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I like Notebooks but use tags also!


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Before anyone beats me too badly..I'd like to say I understand and use tags! They can be indispensable, and make housekeeping chores much easier, especially with the idea of filing all your data in EN. It would take a heck of a lot of filing cabinets or at least very looooong, through the wall drawers, if most of us tried to put all our data in one filing drawer, (kind of like in that Morgan Freeman movie) and darn difficult to find anything! Hence..the use of tags to make finding stuff easier. I've got a file drawer in my rolltop..(sideways orientation unfortunately) and it has a plethora of useful and useless junk in it. And..because of its sideways orientation..I can hardly read the file labels. Not efficient! But EN and tags...a whole different matter. Easy to find anything..don't really need to think of where I stashed something!

Still....I like my Notebooks! I've always used notebooks with tabs separating subjects. As a detective in a large Law Enforcement Agency..I used (and simply could not do without), a medium sized Franklin Covey zippered notebook. It had pockets for various cards and papers, as well as the options for lined, blank, or grid pages, adress pages, fold out calenders...etc. And lo and behold, you could even put in hard dividers and put tab labels on these! It was a thing of beauty, and though retired since 2010.....I use it loveingly yet today!

As to Notebooks in EN, i use and like them for the same reasons. I can label them just like in the aforementioned Franklin Covey...and know at a glance what type of data resides there. And..I can still use tags to quickly find anything I need. Best of two worlds IMHO! I currently average between 25-30 EN Notebooks, and as long as I make judicious use of tags, I don't see myself hitting the dreaded 250 Notebook limit. But I do like the Notebook structure for reasons given.

To those who cry foul due to the 250 Notebook limit, it would probably be a good idea to learn about and make use of tags!

Unkei

 

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1 hour ago, Unkei said:

Before anyone beats me too badly..I'd like to say I understand and use tags! 

Do you have a clear distinction as to when you would create a tag vs creating a notebook?

 

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17 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Do you have a clear distinction as to when you would create a tag vs creating a notebook?

My own is that if I need to share a set of notes (usually with the other of my two accounts), then that means use a notebook. Otherwise use a tag.

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13 hours ago, jefito said:

My own is that if I need to share a set of notes (usually with the other of my two accounts), then that means use a notebook. Otherwise use a tag.

For sure, Notebooks are required for ahared / local / sync / offline

I was interested in the organizational aspects.
If @Unkei creates a note on subject xxxx, what is the process to use Notebook xxxx, or Tag xxxx

btw   Why do you have multiple accounts?  Is this another level of organization?

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1 hour ago, DTLow said:

was interested in the organizational aspects.
If @Unkei creates a note on subject xxxx, what is the process to use Notebook xxxx, or Tag xxxx

It's up to the user. I don't want or need a lot of notebooks, as I prefer to rely on tags and text search to filter my notes, But I do need to share specific sets of notes between my two accounts (see below), so I use notebooks for that since you can't share on a tag basis (which is fine with me).

Some people make a religion of this approach: an Inbox notebook and an EverythingElse notebook. I don't go quite that far, but I see the appeal, and I may get down to that level eventually -- it's probably more of a laziness factor right now.

1 hour ago, DTLow said:

btw   Why do you have multiple accounts?  Is this another level of organization?

I have a personal Premium account and a Basic account for work. The simple reason for this is so that I can isolate my personal stuff from work. The main note collection from my personal account that I want to have at work is a reasonably substantial notebook related to software development articles and information. Aside from that, my personal stuff is not shared to work (I can always access it from my phone though) I also share a few notebooks from my work to my personal account, mainly for when I work at home (mainly project-related information), but it's nice that it's also if available on my phone or my Android tablet, like when I'm in a meeting. This all works pretty well, and even with the recent changes, notebook sharing isn't affected by the two device limit, so I can share freely from the Basic work account.(which I only ever sign into on my work machine anyways)

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After 8 years using Evernote (6 years working for Evernote), with over 15k Notes organized using Notebooks and never trying to use Tags previously, I reached a tipping point where Notebooks no longer worked for my needs. Too many Notes in too many nooks and crannies. Too much filing. The one to one relationship of Note in Notebook was also constraining and created cognitive dissonance when trying to decide where to file things.

