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Gerry Stephens

mac All Notebooks Should be Stacks

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Suggestion:  All notebooks should have folder properties. Currently the Stack, is inconvenient. It is not easy to make sub folders upon sub folders. I see no reason why every folder shouldn't be a stack.

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Suggestion:  All notebooks should have folder properties. Currently the Stack, is inconvenient. It is not easy to make sub folders upon sub folders. I see no reason why every folder shouldn't be a stack.

 

Stacks don't contain any notes.  Stacks simply group notebooks.  There are no sub-folders/sub-notebooks in Evernote.  Using Evernote, you can use stacks, notebooks, tags, descriptive titles & keywords to organize  your notes.

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I guess we're all wired differently, but the current methods work well for me.

I view stacks only as a loose de-clutter grouping of like notebooks.

For example Awesome Note insists on creating a notebook for each category.  So I put them all in a stack.  So my notebook list isn't a mile long.

 

But I find I can't really use a hierarchy of folders to tell me much (especially since on mobile devices there's no room to display a folder parent lineage).

But the main reason is I too frequently hit the categorization roadblock of "does this belong here, or here".  Too often it's both.  A tag or Title nomenclature lets a note live in multiple places.

 

When you put that together with saved searches, you have a dynamic place holder where things in multiple or a subset of notebooks can appear based on their title or tags.

 

Now if we could get "stacks" for saved searches [rubs hands together] THEN we'd be cooking with gas...

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Like Gerry Stephens says:If I could have stacks in stacks (or folders and sub folders) however you view it.

This would allow me to save notes in branches or subjects, and sub-subjects. Like I already do a lot in OneNote at work. This in turn would make EN a even more powerfull tool.

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I guess it depends on how neat and tidily divided your data world is.

Evernote already has that power.  In the form of tags.

Gerry complains that it's not easy making sub folders.

You as well make the request for sub-sub-subjects/branches.

 

  • Tags can be nested deeply.
  • Tags can be created ad-hoc at the time of editing a note just by typing a new tag name (you may or may not need to organize the nesting back on the desktop but more on that in a bit)
  • Tags address a fundamental limitation of notebooks/folders, that being, what happens when the same information rightly belongs in two different categorizations?  In the notebook/folder world you're stuck, unless you duplicate.  In the tag world, you just add another tag.  Now the data lives in two places, in essence.  Write once, categorize anywhere.
    • I deal with this in a company myopically used to directory structures trying to live in Wiki/Sharepoint worlds.  Microsoft pushes you into grouping with tags and metadata.  
    • Really this makes much more sense.  Data is more easily re-purposed this way.  You can have the same data, exposed in completely different arrangements for different people and different uses, just by building a different view of the notes based on search presentations of the metadata

 

One could argue that it's still messy to categorize tags in a nested structure in Evernote.  For one, you can't yet do that on various mobile clients.  And you can no longer do that in the sidebar on the desktop.

But essentially this becomes moot if you carefully name your tags with that structure.

 

Imagine that you create a course structure with tags.

 

.Courses

.Courses.Science

.Courses.Science.100

.Courses.Science.101

.Courses.Geography

.Courses.Geography.100

.Courses.Geography.101

 

The hierarchy is in the text of the tag.  The sorting takes care of itself, even if you've never taken the time to nest them together.

And related info can be tagged to live in multiple places if that's relevant.

Now you want to find the stuff.

You only need to remember your tagging nomenclature.

You start in the search field with .C and autocomplete shows you what you have already to pick from.

 

ScreenClip.png

 

 

Notice in the autocomplete you have a relevant and sorted selection to pick from.

If we wanted only Geography courses we type further (but we don't have to remember anything, the existing content is right in front of us).

Type .Courses.G and we get a reduced selection of just the Geography tags.  Take it further to reduce to just the 101 level courses.

 

ScreenClip.png

 

If you regularly live in a particular area you would create a saved search.  So for all 1xx level Geography courses you'd search on:

tag:.Courses.Geography.1*

 

When you enter something for a new course there's no need to first create a new notebook, or setup something new in the sidebar.  You just type a new appropriate tag name within the naming schema you've chosen.  And everything is already categorized and organized.  I imagine one would also perhaps have tags for year, school, and other such things but you get the idea.

