" but no other notes. The interface would also show that these notes included 25 New Hampshire tags, X number of Virginia and Tennessee tags, as well as X number of waterfall and peaks tags. The notes with New Hampshire tags but NOT with trails tags have already been excluded. If I then select New Hampshire in the list of tags it will then display only the 25 notes tagged with both "trails" and "New Hampshire". It will also show that there are now 20 notes tagged "peaks" and 10 tagged "waterfalls". Continuing, I select "waterfalls" and am left with only the 10 notes tagged "trails", "New Hampshire" and "waterfalls". I will no longer see notes tagged "waterfall" AND "Virginia" for example. Nor will I see other "New Hampshire" tags that got culled when I originally selected trails.

Is there anything similar and equally easy in Evernote? If not, that would seem to justify a larger number of notebooks to my way of thinking.

Rick

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There are many different ways to attack this.

One solution which I strongly support is to have a well-structured format for the title of your notes.

Saved Searches for frequent searches is also helpful.

In Evernote Windows, I would have the "Show Search Exploration" turned on. (Ctrl + F10)

This will let me see the count of my different searches.

Because I have a lot of tags, I rely on the search window for 100% of my searches.

I use copy and paste a lot, with Notepad. I also always clear my search (Win + Shift + F) before running another search.

Other people might use the Left Panel and selectively "Ctrl-Click" the tags.

My tag format would be Parent / Child.

The notes would be put into the Hiking notebook. The trail notes would contain the word Trail in the title.

State

NH

VA

TN

Sights

Peaks

Waterfalls

Then I would use the search window for:

intitle:Trail tag:NH tag:waterfall

Remember, I said I use the notepad frequently.

If I decided to look for peaks instead, I'd change it to:

intitle:Trail tag:NH tag:waterfall
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