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stedwick

Shouldn't selecting a parent tag search child tags?

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I was excited when I learned that I can organize my tags into a hierarchy. I figured I could put “programming” and “websites” under a generic “computer” tag, and then simply click the computer tag to view all of the above notes. But it doesn't seem to work like that. Clicking the parent computer tag shows only things explicitly labeled computer. So, it seems that organizing tags into hierarchies doesn't actually accomplish anything except make the tag list shorter.

Does anybody else think tags should work like I just described? Or do they already and I'm just using them wrong? =P

Thanks!

stedwick

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Not everyone uses the organizational hierarchy to imply that parents are a superset of children. So we'd get at least as many questions and complaints if we did it the way that you describe. "I selected the 'computer' tag, and it selects notes that aren't tagged with that word at all!"

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So, it seems that organizing tags into hierarchies doesn't actually accomplish anything except make the tag list shorter.

When you have several hundred tags, the hierarchy system is a godsend. If you put in several well-thought-out parent tags, the list can shrink dramatically.

Another advantage is that it can groups tags. Instead of scrolling up and down to find two people in the marketing department (Brown and Willams), just put them under the parent tag Marketing.

Does anybody else think tags should work like I just described? Or do they already and I'm just using them wrong? =P

I'm not a computer expert, but I would think the complexity and the overhead to run that type of system over Windows, OS X, various web browsers and multiple mobile systems could bog down the performance of the software.

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Does anybody else think tags should work like I just described? Or do they already and I'm just using them wrong? =P

Like Dave said, it's a design choice, one that works for some (me, for example), but not for everyone. It really reflects that tags are descriptive terms with multiple meanings, depending on unrelated contexts. For example, if I were a herpetologist and a software developer, I might reasonably have a 'Python' tag, but where would it live if the tag structure was truly hierarchical, and not just an organizational scheme? If I put it in one branch (say, Snakes / Python), then the other (Computer / Computer Languages / Python) loses out: Hey, I'm just looking for my snakes, but I keep getting Dell and Apple and Ruby. But with the current design, I can put it in the tag tree wherever its convenient for me, and use it freely in any context where one if its meanings fits.

~Jeff

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Hey, I'm just looking for my snakes, but I keep getting Dell and Apple and Ruby. But with the current design, I can put it in the tag tree wherever its convenient for me, and use it freely in any context where one if its meanings fits.

~Jeff

Sounds like a theme for a new movie - Laptops on a Plane

At the blue screen of death, Samuel Jackson says: "I have had it with these monkey fighting* laptops on this Monday through Friday* plane!"

* edited for a polite Evernote audience

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The problem that needs to be solved isn't “finding my tags,” but rather “finding my notes.” All I'm saying is that hierarchical tags don't actually offer any functionality when it comes to finding notes; it's exactly the same as it was before, no easier and no harder. It just seemed obvious to me that creating a tag hierarchy would make it act like one.

This isn't a criticism or complaint, since at the very worst it's just a neutral non-feature. It's not like my Evernote experience is worse or anything because of it =P

To answer jbenson2's technical question, it would simply be a matter of automatically tagging child tag notes with the parent tag, and removing the parent tag if the child tag is brought back up to the root level. This can be done manually, of course, but that's not quite as elegant.

jefito's python example is beside the point because such an ambiguous tag name is going to cause problems no matter what. One would need two tags, one called python_language or something.

However, here I think is a concrete example of why hierarchical tags acting non-hierarchically is confusing. Suppose I have the following parent and child tags:

1. Restaurants

---- 2. Fast food

I create a note called McDonald's and tag it as fast food. Strangely, it doesn't show up under restaurants, even though fast food is a child tag of restaurants. Surely I might want to see all restaurants in the area or only fast food restaurants depending on my mood. Again, I can do this manually by remembering to tag all fast food notes with the restaurant tag as well, but it's just not elegant.

Instead of tags, something like “folders” which are just auto-searches on multiple tags could be an interesting new feature. Actually, I just thought of something: shift click a parent tag to automatically search for notes tagged with any of the child tags. That would be a pretty simple compromise, I think.

But actually, I'm generally philosophically opposed to new features, ha ha =P I think software should be as simple as possible and just work well. And Evernote works pretty well!

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I can't affect future Evernote changes, so I have learned to roll with the punches. Here is the way I work around the limitations of the tag hierarchy. It does not do what you are looking for, but it achieves a similar result. I use this tag system from many broad topics - companies, close family members, personal items, tech, etc. For your example of restaurants, I would use the following parent and child tags that reflect my favorites.

  • Dining
    • Dining-Chinese
      Dining-Coffee
      Dining-FastFood
      Dining-Pizza

I can easily find all the Chinese restaurant by searching for tag:Dining-Chinese

If I wanted to find all restaurants, I would search for tag:Dining-*

And yes, I have hundreds of tags. So I am not your typical Evernote user.

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The problem that needs to be solved isn't “finding my tags,” but rather “finding my notes.”

Very much agree, and this fits in with...

jefito's python example is beside the point because such an ambiguous tag name is going to cause problems no matter what. One would need two tags, one called python_language or something.

Actually, for me, it *is* the point. Tags function for me like adjectives, and I prefer to keep them short, few in number and flexible. In English at least we don't have separate 'red' adjectives for the separate objects that 'red' may describe, and similarly I don't mind overloading a tag for different contexts. Presence of other tags often determines context in my scheme, so I might have tags "computer", "language" and "python" (common and reusable tags) rather than a specialized "python-language" tag. And I can organize my tag tree (which has ~90 tags) as convenient to me, without worrying about it too much -- most of the time I keep all but the top-level branches closed in the UI. So ultimately, the way that Evernote is designed works pretty well for me.

Instead of tags, something like “folders” which are just auto-searches on multiple tags could be an interesting new feature. Actually, I just thought of something: shift click a parent tag to automatically search for notes tagged with any of the child tags. That would be a pretty simple compromise, I think.

