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cswsteve

Nesting Multiple Notebooks / Creating Sub-Notebooks

Idea

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13 hours ago, Flier said:

Maybe 6 months ago there was a post by an Evernote guy that implied that nested folders were in the works for at least the premium business version of EN.  So I continue to monitor the thread.  Someday I would like to use EN as a mainstream app and not as a sideshow where getting real work done is significantly impeded by a bad design decision.

 

8 hours ago, Shellah said:

EXACTLY.  EXACTLY.  EXACTLY.  I too monitor this thread only because (after 10+ years of this request going unanswered by EN) there was that post (6 months ago?) there was that post by an Evernote guy that implied that nested folders were in the works for at least the premium business version of EN. A glimmer of hope.  Otherwise, you get only #1 and #2. 

It would help if you could post a link to the post you're referring to.  

afaik  Folders have never been a feature supported by Evernote and no employees have indicate folders or nested folders were "in the works"

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22 hours ago, jefito said:

Then you should create a feature request in the appropriate forum (probably General) to try to get that added.

Again? well, ok.

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4 hours ago, olek3a said:

Again? well, ok.

Put a little more precisely: in the interest of keeping different feature requests in the forums separate, so that they can be individually evaluated by Evernote folks and forum users, and since your request has nothing at all to do with the implementation of nestable notebooks, but instead, a different way to do tag searches (something that I agree with, btw), I'd say, yes, a separate request would be best. That's more or less in line from rule #8 from the Forum Code of Conduct:

Quote

8. Do not interrupt someone else’s thread in an attempt to change the topic or request support for a different issue. If you have a different issue, find the appropriate thread or create a new one for the issue you’re encountering.

That we're discussing it here is one thing, but if you want to make it a feature request is another. Your call...

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16 hours ago, DTLow said:

The other choice would be Tags.  Notebook sort of sounds like Folder, but there are deficiencies.
It depends on your priorities
Good news is the limit was increased from 100 > 250 > 1,000 notebooks
 also, the notebook Stacks feature was implemented to aid in organization   

Great, they're obviously willing to update Notebooks, and since Notebooks are there too "aid in organization" we should be able to have more layers.

Some people use Notebooks, others tags, most use a combination of both, I don't see why Evernote would want to limit how people organize their stuff.

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2 minutes ago, Kruger2147 said:

Great, they're obviously willing to update Notebooks, and since Notebooks are there too "aid in organization" we should be able to have more layers.

Um, apples and oranges. Degree of difficulty to allow more notebooks (maybe not much more than changing a constant in the API: http://dev.evernote.com/doc/reference/Limits.html#Const_EDAM_BUSINESS_NOTEBOOKS_MAX?) is almost certainly less than that of implementing nested notebooks (architectural change, API changes, lots of UI changes across all Evernote platforms).

This is not an argument against adding nested folders, btw; just let's not conflate two separate development tasks with vastly different requirements.

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1 hour ago, Kruger2147 said:

 I don't see why Evernote would want to limit how people organize their stuff.

From what I can see, Evernote has provided multiple options of organizing our stuff; notebooks, tags, search, ....
We get to chose which feature best fits in with our requirements.

>>we should be able to have more layers
Hierarchy is important to me, and was a factor in my choice organizing solutions

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world:
the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.
 
Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

 
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18 hours ago, jefito said:

Put a little more precisely: in the interest of keeping different feature requests in the forums separate, so that they can be individually evaluated by Evernote folks and forum users, and since your request has nothing at all to do with the implementation of nestable notebooks, but instead, a different way to do tag searches (something that I agree with, btw), I'd say, yes, a separate request would be best. 

I came across this thread while checking if my request for nested tag search would be a duplicate a couple of years ago and stuck in this holiwar. Actually I can't remember if I have submitted it then, because the forums structure is too complicated and is not obvious at all.

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4 hours ago, olek3a said:

I came across this thread while checking if my request for nested tag search would be a duplicate a couple of years ago and stuck in this holiwar. Actually I can't remember if I have submitted it then, because the forums structure is too complicated and is not obvious at all.

Regarding search to include child tags

A request is posted at https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/105440-search-tag-hierarchy/

 

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On 8/17/2008 at 4:37 PM, engberg said:

We don't have sub-notebooks, but you can organize tags into a hierarchy.

