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David Daly

Question: Organizing Reading Lists in Evernote

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I'm a long time use of Evernote to collect ideas and notes. One class of things I collect are things to read, including PDFs of academic papers, and blog articles. I put all of them into a notebook "@ToRead" and periodically go through them. I've been finding that notebook is a bit of a mess, and needing some organization. It's been really good for capturing the things I want to read, but then I lose what I want to read next, or logical connections between papers (e.g., these were all from the same conference). I can use more tags for the connections (and will now that I write this). For now I just created an overview note putting in all the organization that was missing. Still, I fear that this is a pretty heavy weight solution, and will soon grow stale and out of date.

Do folks have better ways of solving this issue? I know you can't drag notes up and down, but there are ways to mimic that. 

[edited to say "Notebook" where I had incorrectly used "Folder"]

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First point;    
Evernote has no support for folders     
We get two metadata fields: Notebooks and Tags

I can see sub-dividing an @ToRead tag into separate collections
I use the reminder feature to add some order

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Eh, I said the wrong word. I put them into a Notebook called @ToRead. I use the @ at the beginning to keep it near the top of the default ordering of Notebooks. 

How do you use the reminder feature? Do you just remind yourself of some later than others? 

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8 minutes ago, David Daly said:

How do you use the reminder feature? Do you just remind yourself of some later than others? 

You mentioned "read next"   
For me, that's a reminder    
When I'm finished, I mark completed and select a new "read next"

I don't use the reminder view; instead I use a saved search which lists my current todo's   
reminderOrder:* -reminderTime:day+1 -reminderDoneTime:*     
(all reminders, exclude future dated, exclude completed)

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7 minutes ago, DTLow said:

You mentioned "read next"   
For me, that's a reminder    
When I'm finished, I mark completed and select a new "read next"

I don't use the reminder view; instead I use a saved search which lists my current todo's   
reminderOrder:* -reminderTime:day+1 -reminderDoneTime:*     
(all reminders, exclude future dated, exclude completed)

Cool -- thanks for sharing. I think that solves a little of the problem of the immediately next thing to read, but after that one paper I then am back to my starting point. I suppose I could also mark the immediately next thing by adding a shortcut also as I don't have too many of those. 

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2 hours ago, David Daly said:

I'm a long time use of Evernote to collect ideas and notes. One class of things I collect are things to read, including PDFs of academic papers, and blog articles. I put all of them into a notebook "@ToRead" and periodically go through them. I've been finding that notebook is a bit of a mess, and needing some organization. It's been really good for capturing the things I want to read, but then I lose what I want to read next, or logical connections between papers (e.g., these were all from the same conference). I can use more tags for the connections (and will now that I write this). For now I just created an overview note putting in all the organization that was missing. Still, I fear that this is a pretty heavy weight solution, and will soon grow stale and out of date.

Do folks have better ways of solving this issue? I know you can't drag notes up and down, but there are ways to mimic that. 

[edited to say "Notebook" where I had incorrectly used "Folder"]

My process is to tag all reading with a !7-Read tag (an offshoot of The Secret Weapon).  If the reading is pertinent to some project or topic I will add a tag for that.  All reading notes are in my main notebook with everything else. 

After I've read the piece I use a Phrase Express hotkey to add _Completed 2020.05.02 10:34 am to the top of the note.  I have a saved search for tag:!7-Read -_compl* which returns all unread stuff.  No particular prioritizing though, the backlog doesn't get that big for me.  FWIW.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, David Daly said:

Cool -- thanks for sharing. I think that solves a little of the problem of the immediately next thing to read, but after that one paper I then am back to my starting point. I suppose I could also mark the immediately next thing by adding a shortcut also as I don't have too many of those. 

You can set a Reminder without a date for each item (Note) to be read.  Then, in the Note List, click on the Reminders view, and you can manually move each Note to the order you want.

