Jump to content
SockThief

Notebook Re-Organization

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone

 

Let me give you a quick picture of who I am. I am a software developer who gets weird ideas when doing the dishes or at 2am. I then find a scrap of paper, send myself an email, or my favourite, look it up in a browser and save the tab, until I have 100+ tabs open and the browser crashes.

 

So, that's why I came to Evernote. Hoping for salvation from my wicked way! But I'm guessing I'm not using Evernote to it's potential and I'm doing things all the wrong way. I am really trying to adjust my ways to always use Evernote instead of post-it's and to rely on Evernote. But also to conform to the Evernote way of working. After all it seems to work for so many people, and I'm not that unique or special!

 

1. I have lots of notes, and lots of notebooks. However, I find myself wishing that Evernote allowed more than 2-level-deep stacks. One reason for this is I have a "Project Book", in here I create a notebook for my ideas and things I want to work on. Under the top level category of ProjectBook it would be nice to have various categories : maybe "Electronic Projects", "Web Projects", or "Ongoing Projects", "Future Projects" etc. Then under those categories, the actual projects themselves. Under which are the notes. So as I work on a project, I can make a note about what I did - like a diary. Then at a later date I can collect those notes together and put a blog post together of project progress. It would also be really awesome to have a project fit under multiple categories - so, it can be "Ongoing" as well as "Web Project". But it seems that Evernote doesn't work this way, about the only way I can think of achieving something like this is to use tags, but that can make for really messy notebooks.

 

2. How would you link to another note? For example, I might make a note for myself on how to configure a certain op-amp in my desired configuration. Now, I am going to use that same Op-Amp circuit in many projects, and so, when I add that to the project, it would be good to link the original note in, something like "Added Op-Amp as per <link>". Again in a nice, neat way, so my notes don't become giant copies (also, if I update the original it might be good to have the updated version available {though also, sometimes perhaps not!})

 

3. This is my big question! I am in a state where I'm not happy with my Evernote layout of notes and notebooks, and I want to clean it up with the above questions in mind, and after my learnings from the last few months. Does anyone have a good suggestion on how to achieve this? I am still using the free account, should I open a new one and move notes into better structures, or something else? has anyone tried a process like this and have some tips for me?

 

cheers!

Share this post


Link to post

Welcome to the forums.  I would recommend you do some Googling on EN setup, either on or off the forum.  You will probably find more information than you can consume.   :)   Here is one for example:  Benefit of using tags  

 

1.  Full disclosure I am a proponent of tags and few notebooks.  For this point I think you are accurate in the need to use tags.  I put a . in front of all of the project names which makes it easy to find them in searches and in the tag drop down.  Other tags can be added to project notes for categories, people, or however else you might classify the notes.  My only caution here would be to not go hog wild with these classifications  Fewer tags is easier to remember and use.  A tag:.Project search will yield the same results as clicking on notebook Project.

 

2.  If you right click on a note or go to Note in the menu bar, there is an option to Copy Note Link.  Clcik on this and then go to the other note and paste it there.

 

3.  Decide on what you want your new notebook/stack structure to be.  Take a backup of your data base just in case, I would do ENEX backups as well, belts and suspenders so to speak.  If you are going to a .Project tag type system, add the project tags to the notes.  Then rename or create notebooks as the case may be.  Then move the notes.  Delete any unused notebooks or tags when done.

 

The above are just some quick thoughts, but they are based upon how I think, may not be right for you.  IMO, there is no right or wrong way to use EN and you will settle on what works best for you and how you think.  And in all likelihood you will continue tweaking as you go.  Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post

I am a software developer who gets weird ideas when doing the dishes or at 2am. I then find a scrap of paper, send myself an email, or my favourite, look it up in a browser and save the tab, until I have 100+ tabs open and the browser crashes.

IF you have an iPhone:  I have found that using Siri to send quick notes to my Evernote account works quite well.  

  • Create an iPhone contact named "My Evernote" or something similar, with the email address for sending email to your Evernote account.
  • When you have an idea you want to record, tell Siri:
    • "Send mail to my evernote"
    • Siri will say "Subject"
    • You say the title of the email, which will be the Note title
    • Siri will say "... message"
    • You say your idea

       

1. I have lots of notes, and lots of notebooks. However, I find myself wishing that Evernote allowed more than 2-level-deep stacks. One reason for this is I have a "Project Book", in here I create a notebook for my ideas and things I want to work on. Under the top level category of ProjectBook it would be nice to have various categories : maybe "Electronic Projects", "Web Projects", or "Ongoing Projects", "Future Projects" etc. Then under those categories, the actual projects themselves.

If you're like many of us, you're probably used to thinking in terms of hierarchical folders (like on your PC/Mac).  But Tags in Evernote are much more powerful.

  • You can really put all of the Notes into the same Notebook
  • Some name this NB "Active" or "Main" or "Primary" or "Cabinet" -- use whatever makes sense to you.  You can always rename it later.
  • You could start out with NBs of "Inbox" (where are new, unprocessed Notes go) and "Cabinet" for when you've assigned Tags and are ready for "final filing".
  • The only reason to have more NBs is for offline folders (on mobile devices) and for sharing
  • Again, you can easily move Notes from one NB to another at any time.
  • Create a tag for each project, like Proj.ProjectName
  • Create a tag for each of the project categories (Cat.Electronic, Cat.Web, Cat.Ongoing, etc)
  • Then assign the project tag and the category tag to each of your notes
  • I like using the prefixes of "Proj." and "Cat." to make it easy to assign these tags.
  • As you enter the prefix, EN will show a dropdown list of tags that start with that prefix

     

2. How would you link to another note? For example, I might make a note for myself on how to configure a certain op-amp in my desired configuration. Now, I am going to use that same Op-Amp circuit in many projects, and so, when I add that to the project, it would be good to link the original note in, something like "Added Op-Amp as per <link>".

I think you can "link" notes mostly using tags.  Then, when you need to see these "linked", or related Notes, you can use Tag Filters or the Search box to see the list of these notes.

 

But when you need to link to a specific Note you can actually create a Note hyperlink to put into the Note content.

 

3. This is my big question! I am in a state where I'm not happy with my Evernote layout of notes and notebooks, and I want to clean it up with the above questions in mind, and after my learnings from the last few months. Does anyone have a good suggestion on how to achieve this? I am still using the free account, should I open a new one and move notes into better structures, or something else? has anyone tried a process like this and have some tips for me?

 

cheers!

I think upgrading to a Premium account for only $5/mo or $45/year is a great deal.  It gives you, among other benefits, a big increase in monthly allowance from 60MB to 4GB.  You also get access to support (email and online chat) that can be very helpful.  For more info, see See Comparison of EN Account Types

 

No need to create another account -- just upgrade your existing account.

 

For more thoughts/examples on how to organize your Notes, do a Google on "evernote organization".

 

Once you get some ideas on how you want to reorganize your account, you can:

  • Create a Stack for all of your existing Notebooks
  • Create a Stack for the few new Notebooks you want to move to
  • Create the Tags you want to use
  • Then start moving/updating your Notes to the new structure, using Searches to find groups of Notes to move/update
    • After you've done the search, you can select the common notes (Shift-click, Ctrl-Click (for Win), CMD-click (for Mac)
    • This will show the Multi-Note dialog in the Content pane
    • There you can assign multiple Tags to the selected Notes, and Move all of them to a new Notebook

Feel free to ask questions at an point, but do make good use of Google.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

 

IF you have an iPhone:  I have found that using Siri to send quick notes to my Evernote account works quite well.  

