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Hankle

Marking/hiding a note as done/complete

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I have an Evernote Notebook called Books to Read.  Every time I learn about a book I want to read via a book review on the Internet, I save the review page into the notebook with the Evernote web clipper.

 

When I read the book, I want to mark the book/note as "done," so I don't see it in the Notebook when I look for a new book to read.  (I don't want to delete the note because I may want to see which books I've finished later.)  This seems like one of the top user scenarios for Evernote, and yet I don't see any way to do this simple task. Am I missing something? How do other people do this?

-Hank

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You could create a tag called book-wish-list

Add the tag to each of your unread books.

After you read the book, delete the tag.

 

To see only the books you want to read, search for tag:book-wish-list

Of course, you could use a shorter tag. For example: btr (book to read)

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Give all book review pages clipped an Evernote reminder... then shift to the Reminder List on whatever device... which will list your reminders according to notebook. From there you can check off reminders/ notes, directly in the reminder list... along with the ability to hide completed reminders.

 

OR.. you might also want to create a table of contents for your book list notes (either manually or automated) and use checkboxes to check off your books completed.

 

Tags work beautifully too, as outlined above. 

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I have an Evernote Notebook called Books to Read.  Every time I learn about a book I want to read via a book review on the Internet, I save the review page into the notebook with the Evernote web clipper.

 

When I read the book, I want to mark the book/note as "done," so I don't see it in the Notebook when I look for a new book to read.  (I don't want to delete the note because I may want to see which books I've finished later.)  This seems like one of the top user scenarios for Evernote, and yet I don't see any way to do this simple task. Am I missing something? How do other people do this?

-Hank

 

I have created a Status tag hiercharchy just for this type of thing.  Works very well, and the status tags are the same for all Notebook, all Notes, so they are easy to remember.

 

Here's a brief example.  Customize to your liking:

 

Status

  • ST.Open
  • ST.Closed
  • ST.Pending
  • ST.Completed
  • ST.Ordered
  • ST.Delivered
  • ST.Cancelled
  • etc

These come mostly from my project management background.

You could add "ST.ToRead" and "ST.Read", but I would probably just use "ST.Pending" and "ST.Completed".

If you want to go further, you could assign "ST.Open" when you start to read the book.

 

Or you could keep it real simple and have no tags except when you've finished the book.

In which case to find the books you haven't read yet, the Search box would be:  -tag:ST.Completed

 

I use the tag prefix of "ST." to make it easy to select the tag for assignment and filters.  As soon as you type "ST.", Evernote shows you a dropdown list of all of your Status tags, that start with "ST."   :)

 

You could also use another tag, like "!Fav", or set a Reminder (w/o date) to indicate your favorite books.

The use of a Reminder is cool because these Reminders/Notes will show at the top of the Note list, and you can manually reorder them there.

 

OK, here's one more idea/technique you could use.  I actually use this one.

 

Create one Note with a list of books to read, with a checkbox by each note, and just check it when you've read it.  I use a table with columns for Checkbox (Read), Title, Published date, Read date, link to Amazon Kindle page.

I do this with one Note per author.  I read a lot of spy books that the order of reading is important.  So my list reflects that order.  

 

I use 4 tags for books:

  • Book -- any note about a book, whether I own it or not
  • MY.Book -- Notes about books I own
  • AUTH.<AuthorName> -- name of the author
  • TBE -- To Be Evaluated
    • This is a tag I use for many things, but mostly for web clippings about something that I might be interested in, and want to evaluate further.
    • So, for books, it would be for books to buying after reviewing.

Well, I hope you find some of this useful.  It turned out longer than I expected.

I would have written a shorter letter , but I did not have the time. [Pascal, 1656]

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If the only notes in the Books To Read notebook are the book review pages, just create a tag named Read (red not reed ;) ), and do a -tag:read search when you are in the notebook.  Only unread books will appear.