Even the Evernote Blog has an article arguing for using Notebooks and Stacks as the main organizational method, and tags as a filtering/search supplement. Each has it's strengths, but the potential behind Stacks is being restrained. 

https://evernote.com/blog/stacey-harmon-michael-hyatt-wrong-organizing-evernote-tags/

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24 minutes ago, Kruger2147 said:

Even the Evernote Blog has an article arguing for using Notebooks and Stacks as the main organizational method, and tags as a filtering/search supplement. Each has it's strengths, but the potential behind Stacks is being restrained. 

https://evernote.com/blog/stacey-harmon-michael-hyatt-wrong-organizing-evernote-tags/

Stacey says: (amongst many other good points)

Objection #2: “Notebooks can be stacked, but not nested. I need more organizational levels.”

We’ve all been trained (through email, and computer technology) that the right way to organize things is to use hierarchies that are many levels deep – but it’s not necessarily the best way.

If you’re using the search function correctly, it doesn’t matter if you can nest your notes and notebooks.

The power of my Evernote organization system is its flatness and flexibility. If you prep your notes for search success (note naming conventions are key here), it doesn’t matter where your notes live – you’ll be able to locate them.

Evernote's Spaces (https://evernote.com/features/spaces) is the closest they've got -so far- to nested hierarchies,  but the concept doesn't seem to be designed as hierarchical,  and is more aimed at multiple users and the Business client.  (My emphasis..)

"Every member of a space has access to everything in the space. So the information you need is easily accessible and always at your fingertips."

 

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7 hours ago, Kruger2147 said:

Even the Evernote Blog has an article arguing for using Notebooks and Stacks as the main organizational method, and tags as a filtering/search supplement.  Each has it's strengths

You linked to a report presenting alternatives for organizing notes.
There are pro and cons, but full hierarchy is at the top of my requirements; as is the discussion we're posting in.

>>but the potential behind Stacks is being restrained. 

There is no "potential behind Stacks".
They exist as a comment in the notebook record and provide only a single level hierarchy
For a full hierarchy, you need the "nesting" being requested; technically parent-child relationship

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3 hours ago, Kruger2147 said:

Even the Evernote Blog has an article arguing for using Notebooks and Stacks as the main organizational method, and tags as a filtering/search supplement. Each has it's strengths, but the potential behind Stacks is being restrained. 

Note that the date of @engberg's post that you quoted is 2008, several years before stacks were added.

Not sure what potential behind stacks is being restrained; they operate as designed: a simple way to organize notebooks (because the notebook limit at that time, 100, is too many to manage in a flat list). If you're saying that you want them to be nestable, OK, but that's a large-ish architectural change that affets all Evernote clients, which Evernote hasn't seen fit to implement yet (if they even do at all). That being said, you probably wouldn't want stacks to be the nesting object; you'd want notebooks to be directly nestable.

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Adding my +1 to a nested hierarchy.   I actually discontinued my EverNote premium and switched to using OneNote because the organization was more intuitive to me than the tagging system of EverNote. 

Since the ancient world we have been using hierarchical information structures to organize thought and information.  That's long enough that there is probably an actual neurological adaptation to hierarchy as an information structure.  To me, it seems like the concept of "tagging" relates more to virtual information structures than social or literary ones; the concept of a "tag" seems to have grown out of object-oriented information design vs. procedural information design and procedural has a few thousand years of human adaptation behind it while  object-oriented design is relatively new (though admittedly it follows aspects/characteristics a heuristic model).

In more direct, less highbrow language; my brain organizes in hierarchy, not tags.  I had to stop using EverNote to be more organized.

Seriously, the software should have two organizational modalities; a tagging structure for those who think in terms of aspects / descriptors and a hierarchical structure for those who think in bullets and lists.  If you implement both, wider audience for the software. 

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On 8/17/2008 at 4:37 PM, engberg said:

We don't have sub-notebooks, but you can organize tags into a hierarchy. This may allow you to set up the organizational scheme you're looking for.

I think your user community knows this.  I think a segment of your user community is trying to tell you that is not intuitive for us.  If you want to appeal to those of us who are asking for more categories and notebook structure, we probably need some sort of a "hand-up" to make a hierarchy out of the tagging system intuitive to us.

Have you considered a "hierarchy wizard" type interface that might help someone like me organize the tagging system into the kind of hierarchy you describe?  Maybe instead of having to invest in difficult and expensive engineering to provide multi-layered notebook hierarchy you could offer those of us who think in terms of a hierarchical structure a different view into the tagging system?

To give us users a better control of hierarchy you do not necessarily need to redesign your engineering.  If you can do what we're asking with the tagging system - show us how and make it easy for us.

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45 minutes ago, John Cooper said:

Adding my +1 to a nested hierarchy. 

