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LindaLaga

android prioritize everything: tasks, paragraphs, notes, notebooks

Idea

would be great to be able to prioritize everything in evernote by dragging it up or down. Dragging is currently not used for anything in evernote. imagine putting the finger on a note and dragging it up and then it stays there at that position in the list. simillarly with notebooks or with lines or tasks within a note. to differentiate scrolling the screen from dragging, one could require the user to do an additional gesture first, in order to mark what should be dragged. For example put one finger to the beginning and the other finger to the end of a line / task /  note / notebook. in case of notes and notebooks, this "prioritize by dragging" feature would de facto mean, that apart from abc and time order there would be a user defined order.

 

there are workarounds for this, such as adding numbers or letters to the beginning of the title or using tags ("important" "very important"), but I think it does not need much explanation that this is not by far the same in terms of usability.

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This type of manual ranking or sorting has been requested in some other threads in the past.  I agree it would be a wonderful addition to EN.  In order to accomplish this there would need to be a new sort option created, with one of the sort options being "by rank" or something like that.

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Yup;  raised before,  duly noted by developers - up to them whether and when a revised sort option could be available.  Meantime workarounds are where it's at...

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indeed this has been raised before - but I have seen it only as a request for windows. Have you seen it for other platforms? If so, apologies. I think it would actually be the very most important for android and ios. when you have so little space, then prioritizing is what I would wish the most. having a huge messy bulk of ideas is just the opposite of the very idea of evernote, which I understand as a tool for "remembering everything". if things become too messy, then they are lost just as if they wouldn't be saved at all. or, if I cannot find that note or notebook, where I want to add a thought, then I search until I forgot what it was. lost again. to be honest, I feel that as wonderful the idea of evernote is, currently, it is optimal rather for light users who have few notes and few notebooks, or pc users where you have lots of space and hence good overview. I wish that evernote stays in business and continues producing great tools, but for that they need to address better the heavy users who have many notes and many notebooks AND do this on their phone.

 

so, if you think alike, please support this idea with your comments, just that the developers of evernote see this kind invitation to please add this feature. see that we love their tool and want more of it. and yes, I would pay 10 times the price of the pro version for a tool that can do what I need.

 

cheers to all! :)

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LindaLaga,

I think it's pretty clear to Evernote that we want to see any of the suggestions/feature requests we most want, implemented across all the platforms. Especially since it's fast becoming the norm for individuals to have multiple devices.

And, as Gaz himself has pointed out a number of times, us Android users, would very much like to stop being treated as the disliked stepchild. Which, thankfully, it seems they are starting to "hear" if the last Android update is any indication. ;):)

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@LindaLaga

 

I'm told there are folks out there who have hit the 100,000 note limit,  and there have been comments in the forums from others who were having issues with the 250 notebook limit (and maybe the two overlap) but it seems pretty clear that there are folks who use Evernote fairly intensively and are managing to do so without major problems - other than running out of space.  Even that's not  major issue - you can always start additional accounts to archive anything not requiring frequent edits.

 

I'm a runt by comparison - just on 17,000 notes,  most of those in one notebook;  but I definitely feel I'm a 'heavy user'.  I converted a one-room library of reference and archive material into a couple of folders and a datafile that lives on my laptop (and gets backed up lots!!) and I run websites, blogs, one main business and my (and the family's) personal lives using Evernote Windows and Android daily.  I do use lots of other apps and software - despite the reminder system I'm still wedded to an external to-do app;  I use Mind Mapping,  Word Processing, Spreadsheets,  image handling,  and blogging software all because though Evernote might overlap one or more functions,  these guys started first and still do it better.  Lots  of output files get attached to notes though,  so they're available on other platforms when I work away.

 

Evernote has been part of that for nearly 10 years,  but it grew into its present usage gradually as more and more features were added.  The Android version particularly has grown in usefulness,  though I refer to it mainly for lookups and as a data-input for scanning objects too large or lumpy to go into the ScanSnap and taking exploded pictures of things I took apart.  (Mysteriously I still get that spare item left after it all goes back together...).