At some point in the past when this debate flared up before (there was plenty of discussion on all of this back then), I proposed at least making it easier for tags-as-classification thinkers to apply a tag and all of its parents to a note as a separate operation. This kinda dovetails with your idea, which I think is a reasonable request, except for the shift-click bit, since the tag tree -- at least in the Windows client -- uses the standard shift-click, ctrl-click sequences for multi-selections.

But actually, I'm generally philosophically opposed to new features, ha ha =P I think software should be as simple as possible and just work well. And Evernote works pretty well!

And I agree with this too.

~Jeff

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You are right about the Python example. Tags are superior to folders because they're not constrained to a hierarchal format and yet can emulate folders if needed (like when accessing Gmail through a regular e-mail client). Tagging a note with multiple adjectives like python and programming is the correct way to further categorize a note, rather than creating a new python_language tag.

Everyone should actually ignore most of what I wrote above. I tend to write in a stream of consciousness style, and I often don't get to the good insight until the end, ha ha. The more I think about it, the idea of automatically tagging a note with parent tags is a bad one, because now the software is messing with your data by magically adding and removing tags. Any number of things could go wrong or become confusing.

However, I think my shift-click idea is a good one. The shift key wouldn't work as mentioned above because it's already used, but something like option-clicking I think would work great. It would be one of those features that no one need worry, care, or even know about unless they wanted to. It would just be another advanced search feature.

But first things first: the team should get rich text editing to work on the iPhone (which I'm sure they are already doing!) =P

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However, I think my shift-click idea is a good one. The shift key wouldn't work as mentioned above because it's already used, but something like option-clicking I think would work great. It would be one of those features that no one need worry, care, or even know about unless they wanted to. It would just be another advanced search feature.

Oh, I didn't disagree with the idea, just wanted to point out that shift-click was already taken. I can see how you might also want to augment the search grammar via, say (and this is where Dave twitches offscreen :)), prefixing the 'tag:' modifier with a '+' sign: '+tag:MyTag' would search for all notes containing tag 'MyTag' and all of its children (and maybe its their children, etc.). Or something like that...

~Jeff

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I like the way it functions now (clicking a child tag does not auto apply parent tags) & here's why.

I also prefer the way that it operates now, bu toccasionally I do wish for a separate (and not default) operation that allows us to apply a tags and its parents to a note, and I think that some folks might want that more than occasionally...

~Jeff

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I can see both sides of this one, and mostly I'm fine with the way it works now.

But ... (there's always a "but," isn't there?)

The way note counts are displayed in hierarchical tags seems very unintuitive. My tag hierarchy is set up so that parent tags are only used to group child tags, so notes aren't directly assigned to them ... so when the child tags aren't being displayed, I have a list of header tags that all have (0) next to them, even though there are dozens of notes assigned to the various child tags.

So here's my suggestion. There need to be two note counts shown for parent tags -- the first showing the number of notes tagged to the parent, the other showing the total number of notes tagged with one of the child tags. It could look like this, for example: (0/69).

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Evernote doesn't offer organizational parent-child hierarchy, rather it is simply a grouping of tags. It has been like this since the transition from EN2 to EN3, and, evernote imposed it on us the users despite many voices against it. So I don't think it is fair to say that people will (according to Dave) complain about parent-child hierarchy, they simply were forced to use evernote without that hierarchy. For me it is obvious if I select parent I want to see a child, if I select family I want to see members of the family as well, and, if I don't then I will select a single family member or my tagging is nor right.

David said:

"I selected the 'computer' tag, and it selects notes that aren't tagged with that word at all!"

This is the beauty of that...I don't need to tag the notes with the 'computer' tag, simply because the notes are automatically in the "computer" parent tag. Otherwise the note or notes are not tagged correctly.

Thanks,

AndreasM

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This is the beauty of that...I don't need to tag the notes with the 'computer' tag, simply because the notes are automatically in the "computer" parent tag.

That makes no sense at all. If I select a tag of "computer", I want only those notes that are tagged "computer."

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David said:

"I selected the 'computer' tag, and it selects notes that aren't tagged with that word at all!"

This is the beauty of that...I don't need to tag the notes with the 'computer' tag, simply because the notes are automatically in the "computer" parent tag. Otherwise the note or notes are not tagged correctly.

Um, I think that he meant that that would be confusing behavior, i.e., not a beautiful thing, at least to some. Regardless, I think that Evernote's design is pretty well set for the foreseeable future, though as discussed above, I think that there are some things that Evernote could do to help out the folks who want some support for a classification-style hierarchy.

~Jeff

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Actually, I just thought of something: shift click a parent tag to automatically search for notes tagged with any of the child tags.

Workaround, but if your tag hierarchy is two deep you can do this today. Expand the parent tag, shift select the children, change the search parameter to any and you will search all notes with the any of the child tags.

More than a 2 level tag structure and more work... :)

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Actually, I just thought of something: shift click a parent tag to automatically search for notes tagged with any of the child tags.

Workaround, but if your tag hierarchy is two deep you can do this today. Expand the parent tag, shift select the children, change the search parameter to any and you will search all notes with the any of the child tags.

More than a 2 level tag structure and more work... :(

stedwick is brilliant to suggest this type of functionality. csihilling is brilliant to point out the workaround.

I am one of those who like jbenson2 would tag:

tree

tree maple

tree maple sugar

tree maple swamp

The tree is intrinsic to creative intelligence.

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stedwick is brilliant to suggest this type of functionality. csihilling is brilliant to point out the workaround.

I am one of those who like jbenson2 would tag:

tree

tree maple

tree maple sugar

tree maple swamp

The tree is intrinsic to creative intelligence.

Blushing. :(

I am not a tree guy per se. Hence the above thinking. I prefer to have one tag for Insurance, one for car, one for house, one for medical and then Alt select in the search, or just hit insurance if I want all of them. Lazy I suppose.

