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ashishgup

(Archived) Feature request: Notebook levels and sane tag navigation!

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I must say I have a love hate relationship with Evernote. Its availability on the iphone, web and windows just make it such an obvious choice for all my notes and research needs. Execution is great and the team keeps on rolling out new features.

But then there are couple of small things (which seem obvious to me as an user and am surprised if the team hasn't encountered them in their use of evernote) which irritate me so much I just can't use it for any serious purpose. Two simple examples:

1. This whole thing about mixing notebooks with tags. When I click on a notebook, it shows me ALL the tags, regardless if they are associated with that notebook or not! How useless. I am actually surprised the users or the creators themselves have never been irritated by this. I have two notebooks: Programming and Humor. I have completely different tags for both obviously but my humor tags show up when I click on Programming notebook, making the tag list navigation pretty much useless! I never use tags thus. I tried in the beginning but gave up!

2. Hierarchical notebooks: I accumulate lot of information. For example code snippets from different languages. I would like to have subnotebooks in Programming to allow me to do that! One could argue tags should help me do that, but then that just seems so unnatural (and how about > 1 levels), and with my above point an unpractical approach altogether. Are sub-notebooks so unintuitive so as not to be supported ?

I still use evernote to clip all articles I read online, but am sticking to Treepad Business for my more refined use cases. Evernote is SO good I really hope these simple navigational quirks can be at least seriously looked into and implemented sometime. Anyone who stores any serious amount of information has to be benefited by the above!

thanks!

Ashish

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There are other users out there (here?) that feel as you do re lack of subnotes, difficulty with tags, having to use another application to actually organize our data, etc. So, you don't have to feel alone. That said, don't hold your breath - I do not believe that EN will ever have subnotebooks and I think tags will always be a little unwieldy.

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I just want to say that I like the tags as they are and see no need at all for subnotebooks. Being able to nest tags and apply them across all

Notebooks wits well with how I use EN. Please, no change here.

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Isn't it interesting that so many of the people asking for subnotebooks are programmers? I've always thought that hierarchical UI structures were more appealing to programmers than to non-technical users, who (at least in my testing 5+ years ago) find hierarchies much less intuitive than flat lists or other UI designs.

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I really hope that Evernote will implement a "subfolder" feature in their software. I don't understand why it's not there already and I don't understand people who don't want this to happen.

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I'm with you with the feeling that EN3 could be made much more useful with a better tagging system, or perhaps hierarchical notebooks. I think that EN makes a great capture tool and quick note taker but I also feel the need to move important data out into a more structured data storage.

Right now all my notes in EN are essentially the same importance. I don't really have a scalable way of structuring the data so that my most important data stays on top. I can create a tag for each important note so that there's one click access to the most important stuff but over time one note per tag doesn't really scale.

Search isn't really very helpful either when I get to hundreds of notes. Eventually the note I'm looking for will have no unique word or phrase that I can remember. I try searching but often my search brings back too many notes. I wonder if evernote could work out a way to calculate relevance like google does.

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I second a request for subnotebooks.

In general I dislike hierarchical structures. It's just one more way to lose things. A simple flat structure works best.

However, when I am done with a folder, I move everything into an Archive folder. I'd like to be able to take a folder and drop it into the archive, to be retrieved whenever I need to. You could probably think of other examples - finished projects, etc. Right now I tag everything in the folder to be archived with the name of the folder I am eliminating. However, that is a less satisfactory method than keeping the original folder intact.

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I will third the request for sub-notebooks. I really can't understand why it's not possible, and how in the world people organize anything using EN without this feature? I ask that seriously because maybe I am misinterpreting how the prog should be used or was intended to be used.

How else would I organize say a remodeling project I am doing?

In almost every other note app out there, you would create a notebook REMODELING, and could possibly put notes into that top header, but you would at least then be able to create sub notebooks (folders) under REMODELING called "Basement flooring" or "cabinet quotes" or "paint color options/ideas for kitchen"

What am I missing?

EDIT: Found the answer, sorry, apparently this is a hot topic.

I still don't understand how tags are the same thing as or better than subfolders, but whatever. Maybe it's a paradigm shift in information organization that my kids will understand and use fully.

