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Vitruvia

Are notebooks redundant?

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I was thinking, do we need notebooks at all? From what I see, one could replace a notebook with just one extra tag. For example, you have a notebook about bears, inside this notebook you have several information about bears like their physical attributes, their habits, etc. Let's say you are using a tag for each of these things: you'll have a notebook called Bears and many notes tagged with either physical, habits, etc. Now, if you wanted to search for just the physical attributes of bears, you could go into your Bears notebook, choose "search inside this context only" and choose the physical tag.

What I'm asking is, how more effective is this when compared to simply adding a Bears tag to every note about bears, and when you want to search for the physical attributes of bears, you just choosing both Physical and Bears tags?

 

On top of that, I feel notebooks make it difficult when you have converging subjects. Let us say, for example, I have an article about what types of honey are preferred by bears, now let us say I also have a notebook about honey, and that I'd like to have this information on both my Bears notebook and on my Honey notebook. To do that, I'd have to copy the note into both notebooks, and thus I'd have duplicated notes that might show up when I search for the subject. Now, if I happened to use only tags, I could tag a single note with Bears, Food, and Honey, for example, and if I happened to be searching for honey only when related to bears, all I'd have to do would be to choose both Honey and Bears tags.

 

So, what do you think, do we need notebooks at all?

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I think, @Vitruvia, you've grasped the idea behind tags way quicker than most. Your logic above is most certainly on the right track... however, you may discover that there are specific use cases beyond one's general M.O. where notebooks may come in handy. To name a few:

(1) 3rd party apps automatically create and use their own notebooks (or else are pointed toward notebooks) as part and parcel of the sync setup. Here are a few I have used:

  • vJournal (Creates a "My Journal" stack)
  • IFTTT
  • Penultimate
  • Bamboo
  • Gneo (A dedicated stack with notebooks to mirror the app setup)
  • Swipes (pointed to notebooks of your choice)
  • Evernote Sticky Notes: http://hosting.edo-s...om/stickynotes/
  • ... and tons more

(2) Import folders (on Windows desktop) are notebook-based 

(3) The iOS web clipper for Safari does not yet include a tagging option, which would necessitate later sorting 

(4) The Reminders list does not sort according to tags, but rather according to notebook sections

(5) Offline notebook(s)

(6) Local notebooks (Desktop client)

(7) Sharing public notebooks (That's a biggie)

(8) The iOS client does not show nested tags, making it difficult to get the semblance of structure some need with stacks and notebooks

 

Maybe I've missed a few.

 

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1 hour ago, Vitruvia said:

So, what do you think, do we need notebooks at all?

I use tags for organization.  

I use notebooks for their special features,  sharing and local; other than that I have Inbox, File Cabinet, and Trash.

When I read posts on the forum where people complain about the 250 notebook limit, I feel like yelling - You're doing it wrong.

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58 minutes ago, DTLow said:

When I read posts on the forum where people complain about the 250 notebook limit, I feel like yelling - You're doing it wrong.

When I read posts on the forum where people proclaim the necessity of using multiple a bazillion tags to categorize each note, I feel like yelling - "petaQ" or some such similar Klingon curse word.

I use tags a lot for categorization... in fact I lean predominantly toward tags with my notebook/tag hybrid setup... but if one keeps their tagging conventions (and setup) simple, who's to say that a system of hundreds of stacks and notebooks is any less right than that of hundreds of tags? 

EDIT: (correction) I don't feel like yelling "petaQ", I just yell it right there and then.

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1 hour ago, Frank.dg said:

When I read posts on the forum where people proclaim the necessity of using multiple a bazillion tags to categorize each note

You're over reacting. I've never seen anyone suggest this.

Evernote is flexible. Some users opt for lots of notebooks, Other users opt for lots of tags, Other users opt for a structured title. But these various of methods don't cause me to flip out and start yelling about it. Let's just point out the pros and cons of our work-arounds.

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Lol, quite the opposite Jbenson2. It's a poke at the previous post. Context my good fellow. Context.

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1 hour ago, DTLow said:

When I read posts on the forum where people complain about the 250 notebook limit, I feel like yelling - You're doing it wrong.

When you've been around this forum for a while, you will observe one of most common statements is that "there is no right or wrong way to use Evernote.  Each user has to determine what works best for him/herself."  (that's a paraphrase).

As @jbenson2 stated:  we should "just point out the pros and cons of our work-arounds", and the let the user decide what to use.

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1 hour ago, Frank.dg said:

When I read posts on the forum where people proclaim the necessity of using multiple a bazillion tags to categorize each note, I feel like yelling

I try but Evernote limits me to 100 tags - darn :)

I usually consider 4 categories for tagging who/what/where/when 

Maybe we need to add a sarcasm flag to our posts, although the Klingon reference might have been an indicator.