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I was going to suggest this idea and glad that I did a search first. I strongly support stedwick's suggestion. If I click a parent tag "family" I would like to see notes associted with all members of my family who have individual tags under family. EN is different from programs I am familiar with, e.g., InfoSelect, which is a very powerful random notes organizer but also provides an outline structure. Even in earlier dates of DOS (1980s), the very first popular organizer was called ThinkTank, followed by Grand View, both are outliners. The fact is that there are two camps in the universe, those who prefer to have the option of outlining and those who don't care. There is no need to debate on who is more right. If you go to the InfoSelect board where people compare EN with IS and debate, everyone agree that the biggest weakness of EN is lack of outlining. Remember most of these people are powerful note users for decades and they typically accumulated many thousands of notes with many MBs of file if you count only texts. As pointed out in an earlier post in this thread, EN started as a non-hierarchal organizer so naturally it may have more users who feel that is the better way. My suggestion is that EN does incorporate the suggestion with an optional click so that all child (and grandchild..) tagged notes will show. If this is done, you will see magical growth and expansion of the power of EN and its applications in ways that may even surprise those who prefer not to have the hierarchal structure.

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I strongly support stedwick's suggestion. If I click a parent tag "family" I would like to see notes associted with all members of my family who have individual tags under family.

I do not need this, if it wasn't clear above. But again, EN will do as they see fit.

EN is different from programs I am familiar with, e.g., InfoSelect, which is a very powerful random notes organizer but also provides an outline structure.

I will probably not use InfoSelect, though you do seem to continue to include it in your posts.

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Would this design cause any issues?

The very fact that Evernote has a "Create 'newtag' in 'some existing tag' " option, I assume the tag hierarchy is saved somewhere. So maybe a small check box in options or a button on the toolbar which suggests recursive or not. Something like Windows search. If you see the options in Windows search there is "Search Subfolders" as the default behaviour. Now not to annoy regular Evernote users who like the current tag system, the default can be always be not selected. But if some user fancies it, he can put a tick mark on "recursive (or some other meaningful name)", and then selecting the parent should also select all notes having the child tags. You can still enforce the rule that all tag names should be unique across all parents, not to break the current system. Don't think this would break anything, or would it? I am not a developer, so please excuse if this makes no sense.

regards,

Xanadu

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I think that any change in UI-based search behavior would also need to be reflected in the search grammar, so that it can be used in saved searches. That is, if you want a recursive tag search, you'd probably need to have support that in the search grammar. Elsewhere I've suggested a change to the grammar for recursive searches that uses "+tag:tagname", which would match notes that have tag 'tagname' or any of its children. Alternatively they could introduce a new search term, say 'tagtree', to something similar. We'd probably want to have negation as well, either '-+tag:tagname' (awkward looking) or '-tagtree' to match notes that do not contain any of tag 'tagtree' or its children.

~Jeff

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agreed, jefito. And I think the "Recursive (include sub tags)" checkbox should apply also to the search grammar. Meaning if this is selected, the UI and the search box behavior both change, together they become recursive or not. Both should automatically select child tags or not. This would require a change in the client only, I suppose easier to implement, as the DB structure need not be changed. For exotic search behavior and regex we can wait, but atleast this would please both the parent-child tag groups and free form tag groups.

regards,

Xanadu

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And I think the "Recursive (include sub tags)" checkbox should apply also to the search grammar. Meaning if this is selected, the UI and the search box behavior both change, together they become recursive or not. Both should automatically select child tags or not.

No, I very much disagree with that. The search tool should, as much as possible, accept the search grammar literally' and not reflect (also as much as possible) hidden search modes. In particular, you should be able to mix recursive and non-recursive searches in this (currently hypo0thetical and mythical) search grammar extension.

~Jeff

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Gets complex doens't it, knowing some guys will never use the search box and some guys will never use the UI. But these don't look like issues invented by Evernote, these would apply to any app developed for any platform. If somone doesn't want recursive behavior he could always unset it at the toolbar or under options if we go by my suggestion. The fine tuned search grammar may come, maybe not a priority for Evernote, but what I suggested is basic, recursive or no, which applies to every place where the context holds true.

regards,

Xanadu

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I think you'll find that the search grammar underlies all note searching and filtering (per the Evernote API), therefore, if recursive search was to be supported, it would need to be supported there. If you want a global setting to govern recursive searching, then you'd have a conflict if you also allowed mixed recursive and non-recursive searches in the grammar (who wins, the literal search that the user typed in, or the global setting that the user may or may not have set explicitly?).

Aside from that, there's the matter of where to put it: the controls that affect searching (e.g. Any/All, Notebook selection, etc) are, in the Windows client, kept in the Search info area; these can also affect selections in the Notebook and Tag lists, but interacting directly with the notebook and tag lists are conversely not affected by settings in the search area. So that's really not a good candidate location for the global setting such as you suggest. On the other hand, putting it in Options makes it hidden, and hidden modes are not often a great UI choice. You could also put it in the toolbar, but that's already a bit crowded, and isn't used for mode settings anyways currently. So, a bit of a sticky UI problem. Me? I'd just put it as a control in the Tag list, and have its setting affect only filtering actuated from there. But that's just me, and truth be told, this is all hypothetical anyway, since I've never seen any actual sign that Evernote was interested in such functionality (not that they tell me their plans anyway). I think that recursive tag search could help some folks here make better use of the tagging system (jbenson2, I'm looking at you :D), but I'm not sure that I'm one of them.

~Jeff

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@jefito and @xanadu,

Fully agree with both of you.

My only point in the (I suppose rather terse) post above is that this has been asked but not answered. I can extol the virtues of inheritance or not, and a check box addresses both. To me it sits in the land of asked but not anserered from an EN perspective. I've read in other strings that we prefer not to bump in this forum, so perhaps we move on until EN provides an opinion. 8)

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I'm new to EN and also experienced the surreal feeling of "you've got to be kidding me" when I realized that the hierarchical tags don't act hierarchically. I will respect the fact that other people clearly experience the world different from myself, but I think you can make the cognative argument that our brains categorize things hierarchically all the time, and this is an extremely natural way to "explore data" like notes. Like the previous user, I want a way to (1) "find my notes" easily (i.e. display children when i click a parent tag, recursively search child tags, etc.) and (2) "easily tag my notes" at creation time.

