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windows 8 (Archived) What's the point of notebooks when there are tags?

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I'm new to Evernote, but have been enjoying it immensely, especially having all my notes in one place.

The thing I don't get is what the point of notebooks are. I created a few, such as recipes and teaching, but

honestly, I could have just as easily created tags with the same names since you can add multiple tags to any note,

so I really don't get what notebooks add that a tag wouldn't.

Please let me know if I'm missing something!

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I find myself baffled by offline notebooks and why you need them.

I am not a pro user and yet I can access any of my notes on my mobile offline, provided I have I have opened them at least once on my mobile.

Am I missing something?

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Must admit I'm moving away from tags and too many notebooks. A very large percentage of my nearly 10,000 notes are now in a single Notebook called Reference and without tags.

Doesn't seem to make searching for stuff any more difficult and much quicker for filing stuff, as I don't need to think about which tag/notebook to put it in.

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There are no guarantees that the notes will be in the note cache unless you use offline notebooks. The note cache for notes not in offline notebooks the is liable to be cleared if the OS needs more space. So it may appear to work just fine, but you may find that it doesn't someday. It'll probably be exactly when you need it most, unfortunately (Murphy's Law).

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I find myself baffled by offline notebooks and why you need them.

I am not a pro user and yet I can access any of my notes on my mobile offline, provided I have I have opened them at least once on my mobile.

Am I missing something?

Notes on the mobile devices may be cached. However, when you have a lot of notes or the cache gets cleared (much like your web browser), you will not be able to access those notes w/o an internet connection. IOW, it's a ***** shoot as to whether you'll be able to access them or not, unless they are in an offline notebook.

EDIT: Sniped by Jeff!

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I tend to use more notebooks than some people. And some exist b/c I created them for temporary use & have been too lazy to tag & move them to a more generic notebook. :) But one reason I like notebooks is b/c when I'm starting a project, I like to create a new notebook for that project. Then I can add all the notes & clips to it & quickly/easily find the notes when I need to refer to them. Once I'm done with the project, I tag them, move them to a more generic notebook & delete the temporary notebook.

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Thanks for the link and replies. The linked article cleared up some confusion and I now get why I MIGHT possibly need notebooks, i.e. for sharing or offline, but so far I guess I'm better off just using tags, especially since I often create notes in the default notebook with tags, but often forget to put them in their respective notebooks, I'm better off just not using them at all. I used Catch notes before this, so I'm used to heavily tagging stuff, so it's easier just to stick with this

I also understand now why when I did put something in another notebook I couldn't access it offline on my phone. I thought that all notes were sychronized between cloud and device.

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I also understand now why when I did put something in another notebook I couldn't access it offline on my phone. I thought that all notes were sychronized between cloud and device.

To clarify, the header information for all notes in the account are sync'd to mobile devices. However, unless a note is in an offline notebook, the note itself is not sync'd to the device. When you call up the note, it's downloaded from the cloud (unless it happens to be in the device's cache). Which is why you can't actually look at or edit the note with no internet connection unless the note is in an offline notebook.

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If you're a premium user, then you can designate notebooks on your device as offline notebooks. That means that notes in those notebooks will be automatically cached on your device for when you are offline. Normal (that is, non-offline notebooks) carry no such guarantee: note content is not pulled down to your device automatically unless you actually open the note when you are online. In that case, the note content *may* stay cached on your device when you go offline, but there's no guarantee of that.

[This time BnF is quicker on the draw. :)]

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Conversely, for me a benefit of offline notebooks is that I don't have to d/l all my notes to my device. There's no point in wasting space for notes I don't need regular access to. Personally, I want access to my travel itinerary and the research notes of my current project at all times, so those go into offline notebooks, but notes that belong to completed projects stay in the cloud. That's why I gave EN another chance after being all set to move to Dropbox + plain text as alternative (although I'm still keeping text notes as backup).

I basically use notebooks as I would use folders on a computer and tags as markers for keywords or themes. For example, artist XYZ may have one notebook for interviews and another for song lyrics, but the same tags can be used in both notebooks. Or in notebooks for different bands if the same artist has been in more than one band. I find keyword searches too granular for many of my queries, so tagging e.g. by lyric theme or album title gives me a way to pull up everything to do with a specific album or theme or to look for "patterns".

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There are no guarantees that the notes will be in the note cache unless you use offline notebooks. The note cache for notes not in offline notebooks the is liable to be cleared if the OS needs more space. So it may appear to work just fine, but you may find that it doesn't someday. It'll probably be exactly when you need it most, unfortunately (Murphy's Law).

Where is the cache stored?

If it's on my SD card, surely if I have a large card eg 32G I should be all right.

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If it's on my SD card, surely if I have a large card eg 32G I should be all right.

I see the Evernote note cache on my Kindle Fire as : /mnt/sdcard/Evernote/<user-designator>. It may be different for you.

As I say, there are no guarantees if you do not have the offline notebook offered by Premium.

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Have two accounts... One with 11292 notes in it, one with 2400ish. The two hierarchy system works for me. Its all in your philosophy of organization and how you 'use' Evernote. If its just a big storage bin - then a simple search will likely get you what you want. When you top 10,000 notes - the amount which comes up when you type in the word Smith or Auto or Cleveland - is, well, too many... Thereby limitations based on notebook or tag significantly help. Further, if you use Evernote for a 'process', then each step of the process could be a tag and each differing process is a notebook. Application is left to the user. As for the capabilities - its simply available, not forced. In the end, I'm able to pre-search by notebook and tag - and don't have to rely on the search function as heavily. Works for me, may not for you.

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The main reasons for me having more than one notebook are:

  • The family shares the account so it seems fair to have that separation.
  • Quite a lot of applications create their own mandatory fixed-name notebook. (Yes, I could use AutoEver to move them to my main one and in fact I do something like that with entries created by Journal for Evernote.)

Personally I'd go with one notebook and only light tagging if you can.

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If its just a big storage bin - then a simple search will likely get you what you want. When you top 10,000 notes - the amount which comes up when you type in the word Smith or Auto or Cleveland - is, well, too many... Thereby limitations based on notebook or tag significantly help.

Agreed. Although I probably use more notebooks than many long time users of Evernote, I normally do all my searches across all the notebooks, using keyword, tags and/or an intitle search. Normally, I'm able to find the note(s) I'm looking for. But if I do have to refine the search further, I'll then restrict it to a notebook or stack.

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I am a pretty long time user of EN and I am firmly in the more notebooks camp. I like using tags to create multiple links to a specific note but I find it much quicker when creating a note to just dump it into a specific notebook rather than tagging it then. My notes are most often images or web articles or copied emails. Images don't show up in searches unless they have text. I love the fact that when I use the web clipper it actually guesses which notebook to put it in with amazing accuracy. When I have time I go to a notebook and I may reorganize or tag notes then but I can always find my notes easily. Creating notes should be a one step operation.

Hugh

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With regards to the title of this thread.

I use a mixture of Notebook and Tags, the simplest explanation for the benefit would as follows.

I have a shared Notebook called 'OMD' (Olympus OMD-EM5 camera) which I share with some friends.

Every note in here has the tag 'OMD'

I have a personal Notebook called 'Various'. I have put in here various additional Notes about the OMD camera which includes the receipt for when I bought it. These also have the tag 'OMD'.

So I can either click on the Notebook 'OMD' to see if my friends have added any new Notes. Or I can click on the tag 'OMD' to find every Note I have on the camera.

Regards

Chris

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