I would have responded earlier but we're busy debating the USB stick at the water cooler in another discussion.

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12 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Maybe we need to add a sarcasm flag to our posts

In a forum like this one, where you have lots of members with a wide variety native languages, IMO, it is best not to use sarcasm at all, but especially for important discussions like notebooks vs tags.  I think the sarcasm will often be misunderstood.  @DTLow, I don't know whether or not your post was intended to be sarcastic, but if so, I did not detect it, and US English is the only language I can fluently speak/write/read.  

But then you are from Canada, right?  So maybe it would be obvious to other Canadians, or others who speak the Queen's English. ;) (just so you know, that was a sarcastic remark, so I just violated my own guidance.  LOL)

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General agreement here - go with whatever suits you,  maybe try out various options,  stick with anything that seems to work.  I wound up with about 20 notebooks for various specific purposes,  but over 90% are in my default notebook.  I start a new notebook only when forced to do so - for shares,  archiving or work in progress - and I don't automatically use tags.  My notes are all titled with <date> <type> <source> <subject> <keywords> so an intitle:<search term> can find me a short list of usually relevant topics.  More sophistcated use of the search features may be necessary to find some subjects,  in which case (and because I'm terminally lazy) I will change titles,  save searches,  add tags and generally make it easier for myself next time.

I do have about 1,000 tags - mostly relics of the days when I did tag everything,  then forgot the tag and used a different one, or typo'd it and created a new one...  that was back in the day when we didn't have nested tag features,  so I guess  should do something about clearing those up sometime,  but like I said; lazeee...

Notebooks are useful,  as are tags,  searches and note titles;  but they're an all-purpose Lego kit - build from them what you will.

Don't get impatient by the way if you seem to be permanently adjusting tags and titles and saved searches - as your database gets bigger you'll find that 'curation' is always an overhead.  Tidying up (we used to call it 'gardening') tends to be quite busy in the first month or two of any database,  then settle down to something that adds a few minutes to each session.  Don't neglect it - keeping the database in good shape is always a good idea!

:)

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17 minutes ago, gazumped said:

Notebooks are useful,  as are tags,  searches and note titles;  but they're an all-purpose Lego kit - build from them what you will.

Love this explanation :-)

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Minimal notebooks and minimal tags.  Minimalist post.

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8 minutes ago, csihilling said:

Minimal notebooks and minimal tags.  Minimalist post.

This guy's also a minimalist:

 

20140210-221854.jpg

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In clothing but not decor.  Back to topic?

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19 hours ago, JMichaelTX said:

... Canadians, or others who speak the Queen's English. ;) 

I can get by with my version of English and Google Translate, eh:)

Its just @Frank.dg and the other Klingons sometimes throw me; I may have to switch to Bing translate, I heard they support Klingon

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On February 19, 2016 at 2:52 PM, Frank.dg said:

who's to say that a system of hundreds of stacks and notebooks is any less right than that of hundreds of tags? 

Who? I think it was Evernote; i.e. 250 notebook limit vs 100,000 tags :)

Seriously, the limitation of one notebook per note makes it more than just a personal opinion.

Also, beyond being right, they have different uses.  You can't use a tag to make a note local, or shared.

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Evernote also said they would make Microsoft Office obsolete, came out with Work Chat etc, etc... ;)

Anyways... I agree with you about the bigger picture, actually. Just that some people have hybrid setups, while others would like Evernote to offer more notebooks. It may or may not be wise... buy who am I to say?

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5 hours ago, DTLow said:

Who? I think it was Evernote; i.e. 250 notebook limit vs 100,000 tags :)

Seriously, the limitation of one notebook per note makes it more than just a personal opinion.

Nope.  It's still just your personal opinion.

The Evernote System Limits do not suggest a preference or recommendation by Evernote to use one or the other.

There are some methods of organization that are better suited to using notebooks, while other methods are better suited to using tags.
Neither is right or wrong.  It comes down to the user's requirements and preferences.

 

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1 hour ago, JMichaelTX said:

Nope.  It's still just your personal opinion.

It is not just my personal opinion that you can only have 250 notebooks - it is a fact
It is not just my personal opinion that you can only have 100,000 tags - it is a fact
It is not just my personal opinion that you can only have one notebook per note - it is a fact
It is not just my personal opinion re local notebooks - it is a fact
It is not just my personal opinion re shared notebooks - it is a fact

Aside from those facts, Yes, it is only my personal opinion
I have mentioned my workflow, how I use both notebooks and tags; but people should use what ever system they are comfortable with.
(but no more that 250 notebooks :))

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@DTLow:  That's a very funny response.  Of course I was not challenging your statement of the limits.

But it is your personal opinion that the limits imply a preference by Evernote.

42 minutes ago, DTLow said:

people should use what ever system they are comfortable with.