 

So I don't think Evernote needs development before you can use it intensively - it just requires that you use it in such a way that you can find things again reliably.  GIven that you have Stacks, Notebooks, Notes, tags and rather good searches,  not to mention reminders, "related notes" and a variety of views (lists, snippets etc),  I'd respectfully suggest that if you lose data in there,  it ain't Evernote's structure that's at fault.  

 

I'm at that 'mature' stage in life when memory gets rather less reliable than I think it was,  and I'll freely confess to having lost information in there - temporarily - because I forgot how I tagged it.  But if you try different searches,  or (worst case) put the notes in creation date order and start scrolling back,  you will find it again!  Then'll I'll move,  retitle / retag and add more keywords to the note(s) so the darn things don't hide from me again!!

 

Evernote is getting better,  often in untrumpeted ways (pun intended,  sorry..) like it used to be the case that clipping from a web page to a Note in Android,  all you'd get would be the URL,  not the content.  In the current Beta that I'm using (and I don't know how long this feature has been available) you now get the actual web page.  Many complaints in the past that this didn't happen,  but no grateful thanks (AFAIK) yet to Evernote that this now works!

 

(I'd just like to take this opportunity to genuinely thank the Android devs for this little Easter egg   :))

 

- and @Wordsgood I don't think I ever have complained about Android being treated as a "disliked stepchild".  I do winge a bit when these fantastic new apps appear.. that are iOS only with Android in development and 'coming soon' - but I realise that few companies have the funds to develop both OS's in tandem,  and it would be commercially dumb to commit to a multi-app launch with extra costs and no guarantee that a more popular app doesn't launch on the same day you chose...

 

I have no problems with Evernote for Android - the devs work to their own schedule,  and sometimes it's ahead of iOS and sometimes its behind..  but we're still able to choose our own picture size from VGA to 8MP so there!

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An important part of Evernote useability is speed.
Search Speed is a critical part of its success.
I prefer a lean and fast Evernote client.

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@gazumped: I highly appreciate your detailed post and agree 100% that one can manage well many many more notes and notebooks than I have. But how to do the following? I am clueless:

- I have an ever growing list of ideas on how to tackle a problem

- trying out an approach is costly and takes a while. so it is very important that really the best idea is used (-> priorities)

- frequently I have new information (e.g. from trying out one of the ideas) that often re-prioritizes the whole list of ideas

- the text associated with these ideas is not just a line (so one could use google tasks) but it is a few paragraphs (how and what to do and why etc.)

 

Concrete examples: such a "problem" are: scientific problems where experiments need to be done in order to find out about the nature of things. or it can be purchasing equipment or software, where there are different products (and whenever I become aware of an additional important criterion relevant to my purpose, then the whole list of priorities changes again).

 

I hope my description is now a bit more specific now and makes also clear why I am so utterly depending on draggin priorities up and down. I tried so far: adding numbers to the beginning of the name. its so awkward. I thought of using tags but that would be only good for categories such as "very good, ..., poor" or "very important, ... , junk". I must say I am really clueless. Maybe I was just wrong to believe that evernote is for this? 

 

 

@jbenson: where would you see a decrease in speed because of the custom order feature? custom order would be represented technically simply by an integer code in the data of the note or notepad. so from technical point of view, it would be exactly the same as the date by which evernote sorts currently, which also translates into nothing else than an integer. in both cases it is a simple sort to make the order according to that int number! so there is no way it takes even a millisecond longer than the sort by date! - but yet, I agree to the fullest that speed is absolutely more important than features. this is why I chose evernote over googledocs.

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@jbenson: where would you see a decrease in speed because of the custom order feature? custom order would be represented technically simply by an integer code in the data of the note or notepad. so from technical point of view, it would be exactly the same as the date by which evernote sorts currently, which also translates into nothing else than an integer. in both cases it is a simple sort to make the order according to that int number! so there is no way it takes even a millisecond longer than the sort by date! - but yet, I agree to the fullest that speed is absolutely more important than features. this is why I chose evernote over googledocs.

