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windows (Archived) Two "tag" questions

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Hi - I am a long term use of Evernote and pretty much use it to run my life. I certainly use it to apply Getting Things Done and find it fantastic.

But, two things I want to do with tags – and both these things have frustrated me for years. So I thought I'd try and find a definitive answer!

I know there has been other discussion about tags, but I can't find an answer to these particular frustrations of mine.

1. If I type a word into the search box, one heading which comes up is: "Tags" with a number after it in brackets, showing how many items are tagged with that tag. But when I click that tag, which I would expect intuitively to filter down to show just those items, it doesn't. I have to then click to "Filter by tag", and physically type in that tag.

Annoying!

 

Am I missing something?

 

The best I can find is:

 

- Type in the word

- Identify the particular tag I am interested in

- Type "tag:" in front of the word

Long-winded!

2. I don't have that many tags, but I do have about 100, I suppose. And sometimes I want to find a tag within my tag hierarchy. Let's say I have mistakenly added a new tag which I want to find and delete. I haven't found any way to search for my tags within the left-hand pane and identify where it is within the hierarchy. And it's not always obvious where the tag has gone to. So I end up searching, line by line through all the tags to find it (or just don't bother).

Has anyone got a quick way of searching within tags and seeing where it is in your hierarchy of tags?

I'm not moaning btw – Evernote is fantastic for me. But I'd love an answer to either or both of these questions.

Many thanks, Malc

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In the windows desktop client go to View > Left Panel and tick "show tags" (or hit F10).

 

Scroll down to the required tag and click.

 

To make life easier (and the list shorter) you can stack tags if necessary.

 

(For complicated searches,  use saved "tag:xxx" searches.)

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In the windows desktop client go to View > Left Panel and tick "show tags" (or hit F10).

 

Scroll down to the required tag and click.

 

To make life easier (and the list shorter) you can stack tags if necessary.

 

(For complicated searches,  use saved "tag:xxx" searches.)

 

Thanks – but the problem is actually finding the tag. I know I can scroll down and have a look through them, but there are a fair few – 3 screens to look through which is time-consuming.

Stacking tags actually makes it worse if they are minimised – because, again, you don't know if a particular tag is in the main list or a sub list.

For example, did you file your "Suitcases" tag within "Holidays" or "Leisure"?

It would be really handy to have a filter in place.

I agree this is not an enormous thing – but it's something I need regularly and over time would save quite a lot of time.

 

I realise there are saved searches, but I don't really think this helps me in this instance.

 

Malc

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As a worst case,  you could have stacks for initial letters so "Suitcases"* comes under "S" - 27 stacks,  one page.  Ish.  The extra stack is for numeric or symbol tags if you have them,  and some letters wouldn't be required - Q for example - unless you have a tag for Queequeeg in there somewhere.

 

I tend not to use tags for similar reasons - I have over 1,000 that built up when I was starting out but that got unmanageable.  If you have a search around here for discussions about tags,  you should find a few links to my estimable colleagues theories about good naming conventions.  A good note title allows you to find something easily - because you add in keywords and dates.

 

If you save items like "Socks - grey - suitcases - holiday" for instance,  you don't need a tag too.

 

 

* You have a tag for suitcases?!!   :)

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As a worst case,  you could have stacks for initial letters so "Suitcases"* comes under "S" - 27 stacks,  one page.  Ish.  The extra stack is for numeric or symbol tags if you have them,  and some letters wouldn't be required - Q for example - unless you have a tag for Queequeeg in there somewhere.

 

I tend not to use tags for similar reasons - I have over 1,000 that built up when I was starting out but that got unmanageable.  If you have a search around here for discussions about tags,  you should find a few links to my estimable colleagues theories about good naming conventions.  A good note title allows you to find something easily - because you add in keywords and dates.

 

If you save items like "Socks - grey - suitcases - holiday" for instance,  you don't need a tag too.

 

 

* You have a tag for suitcases?!!   :)

 

Cool – a tag for each letter is interesting. The problem is, remembering whether you're tag for that nice restaurant in London is "London dining", or "Dining – London", etc.

I agree, that fewer is better. When I swapped to using Evernote for time management. I deleted 95% of my tags and didn't notice the difference because of Evernote's great search facility.

But sometimes it is useful – as with the London dining example - because you often don't have those words within every relevant note. Agreed – it you can add extra words within the note and I sometimes do. But the tag is handy when you want to standardise things – maybe there are a number of synonyms for the topic involved, and you might have difficulty catching every note with your one search.