I get that some people have found clunky ways to solve (1) (i.e. "parent1 - parent 2 - child 1" tags) but at the expense of (2). I agree that it seems like there are some simple things that could ease the pain (recursive search option) that wouldn't "break" any of the existing behavior for those users that have gotten use to this non-hierarchical way to think about information management. So why not support both? Or don't even both allowing you to create a "tree" of tags...because that implies a hierarchy...and its not. And *certainly* don't claim that these are arbitrary decisions and that we "category" thinkers are wierd... You can probably support both (ceratinly categorical hierarchies subsume a single-level hierarchy).

This just frustrated me greatly, and this was the first thread I found. If I'm missing a magic thread that has the magic solution please enlighten me.

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This just frustrated me greatly, and this was the first thread I found. If I'm missing a magic thread that has the magic solution please enlighten me.

You've summarized your position on Evernote well.

At this time there are no magic solutions.

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This just frustrated me greatly, and this was the first thread I found. If I'm missing a magic thread that has the magic solution please enlighten me.

There is no magic thread; this is the way that it is. The tag tree is an organizational structure and does not imply subclassing, an inheritance hierarchy, or what-have-you. It's evidently a deliberate choice, with no announced plans to change it. Some folks can't cope with it, and others it doesn't bother. The topic's been discussed at great length elsewhere -- feel free to search the forums -- but for now, that's how it works.

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I'm new to EN and also experienced the surreal feeling of "you've got to be kidding me" when I realized that the hierarchical tags don't act hierarchically. I will respect the fact that other people clearly experience the world different from myself, but I think you can make the cognative argument that our brains categorize things hierarchically all the time, and this is an extremely natural way to "explore data" like notes. Like the previous user, I want a way to (1) "find my notes" easily (i.e. display children when i click a parent tag, recursively search child tags, etc.) and (2) "easily tag my notes" at creation time. . .

I would like to thank Steve for clearly identifying 3 of the key issues related to hierarchical organization of data that has been exhaustively debated in these forums for years. It doesn't really matter if we are discussing hierarchical Notebooks/folders or Tags, the same basic concepts apply. Please note the color highlighting is mine, not Steve's.

I would like to discuss each of these 3 issues:


  1. [*:1m1c6n2c]Respect the fact that different people will have different needs, views, and understanding of hierarchical relationships

  • [*:1m1c6n2c]Can we do this? Can we all be professional and courteous and allow each poster to express their needs and ideas, regardless of whether or not we agree with the need, or understand the need, or whether or not Evernote will or will not ever implement the idea/suggestion/request?
    [*:1m1c6n2c]I honestly see no value in continually expressing the opinion that Evernote will not, or is not likely to, implement any suggestion, regardless of previous statements by Evernote employees
    [*:1m1c6n2c]People, companies, and developers have been known to change their mind or position on system features.
    [*:1m1c6n2c]I submit that we can all benefit the most from these discussions if we can focus on the feature itself -- how it might be used, designed, implemented (from a UI perspective)

[*:1m1c6n2c]Having a method to organize Notes hierarchically is expected behavior by some


  • [*:1m1c6n2c]Each of us may have different expectations about what is considered basic behavior by any given tool
    [*:1m1c6n2c]Our expectations are based on our own individual experience with similar products and knowledge of official and defacto standards/behavior in the software world.
    [*:1m1c6n2c]At this point there have been many, many people that have expressed the need for hierarchical organization in Evernote, and find that there is no way currently to meet their needs with the current feature set.
    [*:1m1c6n2c]So, whether or not you agree with it, for many this is a valid need, and it is reasonable to expect Evernote to provide hierarchical organization of notes.

[*:1m1c6n2c]Organizing information in a hierarchical manner is natural or intuitive for some, but apparently not for others


  • [*:1m1c6n2c]Each of us may think differently, and organize information differently.
    [*:1m1c6n2c]Some people are more organized than others
    [*:1m1c6n2c]Some people do have real needs to organize info in a hierarchical manner, whether or not you understand it or not
    [*:1m1c6n2c]So if you don't see the need, perhaps it is just that you think differently. Not wrong, just different.
    [*:1m1c6n2c]So if you don't see the need for hierarchical organization, please spare us the repeated comments that "it is not needed" or "there are other ways to achieve the same result in Evernote".

I guess the bottom line is this: Can we please move beyond debating the need for hierarchical organization, and focus on how it might be implemented (Tags, Notebooks, folders, etc).

Thanks for your consideration of this request.

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I guess the bottom line is this: Can we please move beyond debating the need for hierarchical organization, and focus on how it might be implemented (Tags, Notebooks, folders, etc).

Amen to the stop the debating. Agree with all the above relative to we all have our own ways; I happen to be in the camp of less structure is good for me (this structure in essence).

In any case, the need and implementing are still Evernote's decision, so it's their focus and the royal we shrinks a mite.

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I guess the bottom line is this: Can we please move beyond debating the need for hierarchical organization, and focus on how it might be implemented (Tags, Notebooks, folders, etc).

This seems like a false issue; I find that there is actually little debate on that score, at least among the folks who comment here regularly. Indeed, a lot of the commentary in that direction really tends to be from the folks who encounter Evernote's system and post here about the lack of 'true' hierarchical facilities (e.g. "you've got to be kidding", et al)' as if they expect that Evernote is going to turn around and say "OMG!! We totally missed that. Wow, we need to fix that right away!". But I think I can guarantee you that the Evernote folks are and have been aware of this, and have considered the many aspects behind the scenes, and I don't actually need to see evidence of that to believe it: it's what software developers do. But ultimately, reality is what we have now is probably going to be in place for the foreseeable future; consider the time it's taken to roll stacks out across all devices (a work still in progress, I think), for example.

On to the actual topic of this thread, hierarchical tags. Given Dave's comment (http://forum.evernote.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=21700#p92672, and despite what you think of the value of Evernote staff statements), I'd expect the tagging system to stay the same for the present. So the more practical question in my mind tend towards how can we make the current system work? To that end, you may have noticed that there actually was respectful, constructive commentary; my angle was on how to make the current tagging scheme more friendly towards folks who want a little more hierarchy in their Evernoting lives, based on the theory that small, more incremental changes are more implementable than grand systemic changes.