Maybe someone can help me then since tags are it with EN:

How would you suggest I set up my remodeling example above using tags? Maybe I'm just not sophisticated enough (read: intelligent) to use EN properly! :)

Again, I have one big project that I want separate from my other projects for quick referral/locating. REMODEL

Obviously there are various facets to the remodel project: images from the web for design ideas that I will clip, to do lists, even contact numbers and names for contractors and subcontractors that I wouldn't put in a normal contact list (since they will be temporary contacts). Also of course, I would like easy access to certain facets of the remodel project: let's say today it's BASEMENT FLOORING where I might put notes from things I read on the web like: "USE SILENT TREATMENT underlayment in basement" and "order of events: carpet rip up, clean/repair slab, glue down flooring, washer/dryer move in, stair repair"

I really am not sure how I would even begin to use tags for projects in this case? Am I trying to fit a square peg in a round hole? Maybe Evernote is not the droid I am looking for?

Thanks in advance for anyone willing to try to help me (or at least say: this is not the app you need, move along)

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In almost every other note app out there, you would create a notebook REMODELING, and could possibly put notes into that top header, but you would at least then be able to create sub notebooks (folders) under REMODELING called "Basement flooring" or "cabinet quotes" or "paint color options/ideas for kitchen"

***

Again, I have one big project that I want separate from my other projects for quick referral/locating. REMODEL

Obviously there are various facets to the remodel project: images from the web for design ideas that I will clip, to do lists, even contact numbers and names for contractors and subcontractors that I wouldn't put in a normal contact list (since they will be temporary contacts). Also of course, I would like easy access to certain facets of the remodel project: let's say today it's BASEMENT FLOORING where I might put notes from things I read on the web like: "USE SILENT TREATMENT underlayment in basement" and "order of events: carpet rip up, clean/repair slab, glue down flooring, washer/dryer move in, stair repair"

I really am not sure how I would even begin to use tags for projects in this case? Am I trying to fit a square peg in a round hole? Maybe Evernote is not the droid I am looking for?

KB, This is an excellent example of a project that I believe illustrates the advantages of tags over subnotebooks. There are of course a lot of ways you could organize this, but I'll give you one possibility.

First, there are 2 things I think are better about tags than subnotebooks or folders:

- With folder/hierarchy organization, each item can belong to only one folder. In contrast, an item can have many tags.

- With folders, you have to remember which folder something is in to find it again. In contrast, with tags, you can do a global search and find what you need.

Here's one way to organize your project:

1. Create a tag called "home", with subtags called "basement," "cabinets" "kitchen" "flooring" and "paint"

2. Create a tag called "contacts."

3. Create a tag called "projects" with subtag "remodel."

- a note with contact info for a potential contractor goes is tagged "contacts" and "remodel."

- an idea from the web re flooring is tagged "remodel" and "flooring."

- a quote for kitchen paint is tagged "kitchen" "paint" and "budget."

- your timeline for the project, and your todo list, are tagged "remodel."

[note]

here's the cool part - why I really like the tag metaphor:

4 years from now the project is done and you have become friends with Paul the contractor and have played racquetball with him a few times. You never actually hired him for the remodel job, so mentally, you don't associate him with this project at all. You make plans to have dinner at his house and on the way there you realize you never got his address.

If you had stored his contact info in a folder "remodel," you'd never find it.

Instead, you have tagged it "contacts." You search "Paul", in "contacts" tags, and you find it immediately.

Believe it or not, I run into situations like this all the time, and tagging is invaluable. You will often need information you used in one context in a totally different context.

Limiting your information management to folders organized by whatever you happened to be working on when you first learned the information is artificial.

If I'm writing a paper on workplace discrimination law, and I find a quote about civil rights, I may want to use that quote many times in the future. If I file it under just "workplace discrimination," I'll never find it the next time I'm writing about civil rights. Even if I put it in a folder for "workplace discrimination paper," I run the risk of later archiving that folder or failing to include it in a search.

OTOH, if I tag it "workplace discrimination" and "civilrights," then I have it in my list for the current project and for the future.

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Think of how much time the EN developers could have saved, answering questions about why notebooks can't be nested, if they had just implemented nested notebooks in the first place.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, tags (as they are currently implemented) just don't cut it. If we had the old way (EN2.2) of keeping categories/tags selected while we're clipping notes, then maybe. But tags ALWAYS have to be applied after clipping, not while clipping. That alone leads me to using notebooks. Plus the fact that you have to decide on local/synchronized/shared on the notebook level, not the tag level.

