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dino-myte

Nested folders please please please

Idea

Hi, 

I know this is not a new suggestion, but please please please make folder stacks that can go more than one folder deep.  It is extremely obnoxious that this many years into the program you do not have this feature.  Tags are great but they are not a substitution; i want to use them differently than i would folder organization.  I want to use tags differently than you guys want me to, i guess.  This lack of depth in organizing on top of a slew of new technical error is making me look into other programs.  I have invested a lot of time into evernote and i would prefer not to have to change programs, but i am seriously considering it.  If it matters i am a premium user and have been for a few years.

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On ‎2016‎-‎11‎-‎27 at 6:52 AM, dino-myte said:

Hi, 

I know this is not a new suggestion, but please please please make folder stacks that can go more than one folder deep.  It is extremely obnoxious that this many years into the program you do not have this feature.  Tags are great but they are not a substitution; i want to use them differently than i would folder organization.  I want to use tags differently than you guys want me to, i guess.  This lack of depth in organizing on top of a slew of new technical error is making me look into other programs.  I have invested a lot of time into evernote and i would prefer not to have to change programs, but i am seriously considering it.  If it matters i am a premium user and have been for a few years.

The "problem" with adding more depth to the notebook system is that it would require a complete restructure. It would require a lift of the 250 notebooks limit, as people would quickly be dissapointed to find out that they have started a system with a huge limit. The second necessary change would be to allow the user to have more than one notebook with the same name.

But my guess is that it is not likely and that the reason why Evernote chose to call it notebooks and notebook stacks was to prevent people from thinking that this is a folder hierarchy structure.

2m4ejwp.jpg

These are two stacks of notebooks. You do not place notebooks within a notebook in a stack. (It would even prevent you from stacking them as the stack would quickly collapse :) ) It's also why you can't make a stack before adding a notebook, because you make stacks by adding notebooks (a stack of zero notebooks is not a stack...).

The biggest concern in my opinion is that Evernote chose to name their hierarchy system "Tags". They are not tags in any way or form, unless of course you only think of them or only use them as regular tags.

The fact that clicking on a parent tag won't show the notes tagged with a child tag makes Evernote tags have more in common with windows folder, as clicking on a windows folder won't show you the files further down that folder.

The only huge difference between evernote tags and windows folders, imo, is that two tags can't have the same name., But as mentioned above, that same limit applies to notebooks so my guess is that it isn't going away for any of the two. (The biggest difference used to be that a new note wasn't automatically tagged with the tag selected in the left panel)

I can quickly mention that I have a tagging system where my tags can have 1 of 4 different types of functions, where one of them is acting like a regular tag, and i have about 15.000 tags in total.

 

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6 hours ago, gustavgi said:

The fact that clicking on a parent tag won't show the notes tagged with a child tag

You can select child tags when clicking a parent tag if you set the option in Tools - Options - Navigation - Automatically select child tags.

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23 minutes ago, csihilling said:

You can select child tags when clicking a parent tag if you set the option in Tools - Options - Navigation - Automatically select child tags.

Yes I know, but if you want tags to act like a folder system that is something that you don't want to do.

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3 minutes ago, gustavgi said:

Yes I know, but if you want tags to act like a folder system that is something that you don't want to do.

Cool with that, just being specific on the functionality.  And, yeah, tags aren't necessarily the best metaphor for a hierarchical system.  They are relational by nature, my view anyway.

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7 hours ago, gustavgi said:

The biggest concern in my opinion is that Evernote chose to name their hierarchy system "Tags".

Right, if they had used the term "Folders" it would have saved so many people from experiencing folder anguish.

fwiw   Users can use  tagnames like "Folder_aaaaaa" and "Folder_bbbbbbb" and get the folder experience.

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44 minutes ago, csihilling said:

Cool with that, just being specific on the functionality.  And, yeah, tags aren't necessarily the best metaphor for a hierarchical system.  They are relational by nature, my view anyway.

Yeah even "Categories" would have been better. I think it's the perception that you put a note in a notebook or you put a note in a category, as opposed to that you add a tag to a note, that throws people off.

A tag in Evernote is a container, not just a simple metadata on the side. Sure you can't right click a tag and delete it and make it delete the notes at the same time, but that's about it. But just imagine that the note is existing in more than one container at once (which it often is as well, for a note with more than one tag), which is why it won't delete it self along with the tag.

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1 minute ago, DTLow said:

Right, if they had used the term "Folders" it would have saved so many people from experiencing folder anguish.

fwiw   Users can use  tagnames like "Folder_aaaaaa" and "Folder_bbbbbbb" and get the folder experience.

