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Evernote Annoyance - creating sub-folders

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Hi there, 

 

 

I think Evernote is a great program, however there are two annoyances that (in my mind) keep Evernote from being great:

 

1) Creating of sub notes does not follow the standard paradigm 

 

Creating a subfolder is not easy...

I get it - Evernote doesn't have folders, they have stacks... but sub categorizing things is important to me - so to do this I need to follow a work around:

 

I) Create a temporary note

II) Right click and choose "Add to stack"

III) Choose new Stack

IV) find the stack and rename it to a folder name that makes sense to you

V) now delete the temp note

VI) Start dragging new notes into the stack (folder)

 

I find this a weird workaround.

 

I rather just be able to right click a note and select "create note in", then have this subnote be the new folder.  That would be just one step, instead of 6

 

Anyways Evernote team, other than this, I really like your product...

 

cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How about

 

I) Create note 1

II) Name as required for stack

III) Create new note 2 (and/ or identify notes to add to stack)
IV) Drag on top of note 1 to join stack

 

?

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Yeah, a little onerous, but given that the operation of making a new stack is probably a lot rarer than creating a new note (which you cannot add to a stack, only a notebook), it may not be much worth optimizing. Some of what you describe may be done differently on different Evernote clients (you didn't specify which one you are using).

I couldn't tell, but your use of terminology here didn't quite jibe with the way Evernote works. Remember:

* Stacks contain only notebooks (not notes or other stacks)

* Notebooks only contain notes (not stacks or other notebooks)

* Notes just contain note data (not notebooks, stacks or other notes -- there are no "subnotes")

* Folders don't actually exist in Evernote, most people understand what is meant, but it's ambiguous with respect to notebooks and stacks, each of which has folder-like qualities.

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How does one create new notebooks in an existing stack when you are using an IPad? I couldn't find a workaround, except to do it using an internet browser. Any solution?

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It would be very benifical to beable to make substacks or evem better a foulder system in which subfoulders could be created. This would make Evernote great.

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It would be very benifical to beable to make substacks or evem better a foulder system in which subfoulders could be created. This would make Evernote great.

 

It's been raised before (many many times..) but it seems unlikely..

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Had an paid evernote account for some time now, but the missing subfolder setup - among other options, make this result:

 

I don't use evernote very much, and I do need a tool like this for my research and work - it's just that I don't ever get used to it's irky setups.

 

Guess it's all come to this - gotta find an option to evernote.

Got some websites, so I can always store it there - and wait for a program that take care of their customers. Today I'm SOOOOO fed up with evernote, that I will stop using it.

 

Planned to get a paid version for all our family members, but they hate the setup as well - so sorry evernote, I'm afraid you lost us

-if you had put costomers in front row, rather than earnings - well maybe you could have been real big, now you will be left with the devotees

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Had an paid evernote account for some time now, but the missing subfolder setup - among other options, make this result:

 

I don't use evernote very much, and I do need a tool like this for my research and work - it's just that I don't ever get used to it's irky setups.

Sounds as if Evernote is not the product for you. Personally, the attraction for me was the flexibility offered by tags rather than an artificial folder system that should have been left behind with a physical filing cabinet. Your assumption that what you want is what most people want is "irky".

Best of luck.

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Old hat of ever repeating request, but what can you do if your brain just works like that, thinks like that and you want to transport that into your "external brain"? I think we should let the user decide wether they want to organize their few or bizilions of notes in subfolder (or substacks, whatever you call them) or use tags, and not forcing them to use one system over another!

 

I think Evernote by now is big, popular enough to meet different people's needs and to me Evernote is almost unusable with the current method of work-arounds to organize my notes.

 

Moreover tags would even become more powerful in conjunction with Subfolders, hint hint...

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Old hat of ever repeating request, but what can you do if your brain just works like that, thinks like that and you want to transport that into your "external brain"? I think we should let the user decide wether they want to organize their few or bizilions of notes in subfolder (or substacks, whatever you call them) or use tags, and not forcing them to use one system over another!

 

I think Evernote by now is big, popular enough to meet different people's needs and to me Evernote is almost unusable with the current method of work-arounds to organize my notes.

 

Moreover tags would even become more powerful in conjunction with Subfolders, hint hint...

I don't disagree with the suggestions, but it seems exceedingly unlikely that Evernote will adopt them. I can't say what is workable or not for your use case, but I'd recommend the "workarounds" for anyone struggling with the lack of sub-notebooks, because they often work :) In my case, at least, tens of thousands of notes are easily managed without notebooks or tags.

If you could tell us some specifics, maybe we could suggest better solutions for you using the tools we have available.

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Old hat of ever repeating request, but what can you do if your brain just works like that, thinks like that and you want to transport that into your "external brain"? I think we should let the user decide wether they want to organize their few or bizilions of notes in subfolder (or substacks, whatever you call them) or use tags, and not forcing them to use one system over another!

 

I think Evernote by now is big, popular enough to meet different people's needs and to me Evernote is almost unusable with the current method of work-arounds to organize my notes.

 

Moreover tags would even become more powerful in conjunction with Subfolders, hint hint...

It's fine that you think Evernote should let the user decide. But the only opinion that really counts is Evernote's. I'd say since they have 60+ million users & no sub-folders, they might be on to something. Speaking from my own personal experience, the more notes you have, the more limiting sub-notebooks/sub-folders become & more difficult to find what you need. Using Evernote's powerful search engine along with notebooks, stacks, tags, descriptive titles & keywords allows me to find one single note (out of over 62,000) in a couple of seconds. Far more quickly than digging around in sub-folders on my hard drive.

But why force us to use one system over another? Wouldn't it be better to let the user decide what structuring system he/she wants to use and have just both options available,

I mean it's not really hard to program and would meet a lot of people's top priority wish list, since everything else is beautiflly crafted and no other app could come close to Evernote in terms of everything else but the structuring dogma.

Why this absolute dogmatic "NO SUBFOLDERS!!!!!! FOR HEAVENS SAKE, NOOOOOO!" are you all mad or have a special hate against subfolders? I hope not and we can really have both options and make the best use of both methodologies and not force the user one system that just isn't compatible with the way their specific brains works :)

First, no one is forcing you to use Evernote.

Second, there is no way for you to know how hard (or not) adding subnotebooks would be. Evernote is multiplatform & strives to work well & similarly across all platforms it lives on. Often, it's best to KISS. (Keep it simple...)

Third, tags definitely can replicate a sub notebook/sub folder system. You do have to be a bit open minded about a new idea to get it. But once you do, it's really very easy.

If having sub-notebooks is a deal breaker for you, then I suggest you look for an app that better suits your needs. There is already quite a lot of existing information on this board on how to use tags for this purpose. Please use the search function, if you're interested.

Good luck.

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I think it is a matter on how the tag is being used and getting used to it.

 

My way of doing this would be 

Creating tag for each of the level like 

 

Tag 1  =<Group Level 1 Name>

Tag 2 = <Group Level 2 Name>  

Tag 3 = <Group Level 3 Name> 

 

Then, in the Evernote search. Search by multiple tag for. e.g

Your notes fall in the following level. (using Windows term - Folder) 

 

Mainfolder\Subfolder\AnotherLevelSubFolder

 

Your notes should tag Mainfolder, Subfolder and AnotherLevelSubFolder

 

You search by tag Mainfolder if you want all the contents in Mainfolder. Likewise, you search by tag Mainfolder, Subfolder and AnotherLevelSubFolder if you want only stuff in AnotherLevelSubFolder.

 

However, one thing I notice is that I can't search by multiple tag in Mobile Android. It is available only in Windows version of Evernote. 

I think this should be made available for all version of Evernote and make it easy to access to this feature. 

Or could it be this is only available in Premium version?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I think it is a matter on how the tag is being used and getting used to it.

 

My way of doing this would be 

Creating tag for each of the level like 

 

Tag 1  =<Group Level 1 Name>

Tag 2 = <Group Level 2 Name>  

Tag 3 = <Group Level 3 Name> 

 

Then, in the Evernote search. Search by multiple tag for. e.g

Your notes fall in the following level. (using Windows term - Folder) 

 

Mainfolder\Subfolder\AnotherLevelSubFolder

 

Your notes should tag Mainfolder, Subfolder and AnotherLevelSubFolder

 

You search by tag Mainfolder if you want all the contents in Mainfolder. Likewise, you search by tag Mainfolder, Subfolder and AnotherLevelSubFolder if you want only stuff in AnotherLevelSubFolder.

 

However, one thing I notice is that I can't search by multiple tag in Mobile Android. It is available only in Windows version of Evernote. 

I think this should be made available for all version of Evernote and make it easy to access to this feature. 

Or could it be this is only available in Premium version?

You should be able to do it. Have tried "tag:name tag:name2 tag:name3" (without quotation marks) in the search field?

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I think it is a matter on how the tag is being used and getting used to it.

 

My way of doing this would be 

Creating tag for each of the level like 

 

Tag 1  =<Group Level 1 Name>

Tag 2 = <Group Level 2 Name>  

Tag 3 = <Group Level 3 Name> 

 

Then, in the Evernote search. Search by multiple tag for. e.g

Your notes fall in the following level. (using Windows term - Folder) 

 

Mainfolder\Subfolder\AnotherLevelSubFolder

 

Your notes should tag Mainfolder, Subfolder and AnotherLevelSubFolder

 

You search by tag Mainfolder if you want all the contents in Mainfolder. Likewise, you search by tag Mainfolder, Subfolder and AnotherLevelSubFolder if you want only stuff in AnotherLevelSubFolder.