I think we can agree on that. ;)

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11 minutes ago, JMichaelTX said:

But it is your personal opinion that the limits imply a preference by Evernote.

Sorry for the confusing the discussion
I was being facetious with a post by @Frank.dg and was indicating not so much a preference but a limit for the "hundreds of stacks and notebooks"

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3 minutes ago, DTLow said:

I was being facetious with a post by @Frank.dg and was indicating not so much a preference but a limit for the "hundreds of stacks and notebooks"

Your statement below did not come across as facetious to me:

7 hours ago, DTLow said:

Seriously, the limitation of one notebook per note makes it more than just a personal opinion.

Maybe we can move on now, since I know you don't like to be off-topic.  ;)

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3 hours ago, DTLow said:

you can only have one notebook per note

Nope. Doesn't mean that someone who uses lots of notebooks doesn't use tags. It's not just black or white. 

Changing the topic slightly... I've suggested many, many times: why not have offline tag categories instead of just offline notebooks?... that way you can have offline notes across notebooks. That would be amazing... thus I couldn't currently be bothered with offline notebooks. I take my chances with an iffy 4G internet connection when I'm out and about.

Did I mention that I'm a HUGE fan of tags in all their wondrous use cases and glory? 

My semi-comprehensive list of use cases for notebooks is inescapable. I was just adding that into the mix. If you're into testing and tinkering and sharing, a bunch of notebooks cannot be avoided.

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On February 19, 2016 at 1:02 PM, Vitruvia said:

From what I see, one could replace a notebook with just one extra tag.

Getting back on topic.

>>From what I see, one could replace a notebook with just one extra tag.
You might want to look at @JMichaelTX post at using tags as pseudo notebooks
It presents the same point

>>I feel notebooks make it difficult when you have converging subjects
True, but (playing the devils advocate - no offence intended to notebook fans)
what if the subjects were completely exclusive. 
For example, the TSW site suggest two notebooks Pending Tasks and Active Tasks

With tags, you run the risk of having two opposite tags on the same note - can't happen with notebooks

>>So, what do you think, do we need notebooks at all?
For me, notebooks are needed for their features of Local and Shared
Also, I do have a few notebooks @Inbox, File Cabinet, Trash; I wouldn't want to give those up
And before I get slammed, don't overlook that there are people wanting to use notebooks to organize their notes. It also adds an extra dimension to that provided by tags.

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It seems to me notebooks and tags are a like a teeter totter in equilibrium.  It's just that in some use cases there are more notebooks than others, in some more tags than others, and in some more notebooks and tags than others.  Whatever the case, per @gazumped above, everyone builds their own model with the Legos.

To the OPs question you can use EN with only one notebook, but if it doesn't work out and the teeter totter gets out of equilibrium you can change.  Most users need notebooks, some far more than others.  So do what you want from 1 to 250. 

My use case has driven me to 3 synced (2 that are shares or it would be 1), 3 local (confidential stuff that searches better separated), with Inbox and Scans.  Don't make it right, just makes it right for me.

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On February 19, 2016 at 3:02 PM, Vitruvia said:

...From what I see, one could replace a notebook with just one extra tag. ...

So, what do you think, do we need notebooks at all?

I'm relatively new to (intensive use of) Evernote, which means there's lots I don't know but it also means I'm furiously trying to figure out exactly the kind of thing you're asking about. There are of course some differences in the numbers of permitted Tags vs Notebooks, but that either matters to a user or it doesn't. I'd imagine that for many people, both numbers are bigger than needed and so are fine. That's where I am on that topic. So as I've been learning, tuning, honing my setup, I've been focusing on more substantive differences. FWIW, here's where my thinking has got so far:

On the one hand, in theory yes Notebooks could be seen as being made redundant by Tags. After all, in one sense the Notebook which a Note belongs to just *is* a kind of Tag attached to that Note. Or rather, both Notebooks and Tags are different kinds of metadata that we can attach to Notes.

But on the other hand, Evernote handles those two different kinds of metadata slightly differently, and to the extent those differences are meaningful to you, you may want to continue to use Notebooks in addition to or instead of Tags. Here are several possible examples (I say possible because I think but am not sure if all points are as I describe them) of differences that may make the use of Notebooks still worthwhile:

