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Couple of suggestions for better management of note links


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Hi everybody,

I use note links a fair bit to connect quotes, ideas, and so on which I feel might relate to one another. One thing I'd really appreciate is if every note had a list of "linkbacks" associated with it, so you could look at a note's info and see something along the lnes of "this note has been linked to in the following 5 notes: ..."

If you want notes to be true two-way connections, this would prevent the hassle of having to manually link both notes to one another. Both notes would link back to each other just by the act of placing one note link.

Another point is just something I feel is lacking from the Android version, or perhaps I'm just missing something. It seems like I can't copy a note's notelink from the search. So if I'm writing a note and I know it relates to a note I remember from two years ago about the same topic, searching for the title of that note leaves me helpless, crying, and alone - I can see it but I can't do anything about it. I then have to go to the notebook and trawl through it manually to try to find it, which is a bit of a pain sometimes.

Thanks a lot for any and all replies,

- Harfblarson

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For the specific use case you mention,  would tags be more useful than links?  It might be impractical to have a notebook for each idea or group of ideas (you have a limit of 250 in total) but if you clip an item or make a note that's related to a possible new car design (forinstance) you could hit that note with multiple tags - car / wheels / motor / colour etc etc - which would help link it to other notes on the same general topic.

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Backlinks would be great (they are one of the secrets to Google's early success with surfacing the best results, after all). I do hope that Evernote creates the capability. But, I doubt it will, and I wouldn't hold my breath. It's a solution that personal wiki developers would need to bake into their products, but for something casting a wider net, like Evernote, it seems like it is a bit too specialized to put on the road map.

Working with what we have, I recommend saved searches as the solution with the least amount of effort. Tailor the advanced search (Evernote has a ton of great search features that, unlike some other features, work on every device) and you can not only have related stuff grouped together, but everything automatically gets added as it is created, so you don't have to manually create the note links. 

Tags are nice and all, but I don't think Evernote gives me enough control over their creation, usage, and management to make them viable in my workflow. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I tend to opt for the method that requires the least amount of organizational effort on my part, and saved searches have been a great help in this regard.

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1 hour ago, gazumped said:

For the specific use case you mention,  would tags be more useful than links?

No.  Tags and Parent-child note links are two completely different concepts.

  • Tags primarily identify peer notes
  • Note links primarily identify parent or child notes

This is something that has been done in relational databases for decades.  It would be awesome for Evernote to have a tab on each note:  "Related Notes".  This would have two sections:  (1) Notes Linked FROM this Note (Child Notes);  (2) Notes Linked TO this Note (Parent Notes).

@Harfblarson Trassfasser, I agree with you completely on the need for backlinks:

On 6/6/2016 at 7:58 AM, Harfblarson Trassfasser said:

One thing I'd really appreciate is if every note had a list of "linkbacks" associated with it, so you could look at a note's info and see something along the lnes of "this note has been linked to in the following 5 notes: ..."

If you want notes to be true two-way connections, this would prevent the hassle of having to manually link both notes to one another. Both notes would link back to each other just by the act of placing one note link.

 

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I also agree that links from one note to another (and back again) should be far easier to implement. 

However in this case the OP is talking about gathering quotes and ideas together which might relate to one another.  A direct link from a current note to a former one/ former ones (and back again) is a fixed relationship which depends on being able to remember the previous note(s),  no matter how easy it then becomes to link between them. 

Seems to me a quotation that could relate to pride/ greed/ gluttony/avarice (forinstance) is more easily grouped with previous recipes / clippings / pictures by common tags than trying to 'glue' them all together with direct links. 

If at some later stage there's a need for illustrations of greed (again, example) a simple search will list all the -possibly- related notes,  at which point a TOC note could be set up for a more permanent listing of all/ some of those items. 

Only a suggestion however,  and entirely dependent on actual circumstances and OP's choice.

 

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I would like, from the Note menu, to have an option for listing all the notes that link to the current note.

I also would like Evernote warning me that a note is related to other(s) note(s) before merging ou deleting it (I sometimes end up with dead links!)

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8 minutes ago, flaneige said:

I would like, from the Note menu, to have an option for listing all the notes that link to the current note.

I also would like Evernote warning me that a note is related to other(s) note(s) before merging ou deleting it (I sometimes end up with dead links!)

Hi.  Best raised on the Feedback page for your OS-of-choice where others will have the option to vote on it in support.  I'll certainly do that.

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@flaneige created a post in the feedback forum

Please indicate your support for this feature request by going to this post and voting, using the buttons in the upper left corner of the discussion

 

 

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4 hours ago, flaneige said:

I would like, from the Note menu, to have an option for listing all the notes that link to the current note.

I also would like Evernote warning me that a note is related to other(s) note(s) before merging ou deleting it (I sometimes end up with dead links!)

Workaround.  If you leave the text of the link the same as the note title, you can do a search on the note title and find all notes that contain a link to the note.  I actually set up a PhraseExpress hot key to do just that.  FWIW.

And agree, a simple mechanism to know if a note is linked from other notes would be nice.