 

However, one thing I notice is that I can't search by multiple tag in Mobile Android. It is available only in Windows version of Evernote. 

I think this should be made available for all version of Evernote and make it easy to access to this feature. 

Or could it be this is only available in Premium version?

You should be able to do it. Have tried "tag:name tag:name2 tag:name3" (without quotation marks) in the search field?

 

 

Works for me in Android..

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Thanks. I found it already. It is in the Advanced Search - Filter By - Tags. This is good because I do not need to remember the exact name of the tag. 

 

However, I notice the Tags Filter for Android is not doing the drill down feature for user like in Windows version of Evernote.

The Windows version of Evernote will automatically drill down and filter out unrelated tags when the first tag is selected. So, basically, the number of tags showing up gets lesser to help to narrow down the search.

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However, I notice the Tags Filter for Android is not doing the drill down feature for user like in Windows version of Evernote.

The Windows version of Evernote will automatically drill down and filter out unrelated tags when the first tag is selected. So, basically, the number of tags showing up gets lesser to help to narrow down the search.

The phone version of Evernote for Android doesn't seem to allow you to filter on multiple tags using the tag panel, unfortunately. The tablet version does, though.

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OK. Here is my Evernote rant for the week:
 

Hierarchies. Humans have been organizing people and information into multi-level hierarchies for as long as we have had written language. Hierarchies are how our brains are simply built to organize information. Filing systems and folders are just an extension of that natural tendency. Why don't companies get this? Evernote finally added notebook "Stacks" for one level of organization, but can you share a stack with a colleague? Noooo. You have to share notebook by notebook. (I'm also pointing at you, Apple iCloud and iTunes!)

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Counter rant.  "...memory is far more complex and elusive ... it is located not in one particular place in the brain but is instead a brain-wide process..."  http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/human-memory.htm

 

Hierarchies are the artificial imposition - hence the effectiveness of mind-mapping and post-it note collaboration.  But are you complaining about the lack of hierarchies or the inability to share stacks?

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OK. Here is my Evernote rant for the week:

Hierarchies. Humans have been organizing people and information into multi-level hierarchies for as long as we have had written language. Hierarchies are how our brains are simply built to organize information. Filing systems and folders are just an extension of that natural tendency. Why don't companies get this? Evernote finally added notebook "Stacks" for one level of organization, but can you share a stack with a colleague? Noooo. You have to share notebook by notebook. (I'm also pointing at you, Apple iCloud and iTunes!)

Sorry, but my brain is NOT "simply built" to use a hierarchical system & I don't think anyone else's is either, including yours. When I am wanting to remember how to remotely boot a unix system, I don't mentally drill down from "drive letter/computer/unix/commands/remote boot" (or something similar). I simply think "what is the syntax for remotely booting a unix?"

The hierarchical system is an artificial tool, which is helpful in some situations, like when you are filing a hard copy of a bill or receipt. But it's not how human brains work at all.

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I think that they call it associative memory. At a guess, adjectives (i.e., tags) are even more primal for organization than hierarchies, brain-wise. 

 

Hey, I'm reading an article about OpenGL development in C++. Do I put it in my OpenGL folder or my C++ folder? Oh, wait, I'll just tag it with "C++" and "OpenGL".

 

That's no help for the notebook sharing thingy (there's a topic for that somewhere else, but anyone interested can just to a depth-first search of the forum can go and find it themselves), but that's not the original topic anyways. For that matter, neither is the no-nested-notebooks plaint.

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I'm still getting used to Evernote, however I believe I have a pretty good grasp of its capabilities.  The inability to create any more than three levels (stacks, notebooks, notes), also drives me bat-***** crazy.  I have some self-development programs that include several pdf books and also audio recordings broken down into chapters.  I would like to categorize them under the stack "Self Development", then under a notebook for "Programs", and then under a sub-notebook that contains the name of the program, and then the individual notes that include the separate parts of the program.

 

-Self Development

  -Programs

      -Super Carisma

         -PDF -AudioBook 1 -Interview

 

I have read this entire thread, and I understand that some people's brain doesn't work like this, but having the OPTION to do so would be extremely helpful.  What I'm having to do now is drag all the pieces of the program into one note, which is not the fastest of workflows to access just one part of the program.

 

PLEASE EVERNOTE CREATE SUB-FOLDERS that the user may use at THEIR OWN DISCRETION!!!!!  If someone chooses not to, they can still search by tag OR by document title or document body text.

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Don't think it's a question of folks' brains not working in one way or another.  Evernote doesn't work that way,  and they kinda carry the casting vote.  The suggestion is out there - they will,  or they won't.  Time will tell.

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I do think it has a lot to do with how people think.  Some are very organized, some think hierarchically, others don't.

 

IME, most people aren't very organized, not just with computer files/data, but even before that with physical files.

And, I can't begin to tell you how many PC users I have observed that have hundreds, even thousands, of files in their PC "My Documents" folder.  Apparently it never occurred to them to organize by subfolders (categories).

 

If the developers don't think hierarchically, then they may not really see the need.

 

IMO, it is because of the way people think that this topic (subnotebooks) has been such a big, often emotional, debate in these forums for years.

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The fact that Evernote has chosen not to offer nestable notebooks is not any kind of evidence that the developers do not think hierarchically. the design of Evernote is something that they chose, explicitly.You can obviously express hierarchies using tags in Evernote; it's just that with tags, you are not stuck with Note X belongs to Category A exclusively (which is what you express when you categorize by notebooks). With tags, note X can belong to category A exclusively, or it can belong to categories A, B, and C. This is very useful, and most humans do it easily, without thinking about it.

 

This is not new ground; this topic explores it rather thoroughly, with input from Evernote CTO Dave Engberg.

 

Some rules of thumb for Evernote organization:

  • Notebooks partition your notes into discrete collections: a note belongs to exactly one notebook. In Evernote, notebooks are:
    • the unit for sharing collections of notes with other users,
    • the unit by which you can designate collections of notes that are never synced to the Evernote servers (local notebooks, on desktop clients)
    • the unit by which you can designate collections of notes that are guaranteed to be cached for offline use on a mobile device (offline notebooks)
  • Stacks can be used to organize notebooks.
    • Stacks were introduced specifically because 100 notebooks (the limit at the time) were deemed to be too unwieldy to manage in a flat list.
    • They're also handy as a way to search / filter a discrete group of notebooks; otherwise, you can only search / filter on a single notebook at a time
  • Tags are keywords that you can apply to notes: notes can have multiple tags, and tags can be applied to more than one note
    • You can express hierarchies with tags by organizing the tags as trees. A tag can belong to multiple of these tag trees, which is useful
    • You can also express hierarchies with tags by naming convention, for example: tagA, tagA-subtag1, tagA-subtag2, tagB, tagB-subtag1, and so on. These allow you to do a form of hierachical searching not otherwise allowed, by using wildcards, e.g. a search on "tag:TagA*"  would return all notes that have a tag beginning with the text "TagA".
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The fact that Evernote has chosen not to offer nestable notebooks is not any kind of evidence that the developers do not think hierarchically. the design of Evernote is something that they chose, explicitly.

 

Well, since neither of us is, or was, part of the Evernote design team, it is all pure conjecture.

 

IMO, if the original designers of Evernote had thought hierarchical organization was important they would have designed Evernote to include subnotebooks.  The logic seems obvious to me, but then I tend to think hierarchically, and often prefer that to be my primary method of organization.  I then use Tags to cut across that hierarchy.

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The fact that Evernote has chosen not to offer nestable notebooks is not any kind of evidence that the developers do not think hierarchically. the design of Evernote is something that they chose, explicitly.

 

Well, since neither of us is, or was, part of the Evernote design team, it is all pure conjecture.

The quotes from Dave E in the linked topic and others in the forums give a pretty clear indication that they could have chosen to do so. They've had ample opportunity to change their minds since 2008. Good grief, some of the commentary there takes them to task because they *did* have hierarchies in the version 2 product, but didn't keep that feature in later versions.

 

IMO, if the original designers of Evernote had thought hierarchical organization was important they would have designed Evernote to include subnotebooks.  The logic seems obvious to me, but then I tend to think hierarchically, and often prefer that to be my primary method of organization.  I then use Tags to cut across that hierarchy.

You didn't say anything about it being important to them. Here's what you did say:

If the developers don't think hierarchically, then they may not really see the need.

You're claiming that the Evernote developers are unable to think hierarchically? Please. Tags have a hierarchical organization, do they not?

 

But yes, it's pretty clear that notebook hierarchy isn't important to them; they don't have it. I believe -- and I believe their posts support -- that this was a deliberate design choice. Do you really think that they just forgot to add them for the last six years?

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I just don't get why they don't leave it up to the user whether they want to use tags or folders, or both.  I can see the qualities of both, so why not include both and let the users decide for themselves how they would like to utilize the system?  It's not my software, I get it.  But it seems like it would be so easy to accommodate both types of users, or even allow users to bridge from one way of thinking into another.

 

Thanks for everyone's input and ideas!!!

