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Using Tags as Pseudo Notebooks (pNB) [Note: At the urging of another user, I have started a new topic for this subject. I posted the below originally in Jan 2016. I am in the process of rewriting, fine-tuning this article, but for now the below is a copy of my original post at Using Tags as Pseudo Notebooks . The basic design of pNB has not changed.] My knowledge of how to use Tags continues to evolve. This has been largely due to limitations Evernote has placed on Notebooks. So, the question is: How does one make the best use of the tool they have? Notebooks (NB) are limited to 250. Tags are virtually unlimited at 100,000. Tags can have a hierarchical structure of Parent Tag / Child Tag, much like the folders that you see on your computer. So, if we can model NBs as Tags, then we can effectively have unlimited NBs and sub-NBs. One of the most appealing features of Notebooks (and folders) is how they visually appear. But what if we can do the same visual layout with Tags? Stay tuned to learn how. I use tags in two fundamentally different ways: Pseudo Notebooks -- use in place of where you would normally use a notebook. This includes sub-notebooks. Note Categorization -- traditional use of tags to categorize the entity, which can have multiple tags. Can be used across Notebooks, or in this case, across pseudo NBs. Using Tags as Pseudo Notebooks Tags can be organized in hierarchies (meaning Parent-Child relationship). So we can achieve the appearance of Notebooks and sub-notebooks, Without going into a lot of detail at this point, I have created a number of Tags which serve as pseudo Notebooks. Note that all of the pseudo NBs, actually tags, all have a prefix of ".NB.", which makes it easy to identify which tags are pseudo NBs, and will cause them to appear at the top of the Tag list. You can, of course, use any prefix that works for you. One great advantage of using tags as pseudo NBs, is that you can assign multiple pseudo NBs to the same Note. Can't do that with actual NBs. Each Note can belong to only one NB. So this allows me, for example, to assign multiple pseudo NBs of .NB.IT, .NB.Business, and .NB.Personal to the same Note, which is the asset record for a new Mac, used in both business and personal activities. Now when I search or filter on any of the 3 pseudo NBs it will find the asset record of my Mac. I now have all of my pseudo NBs that appear at the top of my Tag list, and the pseudo NBs can, and do, have sub-pseudo NBs. Here's an example: As a result, I now have a need for ONLY 3 main Notebooks, plus any Notebooks needed for sharing or mobile offline use: Please feel free to post any questions or comments. EDIT: Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 12:36:27 PM CST For more discussion on pseudo notebooks, see Using Tags as Pseudo Notebooks (original post) Do you find lots of notebooks or notebook stacks useful?
Is there a workaround to getting a tag list? Is using SQL on a copy of the .exb file possible? I've noticed a number of posts on the forum about obtaining a tag list. They seem to dwell on 1) you cannot export or print a tag list in EN and/or 2) it would be a nice feature to have and will you please make it immediately or yesterday. It appears that none of these posts has yielded a definitive answer about a workaround. I have about 3,000 tags. That number is rapidly growing. I access EN two ways: EN for Windows and online in Chrome. I curate the tags in a hierarchy. I am aware that the prevailing consensus seems to be that tags are a superior way to organize one's EN content than notebooks, at least beyond some threshold volume of notes. But it has become tough to organize tags. My tags and their hierarchy are in continual flux as I add notes. I have about 35,000 notes. I continue to add tags and to delete and rearrange them. I am experimenting with the use of "special characters," ie., punctuation characters, to establish various categories. By "curation" I mean inspecting how the tags are organized (naming conventions and hierarchical arrangement) to be sure there is internal consistency. Part of the difficulty in doing so is that: a) there are so many; I can only see a small subset of them at a time; c) lacking an overview, I tend to have several curation and re-organization efforts going on concurrently and/or only partially implemented. d) these curation and re-organization efforts can be in conflict. The whole effort has become analogous to examining an entire landscape sequentially by examining parts of it through the narrow aperture of a drinking straw. But examining things sequentially can never replace simultaneous examination. I want to see all the tags. I need an overview, and to see their hierarchical organization at a glance. I am aware that there is no feature in EN to either print or export tags. Can I extract the tags using SQL? Doing so would not change the actual working file. I could use a copy of my .exb file (Windows platform), perhaps renaming it to a .db, and obtain from that renamed file a list of all of my tags. I recognize it is not good to go into the original backend database file with SQL tools. I would never touch that. It would be helpful to get even just a tag list, regardless of the hierarchical level of each tag. Getting the tags in their hierarchy would be good, though it's not strictly necessary. If you believe that it is infeasible to access the tags in a read-only manner via SQL, please let me know if you are aware of some other option. For example, alternately, is there some third-party software, perhaps analogous to VB for Office, or some macro-like utility of some kind, that would enable me to copy the tags successively, whether from within EN for Windows or EN in my browser, and paste them into MS Word? I am confident that it will be infinitely easier to manage them, once I have them in a word-processing document. I will be able to see the tags and their hierarchical position all at once rapidly, to grok relationships among them, disparities; similar, duplicative labels, etc. Changes to them in a Word doc can then be easily made in the original EN file. I would welcome any suggestions. That said, I do not imagine it would be helpful to question, why do you have so many tags? If you are thinking in those terms, please realize that you may be using EN for entirely different purposes and/or not have as much content. I have about 35,000 notes. Consider that the interrelationships among notes increase enormously as you add new topical areas. I want to track these with the tagging system. Nor do I imagine it would be helpful to ask, how can you use so many notes? Consider that, for the value that I wish to create, I do not need to use them all. Nor is it possible at the moment that I clip them to determine either exactly how I might use them or the likelihood that I will do so. Please realize that the process of capture with EN is often done intuitively, rather than with extensive planning aforethought. In that respect, EN is (or should be) not only a way of managing information. It is also (or should be) a way of managing how to allocate one's limited attention. Likewise, scrolling through a very lengthy tag list in EN for Windows does not support human cognitive strengths and inherent limitations.
I'm trying to organize my notes hierarchically. First I tried with nested folders but it's not possible to do so as Evernote only allows one sub-folder level. After doing a search the answer people gave was to use tags as they are possible to nest this way. Great I thought, then I opened my mobile app, then I discover that it's not possible to get a hierarchical view of your tags on mobile the way you do in the desktop app. You only see Notebooks and their folder structure, you also can only set Notebooks to offline view not a tag. So the question is, how do I get a hierarchical structure and overview on to work on both desktop and mobile?