The real bottom line, for me, is that it's fine to propose things for Evernote to implement, but we still need to be able to work with what is there today, because there's no guarantee that our suggestions will ever be realized. So go ahead, start your debate/design/discussion, but please don't think that you can pre-censor or otherwise control how people will interact with it, because believe it or not, other people may see things differently than you do.

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I fully expected you to object, Jeff. And that is fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

But you misinterpreted my post. I'm not trying to "control" anything. I simply made a suggestion that I thought would be helpful.

You, and everyone else, can certainly post whatever you like as long a the forum administrators allow it.

Each reader can make their own judgment as to whether or not the post adds value.

I don't really care to debate with you or anyone else anything other than how Evernote could use hierarchical organization of Notes.

Have a good day.

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I don't really care to debate with you or anyone else anything other than how Evernote could use hierarchical organization of Notes.

I certainly disagree with the characterization of the situation as stated in your 'bottom line' for reasons stated. And there is concrete discussion here in this thread on the topic that you profess to want to discuss. If you want discuss actual issues, then do that.

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Getting back to the subject of this topic, I have made a sincere effort to make Evernote work for me even though it doesn't have any type of hierarchical organization.

I appreciate the many tips, suggestions, and work-arounds that have been offered, especially those by jbenson2. It's clear to me that Mr. Benson is both a very organized person, and a very inventive one. :)

I have tried to adopt Mr. Benson's approach, but I don't seem to have the discipline and thoroughness to make sure every note is entered with all of the tags that I will need in the future.

I use Evernote extensively in both my professional and personal affairs. And in both, I am having Notes that are "falling between the cracks" because I have forgot to enter both the Parent tags and the specific tag I need for the Note.

We certainly want to avoid breaking the current system, so I wonder if the following approach would allow the system to continue to work as it does now, but also allow us, who so desire, to take advantage of the Tag hierarchy.

PROPOSAL

1. In a search, if we apply a plus symbol ("+") at the end of the Tag name, the search would return any Note which had the Tag, OR any of its child tags.

2. Provide either a Preference, or a Checkbox near the Search box, of "Include Child Tags", that would result in the Search returning any Note with the Tag OR ANY of its child tags.

EXAMPLE:

Suppose that I have the following Tag structure:

Financial

--- Home

------ Insurance.H

------ Taxes.H

------ Mortgage

------ Repairs.H

--- Auto

------ Insurance.A

------ Loan.A

------ Repairs.A

So, if I clicked on the "Home" Tag, or I entered "tag:Home" in the Search block it would return ONLY those Notes with that tag.

This is the behavior today.

However, with the enhancement, the Search would return all Notes that had "Home" OR any of its child tags, IF I did EITHER of the following:

1. I entered "tag:Home+"

2. I checked the Preference, or a checkbox by the Search block, for "Include Child Tags"

Since using either the "+" notation or the Preference/checkbox is really just modifying the underlying SQL code, this could be implemented with only a modest amount of effort. And, there is NO change to existing behavior.

Your thoughts?

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1. I entered "tag:Home+"

2. I checked the Preference, or a checkbox by the Search block, for "Include Child Tags"

In your specific example one could expand Home and Shift Click the child tags. Now if you want to get all of Home and all of Auto, then your checkbox would make it easier for the uesr, assuming you wanted all child tags for all parents selected, and that you wanted all levels of tags below whichever parent you chose, assuming a multi level hierarchy. It does get a mite complicated. Too much so for me. But not opposed to EN implementing the functionality should they so choose.

To be clear I'm one of those unorganized persons. Give me insurance - repairs - loan tags in combination with home - auto - boat tags and I've got all I need by selecting two tags. And should I forget to use one of the tags, I can find it using the other (forgot to tag insurance but can find with car). :D

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Having already suggested '+tag:' and 'tagtree:' previously in this thread (I now think that 'tags:' would be better than 'tagtree'), 'tag:+' is spelling variant on the same concept. The latter might be a little problematic for anyone who , for whatever reason, uses a '+' character on the end of their tag names, but then again a similar problem already exists for someone who uses a '*' character there; both are currently accepted by the Windows UI (the '+ seems to work). One further refinement to the basic concept that would probably be required/desired: a way to search for tag + immediate children and also a way to recursively search on tag + all children. Hey, how about 'tag+:' and 'tag*:'? How these all sort themselves out w.r.t other tags in the search, 'any:'/'all:' combinations, etc. is open to further analysis. I'd be disinclined to want a special mode, via a checkbox or Preference, if it prevented a user from mixing and matching search types.

The other end of things is making it easier for people to apply a tag and all of its parents to a note in one shot. In interacting with the tag tree, in Windows at least Ctrl+click and Shift+click to do this with the selected tag might have been possibilities, but as discussed, they're already taken (maybe alt+click?), but a right-click menu option with something like "Apply tag and parents to note" would probably be OK. The Assign Tags dialog and the Note tag control are more problematic. One question would be whether this operation was static: the tag and its parents are all added as-is, and remain so, even if the tag is moved elsewhere in the tree, or dynamic: its parent tags are recomputed if the tag is moved.

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Having already suggested '+tag:' and 'tagtree:' previously in this thread (I now think that 'tags:' would be better than 'tagtree'), 'tag:+' is spelling variant on the same concept. . .

Whatever syntax Evernote wants to use is fine with me as long as results are the same. :D

Sorry Jeff, didn't notice that you had previously proposed a similar approach, or I would have just endorsed it.

So Jeff, as a developer you have a good understanding of what might be required to change the underlying SQL. Does this seem like a modest amount of effort to you, or would it be a big undertaking?

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FYI, I have personally solved this problem to my satisfaction by creating a little utility called Taggy for Evernote which organizes your tags and makes them function hierarchically automatically.

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Hello

You had done such kind.