  • Create an iPhone contact named "My Evernote" or something similar, with the email address for sending email to your Evernote account.
  • When you have an idea you want to record, tell Siri:
    • "Send mail to my evernote"
    • Siri will say "Subject"
    • You say the title of the email, which will be the Note title
    • Siri will say "... message"
    • You say your idea

 

Great idea!  You can do something similar on an Android phone with Google Voice Commands.

 

For a very quick version, just use "Note to self" and set Evernote as the handler for that command - it'll put the note into your default folder.  That's not quite as nice as the email version because you have to remember to go to the default folder and move it later on, but if you're using tags, you're going to have to visit the note to tag it anyway.

 

I handle this by making .Inbox be my default folder.  Periodically, I go through my .Inbox folder and handle whatever has accumulated there.

 

There's also an app called 1Sec Memo which is available for Android (and iOS, I believe), that pops up a simple input field and takes whatever you type and creates a note in EN (again, in your default folder).  If you're a Samsung Galaxy Note user, that plus the S-Pen makes it very much like pulling out a Post-It note and writing down a quick idea.  I have it as a widget on my lock screen for quick access.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Great idea!  You can do something similar on an Android phone with Google Voice Commands.

 

For a very quick version, just use "Note to self" and set Evernote as the handler for that command - it'll put the note into your default folder. 

 

Does the "Note to Self" work only on Android?

I don't see a way in iOS to set the handler to Evernote for that phrase so Siri will send the note to Evernote.

Share this post


Link to post

 

Great idea!  You can do something similar on an Android phone with Google Voice Commands.

 

For a very quick version, just use "Note to self" and set Evernote as the handler for that command - it'll put the note into your default folder. 

 

Does the "Note to Self" work only on Android?

I don't see a way in iOS to set the handler to Evernote for that phrase so Siri will send the note to Evernote.

 

 

I don't know anything about Siri or iOS, so the best I can do is tell you what happens in Android with Google Voice Commands and hope you can find an equivalent on your iPhone:

 

(disclaimer: I'm a developer, and I've poked at the Android API's a few times, but I haven't actually done any Android development.  So what follows may not be completely accurate, but it's as close as I understand it)

 

In Android, apps can register as able to handle something called an Intent.  An Intent is just a specifically named text string that says "hey, Android, I can do this sort of thing."  There are standard Intents, and there are app-specific ones.

 

When an app wants to do something it can't do by itself, it somehow says "hey, who can handle Intent FOOBAR?"; if only one app FOO can, then FOO is launched; if multiple apps FOO, BAR, and BAZ can, then the user is given a choice of which app to launch, and can say "choose this one every time from now one" (i.e. set the default).

 

The first time I used GVC's "note to self", it showed me the text of the note it was going to create and asked me if I wanted to save the note.  When I said "Yes", it showed me a bunch of app icons, presumably of apps that had registered as able to handle an Intent such as CREATE_NOTE.  Evernote was one of them.  What's interesting is that it wasn't the standard Android "pick an Intent handling app" picker - it seemed to be GVC's own picker.  But in any case, I picked Evernote, and it created the note.

 

The next time, it showed me the text, asked me if I wanted to save, I said "yes", and it showed me the apps again.  Then I noticed that the picker had a little question mark icon in the top right corner.  I hit that, and it gave me the same list.  I picked Evernote, it saved to Evernote, and it has never asked me again.

 

So ... I think that GVC is using its own Intent-handler picker with its own default setter, but it does still appear to be built around Android Intents.

 

Does that help you at all?  Depends on whether iOS and Siri have anything like Intents.

Share this post


Link to post
On 2/5/2015 at 6:09 PM, csihilling said:

Welcome to the forums.  I would recommend you do some Googling on EN setup, either on or off the forum.  You will probably find more information than you can consume.   :)   Here is one for example:  Benefit of using tags  

 

1.  Full disclosure I am a proponent of tags and few notebooks.  For this point I think you are accurate in the need to use tags.  I put a . in front of all of the project names which makes it easy to find them in searches and in the tag drop down.  Other tags can be added to project notes for categories, people, or however else you might classify the notes.  My only caution here would be to not go hog wild with these classifications  Fewer tags is easier to remember and use.  A tag:.Project search will yield the same results as clicking on notebook Project.

 

2.  If you right click on a note or go to Note in the menu bar, there is an option to Copy Note Link.  Clcik on this and then go to the other note and paste it there.

 

3.  Decide on what you want your new notebook/stack structure to be.  Take a backup of your data base just in case, I would do ENEX backups as well, belts and suspenders so to speak.  If you are going to a .Project tag type system, add the project tags to the notes.  Then rename or create notebooks as the case may be.  Then move the notes.  Delete any unused notebooks or tags when done.

 

The above are just some quick thoughts, but they are based upon how I think, may not be right for you.  IMO, there is no right or wrong way to use EN and you will settle on what works best for you and how you think.  And in all likelihood you will continue tweaking as you go.  Good luck.

I understand the issue, understand the message above any my only comment is that after using EN for years (since it first came out), it never gets used as often as I would like it to because it forces us to think the way that the EN design team thinks.  This is bad software design, pure and simple. Software should be intuitive and while, as csihilling states, in his opinion tags are better, they're really not better if people can't easily and quickly learn how to use them to achieve their desired outcomes.  

I get that the gurus here are just that... people who've mastered EN and I thank them for their time and dedication to helping others.  It really is appreciated.  But, as is the case with most mass market software applications, the "help" in EN is ridiculously underwhelming and the user community far too often presumes a level of understanding on the part of the questioner that they aren't sufficiently explanatory in their response, leaving the questioner even more confused.  

In other words, if you want your user base to "think differently", in order to adopt a metaphor and structure that goes against the fundamental way people interact with documents and information in most other media (including, but not limited to their file systems, the physical world, etc.) then there really needs to be a more comprehensive, consistent learning path for new users and those longer-term, more experienced users who wish to leverage EN even more (which includes me). 

At this point, I keep EN primarily for it's OCR capability so I can find documents by a word search.  I respect csihilling's preference for fewer notebooks and more tags. Only two things that I object to in it... 1) it's his preference, not mine (and I've yet to see a compelling, clear explanation for how or why to do it that way); and 2) it's not how I think.  When going from my file system to EN to my bookshelf loaded with physical binders, it's just too difficult to have to switch off one way of thinking in lieu of another the dozens of times a day I'd have to if I didn't keep all my EN in the 200+ notebooks and stacks I have today.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, vertium said:

I respect csihilling's preference for fewer notebooks and more tags. Only two things that I object to in it... 1) it's his preference, not mine (and I've yet to see a compelling, clear explanation for how or why to do it that way); and 2) it's not how I think.

On 2/5/2015 at 5:09 PM, csihilling said:

The above are just some quick thoughts, but they are based upon how I think, may not be right for you.  IMO, there is no right or wrong way to use EN and you will settle on what works best for you and how you think.

No reason to object, not a court of law, just a different view.  ;) 

I agree 100%, everyone needs to find what works for them.  There are those that don't use tags or notebooks that much, their preference is to use keywords or just rely on EN's native text search.  Works for them.  The lack of deep nesting of notebooks in EN makes it difficult to extend a hierarchical folder concept using notebooks for sure. If someone has to have nested notebooks, EN may not be the best solution. 