Does the hierarchy have to be called Notebook?  Is any other name acceptable.
imho  I'm not hung up on the actual  name;  I just need there to be a hierarchy; a parent-child relationship.

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4 hours ago, John Cooper said:

I think your user community knows this.  I think a segment of your user community is trying to tell you that is not intuitive for us.  If you want to appeal to those of us who are asking for more categories and notebook structure, we probably need some sort of a "hand-up" to make a hierarchy out of the tagging system intuitive to us.

Have you considered a "hierarchy wizard" type interface that might help someone like me organize the tagging system into the kind of hierarchy you describe?  Maybe instead of having to invest in difficult and expensive engineering to provide multi-layered notebook hierarchy you could offer those of us who think in terms of a hierarchical structure a different view into the tagging system?

To give us users a better control of hierarchy you do not necessarily need to redesign your engineering.  If you can do what we're asking with the tagging system - show us how and make it easy for us.

You're a little too late -- @engberg hasn't been with Evernote for some years now.

Meanwhile, what is it about the hierarchical tag system that you're not getting? It's a tree structure. Although tags are not like notebooks (a note can have multiple tags, but only belong to one notebook), you can enforce that rule if you want it. And tags are a way to have more categories -- that's pretty much what tags are best at. What's the limit on number of tags these days, 10,000? Seems like plenty of categories. I don't know what a "hierarchy wizard" would be like; is there some sort of "folder wizard" that would be an example of what you're thinking of?

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On 12/24/2018 at 11:42 AM, gazumped said:

Slight typo I think - maximum tags is 100,000...

https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us/articles/209005247

No typo; I was just relying on (faulty) memory. Thanks for the correction. :) 

Even so, 10,000 tags is a lot to manage. My count is much lower, an order of magnitude or more. But the higher count does bolster the point I was making, I suppose...

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7 hours ago, jefito said:

Even so, 10,000 tags is a lot to manage.

Totally agree - I topped out at just over 1,000 tags with lots of duplications and typos.  As I frequently mention,  I then re-thought tags and went on to 'smart' titles - the note date / type / source / keyword(s) - which is how my primary indexing now works. 

Tags are a curation afterthought - an easy way to include or exclude notes from search results,  because adding a tag is quicker than editing the title. 

Having 100,000 tags would be a nightmare for me to manage - but maybe somewhere,  somehow,  there's a system for doing that.  Certainly means you can hierarchify (new word for the Holidays) tags to your hearts content and (probably) never run out...  ☺️

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5 hours ago, gazumped said:

I then re-thought tags and went on to 'smart' titles - the note date / type / source / keyword(s) - which is how my primary indexing now works.

I'm at 400 tags; minimal notebooks.
Likewise, I also use the same tags as keywords, within the title and note contents.  I use scripting (Mac) so I'm working from a controlled list.

I still make use of the hierarchy; it's useful for organization.  Since the hierarchy isn't always available, I also parallel the hierarchy in the tagname.

My purpose for the tag/keyword parallel is

  1. Backup; I maintain an html export.  There is no tag metadata database.
  2. Search; Tags retrieve the note; keywords are highlighted in the note contents. 

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5 hours ago, gazumped said:

...

Tags are a curation afterthought - an easy way to include or exclude notes from search results,  because adding a tag is quicker than editing the title. 

...

I have been hunting through this thread and the suggestions linked to from it on-and-off for a year or so, hoping to find out how I can use tags to get the shelf/notebook/section/page hierarchy that I need.  It seems to me that those espousing tags as doing everything that can be needed are focussing on *search* rather than *browse* capability.  That's fine if I want to search for a page with a particular comment on it, but less useful if what I want to do is read sequentially through a set of notes - for example, if I want to revisit my notes from part of a project or a course I was working on a while ago.

The model in my head of what I want is to have:

  1. SHELF - Shelves (or "stacks" in EN terminology) corresponding to, for example, "Professional Development", "Projects", "Domestic", and so on
  2. NOTEBOOK - Within shelves (stacks), notebooks corresponding to, for example", particular professional development courses I have taken, projects I have worked on, etc.
  3. SECTION - Within a notebook, I want sections for the parts of the course - for  example, in a notebook for a Machine Learning course, I might have sections of Introduction, Linear Regression 1V, Linear Regression MV, Logistic Regression, Regularisation, etc
  4. NOTE - Within each section I want to put my actual notes, with a logical order

So, if I want to refresh myself on Logistic Regression, I go to the "Professional Development" shelf, take the "Stanford Machine Learning 2014/15" notebook, turn to the "Logistic Regression" section, and read through the notes there in sequence. 