[*]

Active Page

[*]

Some Other Page

My question is whether or not it is possible to apply a style to the list item that contains the anchor with the active class on it. Obviously, I'd prefer that the list item be marked as active, but I don't have control of the code that gets produced. I could perform this sort of thing using javascript (JQuery springs to mind), but I was wondering if there is a way to do this using CSS selectors. :o

Thanks

Narung

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I would like to discuss each of these 3 issues:


  1. [*:3bo6i8xd]Respect the fact that different people will have different needs, views, and understanding of hierarchical relationships

  • [*:3bo6i8xd]Can we do this? Can we all be professional and courteous and allow each poster to express their needs and ideas, regardless of whether or not we agree with the need, or understand the need, or whether or not Evernote will or will not ever implement the idea/suggestion/request?
    [*:3bo6i8xd]I honestly see no value in continually expressing the opinion that Evernote will not, or is not likely to, implement any suggestion, regardless of previous statements by Evernote employees
    [*:3bo6i8xd]People, companies, and developers have been known to change their mind or position on system features.
    [*:3bo6i8xd]I submit that we can all benefit the most from these discussions if we can focus on the feature itself -- how it might be used, designed, implemented (from a UI perspective)

[*:3bo6i8xd]Having a method to organize Notes hierarchically is expected behavior by some


  • [*:3bo6i8xd]Each of us may have different expectations about what is considered basic behavior by any given tool
    [*:3bo6i8xd]Our expectations are based on our own individual experience with similar products and knowledge of official and defacto standards/behavior in the software world.
    [*:3bo6i8xd]At this point there have been many, many people that have expressed the need for hierarchical organization in Evernote, and find that there is no way currently to meet their needs with the current feature set.
    [*:3bo6i8xd]So, whether or not you agree with it, for many this is a valid need, and it is reasonable to expect Evernote to provide hierarchical organization of notes.

[*:3bo6i8xd]Organizing information in a hierarchical manner is natural or intuitive for some, but apparently not for others


  • [*:3bo6i8xd]Each of us may think differently, and organize information differently.
    [*:3bo6i8xd]Some people are more organized than others
    [*:3bo6i8xd]Some people do have real needs to organize info in a hierarchical manner, whether or not you understand it or not
    [*:3bo6i8xd]So if you don't see the need, perhaps it is just that you think differently. Not wrong, just different.
    [*:3bo6i8xd]So if you don't see the need for hierarchical organization, please spare us the repeated comments that "it is not needed" or "there are other ways to achieve the same result in Evernote".

This post is a bit old, but I just wanted to point out that I couldn't help but wonder how many people noticed that in order for you to elaborate on the very subject that is being discussed, you used a 3 level outline :D.

Also, as I am reading through the forums on this issue, I tend to agree with this, although I can understand why people do it:

I honestly see no value in continually expressing the opinion that Evernote will not, or is not likely to, implement any suggestion, regardless of previous statements by Evernote employee

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Also, as I am reading through the forums on this issue, I tend to agree with this, although I can understand why people do it:
I honestly see no value in continually expressing the opinion that Evernote will not, or is not likely to, implement any suggestion, regardless of previous statements by Evernote employee

Sometimes it's just reporting what the Evernote folks have said before, sometimes numerous times (often it's accompanied with a link to one of their statements). For myself, I try not to predict what they're likely to do or not do, though if there's good technical reason to think that they won't do it, I might say that. Other than that, was there anything about hierarchical tags that you wanted to add?

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Taggy is a little application I made to solve this problem: it makes your tags act hierarchically during searches. And there's good news: Taggy is now available in the Mac App Store!

WDTgU.jpgrlT3E.jpg

Taggy for Evernote

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Outstanding!

I just spent over an hour reading the email debate go on and on with no conclusion or solutions. Then at the very bottom of the page - Eureka!

You solve it for many of us - simple.

Thanks!

I use both Windows and Mac (mostly Windows a user could borrow a friends Mac for an hour and use this tool until you write the PC version)

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Outstanding!

I just spent over an hour reading the email debate go on and on with no conclusion or solutions. Then at the very bottom of the page - Eureka!

You solve it for many of us - simple.

Thanks!

I use both Windows and Mac (mostly Windows a user could borrow a friends Mac for an hour and use this tool until you write the PC version)

Thank you for your kind words, sir!

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stedwick, any chance this will be available on the Windows platform also? I chose Evernote largely because of its multi-platform availability.

I saw franzenjb's idea about using a Mac to hierarchify and then return to Windows... but unless I miss my guess, any notes thereafter created on Windows would need to be fixed again.

I'm using Evernote for hours every day on each of my various platforms (presently Windows, Mac, web) and have definitely found the unintuitive non-inheritance behaviour of the tag hierarchy a bit of a roadblock. I would strongly support the features being proposed to modify the search grammar and have a UI checkbox also.

Here's the primary reason I have need of it. I have the following (simplified) tag hierarchy:

- next actions

- projects

- projects - role1

- projects - role1 - arbitraryprojectoftheweek

- projects - role1 - longtermprojectthatwontgoaway

- projects - role1 - newmajorproject

- projects - role2

- projects - role2 - arbitrary projectoftheweek

Because I have multiple roles, I would like to be able to see all the "next actions" that are in the "role1" tree but none that are in the "role2" tree. I haven't figured out how to do this easily with the UI, so I would be left with the search grammar. However, whatever tags exist in the projects tag tree are guaranteed to be mutable and fluctuating. They really are for projects that will (usually) end and so manually writing a more complex search would have to iterate through each project name in that tree (and there are actually 30+) and then I would have to update the search every time a project is added.

If there is a way to do boolean logic in the UI, then that would be perfect because I appreciate being able to easily select multiple tags for the current view. Otherwise I hold out hope for automatic tag inheritance.

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There are no plans for a Windows version of Taggy. You have to understand, I'm not a Windows developer (or even a Mac developer), I'm just some guy who spent his weekend learning AppleScript in order to fix the glaring missing feature of Evernote for my own personal use, and then I decided to share it with others who might also benefit from it. But I don't have the time or skill to develop a Windows version of the program =(

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Taggy is a little application I made to solve this problem: it makes your tags act hierarchically during searches. And there's good news: Taggy is now available in the Mac App Store!

WDTgU.jpgrlT3E.jpg

Taggy for Evernote

iTunes store says not available from the US store.