I view EN as more of a retrieval system than a storage system.  So being less concerned about where I put it and more concerned about finding it, tags were a logical choice for me to create note groupings, some of which intersect when you add multiple tags to a note..  Again, not everybody's cup of tea. 

Share this post


Link to post

@SockThief - Here is one of the 2-3 conceptual frameworks that I have used to design my Notebook, Note, and Tag structure / organization. Consider whether it will help you with the issue(s) you raised.

Think of a Notebook as a collection of "objects" that have something in common. I use the word "object" in the sense of noun, in contrast to a verb, adjective, etc. So, a Notebook could be a collection of Projects, of People, of Cities, of Receipts - - - and the name of the Notebook would typically be a plural noun, as in my examples, but it doesn't have to be. Gardening, Investing, and Medical can adhere to the concept of "objects".

A Note is information about a specific "Object". It doesn't have to be all the information about a specific project, but it typically won't have information about more than one project (but it can).

Think of the other things that you mentioned ("Electronic Projects", "Web Projects", or "Ongoing" Projects) as "attributes" of a Note. Another term for "attribute" is "meta-data". An "attribute" is not the information "of" the Note. It is information "about" the Note. Create Date and Author are examples of other "attributes" - - - So, implement "attributes" as Tags. For example, you could have a Tag named "Type=Electronic", one named "Type=Web", and one named "Status=Ongoing".

I hope you feel these concepts are helpful.

 

Share this post


Link to post
29 minutes ago, Analyst444 said:

Think of a Notebook as a collection of "objects" that have something in common

For me, the something in common is notes for sync/local/offline/share

There is the organization side, but I use tags for that

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, vertium said:

I understand the issue, understand the message above any my only comment is that after using EN for years (since it first came out), it never gets used as often as I would like it to because it forces us to think the way that the EN design team thinks.  This is bad software design, pure and simple. Software should be intuitive and while, as csihilling states, in his opinion tags are better, they're really not better if people can't easily and quickly learn how to use them to achieve their desired outcomes.

I get that the gurus here are just that... people who've mastered EN and I thank them for their time and dedication to helping others.  It really is appreciated.  But, as is the case with most mass market software applications, the "help" in EN is ridiculously underwhelming and the user community far too often presumes a level of understanding on the part of the questioner that they aren't sufficiently explanatory in their response, leaving the questioner even more confused.  

In other words, if you want your user base to "think differently", in order to adopt a metaphor and structure that goes against the fundamental way people interact with documents and information in most other media (including, but not limited to their file systems, the physical world, etc.) then there really needs to be a more comprehensive, consistent learning path for new users and those longer-term, more experienced users who wish to leverage EN even more (which includes me). 

At this point, I keep EN primarily for it's OCR capability so I can find documents by a word search.  I respect csihilling's preference for fewer notebooks and more tags. Only two things that I object to in it... 1) it's his preference, not mine (and I've yet to see a compelling, clear explanation for how or why to do it that way); and 2) it's not how I think.  When going from my file system to EN to my bookshelf loaded with physical binders, it's just too difficult to have to switch off one way of thinking in lieu of another the dozens of times a day I'd have to if I didn't keep all my EN in the 200+ notebooks and stacks I have today. 

 

In my experience, there's very little about computers that are actually intuitive, meaning that we are not geared from birth to understand them. It's almost all learned behavior. That being said, there's value in precedent, for sure, and the whole arbitrarily nested folders metaphor is pretty much available everywhere: it can be a good idea to take advantage of previously learned experience. But it's not a hard and fast rule, and it doesn't ipso facto make for bad design to use some other organizing principle. In choosing to focus on tags, Evernote has chosen an organizational scheme that's used by, for example, such software unknowns as Google (GMail: labels, but no folder nesting) and Microsoft (Outlook: has both categories and folder nesting). Tag are in many case more flexible than strict hierarchies for associating like data items; they can certainly express relationships between items that hierarchies cannot.

But even more so, I'd argue that all of us (English speakers at least) *do* understand a tagging concept at a pretty fundamental level: it's rampant in the very language that we speak (and which we learned before we learned anything about nested folders). Consider adjectives: we use combinations of adjectives to describe items in our world all the time. "Where are my project XYZ financial documents". "She drives a big red car". "What cat photos did I download in 2016"? And so on. Tags and labels and categories and keywords, these are all conceptually similar to the adjectives (and sometimes nouns) that we use in our lives every day. As the lady says, "you're soaking in it". But somehow there seems to be some mental block around using tags for organization, as if data cannot be organized without rigid hierarchies. Why that is, I don't know.

In any case, Evernote made a choice (tags over hierarchies), as is a software maker's prerogative. There are no rules that say all software must conform to every user's wishes. There is a marketplace, and it remains to be seen whether Evernote's choice will bear itself out (or who knows, they may finally choose to implement nestable notebooks). They've certainly shown that tagging with minimal nested organization has some utility. But tags are not for everyone: some people get them right away, some don't, and some tolerate them in Evernote for some other reason. Fortunately, software is a tool, and not a religion. There's a marketplace out there, and other toolmakers. Our job as consumers is to choose a tool that works for ourselves; Evernote works for me, but maybe not for you. Vive la difference...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

 

2 hours ago, csihilling said:

No reason to object, not a court of law, just a different view.  ;) 

I agree 100%, everyone needs to find what works for them.  There are those that don't use tags or notebooks that much, their preference is to use keywords or just rely on EN's native text search.  Works for them.  The lack of deep nesting of notebooks in EN makes it difficult to extend a hierarchical folder concept using notebooks for sure. If someone has to have nested notebooks, EN may not be the best solution. 

I view EN as more of a retrieval system than a storage system.  So being less concerned about where I put it and more concerned about finding it, tags were a logical choice for me to create note groupings, some of which intersect when you add multiple tags to a note..  Again, not everybody's cup of tea. 

Fair enough, thanks for writing.  Still doesn't work for me, so I have to consider alternatives. Right now, EN is the equivalent of a searchable junk drawer in my kitchen.  It's all in there, but I won't find what I'm looking for unless I remember either the specific tag I stuck on it or happen to remember a fairly unique word that might have been in the document.  With thousands of notes, it's fairly hopeless.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
27 minutes ago, jefito said:

In my experience, there's very little about computers that are actually intuitive, meaning that we are not geared from birth to understand them. It's almost all learned behavior. That being said, there's value in precedent, for sure, and the whole arbitrarily nested folders metaphor is pretty much available everywhere: it can be a good idea to take advantage of previously learned experience. But it's not a hard and fast rule, and it doesn't ipso facto make for bad design to use some other organizing principle. In choosing to focus on tags, Evernote has chosen an organizational scheme that's used by, for example, such software unknowns as Google (GMail: labels, but no folder nesting) and Microsoft (Outlook: has both categories and folder nesting). Tag are in many case more flexible than strict hierarchies for associating like data items; they can certainly express relationships between items that hierarchies cannot.

But even more so, I'd argue that all of us (English speakers at least) *do* understand a tagging concept at a pretty fundamental level: it's rampant in the very language that we speak (and which we learned before we learned anything about nested folders). Consider adjectives: we use combinations of adjectives to describe items in our world all the time. "Where are my project XYZ financial documents". "She drives a big red car". "What cat photos did I download in 2016"? And so on. Tags and labels and categories and keywords, these are all conceptually similar to the adjectives (and sometimes nouns) that we use in our lives every day. As the lady says, "you're soaking in it". But somehow there seems to be some mental block around using tags for organization, as if data cannot be organized without rigid hierarchies. Why that is, I don't know.

