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workingman

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  1. Still new to Evernote and liking much about the product, I am struggling to use Evernote without unlimited notebooks and sub-notebooks. Obviously, tags and nested tags make sense to the Evernote developers and many fans but they do not yet make sense to me. (1) Where can I go to read the rationale behind tags and the anti-hierarchy stance Evernote seems to take? Perhaps if I understood more about that, Evernote would come more easily to me. (2) When you come from a lifetime of using physical file drawers and the Windows folders and files scheme, and from a lifetime of categorizing and organizing everything by major topics and sub topics, what mental shift is needed to make Evernote tags work? As I learn Evernote, certain tag shortcomings are becoming evident. How can these be addressed? Examples: (A.) Say I created a project (major topic) and a dozen notes related to it (sub-topics) and say the project is completed and archived, perhaps never to be referenced again. Also say I tucked that project and all its notes away in an archive notebook because I want everything always in Evernote. To keep meaningless notes from the past from showing up on the list when I click a common-sense tag that was used in the past and is also used in present projects (Contractor Mike, City Permit, Pending Delivery, etc.), must I delete all such tags from all notes of the completed project before archiving it? If so, you can see where it gets frustrating to operate without a notebook/sub-notebook system. With that system, All I would have to do is move the entire project and all untagged notes into an archive notebook and be done with it. (B.) Today, a new project came to mind; master Evernote (master is a verb in this case). Using my tratitional system, my natural instinct leads me to go to my projects folder and create a sub-folder named "Master Evernote." In my daily walk, as resources become known and thoughts come to mind that relate to this project, each item (note, photo, link, book reference, idea, etc.) would be added to the Master Evernote folder. If appropriate, sub-folders may be created within the Master Evernote folder to better organize various items. When I made time or found time to work on this project, I'd simply go to the project folder and sub-folders and begin work. As the project evolves, and if it makes sense to rename a sub-folder or recategorize a group of items within the project, that can be instantly done in one step by renaming or moving the subfolder. So to with an individual item, simply move or rename the item. But if tags are used, it seems there is a major shortcoming in that to recategorize a collection of notes, you have to change the tags on every note. How is that inefficiency avoided or overcome? I am still learning so the following criticism of tags may be off base, but at present it seems to me that tags present a major problem on the back end. Tags useful at first become litter and clutter later that must be cleaned up when the tagged items are recategorized or become no longer relevant. Globally deleting or renaming a tag is not a solution because that same tag may be used elsewhere in Evernote in a way that serves a good purpose. You could work around that, I suppose, by developing a more complex tag naming structure but why should we have to work around anything? Why can't Evernote simply allow us to use nested notebooks in a multi-level hierarchy? At the heart of all of this is my sense of where things are. With folders and sub-folders, that comes easily to me. Using nested tags alone, it is a mental struggle to know where to go to find something, and where to go to file something new. Yes, a note can be tagged for easy reference later, but where does the note itself reside? I suppose you can keep things "simple" by dumping everything into a single notebook, tagging everything as appropriate and letting the nested tag screen tell you where things "are." That seems risky because if you accidently globally lose or delete a tag, like might happen when sitting in front of your screen when tired, the only way to bring that back is to recover your backup file (assuming you made one recently) or go manually through every note you have to re-tag as appropriate. In a business setting this risk is huge because notebooks are shared and there is no telling what a well-intentioned or errant staff member may do with tags, even if one is told what to do and not do. Yes, the same risk exists with folders and sub-folders but those are not global like tags are. Comments of all kinds will be appreciated. As stated above, I like Evernote and really want to make it work. I once saw a T-shirt that said, "Everything I have ever let go of has claw marks all over it." Perhaps with that trait activated, let me close by asking, what is so terrible about the folder/sub-folder scheme that Evernot cannot add it as a feature? It seems to be a popular and ongoing request. Why has it not been added? What policy, obstacle or idea keeps Evernote from allowing unlimited notebooks and notebooks that can hold sub-notebooks at multiple levels?
  2. The answer depends on why you are scanning the receipt in the first place. In my case, it is to create an easily retrievable copy of that receipt if I had to prove payment was made. The expenditure itself is already recorded in my bookkeeping system. Tagging it three times is one approach. Mine would be to file it under Vendors|(Insurance Company Name). In this hypothetical scenario, I'd name the file: 2015-06-19 Car Insurance Receipt. Every other document relating to that vendor is similarly named and filed. That gives me the ability to instantly review, in date order, everything that has ever happened in my relationship with this vendor. The file name is the tag. It can be found by using Evernote search without having to create tags too. You have to name the file something, name it in way that eliminates the need to tag. The real scenario is to scan and attach the receipt to the listed item in the bookkeeping system, but that requires people to have such a bookkeeping system up and running.