I'm sure there are other shortcomings of tags, but I can't think of them right now...

It was so easy in 2.2. Categories = tags = notebooks = saved searches. Too easy.

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Well I am convinced. Thank you so much for taking the time to do that and to explain it for my feeble brain.

After I read your post, I immediately thought "this will solve the problem I have with my 18 bazillion pictures that are currently organized via the Windows Explorer (hierarchical folders)". Even though I have been using Photoshop Elements for a while now, and it includes a library that uses tags as its primary organization system (like most if not all of the better photo organizers), I never really "got it" because no one ever spelled it out as to the advantages (or at least I never came across someone explaining it).

If my wife asks me to print a picture of our 4 yr old when she was swimming last summer with a particular school buddy, I am screwed using my system. I can get in the ballpark, because I have kids pics based on age, so I could go to PEOPLE>EVA>4 YRS OLD (but you don't even want to know how many pics are just in that folder. It's out of control, really). BUT I also have folders that say "PARKS, ZOOS or PLAYGROUNDS" or "SWIMMING PICS" or maybe something else.

The only qualm I have with tags is their creation. Do you make a tag for every little thing? Eventually I imagine you will have so many tags they will be overwhelming, no? Same happens with folders. I actually thought I had a pretty good folder/sub folder system until I realized its inherent weakness, which is not being able to find *A* picture (quickly). I can get in the ballpark with my current system, and do some scrolling, and browsing, but tags, although definitely more work up front I imagine, would hopefully take me straight to a filtered output of a range that would include my target photo.

Hmmm, I will have to think on this a long time...let it sink in. Thanks again, so much. Very very helpful.

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I am thinking about tags vs sub levels now. The tutorials and documentation don't seem to talk about tags at all, so I have not been using them. A little video tutorial would be nice...

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I had always tried to make tags hierarchical, and always seemed to get lost trying to find something.

A user in another thread explained that tags had been designed to overcome the limitations of a hierarchical system.

I have spent several hours re-organizing my tag system, and I see using tags to their potential, and not stacking them, makes them much more powerful OMHO.

It seems to me you can get much more exact search results from a flat tag system.

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A user in another thread explained that tags had been designed to overcome the limitations of a hierarchical system.

...and not stacking them, makes them much more powerful OMHO.

...much more exact search results from a flat tag system.

Can you point us to this thread? Do they give examples? Or do you have examples after revamping your strategy? I'm in the same boat - thinking I should rework things before my DB gets too large.

Thanks,

Brian

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I'm not sure about subnotebooks. But I would certainly love "Bookshelves" for notebooks.

For example: Work bookshelf, School Bookshelf, Recipies Bookshelf, DIY bookshelf.

As it stands now, I have almost a dozen work notebooks, and could use more School notebooks but there isn't really room visually. Though the context is completely different when they would be accessed - when I am at home my Work notebooks are (hopefully) not that important to me. Recipies, however, would be.

I have resolved the tag issue by being a bit more strict in my useage.

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I have learned more about Evernote through these forums in the last 2 hours than the entire (4?) years I've been using EN.

When we are raised with hierarchical systems, then that is our "natural" inclination and comfort zone.

I can now see the power of tags and why moving to a tag based system makes sense ... but did it have to be so hard to get here?

I think a direct "User Forums" link in the dashboard header (up next to Support maybe?) would be a very smart addition.

While the "Tutorial Videos" and "User Tips Videos" are cute and clever ... they are NOT very useful beyond enticing people to sign-up.

I would love, Love, LOVE to see a good video on "Totally Together with Tags" and why the tagging system is better than old-school folders/sub-folders.

Don't be cute and clever, I have friends for that ... be useful instead :-)

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i often read about how you can do the same things with the current tags ussage. but i never hear a good argument for not giving the many many people the opportunity to use subnotebooks (bookshelves) or "tags per notebook".

my taglist after using evernote for a few days again now - is already too long to have any navigational use - sure by the search they work great - but how about browsing through a topic when you are not sure what you are looking for? it just sucks here.

en team could easily give everybody the way to sort their thought in a way that is helpful to everyone:

1. Give the option for subnotes / bookshelf solutions. if someone thinks its useless - contraproductive - well - dont create them and do it just like now.

