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luckman212

windows (Archived) Hierarchical / Nested Tags

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Hi, sorry if this has been asked & answered before but I couldn't find it after a quick search.

I was going to try to set up some nested tags for organizing notes under a larger "projects" category, below that I wanted "work" and "personal" to differentiate between those 2 types of projects. I imagined that I would be able to select the overall "projects" tag to view notes from BOTH sub-tags. But what I instead found was that clicking on "projects" showed NO NOTES.

Basically, if you have a tag "ABC" and below it a subtag "XYZ", selecting tag:abc does not show all the xyz-tagged notes. e.g. the screenshow below, you can see that there is a note tagged xyz but selecting the parent tag 'abc' displays nothing in the notes list.

TlJKX.png

Is this by design? If so, I am not sure I see the reason to have the nested tags at all, since they appear to be nested in appearance only, but not functionality. Am I totally missing the point of these?

Also, bigger picture question: given the above problem, is the recommended way to do this in EN still the "tag.subtag" (subtag after a period) to enable searching via "tag:projects.*" or "tag:projects.work" ?

thank you for any insight.

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viewtopic.php?f=30&t=21700&hilit=tags+parent+child#p92664

viewtopic.php?f=38&t=21799&hilit=tags+parent+child

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=19429&p=81647&hilit=tags+parent+child#p80435

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=19447&hilit=tags+parent+child

Also, bigger picture question: given the above problem, is the recommended way to do this in EN still the "tag.subtag" (subtag after a period) to enable searching via "tag:projects.*" or "tag:projects.work" ?

Nothing changes in the search syntax. tag:"xyz"

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Is this by design? If so, I am not sure I see the reason to have the nested tags at all, since they appear to be nested in appearance only, but not functionality. Am I totally missing the point of these?

It is by design. They are organizational, since you can have up to 10,000 of them. There's ample discussion on the proposition that they be functionally hierarchical in nature, but I've perceived little or no interest on Evernote's part to make them so.

Also, bigger picture question: given the above problem, is the recommended way to do this in EN still the "tag.subtag" (subtag after a period) to enable searching via "tag:projects.*" or "tag:projects.work" ?

There is no such syntax for the ':tag' search operator.

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I read all of the threads that Burgers linked to but am still left scratching my head. So I will ask again: without using separate notebooks (only using tags) what is the EN "best practice" for organizing notes in a hierarchical fashion e.g "books", "books/fiction", "books/fiction/romance" to where one can search for "books" and see notes from books/fiction/romance in the search results?

After reading all those other threads I am left thinking that the only "solution" is to remember(??) that when tagging something "books/fiction" that I must also (again, manually) remember to tag it "books". This seems crazy to me again, unless I am missing the bigger picture.

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After reading all those other threads I am left thinking that the only "solution" is to remember(??) that when tagging something "books/fiction" that I must also (again, manually) remember to tag it "books". This seems crazy to me again, unless I am missing the bigger picture.

If you want to find "Alice in Wonderland" by selecting the "Books" tag, then yes, you'd need to tag it manually with "Books." This allows you to organize your tags & shorten the tag list in the left pane. I prefer to think of the parent tag as a miscellaneous tag as stated in this post.

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I don't expect to find "Alice in Wonderland" by typing "books". But I do I want to find notes that are tagged "books/fiction" when I search for "books". Using your methodology, I might as well have the parent tag be "asdhfgskdfjvhbskdfjbvhsdflghjsdfg" because that would provide the same functionality.

dsVMg.png

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I read all of the threads that Burgers linked to but am still left scratching my head. So I will ask again: without using separate notebooks (only using tags) what is the EN "best practice" for organizing notes in a hierarchical fashion e.g "books", "books/fiction", "books/fiction/romance" to where one can search for "books" and see notes from books/fiction/romance in the search results?

First, a warning that is not obvious. There are some unintended problems if you use the same term in both the Parent and the Child tag. So use something slightly different.