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First, thank you for your kind words, Dave. Now, about availability: I checked my stats in iTunes and as of yesterday people downloaded Taggy from the US, Mexico, Germany, and Switzerland, and according to Apple my app is available worldwide. Although Apple's App Store provides an incredible amount of convenience, it's also a single point of failure. I've noticed that every once in a while the App Store goes down or has problems. I suspect that is what is happening here. Please try purchasing the app again tomorrow, and I wish you better luck.

Follow-up: I did some research, and if you receive an error message about Taggy not being available in the US, that’s not true. Simply open up the Mac App Store and search for Taggy from there. It is a known problem that redirects from Apple’s website sometimes don’t work.

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I've been reading some complex suggestions of how to implement proper hierarchical tag trees. But I don't see why this shouldn't be the easiest thing in the world:

The first thing I did, which happened to be obvious to me, was to right-click on a tag (with child tags) to see if I could find a hierarchical option. Imagine that when you click a tag, in addition to 'rename' and 'delete' there was an hierarchical option that would make that particular tag tree behave that way (this is what taggy does but I don't use OSX right now).

The only thing that I really take issue with is that people act fatalistically and appear resigned on this issue ('that's just how it is now' and 'I don't see Evernote changing it anytime soon'). Remember that Evernote is a company that must be responsive to its users. That flip answer one dev gave about how some might prefer it the way it is didn't even care to answer the question - you can make it optional for just the particular tag tree that you like, it doesn't have to bother people who like in non-hierarchically. Talk about an evasive answer.

Again, this is something a non-developer made and implemented on the Mac client over one weekend.

At least Evernote should know that the users aren't resigned to how things are, nor satisfied that adding this organisational option is such a momentous task. I like Evernote and will probably continue to use it, but it's clear that increased competition in this field can only do good things to the corporate culture here.

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I totally agree with Stedwick: Notes tagged with a child tag should automatically get tagged with the parent tags as well since this is the purpose of a nested structure. Why should I put a tag as a child under a parent tag if it doesn't belong to it? This would be a huge time saver. I don't understand why this is not the standard way evernote deals with tags. Instead a dedicated user has to program his own workaround for this.

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EN's implementation of tag nesting was simply for organization, not inheritance.  Not saying inheritance wouldn't be a good thing, many posts requesting it if I remember, just not the way EN set it up.  Which can be confusing for some since Stacks for notebooks do provide inheritance. 

 

For me after having used EN for a while, it doesn't make much difference based upon the power of the search.  But that's my use case.

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Yes no question: Evernote is a great and thought-out tool that has a powerful search. But that's exactly the point: Why do they invest so much genius in a product and then break their ease of use in such a detail? I just don't understand it ;)

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Yup.  Like I don't understand why boolean search has never been included.  I share your pain.  :(

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They don't have it, really? That's also surprising for me... I hope they read the threads and continuously improve it.

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I totally agree with Stedwick: Notes tagged with a child tag should automatically get tagged with the parent tags as well since this is the purpose of a nested structure. Why should I put a tag as a child under a parent tag if it doesn't belong to it? This would be a huge time saver. I don't understand why this is not the standard way evernote deals with tags. Instead a dedicated user has to program his own workaround for this.

 

One way of achieving the same objective (searching), is to just make a small change to the EN Search Grammar.

I make this suggestion/request back in May 2012:

Change Search Grammar to Include Child Tags of Specified Parent Tag

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EN doesn't publish their development plans.  This request has been around for quite a while, so I wouldn't get my hopes up for a short term change.  Tag prefixing or saved searches are the workarounds for now.

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You're probably right, Cal.  This request was first made in Jan 2011, so it's been over 4 years now.

But things are changing in Evernote now, with a new management team led by a new CEO, so you never know.

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EN doesn't publish their development plans. This request has been around for quite a while, so I wouldn't get my hopes up for a short term change. Tag prefixing or saved searches are the workarounds for now.

Both are quite inconvenient after a few levels of indentation, and make difficult to perform further changes in the tree.

I came into Evernote thru GTD and "The secret weapon manifesto", and so far, so good. But as the number of notes (tasks actually) are growing, this limitation is turning into a real inconvenience for me. So I just wanted to add my "me too" to this thread.

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@JM, we can hope.  :)

 

@Fran, for sure.  A few levels of nested prefixes isn't too bad, if you keep the prefix short, but after that it does get a bit redundant.  If your tags are somewhat stable then saved searches can work.  But yeah, end of the day, not as simple as a tag and its kids search.

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Hello world,

Quite new to this forum since I discovered EN yesterday, and I wanted to add my "me too" in favor of a possibility for tag hierarchy.

On paper, this soft is so damne great. Multiple media support, cloud synchronization, share tools, and an advanced "find my note" system: Categorization (via the notebooks) possibility to timeline, and ... hierarchical tags!!! How great!!! Can't wait to test it, download the program! Oh damne-it the search won't consider the tags hierarchy.

Today, hierachical tags is just a fake feature on Evernote.

What about the forums ? Oh, I mean the civil war battlefield. At least, they're some good ideas to reach the goal I/we want.

To add for the debate :

The theme is "How to find my note". The tag system is great, since every note can belong to many subjects. Furthermore, Hierarchical tags were implemented by EverNote, how can we use this?

@ the Con's: Ok, you want it to work the way it does today. Can you tell me why you choose to nest the tags? Do you see any hierachical link between them? Do you realy nested completaly unrelated tags ? It's hard to understand for my human mind, but ok, let's consider some people do. Would it make any difference for you if you ever un-nest your un-related tags ? This way, you would have the exact behavior as today, wouldn't you?

I won't consider any problematic such as "how to find my tag" which is quite a non-sense as tagging is a way to find your note : think at the opposite, would you spend, let's say, just 5 seconds thinking about tags if it were not to allow you to find/share a note? Of course not.

Please stop sharring your experience wich is irrelevant for the debate : you already have a way to do what you want, Do you realy need 2 ways for the same thing? Let's consider the other custumers wich are, I honnestly think, more numerous in the potential users of EverNote than you (they will just check this feature, find it's a fake and look for another program : there is no point spending time on unfriendly application)

@Pro's: Thank you for the advices I've found here to fool around this dead-end feature. It's clearly not user-friendly as you can't reorganize your tags anymore, or that you have to be realy strict on the tags-namming system you use.

