Jump to content
We apologize for the inconvenience, but chat support is currently unavailable. Please feel free to submit an email ticket or reach out at discussion.evernote.com. Thank you for understanding. ×

Recommended Posts

Dear evernote gurus

 

I am very new to evernote, but think that I like it A LOT and that I will use it A LOT. As I hope to be using it more and more, I am trying to think of things that I should consider doing or not doing to avoid problems down the line - while keeping the free flowing feel of freedom that so delights me.

So, here is my question that I would appreciate your input on :

At first I was creating lots and lots of notebooks but quickly realized that this is not the way to go. Now I tag. And I love doing that.

I currently have only very few notebooks - an inbox, a file cabinet and an extra notebook of my sons drawings and things, which I separated for sentimental reasons (I like that I can just go in and look at his stuff whenever I feel like it).

Now, here is my question: I have read a lot about setting up a strict tag hierarchy, being extra careful about tagging correctly, etc. This seems very restricting to me - not to mention a whole lot of effort.

I have created a very loose tag hierarchy - but mostly tag every note with as many tags as I think make sense and that I believe I'll think of when searching for this particular item. Mostly that ends up being 4-6 tags. I am also operating on 'when in doubt, add an extra tag'. While I do take care to make the tags case consistent (is that a word?) and use only singular (mostly because I like the look...) I do not try to figure out a strict context of tags that I adhere to, on the premise that it will be harder for me to look up what the strict structure says than to just use whatever I think of first.

I have tried trial runs and have no problems whatsoever finding notes, no matter what the context, as the tags make a lot of sense to me. Of course - I only have a couple of hundred notes and maybe 30 tags...

I love doing it this way, it gives me a strange sense of satisfaction to intuit tags like that, so I would love to keep on doing it. But... if many more experienced users suggest a different way, there is probably a reason...

So, experienced evernote users, I'd be very grateful for your opinion - can an intuitive tagging system like that work, even if I run up lots and lots of notes?

Thank you for your time and input

anna

Share this post


Link to post

Simple answer is "yes". Your approach is similar to mine, but I've been at it longer, so I have some thousands of notes, and some hundreds of tags, across two accounts, in a small number of notebooks. I don't make use of tag hierarchies, but I could if I wanted to, I suppose. Seems to work well enough for me, but if you find that it's not working for you, you can always adjust your approach.

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, Annaannaanna said:

(I like that I can just go in and look at his stuff whenever I feel like it).

Just an idea, use a tag thats pinned to the top of your shortcut list (you could pin the notebook there too)

I'm not that concerned with a strict tag structure or hierarchy. I just add tags whenever I need them
- tag hierarchy only exists on my Mac
- I simply start typing a tag, and select from the dropdown list or add a new tag
Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 11.09.19 AM.png

- I divided my tags into categories, id by a prefix (?Who, !What, @Where, .When)Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 11.14.58 AM.png

 

 

  Its useful to have at least one parent tag.  
  New tags stand out and you have the chance to get them organized

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, Annaannaanna said:

So, experienced evernote users, I'd be very grateful for your opinion - can an intuitive tagging system like that work, even if I run up lots and lots of notes?

The short answer is yes.  If you get a chance to scan the forum for tagging ideas you will see a broad spectrum of ways that people are organized.  There are some real taggers out there ... I think one user has over 2000 tags ... yikes, and then there are minimalists.  I tend to be more on that end.  I have about 14K notes and have maybe 50 tags.  Most notes have no tags and I think the most I have on any one note is three.  I tend to rely on the general text search options instead of tag searches, but I do use them at times as well.  There is no right or wrong.  Use what works for you.  I would suggest that you start simple and then as you use the software more and more adjust then as needed.  You don't have to have this all thought out on day 1 :).

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, Annaannaanna said:

So, experienced evernote users, I'd be very grateful for your opinion - can an intuitive tagging system like that work, even if I run up lots and lots of notes?

As others have said, yes it will work.  My advice would be to try to use tags that are as easy as possible to remember.  Tags kind of lose their value if you spend more time trying to remember them than using them.  An example would be if you opt to put copies of statements in EN, use the name of the company and statement as tags, not likely to forget that.  There are little tricks like preceding like things with a character, which helps you find something in the tag picker drop down.  Say put an = on the front of the names of people, should you use name as a tag. 

Great thing about EN, even if you forget the tag the text search will get your there.  And it is easy to adjust your strategy if need be as your note count grows.  Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you very much for your answers!

 

So, I am taking away from this that my approach is not totally unreasonable - good. (I am having evernote induced mood swings - I am alternately elated and terrified after a big scanning session followed by a big tossing-of-papers session. Will I ever see those infos again? Will they disappear in to the dark spaces and surf around like the USS enterprise for ever, never to find their way home?)

 

@DTLow: I think I might understand what you mean by having one parent tag - one tag that sits over every tag, could be ?all tags, i.e.- so that every new tag sticks out - but what does that help me? I mean - what does a new tag that is sticking out tell me apart from, well, that it is new?

Sorry for being thick and please remember - total newbie here...

 

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Annaannaanna said:

what does a new tag that is sticking out tell me apart from, well, that it is new?

As you go along, you will create new tags; many times
Most of them will be valid, some of them mistakes, some of them duplicates
Its good to take a minute and review these new tags
- delete the mistakes
- insert the new tags into whatever hierarchy you have
- consolidate the duplicates

>>Will I ever see those infos again? Will they disappear in to the dark spaces and surf around like the USS enterprise for ever, never to find their way home?)

Evernote does have some builtin backup - your notes are syncd to the EN servers
- you can always access your notes via the EB web platform if/when your device fails
- It wouldn't hurt to implement your own backup process
   I export my notes in html format to a cloud drive

On the day I move on from EN, I know I can run an export and take my notes with me

Share this post


Link to post

Hi.  There's a lot of help on tags starting here: Organize with tags - and here: Tips for organizing notes, notebooks, and tags

I'm with the 'casual approach' group - I do give my stuff a careful title - including the date (of the item) as yyyymmdd,  plus the source and some keywords.  Between the title and the actual content of the note I can usually find everything I need.  As you get into this you'll notice that some things are held together by 'customer numbers' or 'account numbers' so that (forinstance) you can easily find all the invoices from one company with your customer reference,  and focus down with dates.

The only time I use tags now is when I do a search and find that (again forinstance) an OCR'd image contains something that adds it to my search hits.  In that case I might tag all the correctly found notes with a new tag,  or save a search that looks for "this customer reference EXCEPT images containing JPGs" in future.

I have around 22,000 notes in a few notebooks and (touch wood) no major problems finding content.

Evernote won't lose your data - but it's still a good idea to keep local backups;  and as you get to know how to use Evernote you might change your approach a few times.  MOst of us have;  don't be afraid to experiment,  and don't think you 'have' to follow an existing system.  The first rule of EN club is "do what works for you"!

:)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...