I am unclear how to use the EN tag hierarchy to do that.  I have tried various ways, but I end up having to do messy clumsy things of going via a search form, having to remember tags I used these things when I saved them, and then trying to guess what order to look at the search results in to get the logical order that part of the course happened in.  It seems to me that it is easy an obvious how to browse to things in hierarchical storage metaphor, but that tagging and searching doesn't fit this particular access need.

(Don't get me wrong - tags are great, and I can use tags to meet subsidiary *search* requirements I have, but I can't make it fit well to this more common access need I have).

Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong here, and how to get what I want using tags?

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10 minutes ago, D-Nick said:

So, if I want to refresh myself on Logistic Regression, I go to the "Professional Development" shelf, take the "Stanford Machine Learning 2014/15" notebook, turn to the "Logistic Regression" section, and read through the notes there in sequence. 

I am unclear how to use the EN tag hierarchy to do that.

I would recommend making an individual note for each topic. 

Professional Development (Stack)

> Stanford Machine Learning (Notebook)

>> Logistic Regression (Note)

 

This is how I have my "library" stack set up. I have a notebook for each book, an individual note for each chapter.

Library

> Book Title

>> Chapter 1: The beginning

 

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27 minutes ago, D-Nick said:

focussing on *search* rather than *browse* capability.  That's fine if I want to search for a page with a particular comment on it, but less useful if what I want to do is read sequentially through a set of notes - for example, if I want to revisit my notes from part of a project or a course I was working on a while ago.

Evernote is more focused on search, however you can use the notebook/tag trees for browsing376970676_ScreenShot2018-12-26at15_05_40.png.2463583a003de7fd6f13f70710194de9.png.98b592212217bf31661e7b3d073247ce.png
The attached is a screenshot from my Mac

The notebook tree is similar, but with only two levels

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1 hour ago, DTLow said:

Evernote is more focused on search, however you can use the notebook/tag trees for browsing376970676_ScreenShot2018-12-26at15_05_40.png.2463583a003de7fd6f13f70710194de9.png.98b592212217bf31661e7b3d073247ce.png
The attached is a screenshot from my Mac

The notebook tree is similar, but with only two levels

My biggest (and only) issue with using tags instead of folders for hierarchical organization is that tags are not well supported on mobile (iOS), which I use heavily.  In particular, the hierarchy is missing completely (it's flattened out).

Other than that, folders vs tags is more or less cosmetic, and I couldn't care less.

So, here's me, writing this comment, and hoping that someone from Evernote reads it and acts on it, however unlikely that may be.

 

 

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7 hours ago, phault said:

tags are not well supported on mobile (iOS), which I use heavily.  In particular, the hierarchy is missing completely

Confirmed; the tag hierarchy is not displayed in IOS.  The hierachy is also missing on some of the Mac pages. 

To compensate, I use a naming standard that parallels the hierarchy, for example "Budget - Home - Rent", "Budget - Home - Insurance"

>>using tags instead of folders

Folders are not supported in Evernote; the choice is Notebooks or Tags

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54 minutes ago, phault said:

My biggest (and only) issue with using tags instead of folders for hierarchical organization is that tags are not well supported on mobile (iOS), which I use heavily.  In particular, the hierarchy is missing completely (it's flattened out).

Curiously, it *is* supported on Android. Why it's not is a mystery. You should go to the iOS feature request forum (here: https://discussion.evernote.com/forum/215-evernote-for-ios/), find an existing request for this feature (there's at least one), and add your vote there, since your request concerns nested tags on iOS, rather than nested notebooks.

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On 12/27/2018 at 10:18 AM, D-Nick said:

The model in my head of what I want is to have:

  1. SHELF - Shelves (or "stacks" in EN terminology) corresponding to, for example, "Professional Development", "Projects", "Domestic", and so on
  2. NOTEBOOK - Within shelves (stacks), notebooks corresponding to, for example", particular professional development courses I have taken, projects I have worked on, etc.
  3. SECTION - Within a notebook, I want sections for the parts of the course - for  example, in a notebook for a Machine Learning course, I might have sections of Introduction, Linear Regression 1V, Linear Regression MV, Logistic Regression, Regularisation, etc
  4. NOTE - Within each section I want to put my actual notes, with a logical order
  1. Shelf = Stack = Professional Development
  2. Notebook = Notebook or Tag = NameOfCourse
  3. Section = Tag = Introduction
  4. Note =Note = yyyy_mm_dd Note title

So either a notebook:NameOfCourse tag:Introduction or tag:NameOfCourse tag:Introduction search will return the set of notes which can be displayed in title sequence or created date sequence if that is how the notes were entered.  If you can use created date not necessary to have date in the note title. Caps in naming just for emphasis.  I would opt for tags versus notebook for NameOfCourse, more flexibility in the EN architecture in my view.

