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I have spent probably too much time thinking about how to best make use of tags at both the data entry and search phases of using Evernote. I want to make these suggestions for future enhancements to Evernote's tagging capability.

 

/ Allow a preference to force Evernote to display only tags already used in a notebook when I am tagging a new or existing note in the notebook. I have lots of tags on disparate subjects. Finding the right tags can be hard because of the number of tags and cumbersome because many tags will apply only to a subset of notebooks (e.g., notebooks in a particular stack). Of course, if I type in a tag that has not been previously used in the notebook, Evernote would either add a new tag (if the tag is not in the Evernote database at all) or apply the existing tag and thereafter show it as having been used in that notebook. This capability would be especially useful in the web clipper.

 

/ Allow a preference to force Evernote to apply all parent tags of a child tag when the child tag is applied to a note.

 

/ Enhance tag searching to understand date values so that I can search tags that contain date values (i.e., mm/dd/yy or yyyymmdd) using operators such as "after" or "before" or "between".

 

/ Enhance tag searching to allow mathematical comparison operators on tags that have numerical values (e.g., > and < and = and != and <= and =>).

 

/ Allow tagging of notebooks.

 

Also,

 

+1 for a tag merging capability. Multiple tags with similar or identical meaning (e.g., singular and plural) happen all the time. Yes, I know I can search for all notes with Tag-A and then apply Tag-B.

 

Thanks for considering.

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Some of your date-related requests exist, if I understand your request correctly:

See this website for more details. relevant extract below: http://dev.evernote.com/doc/articles/search_grammar.php

 

 

created:[datetime] - will match any note that has a 'created' timestamp that is equal to, or more recent than, the provided datetime. (See Section C.2 for details on the legal format of the datetime argument.) E.g.:

  • created:20070704
    • Matches notes that were created on or after July 4th, 2007, based on the client's timezone.
  • created:20070704T090000
    • Matches notes that were created on or after 9:00am on July 4th, 2007, based on the client's timezone.
  • created:20070704T150000Z
    • Matches notes that were created on or after 3:00pm GMT on July 4th, 2007.
  • -created:20070704
    • Matches notes that were created before July 4th, 2007, based on the client's timezone.
  • created:day-1
    • Matches notes that were created yesterday or today
  • -created:day
    • Matches notes that were created before today
  • created:day-1 -created:day
    • Matches notes that were created yesterday (only)
  • created:day-30
    • Matches notes that were created within the last 30 days (or today)
  • created:week
    • Matches notes that were created in this calendar week (Sunday-Saturday)
  • -created:month
    • Matches notes that were created before this month
  • created:year-1
    • Matches notes that were created last year or this year

updated:[datetime] - will match any note that has a 'updated' timestamp that is equal to, or more recent than, the provided datetime. (See Section C.2 for details on the legal format of the datetime argument.)

 
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I have spent probably too much time thinking about how to best make use of tags at both the data entry and search phases of using Evernote. I want to make these suggestions for future enhancements to Evernote's tagging capability.

 

/ Allow a preference to force Evernote to display only tags already used in a notebook when I am tagging a new or existing note in the notebook. I have lots of tags on disparate subjects. Finding the right tags can be hard because of the number of tags and cumbersome because many tags will apply only to a subset of notebooks (e.g., notebooks in a particular stack). Of course, if I type in a tag that has not been previously used in the notebook, Evernote would either add a new tag (if the tag is not in the Evernote database at all) or apply the existing tag and thereafter show it as having been used in that notebook. This capability would be especially useful in the web clipper.

 

See this thread: http://discussion.evernote.com/topic/57740-the-benefit-of-using-tags/

 

One alternative is using a particular prefix for all tags that are applied to notes for each notebook. So when you're adding a note to a particular notebook, in the tag field when you begin typing the prefix common to tags used in that notebook, you get a dropdown list of only tags used in that notebook.

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.....and depending on how many notebooks,  you can always 'stack' tags under a parent with the same name as the notebook,  so they're easily switched in and out for when you work exclusively in that notebook.

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/ Allow a preference to force Evernote to apply all parent tags of a child tag when the child tag is applied to a note.

I spent some time thinking about the tag hierarchy awhile back. I'm pretty sure that I suggested the exact same operation, and I don't think that having it would be a bad thing, but I'd favor a different approach:

Modify the search language to allow tag matches on specific tags or their subtags. My proposal was to use a '+' sign to signify subtag matching. For example, in the normal case, the term 'tag:MyTag' matches all notes with the tag 'MyTag'. The extension would be for a term '+tag:MyTag' to match all notes with the tag 'MyTag' or any of its subtags. This is a fairly small change to the search grammar; I'm not qualified to estimate how easy or hard it would be to implement across all of the Evernote clients and the servers, though.

So why do I prefer this?

One common way to express Evernote tag hierarchies is explicitly encoding the hierarchy in a tag's name. For example, a tag 'A' might have subtags 'X', 'Y', and 'Z'; the actual subtag names might then be 'A.X', 'A.Y.', and 'A.Z' (I'm using the '.' as my separator; you could use something else like '-', etc.). This scheme allows you to do subtag searching using wildcards, e.g. 'tag:A.*'. Downsides: you can wind up with some pretty long tag names if your hierarchy is deep, and you face some awkwardness if you want to move tags around in the hierarchy. The proposed search extension avoids those two difficulties.

I view the add-all-parent tags operation you proposed as having similar difficulties. In this case, you don't end up with long tag names, but now you can wind up with a lot of tags in notes towards the leaves of the tree, or use multiple categorizations (one of the nice things about tags is that notes can belong to multiple categorization schemes). And moving tags around the tree is a pain to reconcile with existing tags that reflect the hierarchy.

 

/ Enhance tag searching to understand date values so that I can search tags that contain date values (i.e., mm/dd/yy or yyyymmdd) using operators such as "after" or "before" or "between".

 As Scott says, there's already a facility in place to do this; it's kinda limited and somewhat awkward (I seem to recall making a stab at proposing extensions in this area as well), so yeah, improvements in this area would be elcome. The flip side is that making this more powerful and general would add quite a bit of complexity to what is currently a pretty simple grammar. Again, I'm not sure of the impact on existing clients and the server.

 

/ Enhance tag searching to allow mathematical comparison operators on tags that have numerical values (e.g., > and < and = and != and <= and =>).

This edges into making the search language a full-on generalized boolean expression language. Pretty sure that you're not going to see that any time soon. Evernote seems more interested in taking this in a different direction, i,e,, natural language searches.

 

/ Allow tagging of notebooks.

If the search language allowed for specifying more than one notebook in a query, or notebook: wildcards, I wouldn't see much use for this. However...

 

+1 for a tag merging capability. Multiple tags with similar or identical meaning (e.g., singular and plural) happen all the time. Yes, I know I can search for all notes with Tag-A and then apply Tag-B.

Not sure what it means to merge tags here. Do you mean physically merge tags with similar meanings? Or treat a tag search as if you're also using tags of similar meaning? The notion of "similar or identical meaning" is unclear, unless you're only referring to plurals (in which case, if you look for tag 'todo', you can get 'todos' by searching on 'toto*' already; some clients will do that for you automatically, under the hood. I'd say my advice here is to clean up your tag tree of these redundant tags.

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