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My 2c. Early on they made an architectural decision to support the system as it is now (well actually without Stacks, Stacks came later and are a bit of a cheat) and so all the existing legacy code on the server and client sides are set up this way. Adding multiple levels of hierarchy would require I would think a substantial amount of code to be added everywhere, and then tested everywhere each time there is a new release.

 

So, they do an analysis of the what they would add by having this feature and compare it to the cost of implementing it and the cost of maintaining it. And they decide that benefits don't outweigh the costs.

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Excellent point, Metrodon!

My 2c. Early on they made an architectural decision to support the system as it is now (well actually without Stacks, Stacks came later and are a bit of a cheat) and so all the existing legacy code on the server and client sides are set up this way. Adding multiple levels of hierarchy would require I would think a substantial amount of code to be added everywhere, and then tested everywhere each time there is a new release.

So, they do an analysis of the what they would add by having this feature and compare it to the cost of implementing it and the cost of maintaining it. And they decide that benefits don't outweigh the costs.

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I just don't get why they don't leave it up to the user whether they want to use tags or folders, or both.  I can see the qualities of both, so why not include both and let the users decide for themselves how they would like to utilize the system?  It's not my software, I get it.  But it seems like it would be so easy to accommodate both types of users, or even allow users to bridge from one way of thinking into another.

All Evernote users are free to use tags and/or notebooks and/or stacks, in whatever combination that they wish. But you cannot use arbitrarily nested notebooks, because they don't exist in Evernote. For that, Evernote would need to implement them, across a number of different applications and their servers, and API (which is used by 3rd-party developers as well). It's more support, more testing, more mode documentation, more complexity all around. It may not be rocket science, but none of this comes for free, either. Seems as though they don't think that it's worth it. See Minus 100 Points for a take on this dynamic (I don't know whether they actually use this type of system).

 

The question is: what is it that you think that a nested notebook hierarchy (with hypothetical properties) would give you that tags in Evernote cannot?

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The question is: what is it that you think that a nested notebook hierarchy (with hypothetical properties) would give you that tags in Evernote cannot?

 

 

I'm a very visual person, so for me it's easier for me to remember things by how they look than by remembering a tag.  Plus I don't have a cluster f*** of tags all over the place.  I try to keep my tags simple so they are easily searched.  If I know that a certain folder is in a certain place, then it helps me keep things more effectively organized.  Searching for tags (set A - subset 1) and so on kind of defeats the purpose of tags.  I'd rather have a tag for "medical" and have all my medical documents in different folders under "military", "VA", and "civilian", and then if I want to pull up all medical files I just search for the tag "medical".  But if I know something is under the "military" folder, then a certain sub folder etc, then I know exactly where to go without having to look through all the tags.  This method seems more efficient FOR ME, and possibly for other people that think more visually than by words or numbers.

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[What is with the "cluster f***" comment? Was that supposed to be meaningful to the discussion? I don't have a whatever-it-was-you-were-trying-say of tags either, even though I use tags a lot. What's your point?]

 

You do know that you can create a hierarchy of tags in the left panel, and navigate them like folders, right? What you cannot do with the tag hierarchy is have the same tag name in separate branches of the tree. Could be a limitation for some users, I know.

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<broken record>

 

Or create the structure in the tags.

Medical.military

Medical.VA

Medical.civilian

 

Because the tag is delimited, you can search on either medical or military and the tags are shown in the suggested search results.

So my relevant structure framework is viewable, even if I don't have the tag or notebook sidebars taking up display space

 

</broken record>

 

How many tags does that produce?  Dunno, stopped caring.  I just type a few letters and only see relevant groups at one time.

The number of tags, long surpassed my ability to remember all the single word classifiers, so I stopped doing that.

This way always suggests the consistent set of classification [compound] tags in use.

And unlike folders, notes can semantically live in more than one classification if needed.

post-97027-0-08076900-1415049745_thumb.p

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This is the same old debate all over again.  It just comes down to how a person thinks.

For those that tend to think in a hierarchical way the most intuitive and easiest to use organization method for many cases is by subfolders/subnotebooks.  Yes, Tags can be used to emulate subfolders to a certain degree, but it is just not the same.

 

The explanation given by MHMdigital in post #31 was excellent, and clearly illustrates the point.  I especially like how he/she explained the use of both subnotebooks and tags working together.

 

If you don't get this, that's OK.  Here's a clue:  some people love abstract art, some think it's junk.  Neither is right or wrong, they just think/view things differently.

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It doesn't really matter if anyone is "right" or not. What matters is how Evernote have decided to implement their application and it seems like a notebook hierarchy is unlikely to ever happen.

So, like it or not, you either get on board or you find something else.

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Evernote has made a number of changes that many said they never would.  Stacks is one, providing a Business version is another.

This discussion is about Evernote features that some users would like to see.  It's a request.

 

Nothing wrong with repeating requests.  No one outside of Evernote knows what future features they may provide.

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<broken record>

 

Or create the structure in the tags.

Medical.military

Medical.VA

Medical.civilian

 

Because the tag is delimited, you can search on either medical or military and the tags are shown in the suggested search results.

So my relevant structure framework is viewable, even if I don't have the tag or notebook sidebars taking up display space

 

</broken record>

 

How many tags does that produce?  Dunno, stopped caring.  I just type a few letters and only see relevant groups at one time.

The number of tags, long surpassed my ability to remember all the single word classifiers, so I stopped doing that.

This way always suggests the consistent set of classification [compound] tags in use.

And unlike folders, notes can semantically live in more than one classification if needed.

And there's the ever faithful have tags for Medical, VA, Military, Civilian and compound tag searches....

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There's really no debate here, at least on the salient part of the discussion anyways.

 

Nobody here is saying that it's not OK to post suggestions. The Evernote staff welcome them, as they've said many times. That being said, this is pretty well-trodden ground, and it's not a bad thing to disclose that, nor to point out actual Evernote staffer comments on the topic.

 

For those who can't seem to escape a need for hierarchical organization, there are a couple of ways of achieving that in the Evernote of today, despite the lack of nestable notebooks. Offering alternatives while pointing out differences and possible drawbacks is certainly something useful towards trying to help out a fellow user. Even so, those workarounds may not be enough for some users, and that too is well understood. But it's also possible that people actually *are* able to grasp the tag / label / category model, and it's worth trying to be a bit persuasive about that because Evernote is indisputable useful to a lot of people in its current state.

 

At the end of the day, though, Evernote has made a design choice, one that may not fit all usages. Reality is that it's not likely to change tomorrow, or next week, if ever at all, and if the impedance between a user's mental model and Evernote's organization facilities is too high, then that user is just going to struggle, and they're probably best served by looking into other products. And there are some forum-goers who would probably be qualified to help out there, as well.

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Lots of good info and insight here.  I truly appreciate it folks.  I will give the work around of using tags as hierarchy folders a try.  I'm always up for trying something that may possibly benefit my workflow.  I really like to streamline things as much as possible.  It's all about economy of motion.

 

It's my hope that if this topic keeps being re-visited again, and again, and again, that the software designers will see the potential benefit in implementing said changes.  Sure there's a huge possibility that it'll never change.  But unless you ask, it most likely won't happen.

 

And Jefito: "Cluster F***", is something that's used on the regular in the military.  It's a pretty useful term lol.  I don't want to open up my tags page and just have a million tags in there, but that's probably because my idea of how to use tags is probably different than yours.  Again I'll give the hierarchy tags method a shot.  The only problem I foresee in that situation is opening up a notebook to search visually for notes and having the notes assembled in a very unorganized fashion.  So in that case you're force to search by tags in order to keep things organized.  It seems at this point you can't have total organization with both, only with one.

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And Jefito: "Cluster F***", is something that's used on the regular in the military.  It's a pretty useful term lol.  I don't want to open up my tags page and just have a million tags in there, but that's probably because my idea of how to use tags is probably different than yours.  Again I'll give the hierarchy tags method a shot.  The only problem I foresee in that situation is opening up a notebook to search visually for notes and having the notes assembled in a very unorganized fashion.  So in that case you're force to search by tags in order to keep things organized.  It seems at this point you can't have total organization with both, only with one.

I know what it means; it's not that uncommon, and I'm not that sheltered. I didn't think that it was particularly appropriate, to the situation, or to the forums. Moving on...

 

I don't actually use the hierarchical tagging systems, but others certainly do, so it'd be remiss not to offer them up as potential workarounds.

 

Your tags are wholly under your control, and it may be that your client remembers the open/close state of the tag tree nesting so that it's not a big mess, which should help. I don't keep close track in my Windows Evernote clients since I generally keep the tag tree closed most of the time, and do tag searching from the search control. I really don't have a lot of them; probably ~200 in my personal account, a lot of those software development related.

 

Notes are never displayed as unorganized; they're always sorted according to the current sort setting (I almost always use updated/reversed, so that I see recently updated notes towards the top). I generally use search to narrow my note list down to something manageable; then sort order doesn't really matter that much anyways. If you have frequently used search/filters, Evernote can help there, as the search control will generally show the most recent ones; plus you can save common searches as named searches keep them handy as shortcuts.

 

One other thing: I use reminders to "pin" notes to the top of my note list (which is almost always snippet view), so I can see at a glance what's hot in a particular context (usually my ToDo notebook).