2. give the option to switch tags to be displayed "global" - or "notebook exclusive" - again - if one dosnt like it - he just ignores the "notebook exclusive" feature and it stays just as it is.

for me, finally there would be a way to organize my stuff in a - to me - natural way by topics. this would make en useful to me when i want to work on a topic - not only when i look for a single information, like it is at the moment.

Many people want those things - and it could be done without changing what is there already - why cant we have it?

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Just a thought: Seems EN is working like Gmail. Gmail doesn't support folders only tags ("labels" in their parlance). I remember the big stinks and issues people had when it first came out. Seems people have gotten over it. If you use Gmail at all, you should be quite comfortable with EN.

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my taglist after using evernote for a few days again now - is already too long to have any navigational use - sure by the search they work great - but how about browsing through a topic when you are not sure what you are looking for? it just sucks here.

Then I would say you're using tags more than you should and not implementing titles/keywords like you should. The search function can eliminate the need for many tags. I have over 10,000 notes & a lot of tags. But not so many that they are cumbersome. Plus, there are several that could be eliminated b/c the count of several tags is <5.

Everyone seems to think their ideas are easy to implement and that everyone else wants them. Not always the case. I don't know if sub notebooks are problematic b/c of the various platforms. I do know if you think outside the box, that tags are more flexible than sub notebooks. And if you apply good titles & keywords, you probably won't even notice the lack of sub notebooks.

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Can we please please have sub-folders? Or categories? I really liked the UI that Google Notebook had, the category feature was fantastic - yet I could not upload files like I can with EN. I found myself wishing for both.

Is it difficult to add sub-folders or categories or any other organization format than 'tags'? Call me old fashioned but I have yet to catch on to the tag concept - maybe I will at a later date, but for now I just need a sub-organization format. If this is too hard then please let me add it myself.

Thanks.

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I just want to say that I like the tags as they are and see no need at all for subnotebooks. Being able to nest tags and apply them across all

Notebooks wits well with how I use EN. Please, no change here.

I agree. I won't comment on subnotebooks, but I can say that I am very pleased that EN does such a good job with tags - being able to organize my tags hierarchically is working very well for me. Thanks EN.

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BurgersNFries: well - if you read this forum as much as your post count implies you should have recognized that this is far away from a uncommon request.

and i dont disagree on the issue, that tags might be superior over hirachical structure for searching - but as i said - for browsing trough your notes by topic (what is something I definetly needto use it for) - it is quite bad.

the idea of using less tags is a proper one - thanks for the tip.

if it is difficult to realize - i cant real comment on - would appreciate a qualified answer. but with my fairly little programming skills i have to say - cant imagine its a too big thing.

Edit: so now i was just uploading photos from my last trip. if i want to label them without using tags, i have to write it one by one to make have them searchable and only show the trip's photos upon request - or am i missing something?

if i could have subnotebook exclusive tags - i would simply create one tag for that trip - copy to all and would be finished. and all of that without having this tag showing up (next to all the other trips tags) when i am looking for tags at work... headlining does not do the trick for me...

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BurgersNFries: well - if you read this forum as much as your post count implies you should have recognized that this is far away from a uncommon request.

Just b/c it's common doesn't mean it will work well for Evernote & the direction they are going. Something that may work well on many/most of the operating systems may not work well on others.

and i dont disagree on the issue, that tags might be superior over hirachical structure for searching - but as i said - for browsing trough your notes by topic (what is something I definetly needto use it for) - it is quite bad.

When you search by tag, the results in the results pane are the same as if you'd used a sub-notebook with the name of the tag and you can browse to your heart's content.

if it is difficult to realize - i cant real comment on - would appreciate a qualified answer. but with my fairly little programming skills i have to say - cant imagine its a too big thing.

EN has pretty much stated their stance repeatedly. And it's so easy for everyone else to say something should be done b/c it should be easy. I don't know what's involved. But I figure there's a good reason.