  3. Nested notebooks/folders are anything but intuitive or logical, for the reasons Gaz mentioned above. Jefito's classic example is if I have a red, round, rubber ball, do I file it under things that are red? Things that are round? Things that are rubber? Things that are toys? This becomes more complex the more notes you have. If you have only a few hundred notes, then it may be pretty easy to retrieve them by digging around in nested notebooks/folders. But if you have tens of thousands of notes, it becomes a nightmare. If we came out of the womb knowing to use nested notebooks/folders, then it would seem applications like Mac's Finder or Windows Locate32 or Everything would be useless. Some of us (a good portion, perhaps) do not have tens of thousands of notes but even if I did, a hierarchical notebook system would be helpful. I don't live life generating and collecting notes at random. Whether something is filed under the category red, round or rubber ball depends on more than the item's characteristics alone. In our business, it depends on it's purpose and our purpose in creating the note. We happen to have red, round rubber balls in our facilities. When I am walking about and happen to look at them, I might notice they are dirty and need cleaning. That is a maintenance task. The logical next action is to add that task to the maintenance list (note) and store it here: Maintenance|Weekly. Then, when I next meet with our maintenance staff, or conduct a maintenance inspection, the ball issue is addressed when the checklist is referenced. Notice how this has nothing to do with the characteristics of the ball itself. It has everything to do with supervising staff and keeping our facility clean and well maintained. Notice also how things change. A ball that is multi-tagged when brought new into the facility would be red, round and rubber. Later it became dirty. Do you then create a tag "dirty" for that? Do you create a "needs cleaning" tag for the ball and other items that are found dirty? If the cleaning task is assigned to Joe, do you create a Joe tag? And if you do, what do you do if Joe leaves and Jane takes his place? Relying on tags alone is an invitation for chaos in a dynamic enterprise. You could end up creating and recreating tags for the purpose of creating and recreating tags, and in that kind of unfocused thinking, you may easily miss essential tasks. We're not in business to do that. We're in business to get things done. Back to the ball, the same red, round, rubber ball gets replaced every so often with a new one. We purchase new equipment twice a year. If Evernote had hierarchical notebooks, the note "replace ball" would be filed with other such notes in one of two folders: Purchasing|Later or Purchasing|Upcoming Round. The choice is determined by the condition of the ball that is observed when the list of items in the Purchasing|Later folder is reviewed. Notice the difference. You are talking about nouns (ball) and ajectives (red, round, rubber). I am talking about verbs; specific action items that staff or I take regarding the ball. Tagging items by their characteristics is meaningless to us. If I tagged everything in our business by each thing's characteristics, it would be (1) a waste of time and (2) counterproductive. It would be a waste of time because the tags "red, round or rubber" have no meaning whatsoever given the ball's role in our business. It would be counterproductive because pulling up everything that had a tag "rubber" on it would force us to go through a list of search results (matt, handle, bumper, guard, plate, mallet, check, etc.) to get to the item we realy want (ball). And even then, that search-result list tells us nothing about what to do next. Unless you create a class of action tags, there is nothing about a ball's characteristics that tell us what to do next with it. But if you try to create a class of action tags, how exactly would each tag apply to each person and thing in our business? If you are a librarian or warehouse manager organizing a static collection of stuff for the purpose of quickly retreiving something later, or at random if it happens to come to mind; or if you are a free spirit engaged in a creative thinking exercise, tags are probably a godsend. If you are a business person organizing the SPECIFIC NEXT ACTIONS you and your staff will take in our respective daily walks, a hirerachical notebook system would greatly increase Evernote's usefulness and efficiency. The ball does not determine where, how and when to categorize it, I do. In that ongoing activity, a hierarchical folder (notebook) system is not only desirable, it is essential. That is not to say that tags do not have their wonderful uses. They certainly do in many applications. But a hierarchical notebook system has its wonderful uses too. One does not replace the other. Together, the two make each other more powerful. It would mean a great deal to me and my business if hierarchical notebooks were added to Evernote.
  4. New to Evernote, this is a surprise and disappointment. Virtually every program I use has nested folders to one degree or another. Why would Evernote not have the same in the form of nested notebooks? I'd love to move all of my stuff into Evernote and use Evernote as the primary organizer for our two-location business. This would be a simple matter if we could create sub notebooks at multiple levels. Yes, I read here that tags can provide a workaround of sorts but why should a workaround be necessary? I've never been one to use tags. A well-defined filing system and the search functions various programs provide have always met my needs. Why should I be forced to use tags when sub-folders will do? Why should I be forced to learn and add a tag scheme to a filing system that has served me well forever without tags? Originally excited about the possibilities Evernote creates for me and my business, the inability to easily create sub notebooks at multiple levels throws cold water on the whole idea. Would it be difficult for Evernote to add hierarchical notebooks as a feature? What keeps Evernote from doing this?
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