In any case, Evernote made a choice (tags over hierarchies), as is a software maker's prerogative. There are no rules that say all software must conform to every user's wishes. There is a marketplace, and it remains to be seen whether Evernote's choice will bear itself out (or who knows, they may finally choose to implement nestable notebooks). They've certainly shown that tagging with minimal nested organization has some utility. But tags are not for everyone: some people get them right away, some don't, and some tolerate them in Evernote for some other reason. Fortunately, software is a tool, and not a religion. There's a marketplace out there, and other toolmakers. Our job as consumers is to choose a tool that works for ourselves; Evernote works for me, but maybe not for you. Vive la difference...

I do agree, computers are not naturally intuitive, which is why UX designers get paid very well to make an application work the way people tend to think.  Further, I completely agree with the notion that the software team can build what they think is best, and the marketplace will vote with its wallet, though your notion that a business should just do what it wants at the expense of attracting the most users, is simply not the way businesses work.  However, now that we have those fundamentals out of the way, I'm desperately trying to figure out how to make EN work for me in a way that allows me to leverage it's good capabilities.  I'm not just sitting here griping that it's not hierarchical, I'm saying that its design is too hard to work with and trying to learn a better way to use it. I have thousands of notes, that I can't effectively use and it will take me hundreds of hours to move them all to another platform (EN made sure it was VERY difficult to get stuff out of it... which if I'd researched better would have been a disqualifier when I started using it in 2010).  I don't even know how to respond to the tool/religion remark, so I'll just leave it at that. 

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, vertium said:

though your notion that a business should just do what it wants at the expense of attracting the most users, is simply not the way businesses work.

I'm not saying that. I believe that Evernote deliberately chose a paradigm that is known to work (and again, GMail is the closest well-known analogue that I know of), at the expense of another well-known paradigm (hierarchical file systems) which is also known to work. It's not an irrational choice. It's a simple architecture: notebooks, notes and tags (stacks came later). That's pretty appealing for a designer. I doubt that they were thinking it was going to be a trade-off for attracting users, but I can't say for sure; I wasn't there. Maybe they just thought, hey, it's so simple, everyone will get it. Hard to tell. But businesses do make design trade-offs all the time, understanding that some features will not appeal to all of their users.

1 hour ago, vertium said:

I'm desperately trying to figure out how to make EN work for me in a way that allows me to leverage it's good capabilities.  I'm not just sitting here griping that it's not hierarchical, I'm saying that its design is too hard to work with and trying to learn a better way to use it. I have thousands of notes, that I can't effectively use and it will take me hundreds of hours to move them all to another platform

If you're saying that the tagging process could be improved, I'd agree with you. For example, I use pre-tagged templates for boiler-plate stuff, but I think that it would be nice if rather than needing to copy my weekly journal from my template notebook to my Todo notebook; it would be nice to have an option -- a button, really -- to allow me to create one directly, in the right notebook, since I do this a lot (and by the way, automatically populate the date fields, please).

If you're saying that it's too hard to conceptualize how tags might make it easier to work with your notes; that's a different thing. Without knowing what you want to accomplish, your work flows, what you want to retain, etc., it'd be hard to make suggestions. You mentioned call notes vs. meeting notes, but it's not clear to me what you want to capture, and how you'd want to get at it. There are a lot of ways to proceed; my methods might work for you. But there are lots of folks here who'd try to help you out, if that's what you're interested in. 

Me? I've stopped worrying about organizing my tags. I know that you can use tags to emulate hierarchies, but I'm not really interested in doing that. I mainly look at tags as comprising a simple language for describing stuff I'm interested in -- sort of like a web search -- such that I can identify it via tag search (I can always narrow down further using text text search). If I can easily get a filter to narrow things down to <10 results, I'm good. I have thousands of notes that I use for work, but relatively few tags.

1 hour ago, vertium said:

(EN made sure it was VERY difficult to get stuff out of it... which if I'd researched better would have been a disqualifier when I started using it in 2010)

I'm not sure I agree with this: HTML is well known, and lots of tools work with it. ENML is a published spec, so tools can be built to process that; I'd be surprised if there weren't tools that do now. Both of these formats are available for export in the Windows client, and I think for the Mac client as well, but I don't use that one. Now these may not be the easiest formats for you to deal with, but HTML is a kind of lingua franca, so it doesn't seem like an unreasonable choice as a universal export format. Is there a particular problem that you're having with it, or getting your data out of Evernote?

1 hour ago, vertium said:

I don't even know how to respond to the tool/religion remark, so I'll just leave it at that.

Only meant to say that religions tend to be absolutist and all-encompassing (and I realize that I'm over-generalizing here, and mixing metaphors as well; I'm also not saying anything bad about religions): my way is all you need, but tools are generally intended for prescribed purposes: have a different need, you need a different tool. Just a somewhat clumsy way of saying that tools have limitations; they may be great for some uses, but not for others, and Evernote is no different.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, vertium said:

I have thousands of notes, that I can't effectively use and it will take me hundreds of hours to move them all to another platform (EN made sure it was VERY difficult to get stuff out of it... which if I'd researched better would have been a disqualifier when I started using it in 2010).  

I have 8000+ notes that I can effectively use.
Before I started with Evernote, I made sure I could work with the organization/search structure.
In fact, I was happy to discard the folder/subfolder model and welcomed the tag model

Regarding Export: I'm not sure why you say that.
Before I started with Evernote, I made sure there was an exit strategy and it would be easy to get my data out.

The Mac/Windows platform have builtin export in HTML or XML format.
The HTML format can be used with any web browser
The XML format can be used for import to various applications (Evernote, Apple Notes, MS One Note)

The export part should require very little work.

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, DTLow said:

Regarding Export: I'm not sure why you say that.
Before I started with Evernote, I made sure there was an exit strategy and it would be easy to get my data out.

Then you've figured out something that has eluded me.  Sure, you can export to HTML, but when you do, you've got at least 2 assets to manage for each note you export:  The HTML file and then the actual attachments in the notes.  And now you have to keep both of those resulting files on your file server forever.  Because the HTML is nothing more than a link to the attachments, a note that has multiple attachments and a ton of text, tables, etc. is not easily "managed" once you export it. And if you want to use the XML export, when you import into another tool (e.g. Apple Notes), all markup/markdown information is lost.  Can't speak to OneNote as I don't buy anything from MSFT unless there's no other viable choice. Let's just call this an "inelegant" approach and leave it at that. 

It's not a criticism that EN is trying to lock you into keeping your notes with them forever, I understand why'd they do that. But there's always a point where the effort needed to "simplify" becomes too great, and the additional capabilities provided (e.g. OCR search) aren't enough to justify a subscription fee that can only be expected to rise again in the future.  EN's not expensive per se, but from my perspective locking in your customers and then raising the price is never a good combination for customer satisfaction.  

I really do appreciate the comments and insights, from you and others. If find this forum helpful, but very similar to those "community-based" support approaches used by Adobe and others. In lieu of spending EN money on actually building best-practice guidelines and extensive tutorials on how to get the best value from the service you're buying, they rely upon volunteers such as yourselves to do their support work for them.  And no offense intended, but telling me that it's "easy" to do something or sharing how you've used it doesn't necessarily fit the bill of a "best practice".  The software was presumably engineered.  That means an engineer should be able to tell a product marketing professional how it is intended to be used, how to use it most effectively, why that decision was made, how to communicate that to the user base and then the product marketing team should build the necessary learning assets so the user community can learn about all the wonderfulness of the engineering effort.  I've worked in the software industry for 30+ years.  I fully understand how it's supposed to work.  But EN has shirked its responsibilities and shifted all the burden to the user community itself, which despite having great input, fails in the first few steps of the design and engineering process outlined above. EN expects me to sell myself on why I'd want to continue using their product, or equally bad, expects those who answer questions here to do the same.  I'm paying THEM the money, I'd like them to sell me on it.  