Edit: so now i was just uploading photos from my last trip. if i want to label them without using tags, i have to write it one by one to make have them searchable and only show the trip's photos upon request - or am i missing something?

if i could have subnotebook exclusive tags - i would simply create one tag for that trip - copy to all and would be finished. and all of that without having this tag showing up (next to all the other trips tags) when i am looking for tags at work... headlining does not do the trick for me...

You can still have one tag for the trip...(shrug) IE San Diego 2008. Or nested tags where the parent is Trips & the child tag is San Diego 2008. As far as labels for each photo, yes you'd have to edit each photo individually, AFAIK. But most people do that anyway, I'd imagine. The photo organizer I use uses the tag system, very similar to EN's. Since it also uses thumbnails, I just tag by place and tag by people, if they are people I have many photos of. If it's a place I visit often, I may have nested tags IE, San Diego & then have 2004, 2005, 2008. My photo organizer allows me to to edit the comment info directly into the meta data of the jpeg. I don't add comments to each & every photo. But if I want to add any comments to a photo, that's how I add comments - directly into the jpeg file, since that way, if I email the photo to someone, they get all the info I added to the jpeg, too. They don't need my notes or my organizer to know where & when the photo was taken or who's in the photo, since they just have to open up the comments in the jpeg.

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I've been using Evernote for a little over a year, and have gotten to the point where my notebook list is too long, and I would really like to be able to store some of them in archive folders, which, of course is not possible. So I've been searching the forums and see that this has been requested many times, but is probably not in the cards.

This is a big problem. My tags list has grown out of control as well, because apparently I was not using them the right way, and having too many unique tags rather than fewer. I thought they would help with more precise searching, and thus used them fairly liberally.

A couple of observations:

-Sub-notebooks from my searching on these forums seem to be one of the most often requested features. Everyone from the other side argues that it's not necessary, that tags fulfill the same purpose, and I guess it would be technologically somewhat difficult to implement. However, anyone familiar with computer UIs and software (and not just programmers, as has been implied by defenders of using a tag methodology) is familiar with a tree-based navigation system for storing data. That's what the OS of our computers use, it's what our mail programs use, that's what many note-taking programs use. It's familiar and easy. Forcing people into a tagging methodology is not a great way to enhance the user experience. It shouldn't be an either-or proposition.

-Managing tags is god-awful in the current UI (at least on Mac). Trying to sort my several hundred tags into some sort of logical hierarchy is a painful experience scrolling up and down the sidebar. If tags are going to be such a central feature, then there needs to be a better way to manage them. The current system is a mess. The fact that when you click on a notebook, and it still shows the entire list of tags confounds me. One might say "that's too many tags, fewer is better" which is what I initially thought after reading some of these posts. But when I deleted some of these tags, and did some test searches, I got many false positives due to Evernote's text recognition. There was a reason I tagged certain things that way. So I don't see having fewer tags as necessarily solving everything.

-Finally, if Evernote is going to eschew subnotebooks, and make tags the central method for organizing data, then there should be better documentation on how to better use them on the site - best practices, videos, etc. The documentation is very thin on the user manual - only how to create and apply, and limited info about searching. Nothing about the best way to set up a tag hierarchy for the long term. It's ridiculous to expect new users to simply understand a hierarchical metadata system (that actually isn't really hierarchical, since the child tags don't inherit their parent properties - another problem) in place of the more familiar folder structure.

I'm finding it difficult to navigate, and more importantly manage, the data I dumped into Evernote during my year of premium subscription, and I definitely do not plan to renew until either subnotebooks are added or tagging is improved. The title of this thread says it all.

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at BurgersNFries

thanks for the practical tip with the photos. actually renaming them as a batch externally sure is a good and easy option.

for the argument itself: well, if its not done in order to force everyone to only use the - sure extremly good - tag system, i'd really think its a bad decision. especially as you could have both in paralell and so many people want it.

if its not done because of some technical issues - ok then. hard to belive though - if we just look back at the changes they implemented - i think in comparison that should not be this big of an issue (again: by feeling - i cant find a real statement of the staff about that).

i would like to see a feature vote like the dropbox team implemented recently - this sure is a heavily requested thing.

if it comes or not - i think i'll stay with evernote (my short trip to one note was a mistake, as i realized after the content became more and more).

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at BurgersNFries

thanks for the practical tip with the photos. actually renaming them as a batch externally sure is a good and easy option.

