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Peter_T

multiple-condition advanced searching?

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Hello everyone - As my database grows into the many thousands of notes, I am having a harder time finding things.  I am a reasonably dilligent tagger and have a small collection of key notebooks to help with high-level organization.  

 

I am well aware of the advanced search commands and use them often, but I really think that access to the advanced search features could be improved.  Some sort of wizard would be amazing - I'm thinking of something similar to the interface that guides you through making a smartlist in iTunes or similar.  

 

Has this been discussed?  

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Wouldn't that be the equivalent to an in-app list? In fact, it should be better - if you tailor-make it to your preferences. 

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Plenty of discussion on the forums about advanced search capabilities. Lots of advocacy for more advanced search language (full boolean search, ability to search multiple notebooks at a time, and the like). The WIndows client of V4 cintage had a handly feature that led you through some of the more esoteric search possiblities (the MIME content gang) but that's gone now; the Android client has something similar currently. I can't speak for the other clients.

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Hello everyone - As my database grows into the many thousands of notes, I am having a harder time finding things.  I am a reasonably dilligent tagger and have a small collection of key notebooks to help with high-level organization.  

 

I am well aware of the advanced search commands and use them often, but I really think that access to the advanced search features could be improved.  Some sort of wizard would be amazing - I'm thinking of something similar to the interface that guides you through making a smartlist in iTunes or similar.  

 

Has this been discussed?  

 

You don't say what platform (PC/Mac) you're using, but EN Mac now has what Evernote calls a "natural language" search.

You just enter a phrase like you might say it:  "notes with PDFs"  or  "notes tagged with mytag"

 

Is this what you're looking for?  If not, may some examples would help us understand.

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Thanks for the quick replies everyone - I use EN on Windows, Mac, iPhone and an Android tablet, I didn't specify which because I find it hard to specify a precise search on all of the platforms.  

 

I already use the advanced search syntax - it's decent, but clunky.  I have some common searches saved, but there are many situations where a unique search is needed.

 

I also have a lot of multi-word, descriptive tags that are a pain to write out, but that I can't think of a good way to simplify to help with searches.  

 

Here's a made up example: if I wanted to find something in a notebook called "Professional" tagged with "Health Impacts", "Oil & Gas" but without "correspondence" that was created between 2013-01-01 and 2013-03-31 and contained an image, that would be a pain to write out, but would be easy in a guided series of drop-down lists.  

 

Instead I go to the right notebook (easy) and try one or two tags (in my example, probably tag:"Health Impacts and -tag:correspondence) and scroll through whatever comes up... I'd sort by date and scroll down to where I expect to find my note...  if it's one of 5-10 notes, no problem, but if there are 50+ notes then I would prefer to refine my search.

 

I know EN has all of this information in its DB, but slicing & dicing the data is hard!

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@Peter_T:  Thanks for the example, that really helps.

 

I agree, the Search Syntax is clunky, and parts of it (like the dates) are not at all intuitive.

 

Years ago, I built an app that ran on both Macs and Windows.  It was driven by a database (like Evernote), and we had a UI tool we called a "query builder" that was very easy for the end user to create and save their own queries (like Saved Searches).

I have also seen modern day CRM systems that take a similar approach.

 

Basically the query builder allow the user to create a series of lines, where each line is a comparison statement, and the lines are tied together with logical "AND", "OR", "NOT", and even had parenthesis to group lines.

 

The QB allowed the user to pick from dropdown lists (except for user entered text)

  • Field (like Title, Tag, Body, etc)
  • Comparison operator (=, ≠, <, Begins with, etc)
  • Value (user text, like "Professional", if that was the name of a NB)

So, for your example, the QB would guide the user through easily creating:

  • Notebook = Professional
  • AND  Tag = Health Impacts
  • AND  Tag = Oil & Gas
  • AND  Tag ≠ correspondence
  • AND  Created Between 2013-01-01, 2013-03-31
  • AND  Attachment Type = image

The only free-form typing in the above is the dates.

Everything else comes from an auto-complete dropdown list.

The "AND" could be "OR", and you could insert a "NOT"

 

I know if we could do this twenty years ago with a high-level programming language, it can be done today, and probably much faster.  In fact, I would expect developers to have 3rd party or internal tool kits to provide this type of functionality.

 

So, is this anything like what you are looking for?

 

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That is EXACTLY what I was trying to describe.  It would allow amazing access to our EN databases.

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Yes, you will need to make a feature request, although there is no formal way of doing so.

If you'd like you can post a request for Search enhancement along the lines of my post above.

It is said that someone from Evernote reads all posts in these forums, and hopefully passes requests on to the developers.

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