I decided to switch to Tags, with only a few Notebooks based on research of information from several of the leading Evernote "guru's" out in the public space.

For what it's worth, here's what is working for me. It has DRAMATICALLY improved my ability to find things using Search, and more importantly, it provides a simple framework for methodically labeling (tagging) important information so I don't spend a lot of time filing (I hate filing - such a waste of time)

I use this Notebook structure:

  • @InBox (collection point for all inbound content to be tagged)
  • STACK >> My Collection
    1. _tmp (scratchpad for temporary notes)
    2. Cabinet (main warehouse)
    3. Reference
  • STACK >> Shared from others
  • STACK >> Shared to others

These are now my only Notebooks. @Inbox is where all in-bound stuff is sent temporarily - try to maintain "inbox zero" - before being tagged and sent (mostly) to "Cabinet". "Research" is for things like Warranties, User Guides, Product Specs, Manuals, etc.

My Tagging structure is still being tweaked, but I'm attempting to be very rigid in my application, so I made rules for myself that I can always refer to. 

TAGGING RULES:
  1. Every important Note has at least one Tag.
    1. Not every note is important. You do not need to tag every bit of ephemera.
    2. Most Notes are probably important and worth the time to tag so that finding (search) them is easier.
  2. Using multiple Tags per Note provides functionality that cannot be reproduced with Notebooks.
    1. Many-to-one Tagging enables very complex search options.
  3. Tags are plural when singular/plural is in question. “books” not “book”.
  4. Tags hierarchy is lower case with a period (.) preceding the name. Hierarchy tags are camelCase when comprised of two words.
    1. .hierarchy
    2. .hierarchyCamelCase
  5. Tags should contain no spaces. e.g. "Multiple-Words"
  6. Tags include parent hierarchy separated by a period (.) and words are Capitalized and separated by a hyphen when comprised of multiple words in the form of “hierarchy.General-Specific” - e.g. legal.Adoption-Baby
  7. Create tags for:
    1. General Subject - “.food"
    2. Specific Subject - “ingredients.Eggs"
    3. Source - Source of inbound Notes created from non-core applications. e.g. source.IFTTT, source.WebClipper-Chrome, source.Expensify, etc.
    4. People - ^people.Diane
    5. Places - where.Paris 
  8. Tags are organized by Nesting them. Nested Tags are contained within collapsible clusters in the Evernote UI.
    1. .hierarchy (no Notes are actually tagged with “.hierarchy” - it is used only for Nesting purposes
      1. hierarchy.Thing
      2. .subHierarchy
        1. subHierarchy.Thing
SPECIAL TAGS
!templates
&shared-out
$drafts
#published
^people
%encrypted
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32 minutes ago, briancaldwell said:

 

  1. Tags hierarchy is lower case with a period (.) preceding the name. Hierarchy tags are camelCase when comprised of two words.
      1. .hierarchyCamelCase
      2. .hierarchy
  2. Tags should contain no spaces. e.g. "Multiple-Words"
  3. Tags include parent hierarchy separated by a period (.) and words are Capitalized and separated by a hyphen when comprised of multiple words in the form of “hierarchy.General-Specific” - e.g. legal.Adoption-Baby

I use various prefixes so my tags get grouped into classifications.  
I have !What ?Who @Where .When tags
When I start typing a tagname, the prefix restricts the dropdown list, for example ? gives me only my Who tags

Also, I found it better to keep my tagnames short.  
They tend to get truncated in many views.

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15 minutes ago, briancaldwell said:
  • Every important Note has at least one Tag.
    1. Not every note is important. You do not need to tag every bit of ephemera.
    2. Most Notes are probably important and worth the time to tag so that finding (search) them is easier.
  • Using multiple Tags per Note provides functionality that cannot be reproduced with Notebooks.
    1. Many-to-one Tagging enables very complex search options.

Nice write-up, Brian. It seems pretty close in philosophy to what I do. I didn't write about my tagging habits, but your first two are definitely what I aim for. Thaey're really the key to understanding tags in Evernote. Beyond that, I am not rigorous about organizing my tags in their own little world, however. I used to be, but it's more bother than I ever got out of it. I have small set of special tags, too.