As I say, this isn't a huge deal is just something I come across occasionally, at which point I think: "wouldn't it be great if there was a way to filter your tags".

And no – I don't have a tag for suitcases LOL. That was just an example that came into my fevered brain.

Thanks for your thoughts

Malc

 

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Hi - I am a long term use of Evernote and pretty much use it to run my life. I certainly use it to apply Getting Things Done and find it fantastic.

But, two things I want to do with tags – and both these things have frustrated me for years. So I thought I'd try and find a definitive answer!

I know there has been other discussion about tags, but I can't find an answer to these particular frustrations of mine.

1. If I type a word into the search box, one heading which comes up is: "Tags" with a number after it in brackets, showing how many items are tagged with that tag. But when I click that tag, which I would expect intuitively to filter down to show just those items, it doesn't. I have to then click to "Filter by tag", and physically type in that tag.

Annoying!

 

Am I missing something?

 

The best I can find is:

 

- Type in the word

- Identify the particular tag I am interested in

- Type "tag:" in front of the word

Long-winded!

2. I don't have that many tags, but I do have about 100, I suppose. And sometimes I want to find a tag within my tag hierarchy. Let's say I have mistakenly added a new tag which I want to find and delete. I haven't found any way to search for my tags within the left-hand pane and identify where it is within the hierarchy. And it's not always obvious where the tag has gone to. So I end up searching, line by line through all the tags to find it (or just don't bother).

Has anyone got a quick way of searching within tags and seeing where it is in your hierarchy of tags?

I'm not moaning btw – Evernote is fantastic for me. But I'd love an answer to either or both of these questions.

Many thanks, Malc

 

The later Evernote v4 had a solution to both your problems, as you were able to place a tag search field in the toolbar, which would let you search within the full tag names as well as take you directly to your tag within a tag hierarchy in the left panel, by clicking on the search result. Unfortunately this option has been removed in v5.

 

What you can do now is click on "Tags" in the left panel, which will bring up all your tags in the note window. There you can use the search bar to find where you tag is. This function is still very buggy though, as it won't exactly point out where the tag is, but Evernote won't let you collapse the parent tags of your missing tag, and you can find it that way.

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The later Evernote v4 had a solution to both your problems, as you were able to place a tag search field in the toolbar, which would let you search within the full tag names as well as take you directly to your tag within a tag hierarchy in the left panel, by clicking on the search result. Unfortunately this option has been removed in v5.

 

What you can do now is click on "Tags" in the left panel, which will bring up all your tags in the note window. There you can use the search bar to find where you tag is. This function is still very buggy though, as it won't exactly point out where the tag is, but Evernote won't let you collapse the parent tags of your missing tag, and you can find it that way.

 

Yeah - that's exactly what I wanted! V4 LOL

 

Maybe they'll bring it back! Thx for the good information :)

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HeyMalc, given your desire to continue to use Tags to some degree, you may find the Tagging methodology developed at "The Secret Weapon" (TSW) web site by the GTD people to your liking. Here is a link to it: http://www.thesecretweapon.org/prepping-evernote-for-tsw. The methodology is wrapped around the 5 W's: Who, What, When, and Where, but is more elaborate than just that.

 

I use an abbreviated version of that methodology. I tag EN Notes like this:

  • P-XXXXX (where XXXXX is a person. These are my "Who" tags.)
  • T-XXXXX (where XXXXX is a topic. These are my "What" tags.)
  • 9-XXXXX (where D is a digit (1, 2, 3) and XXXXX is a sequence / priority indicator as described at the TSW web site). These are my "When" tags.)
  • L-XXXXX (where XXXXX is a location / place. These are my "Where" tags.)

One nice advantage of the above syntax for Tags is that when you are assigning a Tag to a Note and start typing the first letter (like "P") in the Tag field, EN filters the list of Tags down to those which start with that letter. This makes it faster to scroll the list of Tags and select one.

 

One final comment on my Tagging methodology that I described above. I found that I rarely used the "L-" tags. EN's geo-tagging feature was almost always good enough for my needs. Also, as I hardly use EN for task management, I now rarely use the "9-" tags, Finally, I almost always include keywords in the title of my Notes. So, "T-" tags were just extra work.

 

I hope you feel this response is helpful.