 

You might be correct, but manual re-positioning of a variety of information seems like a slippery slope.

 

What caught my eye was the breadth of your title. Evernote does not sort by paragraphs. And manual sorting by Notes and Notebooks has been requested for several years with no indication that Evernote will move in that direction.

 

In the past 6 months, others have run into speed issues involving sync'ing when their Evernote gets large. I have 30,000 notes and find the re-sync process after changing the sort method (from date created to note size) very time consuming. I bought a 2nd Evernote premium account and split the data into the two accounts. It runs better now, but I hope that is not what Evernote wants users to do.

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@LindaLaga - I'd agree that dragging notes around is probably the best way to handle that sort of use.  It sounds somewhat like my use of Mind Mapping - If I need (forinstance) to collate all the various ways to fix a techical fault and some of the answers only apply if a previous fix failed,  and different ones apply to different OS's,  and I'm still getting a full list together of all the fixes.  Each individual 'fix' description may be copies of web page(s),  screenshots,  PDF files etc..

 

So my solution was to keep all my fixes in Evernote,  but to use a mind-mapping app (there are lots) into which I can copy and paste the note Titles (I use very descriptive titles) and URLs.  I can string the note links together in a network and move them around as and when I find more information - I can even identify gaps that I need to fill.

 

You could do (maybe) something similar with tags but it would inevitably be less flexible or immediate - and like you I need something that will work effectively now and doesn't need me to go through a learning curve.

 

THat was kinda my point about working with lots of other software - I use Evernote for stuff it's very good at like storing and displaying content on demand,  but I don't try to bend it too far to fit the task at hand.  If there's a working option with other software I'll take the easiest route forward.

 

(And I agree with JB too - the real priority is to make/ keep Evernote as transparent as possible to the clipping and finding process.  Changing things to introduce a new layout option wouldn't necessarily detract from current performance,  but the effort diverts resources from that main aim.)

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hey gaz & jb, thank you both! - good that you wrote down these - it needs people like you to tell me that this feature has been requested for so many years. this saves me more posts and more hoping that this will be done one day. and the push from gaz to look for other tools finally made me take the time to try yet another round of toolsearching... and yes tehre is almost all i want: 2do. I played around with it for an hour on android and it is almost exactly what I want for the described purpose. while it does not have drag & drop of notes, one can individually order the folders and one can at least very conveniently assign priority categories to notes (they call them tasks) and then the order within the folder is made according to them. I will keep evernote for grocery lists and other such mundane things - I dont want to miss that pretty green icon with that trustworthy elephant :) :))

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@Gazumped, sorry, was meant in humour. :) Whinge away, I don't take it seriously.

You're right though, the latest Android upgrade is very nice!

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You might be correct, but manual re-positioning of a variety of information seems like a slippery slope.

 

jbenson, a rare moment of disagreement.  I use two different programs that use stack ranking.  It detracts from nothing and is an indispensable feature for many users.  It's really no different than being able to sort by title or time created or any other field, this just happens to add a field title "rank" (whether visible as a column or hidden) that is able to be manually adjusted by the user.  In fact both programs I use it in added it based on user requests and there was no downside whatsoever.

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You might be correct, but manual re-positioning of a variety of information seems like a slippery slope.

 

jbenson, a rare moment of disagreement.  I use two different programs that use stack ranking.  It detracts from nothing and is an indispensable feature for many users.  It's really no different than being able to sort by title or time created or any other field, this just happens to add a field title "rank" (whether visible as a column or hidden) that is able to be manually adjusted by the user.  In fact both programs I use it in added it based on user requests and there was no downside whatsoever.

 

 

Thanks for the clarification. Consider my comment retracted. Sorry to Linda as well.

 

If it has no impact on speed, and considering the request has been made many, many times over the past five years, it makes me wonder why Evernote has not implemented it. Just not a priority for their roadmap? I guess we will never know.

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@zzz: what are these two programs u use?