  1. Physical Analog. For me this is probably the most important one. Notebooks offer, in the way the Evernote UI handles them, a physical analog that can help us as we use them. So from a computing theory point of view, yes a Note's Notebook really is just a label attached to that Note, just like a Tag is. But when we *think* about it, we really think about putting a Note into a Notebook, or dragging a Note from one Notebook to another. And so on. That analog -- just like the folders and desktops we all take for granted on our computers in general -- although simple is non-trivial and can be very useful. And even if you can actually do something similar with Tags (I don't know if actually you can), EN has clearly been designed with the Note/Notebook physical analog in mind, and if that analog helps you then using Notebooks to benefit from that analog, instead of trying to squeeze Tags into it, means you're working more with and less against the flow of the tool's architects.
  2. Offline Notebooks. When choosing which of all your Notes should be available offline on your mobile device, that choice is done via Notebooks and not via Tags. You cannot make Notes available offline on a tag-by-tag basis.
  3. External Tools. Some external tools may require that they interact with EN via a Notebook (i.e. and not via a Tag)
  4. Default Notebook. You can (must?) designate one of your Notebooks as the Default, and that removes a l-i-t-t-l-e bit of friction in getting things into EN from the outside (because it's freeing you from having to specify where an incoming Note should land). AFAIK, there is no such thing as a default Tag. (It's true you can set up WebClipper to "Always tag with..." but that's just a little less cool in the friction-reducing stakes.)  
  5. Useful Restrictions. In terms of the way Notebooks are created and then used, there are (at least) three restrictions that while in many situations are undesirable, may actually be useful in others.
    1. Notebooks Must Be Created Before Use. If I want to put a Note into a Notebook that doesn't yet exist, I have to do that in two distinct stages. First, I create the new Notebook. Second, I move the Note there. This contrasts with applying Tags, where if I apply a Tag that does not yet exist, it will be created for me on the fly. The problem with that second approach is that I may inadvertently create an unwanted Tag without realizing it. For example, the Tag I actually intend to use may already exist, but if when I enter its name I mistype, then EN will create a whole new Tag with the new (wrong) name. For example, I may have a Note that I intend to tag with (the already-created) Project-X, but instead I inadvertently tag it with (the as-yet non-existent) project-X, or even projetc-X; and, crucially, in each case I would get no warning of my error. In other words, the fact that I am forced to take more care when creating Notebooks is a form of error checking. (It is similar to what happens in programming languages referred to as "strongly typed" where the programmer is often not allowed to use a variable until she has first told the program about it. Can be annoying in the short term, but makes for fewer problems in the longer term.)
    2. A Note Can Be In Only One Notebook. Often, the fact that a Note can have multiple Tags is seen as an advantage when set against the fact that a Note can be in only one Notebook at a time. But sometimes the Notebook restriction can be useful. And although you could always decide to simulate that restriction with Tags by voluntarily using only one Tag on a given Note still the fact that One-Notebook-Per-Note is *forced* on you can be a good thing. (Ask any programmer used to Object-Oriented Programming about how private members are useful precisely because they *enforce* a limitation on the programmer.)
    3. A Note Must Be In One Notebook. While Notes may have many Tags, they also may have none; but they must have a Notebook. Again, your mileage may vary, but sometimes restrictions are useful
  6. Just As "Hierarchical". This is not so much an advantage of Notebooks over Tags, but rather the lack of what I thought was an advantage of Tags over Notebooks. To be honest, it's really barely worth mentioning, and I do so more as a complaint about that lack of advantage rather than as the description of a genuinely useful feature of Notebooks over Tags. So, one of the things I (and many others, judging from Google and the EN forums) thought Tags gave over Notebooks was hierarchy. That is, I thought that while you cannot get Notebooks within Notebooks, you can get Tags within Tags. Now it's true that in terms of how they are displayed, Tags are able to be in some way nested, but there is no meaningful hierarchy in Tags in terms of how that lets us search and retrieve our Notes (which is a major reason why we use tools like EN in the first place!). As an example, suppose that I have a "top level" Tag called projects, and that it has a "child" Tag called active. Suppose also that I have a Note entitled Something_About_My_Active_Project and I tag it with active (but only with active; i.e. I specifically do not add the top level projects Tag to the Note). Intuitively one might think that since Tag active is a child of Tag projects, then if I search for Notes tagged with projects I should also find Notes tagged with active and so my Note entitled Something_About_My_Active_Project should appear in the results. Well that intuition is wrong. Although active is a child of projects, Tag searches cannot make that connection. If I want my Note entitled Something_About_My_Active_Project to be found by a search for projects then I'd better make sure I've explicitly tagged the Note with projects (i.e. as well as with active). And that means that perhaps the single most important feature of Tag hierarchy isn't (a feature). And that's a shame. HOWEVER, since Tags aren't really hierarchical, Notebooks aren't then inferior to them on that front are they? Notebooks too have only a measly kind of pseudo-hierarchy -- Stacks -- of little or no use except for tidying up your display. But measly though the Stacks-based "hierarchy" may be, it's really not much if at all measlier than Tags poor excuse for hierarchy. So, not so much a point to Notebooks as a point off Tags. But it amounts to much the same thing. Sigh.