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3 minutes ago, DTLow said:

various prefixes so my tags get grouped into classifications

this is why I have special tags.

 

3 minutes ago, DTLow said:

better to keep my tagnames short.

agree that this has benefits, however having "hierarchy." attached to the rest of the tag provides clear context for every tag. It's not ideal in all views.

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19 hours ago, DTLow said:

Do you have a clear distinction as to when you would create a tag vs creating a notebook?

 

Absolutely! I use the tags to assign well defined terms for searches. In other words, my Notebooks are titled for specific types of data. In my detective days..I would assign one section in my Franklin Covey to each case. Within that section were sub dividers for crime scene evidence, hunches (No...Really!), for leads I needed to follow up on...etc. With EN, I don't really have dividers and sub dividers! I have available to me Notebooks and Tags. (Stacks if one uses those...I do not). So..I title a limited number of Notebooks for specific or very general subjects, and use Tags for specific searches, rather in lieu of tabbed sub dividers and or sections. The Tags assist me in finding important data, while the Notebooks give me a very general space to initially place my data.

The Notebooks and Tags work together as a complete system, enabling one to fine tune their workspace, kind of like defining your workspace in Photoshop!

Hope this helps!

Unkei 

 

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3 hours ago, briancaldwell said:

Tags include parent hierarchy separated by a period (.) and words are Capitalized and separated by a hyphen when comprised of multiple words in the form of “hierarchy.General-Specific” - e.g. legal.Adoption-Baby

Welcome to TagWorld!  

Come back in a couple of years and let us know if this rule is still in place.  ;)  Seems like at some point you end up searching for child tags that are duplicates across parents.  That, and since you guys added inheritance this kind of structure becomes less a of a need IMO.

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36 minutes ago, briancaldwell said:

LOL.

I did say my structure was still being tweaked. I may end up simplifying it, but so far it works for all my 8 years of back content. I'll see how well it works with our upcoming new features ...

?!?!?

Tease...

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51 minutes ago, briancaldwell said:

LOL.

I did say my structure was still being tweaked. I may end up simplifying it, but so far it works for all my 8 years of back content. I'll see how well it works with our upcoming new features ...

Yeah, whatever works best for you is the way to go.  

Hopefully the upcoming new features just make the structure all the better.  So what new features?  :rolleyes:

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16 minutes ago, briancaldwell said:

It's funny how many people up in arms about our recent change in price assumed that we don't have new things in the pipeline.

I think it is more about timing.  If some new things were announced before or at least concurrent with the price increase I think there may have been less uproar and the increase would have been an easier pill to swallow for many.

Back to the new features ... care to let us peek behind the door just a little? :)

Edited by s2sailor
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2 hours ago, briancaldwell said:

The new ones. :ph34r:

It's funny how many people up in arms about our recent change in price assumed that we don't have new things in the pipeline. Boy are they wrong.

Hmmm.   An even bigger tease.

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4 hours ago, briancaldwell said:

The new ones. :ph34r:

It's funny how many people up in arms about our recent change in price assumed that we don't have new things in the pipeline. Boy are they wrong.

I can wait. I'm not 10 years old any more (by a long shot). :)

The outrage over the price change vs. "no new features" is mostly amusing and for entertainment; much more heat than light. Folks who follow the betas (on the Windows client anyways) have seen new features come in gradually (I liked the recent Options revamp); this sounds like order-of-magnitude stuff, though. But you all have rarely pre-announced upcoming features so no worries there. Even so, Evernote has remained useful to me for over 8 years now, with little more that I could say I actually need, but if new features come in that make it even more useful, hey, that's just gravy to me.

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On August 17, 2016 at 9:46 AM, briancaldwell said:

It's funny how many people up in arms about our recent change in price assumed that we don't have new things in the pipeline. Boy are they wrong.

I'm not "up in arms", and I didn't submit any boohoo posts.  
Its not my style 
When the cost/features are significantly better with alternative products, I will simply take my data and switch.
Your company should think about posting those "features in the pipeline" along with the price increase notice

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