 

it is so little what i would like to get:

- order chunks of text according to user priorities

- text space big enough for a few paragraphs

- available on android and mac, sync these

 

I just wonder why it is so difficult to find this... am i the first to ask for such a simple thing...?

 

all work arounds i found so far are utmost tedious:

- put numbers into the beginning of evernote note headings, sort according to headings

- mark text chunks in google drive docs and cut-and-paste them elsewhere in the doc

- assign priorities to 2do tasks (so far the best, but many annoyances such as frequent crashes on android)

 

thanks in advance!

Edited by LindaLaga

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@jb: 

 

 

> If it has no impact on speed, and considering the request has been made many, many times over the past five years, it makes me wonder why Evernote has not implemented it. Just not a priority for their roadmap? I guess we will never know

 

an additional point of wondering: there are really better tools for user feedback & feature requests than this discussion board. I recall a tool, that has voting. so users can vote on the suggestions of each other. I think it was "user voice" but dont quote me on that. it makes immediately obvious what are the features that are wanted by thousands of users. and it does not cost almost no effort from the developers, no time intensive answering etc, just for the most wanted features a little status flag if they consider it, currently do it or completed it. the evernote guys surely work hard and surely are very, very tech savvy. it is impossible they do not know about such tools, totally impossible. in this discussion board I noticed that one of the favourite topics is guessing or thinking what the evernote developers know, think about or do. as you write: "I guess we will never know"

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@jb: 

 

 

> If it has no impact on speed, and considering the request has been made many, many times over the past five years, it makes me wonder why Evernote has not implemented it. Just not a priority for their roadmap? I guess we will never know

 

an additional point of wondering: there are really better tools for user feedback & feature requests than this discussion board. I recall a tool, that has voting. so users can vote on the suggestions of each other. I think it was "user voice" but dont quote me on that. it makes immediately obvious what are the features that are wanted by thousands of users. and it does not cost almost no effort from the developers, no time intensive answering etc, just for the most wanted features a little status flag if they consider it, currently do it or completed it. the evernote guys surely work hard and surely are very, very tech savvy. it is impossible they do not know about such tools, totally impossible. in this discussion board I noticed that one of the favourite topics is guessing or thinking what the evernote developers know, think about or do. as you write: "I guess we will never know"

 

 

There are boards with voting tools,  but they can quickly get out of hand which is possibly why you don't see that as a standard feature in all user forums.  It's fine if your users are organised enough to check whether their idea has already been suggested,  see another comment that overlaps with their own and just vote for it - but in practice you get lots of suggestions that overlap heavily with wildly differing votes;  unrealistic and totally impractical ideas that get top votes,  and things that you're already working on getting no interest.  When a low voted item gets added,  and the top voted one is missing for weeks or months,  users start complaining about the developers ignoring their wishes...  and you're back to the same sort of discussions we're used to here...

 

I know Evernote were looking at something a little while ago - maybe we will see changes,  but who knows?...   End of the day it's Evernote's product,  so they get to choose!

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@zzz: what are these two programs u use?

 

They are not note taking programs so I don't think they will be useful to you.  The one I used it in the most is OnTime which is an agile development program, they show a screenshot here.  Ranking is a very common feature in project management programs where you need to be able to rank the order things need to be done in, so I've seen it in many of those programs.

 

As far as note programs I believe it's possible with OneNote, though with OneNote you give up alphabetical sorting, in case you need both.  InfoQube is a rather "esoteric" high-end PIM for PC only that can do it.  Some other ones that come to mind that i think do it are Rightnote.

 

But OneNote is the only one of those that in addition to PC does mobile, it has an Android and iOS app, no idea if you can rank using the mobile apps though.  Since I think Microsoft just made OneNote free you might want to check that out, it is very powerful.  There may be many others that do it, there are a ton of note taking apps out there for mobile.

 

For me EN is still the best but I can live without this feature even though I'd like to have it.