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Not the first lap around the track on this topic.  I am with Jeff and use as few tags as possible so as to enable the narrowing of the note set.  Discounting Inbox and Scans, I have 9 notebooks broken into two stacks, one for local and one for synced.  To that I use the shortcut bar and phase express for oft used searches.  

 

It may be counter intuitive to some, but even though I think hierarchically I haven't structured EN that way.  I want to find things quickly more than I want to organize them.  Funny thing is  they sort of organize themselves when I find them.  IMO,the search capabilities ease of use of becomes compromised if you organize hierarchically within EN,  This is especially true with notebooks based how they are included in searches (unless they are all in the same stack).  I prefer compound tag searches as opposed to compound tags.  That way I can see all insurance items I search with the tag Insurance, or just for the house if I search with House.Address and Insurance.  I can then reference anything else related to the house by using the House.Address tag without having any additional tags.  You can get around this using wild cards in tag searches if that is your preference, but I don't need all those extra tags.

 

To be clear, not saying this is the way to go, just my logic I why I do it this way.  Use what is best for you.

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After using evernote and its tags and stack system...I definite wish it had a folder and subfolder system. Which is way better and  more easy to organize your notes than the system evernote uses.

 

However I understand after reading the above posts and the replies that Evernote may not be interested in listening to what many users have to say. Instead of listening to 10,000 users they would give you 10,000 reasons why they are correct and the users are wrong or dumb to need those features.

 

Is having a folder system , that difficult to implement  over crossplatform ? really ? .Then again , you will give me 100 more reasons why......

 

lastly I think the only feature that I really miss in evernote is the folder and subfolder...otherwise evernote is simply awesome...still waiting for a better app to arrive that has folders and subfolder....

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Thanks to someone called Fire who posted in August 2013, I have finally been able to sort my stuff into Notebooks with sub categories, but what an awful merry go around it is?  I have read all the postings here and I don't know what the heck everyone is talking about with the way different brains work etc. and hierarchical systems etc.  All I know is that this Evernote had the most confusing system to find anything that I have ever come across.  If I am missing something, then I am all ears to be enlightened.  Evernote is nice and I love the snipping tool and the way I can clip interesting items from the web to refer to later.  That said, I have never used any of the other ones that are available now, because Evernote was the first kid on the block and I went with it.  

 

So, if someone from Evernote reads this - please know that I would like to have Notebooks with sub categories made simple without having to do all this round about way. 

 

Thanks.

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Thanks to someone called Fire who posted in August 2013, I have finally been able to sort my stuff into Notebooks with sub categories, but what an awful merry go around it is?  I have read all the postings here and I don't know what the heck everyone is talking about with the way different brains work etc. and hierarchical systems etc.  All I know is that this Evernote had the most confusing system to find anything that I have ever come across.  If I am missing something, then I am all ears to be enlightened.  Evernote is nice and I love the snipping tool and the way I can clip interesting items from the web to refer to later.  That said, I have never used any of the other ones that are available now, because Evernote was the first kid on the block and I went with it.  

 

So, if someone from Evernote reads this - please know that I would like to have Notebooks with sub categories made simple without having to do all this round about way. 

 

Thanks.

Categorizing notes in Evernote is easily done by using tags (these are the same things that GMail calls "labels" and Outlook calls.. wait for it.. "categories"). They are exactly analogous to keywords, which have been used for a while to categorize formal papers. In many systems of any complexity or diversity, you'd probably find that items have more than one category. Do you collect books? How do you organize them? How do you find them in your collection? Do you mix fiction with non-fiction? There's two categories right there. Like mysteries, romance, history, biography, science, mythology or whatever? More categories, and most of these are either fiction or non-fiction as well. Got a book on Civil War (er, War of Northern Aggression) battles? Its categories might be "non-fiction", "history", "military", "United States", "Civil War", and so on. How about a fictional novel about a time traveler who becomes a soldier in the Civil War; now it's "fiction" (maybe "science-fiction" but the rest are as before. How do you categorize your books using a strictly hierarchical system? If you start with fiction vs. non-fiction, these two books would be in separate trees -- how do you them find all books related to the Civil War?

 

Strictly hierarchical systems have difficulties organizing diverse material like the above -- there aren't many pure hierarchies in the world. And that's why I think that Evernote chose tags as its primary organizing mechanism. You can categorize notes across different organizational schemes like notebooks, tag systems, naming schemes, whatever. You can emulate hierarchies, to some degree, even.

 

Are tags difficult? No, not really -- think of them like adjectives: my expensive little red car, your big red house, his long red hair; these are familiar English language constructions. So "red" is a category that can be applies to cars, houses, hair, what have you. That's a tag.

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Strictly hierarchical systems have difficulties organizing diverse material like the above -- there aren't many pure hierarchies in the world. 

 

Actually hierarchies are the most natural organization we have -- it's been around for all of time -- real parents and their children.

Almost all organizations have an a hierarchal structure.  Projects, books, documents, accounts, all have natural hierarchical structures.

 

Both hierarchical structures, like sub-folders and sub-notebooks, and tags are useful to organize, and search for your data.

Just because Evernote does not support true hierarchical organization of Notes does NOT mean that it is invalid, or not useful.

 

If you don't like them, or don't want to use them, that's fine.  But please, don't pretend that you are some authority on organization.

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Strictly hierarchical systems have difficulties organizing diverse material like the above -- there aren't many pure hierarchies in the world.

 

Actually hierarchies are the most natural organization we have -- it's been around for all of time -- real parents and their children.

Almost all organizations have an a hierarchal structure.  Projects, books, documents, accounts, all have natural hierarchical structures.

 

Both hierarchical structures, like sub-folders and sub-notebooks, and tags are useful to organize, and search for your data.

Just because Evernote does not support true hierarchical organization of Notes does NOT mean that it is invalid, or not useful.

 

If you don't like them, or don't want to use them, that's fine.  But please, don't pretend that you are some authority on organization.

the pot calling the kettle black?

are categories "natural" or "inevitable"? a weberian approach would suggest that is the case, and we certainly have plenty of hierarchies in place around us, but they are human constructs, so i would say they are rather artificial. we tolerate them, and perhaps seek out them out for the familiarity they provide, but i don't think i was born with hierarchy dna.

i am no authority on organization, but do i think hierarchies are hierarchies useful? sure. are they necessary? no. i prefer both, because i sometimes need hierarchies and sometimes don't. it would be nice if evernote had more, but after eight years without them, it seems unlikely to happen.

 

I recommend users do what works best for them. Personally, I think the tag screen and the tags as they are displayed with notes are abysmal, and I avoid using tags partly for that reason. I don't know how anyone actually manages 10,000 or 100,000 tags with the tools we currently have. To be fair, Apple does a pretty poor job of managing tags as well, but I still hope Evernote will raise the bar on this one. As far as hierarchies go, there are a few effective workarounds.

http://www.christopher-mayo.com/?p=437

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the pot calling the kettle black?

are categories "natural" or "inevitable"? a weberian approach would suggest that is the case, and we certainly have plenty of hierarchies in place around us, but they are human constructs, so i would say they are rather artificial.

 

 

Your pot/kettle analogy doesn't apply here.

 

Don't know what you mean by "human construct", but as humans, we have children.  I think that's pretty natural.

And our children have children.

Maybe I'm wrong, but that seems like a hierarchy to me.

 

Seems like as soon as humans starting organizing themselves into groups, what came naturally to them was a hierarchical organization starting with the top person on down.

 

If most (all?) of our organizations are hierarchical, seems like that's what comes naturally to people.  And also to animals.

Yes there have been communes, but even with those there is usually one person, or a group of people at the top, and then everyone else below.

 

Are you really arguing against this?  I think we are getting way off-topic.

 

 

All I'm saying is that both organization approaches (sub-notebooks and tags) are valid and useful.

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I don't read Jefito's note as pretending to be an authority on organisation, he merely expresses his own opinion, which he is entitled to, whether you like it or not, or even agree with it or not.

Hierarchy can be useful, but is limiting because you can only put a note in 1 place at the time, unless you have a system whereby you can put a note in more than 1 place in the hierarchy & updating that note in 1 place updates its clones elsewhere too. As Evernote does not support that kind of hierarchy tags are more flexible. Having said that, a combination of notebooks & tags seems to work best for many people, and as GM says, one uses whatever suits them best.

No need to send people to hell, though, for expressing their opinion, it is a free forum, remember?

 

 

Strictly hierarchical systems have difficulties organizing diverse material like the above -- there aren't many pure hierarchies in the world. 

 

Actually hierarchies are the most natural organization we have -- it's been around for all of time -- real parents and their children.

Almost all organizations have an a hierarchal structure.  Projects, books, documents, accounts, all have natural hierarchical structures.

 

Both hierarchical structures, like sub-folders and sub-notebooks, and tags are useful to organize, and search for your data.

Just because Evernote does not support true hierarchical organization of Notes does NOT mean that it is invalid, or not useful.

 

If you don't like them, or don't want to use them, that's fine.  But please, don't pretend that you are some authority on organization.

 

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Actually hierarchies are the most natural organization we have -- it's been around for all of time -- real parents and their children.

Almost all organizations have an a hierarchal structure.  Projects, books, documents, accounts, all have natural hierarchical structures.

 

Both hierarchical structures, like sub-folders and sub-notebooks, and tags are useful to organize, and search for your data.