At this point, I'm on a quest for a completely different approach.  To me, it's silly to have to do so, but until I get this figured out, I'm going to have my staff export all the attachments from EN and reinstitute a file structure so I can have the source documents at my fingertips if needed (I guess it's a good thing we have 90+ TB of storage on our network).  Moving forward, I'm going to never discard any attachments I put in EN.  I'm going to burn double the disk space needed simply to have search inside my PDFs.  As you might imagine, that's not a good feeling on my part, but I can't go forward throwing stuff into EN given the chance that I won't be on this platform when my subscription comes up again for renewal. 

I've reached the point where the work necessary to use this has outweighed the benefit it provides.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, vertium said:

Then you've figured out something that has eluded me.  Sure, you can export to HTML, but when you do, you've got at least 2 assets to manage for each note you export:  The HTML file and then the actual attachments in the notes.

For sure, the Evernote editor does a great job of managing these separate components and assembling them into a note.
In my experience, HTML is the best format to use to achieve this.

>>And if you want to use the XML export, when you import into another tool (e.g. Apple Notes), all markup/markdown information is lost.

Depending on the new service, you may lose data features.  I don't know about markup/markdown, but for me, Tags are a big issue.
I do think its unfair to fault Evernote for this; you should take it up with the new service.

>>I'm going to have my staff export all the attachments from EN and reinstitute a file structure so I can have the source documents at my fingertips if needed (I guess it's a good thing we have 90+ TB of storage on our network).  

I actually maintain an export as part of my backup process.
I use the HTML format.  My notes are intact and attachments are managed.
No folder structure, but the note title is maintained and I use the search features to locate notes

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
On 9/18/2016 at 9:20 PM, vertium said:

Fair enough, thanks for writing.  Still doesn't work for me, so I have to consider alternatives. Right now, EN is the equivalent of a searchable junk drawer in my kitchen.  It's all in there, but I won't find what I'm looking for unless I remember either the specific tag I stuck on it or happen to remember a fairly unique word that might have been in the document.  With thousands of notes, it's fairly hopeless.  

Yeah, I get it.  I have just short of 30k notes with 400 tags and can find things easily.  May have to do with my use case which is predominantly to be paperless, the original second brain concept.  So all documents, manuals, clips, screen shots, reference materials, project materials, phone logs, and what would be paper notes go into EN, plus other stuff.  The key for me is using as few tags as possible that are natural to remember.  Statement for statements, PC.Stuff for computer stuff, 123.Main for residences (I've moved a few times), Acme.Manufacturing for company names, etc.  Peoples names preceded by an equals sign, projects preceded by a period, task/reminder types preceded by an exclamation point.  The tags help me winnow down to a list of 15-20 notes max from which it is easy to find the one I am seeking.  I don't have the left panel open since I really don't need to see the notebook or tag list.  The search explanation,the shortcut bar, and Ctrl-Q are all that is needed for me.  The V5 search area was a bit better than V6, but that's another story.

Anyway, not trying to convert you just trying to explain how/why it works for me.

Share this post


Link to post
19 hours ago, jefito said:

But somehow there seems to be some mental block around using tags for organization, as if data cannot be organized without rigid hierarchies. Why that is, I don't know.

In the real world, "where does it live" is a mandatory piece of metadata.  Without that, a document (or whatever) literally can't exist.  When the cavemen started storing away their rocks, they used a flat structure - a pile in the back of the cave.  But very quickly, Grog couldn't find that really cool flat, pointy rock that he liked to use to hunt with.  So he started separating the rocks into piles by shape.  And thus filing folders were born.

Fast forward a few thousand years, and you end up with filing cabinets, drawers, and folders - hierarchical storage.

Then Grog's great-to-the-nth grandchild invents computers, and carries that concept over into them, and we get the hierarchical file system.

That's not the only place we use hierarchies, though.  We humans are huge on hierarchies.

  • Books are organized into Chapters
  • Reports are organized into Sections, Subsections, and so on
  • Laws have Chapters, Sections, Subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, subsubparagraphs, subminimicronanowhyareyoureadingthisdeeplyparagraphs, and so on
  • Online discussion fora are organized into Boards, Subboards, and Topics
  • Armies are organized into Divisions, Platoons, Battalions, Squads, and so on1
  • Lucky Charms are organized into Pink Hearts, Yellow Moons, Orange Stars, Green Clovers, and New Blue Diamonds2

So "where does it live" feels like a completely different thing than "what kind of thing is it" or "what is it about" or "who wrote it".

I've tried to embrace the EN way, using fewer notebooks and more tags.  But there's still something compelling about having a set of notebooks as the primary "where does it live" attribute.  What I do is think about what the highest level concept of the note is - is it about News and Commentary?  my divorce?  my kids?  a medical record?  financial stuff?  That becomes the notebook.

Then I tag with the year (4 digits) and the month (2 digits).  I know those are available as search keywords, but I can never remember the format, and this is nice and easy. " "tag:2016 tag:09", and I've got all of the stuff either created in or about September of 2016.

Then I tag with who the note is about or, if I'm quoting from (or grabbing wholesale) an article, who wrote the article.  I use "person.FirstLast" because unlike csihilling, I can't handle lots of little tokens like "equals means a person's name".

Then I've got a bunch of hierarchical tags.  Yup, I'm back to hierarchy.  For example, I have "funny", "funny.joke", "funny.joke.bar", "funny.joke.knockknock", "funny.cartoon", and so on.  Because sometimes I just want to find my funny stuff.  But sometimes I remember I found a great "walks into a bar" joke, and I want to find it quickly.  Maybe I'm overdoing it - maybe searching for "tag:funny bar" would work just as well as searching for "tag:funny.joke.bar".  I know I should gather some empirical data by trying it, but there never seems to be the time.  And Grog is in the back of my head saying "Oook arg onk"3.

Rob

 

1Apologies to everyone in the military, since I'm sure I got the order wrong there

2Yes, I'm that old.

3Translation: "You need a hierarchy for everything, or else you will not be able to find anything.  Do not trust flat domains, as they will never be as successful as hierarchies."4

4Caveman is a very expressive language.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Nice presentation,  but I respectfully disagree that information is defined by its position.  I'm managing 20,000+ notes in a few notebooks - the smaller ones for WIP and shared notes,  the majority in a default.  Search finds all the notes I need.  The notes are tied together by various threads - customer numbers,  keywords,  GPS locations - and one item,  say a receipt,  can be a guarantee being kept for a year,  a business expense,  a record of my relationship with one provider,  and a budget item to help plan for next year.  I wouldn't know how to do that with folders.

Not suggesting that Evernote's 'way' of doing things is the best one,  but it suits me (and quite a few others).  If you can adjust to it,  fine.  If you want something different,  why are you still reading this?  Evernote doesn't currently provide any alternatives,  and may not do so for a long time,  if ever.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
On 2016-09-19 at 3:21 PM, Rob Freundlich said:

In the real world, "where does it live" is a mandatory piece of metadata.  Without that, a document (or whatever) literally can't exist.  