In the example below, the tag for Book will have zero notes attached to it.

I would not combine fiction with romance. I would use separate tags for more flexibility.

If you use the following Parent Child tag format:

  • Book
    • Bk-Fiction
      Bk-NonFiction
      Bk-Romance
      BK-SciFi

To find all books search for:

  • tag:Bk*

To find all Fiction Romance books search for:
  • tag:Bk-Fiction tag:BK-Romance

.

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I don't expect to find "Alice in Wonderland" by typing "books". But I do I want to find notes that are tagged "books/fiction" when I search for "books". Using your methodology, I might as well have the parent tag be "asdhfgskdfjvhbskdfjbvhsdflghjsdfg" because that would provide the same functionality.

Naming the parent tag "asdhfgskdfjvhbskdfjbvhsdflghjsdfg" works the same as calling it "Books" regardless if the parent tag is automatically applied when applying a child tag. However, it's probably less meaningful to most people.

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The truth of the matter is that there is no Evernote-blessed "best practice"; Use and organization of your tags is left up to you. There are no search operations that take into account the hierarchical structure of the tag tree, though some have been proposed.

For the example that you give, I would tag "Alice in Wonderland" with "book" and "fiction" and maybe "fantasy". To find all books, search for "tag:book". To find all fiction (maybe you categorize movies as fiction/nonfiction too), search for "tag:fiction". To find all fictional books, search for "tag:book tag:fiction". Since tags are unique (i.e., a tag can only be stored in one place of the hierarchy), where you put a tag in the tree is a bit arbitrary. Some tags lend themselves nicely to a hierarchical storage; others, like the example here, do not.

You can also use notebooks to separate classes of notes, if you want; search can filter by notebook or stack as needed.

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A common theme when discussing this topic seems to be that the term "flexibility' is being freely exchanged with "complexity".

In the example below, the tag for Book will have zero notes attached to it. I would not combine fiction with romance. I would use separate tags for more flexibility complexity.

Spin it however you want, but having to come up (and later remember) 2 distinct tags for each category so searches can be performed later is just nuts. I don't see the downside to changing the functionality so that searching for "tag:books" would also include any tags hierarchically beneath it. I would think that in 95% of the cases, this would be the expected/desired behavior. In the 5% when it's not, then we could always exclude any subtags that we don't want to see via "-tag:whatever" or even by searching for the specific subtag e.g. "tag:fiction". Now THAT would be true flexibility (without complexity).

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3 Character Prefix for Tags (Parent / Child)

 

The advantage with the tag system I use is that it is:

  • well structured for easy expansion
  • logical and consistent
  • easy to remember tag names
  • even if I forget the tag, just type the first letter and all the possible choices appear
  • close to a hierarchy setup (true hierarchy does not exist with Evernote)

 

Tags for companies I do business with

Company

Com-Blackberry
Com-Charter
Com-Culligan

 

Tags for insurance matters

Insurance

Ins-Home
Ins-Medical
Ins-Dental
Ins-Car

 

Tags for current and previous employment

Jobs

Job-Abc
Job-Def
Job-Ghi

 

Tags for close family members

Family

Fam-JLB
Fam-DLB
Fam-BEB

 

Tags for government organizations (April 15)

Government

Govt-County
Govt-Fed
Govt-State
Govt-Town

 

 

 

Edit :

[2014-03-23]  Even though re-naming tags in Evernote is a snap, some of my tags don't use the prefix trick mentioned above. To make those tags easier to find, I keep them under an appropriate Parent tag.

 

Examples:

The tag Texas is under Location

The tag Obama is under Politician

The tag Immigration is under Issue

The tag Google+ is under Technology

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Spin it however you want, but having to come up (and later remember) 2 distinct tags for each category so searches can be performed later is just nuts.

Spin it?

Nuts?

Geese, all I did was offer a solution that can be done today. Sorry if you took offense to it.

