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(Archived) Notebooks are VERY hard to navigate (UX)

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I have always hated the way evernote has notebooks and subnotebooks.

 

Why can't they just be like folders?  

 

Either that or I can migrate to just using tags for everything (which might be better).

 

I need the ability to change the tags on the clipper too.

 

 

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Hi.  Thanks for your comment but I'm not sure I follow what you're looking for here - there's no such thing as a 'subnotebook' in Evernote,  only notes which contain data,  and notebooks which contain families of notes. 

 

Nothing in Evernote behaves in any way like folders.  Tags are good. 

 

If you're looking to change tags via one of the clippers,  which one are we talking about? A browser clipper,  Clearly,  the email clipper,  or a mobile app?

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Is that a clip of notebooks and note titles?

 

Those are stacks/notebooks in the sidebar in the Mac version.

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Just folders would be nice... I know of no other product that has 'stacks' like this.. 

 

For example why can I only create to a depth of 1?  

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Hi.  Thanks for your comment but I'm not sure I follow what you're looking for here - there's no such thing as a 'subnotebook' in Evernote,  only notes which contain data,  and notebooks which contain families of notes. 

 

Nothing in Evernote behaves in any way like folders.  Tags are good. 

 

If you're looking to change tags via one of the clippers,  which one are we talking about? A browser clipper,  Clearly,  the email clipper,  or a mobile app?

 

Er..

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For example why can I only create to a depth of 1?

It's a design choice.

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Ha... my point being that the design choice is wrong and very confusing.

 

Users have VAST experience with filesystem folders.  The UI is a folder metaphor but I can't create real folders.

 

It's very confusing and frustrating.

 

I suspect it wasn't really a design choice. I suspect that originally you couldn't create 'sub folders' or 'sub notebooks' and they figure out some way to hack it in.

 

But regardless.. it's confusing.  I could migrate to just using tags but when I create a new clip I should be able to set the default tags or at least the default folder.

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I suspect it wasn't really a design choice. I suspect that originally you couldn't create 'sub folders' or 'sub notebooks' and they figure out some way to hack it in.

Evernote has been pretty clear that it was a very deliberate design choice. And one I heartily endorse. It was such a relief to find an application like this that doesn't force some metaphor of a physical method of managing information onto a digital process. Nested folders are limiting in that you can only put a item in one place. Tags allow for any number of possibilities. I no longer have to struggle to remember if I filed a clipping on, say, iOS photo editing software under "software" or under "iOS" or under "photography".

I'm not saying you have to agree with Evernote's organizing scheme, just that you should realize that a)it's not a mistake and b)it may be the preferred way of doing things for some of us.

Best of luck.

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Ha... my point being that the design choice is wrong and very confusing.

Golly, I guess you got me there.

No wait...

Users have VAST experience with filesystem folders.  The UI is a folder metaphor but I can't create real folders.

...the Evernote UI is actually a notebook metaphor; it's why they call them notebooks, not folders. Users also have VAST experience with notebooks.

Fully nestable folders are not a perfect solution for everyone either; they force a more rigid hierarchy on your notes, and frankly, can make things more difficult to find (depth-first search for a misplaced note, perhaps? I've been through that many times in a file system). As it is, Evernote stacks are a bit grafted on; they certainly came later, with the stated intent of allowing you to visually structure the 100 notebooks that were allowed at the time. But they're just there to organize notebooks, not notes.

 

I suspect it wasn't really a design choice. I suspect that originally you couldn't create 'sub folders' or 'sub notebooks' and they figure out some way to hack it in.

You can suspect what you want about their design choice. Me? I think that if they had wanted nestable notebooks, they would have built them -- whether they have the chops for doing so doesn't really seem worth the debate, though. Anyways, for now and the foreseeable future, you have tags. Which are, as megsaint says, a pretty flexible organization facility, moreso than nested notebooks, in my experience, and by the way, a good enough metaphor for other major software products (e.g. GMail's labels and Outlook's categories).

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Ha... my point being that the design choice is wrong and very confusing.

 

Users have VAST experience with filesystem folders.  The UI is a folder metaphor but I can't create real folders.

 

It's very confusing and frustrating.

 

I suspect it wasn't really a design choice. I suspect that originally you couldn't create 'sub folders' or 'sub notebooks' and they figure out some way to hack it in.

 

But regardless.. it's confusing.  I could migrate to just using tags but when I create a new clip I should be able to set the default tags or at least the default folder.

Hi. Welcome to the forums. Everything is a design choice, isn't it? After all, the app cannot code itself!

Evernote has certainly presented it as a design choice since the app was launched five years ago (http://discussion.evernote.com/topic/1801-feature-request-nested-notebooks/#entry9002). Whether you agree with the design choice or not is another question entirely. It sounds like you don't. Frankly speaking, there are design choices that I don't agree with either. That's true of every single application I have ever used, though.

At any rate, it isn't an issue of right or wrong. It is a design choice, and like any choice, it closes off other avenues / possibilities. That's all.

The question I ask myself when trying out an app is whether the pros outweigh the cons; I don't want to invest my time in something that is not going to fit my use case. While I might advocate on these forums for the app I think Evernote ought to be, in the end I have to work with the app that actually is. Fortunately, in most respects, the Evernote model fits me pretty well.

I started out using Evernote with a bunch of notebooks, but now I am down to a single one (see this post for more http://www.princeton.edu/~cmayo/evernote-organization.html), because I have found that Evernote's search is the key feature for me, and I don't really need notebooks anymore (others may prefer its tags, or its stacks -- organization is a personal thing). I encourage you to experiment with different workflows, and I hope you'll find the app useful for you, but only you can decide if it is worth it to make the effort.

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