There may of course be several more examples (and some of the above may benefit from the correction/modification by more knowledgeable users), but those are what I currently consider as being: Reasons You Might Still Want To Use Notebooks Vs Tags. However, despite all that pro-Notebook stuff, for various reasons my current approach is still to prefer Tags over Notebooks. My current setup is rapidly heading towards a three Notebook system, with almost all other categorization etc being done with Tags. The three are:

  1. Inbox. This is my Default and it catches everything coming in via Web Clipper, including tasks getting chucked in from Gmail. Not much tagging in here.
  2. ToDo. Not yet settled, but mostly one Note per task (except for really simple stuff. Most things get moved to here after first landing in Inbox. Not much tagging in here either
  3. Notebook. Everything else. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G else. Tagging a-go-go.

I suspect I may end up having some additional Project-specific Notebooks that "arise and then pass away" (Mahasi Sayadaw's Progress of Insight, anyone? :-) ), but those will be used in a way that's fairly tightly-coupled with Tag use. (I already have that Tag/Notebook coupling almost designed, but I'll need to "play test" it for real before I decide it makes sense). I also imagine that over time, having only that single Notebook could pose storage, search time, and other performance issues, so that may need some attention. But I'll cross that bridge later. On the other hand, It's possible I could do away with both Inbox and ToDo, designate the single remaining Notebook as my Default, and control ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING with Tags. But deciding on those things are all part of my converging-but-not-yet-completely Evernote Workflow Process. I'll know more about that only once I've figured it out.

Kyle

 

 

 

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On 2/19/2016 at 3:02 PM, Vitruvia said:

I was thinking, do we need notebooks at all?

From my perspective, yes.

It has already been stated that we need notebooks for:

  • Sharing blocks of notes
  • Storing of the full content of blocks of notes (as Offline Notebooks) on mobile devices

You may have thought that I am a big notebook user from some of my above statements.  But actually I'm a big tag user, with a few notebooks:

  • .InBox
  • .InWork
  • Active
  • Archived
  • plus 2 or 3 more for Shared Notebooks and Offline Notebooks

I used to have many more notebooks, until I converted to using pseudo notebooks:

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8 minutes ago, KyleT said:

... Now it's true that in terms of how they are displayed, Tags are able to be in some way nested, but there is no meaningful hierarchy in Tags in terms of how that lets us search and retrieve our Notes (which is a major reason why we use tools like EN in the first place!).

Via JMichaelTX's link to Using Tags as Pseudo Notebooks, I read his comment:

"Tags can be organized in hierarchies (meaning Parent-Child relationship).  So we can achieve the appearance of Notebooks and sub-notebooks,"

I actually think that's a big deal and it makes me reckon I was being overly dismissive of the non-search-capability side of the Tag "hierarchy". I think what JMichaelTX is effectively saying is that there is an important aspect of the physical analog I talked about that is actually better implemented in the Tag handling aspects of the UI than in the Notebook one. Specifically, the Tag hierarchy may confer the ability to visualize such things as:

  • several sections within a notebook (à la the kind of 3,5,7-section notebooks you can pick up at any Walmart or Target)
  • several notebooks within a binder,
  • several binders within an archive box, and so on

That's cool and much better than Notebook Stacks.

Kyle

 

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24 minutes ago, KyleT said:

I think what JMichaelTX is effectively saying is that there is an important aspect of the physical analog I talked about that is actually better implemented in the Tag handling aspects of the UI than in the Notebook one. Specifically, the Tag hierarchy may confer the ability to visualize such things as:

  • several sections within a notebook (à la the kind of 3,5,7-section notebooks you can pick up at any Walmart or Target)
  • several notebooks within a binder,
  • several binders within an archive box, and so on

Well said @KyleT.  I think you hit the nail on the head!  :)

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Nested tags!

That would be good if they ever get it sorted in the Business version. I could do so much with this feature.

Chris

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Just on the general point of creating new notebooks - my preferred decision point is purely: is there a compelling reason why I should not just toss this note/ these notes in with the rest?  If I absolutely,  positvely,  definitely and compellingly need to isolate it/ them from others without any question of a doubt...  then I'll create a new notebook.  The default however is "Toss it in with the rest".  My fallback is the search feature - if I made a mistake and need to find that note again,  I'll get to it by keywords,  or created date or source.  Just sayin' ;)

(Though nested tags are pretty cool too...)

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15 minutes ago, gazumped said:

(Though nested tags are pretty cool too...)

Stop upsetting me Gaz!!

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:D  Sorry - I don't use 'em seriously;  they don't translate to shared notebooks or mobile use very well yet.  When you can see the same nested tag list on ALL clients (including Business!)  then we'll be talking!