 

On 2016-09-19 at 5:10 PM, gazumped said:

Nice presentation,  but I respectfully disagree that information is defined by its position

I agree in the real world "where does it live" is important.  
I have a file folder somewhere with the few documents that have to be retained.
Where does it live is important when I need my documents.

However in the Evernote world there is a paradigm shift.
What's important is that I can retrieve the notes when I need my documents.  
I've seen inside my computer, and there are no folders/notebooks/tags.
It's all symbolic, whether you call it Folder, Notebook, Tag, Labels ....
The argument is pointless about preferring one over the other.

However, there are some real facts.
In Evernote, Notebooks have features; Tags have features; Search has features.
Its important that you know those features, and use the best tool for the job.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Rob Freundlich said:

In the real world, "where does it live" is a mandatory piece of metadata.

In my world, every bit as real as anyone else's, "where does it live" is less crucial than "can I find it easily"? Sometimes it's via hierarchies, often it's not. Not everything is hierarchical, though, that's a fact. Many things "live" in multiple hierarchies; there's no ideal single place to put them; that's where tagging steps in. In Evernote, every note has to live in some notebook; the question is how many notebooks do you need? The answer for me is "as few as I can get away with", and that's usually guided by the need to share (to my other account) or make available on a mobile device (offline notebooks). Notes can "live" in any number of tags; in the grand scheme of things, what notebook it lives in is usually irrelevant. Sure, my collected software development articles, notes, examples, code snippets, they all live in a separate notebook, mainly so I can share it with my work account. But beyond that, organizing it hierarchically is a fool's task. Do I base my hierarchies on language? On area of application? It's way too tangled: where do I put that article on parsing XML using Javascript? In the real world, tags solve this much more easily.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

@Rob Freundlich - There have been at least a handful of threads in this forum that give examples of how to construct a Tag hierarchy that simulates (for want of a better word) a folder hierarchy with EN. Here is a link to one -----> 

I realize that a Tag hierarchy isn't likely to get you to where you want to be, but, hopefully, it is somewhat closer.

Also, as Jefito and DTLow indicated, EN is a different paradigm. I humbly suggest that after Grog invented the wheel, his caveman friends had difficulty adjusting to it. - - - By the same token, I acknowledge there have been times when I was looking for a particular Note that I just couldn't remember what keyword or Tag to use to find it. In those cases, I frequently found it by recalling "where" I put it (Folder, Notebook in EN lingo).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Woah, I feel like I stepped in a nest of ground hornets!  Granted, they're pretty nice ground hornets that shake their fingers at me somewhat scoldingly instead of stinging me to death ...

Let me clarify a bit: I do use tags.  Extensively.  And hierarchically.

But I also use folders to some degree.  Like jefito, I use "as few as I can get away with", but for me, it's not driven by a need to share with a work account.  It's driven by a feeling that this note "lives" with these other notes and that when I want to get back to it, my first pass at finding it will be to "look over here in this folder/pile/bin/basket/etc" (i.e. this notebook) and to then scroll around or do a search within the notebook.

Sometimes that fails me, and I end up doing a search from "All Notebooks", or trying other notebooks.

What I was trying to do with my post was to respond to jefito's musing:

Quote

But somehow there seems to be some mental block around using tags for organization, as if data cannot be organized without rigid hierarchies. Why that is, I don't know.

I think I explained where hierarchies come from pretty well, and showed computer-world examples that persist the concept.  I hinted at the mental block when I said this:

Quote

So "where does it live" feels like a completely different thing than "what kind of thing is it" or "what is it about" or "who wrote it".

But as I often do, I didn't finish out my thought.  So here it is: it's that feeling, that sense that "where does it live" is somehow different, that produces the mental block for those people who have it.

The people who find EN to be completely useless because they can't do deeply nested notebooks have the block to a large degree.  I've got the block to some degree, as indicated by my description of how I organize things.  But I have mostly gotten past it, because I have adapted to not having deep notebook structures.  When I need a deep hierarchy, I use tags.  Like I said in my post:

In fact, I'm starting to feel like my deep tag structures are too deep.  

Quote

Maybe I'm overdoing it - maybe searching for "tag:funny bar" would work just as well as searching for "tag:funny.joke.bar".

That might not even be so much a mental block about hierarchies as it is about a need to overcategorize and overorganize everything.

On one hand, I can use a tag like funny.joke.bar for my "A horse, a bicycle, and an eggplant walk into a bar" type of jokes.  The plus side is I can do a search for "tag:funny.joke.bar" and find them.  The down side is if I've ever missed tagging one, my search will miss it.

On the other hand, if I just tag it as funny, or maybe funny.joke, then I can search for "tag:funny bar" or "tag:funny.joke bar" and they'll all get found because of the word "bar" in them.  But so will other funny things (or funny.joke things) that contain the word "bar" in some other context.

This is my dilemma, and my "what-if-itis" leads me to over-tag with deep hierarchies.  In the real world, it would have led me to create too many sub-sub-sub folders in my filing cabinets.

I'm digressing a bit from the main point, which is that EN's way isn't wrong, it's just different, and for those people, seeing the world hierarchically can introduce a mental block that makes EN's difference insurmountable or (in my case) full of promise that can be hard to adapt to but worthwhile.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
19 minutes ago, Rob Freundlich said:

It's driven by a feeling that this note "lives" with these other notes

From the movie Out of Africa; "Let it go. This water lives in Mombasa anyways"   :)

Share this post


Link to post

I feel like Evernote's tags are still the solution, though, for the simple fact that you can exactly replicate a notebook structure with them, while allowing deeper than 1 level nesting and inclusion in more than one. These are the two biggest complaints about notebooks (well, perhaps the 255 or w/e limit is in there, too). You can enable tags from the sidebar. You can drag and drop on them. You can stack them like Stacks. You can search by them. Everything you do with a notebook, short of sharing, you can do with tags. The bonus, too, is that if you need to share a note, you can simply stick it in a shared Notebook and your own searching and tagging structure is not affected. You can still find the note, yourself, the same way as before. Because you don't use Notebooks to find them.

I always thought using Notebooks gave a sense of minimalist peace, but soon inevitably came across one note that was equally at home in two separate notebooks. And there goes my nth attempt at using Notebooks to navigate Evernote. For example, an article I'd save in my Articles notebook that suddenly belongs to a project I'm working on? Drat, now I have to duplicate the note to have it in both places. Things like that make it very difficult for me to wrap my mind around using Notebooks as the primary storage method. Tags are just so much more powerful. Though it's definitely important to organize them and to keep it to as few as possible. 

But anyway, I suggest for folks with a mental block on the tag concept, simply recreate your notebooks as tags and use them exclusively. Get used to them as you got used to notebooks. Then, when you're ready, branch out and add a few more. The first time you have something that belongs in two places and you can actually stick it in both spots - wowee, it's a great feeling!

Edited by chirmer
Terminology correction.

Share this post


Link to post

Easier for me I suppose - since I started the paperless train - where it lives is in EN.  Relative to finding it, EN search or my memory, let me think about that a second or two.  :)

Full disclosure, did some data modeling early in my life and haven't been hierarchically challenged since.  ;)

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 9/23/2016 at 3:19 PM, Rob Freundlich said:

I'm digressing a bit from the main point, which is that EN's way isn't wrong, it's just different, and for those people, seeing the world hierarchically can introduce a mental block that makes EN's difference insurmountable or (in my case) full of promise that can be hard to adapt to but worthwhile.