Here is an example I made up just to illustrate this method:

2020-05-02_15-39-07.png.885c93bf94063ffc6645db5d936245fb.png

 

As you get a new book, set a Reminder for it and it will appear on this list.  Then drag/drop, if needed, to put in the reading order you want.

NOTE:  I have a Tag named "Books", and I have assigned that tag to all books I want to read.  Then I filtered the Note list on that tag.  For convenience, you move one Book Note to "Open in a new tab", then filter that Tab.  This leaves your main EN Tab free to general use.

 

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3 hours ago, CalS said:

My process is to tag all reading with a !7-Read tag (an offshoot of The Secret Weapon). ...No particular prioritizing though, the backlog doesn't get that big for me.  FWIW.

I thought TSWers had priority covered with now/next/soon/later tags

My reading list tag is just an independent tag, not part of a TSW/GTD Structure
It's a long list (backlog) and I'll probably never get to everything    
but I do want to flag selected entries for current reading

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1 hour ago, DTLow said:

I thought TSWers had priority covered with now/next/soon/later tags

I tinkered with TSW when I started, modifying it to my needs.  After a bit though I switched all active tasks to using dated reminders in EN.  I still use the passive (get around to it whenever) tags like the read one in addition to the recurring "look at" stuff. 

image.png.29ce43c99eeae3e0bbf6b1d64b18e6ad.png

EDIT:  Funny thing, after the post above I revisited the use of my !7-Read tag to get rid of the saved search.  Removed the !7-Read tag from all the completed notes.  Now just access from the tag drop down.  Tinker, tinker, tinker...

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Thanks so much everyone. I have new things to tinker with now myself. I'm a fan of GTD, so I'm not sure how I missed The Secret Weapon. I'm trying its ideas out now, and will also try out the reminder ordering. 

I'm also trying out Zotero for organizing academic papers. That was suggested to be separately, and I found some links of people integrating Zotero and Evernote. If I learn anything interesting I'll loop back with an update. 

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Quick follow-up: Are there any good pointers on working with Tags in the Mac version of Evernote? It turns out that I have a lot of tags already, and building nested tags is challenging for me if I have to have all tags visible, and then drag to the left to my top level contexts. 

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3 hours ago, David Daly said:

Quick follow-up: Are there any good pointers on working with Tags in the Mac version of Evernote? It turns out that I have a lot of tags already, and building nested tags is challenging for me if I have to have all tags visible, and then drag to the left to my top level contexts. 

I run with a minimized sidebar, and don't use the sidebar tagtree

The tag assignment on Macs is outdated (start typing tagname)
The latest UI is a tag picker list
- I made my own using scripting (Applescript)1691143852_ScreenShot2020-05-03at9_17_53AM.png.f7215a362a382efe962ad01c06c73fed.png
  It drills down using the tag hierarchy

I use a prefix naming style; the hierarchy is reflected in the tagname
For example    !Actionable
                               !Actionable-ReadingList
                               !Actionable-Recurring
                                     !Actionable-RecurringDay1
                                     !Actionable-RecurringWeek1   
                                !Actionable-Tasks

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1 hour ago, David Daly said:

Quick follow-up: Are there any good pointers on working with Tags in the Mac version of Evernote? It turns out that I have a lot of tags already, and building nested tags is challenging for me if I have to have all tags visible, and then drag to the left to my top level contexts. 

Not quite what you are asking, but if you feel you have a lot of tags revisit them.  I have found that fewer broader tags named what they are works best for me.  I use tags to winnow down search results and then text if need be.  My use case is paperless, task management, and second brain.  450 tags for 47k notes.  May not suit you or your use case though.  FWIW. 

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11 hours ago, David Daly said:

Quick follow-up: Are there any good pointers on working with Tags in the Mac version of Evernote?

This is really off-topic for this thread.  I'd encourage you to do a search on "Mac tags" to find many topics on this subject.  For example:
https://discussion.evernote.com/search/?q=mac tags&quick=1&search_and_or=and&search_in=titles

 

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