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Although I am migrating more and more to a tag-based system by converting many notebooks to tag categories, let me add a couple more thoughts to the Notebook side of the equation:

Since, as you pointed out, tags and notebooks may all be seen as labels or "containers", take the following simple scenario:

  1. I could tag a  Star Trek reference (note) with... tag:Geeky Media  tag:Star Trek  tag:Captain's log.
    • 3 categories, 4 actions (unless one had everything in a default notebook - in which case, 3 actions)
  2. I could also pop the same note into a Star Trek notebook within a Geeky Media stack and then tag with "Captain's log"
    • The difference between the above 2 methods is that by popping the note into a Star Trek notebook, it automatically falls under Geeky Media. Then one would only need to tag with "Captain's log". 3 categories/ denominations, 2 actions

Although there are less actions for the 2nd dynamic, in practice, I use neither of the above methods. What I use is a Geeky Media notebook and tag everything from there on out. So I'll have 2 tags in the above scenario: tag:Star Trek  tag:Captain's log. I could just as easily convert the "Geeky Media" notebook category into a tag category... and I may just do it in the near future... but either way, let me show you a cool dynamic which people may know about, but I don't see many actually talking about. This is a relatively new development on Evernote's timeline, and it weighs heavily in favor of tags and more tags. Here's an animated GIF. First the show and then the brief tell:

 

56caed731ec04_NoteListToolbar.thumb.gif.

 

What you see above is the use of the Note List's toolbar to filter for notebooks and tags. Once you get used to it, you're able to effectively filter for any sub categories. 

  1. First I filter for a notebook category (which could just as well be a tag category)
  2. I hit the tag icon in the Note List toolbar and it shows me all the tags associated with that particular notebook.
  3. Once I've filtered for any tag, and I filter a 2nd time 'round for tags, my options are narrowed down. 
    • In the above GIF, once I've filtered for my "Star Trek" tag, I get 2 further sub categories: "Captain's log" and "Search Syntax"

If I'm not mistaken, I think the above dynamic is the only one we currently have which will effectively narrow down remaining associated tag categories for us based on the tags already filtered for, without having to scan the note list in list view or relying on a nested tag index, which may or may not be able to give us the whole associative story.

Using the above dynamic, once doesn't necessarily have to rely on a nested tag structure, whether one has one or not. I recommend having one, just to keep things nice and pretty.

One area not so in favor of tagging, IMHO, is that of task management (for those who actually manage tasks in Evernote). For the simple reason that I find it a huge PITA to un-tag certain tasks when they change category or status. Too much upkeep. If one is determined to manage tasks in Evernote, I'd go for an intra-note-based system, which many people have adopted after reading this blog post of mine:

http://www.productivitymashup.com/blog/2014/10/7/kanban-calendar-evernote-series-1-of-5

If one is interested in using reminders and the Reminder List, I recreated my Kanban Calendar system in a notebook-based setup (because the Reminder List categorizes visually according to notebook):

http://www.productivitymashup.com/blog/2014/10/16/kanban-calendar-evernote-series-2-of-5

Although I don't use the Reminder List anymore as part of my task management system (in fact I don't use Evernote), if you have the time to check it out, the above post does a great job of explaining how a notebook setup (as opposed to a tag-based system) for task management can be more efficient... the fact that there is no tagging and un-tagging... as well as the ease at which one can add reminders to just about everything you're wanting to get into Evernote from external sources, from email to web clippings (including on iOS)... and the ease at which notebook categories can be chosen (and the glaring absence of the ability to tag items in many cases) outside of Evernote.

Task management is the one sticky area in Evernote and one of the biggest challenges to get right. Tags complicate the matter, purely because of the extra work involved to un-tag stuff. Normally (and luckily) one wouldn't need to un-tag reference material and much else that we talk about in this forum - so tags are becoming increasingly appealing to me.

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12 hours ago, C6REW said:

Nested tags!

That would be good if they ever get it sorted in the Business version. I could do so much with this feature.

Chris

This question confused me because I have the Business version and clearly -- since I've been discussing it -- I have the "nested" Tags thing. So it seems it already is "sorted in the Business version". Hmm; or is it? Although I have the Business version, I'm currently using only the Personal "side"[1]  and now @C6REW's question is making me wonder if perhaps I'm seeing the Tag "nesting" work as well as it does only because I'm not actually exposing myself to the full Business-ness of my Business edition. 

I did a quick check as follows:

  1. In the Tags view, choose a pre-existing Tag for this test, and record its current note count. For demo purposes:
    • Call the Tag pre-existing-personal-tag[2]
    • Assume its initial note count is 3. That is, at the moment, exactly three Notes -- all of them in Personal Notebooks, because that's all there is right now -- are tagged with pre-existing-personal-tag.
  2. ]Create a Business Notebook called business-nb
  3. Add a Note to business-nb called business-note-1
  4. Attempt to tag business-note-1 with pre-existing-personal-tag
    • Note immediately that no auto-completion is offered when typing out "pre-existing-personal-tag"
    • Speculate that perhaps the Business side of EN is unaware of, or is ignoring, a tag from over on the Personal side? 
  5. Complete the tagging "by force" (i.e. ignore the lack of auto-completion)
    • Note that the tag attaches fine
    • Note, in the Tags view, that the count against pre-existing-personal-tag increases by 1, going from 3 to 4