If need be, one may tag to address the 5 questions, Who, What, When, Where, Why

Then everything could live in a single notebook but you'd still be able to pull out say all the Geography 100 level courses at Eaton College in 2007, just as easily as all Science 101 level course for all years.

 

There is a trick in that wild cards in searches must be trailing.

So finding 101 level course stuff cannot be:

tag:.Courses.*.101

 

But partial tags can be found as keywords too.

So this works:

tag:.Courses.* 101

 

101 is found as a keyword

 

So in summary:

Sorting by notebook is:

  • More limited in organizational flexibility
  • Requires more time for setup and maintenance
  • Does not support the requested nesting levels

 

There are only 3 main uses for notebooks for me.

  1. many of my 3rd party apps insist on a dedicated notebook for that app.  I put all the 3rd party notebooks in a collapsed stack to hide the clutter
  2. I use 4 main notebooks
    1. Inbox (not yet sorted)
    2. Tasks is a stack of the Inbox and an Actions folder (categories/tagged action item notes)
      • The key bit is I don't want clutter of finished tasks, but want to review the history from time to time
      • You cannot exclude a Completed or Archive notebook in a search with the - modifier
      • So instead I only look/search for tasks in the unsorted Inbox and the sorted Action notebooks.
      • I have a search that looks for completed items older than 2 weeks and I can periodically just drag them all to the Completed notebook.
      • In theory I could just add a completed tag, and filter out the clutter.  I'm not quite there in the workflow yet.
    3. Reference notes
    4. Completed (actions archive)
  3. A stack of externally shared notebooks

For everything else, there's mastercard, er... tags.  About 420 so far.  Too many to remember, but again, when you have a taxonomy, you only have to remember the prefixes and parents.  The rest auto complete for you in the Tagging field and search window.

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Now if we could get "stacks" for saved searches [rubs hands together] THEN we'd be cooking with gas...

Stacks already work for searches (and hence, saved searches): stack:MyStack

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Now if we could get "stacks" for saved searches [rubs hands together] THEN we'd be cooking with gas...

Stacks already work for searches (and hence, saved searches): stack:MyStack

 

 

No I don't think he meant searching stacks.

Rather for organizing saved searches, nesting/grouping them instead of the current single level long list.

I think I'm running into some cases where the length is causing some trouble scrolling down to the bottom on some devices but I'd have to go back and reproduce to see if that's still current.

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Now if we could get "stacks" for saved searches [rubs hands together] THEN we'd be cooking with gas...

Stacks already work for searches (and hence, saved searches): stack:MyStack

 

 

No I don't think he meant searching stacks.

Rather for organizing saved searches, nesting/grouping them instead of the current single level long list.

I think I'm running into some cases where the length is causing some trouble scrolling down to the bottom on some devices but I'd have to go back and reproduce to see if that's still current.

 

Oh, *that*. OK, gotcha. I try to keep my collection of saved searches small, even so, I don't tend to use them straight up all that often; I just use them as starters, and type in further terms to filter down...

 

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Yeah, and I thought I could get along with 1 notebook and tag everything.

Then a system or two branched that out to a handful.

And then all the 3rd party Evernote clients and voila I'm back up to 50, and stacking them to declutter.  

AwesomeNote alone added 20, yeesh.

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I used to use IFTTT and Napier, but aside from that, I don't use any 3rd-party tools. OK, Scott's EnRegEd and the ENML Editor occasionally. Holding strong at <20 notebooks in 2 separate accounts.

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I do not spend time using tags but would really like to remove the whole stack concept - UNLESS a stack could have a name.

Would like the ability to have sub notebooks so:

Government

    Local

    county

   state

  Federal

     Medicare

     ObamaCare

    Taxes

 

Sure tags might help, but cateorgy via subnotebooks makes more sense.

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Edit: To be clear, you can name stacks as per the below linked YouTube videos.

Hi.

For Windows:

Create and Organize a Notebook Stack in Evernote:

http://youtu.be/kJk1A1wrniw/

For Mac:

How to Set Up Your Notebooks in Evernote:

http://youtu.be/XRAgidFYpmQ/

I do not spend time using tags but would really like to remove the whole stack concept - UNLESS a stack could have a name.

Would like the ability to have sub notebooks so:

Government

Local

county

state

Federal

Medicare

ObamaCare

Taxes

Sure tags might help, but cateorgy via subnotebooks makes more sense.

