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ChuckW

Tag Improvements for Evernote Business

Idea

Two Items specifically:

1. Be able to nest tags for organization purposes (i.e. - If I want a tag for each department, let me nest them under a top level hierarchy tag called "Departments"

2. Ability to lock down the creation and modification company wide so only Evernote admins (or other select people) can create or change Tags. I'm worried I'll end up with a billion random and closely related tags because employees mistype or slightly change (i.e -use a plural instead of a singular: 'New Designs' vs. 'New Design')

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I have some experience of managing a technical database that was held on a Wiki.  We wanted everyone to be able to add new data because the topics being covered were developing in real time,  and agent A's encounter with a brand new issue or resolution might be replicated by Agent Z within minutes.  If we had any experience of a given situation,  we wanted whatever data there was to be available to everyone,  immediately.  There were about 250 individuals involved,  with widely (and wildly) varying ages and keyboard skills.  This was a 24/7 contact centre operation,  so three shifts overlapped briefly,  but there was no other route for technical communication with the overall group than this database.

Despite copious help pages and pre-training,  it quickly became apparent that for reasons of accuracy and sanity we needed to have a group of moderators overlooking the data.  New entries were vetted and keywords and titles added or changed to fit the approved format of the main database.  The moderators met weekly,  and had the benefit of a private channel on the Wiki for communications and discussions.  There were a few on site at all times,  so ad-hoc chats were also possible - and initially quite frequent as we got things up and running.

Despite careful briefings on how things should be described and named, the agents - who were very professional and talented on technical issues - were generally very bad at taxonomy, spelling,  and description.  We wound up taking considerable pains to (re)index and tag things (Wikis use 'categories' in a similar way) and found that a good directory index page was key to quick access - the Mk 1 eyeball being quicker and more accurate than our colleagues' search methods.

To aid with searches,  we also found that 'typo' spelling had to be allowed for.  'Router' also had tags for rooter / roter / ruter just in case...

My takeaway from all of which is that tagging and indexing within a group cannot reliably be left to the group alone.  There must be some agreed detailed structure within which everyone tries to work,  and at least one individual per group (depending on the size and degree of compliance) who has the task of editing new contributions until they meet the correct pattern.

Evernote seem to have the conviction that personal account holders should not be limited by an externally imposed tagging structure.  The blank page approach means that individual accounts can have whatever layout the user desires.  Given the potentially very different systems used by any group,  I'm not sure how you'd meld them together in the joint business account. 

I'm very aware I'm not providing any answers here,  just background and support for a better way to tag within Business accounts!

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10 minutes ago, ChuckW said:

1. Be able to nest tags for organization purposes (i.e. - If I want a tag for each department, let me nest them under a top level hierarchy tag called "Departments

I'm not a business account user but my understanding is that tag hierarchy is an Evernote feature
I use nested tags on my Mac

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I use it in my personal accounts as well to keep my tags organized. It is as simple as dragging and dropping to nest them. I can't do this is Evernote Business.

Also, iOS does not support nesting as well. (you can't view them in that manner)

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Not currently a business user,  but from the " billion random and closely related tags " point of view,  I'd agree that some level of management will be necessary.  I used to run a database used by tech advisors in a contact centre,  which was subject to minute-by-minute changes from any user as they/ we encountered new situations and new devices.  Customer-facing users could also add items that were just queries - 'how do I fix this?' messages for a 2nd line team to resolve and update.

Line 1 users could be up and running in a few minutes,  but they'd add details with misspellings,  odd tags and (in some cases) random keywords that made no real sense to anyone else.  Line 2 users required more support and training,  and we had a 'main board' of a dozen users at that level (out of 200 total) to vet all submissions,  including any edits or adds from Line 1.  Changes would be rolled back or edited as necessary,  and all entries were made to fit a logical structure that had been engineered to include spaces for development.

Evernote recommend that staff using the business account are well supported - it's not a set and forget solution to information distribution - some planning and guidance will be required.  If there's not a relevant 'how to' book out there,  I'm sure someone will be writing it!

 

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I don't understand why can't we organize the tags the same way we organize in the personal account. This feature was removed when Evernote split the Business and Personal accounts. 

There is zero organization currently for tags. Evernote organizes it alphabetically, which is useless.

For the business environment we need Tag Structure just like we have in the personal account. 

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I understand that is not that easy to organize tags in a Business environment because every user might add personal tags within shared notebooks. If these personal tags are spelled exactly as collegues did in their notebooks, we have tags of different usage with same names. If every user would be allowed to manage a local hierarchy of tags, it is impossible to manage tag hierarchies globally because every user hopes to see only his tags (in addition to tags of shared notes but without tags of unshared notes and notebooks...).

BUT: The current solution of EN (showin all tags flattened in alphabetical order and thereby showing different but same-spelled tags multiple times) is the worst (but easiest to implement) solution.

Here's my suggestion to come to a better organization

  • Allow admins to define global tags and a globally used and displayed tag hierarchy
  • Allow normal users (me) to define local (user specific) tags that have to be destinct from global tag names
    • maybe be by specifying a special first character that will not be used in global tags
    • Allow me to define a local (user specific) tag hierarchy and dispay it as a separate tree
  • Show user tags of other users (used in shared notes and books) as a simple sorted list (as a third "tree")
    • but only if other tag(name) is not definied as a user specific tag by me.
    • In this case (other user tag with my name) it should be displayed like my tag in my tree.

I'm sure, an organization will come to a common understanding of using only global (well defined) tags even in personal notebooks. Using well-defined tags and -hieraries is an overwhelming feature of EN(~Business) to organize information and workflows.

 

 

 

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THX for these insight arguments. Couldn't explain it better :-)

On 10.3.2018 at 4:37 PM, gazumped said:

... Evernote seem to have the conviction that personal account holders should not be limited by an externally imposed tagging structure. ...

But their plan is to widen their Business business - so they should listen carefull to really experienced customers.

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The more my team uses Evernote Business, the more we are using Tags. The ability to organize tags will be a great improvement at this time. Please let us stack tags!

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