So far so mildly-eyebrow-raising (i.e the non-auto-completion). I then followed on with:

  1. Create business-note-2
  2. Attempt to tag it with pre-existing-personal-tag
    • Note that now auto-completion is offered, so something has changed.
  3. Complete the tagging (i.e. accept the auto-complete)
    • Note that the tag attaches fine
    • Note, in the Tags view, that the count against pre-existing-personal-tag again increases by 1, going from 4 to 5

Next, following a hunch (sadly to be confirmed):

  1. In the Tags view, check the note count of pre-existing-personal-tag. Then double click on the tag and see which notes are produced
    • Note count is still 5
    • Double-clicking produces a list of five notes: three in Personal Notebooks plus business-note-1 and business-note-2
    • Conclude that at least one sense, pre-existing-personal-tag, is a single Tag, usable by both Business and Personal Notes
  2. Again in the Tags view, right-click on pre-existing-personal-tag and choose "Delete..."
  3. Respond to the resulting dialog box's question, "Are you sure you want to delete the tag 'pre-existing-personal-tag'?" by hitting Delete
    • Note (with appropriate level of shock, horror, and dismay) that the tag has not been deleted
    • But note that its count has dropped from 5 to 2
  4. In the Tags view, double-click on pre-existing-personal-tag and see which notes are produced
    • A list of two notes is produced: business-note-1 and business-note-2
    • Conclude that my hunch was right and that in at least one sense, pre-existing-personal-tag, is some kind of dual Tag, with one aspect of that duality being Personal and the other Business

And finally:

  1. In the Tags view, check the note count of pre-existing-personal-tag. Then double click on the tag and see which notes are produced
    • Note count is still 2
    • Double-clicking still produces a list of two notes: business-note-1 and business-note-2
  2. Again in the Tags view, right-click on pre-existing-personal-tag and choose "Delete..."
  3. Respond to the resulting dialog box's question, "Are you sure you want to delete the tag 'pre-existing-personal-tag'?" by hitting Delete
    • Note that a second dialog box is produced warning that we "Can't delete 'pre-existing-personal-tag'. This tag is in a shared notebook" and asking "Would you like to remove 'pre-existing-personal-tag' from all notes?"
  4. Respond to question by clicking "Remove Tag From Notes"
    • Note that, finally, pre-existing-personal-tag has gone
  5. Conclude ... well, conclude it's time to ask a question.

The software tester in me could then have started to get really intricate, but I think honor is preserved and that I've earned the right to ask a question of the forum Gods'n'Gurus.

So, G'n'Gs; concerning Tags in EN Business edition (and with particular interest in the implications on nesting/hierarchy): WTF?

thx,

Kyle

[1] I'm trying out Business, so there's still a chance I'll eventually revert to Premium. And to minimize the work needed if I do decide to revert, I've chosen to make all my Notebooks Personal (regardless of content). I did start my Business trial with both Personal and Business Notebooks, but then I found that while you can easily convert Personal Notebooks to Business, moving in the the opposite direction is a bit messier (albeit do-able).  I just never considered that restricting my trial of Business edition to using Personal notebooks may hide some Business/Personal Tag implications.

[2] At this stage, i.e. before my worst fears are confirmed, it really shouldn't be called pre-existing-personal-tag because that could imply that there really are such a things as "Personal" Tags and "Business" tags. But pre-existing-personal-tag is just so much easier to type than pre-existing-tag-that-was-first-created-within-a-note-contained-in-a-personal-notebook, so give me some latitude, while there's still hope.

 

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Hi Kyle,

Not had a chance to read your post, but can confirm that the lack of 'Nested Tags' in the Business version is one of big problems we 'business' users have been harping on about.

Will now try and read your elaborate post!

Best regards

 

Chris

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Hi again Kyle,

Personal 'tags' do not move over to the 'Business' side of your Evernote account. They remain totally separate.

This is a good thing as you don't want to see 'Personal tags' from other users on your 'Business' account.

Regards

Chris

 

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9 hours ago, C6REW said:

Hi again Kyle,

Personal 'tags' do not move over to the 'Business' side of your Evernote account. They remain totally separate.

This is a good thing as you don't want to see 'Personal tags' from other users on your 'Business' account.

The latter is a good point, but I don't think it's true to say they "totally" remain separate, at very least not within a single user's account. As I showed, I created a situation where visually I had a single tag that was visible and usable from both the Personal and Business sides. And its note count was the sum of the numbers of Business *and* Personal notes. So those weren't very separate.

On the other hand, yes there was *some* separateness in that when deleting that tag, it became clear it was really as if there were two tags, since deletion seemed to get done over two attempts. The first deleted the Personal tag, and then the second deleted its Business twin.