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What's frustrating about all of these solutions is that they all require wonky extra steps to be taken to do this, when this should be a top-run scenario for using Evernote.  If I use an "already-read" tag, to see the books I need to read, I must 1) click on my Books to Read Notebook and 2) type "-tag:already-read" into the search box -- making seeing my to-read books a hacky, two step process.  If I use a "to-read" tag, I need to add the tag to every single book I add to the Books to Read Notebook, and then remember to always click on the to-read tag INSTEAD of the Books to Read Notebook when I want to see them.  I guess I'll use the second option since it doesn't require to type an entire search query every time I want to do this, but ugh.

 

I guess the big issue is that there's no way to filter a view for a Notebook so that you can set a notebook to always show "to-read" items unless you turn off the filter.  And there's no way to save view settings per Notebook so that you can choose to see different Notebooks in different ways.

-Hank

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What's frustrating about all of these solutions is that they all require wonky extra steps to be taken to do this... 

 

 

@Hankle... have you even tried the reminders list feature I mentioned in post #4? There's nothing wonky about that. WYSIWYG. No learning curb for the uninitiated.

 

If you have tinkered with the reminders list... please let me know what you think is particularly complex about it.

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I guess the big issue is that there's no way to filter a view for a Notebook so that you can set a notebook to always show "to-read" items unless you turn off the filter.  And there's no way to save view settings per Notebook so that you can choose to see different Notebooks in different ways.

 

Actually there is.  Just create a Saved Search named "Books to Read" or "Books NOT Read":  notebook:"books to read" -tag:read

This makes it easy because you don't have to assign any tags until you have finished reading the book:  read

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What's frustrating about all of these solutions is that they all require wonky extra steps to be taken to do this, when this should be a top-run scenario for using Evernote.  If I use an "already-read" tag, to see the books I need to read, I must 1) click on my Books to Read Notebook and 2) type "-tag:already-read" into the search box -- making seeing my to-read books a hacky, two step process.  If I use a "to-read" tag, I need to add the tag to every single book I add to the Books to Read Notebook, and then remember to always click on the to-read tag INSTEAD of the Books to Read Notebook when I want to see them.  I guess I'll use the second option since it doesn't require to type an entire search query every time I want to do this, but ugh.

 

I guess the big issue is that there's no way to filter a view for a Notebook so that you can set a notebook to always show "to-read" items unless you turn off the filter.  And there's no way to save view settings per Notebook so that you can choose to see different Notebooks in different ways.

-Hank

However you go about it you have to have one wonky step to note the book as read as opposed to not read, that's unavoidable. 

 

So the read tag and the saved search per @JM are about as streamlined as you are going to get I'm afraid.  Make it fully streamlined if you like and add the search to the shortcuts bar.  Saved searches are the easy method to save "notebook view settings" in EN, particularly with notebooks that contain many different kinds of notes.  In your use case a sort by tag in list view accomplishes the same thing.

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Tags are definitely the most powerful and efficient way to go.

 

But if you want a less wonky alternative - no tags - no filter :

1.) Continue to use your notebook: Books-to-read

2.) Move the ones you've read to another notebook: Books-I-have-read

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"The most powerful way to go"... definitely tags... the most efficient and intuitive way for checking off books read (in an isolated use case), with zero fiddling around: The reminder list - especially since we're talking about clipping web pages. Right from your web clipper you can add reminders at the time of clipping. No extra fuss in Evernote whatsoever. Adding a reminder at the time of clipping is a no-brainer. 

 

From there, you can check off those notes in the reminder list and hide them if you wish... OR you could just delete the reminder once a book is read... so that the only notes that show in the reminder list of your "Book Reviews" notebook are those that still need to be read. 

 

However, you know my real response would be to put your book-reading list in WorkFlowy with a link to the book review page.  ;) From there you can shuffle them around to a Kanban-like "Read" stage or check them off where they stand... 

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If I hear WorkFlowy one more time....  :ph34r:

 

That and sometimes it is nice to have all my stuff in one place and not be chasing my links all over the place.