And I'd like to add that people who view the world hierarchically (or want sub-notebooks in Evernote, for that matter) aren't wrong either. I do find myself a little surprised that people don't get tags, though, for reasons stated earlier. I still feel that we all have an ability to understand how they work, but that shouldn't stop them from wanting something more familiar (in the realm of computers). We all have preferences and tendencies and ways of doing things, and those can be hard to change. 

In my case, I took to tags early, but tended to overdo it (think of "Flowers for Algernon"). I've backed off from a more rigid tagging methodology in favor of something looser (I don't have the patience to rigorously tag each and everything just exactly perfectly). Mainly I try to make more important things easy to find, and worry less about less important things, which I can track down with more effort. It seems to work for me, so far.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
On 9/19/2016 at 5:21 PM, Rob Freundlich said:

Fast forward a few thousand years, and you end up with filing cabinets, drawers, and folders - hierarchical storage.
. . .
That's not the only place we use hierarchies, though.  We humans are huge on hierarchies.

 
Rob,
Your list of natural and historical uses of hierarchical organization is excellent, and I would hope, very compelling.  While use of hierarchical folders in computers may be a learned behavior, it is very clear that our society has been using, and still is using, hierarchal organizations in a very pervasive way.  I would submit that we, as human beings, grow up first learning about hierarchal organizations long before we have ever heard of the term:
  • Family structure (parent-child)
  • Political organizations (Country > State > City)
  • Geographical organization (Continent > Land masses > bodies of water)
  • Even when we go to school:  School District > School > Principal > Teachers
Finality, the organization that drives development in almost every way, is projects.  And Projects are clearly one of the most hierarchical organizations.
 
So, by the time we take up computation devices, we have already been exposed to hierarchical organizations.
 
I say all that only to make this simple point:  Use of hierarchical organization in computers would most likely seem "natural", or "intuitive", to most of us.
 
On 9/18/2016 at 9:08 PM, jefito said:

But somehow there seems to be some mental block around using tags for organization, as if data cannot be organized without rigid hierarchies. Why that is, I don't know.

 
Now addressing all readers:
 
I would submit that if there is any type of mental block, it is not about the benefit of using tags, but the benefit of using hierarchical organization.
 
It would seem that some simply do not see the use cases, the benefits of, a hierarchical organization.
 
I would like to make an important point here:  In no way am I suggesting or proposing that everyone should use hierarchical organizations.  I am a firm believer in each person choosing what works best for him/her.
 
Personally, I see great benefits in using both hierarchical organization (be it folders or notebooks) AND cross-cutting tags.
 
Finally, I come to dealing with two major questions:
  1. What is the best way to organize for a particular use case?
  2. What are the organizational methods available to me in my tool of choice?
Clearly, Evernote management has decided long ago, with no indication of changing, that the Evernote app will support only very limited hierarchical organization in the form of Stacks > Notebooks > Notes > Attachments, and within that imposing a limit of only a very few Notebooks (250).
 
So, if I want to use Evernote, then I will need to design the organization of my Notes within those constraints.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, JMichaelTX said:
I would submit that if there is any type of mental block, it is not about the benefit of using tags, but the benefit of using hierarchical organization.
 
It would seem that some simply do not see the use cases, the benefits of, a hierarchical organization.

You should go back and re-read what I actually wrote (and which you quoted): "But somehow there seems to be some mental block around using tags for organization, as if data cannot be organized without rigid hierarchies."

The meaning of that sentence is that there appears to be that some folks have a mental block around the fact that you can actually organize data without rigid hierarchies but can organize data using tags (hey, Evernote users do it every day); it says nothing whatsoever about the utility of hierarchical organization (which you should know by now that I am perfectly capable of understanding and using, so please stop implying that I don't). The surprise on my part that this is so comes from the fact that we are all deeply engrained with the ability to describe the world using language, which is very akin to how tags (or labels, or categories, or keywords) work.

Share this post


Link to post

In the interest of fanning the flames, wouldn't the best systems (apps, programs, softwares) be ones which provide both hierarchical and tag organizational capabilities?

Share this post


Link to post

...but how would you decide priorities?  Better to fix the tag-based system so everyone is pretty happy with everything and then add hierarchy?  Or say to the the sync / style / calendar proponents..  "we didn't deliver your feature yet,  but look Folders..."  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
19 minutes ago, Analyst444 said:

In the interest of fanning the flames, wouldn't the best systems (apps, programs, softwares) be ones which provide both hierarchical and tag organizational capabilities?

Could that be accomplished by allowing tags to be organized in a hierarchy?
I actually have this on my Mac; but not on my iPad

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Analyst444 said:

In the interest of fanning the flames, wouldn't the best systems (apps, programs, softwares) be ones which provide both hierarchical and tag organizational capabilities?

Better for some people, for sure. For others, it would make little difference; tags suffice for organizing their data. This is a very long-running debate, starting in at least 2008, and much of what's said here has been said before. In any case, if it would be useful to you, then you should add your vote to the original feature request here: 

 

Share this post


Link to post
11 hours ago, jefito said:

And I'd like to add that people who view the world hierarchically (or want sub-notebooks in Evernote, for that matter) are wrong either.

Assume you meant aren't?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, csihilling said:

Assume you meant aren't?

Indeed, you're correct. I'll edit that. Thanks.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, DTLow said:

Could that be accomplished by allowing tags to be organized in a hierarchy?
I actually have this on my Mac; but not on my iPad

Kind of, but the search characteristics of Notebooks vs tags are slightly different, particularly without a Boolean capability.  Notebooks let you control the set of notes for AND/ANY searches a bit better in my view.  IMO, the issue is kind of represented in the Automatically select child tags functionality.  You get an ANY search for all the tags and at that point you can't winnow the list of notes.  All you can do is sort the list.  Unless I'm missing something.

That being said, mox nix to me relative to more levels of notebooks.  If EN could add them and everyone was happy it would be fine by me.

Share this post


Link to post
On 9/26/2016 at 7:52 AM, DTLow said:

Could that be accomplished by allowing tags to be organized in a hierarchy?

Tags can be organized into a hierarchy (I use them in fact, by naming my tags tag.subtag.subsubtag...), and then manually moving them into the correct hierarchies.  But it's not a complete implementation.  If it were, I'd be pretty happy.  @csihillingnoted (here) the differences in search.  The other things that are missing or that make tag hierarchies hard to use (for me, at least) are:

  • The fact that I have to manually push tags into a hierarchy is problematic.  EN could have an option like "automatically create tag hierarchies using __ as delimiter", where the user sets up the delimiter.  Boom - tag hierarchies are automatic.
     
  • I can autocomplete/search to get to subsubtag, but only if I type the full path leading to it first (tag.subtag.).  That's great if I'm tagging by project/client and have the same subtagging structure within each project/client.  But I don't always do that.  Sometimes I'm just using a hierarchy to make it easier to find things.  In @JMichaelTX's school example, I don't want to list every teacher as a top-level tag because over the years, my kids have had dozens of teachers.  So I'll tag Mr. AwesomeTeacher as TownvillePublicSchools.MainStreetElementary.MrAwesomeTeacher.  But when I want to look him up in a search, I'd like to be able to type tag:MrAwesome and have it list Mr. Awesome.  Ditto for the "Add Tag" dialog.

    Even in the "same subtagging structure" case, it might be useful to have this.  If my structure is deep, then typing "tag:billing.overdue" to find all of my clients who are tagged with "ClientName.projectPhase.billing.overdue" is pretty useful.