So separate, but perhaps only in the way Church and State in the US are separate? That is, kinda, depending on: your point of view, who's making the rules that day, what their preferences are, and probably what Donald Trump's recent comments were :-)

 

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Hi Kyle,

I have not had the time to go through your notes, but I can assure you there is no correlation as far as I am aware between Business and Personal Tags.

I have been a Business user since the product was first launched with some 22K+ plus Notes between my Personal and Business accounts and three full time Business users.

It would be crazy for a Personal Tag to be shown in the Business section and vice versa. 

However, whilst I have Evernote installed on Windows, iMac, Macbook, iPad and Android, it is fair to say I use it mostly in Windows.

Should Tags move between Personal and Business then I believe this should be reported as a bug. After all if I put a Personal Tag that says 'Illicit Meetings' and anyone else in the company see it in the Business Tags, I will be in trouble! Bearing in mind my Wife, one of my Sons and one of my Daughters works in the company!!

Best regards

 

Chris

 

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4 hours ago, C6REW said:

Hi Kyle,

I have not had the time to go through your notes, but I can assure you there is no correlation as far as I am aware between Business and Personal Tags.

Hi Chris, I wouldn't bother going through my full post. Below is a summary of the three key points. For my part, though, I have absolutely no doubt (see footnote [1]) that there is at least some kind of "quasi-connection" between Business Tags and Personal Tags. 

  1. Personal Tags Appear To Be Usable With Business Notes. If you take a pre-existing Tag -- call it MyTag -- that is already attached to 3 (say) Personal Notes(see footnote [2]) , and you then tag a Business Note with it, that will appear to succeed. You will see:
    •  Only a single Tag called MyTag will be shown in the Tags view,
    • The note count of MyTag will have increased from 3 to 4
  2. Combined Personal/Business Tags Cannot Be Deleted. If you then attempt to delete MyTag in the Tags view, that deletion will appear to fail, but without the user being warned. You will see:
    • There will still be a Tag called MyTag in the Tags view
    • The note count of MyTag will have decreased from 4 to 1
    • MyTag will no longer appear attached to any of the three Personal Notes that we started with
  3. Except When They Can Be. Finally, if you make a second attempt to delete MyTag in the Tags view, that deletion will succeed. You will see:
    • There will be no Tag called MyTag in the Tags view
    • MyTag will no longer appear attached to the Business Note that we started with

I've a couple of observations and caveats on the above, but I'll post that separately. Don't want another tome!

Kyle

[1] Because of the testing I did and then wrote up in that earlier analysis. I'm a software tester by day, so I tend to attack things like that anyway, but it may be useful if as you say there is a bug here and needs reporting.

[2] For brevity, I use phrases as "Personal Note", or "Business Tag", etc to mean, respectively, "a Note within a Personal Notebook" or "a Tag created by first attaching it to a Note within a Business Notebook", etc.

 

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1 minute ago, KyleT said:

...observations and caveats ...

The above three points are all repeatable and as I say, for me they are in no doubt. But that is what I *observed*. Here's a guess as to what may really be going on.
  1. Business Tags and Personal Tags really are two different things, but how they're handled by EN's UI can blur the distinction
  2. It is possible to create a Tag of each type, but with identical names. Let's call such an identically-named Personal/Business pair of Tags, a "Twin Tag"(see footnote [1])
  3. A Twin Tag will appear as a single Tag in the Tags view, with the Twin's note count being equal to the sum of the note counts of each of the two actual Tags in the Twin.
  4. If you attempt to delete a Twin Tag, only the Personal Tag in the Twin will be deleted. The Business Tag from the Twin will simply revert to being a normal Business Tag (still with its original name), and its note count will refer only to Business Notes 

A couple of caveats:

  1. I did all of my testing within a single EN Business account (mine). Cross-user behavior may be different to what I saw
  2. In my above guess of what may be going on, I'm ignoring order of events. For example, I started with a Personal Tag and then tried to attach it to a Business Note. Doing it in the opposite direction may have yielded different results. For example:
    • maybe the behavior is simply asymmetrical and *only* occurs in the Personal->Business direction
    • maybe the direction of behavior early on affects observations later. For example, perhaps me starting in the Personal->Business direction is what resulted in the first deletion attempt of the Twin ending up deleting the Personal Side (i.e. maybe it's FIFO in terms of creation and deletion -- FCFD as it were)

Kyle

[1] Like the way one human twin in utero can hide behind another so the ultrasound operator doesn't know there are two babies in there! :-) (Or so I'm told.)

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One small step for iOS, a giant step for Tags. 

Evernote came out of beta today with their iOS Safari Web Clipper's addition of the ability to add tags to the web clipping. It's about time... The Dolphin browser has been on top of this since forever. 

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