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I do not spend time using tags but would really like to remove the whole stack concept - UNLESS a stack could have a name.

??? Stacks do have names. Here's the catechism:

Notebooks are named containers of notes. Notebooks can only contain notes, not stacks or other notebooks.

Stacks are named containers of notebooks. Stacks cannot contain notebooks or other stacks.

Notes contain content: marked up text and attachments.

Tags can be attached to notes. A note can have multiple tags, and a tag can be applied to multiple notes.

Would like the ability to have sub notebooks so:

Government

    Local

    county

   state

  Federal

     Medicare

     ObamaCare

    Taxes

 

Sure tags might help, but cateorgy via subnotebooks makes more sense.

There are no sub-notebooks in Evernote; I wouldn't bet on the appearing any time soon (but you never know). Tags can work pretty well for lots of use cases, as many Evernote users can attest.

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(This is with regards to the desktop app on windows 8) As far as I can see, to an extent, the tag feature and a sub-stack feature would be able to do almost the exact same things. However, tags have some benefits over sub-stacks, and vice-versa.

With regards to the first point: A notebook is a set of notes. A stack is a set of notebooks. It is therefore a set of subsets. An infinite substack feature would allow therefore subsets within subsets. When you click on a stack or notebook in the Left Panel, you see the notes in either listed in the Note List. Given that clicking on a tag in the Left Panel also displays the notes in the Note List, a tag category is also just a set of notes. So any hierarchically higher tag is then a larger set that contains sub-sets of notes. Thus, both tags and substacks equally support hierarchical structuring of notes in a very similar fashion by creating sets within sets. Both allow for drag and drop into a subset or superset, i.e parent or child tag-category, or stack or substack. In these regards, sub-stacks and tags are exactly the same in terms of capability and convenience (with one exception, which I get to below).

With regards to the second point, that tags outdo substacks, the main benefit is that tags allow for a single note to appear in multiple categories. This is a crucial capability for many uses. I use Evernote for researching my essays, for example. Sometimes facts I discover support multiple claims I'm trying to prove. By saving a note with multiple tags, e.g. Claim A, and Claim B, I can access the same, i.e., numerically identical note in two distinct contexts, i.e. when I'm reviewing my support for claim A, and when I'm doing the same for claim B. A sub-stack or sub-note feature wouldn't allow this. A substack feature would allow you to duplicate notes (via copy and paste?) and store them in multiple notebooks. However, firstly, this is extra work, and, secondly, if you changed one of the notes, this change would not be duplicated in the corresponding note. You could manually make the change in the corresponding note, but that would be more work, yet again. The more notebooks you'd want the same note in, the more work this becomes exponentially. Tags don't have any of these drawbacks.

However, the substack solution has one important benefit over tags. If I click a stack in the Left Panel, I instantly, see in the Note List all of the notes contained in all of the notebooks in the stack. If I click a tag which has several sub-tags underneath it (e.g. some tag I've created, in the Left Panel, "Research Notes", which has the sub-tags beneath it, "Research Notes-Supporting Claim A", and "Research Notes-Supporting Claim B,"), then no notes get displayed in the Note List. In order to view the notes, I need to select the sub-tag that labels them, (e.g. "Research Notes-Supporting Claim B,"). Sometimes it's nice to see all your notes that are part of a large sub-set-containing set, i.e. listed under a hierarchically high tags with one click, and to not have to click down to the hierarchically lowest tag which labels it.

Of course I can resolve this by manually dragging notes into with subtags into all of their parent tag categories. But this is more work than I should need to do. An easy solution for the developers is the following. Any note that is tagged with a tag that is a subtag of some parenttag (i.e some child tag of some parent tag), should automatically be tagged with all of the parent tags. 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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After years of using Evernote, I've come to adopt Tags and see it as the way of the future.  Tags solve for the one downfall of folders and that is "what do you do when a file belongs in multiple folders?".  A system enhancement related to this would be to make the functionality of the app the same as the desktop and online versions where you can sort your notebooks by selecting multiple tags.  So far, I've only been able to sort notebooks on my phone one tag at a time.