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@jbenson2,

 

Depends upon your definition of wonky.  ;)

 

The definition of wonky depends on the eye of the beholder.

In my opinion, it means:

 

wonky: efficient, powerful, useful, accurate
non-wonky: simple, slow, tedious, where'd I put it?
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Actually, Cal, I have my actual books in Evernote, haha! I pop the PDFs in there and read using Evernote's Skitch Annotation tools. I have a list of books to read, which are the actual books themselves. I have half a dozen books to get through by Seth Godin alone. Also, I have some podcasts in the same notebook...

 

Seeing is believing:

 

Evernote%20book%20list.png?dl=1

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I created a notebook and called it "completed", just move them there.

Would be super awesome (and logical) if the add the ability to just mark them done and you set your filter to display/hide done notes.

Logic dictates notes will be completed/done at some point...

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10 hours ago, tripledm said:

I created a notebook and called it "completed", just move them there.

IMO, it is better to assign a tag of "Completed", since you can exclude notes that have certain tags, but you can't exclude notebooks.

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56 minutes ago, JMichaelTX said:

IMO, it is better to assign a tag of "Completed", since you can exclude notes that have certain tags, but you can't exclude notebooks.

Or just don't filter for (click on) your "completed" notebook... i.e. don't click on it and you won't see notes that are "completed". Just click on the appropriate project notebook/ stack (1 action).

Arguably this would be quicker than  (1) filtering for, say, a certain project tag... plus  (2) filtering out the "completed" tag (multiple actions, unless one has a saved search set up... or multiple saved searches set up to filter for the outstanding tasks of different projects).

Plus you're still going to have to organize your tags if you're using "Pseudo Notebooks"... then there's the nomenclature of your tags and/ or saved searches. Not to mention multiple tags for each of the tasks/ notes pertaining to projects within projects... 

... and don't forget un-tagging. You have to un-tag your tasks that were tagged with certain "stages" (e.g.Backlogged/ This Week/ Today/ Next Week/ This Month/ Now/ WIP...).

Although I am a proponent of tagging in all its beauty, one can't argue with the simplicity of notebooks and stacks. Drag and drop a note from one notebook to the next (within the Reminders List or the Left Panel) - and that's that... no "un-notebooking" of the previous notebook. 

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21 minutes ago, Frank.dg said:

... and don't forget un-tagging. You have to un-tag your tasks that were tagged with certain "stages" (e.g.Backlogged/ This Week/ Today/ Next Week/ This Month/ Now/ WIP...).

Its not the end of the world if my tags aren't cleaned up.  
Completed would be the defining tag, even if a When tag had been left on.

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So most searches of yours exclude a "completed" tag? Just curious here... I can't remember whether you use Evernote specifically for task management. I'm just thinking now that if someone using Evernote to manage tasks/ projects wanted to filter for "#next"... then what you're suggesting is that they filter like so:

Tag:next  -Tag:completed    (besides whatever project context they might be filtering for)?

I have many workflows built solely around tags - so I'm with you on this one. However, not everyone is up to setting up a tag-based system. I use a hybrid of both notebook and tag-based, since I employ just about every use case where notebooks are unavoidable, as outlined in near-definitive lists of notebook-based use cases I've posted from time to time in the forums. 

Edited by Frank.dg

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18 hours ago, Frank.dg said:

So most searches of yours exclude a "completed" tag?

Correct, although I use a generic !Archive tag,
and add text in the task note title to indicate things like completed/abandoned date etc.

I don't use #Next but I filter on my When tags, and exclude !Archived notes.

>>I can't remember whether you use Evernote specifically for task management.
I use Evernote for all my digital filing,
I don't have complicated task management requirements.

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When I complete a TSW task I delete the action  key and use a a hot key that adds _Completed mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm xM to the note body.  I leave the note in whatever notebook it was in.  Active searches are easy enough and I can go find all completed tasks with a _completed* search. 

I sometimes add the text to dated reminders I complete just so as to know when I completed it.  FWIW.

 

 

 

_Completed

 

 
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