Just because Evernote does not support true hierarchical organization of Notes does NOT mean that it is invalid, or not useful.

 

If you don't like them, or don't want to use them, that's fine.  But please, don't pretend that you are some authority on organization.

 

Read it again Sherlock. "Pure hierarchies". You even quoted that phrase.

 

Hierarchies are fine and useful, and I challenge you to find anywhere that I ever said that they weren't. You won't, of course.

 

But they're not the only organizational structure available, and yes indeed, there are certainly plenty of organizational situations where they cannot be used as the sole organizing principle. You might want to read up on your graph theory before you embarrass yourself any more on this topic. Hammers are not the only tools; neither are hierarchies. You are certainly not an expert in organizational systems (something I've never claimed, by the way).

 

Now, if you'd prefer to actually address the user's question, as I did, that would be fine. I can go back to ignoring you, which is usually the best strategy. Otherwise, please stop spouting your off-topic, nitpicking blather.

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I find this conversation difficult to follow with all the argument and insults, which are unnecessary.  Be civil folks, we are not in a competition here for who is the best or knows best.  I know that I like Notebooks with subfolders, and tags are fine but come last for me, not first.  I am requesting Evernote people to consider my request, that's all.    Others have made the same request.  I don't think doing so is going to interfere with others' preference, nor would I want to interfere with others' preference. 

 

This is to answer to the question from Evernote Plant asking how I organize books.  That is something that I can speak to, because I am a big book collector and have spent a lot of time figuring out ways to organize them.  Currently I use a program, which I like a lot, called Library Thing - www.librarything.com.   I keep my books in boxes labelled Box 1, 2, 3, etc. and I use the boxes as the tag.  So if I search for The Joy of Stress or the author of that book on my books in Library Thing, I know that I can find it in Box 1.  I have also tagged my books with the Dewey system which is inside most books, not all, and I use that rarely.  I usually know the name of a book or the author so I don't have to go any further.  

 

In Evernote, though, it's a little more complicated because I snip a piece from the news - an opinion I read that resonated with me or because I wanted to read it later, or a photograph of someone I knew who passed away to keep as a memory - that sort of thing.  I would't tag that with the author because I wouldn't know the author enough to remember to search that, so when I'm unsure where to put it, I put it into a Notebook called Clippings to Be Sorted Later.  It currently has about 2,000 clippings and I wanted to get it sorted, which is why I came here to find out how to do a Notebook with subfolders, as I couldn't do it.   I naturally gravitate to a Notebook with subfolders as an initial try as it's what I'm used to.  If it was there as an option, along with tags, then I would find my own way to organize that works for me.  I think what suits one person doesn't suit another and so on.  Like I said, thanks to the poster I mentioned in my first post, I figured out a way around it and I have started to sort my Clippings and spent the entire day yesterday doing it.  So I am very thankful to that poster as I was despairing of ever finding a way through the maze.  

 

So basically I would like to be able to right click on Notebook, it would open an option box to the right which would have "create subfolder, or subnotebook" and name (with allowance for renaming later) and that's all, as far as I can think at the moment.  I can do the tags too, though I admit that I find tags difficult to do as I can never figure out exactly what to put or where to stop.  If I could put things into Notebook and subfolder first, I would start there and sort in my own way as I went along and make it my system.  

 

Thanks for listening, Evernote.  

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I find this conversation difficult to follow with all the argument and insults, which are unnecessary.  Be civil folks, we are not in a competition here for who is the best or knows best.  I know that I like Notebooks with subfolders, and tags are fine but come last for me, not first.  I am requesting Evernote people to consider my request, that's all.    Others have made the same request.  I don't think doing so is going to interfere with others' preference, nor would I want to interfere with others' preference. 

 

This is to answer to the question from Evernote Plant asking how I organize books.  That is something that I can speak to, because I am a big book collector and have spent a lot of time figuring out ways to organize them.  Currently I use a program, which I like a lot, called Library Thing - www.librarything.com.   I keep my books in boxes labelled Box 1, 2, 3, etc. and I use the boxes as the tag.  So if I search for The Joy of Stress or the author of that book on my books in Library Thing, I know that I can find it in Box 1.  I have also tagged my books with the Dewey system which is inside most books, not all, and I use that rarely.  I usually know the name of a book or the author so I don't have to go any further.  

 

In Evernote, though, it's a little more complicated because I snip a piece from the news - an opinion I read that resonated with me or because I wanted to read it later, or a photograph of someone I knew who passed away to keep as a memory - that sort of thing.  I would't tag that with the author because I wouldn't know the author enough to remember to search that, so when I'm unsure where to put it, I put it into a Notebook called Clippings to Be Sorted Later.  It currently has about 2,000 clippings and I wanted to get it sorted, which is why I came here to find out how to do a Notebook with subfolders, as I couldn't do it.   I naturally gravitate to a Notebook with subfolders as an initial try as it's what I'm used to.  If it was there as an option, along with tags, then I would find my own way to organize that works for me.  I think what suits one person doesn't suit another and so on.  Like I said, thanks to the poster I mentioned in my first post, I figured out a way around it and I have started to sort my Clippings and spent the entire day yesterday doing it.  So I am very thankful to that poster as I was despairing of ever finding a way through the maze.  

 

So basically I would like to be able to right click on Notebook, it would open an option box to the right which would have "create subfolder, or subnotebook" and name (with allowance for renaming later) and that's all, as far as I can think at the moment.  I can do the tags too, though I admit that I find tags difficult to do as I can never figure out exactly what to put or where to stop.  If I could put things into Notebook and subfolder first, I would start there and sort in my own way as I went along and make it my system.  

 

Thanks for listening, Evernote.  

 

The takeaway here and across all other threads asking for features is that:

 

1) It's fine to request certain features

2) It doesn't matter whether any of us think the missing feature should have been included from the get go b/c it's "basic" or whether it should be easy to add or whether it should be added & those who don't want it/need it don't have to use it, etc.  The decision is ultimately up to Evernote.  It's their product & their livelihood on the line. 

3) Simply requesting a feature (even if it's been requested for many years, by hundreds of users) is no guarantee the feature will be added - see #2 above. 

4) Evernote tends to shy away from features that can be turned on/off by user defined parameters.

5) Users tend to think they need to define their use case, when requesting a long/often requested feature.  I'm pretty sure the folks at Evernote understand how the feature can be useful.  Evernote doesn't ever say a particular feature is useless.  The fact that they don't implement said feature simply states that they (Evernote) have decided to not implement said feature so far & maybe never.  For whatever reason.

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Thank you, BurgersNFries, for your reply.  Hmmmm - I guess the takeway from this is if one doesn't like it "move on".  That's reasonable, and also food for thought.  

 

Thanks 

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I find this conversation difficult to follow with all the argument and insults, which are unnecessary.  Be civil folks, we are not in a competition here for who is the best or knows best.  I know that I like Notebooks with subfolders, and tags are fine but come last for me, not first.  I am requesting Evernote people to consider my request, that's all.    Others have made the same request.  I don't think doing so is going to interfere with others' preference, nor would I want to interfere with others' preference. 

 

A couple of things:

 

* Re the off-topic stuff: if someone misinterprets what I write, then I usually feel compelled to set the record straight. In this instance, there is history, hence the added bile. Apologies to you for that, since it got in the way of your request. I do try to keep it at a minimum.

 

* Requests are certainly fine with me, and by suggesting that there may be better ways to use Evernote as it exists doesn't mean that I don't think that it can be improved.  As it happens, the request for a full hierarchical system comes up fairly often (there's plenty of forum discussion on this here); Evernote hasn't seemed interested in this though, over the 6+ years I've been participating in the forums. Hence my belief that they really prefer us to use tags as an organizing principle (that plus comments from Evernote staffers implying that; I could dredge some up if you wish).

 

* I've never used LibraryThing before, but I'll note that when I went to their web site, I was interested to see that they use a tagging system as well (complete with a tag cloud, also a feature requested for Evernote).