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37 minutes ago, Gerry Stephens said:

After years of using Evernote, I've come to adopt Tags and see it as the way of the future.  Tags solve for the one downfall of folders and that is "what do you do when a file belongs in multiple folders?".  A system enhancement related to this would be to make the functionality of the app the same as the desktop and online versions where you can sort your notebooks by selecting multiple tags.  So far, I've only been able to sort notebooks on my phone one tag at a time.

Spot on re: tags. 

When you say "sort notebooks", do you really mean filter notebooks? I.e., find all notes in all of your notebooks that have tag "A" and tag "B"? I can do that on the Android client, not sure about any other mobile client.

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11 minutes ago, jefito said:

Spot on re: tags. 

When you say "sort notebooks", do you really mean filter notebooks? I.e., find all notes in all of your notebooks that have tag "A" and tag "B"? I can do that on the Android client, not sure about any other mobile client.

Right - tags.  I can't seem to filter by more than on tag on iOS

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Just now, Gerry Stephens said:

Right - tags.  I can't seem to filter by more than on tag on iOS

Gotcha. Best place to put feature requests for stuff like that is in the Product Feedback subforum of the Evernote client you're dealing with; this allows other users to vote on it. In your case, here: https://discussion.evernote.com/forum/215-ios-product-feedback/

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15 minutes ago, Gerry Stephens said:

Right - tags.  I can't seem to filter by more than on tag on iOS

You can filter by multiple tags on IOS, you just have to use the search bar, tag:tag1 tag:tag2.   Would be better in the tag area for sure   

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4 minutes ago, csihilling said:

You can filter by multiple tags on IOS, you just have to use the search bar, tag:tag1 tag:tag2.   Would be better in the tag area for sure   

Ah right, I was referring to the dedicated search tool in the Android client, but you apparently can filter on multiple tags in the tag list by long pressing on a tag; you get a list of tags that are in notes that contain your original note, and you can add more tags from that list, then view the notes with all of those tags. Pretty slick, actually.

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2 hours ago, jefito said:

Ah right, I was referring to the dedicated search tool in the Android client, but you apparently can filter on multiple tags in the tag list by long pressing on a tag; you get a list of tags that are in notes that contain your original note, and you can add more tags from that list, then view the notes with all of those tags. Pretty slick, actually.

Well that is cool.  AFAIK., can't do that in IOS.   :(

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Hi there,

I have been working extensively with Evernote the past month and have grown increasingly frustrated at the inability to create sub-folders/sub-notebooks or stacks within stacks.  I am using it to organize my course content and the notes within each notebook are a mile long with no way to neatly organize them by subtopic.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make this functionality available!!!

Thank you,

Maria

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We would like to have stack within stack, but if not then is there some way to keep (fixed) multiple "Table of Contents" at the top. That would help us. We have a stack as a client and we might have multiple jobs for that client, which having a stack within a stack would be nice.

Another question with the Table of Contents, how do you add another note to the table without having to delete and recreate the table of contents?

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16 minutes ago, centerlinefoundationrepair said:

is there some way to keep (fixed) multiple "Table of Contents" at the top.

You can adjust the prefix the title and dates so regardless of your sequence, the note is at the top

>>Another question with the Table of Contents, how do you add another note to the table without having to delete and recreate the table of contents?

If you use a note as TOC, it doesn't get updated.  Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 8.51.37 AM.png
Personally I use top list view (Mac) and the note list is always up to date

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18 minutes ago, centerlinefoundationrepair said:

We have it set up to have "up to date" sort but as we put more notes in the table of contents gets pushed down.

When you add an entry to the TOC note, also reset the Update Date

>>Notes to table of contents: I can type in a new note but it will not be a hyper link to the file (note). 
Use the Copy Links feature.  On my Mac, I can just drag the new note into a TOC note and a link will be created

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TOC: yes I understand the TOC will update to the top, but we are wanting all TOC's within the client stack notebook to stay at the top, and the only way to do that is to enter each one. Too time consuming.

We have windows, I believe I did try that (click & drag) and it didn't work, but I will give it another try.

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11 minutes ago, centerlinefoundationrepair said:

TOC: yes I understand the TOC will update to the top, but we are wanting all TOC's within the client stack notebook to stay at the top, and the only way to do that is to enter each one. Too time consuming.

If you set all your TOC notes with Update Date 1901/01/01, they will be at the top of your note list

I have this scripted on my Mac

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