If simplicity is what you want, then just modify my suggestion to the following and you will only need one tag.

  • Book
    • Bk-Fiction-Romance
      Bk-NonFiction-Romance
      Bk-Fiction-Spy
      Bk-NonFiction-Spy

To find all books search for:

  • tag:Bk*

To find all Fiction books search for:
  • tag:Bk-Fiction*

To find all Fiction books about spies search for:

  • tag:Bk-Fiction-Spy

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Spin it however you want, but having to come up (and later remember) 2 distinct tags for each category so searches can be performed later is just nuts. I don't see the downside to changing the functionality so that searching for "tag:books" would also include any tags hierarchically beneath it. I would think that in 95% of the cases, this would be the expected/desired behavior. In the 5% when it's not, then we could always exclude any subtags that we don't want to see via "-tag:whatever" or even by searching for the specific subtag e.g. "tag:fiction". Now THAT would be true flexibility (without complexity).

jbenson's scheme works well for him, and is worth studying. It's not for everyone, and I have my own way that works for me.

I do understand that others might want to use tags differently, and I've proposed operations and extensions to the search grammar to help aid those folks. I'm not arguing against adding true hierarchy to the tags, by the way; it just so happens that the current Evernote implementation works for me. But at the current juncture, that system is likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future; at least I've seen no indication from the Evernote team that that any changes are in the wind (unlike, say, with note linking, where they acknowledge their interest in implementing that functionality).

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. . . Spin it however you want, but having to come up (and later remember) 2 distinct tags for each category so searches can be performed later is just nuts. . .

luckman212,

Many EN users (including me) would agree with you.

Some would not agree.

As you are becoming fully aware, the ONLY type of hierarchical organization of Notes that Evernote offers currently is Notebook Stacks, and that only goes one sub-level deep. I believe that if EN would make this clear in its "Getting Started" documentation, it would help many, many users.

The hierarchical tag organization is useful but confusing. It applies ONLY to Tags and has no effect on Notes, Notebooks, or anything else. EN does NOT recognize any relationship between tags when applied to a Note. However, I do believe many (most?) people who have experience with hierarchal storage (like file folders on your PC) intuitively expect that Notes could be found by searching for any Parent Tag of the tag assigned to that Note.

While there may not be one best practice, EN could certainly help its millions of users by providing a number of typical examples of how to make effective use of Tags. They are already doing something similar to this in their blogs and videos where they show how different people, businesses, and organizations are using Evernote.

Finally, a list of "Gotchas" or unintended consequences like the ones posted by jbenson2 would be extremely help to all of us, both new and experienced users.

Just my 2c.

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Jbenson- I wasn't calling you nuts, I just think it's an overly complex system. I do appreciate everyone's tips on how they've learned to work within the limitations of the existing tagging structure.

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As you are becoming fully aware, the ONLY type of hierarchical organization of Notes that Evernote offers currently is Notebook Stacks, and that only goes one sub-level deep.

Hmmm, I think you missed just one little level: Notebooks:

Stacks

--> Notebooks

--> Notes

Still, there's no escaping that it's fairly flat organizational structure.

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Thanks for the clarification.

No prob.

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A common theme when discussing this topic seems to be that the term "flexibility' is being freely exchanged with "complexity".
I don't see the downside to changing the functionality so that searching for "tag:books" would also include any tags hierarchically beneath it

I don't get it myself. I would think this could be implemented without changing the database, just have an option, when you right click the parent tag, to "select sub tags" it would then simply generate the search grammar for you for both parents and subs, this wouldn't even change the behavior for people used to the current method. This has been requested before, but for some reason Evernote staff must think its a bad idea.

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Agree with the "Select Sub-Tags" feature request. While I've long advoctaed, and longed for, an actual hierarchical tag relationship, this would be an immense help in the meantime.