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HeyMalc, given your desire to continue to use Tags to some degree, you may find the Tagging methodology developed at "The Secret Weapon" (TSW) web site by the GTD people to your liking. Here is a link to it: http://www.thesecretweapon.org/prepping-evernote-for-tsw. The methodology is wrapped around the 5 W's: Who, What, When, and Where, but is more elaborate than just that.

 

I use an abbreviated version of that methodology. I tag EN Notes like this:

  • P-XXXXX (where XXXXX is a person. These are my "Who" tags.)
  • T-XXXXX (where XXXXX is a topic. These are my "What" tags.)
  • 9-XXXXX (where D is a digit (1, 2, 3) and XXXXX is a sequence / priority indicator as described at the TSW web site). These are my "When" tags.)
  • L-XXXXX (where XXXXX is a location / place. These are my "Where" tags.)

One nice advantage of the above syntax for Tags is that when you are assigning a Tag to a Note and start typing the first letter (like "P") in the Tag field, EN filters the list of Tags down to those which start with that letter. This makes it faster to scroll the list of Tags and select one.

 

One final comment on my Tagging methodology that I described above. I found that I rarely used the "L-" tags. EN's geo-tagging feature was almost always good enough for my needs. Also, as I hardly use EN for task management, I now rarely use the "9-" tags, Finally, I almost always include keywords in the title of my Notes. So, "T-" tags were just extra work.

 

I hope you feel this response is helpful.

Hi Analyst - The Secret Weapon is what first alerted me to the possibility of using Evernote to implement Getting Things Done. I do use tags beginning 1 to 6 to prioritise my To Dos; I use the @ for people - @Martin (IT support), etc - and all my "what" tags, representing projects, begin with the code such as "IM03 HeyMalc Redevelopment".... - my third Internet marketing project tag. One important refinement of my own system - which I am branding Timology – is that it addresses project management in some detail, whereas Braintoniq, The Secret Weapon's creator, tells me he overlooked this.

I talk more about how I use Evernote for time management on my blog at HeyMalc, if of interest  :) 

Anyway, back to tags. It's the remaining tags which I am having the trouble with. I do focus on minimising the tags are used because, as you imply, they are mainly a waste of time because searches so good. But sometimes it is useful to have a tag to link fairly disparate items together which you want to be linked together.

Being able to call a tag up in when you start typing is the sort of useful and intuitive feature I would like when searching for a tag in the tag list. But I haven't been able to find a way to do this. I completely missed the ability to do this, which was, apparently, in version 4, as Gustavgi mentioned above.

This would be the very useful feature, although not crucial, I appreciate.

I think I will just have to put in a feature request at Evernote, and then when I have time, just go through and prune my tags. I always seem to have a few with only one note applied to them. So I can probably get rid of those.

Thanks for your thoughts

Malc

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OK, here's the way I do it. I don't worry about tag management. I build tag trees, sure, but since tags can mean more than one thing (just like words in language), but can only exist in one place in the hierarchy, I just stick them in one place that seems appropriate and don't worry about it. I'm not slavish or obsessive about this; I'm just not going to let tags run my life. It also helps that I don't maintain a very high number of tags, about 200 at last count. For the rare number of times that I want to do some tag management, it's not that big a deal. And that's also why the lost of the feature from 4.x doesn't really bother me. I don't use the tag tree and generally just keep it closed in the left panel. Out of sight, out of mind, and less clutter. The lack of pleasure traipsing up and down hierarchy trees looking for something its the reason I don't need subnotebooks in Evernote either.

Re tag searches: The UI for the search control in the toolbar can be confusing; I'm still not convinced that it's right, though I still use it. But for tag searches, try using the search control that lives directly over the note list. There's a bright blue tag icon on the right-hand side. Click it to start a tag search (or click on the text below that says "Click to filter by tag..."); you'll see a dropdown menu pop up below -- start typing a tag name or just scroll through the list. Pick one. A new list pops up that's been filtered to tags that apply to the current selection. Pick another one, and so forth.

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OK, here's the way I do it. I don't worry about tag management. I build tag trees, sure, but since tags can mean more than one thing (just like words in language), but can only exist in one place in the hierarchy, I just stick them in one place that seems appropriate and don't worry about it. I'm not slavish or obsessive about this; I'm just not going to let tags run my life. It also helps that I don't maintain a very high number of tags, about 200 at last count. For the rare number of times that I want to do some tag management, it's not that big a deal. And that's also why the lost of the feature from 4.x doesn't really bother me. I don't use the tag tree and generally just keep it closed in the left panel. Out of sight, out of mind, and less clutter. The lack of pleasure traipsing up and down hierarchy trees looking for something its the reason I don't need subnotebooks in Evernote either.