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You are welcome.  I don't fiddle with titles much once the notes is created, so is okay for my use case.  Sometimes we are our own worst enemies, particularly when software doesn't perform as we think it should.  ;)

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On June 21, 2016 at 7:58 AM, csihilling said:

Workaround.  If you leave the text of the link the same as the note title, you can do a search on the note title and find all notes that contain a link to the note. 

I think this is the answer to the "link backs" issue.
However, like @flaneige, I alter the text.  

I'm using the actual url for the search (evernote:///view/1156250/s10/44f0cd62-6047-4....)
Unfortunately this is hidden inside Evernote
I do the search outside of Evernote (my backup process includes html/enex exports of the notes)

Here's an example from my Mac

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 10.19.00 PM.png

Warning: This covers just one of the link of three link formats (classic/personal/public)

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2 hours ago, DTLow said:

I'm using the actual url for the search (evernote:///view/1156250/s10/44f0cd62-6047-4....)
Unfortunately this is hidden inside Evernote

I'm not sure what you mean by "hidden", but the URL of the links is available via the UI:

  • Note Link in a Note
    • right-click on link and select "copy link"
      OR
    • Select link, and press ⌘K (Mac) to show "Enter Web Address for this Link"
  • Note Link of a Note -- right-click on note in note list, hold down "OPT", and select "Copy Classic Note Link"

It is also possible via Mac AppleScript to copy the Note Link (or any link) in the Note, and pull the URL from it.

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On June 21, 2016 at 3:13 PM, JMichaelTX said:

I'm not sure what you mean by "hidden", but the URL of the links is available via the UI:

The url is not visible; it can be retrieved, but can't be used for a search within Evernote

>>It is also possible via Mac AppleScript to copy the Note Link (or any link) in the Note, and pull the URL from it.

Thats going to be my process (project documented here https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/96675-couple-of-suggestions-for-better-management-of-note-links/?do=findComment&comment=418796

 

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14 hours ago, flaneige said:

I would like, from the Note menu, to have an option for listing all the notes that link to the current note.

 

7 hours ago, flaneige said:

But I often change note titles

@flaneige, et al:  Here is workaround that you can use until/IF Evernote provides us with better note link management:

  • Use the last 5 characters of the Classic Note Link URL as a unique identifier
    • I think this is a reasonably good assertion, but I could be wrong
    • If anyone can confirm or refute this assertion, please advise
  • Append this "Link ID" to the end of the text of the Note link in the parent note
  • When you want to find all Notes that are linked to a Note (using this method), use the last 5 characters of Note's link in the Search box
  • This appears a bit tedious, but I believe it could be easily automated by many keyboard macro utilities in both Windows and Mac

Here is an animated GIF "video" showing the process.  Detailed steps are below:
(this was done with Evernote 6.7.1 (453574) on OSX 10.11.4, but I believe it would work in similar fashion in EN Win.)

EN-Mac_6.7.1-Note-Link-ID-Demo-AN.gif

 

STEPS: 
 
Part A -- Create Note Links with special Note ID in Parent Note
  1. Select Parent Note
  2. Click mouse at location for Child Note Link
  3. Right-click on Child Note, and "Copy Classic Note link"
  4. Paste
  5. Select note link, and press ⌘K to open "Create Web Address"
    1. Select the last 5 character before the /
    2. Copy
  6. Change the Link Text if desired
  7. Close the window
  8. At the end of the Note Link, type " _" and Paste
  9. Click on Sync icon to make sure this note is saved and sync'd
  10. Click on Child Note link to go to the Child Note
PART B -- Search For Parent Notes
  1. Right-click on this Note in the Note list, and  "Copy Classic Note Link"
  2. Goto Search box (⌥⌘F)
  3. Paste
  4. Edit Search box:
    1. Delete "/"
    2. Insert "_" before the last 5 characters
    3. Delete all character from before the "_" to the beginning of line
  5. Press RETURN to search for Parent Note(s)
  6. Observe list of Parent Notes are shown
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That's a very good workaround

I'll give it a try but, as you say, it's a bit tedious. I can't imagine going through this process each time I create a link and I am not sure I would be able to automate it.

Thanks anyway

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An alternative is to use a tally app on your iphone to give an incremental unique number for each important note, and copy that into the title of the note. That means I can also use the number in workflowy to refer to a single note. And I know that I can change anything else in the title and not worry about finding the note. 

I used to use a number based on date and time of note creation eg 160623142333 but that was just too long and unsightly

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On June 6, 2016 at 5:58 AM, Harfblarson Trassfasser said:

I use note links a fair bit to connect quotes, ideas, and so on which I feel might relate to one another. One thing I'd really appreciate is if every note had a list of "linkbacks" associated with it, so you could look at a note's info and see something along the lnes of "this note has been linked to in the following 5 notes: ..."

It would be great if EN implemented this.
Until then, I implemented a solution on my Mac using suggestions in this discussion

Second: As @csihilling commented, this can just be a search
              - your note has a link url (evernote:///view/296000055/s.... )
                 and you want to find other notes using that url

First:    As @jmichaeltx suggested, add child links to the bottom of your note
            - this is necessary because you can't search your notes for the link url;
              its buried in the underlying html

My solution was a Mac/Applescript run nightly that appends the meta data to the bottom of the note as per the image below.  The script is documented here

Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 12.42.19 PM.png

Also note, @vitalyb implemented this solution

 

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