Since this is not a relational app, the main limitation for a hard user is the over-abundance of results in most practical searches. A definite overhauling of search capabilities is in order.
Remember this is a database, so it is all about searching.
Many ideas are already proposed, to which I subscribe, but the main issue is to improve its searching capabilities to make up for he inherent limitations bound to the core design of the program. And with an eye on the far-sight purpose: Making search results more succint and relevant.
So a ‘minimal’ set of improvements would be :
1. Boolean searches overall. Including the property of belonging (or not belonging) to a certain set of notebooks.
2. A SEARCH CONTEXT MODE, with two options: ‘Global’ or ‘Titles’ should be available, and easily changeable from the search screen. Currently, when you search for the word ‘conference’ for instance, too many results appear, which makes is useless. Again, the main drawback is now that it gives too many (irrelevant) results, due in part to the fact that it searches everywhere, even inside pdfs and pictures... It can easily be checked that most searches are done by current users with the ‘title:’ keyword in front of the searched terms. Making it easy to select ‘Titles’ as the search context (as well as allowing the user to exclude a set of Notebooks) would even decrease the computing burden for the engine (!) This should be combined with adding an optional ‘global’ keyword in the search string command (analogous to the ‘title:’ keyword, and with opposite effect). So even when you select a ‘Titles’ context for your search, you should still be able to include a global search for some particular string with ‘global:<String>’ .
3. With the result of a search, you should be able to apply another search that applies only to the particular set of notes you have obtained, to refine and trim the result of the previous search. This is very important, with an impact on the ‘too-many results’ problem and improving the usefulness of the whole application. Of course, it is equivalent to a boolean combination of several search orders, but being able to do it sequentially streamlines the retrieval process.
Additional improvements could be made to empower the notes-linking capabilities. Ideally, from any note you should be able to enter a search mode for locating several notes in your folders’ hierarchy and by just clicking on them (control-click for multiple select) the link(s) should appear under the cursor with the note title as caption. (of course while doing that, you should not loose focus on your working note)