Re tag searches: The UI for the search control in the toolbar can be confusing; I'm still not convinced that it's right, though I still use it. But for tag searches, try using the search control that lives directly over the note list. There's a bright blue tag icon on the right-hand side. Click it to start a tag search (or click on the text below that says "Click to filter by tag..."); you'll see a dropdown menu pop up below -- start typing a tag name or just scroll through the list. Pick one. A new list pops up that's been filtered to tags that apply to the current selection. Pick another one, and so forth.

 

Hi Jeff - I have fewer than 200 tags. I have around 50 relating to my time management methods, and maybe 70 or 80 others which are useful for one reason or another. If they are not useful than I don't add one – I use search. If I do add them it is for a reason and I want to find them sometimes!

I hadn't picked up on the tag search feature – I've just noticed that sometimes it was there, and sometimes it wasn't. So thanks for drawing my attention to the little blue tag icon.

The problem with this tag search is that you have to know how the tag starts exactly because it filters from the first letter. So, if you type in quotes "coach" it won't find a tag "monthly coaching": you have to type in "monthly".

The general search does allow me to search within tags and will identify the tag. But, annoyingly, once it's done so if I click on the tag in the drop down from the general search dialogue it does not show me the notes with that tag! It acts as if it's going to - it redisplays content - but it doesn't filter, it just seems to display the same content.

So, if you can't remember exactly how you're tag started, you have to:

- go to the general search

- type in a word you know it contains

- read and remember the tag that comes up in the drop-down dialogue

- go and type it in to the tag search field

- click on the tag to display the tagged notes

Bloody 'ell!! What a palaver!

If clicking on the tag showing up in the general search displayed the note tagged with that tag, then all would be fine and dandy.

Best, Malc :)

 

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The general search does allow me to search within tags and will identify the tag. But, annoyingly, once it's done so if I click on the tag in the drop down from the general search dialogue it does not show me the notes with that tag! It acts as if it's going to - it redisplays content - but it doesn't filter, it just seems to display the same content.

 

 

 

That's a bug. Make sure you are using the latest version, as a number of users have reported that it has been resolved in the latest versions, including myself.

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The general search does allow me to search within tags and will identify the tag. But, annoyingly, once it's done so if I click on the tag in the drop down from the general search dialogue it does not show me the notes with that tag! It acts as if it's going to - it redisplays content - but it doesn't filter, it just seems to display the same content.

 

 

 

That's a bug. Make sure you are using the latest version, as a number of users have reported that it has been resolved in the latest versions, including myself.

 

 

Yes, tag bug is resolved in 5.0.2 Beta - but same bug for notebooks still stays

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That's a bug. Make sure you are using the latest version, as a number of users have reported that it has been resolved in the latest versions, including myself.

 

 

Strange - the bug is still there for me and I am on the latest version, 5.1.2.2387.

 

I put in a query to EN support an hour ago, so when they come back I will clarify it with them. Might need to reinstall I suppose.

 

Thanks for your input. Just pleased to know it's a bug :)

 

Malc

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That's a bug. Make sure you are using the latest version, as a number of users have reported that it has been resolved in the latest versions, including myself.

 

 

Strange - the bug is still there for me and I am on the latest version, 5.1.2.2387.

 

I put in a query to EN support an hour ago, so when they come back I will clarify it with them. Might need to reinstall I suppose.

 

Thanks for your input. Just pleased to know it's a bug :)

 

Malc

 

I use the Search Explanation panel (View / SHow Search Explanation) to help figure out what Evernote is using for the search. You can also save the search and examine the search expression that results. Here's what I see:

 

I use the Search Current Context setting almost exclusively (chose it from the dropdown from the magnifying glass).

I clear my search (using the F6 shortcut).

I start typing the name of a tag in the search control; when the auto-match kicks in, the Suggestions menu drops down. Let's say I type "dev" (for development, a notebook name and a tag in my system). At this point, the Search Explanation shows a straight text search for whatever I've typed. In this case, the search query would be: dev

 

I may see suggestions for text matches, notebooks, tags, recent searches, and saved searches. If I pick:

 

* A text match suggestion: the search stays a text search, with "dev" replaced by whatever I pick, e.g. "development". Now my search is: development. Moreover, the text in the search control changes to whatever I've picked.