Yeah, except people would be confused about the fact that you could have the same note in two different folders at once. Such an amazing feature just doesn't make sense because it's physically impossible :)

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26 minutes ago, gustavgi said:

Yeah, except people would be confused about the fact that you could have the same note in two different folders at once. Such an amazing feature just doesn't make sense because it's physically impossible :)

Actually I considered that a benefit.

It always bothered me when I had a document that fitted in two places.
- physically, I had to photocopy and have multiple copies
- digitally, I also had copies, but they were links to the original

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13 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Actually I thought that was a benefit.

It always bothered me when I had a document that fitted in two places.

- physically, I had to photocopy and have multiple copies

- digitally, I also had copies, but they were links to the original

Yes of course it is! :) A problem with human nature is that we are often reluctant to change our already established perception of something, even if it would directly benefit us without any negative effects what so ever for anyone..

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Tags, categories, labels, keywords: these are all more or less synonymous concepts used in different software or areas of inquiry. One of the basic properties of these things is that they -- unlike notebooks or folders -- are not containers. They're just words that you can stick on a note to describe it, similar to adjectives that exist in many languages. But the fact that tags can be physically arranged into hierarchies and thereby used to describe note hierarchies can make them act like containers, in some sense. But Evernote doesn't enforce that containment, as it enforces the "each note belongs to exactly one notebook" rule, so you need to be careful when using them as containers. Conceptually, it just seems wiser to not think of tags as containers, because they're not, really...

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16 hours ago, gustavgi said:

But my guess is that it is not likely and that the reason why Evernote chose to call it notebooks and notebook stacks was to prevent people from thinking that this is a folder hierarchy structure.

Evernote used the Notebook/Note/Tag metaphor early on -- it was there when I started using Evernote in earnest, somewhere around 2008. It matches up pretty well with the real world analogue. Stacks came later, and were explicitly an organizational thing (I think that the concept came out of iOS, if I recall correctly), because managing a straight list of 100 notebooks (the then- limit) was awkward, but you're right, they explicitly did not want to implement nested notebooks. Stacks contain notebooks; notebooks contain notes, and that's it.

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BTW, the mother of all "I Need Nested Notebooks" threads is here. Vintage stuff, dating back from 2008 (about the time I started using Evernote in earnest).

I'd suggest that that the mods merge this thread with that one.

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15 hours ago, jefito said:

But Evernote doesn't enforce that containment, as it enforces the "each note belongs to exactly one notebook" rule, so you need to be careful when using them as containers. Conceptually, it just seems wiser to not think of tags as containers, because they're not, really...

What's the reason for being careful? Why is it wiser, if the perspective of them not being containers is limiting the possibilities?

And a note doesn't have to belong to exactly one notebook, it can also belong to Trash. And just like a note without a notebook is a note in Trash, a note without a tag is a note out in the freedom. The english word container is defined by it's ability to hold something. There is no prerequisite that all items always has to belong to a container for a container to be a container.. And there is nothing preventing something from being a container just because one or more other containers can contain the same object at once.

Sure it might be possible to find some obscure computer database principle that won't agree with that, but all we want to do here is place our notes inside some sort of organizational structure.

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1 hour ago, gustavgi said:

The english word container is defined by it's ability to hold something. There is no prerequisite that all items always has to belong to a container for a container to be a container.. And there is nothing preventing something from being a container just because one or more other containers can contain the same object at once.

Sure it might be possible to find some obscure computer database principle that won't agree with that, but all we want to do here is place our notes inside some sort of organizational structure.

The "container" concept is just a mental perception; the data is stored in a computer database and there are no containers, folders or notebooks.  
Notebook and Tag are simply labels applied to a note.

For Me:
My requirement is not "to place my notes in some sort of organization structure"
My requirement is to be able to retrieve notes when I need them.
This is why I selected Evernote over alternative services.

Back in the day, the only way to retrieve my data was "to place my notes in some sort of organization structure" and I used folder>subfolder>subsubfolder>,,,,,

 

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6 minutes ago, DTLow said:

The "container" concept is just a mental perception; the data is stored in a computer database and there are no containers, folders or notebooks.  Notebook and Tag are simply labels applied to a note.

My requirement is not "to place my notes in some sort of organization structure"

My requirement is to be able to retrieve notes when I need them.

 

I can agree with that as it is all just meta data.

What I meant by what we all want here, was just a reference to the request in this thread alone where the desire is to find a suitable organizational structure where we can put our notes (that works like a folder structure)

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2 hours ago, gustavgi said:

I can agree with that as it is all just meta data.

