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llbean

productivity Using tags to get away from file hierarchy

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Hello-

I'm still struggling to setup my EN/GTD system and was wondering how people approach converting traditional file/folder hierarchy, ala windows or dropbox with EN. I'm VERY leary in creating too many tags and getting lost but I want enough to be able to find information faster than I use to drilling through a bunch of Dropbox folders.

Specifically, if I have a bank statement that needs to be archived. My tags would be as such (what when where who) .Statement Y2009 @Home [bank of America]

I realize this is all personal and customizable but what I don't want to do is create excessive tags. So in the example above, is a year tag, Y2009 or even a month tag overkill?

Thanks

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Here are two previous posts describing what works best for me:

I chose keywords in titles over tags because title is more visible, regardless of the Evernote client you are using. I also didn't want to worry about the issue of tag maintenance, etc.

Me too. I think people new to Evernote have a tendency to over tag (I did) and not utilize the EN search engine. I have hundreds of documents in my EN & almost never tag them. But I'm diligent about using an accurate title. I always include the date of the bill/letter in YYYYMMDD format as well as the company or the name of the sender/recipient (if it's something I sent). So if I need to find the Cox cable bill from May of 2007, I'd simply do this search:

intitle:cox 200705*

and boom...out of thousands of notes, the one note I'm looking for pops up, no matter what notebook it was in. And no tags involved.

I find it too easy to get caught up in the process of organizing things, getting it just right, filing everything precisely. For me, that ends up being a big time sink.

I agree that can happen. Another reason I don't like using too many tags or worry about which notebook to put something in. (Although I do use more notebooks than some of the other heavy users.)

And I think it's probably easier if someone has background in organizing physical papers/notes/documents before jumping into Evernote b/c I think it's too easy for someone to blame EN (or any digital organization tool, perhaps) b/c they can't find something. OTOH, if you've been filing paper for a while, sooner or later you realize you need to have structure in your organization so that you always know to look for your AT&T cell phone bill under "AT&T" rather than "telephone" or "cell phone". Or however you decide to file it. It just needs to be consistent or else you spend time looking for something you already "filed."

I think this post by John Pierce (jmpsfs) is accurate & well thought out & applicable to this thread, too. (I Evernoted it.)

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Would be there any harm if instead of coding the date of a receipt or a statement into the title or via tags to instead alter the date created column that EN provides?

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Would be there any harm if instead of coding the date of a receipt or a statement into the title or via tags to instead alter the date created column that EN provides?

Yes, some folks do that. And many are waiting fervently for the long-awaited "Due Date" that Evernote has promised to add, which would be entirely up to the user's choice as to how to use it.

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Would be there any harm if instead of coding the date of a receipt or a statement into the title or via tags to instead alter the date created column that EN provides?

Certainly no harm. However, if you want to refine search results by date, it's doable but a bit more tedious (IMO). Really not a big deal. But IMO, SOoooo much easier to refine by using the method I described in my link. IE intitle:200205*

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Burgers-

Thanks I'm going to try that. I guess I'm not real familiar with all of the shortcuts for searching, which is why I'm trying to tag everything.

What are all the different ways to use the search function?

Thanks

Bean

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If you use a Mac, you can write an AppleScript to append keywords to the titles of selected notes. This is what I use routinely. Otherwise you spend a lot of time editing note titles.

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So if I have a bunch of statements/receipts, do more people just put all of the search criteria in the title or as tags? I can see that the title method avoids creating a laundry list of tags, but what are the pros/cons? Is there a good combination of the two?

Also, how would you do an intitle: search of a date range?

I appreciate all of the help, I have over 10 years of statements/receipts that I am holding back on importing into EN until I make up my mind on this so as to avoid creating more working later. Definitely going to look into AppleScripts.

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Ultimately it's up to the user to figure out what works best for them, but I typically use broad tags that help me narrow down the search space, and leave the details for text or other filters. For example, I might tag an article on C++ templates with "Software", "Development" and "C++" (broad categories), but use a text search to identify articles on templates.

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