You're welcome. Also, FWIW, when I copy images over from the camera's XD card, I put them in a sub folder (under the folder name Photos) by date in YYYYMMDD format optionally followed by a description. If it's just a conglomeration of photos taken from Nov - Dec 2009 and I'm moving them over today, I'd use 20100105 as the folder name. (That way I know, later, if a photo was taken at the end of January, it would not be in that sub-folder & must be in a folder with a later date.) If they were all from a trip to San Diego in Dec 2009, I'd name the folder 20091231_SanDiego. Since you're limited to using folders & sub folders in Windows (unless you use a third party tagging program like TaggedFrog), that allows me to quickly identify all the photos (residing on the hard drive) that were taken during a particular trip or time period, in case I want to make copies for someone else or add them onto my netbook. That also makes it easier in my photo organization program when I go in & assign tags & meta data info - I just point the organizer to that sub-folder, it brings up the thumbnails & I start tagging away.

Good luck & hope your photos turned out great!

[/thread hijack]

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OK, my frustration with tags is reaching a breaking point. I'm trying to organize my tags, and somehow, after moving some, multiple tags have been highlighted. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to deselect the tags other than quitting the app and restarting.

Again, I'll reiterate from my previous post: this is a god-awful implementation of tagging metadata. I use metadata in all kinds of software for photography and other types of media and Evernote's implementation of tag management is simply horrible. If this is what we're supposed to use instead of subnotebooks, then I'm going to start looking at other platforms.

Someone please explain to me how to deselect mutiple tags in Mac version 1.6.

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i would like to see a feature vote like the dropbox team implemented recently - this sure is a heavily requested thing.

This may be a great thing for EN guys to consider. My supposition is that regardless of whether the majority want subfolders or not, it's the vocal ones that do. After all, how many would make a new post for "Feature UnRequest - No Subfolders"? At least with a feature vote the EN guys could see true stats on what we want or don't want so they can make their decision with that extra bit of ammo.

Personally I didn't see the fuss when Google created GMail and I don't now. Everything I want is in there and with proper titles and tags it should be easy to get to anything I want at a later date. The biggest problem for me with subnotebooks is that much of my stuff fits multiple categories. Tages are easy, notebooks and sub-notebooks not so much. As the most recent example I see in my ENotebook - my insurance agent is moving. Is that something I put under "Contacts" or "Bills" or something else? With tags I can make it all of them and find it when I want. One more example, I handle the website for my church. Do I put the GoDaddy account and renewal information under "church" "websites" "GoDaddy" or "Bills"? With tags I can do them all if I want and when I'm looking for it I can put words like renewal or account along with the tag GoDaddy or Church and it's all good. The biggest problem with hierarchical folder structures is that everything has to fit neatly into only one category or branch of the tree (and this may be part of the programming issues EN cites as the reason they aren't doing it). I think there is a shift toward information being nebulous with a heavy dependence on better search technology.

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The biggest problem for me with subnotebooks is that much of my stuff fits multiple categories. Tages are easy, notebooks and sub-notebooks not so much. As the most recent example I see in my ENotebook - my insurance agent is moving. Is that something I put under "Contacts" or "Bills" or something else? With tags I can make it all of them and find it when I want. One more example, I handle the website for my church. Do I put the GoDaddy account and renewal information under "church" "websites" "GoDaddy" or "Bills"? With tags I can do them all if I want and when I'm looking for it I can put words like renewal or account along with the tag GoDaddy or Church and it's all good. The biggest problem with hierarchical folder structures is that everything has to fit neatly into only one category or branch of the tree (and this may be part of the programming issues EN cites as the reason they aren't doing it). I think there is a shift toward information being nebulous with a heavy dependence on better search technology.

I agree. I've still not committed to putting all my Evernotes into only a handful of notebooks, but I'm moving in that direction. What I have noticed is normally, when searching for something, I often search all notebooks & use tags and/or search words to find the note(s) I'm looking for b/c of the very scenarios you mention. IE, will this info be in the "Computer Software" notebook or the "computer problems" notebook? So then I end up tagging everything in the "Computer problems" notebook with a tag of "computer problems", moving them all to the "computer software" notebook & deleting the "computer problems" notebook. EN's tag & search system is very powerful.