For instance, if you wanted to find all notes tagged under a "Books" parent tag, currently you would have to expand that parent tag to show all children, shift-select the entire tag group, and then change the tag option in the search header from "All of" to "Any any". Which is almost a quite usable way to do things... except when your tag hierarchy is very deep, and you have to expand every single level before you can select all the tags.

A very simple solution, that wouldn't change the underlying EN structure, would be a simple context menu command, and keyboard shortcut, to "select all sub-tags".

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I read all of the threads that Burgers linked to but am still left scratching my head. So I will ask again: without using separate notebooks (only using tags) what is the EN "best practice" for organizing notes in a hierarchical fashion e.g "books", "books/fiction", "books/fiction/romance" to where one can search for "books" and see notes from books/fiction/romance in the search results?

First, a warning that is not obvious. There are some unintended problems if you use the same term in both the Parent and the Child tag. So use something slightly different.

In the example below, the tag for Book will have zero notes attached to it.

I would not combine fiction with romance. I would use separate tags for more flexibility.

If you use the following Parent Child tag format:


  • Book


    • Bk-Fiction
      Bk-NonFiction
      Bk-Romance
      BK-SciFi

To find all books search for:


  • tag:Bk*

To find all Fiction Romance books search for:


  • tag:Bk-Fiction tag:BK-Romance

.

Oops I just posted a question on this... guess i should have searched. Glad Im not alone.

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Sooo... it's been a while, people been asking for this feature in several posts, what's new?

Evernote premium support team to the rescue?
I'm posting this comment also here btw.

Just wanted to share why I see this as essential:
 

In general, seeing notes in indented/"child" tags should be possible to do so just like we can see all the notes when looking at a stack of notebooks, even the "child" notebooks.

 

Example - In order to make things simpler, I, like many other, use a minimum amount of notebooks and based most of my activity on tags (for greater flexibility with multi-level indenting, and multi-tagging, unlike notebooks).
So I have an REFERENCE notebook for all non-action/project items, and for this example let's use:

  • FOOD
    • Fav Wines
    • Fav Cheese
    • Restaurants
      • 2go2
      • Favorites
      • Veggie friendly
    • Recipes
      • 2try
      • Favorites
      • From Mom
      • SOUPS
        • Hot
        • Cold
      • COCKTAILS
      • UNDER30min
      • etc etc etc etc...
So as you can see I can't use a notebook for it due to the deep level of indentation (thumbs up for allowing this to happen in notebooks! :-))
But then when I'm creating that in Tags I run into the problem of not finding the notes I need cause I don't always remember exactly which in what category of "recipes" I've entered "summer pie" - was it in "from mom"? 2try?
I would just like to have a quick look on ALL notes inside the parent-tag Recipes.

Now this is a very specific example, and perhaps a bit silly (it's only food right? ;-) you even have a separate app for that) but this is true for any other use of tags in a multi-layer indenting format.
 
I'm positive many other can identify with that, and especially users of TheSecretWeapon!

Would love a respond to how the EN team are going to solve it soon (Multi-indentation of notebooks/stacks finally? Or via adding the ability to see all notes inside "parent" tags)

All the best
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Sooo... it's been a while, people been asking for this feature in several posts, what's new?

Wellll... absolutely nothing is new, with respect to tags. They work in exactly the same way as they did before.

 

Evernote premium support team to the rescue?

Not sure what the support team would have to do with this. They can help customers resolve problems, but tags are the way that they are by design. They nest so that you can organize tags more easily, but nested tags bear no relationship to their parents (or vice-versa) with respect to search. Approaches to allow search to take advantage of hierarchy have been suggested here in the forums, but not taken up.

 

Just wanted to share why I see this as essential:

<snip>The use cases here are pretty well-understood.

 

Would love a respond to how the EN team are going to solve it soon (Multi-indentation of notebooks/stacks finally? Or via adding the ability to see all notes inside "parent" tags)

Evernote staff do not usually release their plans for new features. I've never heard any hints that anything like this was in the offing, as opposed to, say, reminders or two-factor authorization.