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library thing? i'll take a look. thanks!

theoretical background for my criticism (tldr)

as for my posts, apologies if they came across as insults, which they weren't meant to be. i took issue with the idea of "natural" organizational schemes, which seemed to imply that evernote was bending or breaking some law of nature by eschewing hierarchies. i think the parent / child biological process is a red herring -- there is nothing inherently hierarchical about it. in nature, the offspring of some creatures eat their parents! humans are part of the natural world, but they have developed "families" that live within "socieities," which are structured in various ways, but one hallmark of large societies (usually found in the form of a "state"), at least since they were invented a few thousand years ago, is the bureaucracy.

i think assuming hierarchies are "natural" makes it more difficult to see other viable means of organization, especially for our "external brains." some of sociology's theorists such as weber might appear to agree with the assumption about hierarchies being natural. consider, for example, the dismal "iron cage" or somewhat less threatening "steel shell" in more recent translations of his famous critique of bureaucracy. bureacracy might seem to be "the" way of organizing people, because it was his subject of inquiry. i interpet him a little differently, though, and see him also allowing for the possibility that our organizational schemas are not natural laws, or even natural elements (steel being a human construct, as peter baehr has highlighted in his work on weber), but things we create that can have an unwelcome or unintended effect on our lives, trapping us in "cages" (or "shells"). it's perhaps a warning to think outside the box (cage or shell) of our organizational patterns, and an implicit acceptance that bureaucracies are the tools we have at the moment, but we might be able to go beyond them and develop more liberating tools in the future.

evernote's approach

i've often found evernote to be unwilling to accept conventional patterns of behavior as "the" way things ought to be, and they are refreshingly innovative in the solutions they design for problems because they are not bound by the assumptions other developers make. for example, their "hello" app completely upended the process of meeting people. i think it was a commercial failure, but a brilliant attempt to rethink our interactions with people, and i wish they would have stuck with it. i suspect, especially in a world with bizarre things like selfie sticks, it just needed more time to catch on with people. it was a little ahead of its time.

ideas for improvement

a tag cloud (and other ways to manage tags) would be welcome, and i think more likely to happen than notebooks with hierarchies. one problem i think evernote has justifying its refusal to add hierarchies is that their stacks are unfamiliar to many folks, and now that we have lost so many of the visual cues from the apps, it is even more difficult to wrap your head around -- seeing an image of a notebook and then placing that in a stack with other ones is something we actually do in the physical world, but seeing just a word (the name of the notebook) that we stack on top of another one is not intuitive to me. people assume a folder metaphor rather than a notebook with notes.

the sidebar on the mac is especially tough in this regard. the sidebar is probably the first place folks look for a way to organize things and it is frustratingly unresponsive. you get used to it, i guess, but its hobbled functionality isn't doing the app any favors. sure, we have big notebook images in the notebook view, but good luck managing a couple hundred of those on an 11 inch mac. a little icon would do for me, especially if individualizing color cues are unavailable. i'm not opposed at all to hierarchical arrangements, and would prefer to have both available, but we have plenty of ways to work with what we've got, i think. perhaps evernote will double down on its notebook metaphor, begrudgingly return icons to the sidebars, and allow us to use "tabs" or "dividers" in our notebooks in lieu of a folder hierarchy. that might alleviate some of the friction people feel.

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ideas for improvement

a tag cloud (and other ways to manage tags) would be welcome, and i think more likely to happen than notebooks with hierarchies. one problem i think evernote has justifying its refusal to add hierarchies is that their stacks are unfamiliar to many folks, and now that we have lost so many of the visual cues from the apps, it is even more difficult to wrap your head around -- seeing an image of a notebook and then placing that in a stack with other ones is something we actually do in the physical world, but seeing just a word (the name of the notebook) that we stack on top of another one is not intuitive to me. people assume a folder metaphor rather than a notebook wih notes.

Just a historical quibble: this is an old topic. Evernote's choice of not using arbitrarily nestable hierarchies predates the introduction of stacks. Some discussions from the time before stacks:

https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/1692-sub-notebooks/

https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/35420-nested-notebook-stacks/

 

The money quotes:

 

 https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/35420-nested-notebook-stacks/#entry11567

We don't have sub-notebooks, but you can organize tags into a hierarchy. This may allow you to set up the organizational scheme you're looking for.

 

https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/35420-nested-notebook-stacks/?p=11573 

We take every request in the forums as a feature request, yes.

Could you provide more information about how you see the difference? What is the task you want to accomplish with hierarchical notebooks that you can't do with hierarchical tags?

 

Stacks were explicitly added later on as a means of allowing some visual organization to a flat list of 100 notebooks (later expanded to 250); we also got some filter love along with it: you can search all of the notebooks in a stack. Looking back, I think that this addition actually kind of clouded the issue some, or maybe fueled the fire: hey, we have two levels now, why not as many as we want??

 

The notebook-as-folder metaphor is interesting to me: folders in the physical world (the manila kind) are a lot like notebooks: they tend not to be arbitrarily nestable. Yet in the transition to computing, we've taken that concrete reality and added in a nestability that was never really part of the metaphor's basis, and made a new reality. Curious, but maybe that's not such an uncommon process.

 

The tags thing? I don't see them as unintuitive as some folks seem to believe; that's why I fall back on the keywords and adjectives metaphors.

 

Anyways, overall I think that Evernote's intent was clear and remains so today: use notebooks for gross organization and for certain special operations (local notebooks, notebook sharing, offline notebooks mainly) and use tags for more fine grained organization and categorization. Even with stacks, I think that that holds true.

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thanks for schooling us jefito. i remember when the stacks were added, and it didn't seem like a great idea, but we at least had the visual cues there to remind us what we were stacking.

computers allow for all kinds of things that the original physical metaphors are poorly designed to handle, and i think infinitely nesting folders are a perfect example. it might help users to know that evernote on the backend has no hierarchy, even with child and parent tags, which are simply there in the interface as a visual aid. in fact, the entire company lacked much hierarchy for a long time, and they tagged themselves with titles :) well, i don't know if they referred to it as tagging, but it seemed that way. over time, they've adopted a hierarchy, but the non-hierarchical vision they started off with lives on in the code.

the abstractions of parent, child, note, notebook, and stack help us manage complexity, but they can also prevent us from exploring other potentially more effective approaches.

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I am sure I am missing something that someone will be kind enough to help me with, but...

 

If I create a tag called Notebooks and under that tag I create tags (forgive the faux names) of Level1NB1 , Level1NB2, Level1NB3, ...  and under Level1NB I create tags of whatever... and so on and so on, from a logical structure basis how is this any different from stacked notebooks?  Functionally different in some respects for sure within EN, but logically different?  I don't see it.  Is it because it's called a tag?

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I am sure I am missing something that someone will be kind enough to help me with, but...

 

If I create a tag called Notebooks and under that tag I create tags (forgive the faux names) of Level1NB1 , Level1NB2, Level1NB3, ...  and under Level1NB I create tags of whatever... and so on and so on, from a logical structure basis how is this any different from stacked notebooks?  Functionally different in some respects for sure within EN, but logically different?  I don't see it.  Is it because it's called a tag?

 

Since stacked notebooks has not been implemented by Evernote, who knows how it would work.

But if you assume stacked notebooks works like folders/subfolders on a PC/Mac, then selecting or operating on any parent notebook would automatically include all child notebooks and their Notes.

 

While you can organize tags into a hierarchy, it has no effect on the selection of note.  IOW, selecting/filtering on a parent tags does NOT include notes with any/all of its child tags automatically.  It includes ONLY the Notes that have explicitly the parent tag.  If a tag is NOT explicitly assigned to a Note, the Note will not be included by a filter search on the tag's parent.

 

Evernote could remedy this just by making a small change to the Search syntax.

See EN Search -- Change Search Grammar to Include Child Tags of Specified Parent Tag

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I am sure I am missing something that someone will be kind enough to help me with, but...

 

If I create a tag called Notebooks and under that tag I create tags (forgive the faux names) of Level1NB1 , Level1NB2, Level1NB3, ...  and under Level1NB I create tags of whatever... and so on and so on, from a logical structure basis how is this any different from stacked notebooks?  Functionally different in some respects for sure within EN, but logically different?  I don't see it.  Is it because it's called a tag?

Since stacked notebooks actually *have* been implemented by Evernote (to one level deep), here's the story (and I'm using the Windows client as my basis basis here; other clients may behave differently in some respects, but not in the major ones):

 

It's simple: a stack serves as a virtual notebook, where the notes in the virtual notebook are the notes in the notebooks that comprise the stack. For purposes of filtering in Evernote, when you filter on a stack (either using the stack: search term, of by selecting it in the notebook tree), it's as if you have filtered on all of the notebooks that make up the stack. Since you normally can only filter on a single notebook at a time, this is the only way in Evernote that you can filter on multiple notebooks at a time, except for All Notes (not much of a filter).

 

This doesn't hold for tags: filtering on your Level1NB tag displays only notes with that tag; it doesn't display notes with tags nested beneath it (Level1NB1, etc.), unless they also have the parent tag. 

 

The curious thing is that it's the tag filtering behavior (i.e. clicking on tags in the tag tree) that works more like that of your standard file browser (e.g. Windows Explorer) than the stack filtering behavior. That is, if you have a folder hierarchy and you select a folder in the left pane, the right pane will show you the contents of that folder only, and not the contents of all of the subfolders nested under the parent folder. Similarly, when you select a tag in the tag tree, it only shows you the notes that have that tag. Now a difference here is that tags, while they may be organized into a hierarchy, don't necessarily represent a hierarchy of notes, unless you implement that. But that's just a testament to the flexibility of tags, and that's extended to filtering on multiple tags: you can select multiple tags in the left pane, unlike File Explorer (one folder at a time) or the stack/notebook tree (one stack or notebook is physically selected at a time, though selecting a stack virtually selects its notebooks).

 

So that's viewing/filtering with respect to the stack/notebook and tag behaviors, but there's also copy/move operations. Let's start with left pane operations: in the notebook tree, you can drag a notebook onto another notebook to make a stack (or add to the target notebook's stack), or drag it to a stack to add it to the stack, but you can't drag a stack onto another stack or notebook. On the other hand, with tags, you can drag a tag and all of its subtags freely about the tag hierarchy, and it behaves pretty much the same as left pane operations in File Explorer. With respect to moving notes, it's a different case: filter your note list, and you can drag a selection of those notes to another notebook and that moves them to that notebook. However, when you drag a selection of notes to a tag in the tag tree, that doesn't move the notes in any sense; it just adds that tag to each of the notes. Oh, you can also make copies of the note selection in a notebook, rather than moving them using the Copy Notes functionality.

