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Feature Request: A Better Table of Contents

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I use notebooks to categorize notes of a specific topic. A good example is my Car Maintenance notebook or Medical Documents notebook. Each time I get a new invoice for some maintenance done, I scan it with Scannable and stick it into the Car Maintenance notebook. Over the years, that notebook has become quite large, and it becomes difficult to look through it using the view provided by Evernote. I use what I call an "Index" note, which is essentially a table of contents note but with categories. This allows me to a/ easily categorize the notes in a notebook using bullet point lists for each note link, and b/ easily reference that notebook's contents by placing all Index notes in the Shortcuts section. This allows me to use Evernote much like someone would a reference book or cheat-sheet. Except it's a cheat-sheet to everything in your life.

 

There are a couple problems that would be great to have solved:

 

1) Index notes have to be manually maintained. It would be great if Table of Contents notes were "smart", and auto-updated to include new notes.

 

2) Index notes allow me to categorize as I see fit, but Table of Contents notes have no categorization, which means that any large notebook's ToC turns into a useless spaghetti list of hundreds of notes. Specifying categories in a ToC would be cool, with a category for "Uncategorized" notes that are new to the notebook but haven't been categorized by the user.

 

3) Index notes allow for multi-notebook table of contents. I could have in theory an index note that mapped to a stack of notebooks - i.e. if I had a Car stack, with Car Maintenance and Car Accidents as sub notebooks, a fantastic table of contents could exist that mapped both sub notebooks, giving me a really great overview of everything Car related.

 

A lot of this could be solved by doing away with the idea of a user-created Table of Contents and instead having a "Notebook overview" note, or a Table of Contents note that HAD to exist. This note would get auto populated with smart note links to it's constituent notes, as well as any sub-notes, and include a special categorization interface.

 

This is really specific to the way I use Evernote, and I know everyone uses it differently, so it'd be great if people chimed in if they felt something in this vein was useful.

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ToC's work in other OS's as well as Mac,  and I'd agree that creating inter-note links could do with being a lot smarter.  Off the top of my head I'd give you:

 

Split a note by copying and pasting content into another note and replacing it with a link to that other note.

"Transclusion" - including the text of one note in the body of another using a special link code

Creating links (and new notes) easily by [typing the title in brackets] like a Wiki

Tracking back from one note with 'what links here'.

Dynamic links (as you mention) that stay connected even if the note is moved around.

 

...but adding new relevant links to a ToC would be a step too far IMHO - I run a notebook with several ToC's,  which are compiled from search results.  Adding a new note to that notebook doesn't mean it has to be added to any of them.  If you have a problem maintaining ToC's,  I'd suggest saving a search that lists the notes that you require - like 'categories' in a Wiki,  then run 'create ToC' against those search hits.  A few keystrokes gets you a new ToC.  Even if you have to do this on a daily basis,  it shouldn't be too onerous.

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I use notebooks to categorize notes of a specific topic. A good example is my Car Maintenance notebook or Medical Documents notebook. Each time I get a new invoice for some maintenance done, I scan it with Scannable and stick it into the Car Maintenance notebook.

. . .

 

There are a couple problems that would be great to have solved:

 

. . .

 

2) Index notes allow me to categorize as I see fit, but Table of Contents notes have no categorization, which means that any large notebook's ToC turns into a useless spaghetti list of hundreds of notes. Specifying categories in a ToC would be cool, with a category for "Uncategorized" notes that are new to the notebook but haven't been categorized by the user.

 

3) Index notes allow for multi-notebook table of contents. I could have in theory an index note that mapped to a stack of notebooks - i.e. if I had a Car stack, with Car Maintenance and Car Accidents as sub notebooks, a fantastic table of contents could exist that mapped both sub notebooks, giving me a really great overview of everything Car related.

 

. . .

 

This is really specific to the way I use Evernote, and I know everyone uses it differently, so it'd be great if people chimed in if they felt something in this vein was useful.

 

I'm not sure I understand exactly what you are requesting, but until/IF Evernote provides the features that you are requesting, you might consider this workaround.

 

To further categorize, or sub-categorize, the Notes that your refer to in your #2, you might consider the use of tags.

  • Tags cut across all Notebooks, so it would not matter which NB the Note was in
  • You could create tags with a common prefix, like "CAR." to make it easy to select, assign, and search using tags.
    • For example, you could have CAR.Maint, CAR.Accident, etc
  • You could also have tags that apply to many different areas, like "Insurance", "Loan", etc.
    • The combination of NB and Tag would yield the Note(s) of interest
  • Using NBs and Tags, you could create your TOC for your sub-categories.

Good luck in whatever approach you decide to take.  Please let us know if you have any further questions.

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Re: 3) Index notes allow for multi-notebook table of contents. 

 

If the multiple notebooks are in a stack, you can do this workaround:

Select the stack

Select all notes

Right click, "Copy note links"

Paste into a blank note

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