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The biggest problem for me with subnotebooks is that much of my stuff fits multiple categories. Tages are easy, notebooks and sub-notebooks not so much. As the most recent example I see in my ENotebook - my insurance agent is moving. Is that something I put under "Contacts" or "Bills" or something else? With tags I can make it all of them and find it when I want. One more example, I handle the website for my church. Do I put the GoDaddy account and renewal information under "church" "websites" "GoDaddy" or "Bills"? With tags I can do them all if I want and when I'm looking for it I can put words like renewal or account along with the tag GoDaddy or Church and it's all good. The biggest problem with hierarchical folder structures is that everything has to fit neatly into only one category or branch of the tree (and this may be part of the programming issues EN cites as the reason they aren't doing it). I think there is a shift toward information being nebulous with a heavy dependence on better search technology.

In EN 2.2 Notebooks and subnotebooks are called categories. Notes are not limited to existence in a single category. Any of my notes can belong to as many categories as I care to assign to it. I'm able to do all the things you list in your examples with ease plus I still have my folder structure for browsing which is handy for deciding which categories I want to assign to a new note.

FWIW, I've never argued against tags. I just want subnotebooks\categories as they existed in 2.2. They work wonderfully and do not preclude the existence of tags.

Respectfully

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In EN 2.2 Notebooks and subnotebooks are called categories. Notes are not limited to existence in a single category. Any of my notes can belong to as many categories as I care to assign to it. I'm able to do all the things you list in your examples with ease plus I still have my folder structure for browsing which is handy for deciding which categories I want to assign to a new note.

FWIW, I've never argued against tags. I just want subnotebooks\categories as they existed in 2.2. They work wonderfully and do not preclude the existence of tags.

Respectfully

Wow - so it sounds like in 2.2, "categories" operate exactly the same as "tags" work in 3.5. Is that true? If so, would everyone be happy if we just renamed

"tags" to "categories" or "notebooks"? If tags are not the same as categories in 2.2, what is the difference?

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There are several differences between the old categories and the new system. Off the top of my head:

* Select one or more categories. Move to FF and start clipping. Each new note will be automatically assigned those selected tags. Excellent for research. Now, you can only have new notes going into a pre-selected notebook, not the tags themselves.

* Categories could have filters on them. Think "saved search", but on any category/tag. In other words, if I typed the word @next into a note, I could have my @next category AUTOMAGICALLY assigned to all of those @next notes. The filters could get quite complicated, and are sorely missed. Saved searches are "similar", but more limited.

* Hierarchy of categories made more sense. If I had a hierarchy, and double clicked on the root, the category panel selected all categories - then the notes that were displayed in the tape were those notes that belonged to ANY of those categories. Think of doing a search now like "any: tag:root tag:childA tag:childB, etc."

Basically, the old categories have been split into Notebooks, Tags, and Saved Searches. They could behave like a notebook, i.e., "containment". They could behave like tags, i.e., multiple categories per note. They could behave liked Saved Searches. The beauty was that you could have whatever hierarchy you wanted, instead of having the functionality split into three segments.

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My biggest challenge with tags is that they feel half implemented. Reading this I've come up with some ideas for improving my use of them, and I'm not one asking for sub-notebooks. I like tags, but I also like hierarchy for managing them. If I have the following tag structure:

- Colors

-- Red

-- Blue

And I search on tag colors, I'd like to see both red and blue. Yes, I can tag with all of them at the time, but that is extremely error prone and time consuming when processing a lot of notes.

If they had a way of doing hierarchical searches I for one would be in Nirvana.

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Well I am convinced. Thank you so much for taking the time to do that and to explain it for my feeble brain.

...

The only qualm I have with tags is their creation. Do you make a tag for every little thing? Eventually I imagine you will have so many tags they will be overwhelming, no?

No (at least I don't) - too many tags get unwieldy and become unusable, as you simply can't remember them all. If you can't remember them all, you won't use them properly, and sod's law says that the one thing you really need to find is the one you forgot to add a tag to.