 

Any questions??

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No questions, knew all that.

 

My apologies, I should have been more explicit in my writing.  My reading of the animated recent posts in this thread was that they were about structure, not function.  I was saying that structurally, what you see in the left panel, for nested notebooks or nested tags is virtually the same except you get "kind of" two levels of notebooks and many levels of tags.  So you could simulate a multiple level hierarchical structure with tags if structure was your aim.  I don't see any logical difference in the structural view of the two, just me perhaps.  I wouldn't create such a tag structure because functionally it would be a pain with current EN.  "Functionally different in some respects for sure within EN..." wasn't a strong enough statement to make that clear.  My bad.  

 

The way too subtle point I was trying to make is that you can't discuss structure without function.  The best thing about stacks to me is the ability to segregate notes for searches when need be.  Home stack and Work stack being my simple summations, and so creatively named :) .  If you add more layers of stacks it could make search more complicated for all the reasons typically given.  But one would have simulated nested notebooks if that is what one wanted.

 

I don't know what the most used or natural structure is.  I do know that I think predominately in relational constructs (tuples, inverted lists, third normal form, or whatever you want to call it) and that effects how I set up and use EN.  Tags and keywords suit this kind of non hierarchical thinking.  Deep notebook hierarchies would not present me with the best structure for my search methods.  That's my use case anyway.  As we always say, each to his own and should EN ever implement deeper levels of stacks, good for those that want them.

 

Again my apologies for not being as clear as I should have been.

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I see hierarchical notebook structure and tags as both being useful and complementary.

And yes, the structure definitely implies, or requires, a functionality.

The key thing is that with traditional hierarchical structures, selection/operation at the parent level generally implies inclusion of all of the child entities.  If I copy, move, or search a parent, then all of the child notebooks are included.  Not so with tags.

Whereas, tags cut across these structures, allowing us to find common characteristics across many Notebooks.

 

Another way of looking at it is like with a book, or document.  The book/document is primarily organized in a hierarchical fashion:  chapter, section, subsection, etc., as is illustrated by the table of contents.  Whereas the index is analogous to tags, identifying where keywords exist across all chapters.

 

If I want to view the book/document for reading/browsing, then the hierarchal view is best suited for doing this.

If I want to find out everywhere a particular concept is addressed, the index/tags are best suited for searching.

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Hi. As you can see, discussions on this forum can indeed get a little intense at times. I hope it doesn't scare you away from participating, or asking any other questions you might have.

The threads recommended to you in previous replies are excellent starting points to help you work out a system that best suits your needs, using what's currently available with the Evernote app.

You might also want want to run some forum searches using keywords and phrases, such as:

* Tags, Tagging, Tags versus Notebooks

* Organization, Organizing Evernote

* Notebooks, Notebooks versus Tags, etc.

Personally, I have found over time that I need less Notebooks than I originally thought I would. I use a mixture of some hierachy, Tags, keywords & and uniformally dated Titles. The bulk of my set-up is tags.

However, one thing to keep in mind about Tags is they don't port well if you ever want to leave Evernote for another notetaking piece of software. If you expect that your database may end up with tens of thousands of notes, you may run into a problem with Evernote's scalability. BurgerNFries (BNF) and a few other long-time power users, have experienced so many problems with it that they found their databases almost, or completely, unusable and have moved much, or all, of their data out of Evernote.

Grumpy Monkey is an especially big proponent of keeping all of his Notes in in Plain Text only, and if I recall correctly, does not use Tags at all. Due to his massive data collection of many years, he had to pull his data out and the combination of no Tags and Plain Text, made it relatively simple to port all of his Notes out. (GM, please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on any count.)

I don't bring this up to scare you or anyone else away from either the use of Tags or Evernote. I did seriously look at other options for several months before coming to the conclusion that I will likely never have a database large enough for scalability to be an issue. Plus, I really love using Tags and I don't like Plain Text notes. (Hopefully if the day ever does come that my EN database gets that big, it will finally be fixed and I won't regret my choice.

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hi. that's pretty much the gist of it. i've moved all of my stuff out of evernote for now. there were a few reasons, but the biggest one was my need for a higher level of security. specifically, i put very little on the cloud these days unless it's encrypted, and because evernote doesn't have a way to encrypt notes or notebooks, i have had to find a solution that fits my use case better. evernote is a wonderful app/service, and hopefully it will introduce more encryption options in the future to make it suitable for people who are in a situation like mine.

in evernote, i used to work primarily in plain text with no tags and only one main notebook. i found little need for any hierarchies. in combination with my method of titling notes, the plain text format made moving in and out of evernote over the years (a long story connected with problems in the old ios app) a cinch. and, moving into other apps was also effortless. in fact, i still have all of my notes linked in a massive personal wiki because i used to copy/paste the titles of notes (for compatibility with apps that turn these into links such as nvalt, voodoopad, and devonthink), and i also had several tables of contents for large sections of the wiki (evernote creates a toc for selected notes quite easily). i think it pays to think ahead about the portability of your notes, and one of the nice things about evernote is that they also value portability.

other apps have different organizational schemes, and i've had to grudgingly incorporate "folders," "sub-folders," and "tags" in order to take advantage of their unique features (some rather amazing ones that have made the extra work worthwhile). i'm working with about a terabyte of regularly used data right now ("indexed" and imported into my databases) -- any organizational scheme i adopt has to be able to scale up so that it can handle hundreds of thousands of items. i am still tweaking my organization outside of evernote, but if i were in evernote now, i'd be unlikely to rely much on notebooks or tags.

that's just me, though. users ought to consider their own situation and use whatever tools fit their needs.

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I guess I'm on the other end of the spectrum -- I take advantage of all features any app (including Evernote) has to offer.  This includes making good use of Evernote tags.  

 

Evernote offers several ways of exporting your notes, including HTML.  The HTML export includes most of the note metadata, including tags.

Tags have been used quite a while now in the world of computing, and seem to be used/adopted more and more. 

  • Almost every blog is now tagged.
  • The Mac OS X has supported tags for a while, but are really enhanced by Mavreicks and Yosemite
  • MS Outlook has used tags, known as "categories" for many years
  • MS OneNote uses tags, but not as well as Evernote

If I were to limit my usage of apps to features/data that can be easily exported to other apps, it would be quite limiting indeed.

I can't imagine using MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint without many of their unique and powerful features and organizational structures

 

So, I'm taking max advantage of what Evernote has to offer.  If the time comes that I need to import my Notes into something else, I'm sure I'll find or create a way to do so.

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No questions, knew all that.

Sorry, topic's spun well beyond its intended purpose. I guess I'm not clear on what you wanted before, or now, or how it relates to the topic.

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No questions, knew all that.

Sorry, topic's spun well beyond its intended purpose. I guess I'm not clear on what you wanted before, or now, or how it relates to the topic.

Not really looking for anything. Just an observation from me that from a structural view stacked notebooks and tags look the same. So if you really wanted deeper nesting of notebooks you could simulate it using tags, but at the expense of function. Probably not helpful to the topic in retrospect. Oh well....

 

 

EDIT:  But after a re-read of the posts, maybe not that much further off topic.   :)  Strictly humor here....

Edited by csihilling

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just to clarify, i was not making an argument against tags as a concept. as i mentioned at the end of my post, i am using them, so i am not sure exactly how my thoughts were misconstrued in this way.

however, because evernote's tags are incompatible with other applications, i find them to be unappealing. based on my experience over several years moving my notes in and out of evernote, sometimes on a daily basis (see the forums for years of posts about this), i recommend against assuming that everything will be ok. please do not think you can just cross that bridge when you get there. i urge users to test and confirm how portable their organizational system is before diving into it. f course, if you decide to use a tool you know isn't portable, that's fine, but at least you will know what you are getting into.

i have experimented with tagging on the mac since tags were introduced on mavericks (actually, before that with other tagging systems as well), and while i haven't quite hit upon an approach i like yet, i will say i am thrilled to see how they work across applications without any problems. if evernote or a third-party made some kind of import/export tool that used this emerging tag standard, it would be something really nice for users.

when it comes to using an apps features, i think users should embrace them as well, but do so in an informed manner, especially when it comes to portability. as of this moment (returning somewhat to the original post), stacks and nested tags are unlikely to be very portable, and i think the reason(as i suggested before) is that evernote's organization on the backend uses a flat scheme without any hierarchies. i'd recommend going with that thinking to maintain maximum portability. of course, if portability doesn't concern you, please ignore this advice.

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[EDIT:] First paragraph removed by request.

Personally, when it comes to my "external brain," I prefer to actually be sure that things will work, and I urge users to actually test things out themselves before they commit to any particular organizational scheme. Please do not just trust in fate, but actually go through all the steps for your particular use case and ensure that nested tags, stacks, and notebooks easily move from Evernote into the app(s) of your choice. You may find that you need to limit your use of certain features in order to maintain portability, or you may decide you don't care about portability, but either way, I think it is best to make an informed decision. In particular, I would watch out for the behavior of stacks and nested tags, and consider using some of the workarounds for tags suggested by others in the link below.

http://www.christopher-mayo.com/?p=437

It might help to know that I had several tens of thousands of notes in total (in two main notebooks, one synced and one local, with no tags in use -- vestigial ones I just hadn't deleted), and the last time I moved everything out of Evernote it only took me about ten to fifteen minutes to get up and running in a new system.