I won't rely on a fully custumable GUI as, as said before, it would make the gui easily overcrowed. Well, a general setting with a 3-State-checkbox ? This option would be set for "search by default". Added to that, three signs (such as = for exact tag, > for direct children and >> for grand children) would be added for more precise search.

From realy far, as a developper, I think it is easily implemantable since we can not have repetitions in tags (forbidden today, even with different nests). There would be a need for a function like "FindSubTag(string FatherNode, enum SeachDepthOption) {... return list[string];}" and to add a foreach loop with an OR condition. Even to an internship, it would take less than 3 days work even he's quite bad at it.

@EverNote, you made such a great job with this software. It could be used by everyone for every day and become more and more needed as our information systems are getting bigger and bigger. Why on earth do you want some/many people to have a try at spending their time and money with another software just because you put some dead end with a feature wich seems quite natural to them ? You want to spread cross-platform ? Just consider spreading to a larger part of your potential community, you'll reach more costumers.

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Tirou said:

Today, hierachical tags is just a fake feature on Evernote.

>>Can you tell me why you choose to nest the tags?

It is what it is - a way of organizing your tag list on the desktop platforms
I can show just the parent in tag list, or expand it to see the full set of child tags.
Example, I have 4 parent entries in my taglist  !What/?Who/@Where/When
When contracted, its a very compact taglist
I wouldn't be doing a search at these level

I also have my project tags under one parent - for example !Project >  !Project xxxxx (Under !What parent)
Again, I wouldn't be doing a search at the !Project level. If I did, the search term would be tag:!Project*

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On 2/9/2016 at 8:18 AM, Tirou said:

Today, hierachical tags is just a fake feature on Evernote.

I disagree.  It is not "fake", but it is not fully featured, not what most would expect.  It provides a hierarchy of tags, but NOT of the underlying notes that are assigned the tag.  So, filtering by a parent tag includes only those those which explicitly have been assigned that tag.  It does NOT include notes that have been assigned only child tags of that parent tag.

I think we probably agree on the desired behavior:  A filter on a parent tag *does* include all notes that have it, or any of its child tags, assigned to them.

As I posted above, there is a way to use the existing tag structure, but optionally allow inclusion of child tags:

On 5/18/2015 at 10:18 AM, JMichaelTX said:

One way of achieving the same objective (searching), is to just make a small change to the EN Search Grammar.

I make this suggestion/request back in May 2012:

Change Search Grammar to Include Child Tags of Specified Parent Tag

Having said all that, I have designed a system that makes good use of hierarchical tags as currently designed.
See:

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Hello, it seems that the parent tag - child tag relation now works exactly like requested by stedwik back in 2011, as far Evernote for Windows is concerned. Could we have the same for Mac? Behavior should be consistent across platforms for those who use both, I believe.

It's about  clicking on a parent tag an being able to view all notes bearing the child tags under it.

Thanks, M

 

 

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9 hours ago, mara1382 said:

Could we have the same for Mac? Behavior should be consistent across platforms for those who use both

I agree.

@Evernote (@EvernoteAlex) :  Please provide EN Mac with the same option as EN Win 6 to include Child Tags in search/filter.

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On 5/10/2016 at 1:01 PM, JMichaelTX said:

I agree.

@Evernote (@EvernoteAlex) :  Please provide EN Mac with the same option as EN Win 6 to include Child Tags in search/filter.

+1 I just started moving my life into Evernote. I use Mac and Windows and I want my "child search" option in both!

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On 1/15/2011 at 8:59 AM, csihilling said:

Workaround, but if your tag hierarchy is two deep you can do this today. Expand the parent tag, shift select the children, change the search parameter to any and you will search all notes with the any of the child tags.

More than a 2 level tag structure and more work... :)

I'm surprised this comment didn't get more traction; this workaround would entirely solve the issue for me.  I figured there would be a way to select "children" tags and have results returned based on a query of "any" as opposed to "all".  Is there a setting to make this adjustment?  Shift-selecting all the children tags would provide results that would show notes with "any" of the tags that were selected (in other words, all of them!) 

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22 hours ago, tanzbaum said:

Is there a setting to make this adjustment?

The Windows platform has a switch for selecting tags

The any: operand in search is used to specify any vs all of the parameters

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22 hours ago, tanzbaum said:

I'm surprised this comment didn't get more traction; this workaround would entirely solve the issue for me.  I figured there would be a way to select "children" tags and have results returned based on a query of "any" as opposed to "all".  Is there a setting to make this adjustment?  Shift-selecting all the children tags would provide results that would show notes with "any" of the tags that were selected (in other words, all of them!) 

I forget exactly what release, one since 2011, but EN automated this in the Windows client by checking Tools - Options - Navigation - Automatically select child tags.  A search of a parent tag with this option set automatically gets changed to Any.

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16 minutes ago, csihilling said:

I forget exactly what release, one since 2011, but EN automated this in the Windows client by checking Tools - Options - Navigation - Automatically select child tags.  A search of a parent tag with this option set automatically gets changed to Any.

I had high hopes for this addition (I'm pretty sure that it's more recent than 2011), but in practical terms, it didn't work out so great for me, mainly because it's a global setting in Evernote. There's no way to get this to work in a ad-hoc fashion using the Evernote search language. Evernote doesn't change their search language very often at all, which is undertandable, but this would be a good addition if they ever decide to update. Plus, if you have this option enabled, then any time you select a parent tag from the tag tree, your search gets automatically turned into an any: search, even if that's not what you intended. That caused me no end of surprise when I stumbled on it without realizing that the feature had been added; took me a while to figure out what was happening.

In the end, I can live without this pretty easily.

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1 hour ago, jefito said:

In the end, I can live without this pretty easily.

Same here, don't use it at all.  Might use it if the capability to do an And on parent/child with other search parameters, but that would look so like Boolean. :rolleyes:

In any case it helps if you want context to be all notes in the parent hierarchy.  <yawn>.  ;)

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