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Thanks zzz! - well, unfortunately, onenote does not do it. I tested all the names you mentioned and indeed they are as you say not available on android... I feel I give up the search, costs too much time... I just feel I would be happy to pay several times the yearly price of EN pro and no one wants the money :)

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all in all, after evaluating evernote and many many others for a few weeks, here is the result: I must use a different tool for every feature I need:

 

my MOBILE NOTE-TAKING ZOO (take it as a private comparison / ranking / review for mobile note-taking software):

 

1. evernote

excellent: search features. one can search for keywords in multiple documents. so when you do not know where you wrote down something, EN will find it for you. 

bad: the good search capabilities are really necessary in EN, because systematising and ordering notes is poor: there are only 2 levels of hierarchy (notebooks & stacks). so you don't get any propoer directory system. this renders EN problematic for taking notes for a book for example. various people try workarounds with naming conventions, tags, etc, but this is not how things should be.

good: sync is really fast. I guess they achieve this by keeping the data volumens of notes small...

bad: if a sync conflict occurs then there is no help at all: they put me a second copy of the conflicted note to the bottom of the notebook (in android. on the mac they have a better solution). this I will not notice. also they give me not the slightest hint what on earth the conflict should be. all I can do is to go through manually and compare manually. poor.

the really bad about EN: the software is in a state such as word 6.0 was at that time: tons of features but bugs and annoyances everywhere. this is I guess the fault of us, the users: valuing features over quality   :o). my favourite most annoying problem: often I am presented with a message such as "this note cannot be displayed because of unsupported formatting". hey f*ck you, your application did that formatting!!!! so, to make it clear: you can switch on the "simplify format on insertion" option on the mac version, but that will not prevent from "unsupported formatting" on mobile. that is, various EN plattforms cannot read each other's "unsupported formatting". currently I am, again, looking for alternatives to EN because this is really too much. fed up.

and the second worst: the whole inconsistent design: everything works everywhere differently. the most obvious example: if you want to do something with a notebook, press the right corner, if you want to do simillar things with a note, longpress. but that is 1 example out of 20 such ones. fire UI designer and HCI specialist immediately, but I doubt they have one at all. for testing, hire a grandma and if the grandma can remember what to do where then the HCI concept is is good ;D

 

2. google drive

Since a few weeks, drive has full offline editing on android. with this feature it became better than EN in many regards, not only for  document editing but also for EN-style note taking. they can do almost all what EN can, but in addition: 

+ one can use colors in documents on android, in EN one cannot. there is a nice set of ways to mark text such as underlining or bold face, but no colors

+ sort documents by name on android (EN does it only on pc or mac)

+ unlimited hierarchies (EN has only notebooks and stacks, that is 2 levels. drive has a proper folder system)

+ consistent formatting and editing of documents (fully inconsistent in EN, I use mac and android. I often had texts created on one of these not even displaying on the other, let alone editing)

 

where they score equal:

= speed: while drive takes a bit longer to open a document, you can edit immediately. in EN one first has to tap the pen symbol and then one can tap the location where one wants to edit. alltogether, EN is more speedy for reading notes while drive is more speedy for editing them

= screen space: both apps waste screen space by displaying always the formatting bar, if the user wants that, uses that or not.

= both can add shortcuts to the home screen, in EN really easy via the menu, in drive one has to do it over the android widgets. this difference in easyness does not matter as this is sthg one usually does not do often

 

drive does less well than EN in the following:

- adding photos is possible but not so easy

- speed of sync if there is a new file or new directory. with drive on android, I waited often an hour for a new file or directory to appear that I have previously created on my mac. the only way I found to speed this up was to sign out and sig in. this forces drive to sync properly.

- search is only on file name level in drive, or inside a single document.

 

resolved problems in drive: earlier, I used drive extensively, but dropped it in favour of EN because:

it needed at least a minimal network connection and hence often refused editing in a train. this avoided version conflicts, but prevented offline work. this major issue is now resolved.