What I meant by what we all want here, was just a reference to the request in this thread alone where the desire is to find a suitable organizational structure where we can put our notes (that works like a folder structure)

And EN seems to be consistent in not showing any interest in providing a deeply nested notebook structure to support hierarchical storage.  Perhaps their view of EN is more as a retrieval engine than a storage engine.  Hence the strong search capability, even though there is not a Boolean capability beyond segregating notes in notebooks.  IAC, in the meantime, if faux notebook structures with tags work for them that want deep folder like storage, great.

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@gustavgi:re containers etc.

OK, so here's why I don't consider a tag to be a container 

To start with, the model/metaphor presented by Evernote is that is a simple physical model: Notebooks, Notes, and Tags (we can consider Stacks as well;they came later, but they don't really contradict things). The salient point in the physical model is that notebooks clearly contain notes (and unlike on my desk, all notes reside in a single notebook), and tags do not, as they're just labels applied to a note. If you want to have a note reside in more than one notebook, you need to make a physical copy of it. If you destroy (delete) a notebook, the notes contained in it will also be destroyed. If you delete a note, any tag attached to is also destroyed (though since tags are just pieces of paper with a name on them, any other tag with the same name still exists, so the categorization that the tag represents still exists). These all match Evernote's external behavior pretty well, and that's useful.

So that's a good starting point for understanding how Evernote works (and approachability is important, since we often see newcomers to Evernote stumble on how to get started), but of course, the beauty of computers is that they allow us to transcend physical models and create useful tools and functionality that can't be modeled in the physical world. For example, categorization (i.e., identifying notes with a specified tag set) is a lot easier and more useful in a computer based system: the computer automates the task of pawing through individual notes to discover which ones have the tags of interest. It's so seamless that it's easy to perceive that tags are containers in their own right. That perception is somewhat enhanced by Evernote's promotion of using the tag hierarchy as a semi-substitute for a real notebook hierarchy; that's OK for some uses, but deficient in other, pretty well documented, ways (uniqueness of tag names is one problem). It's a kinda-sorta solution: tags can be organized hierarchically, but that hierarchy doesn't match the folder organization we're familiar with in file systems. But it's seductive to call a tag a collection in some sense.

However, if we allow tags to be containers, so also we should allow anything we can filter on to be containers, right? For example, if you wanted to find all of the notes with the word "Evernote" in them, is the word "Evernote" a container? That just feels like it's stretching things a bit, and makes the term "container" almost meaningless: "hey, everything's a container!". But tags, or search words, or checkboxes, or dates or other search terms don't actually "hold" notes in Evernote (e.g. if you delete a tag, the notes that it "holds" are not deleted), but they do allow a user to build temporary collections of notes: the Note List. That's undeniably useful, and one of the reasons that Evernote has achieved the success that it has, I believe.

So OK, the note list is clearly a container of sorts, but it's not quite the same as a notebook. The note list isn't persisted to your Evernote cloud in the way that notebooks are (though the filter specifications may be). You can't delete the note list, though you can delete the search criteria that built it, and you can select all of the notes in the note list and delete those. The note list is a just temporary container that holds notes so that they can be displayed by the user.

So for me, it comes to this: when I say that a notebook in Evernote is a container, I mean that a notebook is a persisted (not temporary) collection of notes, with the property that if you delete a notebook, its notes are also deleted. Conversely, a tag can be used to specify a collection of notes (as can a notebook), but that collection is not persisted, and the notes designated by the tag are not deleted if you delete the tag. That's not a container in my book, and I don't see much explanatory advantage in calling a tag a container: It's just a means of identifying notes, like other search terms.

Oh, and btw, the bit about Trash is a minor quibble at best. Notes in the trash are by definition deleted; i.e., removed from the system. Trash is a fallback, a safety net, not a part of the organizational architecture. But if you want to insist: take a look at notes in the Trash, they do in fact have a notebook: it's the notebook the note was deleted from. And even so, Trash behaves a lot like a notebook. Ultimately, I don't think that Trash applies here: all notes in the Evernote model have exactly one notebook.

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12 minutes ago, jefito said:

OK, so here's why I don't consider a tag to be a container 

This discussion has morped into the definition of "container"
Its only perception, but thats valid

However, this does not indicate a requirement that a container have sub-containers
My perception can conceive of a stack of containers though
 

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1 hour ago, DTLow said:

This discussion has morped into the definition of "container"
Its only perception, but thats valid

That was really in response to gustavgi. I'll edit to make it clearer.

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"Each head is a world"

It was rude the answer from DTLow. Looks like "I am right and you are wrong" (same sickness of some Evernote´s Evangelists)

The best tools are those that provides enough settings to accommodate most of their potencial users.