 

* A notebook suggestion: The search changes to a mixed notebook search plus a text search, using the notebook I've chosen, plus the text that I've typed so far. So in our example, if I type "dev" and pick the notebook "development", then the search becomes: notebook:development dev.  This is not a straight notebook search.

* A tag suggestion: Similar to the notebook suggestion, the search changes to a mixed tag search plus a text search, using the tag I've chosen, plus the text that I've typed so far. So in our example, if I type "dev" and pick the tag "development", then the search becomes: dev tag:development. This is not a straight tag search.

 

* A recent search suggestion: Similar to the text match suggestion, the current search text is wholly replaced by the text from the suggestion, and that's what the search becomes.

 

* A saved search suggestion: In this case, the current search text is replaced by the text of the saved search, and that's what the search becomes.

 

I use these a lot, and my experience, right up to the current 5.2 prerelease, is that they behave as I've described, and have for some time. It's not clear to me what is going on with the reported "tag search broken bug", but the first step towards understanding what's going on is to, well, describe what's going on. The fact that selecting a tag in the suggestions dropdown *does not* result in a straight tag search (instead, it's a mixed tag and text search) may be the difference. I'd agree that the behavior is potentially confusing, but it's not clear to me that it's not by design (feel free to chime in on what's intended, Evernote staff!!). If you think that the search is incorrect, it's really helpful to use the Search Explanation panel to figure out what the search really is, as opposed to what you think it might be.

 

My experience, I'm happy to report that tag search is *not* broken (i.e., an underlying search query that uses tag: works the way it's supposed to, and the way that it has for a long time). On the other hand, I think that it's a given that when the use of the search control to select a tag suggestion can lead to a search that the user is not expecting, that's a problem.

 

In the case that gustavgi cites, I'd guess that no change in the filtering occurred because a straight text search also searches tags and titles, and a text search of, e.g. "xyz" (what the note list was showing before the suggestion was chosen) is pretty much equivalent to the same text search plus a tag that begins with "xyz", e.g. "xyz tag:xyz123" (the note list produced after the suggestion was chosen). Given that, the results *should* be the same, since the search for "xyz" is already going to find notes that have tags that start with "xyz". Of course, without knowing the exact sequence, it's hard to tell if whether that's what actually happened.

 

Again, I'd welcome Evernote's take on what the intent of the design is. I found the behavior surprising at first, but now I know how it does work, and I can deal with that.

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I use the Search Explanation panel (View / SHow Search Explanation) to help figure out what Evernote is using for the search. You can also save the search and examine the search expression that results. Here's what I see:

 

I use the Search Current Context setting almost exclusively (chose it from the dropdown from the magnifying glass).

 

Brill! I'd not noticed that "Search Current Context" option before either!

 

That does the job :)

 

As you say, not quite sure why it's arranged that way, but it achieves the exact result I want.

 

Many thanks Jeff!

Malc

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I use the Search Explanation panel (View / SHow Search Explanation) to help figure out what Evernote is using for the search. You can also save the search and examine the search expression that results. Here's what I see:

 

I use the Search Current Context setting almost exclusively (chose it from the dropdown from the magnifying glass).

 

Brill! I'd not noticed that "Search Current Context" option before either!

 

That does the job :)

 

As you say, not quite sure why it's arranged that way, but it achieves the exact result I want.

 

Many thanks Jeff!

Malc

 

You're welcome. Search Current Context is what I use all the time; I was confused about search until I found it. I think that that would make a better default than Search All Notes, as I guess you do too.

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I use the Search Explanation panel (View / SHow Search Explanation) to help figure out what Evernote is using for the search. You can also save the search and examine the search expression that results. Here's what I see:

 

I use the Search Current Context setting almost exclusively (chose it from the dropdown from the magnifying glass).

 

Brill! I'd not noticed that "Search Current Context" option before either!

 

That does the job :)

 

As you say, not quite sure why it's arranged that way, but it achieves the exact result I want.

 

Many thanks Jeff!

Malc

 

You're welcome. Search Current Context is what I use all the time; I was confused about search until I found it. I think that that would make a better default than Search All Notes, as I guess you do too.

 

Yeah - ten times better!

 

:)

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