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Thanx.

 

Approaches to allow search to take advantage of hierarchy have been suggested here in the forums, but not taken up

 

That's why I thought to give it another little +1 to bring it up again here in the forums.

I don't know of any other way in the Evernote world to promote ideas for functionality/development, so I thought this might be the place (other companies have voteboxes, specific people to deal with user requests etc. With Evernote it's a bit ambiguous to me....)

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This is the place to make suggestions. Evernote reads all posts, and welcomes user suggestions. Sometimes they incorporate requests into their programs, too. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees...

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I've also just noticed this behaviour and want to bump this up the list.

 

Just out of curiosity why would someone not want sub-tags to appear when searching for a tag?

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I've come up with a workaround to this that suits my needs.

 

I store lots of teaching material by subjects. What I have done is store all my sub-tags under a "subject" tag. The sub-tags are named, "subject-biology", "subject-chemistry", etc.

 

I then search, "tag:subject*" and this lists all the notes that start with "subject". You could expand this of course by just adding to your hyphened tag name, ie "subject-biology-heart-valve". Using the asterix allows you to drill down your tag title until you have what you want. This means that if you have a lot of tags you don't need to remember them all.

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I've also just noticed this behaviour and want to bump this up the list.

 

Just out of curiosity why would someone not want sub-tags to appear when searching for a tag?

Because in my system (as in English), the same tag name can be used to designate multiple concepts (they take on meaning in conjunction with other tags or text search), tags do not define a strict hierarchy of meaning for me, usually. For example, consider the tag name "Security". It could apply to computer security or personal security. So do I store it under a parent tag of "Computers" or "Personal"? Doesn't really matter to me -- I just store it in the first place that seems convenient (I think it's in "Computers" but I can't remember). But that means I don't want a search on tag "Personal" to turn up notes tagged with "Security" (or vice versa, I forget). If I want notes related to computer security, then that's "tag:Computers tag:Security"; if I want notes concerning personal security, then I'use "tag:Personal tag:Security".

I have in the past wished for the ability to express hierarchical tag search in the search grammar, that's something that would be explicitly determined by the search user, not a default action.

The workaround you mention has been around for awhile, and a number of people use it. By the way, it is one of the only ways that I know of to achieve mixed AND/OR searching, and searching for, e.g., tag:subject* gives you an OR search, which you can use in a normal Evernote AND search (the default). You can do something similar with normal text search, but the tag hierarchy capability makes this potentially pretty powerful.

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Every time I upgrade EN (most recently to 5.x), the first thing I look for is an easier way to search search sub-tags.  I would love to see the suggestion from earlier in the thread: "a simple context menu to ... select all sub-tags".  It is crazy how many people (and threads) have asked for this type functionality for years.  Evernote even supports the search (any of subtag1, subtag2, subtag3).  It is just difficult to enter the search.

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Every time I upgrade EN (most recently to 5.x), the first thing I look for is an easier way to search search sub-tags.  I would love to see the suggestion from earlier in the thread: "a simple context menu to ... select all sub-tags".  It is crazy how many people (and threads) have asked for this type functionality for years.

Crazy how people ask for it? No, not really -- there are lots of requests for worth features. But then, crazy that Evernote hasn't implemented this? Not sure -- it'd be useful, I agree, but consider that GMail has a nestable label scheme that doesn't appear to be able to let you search for subtags either, at any way that I could figure out from their UI.

 

Evernote even supports the search (any of subtag1, subtag2, subtag3).  It is just difficult to enter the search.

Not quite the same thing; Evernote supports the search for any of a sequence of search terms, whether they are related subtags, literal search terms, attributes, or date terms.

The only way remains buidling a tag tree that's reflected in the names of the tags (tree1, tree1-node1, tree1-node2, tree2, tree2-node1, etc.) and use wildcards. For that matter, that's about the only way you can do mixed and/or searches in Evernote at this time.

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