Actually, that's all I can think of right now.  Maybe after I've woken up more ...

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Rob Freundlich said:

So I'll tag Mr. AwesomeTeacher as TownvillePublicSchools.MainStreetElementary.MrAwesomeTeacher.  But when I want to look him up in a search, I'd like to be able to type tag:MrAwesome and have it list Mr. Awesome.  Ditto for the "Add Tag" dialog.

Even in the "same subtagging structure" case, it might be useful to have this.  If my structure is deep, then typing "tag:billing.overdue" to find all of my clients who are tagged with "ClientName.projectPhase.billing.overdue" is pretty useful.

Your name examples seem overly complex, and I'm wondering what are the benefits of the hierarchy you've imposed
I see separate/multiple tags, for example:  
TownvillePublicSchools.MainStreetElementary.MrAwesomeTeacher.
                                                      Schools
                                                             TownvillePublicSchools
                                                                      MainStreetElementary
                                                       Teachers
                                                               MrAwesomeTeacher

ClientName.projectPhase.billing.overdue" i
                                                        ClientName
                                                              Project
                                                                    ProjectPhase
                                                        Billing
                                                               Overdue

I could then search and finde MrAwsomeTeacher, even if he worked for several schools or districts
I could the search for Overdue, and find all the overdue billing

Personally, I'd apply a date on Billing and automatically identify overdue 

Share this post


Link to post
On 2016-09-26 at 8:15 AM, csihilling said:

IMO, the issue is kind of represented in the Automatically select child tags functionality.

Automatically select child tags is currently a Windows only feature; I look forward to when that and hierarchy migrate to all platforms

I suppose if notebook hierarchy is implemented, Automatically select child notebooks would be a useful feature too       

Share this post


Link to post
23 hours ago, DTLow said:

Your name examples seem overly complex, and I'm wondering what are the benefits of the hierarchy you've imposed
I see separate/multiple tags, for example:  
TownvillePublicSchools.MainStreetElementary.MrAwesomeTeacher.
                                                      Schools
                                                             TownvillePublicSchools
                                                                      MainStreetElementary
                                                       Teachers
                                                               MrAwesomeTeacher

I could then search and finde MrAwsomeTeacher, even if he worked for several schools or districts

There are a few problems with that for me:

  1. Very few, if any, teachers my kids have had have been in multiple schools or districts.  If one was, I'd move him or her up to the appropriate level
  2. I just don't think of it the way you're describing.  Tags should fit my way of thinking, or they won't work for me.
  3. When I said "I don't want to list every teacher as a top-level tag because over the years, my kids have had dozens of teachers", I didn't explain why that's a problem, and I should have.  So here 'tis:
    • I often "search" by visually scanning or scrolling instead of typing into the search bar.  Why?  No clue.  Maybe I'm a visual/tactile learner instead of whatever kind of learner works best by searching.  But for whatever reason, it works better for me for certain kinds of things.
    • I don't process large chunks of data well.  Give me a long paragraph, and I'm going to break it into bullet points.  Give me a long list of bullet points, and I'm going to break it into sub-lists.  Or, to put it in a way that works better for me:
      • Give me a long paragraph, and I'm going to break it into bullet points
      • Give me a long list of bullet points, and I'm going to break it into sub-lists

 

23 hours ago, DTLow said:

ClientName.projectPhase.billing.overdue" i
                                                        ClientName
                                                              Project
                                                                    ProjectPhase
                                                        Billing
                                                               Overdue

I could the search for Overdue, and find all the overdue billing

Personally, I'd apply a date on Billing and automatically identify overdue 

But here's the thing - you can't search for Overdue.  You have to search for "tag:Billing.Overdue".  That's my point about tag hierarchies not being fully supported.

Question: how would you put a date on Billing?

Share this post


Link to post
18 minutes ago, Rob Freundlich said:

Question: how would you put a date on Billing?

Currently, that could be supported by Reminder Date

The search whould be          tag:billing     reminderTime:* -reminderTime:day+1 -reminderDoneTime:*
                                              billing notes  with a due date    exclude future date     exclude paid

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Rob Freundlich said:

But here's the thing - you can't search for Overdue.  You have to search for "tag:Billing.Overdue".  That's my point about tag hierarchies not being fully supported.

Let's be a little bit careful here: names of tags are not related to the tag hierarchies that you can set up in Evernote.

If you create a tag named "Billing.Overdue", then that is a separate tag unto itself. There is no logical relationship between that tag and tag "Billing" or tag "Billing.Overdue.SentToCollection". They're all separate tag names as far as the search language is concerned. This is nothing to do with the hierarchical organization of tags, which is completely independent of tag names.

The search language will let you do things like searching on "tag:Billing.*" to find notes tagged with any of the above tags (regardless of how they are ordered hierarchically), which is useful, but wildcards may only be used at the end of the tag term, which makes it impossible to search for a tag containing the string "Overdue", as you noted.

For example, these tags could be in a completely flat list, or in a hierarchy like:

  • Billing.Overdue.SentToCollection
    • Billing.Overdue
      • Billing

without a peep from Evernote about any problem (hierarchy error?), and a search on "tag:Billing*" would operate exactly the same as with any tag ordering of those tag names.

I'll grant you that support for tag hierarchies in Evernote is not as full as it could be, but this example isn't a problem with tag hierarchies.

Share this post


Link to post
On 10/2/2016 at 8:55 AM, DTLow said:

Automatically select child tags is currently a Windows only feature; I look forward to when that and hierarchy migrate to all platforms

In my view the functionality sounds better than its usefulness for my use case.  The lack of all notes tagged from the parent/child hierarchy AND another condition, tag:parent tag:something, functionality makes the inheritance capability of not much value.  You just add more notes to the ANY search that inheritance creates.  FWIW.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, csihilling said:

In my view the functionality sounds better than its usefulness for my use case.  The lack of all notes tagged from the parent/child hierarchy AND another condition, tag:parent tag:something, functionality makes the inheritance capability of not much value.  You just add more notes to the ANY search that inheritance creates.  FWIW.

The usefulness is that you can select all of these notes, say for an export, or something like that. For finding your notes quickly, it's not useful. It's also made awkward by the fact that the hierarchical nature of the search is a global setting, and not one that you can apply to a single -- or saved -- search. For me, not that useful...

Share this post


Link to post
12 hours ago, jefito said:

The usefulness is that you can select all of these notes, say for an export, or something like that. For finding your notes quickly, it's not useful. It's also made awkward by the fact that the hierarchical nature of the search is a global setting, and not one that you can apply to a single -- or saved -- search. For me, not that useful...

Yeah, useful for export I suppose.  Though not sure it is worth having inheritance always on to accomplish that task.  For as often as it might happen if one did exports that way not that much of an inconvenience to F10 to open the left panel and then shift-click to select the tags.  My use case anyway. 

Just pushing for a compound Boolean search.  ;)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, csihilling said:

Yeah, useful for export I suppose.  Though not sure it is worth having inheritance always on to accomplish that task.  For as often as it might happen if one did exports that way not that much of an inconvenience to F10 to open the left panel and then shift-click to select the tags.  My use case anyway. 

Pretty much mine, too.

2 hours ago, csihilling said:

Just pushing for a compound Boolean search.  ;)

Yes, and a way to designate that tag searches include their children in the search language, too. Unfortunately (though somewhat understandably), Evernote seems to be loath to change the search language all that often. But we can dream, can't we?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...