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trouwborst

(Archived) Help re organization. # of notebooks? tags? stacks?

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Greetings,

 

This is a request for wisdom in organizing  Evernote.  

 

Are there good rules of thumb as to how many notebooks one should have?  Tags?  Stacks? 

 

I have 2,000+ notes and growing every day, about two hundred tags and I just started using multiple notebooks.  I have not used stacks.  

 

I am overwhelmed organizationally with EN right now.  Since I speak and teach a lot, I am constantly saving articles, blog posts, etc. on a multitude of topics but also use it for members issues, administrative needs, personal items, etc.  Even as I see myself using EN more and more, I also want the organization process within EN itself to be as efficient as possible.  

 

Thank you for any advice provided.  I realize there have probably been quite a few posts on this before so feel free to point me to those posts.  

 

Tom. T.  

 

Ps.  One particular problem I have it I forget the name I used for my tags when there can be multiple titles for the tag (e.g., an article on youth--should it be tagged children, family, adolescence, babies, child rearing, youth, etc.? ) .  Thoughts on this too?  

 

 

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Depends on your usage, and what you're comfortable with.

A couple of things to be aware of, though. Sets of notes are shared on a notebook basis, so you'll want to be aware of that if you want to share more than a small number of notes. Similarly, if you are a premium user and want to keep notes always handy on a mobile device, you'll need to do it on a notebook basis (you'd be marking one or more notebooks as "offline" on the device).

Aside from that, notebooks partition your notes into discrete sets of notes, and nesting capabilities are limited; some folks are fine with mixing up unrelated notes in the same notebook (and using tags or just text search to distinguish them), some are not. It's easy to search only the notes in a single notebook, but you can's search multiple notebooks at a time unless they are in the same stack (you can search in all notebooks, all of your personal notebooks, however).

Stacks are useful for knocking down the long list of notebooks to a more manageable size. You can also search in all of the notebooks in a stack. But you can't share a stack, or have an offline stack.

The nice thing about tags is that you can cross-categorize notes according to different categorization schemes, even across notebooks.

My personal predilection is try not to overdo things: I my number of notebooks small (< 20 currently) and tag, but not overmuch (1 - 3 tags/note), and keep my tag vocabularly pretty small (~200 tags). Two or three stacks keep the notebook list cleaned up (one is for notebooks that are no longer current; keeps them out of sight), and a Todo notebook that's shared to my separate work account and also available to be made into an offline notebook on my mobile devices.

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I feel your pain,  but heed the Wisdom of Jef..

 

You can, by the way, also put keywords in notes;  so feel free to add long strings of 'tags' if you're not sure what to call something.  It's important (it seems to me..)  to be very aware of your naming strategy and to update/ amend it frequently.  If you want to use tags,  keep a note of your tag structure/ hierarchy in Evernote and document where (and why) you added new terms.

 

Do learn the search grammar,  because you can do lots with that.

 

And don't get discouraged - I'm still fiddling with the way I index my 14,000 or so notes and I change the tagging and subject lines very frequently - usually after searching for something I know is in there somewhere...

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trouwborst, I may be taking your words too literally, but it strikes me that you are too focused on the wrong thing. Being organized is not the objective. (That's just a means to the end.) The objective is to be able to find something when you want it, so that you can use it.

 

With your current 2,000 Notes and 200 Tags, if you are currently finding what you want more than 90% of the time, I'd say you are doing pretty well. 

 

Besides, what alternative is there for you? It would be a lot of work for you to completely re-organize your Notebooks, Notes, and Tags. - - - I'm retired and I don't have time for that!

 

I am one of those people who started out with a "cleverly designed" Tag structure, based on my reading of what other Evernote users were doing. I ended up with lots of Tags. After a couple months, I decided it wasn't worth the trouble to apply my Tagging system to every new Note I created. I've found Evernote's search function to be great. I merely search for key words in the Notes. I now rarely use Tags and have only about 10 Notebooks. - - - I've also applied another tactic / habit with Evernote. When I create a Note, the title looks like this: "MajorTopicWord - SubTopicWordOrPhrase" and I don't have any pre-defined list of topics or sub-topics. I use whatever is the best representation of the content of the Note.

 

As jefito and others have said, it ultimately gets down to what is going to work best for you. Don't be afraid to experiment - - - and remember the objective.

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Ditto your pain.  :)

 

I came to my current arrangement after getting hopelessly lost in too many stacks and notebooks.  

 

I have 2 notebooks, 0 stacks and oodles of tags. "Inbox" is for clippings, notes emailed in. "Reference" is everything else. I don't have any notebooks that I share with others, if I did, I'd create a new notebook. Works for me and mirrors the way I use GTD filing structures for paper, email inbox and computer files.

 

Ditto gazumped's advice re: search grammar.

Ditto jefito's advice re: your comfort.

Ditto Analyst444's advice re: 90%.

 

Good luck!

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Check my signature for an article I wrote on this topic a little while back. It explains my setup which works great - for me at least. Not all systems work with every user, but it may give you some ideas if nothing else.

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Preamble: Very new (read: inexperience) user of EN

Using a system someone else has devised and there is a batch of notes in a Stack...that contains everything in the entire 'library' of notes, but has been labelled X Old Notebooks.

 

1) How do I archive said Notebook stack (which, it seems, contains each new note as it's made)

2) Can I delete files in these Notebook stacks only, or will that delete the original?

 

Thanks..for any and all help

s

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Preamble: Very new (read: inexperience) user of EN

Using a system someone else has devised and there is a batch of notes in a Stack...that contains everything in the entire 'library' of notes, but has been labelled X Old Notebooks.

 

1) How do I archive said Notebook stack (which, it seems, contains each new note as it's made)

2) Can I delete files in these Notebook stacks only, or will that delete the original?

 

Thanks..for any and all help

s

 

You can't have a note in two places (unless one's a copy) so deleting these notes would seem to be a Bad Idea.  But then so is having an 'old notebooks' stack that contains all your new notes.  I'd say the system is due for an overhaul and you really need to start a new notebook for your current notes - and if possible talk to whomever devised this system to make sure you don't mess something up irretrievably.  Plan B would be: create your own system and use that...

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