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(Archived) HOWTO: Search for something AND this OR that

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Is it possible?

For example lets say I want to see a list of all my books. Some books are kept in Kindle, some are kept in iBooks and some are kept in Evernote as attachments. I also keep a lot of quotes from books in Evernote.

The notes look like this:

If it's a quote from a book - "Book - name of the book - author - quote"

If it's a book as an attachment in Evernote "Book - name of the book - author" and an attachment in the note

If it's a book in kindle - "Kindle - Book - name of the book - author"

If it's a book in iBooks - "iBooks - Book - name of the book - author"

So to see a list of all books only without any quotes I need to search for intitle:"book - *" AND intitle:"kindle" OR intitle:"iBooks" OR resource:application*

Is this possible? I know about ANY search operator however it will show results for all criterias, i.e. I'd get all my notes including quotes with "book - " in titles.

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No, you cannot, in general, do mixed AND/OR queries. Queries are by default AND queries, but once you insert the any: search term, it becomes an OR query.

Under certain circumstances, you can simulate AND/OR queries, though. For example, if you use a common-prefix tagging scheme (i.e., use common prefixes for related tags, as in 'project-A', 'project-B' and so on), then you can use the wildcard to find any tag starting with 'project' via 'tag:project*'. Mix this in with a standard AND search, and you have a mixed AND/OR search, e.g.: the search string "estimate tag:project*" would find notes that contain the word estimate and are tagged with any of the tags beginning with 'project'.

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IMO, the lack of full Boolean searches in Evernote is one of its main limitations.

This has been discussed numerous times in other threads.

Evidently some people in Evernote think these type searches are too complex for most users.

Anything beyond a simple text search may be too complex for some.

But I think some good, clear documentation with examples would go a long way to educating users to the power and benefits of Boolean searches. Currently the Search engine instructions/documentations is embedded in the Developer's API document, which is NOT very end-user friendly.

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Evidently some people in Evernote think these type searches are too complex for most users.

It's not as simple as that. See relevant Evernote commentary by searching on "boolean" for author "engberg"

For example: http://discussion.evernote.com/topic/10027-boolean-searches/page__p__47002__hl__boolean__fromsearch__1#entry47002

Thanks for the feedback. For Evernote's consumer service, we use global intersection of criteria (AND) by default, but you can switch the queries to use global union (OR). This is the same level of complexity offered by many other consumer applications such as iTunes smart folders. Most consumer applications don't mix in arbitrarily complex boolean logic because it is hard to make a good UI that shows the state of the query that has been executed. A global union or a global intersection tends to meet the needs of 99.5% of consumers without any complicated query-constructor UI, etc.

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I'm surprised Dave Engberg compared Evernote to iTunes. Such searches may meet the needs of 99.5% of iTunes users (I'm one user who doesn't need more advanced iTunes searching), but I find that hard to believe about Evernote.

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I'm surprised Dave Engberg compared Evernote to iTunes. Such searches may meet the needs of 99.5% of iTunes users (I'm one user who doesn't need more advanced iTunes searching), but I find that hard to believe about Evernote.

Also, it is possible to 'nest' Smart Folders in iTunes by creating one ([contains-speakeing] = any: spoken, audiobook, language, audio-book) which is referenced by another (in:contains-speaking, -in:recently-played, 'Ani DifFranco'). This would be a great workaround for Evernote: allow saved searches to reference eachother. If you're worried about loops, etc, then just put in a timeout with an alert: "you're one of 0.5% of EN users trying to do this.. your search is broken, try again"

* hope you can decipher my cryptic search syntax :)

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Boolean logic is second nature to most users in today's tech world. You can't get out of highs school without knowing the concept. it's part of most search engine logic. You don't have to be an SQL whiz! I agree that as one's database expands, there is a need for sophisticated search to keep EN at the fron of the pack. Great app but you can't stand still.

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Boolean logic is second nature to most users in today's tech world. You can't get out of highs school without knowing the concept. it's part of most search engine logic. You don't have to be an SQL whiz! I agree that as one's database expands, there is a need for sophisticated search to keep EN at the fron of the pack. Great app but you can't stand still.

It's easy to do now if you use the Mac.

http://www.princeton.edu/~cmayo/evernote-spotlight-search.html

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You can now do searches that mix AND/OR and NOT logic together with BitQwik 2.0, a free app for Windows Evernote users. Mac users that have Parallels or VMWare Fusion should be able to run it too:

Disclosure: I am the author

-- roschler

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You can now do searches that mix AND/OR and NOT logic together with BitQwik 2.0, a free app for Windows Evernote users. Mac users that have Parallels or VMWare Fusion should be able to run it too:

http://discussion.ev..._20#entry174749

Disclosure: I am the author

-- roschler

Cool! But, no spamming please :(

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Cool! But, no spamming please :(

Why is it considered spamming?

Seems like an appropriate response to a weakness in the Evernote program.

edit: I just found your comment on another posting. Understood.

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I just came across this top - and am also frustrated that I can't create a simple search to find all the notes that need cleaning up - which would be the query:

 

tag: @cleanup OR notebook: "Scanner Pro" OR notebook: Skitch

 

(the latter two being folders things get put into by other products that I can't control)

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