Why not make available infinite Folders, Stacks, tags, labels, categories, keywords or anything else and let the user decide how to use it?

PS - I believe I was a little rude too hehehe ;)

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11 minutes ago, javiermz said:

It was rude the answer from DTLow. Looks like "I am right and you are wrong" (same sickness of some Evernote´s Evangelists)

Not sure which of my rude answers you're referring to  :)

In my posts, I may be stating facts, or my personal opinion

  • If it's a fact situation - it's possible I'm incorrect; please let me know and I'll correct the post
  • It it's opinion, it would be rude for me to say you're wrong.  
    Again let me know so I can adjust my writing.  
    It's valid for us to have different opinions

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12 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Not sure which of my rude answers you're referring to  :)

In my posts, I may be stating facts, or my personal opinion

  • If it's a fact situation - it's possible I'm incorrect; please let me know and I'll correct the post
  • It it's opinion, it would be rude for me to say you're wrong.  
    Again let me know so I can adjust my writing.  
    It's valid for us to have different opinions

" Its a feature not supported in Evernote; there are many features not supported
If it is that important to you, you should be looking at another product "

That sounds rude to me. But take it easy, I am a little sentimental today. Be yourself

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7 hours ago, javiermz said:

If it is that important to you, you should be looking at another product

Sorry that came across as rude
I often recommend other products, mostly to extend the Evernote features

I was responding to the comment "It is extremely obnoxious that this many years into the program you do not have this feature"

I don't believe not providing a feature makes a company "extremely obnoxious"

I do believe if you need folder filing, you should be looking at a different product.  
I don't see it as a real "need" issue, but more of a "mindset".  
Regardless, I don't think they will ever be happy without folders and sub-folders

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The places where I keep information are Google Drive, Gmail, and Evernote. I don't pay attention to which one I'm in since they are all organized the same. Until I try to access something in Evernote and am reminded it is (and cannot be) organized the same because it is only 2 levels. I understand that moving from 2 levels to 3 is like moving from 2 to 127. Still someone is going to do it. Google has done their experiment with Keep. And you guys have shown there is a market.

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11 hours ago, Darwinsbear said:

I don't pay attention to which one I'm in since they are all organized the same. Until I try to access something in Evernote and am reminded it is (and cannot be) organized the same because it is only 2 levels.

The organization is not the same; Google Drive uses a Folders organization method

Evernote has an unlimited hierarchy method with a Tags feature

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On 11/27/2016 at 6:01 PM, csihilling said:

You can select child tags when clicking a parent tag if you set the option in Tools - Options - Navigation - Automatically select child tags.

Do you know if this feature is also available for Mac ? I can't seem to find it ...

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7 hours ago, w1llsm1th said:

Do you know if this feature is also available for Mac ? I can't seem to find it ...

No, the select child feature is a Windows only feature

However, Evernote on the Mac has an extensive scripting layer (AppleScript)
I make use of this to select child tags

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2 hours ago, DTLow said:

No, the select child feature is a Windows only feature

However, Evernote on the Mac has an extensive scripting layer (AppleScript)
I make use of this to select child tags

Thanks for the reply. Do you know, or is there any resource already available to make that happen? Any pre-made applescript ?

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1 hour ago, w1llsm1th said:

Do you know, or is there any resource already available to make that happen? Any pre-made applescript ?

Its kind of a do-it-yourself thing

To identify child tags, the code is     tell application "Evernote" to set theTags to every tag whose parent is equal to parentTag

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On 27/11/2016 at 6:02 AM, DTLow said:

Personally, I'm happy to not be using the folder model for filing.

 
Sometimes I think it's as if Evernote speaks a different app language from the rest of us.

It sounds like the sort of thing that Unix "gurus" used to say when visual text editors were first introduced. The command line model had worked fine for them and so everyone else should just get with the program. The problem with that was that they just got washed away with the tide. It's not really about the merits of the case it's about what people want and if you offer people folders then they have expectations as to how they should work. That is like the folders in WIndows Explorer or Mac Finder - and, in fact, everywhere else. It is basic GUI syntax.
 
I love Evernote but this is the sort of thing that kills applications and there is too much of it in Evernote - people will just drift over to new apps which work the way they natually work.
 
Getting this stuff done is not an option, whatever the technical hurdles. These things move very quickly and either you give people ("the public" - not your core users or "gurus") what they are looking for soon or someone else will and you will be toast.

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On 27/11/2016 at 6:02 AM, DTLow said:

You should be aware that Evernote doesn't use the folder/sub-folder/sub-sub-folder filing methodology

Could you be talking about Notebooks; and is this really a Windows specific request.