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On 12/27/2018 at 4:30 AM, gazumped said:

Totally agree - I topped out at just over 1,000 tags with lots of duplications and typos.  As I frequently mention,  I then re-thought tags and went on to 'smart' titles - the note date / type / source / keyword(s) - which is how my primary indexing now works. 

Tags are a curation afterthought - an easy way to include or exclude notes from search results,  because adding a tag is quicker than editing the title. 

I've stuck with tags.  Don't add many anymore (trips or new projects) and just too lazy for the extra typing in the note title.  Horses for courses, but all that stuff in the title just isn't feng shui for me.

Definitely, main purpose of tags for me is to get to a workable list to find the note I want.  When all else fails, there is always raw text search.  

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For anyone still really wanting this feature and not wanting to use OneNote - NimbusNotes is an excellent alternative, with support for all major platforms.

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The 3rd highest request and still nothing? New CEO should read this forum and he would look like a genius for simply giving his customers their top 10 product requests, seems like a no-brainer. The world revolves around data trees visually as nested trees, time for the new CEO to look at how tags have been a poor man's workaround for 10 years with users continually requesting nested notebook tree structure.

Evernote is so buggy and has destroyed so much of my data over the years I leave the least amount of data in it and export the majority of my data to archive it, but it sure sucks to have to recreate note books everytime you import data back into evernote. Some really simple fixes and features seem so rudimentary for a product as old as this one.

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It occurred to me a couple of weeks ago,  that Evernote companion app Filterize nicely fills this gap in Evernote's architecture - it's possible to create multiple self-updating Tables of Contents for a client,  a customer,  a product or any general class of note that you may have. 

Put general notes in one notebook,  and a set of ToC notes in another,  and you can browse through your ToC "drawer" to find all your current clients listed in one note - even if you added one 5 minutes ago. 

Click on that client's link in the ToC to see a note listing your entire contact history and all the current projects you have in hand and quoted for.  It's a set of virtual folders as individual ToC notes.

Filterize also answers any problems with saved searches and favorites - your ToC notes are searches that are running constantly;  so 'next tasks' and open to-do items are also ToC notes.

Still getting around to setting this up for myself,  but it should work...

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16 hours ago, mikefinleyco said:

look at how tags have been a poor man's workaround for 10 years with users continually requesting nested notebook tree structure.

I  use both notebooks and tags; and use the tag tree structure
Please explain the difference between a tag tree structure, vs a notebook tree structure.
Why the "poor man's workaround" designation?  The term seems more appropriate to the Notebook/Stacks structure. 

>>export the majority of my data to archive it, but it sure sucks to have to recreate note books everytime you import data back into evernote. 

Not clear on your exact usercase but separate exports per notebook will preserve the notebook info. 

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On 2018-03-25 at 8:03 AM, chrisalbertyn said:

I don't understand the reluctance to allow this improvement.

Welcome to the discussion.

Adding a notebook hierarchy requires an overhaul of the database design

Evernote seems reluctant to take on this workload.  Instead they implemented the Stack feature; which is only a 2 level hierarchy.

>>tags ... don't meet the need for sub-notebooks.

I'm not seeing proof of this, just that some users need the tags feature be called something different - like folders.  I think they would then find the feature more acceptable.

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15 hours ago, MancChris said:

Simply put, I would find it very useful if Evernote could allow for a directory structure for organising notebooks and sub notebooks similar to how we can use folders and sub folders on Windows.

 At present, Evernote only allows a two level hierarchy for Notebooks.  This is implemented by grouping notebooks into Stacks

Please add your vote to the request above.  Voting buttons are in the top left corner of the discussion 

>>if I want to organise notes for writing a novel, I could call the main notebook 'Novel', and then have sub notebooks called 'characters', 'theme', etc.  Within 'Character'  I could then have sub-notebooks like 'David', 'Sarah', etc containing notes about those characters.

A work-around is to use a standard naming convention; for example

  • Novel
  • Novel - Characters
  • Novel - Characters - David
  • Novel - Characters - Sarah
  • Novel - Theme

 

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We don't have sub-notebooks, but you can organize tags into a hierarchy. This may allow you to set up the organizational scheme you're looking for.

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