[

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GM, seems like your comments are off-topic for this thread.  Feel free to post in the thread you are commenting about.

My new thread is NOT passive-agressive at all,  It is an attempt to provide migration data to all.

See you there!   :)

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GM, seems like your comments are off-topic for this thread.  Feel free to post in the thread you are commenting about.

My new thread is NOT passive-agressive at all,  It is an attempt to provide migration data to all.

See you there!   :)

 

My comments about stacks (sub-folders) seem more or less on-topic in a thread about "sub-folders," but none of us are really talking anymore about the clunky interface (the original poster's complaint), are we? I think the topic has moved on to nested tags, stacks, and hierarchies. Personally, I don't think Evernote puts much emphasis on hierarchies, especially on the backend, and I think this explains why it can feel kind of clunky in the interface, when the hierarchies are there at all (the Web beta lacks stacks), which is one reason to avoid them. Another reason I gave was portability. This seems appropriate for the thread. Feel free to moderate my posts by reporting me if you disagree.

 

You have gathered together a lot of links that will hopefully help users. I have nothing to add except to reiterate my advice to users that they test out workflows before committing to anything. 

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 I have nothing to add except to reiterate my advice to users that they test out workflows before committing to anything. 

 

That is always good advice and I couldn't agree more.  I often advise users (and clients) to do a pilot project with a small number of records (Notes) before starting/committing to a major conversion or design of a new setup.

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JM congratulations on a good piece of research, some users may well find it useful. I cannot comment on the Mac side as I have only ever used Windows, and on that side you have not convinced me that portability is not a problem. The tools that you mention are in fact tools to make tools for export. Take AutoHotkey for example: right now there is no readily usable script to export EN notes. One could probably design one with AHK.

 

The point that GM is making (if I read him correctly) is that, when there is a "crisis" and one needs to export from EN, one does not want to have to design a script 1st. In fact, a good many people, myself included, are not that program-savvy to design a script or something similar, like for example Evernote2Onenote.

 

So GM's advice is not for people to stop using tags or any of the other useful features EN offers, but rather that people assess beforehand how portable their notes are, and take corrective action beforehand to cope with potential gaps to satisfy their expectations for portability.

 

Export to HTML may well show tags & all the rest of it, but importing that into another app is another story because a lot of rework will be required.

 

In conclusion: ready portability from EN exists in a limited way (e.g. Evernote2Onenote), but at this stage it seems there is no 3rd party app that makes it possible to export compatible with import into any other reputable note-taking app.

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computers allow for all kinds of things that the original physical metaphors are poorly designed to handle, and i think infinitely nesting folders are a perfect example. it might help users to know that evernote on the backend has no hierarchy, even with child and parent tags, which are simply there in the interface as a visual aid. in fact, the entire company lacked much hierarchy for a long time, and they tagged themselves with titles :) well, i don't know if they referred to it as tagging, but it seemed that way. over time, they've adopted a hierarchy, but the non-hierarchical vision they started off with lives on in the code.

Hey, I missed the highlighted bit on the first go-around, but you're right. Even stacks are a bit of a parlor trick; they don't really exist as separate objects (like notebooks); instead they're just a name in the 'Stack' field in a notebook (https://dev.evernote.com/doc/articles/data_structure.php and https://dev.evernote.com/doc/reference/Types.html#Struct_Notebook). So even though we normally thinking of stacks as containing notebooks, there's no actual stacks to contain anything, and only an implied hierarchy.As I noted before, stacks don't actually behave hierarchically anyways (the way that we think of folders and files, say); they're more like virtual notebooks.

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computers allow for all kinds of things that the original physical metaphors are poorly designed to handle, and i think infinitely nesting folders are a perfect example. it might help users to know that evernote on the backend has no hierarchy, even with child and parent tags, which are simply there in the interface as a visual aid. in fact, the entire company lacked much hierarchy for a long time, and they tagged themselves with titles :) well, i don't know if they referred to it as tagging, but it seemed that way. over time, they've adopted a hierarchy, but the non-hierarchical vision they started off with lives on in the code.

Hey, I missed the highlighted bit on the first go-around, but you're right. Even stacks are a bit of a parlor trick; they don't really exist as separate objects (like notebooks); instead they're just a name in the 'Stack' field in a notebook (https://dev.evernote.com/doc/articles/data_structure.php and https://dev.evernote.com/doc/reference/Types.html#Struct_Notebook). So even though we normally thinking of stacks as containing notebooks, there's no actual stacks to contain anything, and only an implied hierarchy.As I noted before, stacks don't actually behave hierarchically anyways (the way that we think of folders and files, say); they're more like virtual notebooks.

 

A nice parlor trick to aggregate notes via notebooks.  The lack of notebooks in notebooks is why I referenced layers of stacks not layers of notebooks above.  FWIW.  

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As much as I love Evernote but will not continue to use it as it doesn't allow me to create different levels of sub folders which is important for me ....can't live without sub folders !!

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If you're absolutely,  positively,  totally sure that you can't live without a hierarchical folder structure,  then you really really shouldn't use Evernote.  

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I guess I'm on the other end of the spectrum -- I take advantage of all features any app (including Evernote) has to offer.  This includes making good use of Evernote tags.  ...    So, I'm taking max advantage of what Evernote has to offer

 

BUT... are you using Context, Work Chat, "Annotate this entire note as a PDF" (Mac), presentation mode gallery mode (and night mode), Clearly, web clipper screenshot annotations, Atlas, Post-it notes, Google simultaneous search (Web clipper utility) and your now unlimited Premium upload limit...? Sorry... couldn't resist @JMichael  :P

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@Frank.dg:

 

Well, since you seem to be parsing my words, please allow me to clarify.

 

"Taking advantage of all features" does not necessarily mean "using all features".

 

It means that I use the features that help my workflow without worrying about whether or not a particular feature will be available in some future, yet-to-be-determined, unknown, app.

 

Here's a good analogy.  I have a lot of physical tools, like saws, drills, routers, etc.

I have no problem with buying specialty saw blades for my new reciprocating saw to meet a specific need/project I have, even though future reciprocating saws may, or may not, be able to use those blades.

 

IOW, I take advantage of the electronic tools I have now, regardless of whether or not future tools will support the data formats I'm currently using.  This has worked very well for me for over 25 years now.  I see no reason to change out of fear.

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Evernote folder structure and creation is inventing water all over again and plain stupid. The whole world is used to do it the simplest way possible. I am not sure what ego issue those developers must have ...

 

Calling them stacks is actually perfect since stacks suck in material life just as well ...

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In spite of many, many requests for sub-notebooks over these many, many years, Evernote has chosen to not provide this feature.

The only thing they have done is to offer "Stacks", which can contain only Notebooks.

 

Although I would personally welcome sub-notebooks, if you want to use Evernote now, and for the foreseeable future, then you will need to accept and make best use of the organizational tools it offers now:  Stacks, Notebooks, Tags, Notes.

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On 8/21/2015 at 8:18 AM, JMichaelTX said:

In spite of many, many requests for sub-notebooks over these many, many years, Evernote has chosen to not provide this feature.

The only thing they have done is to offer "Stacks", which can contain only Notebooks.

 

Although I would personally welcome sub-notebooks, if you want to use Evernote now, and for the foreseeable future, then you will need to accept and make best use of the organizational tools it offers now:  Stacks, Notebooks, Tags, Notes.

Evernote is leaving themselves wide open for a competitor to steal market share. I'm returning to evernote as a central repository for my project planning. It's very begrudgingly done and is a very painful process just to input the structure for my notes to sit in. Sub-folders would really help, along with better creation and manipulation of notebooks and stacks in the Notebooks area. 

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As you must have seen by now,  tags are Evernote's preferred route for classification - and they can be used in a way analagous to 'folders' - simply set up your tags in the hierarchy that you prefer, and you'll be able to curate your notes appropriately.  There's also a Table of Contents function which allows links to a set of notes to be listed in a 'master' note.  Use nested ToC notes to create an index of your filing system.

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On 7/14/2016 at 2:40 AM, kih305 said:

Evernote is leaving themselves wide open for a competitor to steal market share. I'm returning to evernote as a central repository for my project planning. It's very begrudgingly done and is a very painful process just to input the structure for my notes to sit in. Sub-folders would really help, along with better creation and manipulation of notebooks and stacks in the Notebooks area. 

That may be the case, but I'm not sure it will be due to Folders.

As I look at some of the competition (Google and Microsoft), folders are pretty antithetical to them too.

Particularly when you look at OneNote with Sharepoint.  I struggle with my own organization, as IT, where users try to cling to files living in a folder metaphor, and hold out on metadata, tags, and searches.  It's just painful.  It's just putting off the inevitable day of reckoning.

Inevitably one reaches the conclusion (even more so as you collaborate) that one personal taxonomy will never agree with everyone elses.

But tags and searches let a piece of information live in multiple organization taxonomies.  To "exist" in multiple "places" or search domains at one time.

In fact, as someone with over 500 apps on my phone and ipad, not just a few of them interacting with Evernote, it's the few which cling to a notebook/folder structure which give me the most pain and constraints.

Tags are the canvas that lets one be as taxonomically creative or retro as they desire

 

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