Notebook hierarchy has been requested before, for example
 https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/96180-nesting-multiple-notebooks-creating-sub-notebooks/?do=findComment&comment=11561
It would be more constructive to add your vote to this request than starting a new request
Voting buttons are in the top left corner of the discussion

Personally, I'm happy to not be using the folder model for filing.
I have a few Notebooks, but this is for the local/sync/offline/sharing feature
Tags work well for me

>>It is extremely obnoxious that this many years into the program you do not have this feature.

I don't see how this is "obnoxious"
Its a feature not supported in Evernote; there are many features not supported
If it is that important to you, you should be looking at another product

 

You do want the product to sell, right? I find this attitude incomprehensible.

If Evernote doesn't have key GUI Windows/Mac features like this it will not sell (well enough to compete).

And if it doesn't sell it will die. 

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On 2017-08-06 at 8:52 AM, Julian Winter said:

That is like the folders in WIndows Explorer or Mac Finder - and, in fact, everywhere else.

I'm using a Mac, and I can see my Evernote files using Finder.  
I really don’t like using Finder to access my notes but it is functional

Let me check my music and photo apps; nope - no folders there

>>You do want the product to sell, right?

Last # I heard was over 200 million users; some who actually pay

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PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE.

This is the sole reason I have not adopted Evernote, even though I have attempted to use it multiple times over recent years.

I have wasted hours trying to use it the way Evernote wants me to, trying to design tags, trying to label folders in such a way as to tier them.  I have spent hours researching other people's hacks to make Evernote do something like this; and trying to find plug-ins or shells that might do it.  I have tried (and failed) to use Evernote in conjunction with MS OneNote and with several task managers like Asana, ToDoist, etc.  I have tried tools that port from Evernote to another app including TaskClone and IFTTT.  Nothing has worked for me.  

Evernote needs infinitely nested notebooks and infinitely nested folders.  No two ways about it.

 

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21 minutes ago, Shellah said:

Evernote needs infinitely nested notebooks and infinitely nested folders.  No two ways about it.

 

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On 11/26/2016 at 11:02 PM, DTLow said:

You should be aware that Evernote doesn't use the folder/sub-folder/sub-sub-folder filing methodology

Yes, and that is it's greatest weakness. Tags are not a substitute, especially since they are implemented at only the most rudimentary level on phones and tablets.

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Looks as though the times,  they are a changing...

 

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5 hours ago, jeffsf said:

Yes, and that is it's greatest weakness.  (re no folder/subfolder)

I actually don't see it as a weakness.  What do you see as the benefits of this feature?

Personally, I will never go back to filing my documents by folder/subfolder.  It's a system I dropped over 5 years ago.

Currently, the Note record has two columns (think spreadsheet) for organization, Notebook and Tag.  I'm able to work with this

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Thanks for the reminder that I can customize the columns that appear. I had forgotten I could include tags.

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On 11/27/2016 at 10:01 AM, CalS said:

You can select child tags when clicking a parent tag if you set the option in Tools - Options - Navigation - Automatically select child tags.

Tools - Options - Navigation - Automatically select child tags?

Where's that? I don't see it in the web version or my Mac desktop version. 

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3 hours ago, jeffsf said:

Where's that? I don't see it in the web version or my Mac desktop version. 

Search child tags is a Windows feature.

I can script this on my Mac;

I also use a standard for naming convention.  For example all my budget tags are prefixed with Budget
A search of tag:Budget* includes all the Budget tags

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2 hours ago, jeffsf said:

Tools - Options - Navigation - Automatically select child tags?

Where's that? I don't see it in the web version or my Mac desktop version. 

Per @DTLow, a Windows option.  This is a Windows forum so I assumed.....

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52 minutes ago, dino-myte said:

I know this is not a new suggestion, but please please please make folder stacks that can go more than one folder deep. ...

You should be aware that Evernote doesn't use the folder/sub-folder/sub-sub-folder filing methodology

Could you be talking about Notebooks; and is this really a Windows specific request.

Notebook hierarchy has been requested before, for example
 https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/96180-nesting-multiple-notebooks-creating-sub-notebooks/?do=findComment&comment=11561
It would be more constructive to add your vote to this request than starting a new request
Voting buttons are in the top left corner of the discussion

Personally, I'm happy to not be using the folder model for filing.
I have a few Notebooks, but this is for the local/sync/offline/sharing feature
Tags work well for me

>>It is extremely obnoxious that this many years into the program you do not have this feature.

I don't see how this is "obnoxious"
Its a feature not supported in Evernote; there are many features not supported
If it is that important to you, you should be looking at another product

 

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