With my gMail account I've had some fairly generic tags/labels for several years, but use multiple tags where appropriate. The same theory applies with Evernote, and I've found that the labels I have in gMail translate almost one-for-one to what I want to store in Evernote too. So, for instance, there I have a "Shopping" label in gMail that I use for all order confirmations, shipping notes, invoices, returns correspondence, etc. I also have a FnF (Friends and Family) label. I don't need a separate "Gifts" label, because I can just label gift purchases with both the Shopping and the FnF label - i.e. Shopping for people I know and love. If you find yourself not sure whether tagA or tagB applies, you probably need to rethink your tags ;-).

Similarly, I have Software, Hardware, Gadgets, PC, Phone, Symbian, www, and by combining those I can identify things are online applications (Software + www), peripherals for my PC (PC + Hardware), etc. General Evernote-related email would be labelled Software + www + PC + Symbian; anything about Evernote on one of those platforms would just be Software + (and rely on the fact that it no doubt says Evernote somewhere in the detail to find JUST Evernote-related items! - If not, put Evernote in the title).

I can further combine the tags, so - for instance - I bought my sister a bluetooth handsfree kit for her car for Christmas. Tag/label it Shopping+FnF+Hardware+Phone, and it'll show up in searches for any or all of those tags.

The beauty of tags is not so much in their use on their own, as in their combinations, and the fact that you don't have to pigeonhole everything in just one place. To make things easier to identify in searching, use a full description with detail in the title (e.g. Jane winning 100m breaststroke at Thingummy school 3rd year end of term trials at Whatsit pool in Somewhereville). If search can't find the photo you're looking for with all that information in the title and a couple of appropriate tags (kids + swimming* + school), there's no hope! :D Even with reasonably small (and easy to remember) pool of tags, it's extremely rare that I feel I need to use more than 4 at a time.

Final tip: if it's sensible, having tags starting with different letters really cuts down on data entry time. If you only have one tag starting with "w", that's all you'll have to type - Evernote will fill in the rest for you (in some clients, at least).

Julie

* but only if swimming features large in your life. Otherwise, something more generic like "sports" may be more appropriate, otherwise you get back to the "tags for every little thing" overload. And if you have too many tags, you forget what you have and stop using them effectively. If even something as generic as Sports doesn't feature large in your life, don't have a tag for it at all, and rely on the item's title instead.

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There are several differences between the old categories and the new system. Off the top of my head:

* Select one or more categories. Move to FF and start clipping. Each new note will be automatically assigned those selected tags. Excellent for research. Now, you can only have new notes going into a pre-selected notebook, not the tags themselves.

* Categories could have filters on them. Think "saved search", but on any category/tag. In other words, if I typed the word @next into a note, I could have my @next category AUTOMAGICALLY assigned to all of those @next notes. The filters could get quite complicated, and are sorely missed. Saved searches are "similar", but more limited.

* Hierarchy of categories made more sense. If I had a hierarchy, and double clicked on the root, the category panel selected all categories - then the notes that were displayed in the tape were those notes that belonged to ANY of those categories. Think of doing a search now like "any: tag:root tag:childA tag:childB, etc."

Basically, the old categories have been split into Notebooks, Tags, and Saved Searches. They could behave like a notebook, i.e., "containment". They could behave like tags, i.e., multiple categories per note. They could behave liked Saved Searches. The beauty was that you could have whatever hierarchy you wanted, instead of having the functionality split into three segments.

As Crane describes, this was all much more functional in ver 2.2. Sure, there are lots of improvements in ver 3. But managing our data isn't one of them. For those who like to manage their data instead of tweaking their searches, ver 3 is a huge step backward in this area. The two big losses in my mind are the lack of auto tagging and hierarchical tags.

We all think and work differently. While I switched to ver 3 shortly after it came out, I still struggle with extracting data I need because I can't organize it the way I think.

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I've been testing Version 4 on windows.

I've just completed a migration from 'lots of notebooks' to ONE Notebook. Here's what I've done.

I tagged all notes in the 'Newsletters' notebook as 'Newsletters' tag. Then moved everything to my single notebook.

Move all 'Marketing' notes to the single notebook after tagging all notes in that notebook as 'Marketing'.

So, now I have tags - 'Marketing' and 'Newsletters'.

I've also create a 'Saved Search' - "Marketing Newsletters" that contains both tags.

With this approach, I've really made my life a lot easier, flexible.

I don't care for sub-notebooks.

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