 

conclusion from this EN vs drive comparison: both are good for taking a lot of small notes. for me, EN's capability of syncing fast and the excellent search outweights a tiny bit the many deficiencies it has. both are not mature enough when it comes to editing large documents on a mobile phone. in addition to taking notes, I wanted to put a larger document online on which I am working often. as a single file it seems hopeless at the current state of these apps. but chopping chapterwise into small docs I hoped it will work. it did not. using EN on android, the lack of a proper directory system along with the inability of EN to sort files by name prevents it. using drive, the lack of good search features over multiple documents prevents it. - I could not search the collection of files aas if they were one document, which is prohibitive if there are many many chapters (files).

 
 

3. google keep

if I need a reminder on going home or on arriving in another city. it really works. location based reminders. EN can't do that, there were several requests I have seen, but not yet implemented. 

 

 

4. 2do

the only app I found that can do fast prioritizing of notes. there is quite some project management clutter around, nice if you need that, I do not. I would like to see more of my text notes, but it shows me only 2 lines plus the title. and it has no full user defined ordering of notes, but only a 5 categories priorities, but well, at least this one. changing them is a pleasure: just tap the priority symbol on the right and assign the new priority and the note is sorted automatically into the list of notes according to the new priority. and there are a few user defined "notebooks" (they have another name for it) one can put in really any order and have a nice tab on the left to access that notebook or list immediately any time.

 

--- from here on unusable SW ---

 

5. onenote - just not mature enough. even moving notes between folders is not possible...

 

6. officesuite - I just tested officesuite to see if it is suitable for note taking. not really. saving is simply too slow, at least if it is to dropbox. you cannot just note down something in a second and go to another note in another second, because in between one waits for saving things. if there would not be this speed problem, at least in one regard I would substantially prefer officesuite over EN: they do not waste so much of the anywise small screen size by a formatting bar! so simple idea! so bad in EN! why on earth do they show the formatting bar all the time in EN?? just to eat up my screen size... poor UI design, again.

Edited by LindaLaga
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would be great to be able to prioritize everything in evernote by dragging it up or down. Dragging is currently not used for anything in evernote. imagine putting the finger on a note and dragging it up and then it stays there at that position in the list. simillarly with notebooks or with lines or tasks within a note. to differentiate scrolling the screen from dragging, one could require the user to do an additional gesture first, in order to mark what should be dragged. For example put one finger to the beginning and the other finger to the end of a line / task / note / notebook. in case of notes and notebooks, this "prioritize by dragging" feature would de facto mean, that apart from abc and time order there would be a user defined order.

there are workarounds for this, such as adding numbers or letters to the beginning of the title or using tags ("important" "very important"), but I think it does not need much explanation that this is not by far the same in terms of usability.

Prioritizing & manually ordering notes is not what Evernote is about. Some of the issues have been discussed in other threads. I doubt this is even on their own to-do list.

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Hi, I have also been using evernote for some time and missing prioritizing. I have even been thinking about making my own app, but I found this http://ticktick.com/. It's not very complex, but I believe it has all what you need in this case.

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I find prioritizing to be a central function of my 'external brain', which is Evernote. My philosophical design question is: Why would you store (a lot of) information if it's not easy to prioritize that information?

 

I definitely don't have a need to prioritize every Notebook in Evernote. Just a few of them. AND it makes me crazy that the 'Sort by:' option in Evernote is currently GLOBAL. Once I change it it affects ALL of my notebooks.

In my current reality I have to keep switching the (global) sort order depending on which notebook I'm working with = I'm doing tedious work that could be taken care of by the program. 

 

My suggestions for improvement:

1) Keep the 'Sort by:' option global by default AND let me define per Notebook a different sorting order.

This would not (hopefully) affect overall performance of Evernote as these different sort orders would be only for those few selected notebooks and others could go by the global default.

2) I find the suggestion of 'manual' sort order to be great. Why couldn't that be one of the 'Sort by' options? +1 for that.

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Posted · Hidden by gazumped, September 17, 2015 - spam, I think...?
Hidden by gazumped, September 17, 2015 - spam, I think...?

hi. im new to evernote what are your favorite.features

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